A small country with a rich history of more than one thousand years, Hungary is located in the heart of Europe. The first Hungarian monarch, King Saint Stephen, established the Christian Hungarian state (in 1000/1001 AD).
Since its foundation, Hungary has always played a significant role in the region, as well as in the whole of Europe. Acknowledged for its citizens with exceptional talent, Hungary has greatly influenced the international political, scientific and cultural scenes alike.
Universities in Hungary
While not as firmly established on the study-abroad map as European destinations like the UK, Germany or France, Hungary is committed to becoming a higher education hub. Universities in Hungary are welcoming growing numbers of international students, both on exchange programs and for full degrees, and are increasingly offering courses taught in languages other than Hungarian, most commonly English.
In line with the Bologna Process, which aims to make higher education systems across Europe more compatible, universities in Hungary offer three levels of degree: alapképzés (bachelor’s), mesterképzés (master’s) and doktori képzés (doctorate). Bachelor’s programs typically last three or four years, master’s programs one or two, and doctorate programs three years. In some subjects, it is also possible to complete a single five- or six-year course, which combines the bachelor’s and master’s levels.
The five highest-ranked universities in Hungary are:
University of Szeged
Eötvös Loránd University
University of Debrecen
Corvinus University of Budapest
Budapest University of Technology and Economics
Tuition fees in Hungary
Compared to the rest of Western Europe, Hungary presents a very affordable place for study regarding both tuition and living costs. Tuition fees vary depending on school and program. Often medicine and dentistry are among the more expensive options with tuition fees around 20,000€, and for other programs as low as €4,500.
In addition to paying tuition fees, students are also required to pay an application fee, exam fee and registration fee, each between 100€ and 150€, for study programs in Hungary.
Living costs in Hungary are comparatively low. Costs are naturally higher in the major cities such as Budapest. Students in Hungary should be able to get by with approximately 750€ per month, allowing enough for not only rent, but also for public transport, health insurance, study materials, and a few nights out on the town.
How to apply?
Hungarian higher education institutions offer a wide variety of interesting degree level programmes available completely in English. You can browse through the available options in the Study Finder section of our website.
If you already know the institution and programme you wish to apply to, you can of course go directly to the website of the institution for further information. You can find the addresses in the institutions section of this site.
After getting acquainted with the basics presented on these pages, please study carefully the detailed application instructions on the admission sites of the institutions; and also you can always contact the admission offices of the institutions for advice.
This section will provide you with some general guidelines for applying to the Hungarian higher education system. We also have a checklist called 10 steps to studying in Hungary – you might find this helpful:
Ten steps to studying in Hungary
Looking for courses
1. Finding the right study programme First of all, you should and choose the degree programme options you might be interested in. You can do this either by visiting our „Study Finder” the database of the foreign language study programmes, or by checking out the individual institutions’ websites. Detailed information on the programmes is available on the institutions’ own websites – the links our Study Finder the database will direct you to the correct pages.
2. Finding the right university Hungary has many different kinds of universities. They all offer excellent quality. But with so many universities to choose from, it’s not always easy finding the one that best suits your needs.
List of Hungarian universities (with their website link)
3. University admission and requirements In order to be considered an eligible applicant, you need to fulfill certain general criteria. On top of that, individual degree programmes may each have their own specific set of additional requirements. Therefore, you must always check the detailed entry requirements directly with the programme/institution you’re applying to.
NB you may need to pass an entrance examination (especially when applying for polytechnic/UAS undergraduate entry).
4. Language requirements If you apply for a foreign language course, then You’ll also need to show you have the required level of the given foreign laguage (eg. English proficiency).
5. Costs / Funding Right from the start, it’s worth considering how you will finance your studies in Hungary. You will need to be able to cover your everyday living expenses in Hungary. Keep in mind that even when scholarships exist, they are not awarded to all applicants “automatically”. So please remember to draft a realistic and valid financial plan for your studies in Hungary.
Application / Visa / Accommodation
6. Applying for a course of study Once you’ve decided which study programmes interest you, you should check how and when to submit your application to those programmes.
7. Entry / Visa If you are invited to Hungary to take part in an entrance examination, and/or if you are eventually accepted as a degree student, you’ll need to acquire the necessary entry documents to Hungary. When applying for a student residence permit, you usually need to visit the local Hungarian embassy in person. What kind of entry documents you need depends on your nationality. Therefore it is very important that you check the visa/student residence permit application procedures well in advance!
8. Finding accommodation Once you’ve received your official letter of acceptance, you can start arranging the practical issues of your student life in Hungary. Your hosting Hungarian institution can advice you best on local student accommodation options and other such matters.
