Best Universities to Study Medicine in Hungary in 2023
Author: Dee Lawlor
Last update: 19 May 2023
Located in the heart of Europe, and home to many well-respected universities, Hungary is a popular place for students looking for a degree in Medicine.
Over the past few years, Hungarian institutions have started offering their Medicine programmes fully in English. But enrolling at medical school in Hungary can be complicated - continue reading to learn more:
Study in Hungary: Find Medicine programmes
🩺 Top reasons to study Medicine in Hungary:
Medicine degree programmes at Hungarian universities are popular with students from countries where there aren't many study places for Medicine, like Germany, Spain or Portugal. There are a number of reasons that make Hungary so attractive:
- High-quality education that complies with European standards
- Medical degrees that are completely taught in English and recognized internationally
- Lower tuition fees and living costs compared to many other European countries
- Less competitive admission
- Exciting student life with diverse, multicultural student communities
- Safe country with high quality of life
- Part of the European Union and the Schengen Area
🤔 How to choose a medical school in Hungary:
Picking the right medical school is a difficult decision. There are many factors that you want to consider to make the right choice for your career as a doctor:
- Consider the rankings – while this should not be the only factor you look at; it can help with prioritising your choices.
- Accreditation & recognition – make sure the degree is internationally recognized. Check with the authorities in your home country which steps you have to take to be able to practise medicine with a degree from Hungary, and in particular from the universities you’re most interested in.
- Check the curriculum – have a look at the courses that are offered. If there is a speciality you are interested in, see what options there are for you to focus on it.
- Facilities and professors – there is a lot of practical training in Medicine. Check if the university has modern facilities and experienced faculty members.
- Location and student life – it’s not all about work. You need to balance your academic and your personal life.
- Budget – Hungary is more affordable than other European countries, however it is important to double-check costs (and in particular: tuition fees) related to the process.
🏛️ Universities & medical schools in Hungary
There are four universities in Hungary that offer medical degrees in English:
- University of Szeged: One of the leading universities in Hungary, Szeged is an internationally ranked institution. It is one of the oldest research universities in Hungary and has twelve faculties and nineteen doctoral schools. They teach in English but also offer some courses in German. The university operates an extensive teaching hospital and has the largest university library in central Europe.
- University of Pécs: The University of Pécs is one of the largest higher education institutions in Hungary. Its Medical School opened in 1951, and since then Pécs has been producing world-renowned specialists. Students of medicine have access to 29 clinics, 22 theoretical institutes, and 9 teaching hospitals The clinics are considered the best in the city.
- University of Debrecen: Debrecen courses are fully English. They offer pre-medicine courses for students who need to catch up on their biology, chemistry, and physics. The medical school is internationally recognised. Debrecen is a multi-campus university and students obtain their clinical training at the city hospital in Debrecen.
- Semmelweis University: Admission to Semmelweis requires an entrance exam and personal interview, which are held from early March until the end of June. A medical degree from Semmelweisis is internationally recognised and is currently undergoing the accreditation process of the WFME (World Federation of Medical Education). They offer a strong theoretical and hands-on experience.
🏆 The best Medical Schools in Hungary in 2023 (Rankings)
Hungarian universities are recognised internationally for their excellence. The four medical universities all feature in the top 500 of the QS Ranking (2023) and/or the Shanghai Ranking (2022) – internationally recognised league tables that assess universities using multiple criteria: teaching quality, facilities, research output, etc.
All the universities teach in English and there isn’t a huge variation in the fees. Studying Medicine at any of Hungary’s four medical universities is a great step on the way to becoming a doctor:
💸 Tuition fees in Hungary for Medicine:
Tuition fees for Medicine in Hungary are on average €15,000 a year and are the same between EU and non-EU students. In most universities, you will be asked to pay the first year’s fees in advance, after you have your interview but before you apply for your visa.
All applicants, whether from in or outside of Europe, pay application fees. These range between €150 to €300 and are typically non-refundable. This is standard across many universities as well.
Besides application and tuition fees there may be other costs, such as fees for language tests, visas, and other administrative costs. Registration fees are applicable in some universities and are usually around €200.
Hungary: Tuition fees & scholarships
💵 Can you study Medicine for free?
There are no tuition-free options for international students who wish to study medicine in Hungary, however, some candidates may be able to study at a reduced price.
Some medical degrees are tuition-free for Hungarian citizens, but this is very limited and highly competitive. International students can study for free only if they get a scholarship or a loan.
💰 Are there scholarships for international students?
Yes, there are scholarships available for international students in Hungary. Some are offered by the government, and others by the individual universities or other organisations. Some are merit-based, and others are targeted at students from a specific country or region. So, make sure you have a good look around.
Among the scholarships available to international student are:
- State-funded: The Stipendium Hungaricum Scholarship Programme is offered by the Hungarian Government. It covers all tuition fees and there is a monthly stipend for living costs and health insurance.
- University of Szeged: The University of Szeged offers the SZTE Start Scholarship to incoming students. This is a one-off contribution to help students in their first year.
- University of Pécs: Has several scholarship options available, including one for Christian young people, Hungarian diaspora and bilateral state applicants.
- For more information on scholarship programs offered by individual universities, don’t be afraid to contact the university directly and ask them what options they have. They will be more than happy to help.
📝 What are the admission requirements to Study Medicine in Hungary?
Each university has its own unique set of entry requirements.
Some universities don’t require you to have high grades since they have their own internal tests in Chemistry, Biology, Maths, and Physics. The University of Szeged also has oral interviews, to get an idea of why you want to study medicine and your general knowledge of the field and associated subjects.
As the courses are taught in English, there will be an English language proficiency certification required. IELTS and TOEFL are the most common tests. Others might also fulfill admissions criteria; for example, the University of Pécs also accepts Cambridge ESOL, Duolingo English Test, Oxford, and Online Placement Test.
The application deadlines are usually between May and June for an Autumn intake, so make sure you start your application early! Note that application deadlines can vary for different programmes, so be sure to check each individual university.
💉 Are there any downsides?
Going to Hungary for your medical education will offer you a lot of upsides, but there are a few things worth considering:
- Tuition fees: Overall costs might end up being higher than in your home country. However, a good degree from a reputable university is always a worthwhile investment.
- Degree: Medical degrees from renowned universities like Szeged or Pécs are accepted throughout Europe, but you should still double-check the rules in your own country. Degrees and other qualifications might be transferable, but the approval process might take several months. This is not specific to Hungary, though, and would be the same with a medical degree from any other country.
- Staying after graduation: You probably won't be able to stay and practice medicine as a physician in Hungary unless you learn Hungarian, which is a notoriously difficult language. But a Hungarian medical degree might be a good step to work as a doctor somewhere else in the EU or Greater Europe.
🩺 What are similar subjects I could study?
General Medicine is not exactly what you want to study? Then there are other, related disciplines worth exploring. Hungarian universities also offer degrees in English in:
- Veterinary Medicine
Want to learn more?
41 Medicine & Health Programmes in Hungary
Study Medicine: Find Bachelors & Masters in Hungary 🇭🇺
Dee is an expert on all things living and breathing and has spent many years studying and working abroad. She has a BSc in Zoology from the University of Aberdeen (UK) and an MSc in Imaging & Microscopy from University College Dublin (Ireland), as well as a Diploma in Counselling Studies from Dublin Business School. She is the author of “Introduction to Light Microscopy” (Springer).