Help and advice before your travel
9. Advice from the Campus Hungary Programme Office You’ll find the basics of all the above issues explained on our website, so please go through the above-mentioned sections carefully. Also be sure to read through all the advice given to prospective students on the institutions’ own web sites!
10. Visiting education fairs You can find out more about Hungarian universities and the courses they offer also by visiting education fairs. The Campus Hungary Program Office and also individual institutions are often participant at international education fairs.
Access to Higher Education
The number of students admitted to higher education is limited. Applicants’ ranking is based on their secondary school grades and their érettségi vizsga (secondary school leaving examination) results or based solely on the latter, considering the interest of the applicant. The requirement for admission to Bachelor and undivided one-tier Master courses is the secondary school leaving examination taken – as a rule – after the completion of the 12th grade of a secondary school, certified by Érettségi bizonyítvány (secondary school leaving certificate).
The admission to certain programmes is based on an additional aptitude test or a practical examination. To Master courses students can be admitted if they possess Főiskolai oklevél (college-level degree) or Egyetemi oklevél (university-level degree) or a Bachelor degree. To postgraduate specialist training students can be admitted if they possess college- or university-level degree, or a Bachelor or a Master degree. Only applicants with university-level degree or Master degree may be admitted to Doctorate courses. Higher education institutions may set additional requirements for admission to Master, postgraduate specialist and Doctorate courses.
Admission can be processed twice in every calendar year:
The deadline of applications for the autumn admission procedures for programmes launching in February is 15 November.
The deadline of applications for the spring admission procedures for programmes launching in September is 15 February.
Deadlines of applying to foreign languages programmes may differ from the above dates and vary by institutions!
The precondition for admission to higher education institutions is the successful passing of the upper secondary school leaving examination (at standard or advanced level), which thus also functions as an entrance exam.
Higher education institutions determine admission on the basis of a combined score based on the secondary school leaving examination results and the secondary school performance reports of students. Some higher education programmes have specific admission requirements set by institutions jointly or by themselves. These vary depending on the subject or type of course.
State owned higher education institutions may offer state funded and fee-paying places for applicants. The number of state funded places for each cycle and study field is annually determined by the government. The amount of fees is determined by higher education institutions in accordance with regulations stipulated by government decrees.
Admission requirements for Hungarian higher education
According to the Higher Education Act, admission to Bachelor’s degree programmes and unified, undivided, long-term Master’s degree programmes is selective, with the Secondary School Leaving Certificate or its foreign equivalent as a prerequisite for admission with a few exceptions where practical examinations or aptitude tests are also required. The minimum requirement for admission to Master’s degree programmes is a Bachelor’s degree or its equivalent, to PhD and DLA doctoral programmes is a Master’s degree or its equivalent. Higher education institutions may link admission to Master’s and doctoral programmes to additional criteria.
According to the relevant Law, admission to the full-time Bachelor’s degree (BA) courses and unified, undivided, long-term Master’s degree courses is selective. The prerequisite of admission to any study programme in a higher education institution is:
a Hungarian secondary school leaving certificate,
or its foreign equivalent,
or a degree obtained in higher education accredited or recognized in Hungary.
There are a few courses where practical examinations or aptitude tests are also required. Study programmes in the fields of music and arts require applicants to demonstrate their particular artistic abilities.
If you wish to obtain a PhD degree in Hungary, the basic requirement is to hold a university degree which is equivalent to an MA degree. The prerequisite for entering doctoral courses is an MA/MSc degree.
It is the sole responsibility of higher education institutions to update information regarding their study courses and fees in the Study Finder database, for more details please contact the institution whose programme you are interested in!
The Hungarian Equivalence and Information Centre (HEIC) – a department of the Education Authority – deals with the recognition of certificates and degrees obtained abroad, and also issues certificates about Hungarian qualifications to be used abroad.)
Your eligibility is always assessed by the Hungarian higher education institution you are applying to, so for detailed information on the admission requirements of each programme it is best to consult the website of the institution in question. If you have doubts about your eligibility, you may contact the admissions office of the institution offering the programme.
After getting acquainted with the basics presented on the Campus Hungary pages, please study carefully the detailed application instructions on the admission sites of the institutions, and also you can always contact the admission offices of the institutions for advice.
Once you have made your mind up to study in Hungary you will have many organizational tasks to fix your place at the desired higher education institution, to plan your travel, or to get your residence permit/visa if necessary. Under this menu you find useful information on the matters you have to deal with even before you arrive to Hungary.
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