Medical Studies and Medical Schools in Hungary for International Students

In today’s globalized world, pursuing a medical degree in a foreign country has become an attractive option for many aspiring doctors. Hungary, with its rich history, stunning landscapes, and renowned medical schools, has emerged as a top destination for international students seeking medical education. The country’s medical schools have gained international recognition for their high standards, modern facilities, and experienced faculty. This article will serve as your comprehensive guide to understanding medical schools and the journey to study medicine in Hungary.

Why Choose Hungary for Medical Studies?

Hungary, located in the heart of Europe, has a long-standing tradition of offering excellent medical education. Its medical schools have gained international recognition in the last few decades. But what makes studying in Hungary so appealing? And why should you get your medical training in Hungary?

Academic Excellence

Hungary boasts a long-standing tradition of academic excellence, especially in the field of medicine. Hungarian universities consistently rank among the top in Europe and the world for their medical programs.

Affordable Tuition Fees

One of the most compelling reasons to study medicine in Hungary is its affordability. Compared to many Western countries, Hungary offers medical education at a fraction of the cost, making it an attractive option for budget-conscious students.

English-Taught Programs

To cater to the international student community, most medical schools in Hungary offer their programs in English. This eliminates the need for non-Hungarian speakers to learn the local language, although acquiring some basic Hungarian can enhance the overall experience.

Cultural Richness

Hungary’s rich cultural heritage provides international students with a unique and immersive experience. From its iconic architecture to its diverse cuisine, Hungary offers a vibrant cultural tapestry that enriches student life.

Requirements and Admission Process to Medical Schools in Hungary

Securing a spot in a Hungarian medical school requires a thorough understanding of the admission process and meet the main requirements of your institution of choice. 

Hungary boasts a few prestigious medical schools, including Semmelweis University or Debrecen Medical School. Start therefore by researching each institution’s offerings and choose the one that aligns with your goals.

The next step has to do with the requirements. In Hungary, there are common documents to provide for all medical schools in Hungary and a slight difference in eligibility criteria for each institution. 

So to get admission at medical schools in Hungary, the applicant: 

  • Must have completed high school education (12 years) and have passed Biology, Chemistry and either Math or Physics classes
  • Should be at least 17 years old and under 30 years old at the time of the application
  • Must be proficient in the English language if they are non-native speakers
  • Should have passed an entrance exam at the medical school or university of their choice. Typically, this exam covers the subjects of biology, chemistry and English, and is a prerequisite before the application.

More detailed information is available on the individual university pages. So, it’s crucial to review them carefully. Typically, documents to provide include high school transcripts, a letter of motivation, and standardized test scores, IELTS / TOEFL, to prove their good English level.

Check also our article on university application and admission in Hungary.

In case an interview is part of the admission process, make sure to prepare diligently and showcase your passion for medicine. Once you’ve gathered all the necessary documents, submit your application through the university’s online portal. At last, pay close attention to deadlines to ensure your application is considered.

Life as an International Medical Student in Hungary

Medical studies are demanding, and Hungary is no exception. Be prepared for rigorous coursework, practical training, and clinical rotations. But, good time management and dedication are the key to success.

How many years is medical school in Hungary?

The Hungarian higher education system follows the Bologna Process. This means it includes three cycles of study: Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Doctoral programs. The medical curriculum is typically 6 years, including 10 semesters and a one-year internship. At the end, students earn the diploma and the M.D. (Medical Doctor) degree. 

Moreover, Hungary’s medical universities prioritize practical training, ensuring students gain hands-on experience early in their education. Clinical internships are therefore an integral part of the curriculum. After completing your medical degree in Hungary, you have various options for postgraduate studies and specialization, both in Hungary and abroad. 

How much does it cost to study medicine in Hungary?

The cost of studying medicine in Hungary varies depending on several factors. They can change based on the university you choose, your citizenship, and whether you’re pursuing a program in English or Hungarian. Typically, international students studying English-taught medicine and dentistry programs spend between USD 16,200 and USD 18,000 per year. 

The cost of living, on the other hand, can be as low as USD 7,000 to USD 9,000 per year. We will delve more on the matter in our guide on the living cost for students in Hungary. It’s essential to check with the specific university you’re interested in for the most up-to-date information on tuition fees and admission requirements. 

Moreover, you should factor in other costs such as textbooks, medical equipment, health insurance, and residence permit fees. Additionally, consider currency exchange rates, as they can impact the overall cost of studying in Hungary.

Career Opportunities for International Medical Graduates

Upon successfully completing your medical studies in Hungary, the world is your oyster. International medical graduates from Hungarian universities are highly regarded worldwide. You can consider various career pathways, including:

Residency Programs

Many graduates choose to pursue residency programs in their home countries or other nations. The quality of education in Hungary equips you with the skills needed to excel in your residency.

Research and Academia

If research and academia appeal to you, Hungary offers opportunities to engage in cutting-edge medical research and potentially secure positions in academic institutions.

Global Medical Practice

With your internationally recognized degree, you can explore opportunities to practice medicine globally. This opens the door for you to contribute to healthcare worldwide.

Top Medical Schools in Hungary for International Students

When it comes to pursuing a medical degree, the choice of institution plays a vital role in shaping your career. Hungary, with its rich history and commitment to education, offers some outstanding medical schools that have gained international recognition. Here are the best medical schools in Hungary, each renowned for its unique features and contributions to the field of medicine.

Read also here our review of the top 10 universities in Hungary

Semmelweis University – Faculty of Medicine

Semmelweis University, located in the heart of Budapest, is often regarded as the crown jewel of medical education in Hungary. The medical faculty, on which the university is based, was founded in 1769 and boasts a long and prestigious history. The university got its name after Ignác Semmelweis, a pioneer in the field of hand hygiene, and continues to uphold his legacy. 

The faculty of medicine is also the oldest and largest faculty of the university. Its student body counts more than 4,700 individuals, 55% of them being international students. With state-of-the-art facilities, Semmelweis University offers programs in both English and Hungarian. It is particularly renowned for its small study groups and strong emphasis on practical training to get students well-prepared for their medical careers.

The medical curriculum at Semmelweis University features a 12-semester training of 3 modules: 

  • 2 years of theoretical module of basic science
  • 1 year of pre-clinical training 
  • And 3 years of clinical studies

The third year of the last module is the internship at the university clinics and accredited teaching hospitals. It opens the door for students to get high-quality training while in contact with rare medical cases they won’t encounter anywhere else. Another point in favor of Semmelweis University for your medical studies in Hungary is the guarantee that your M.D degree is recognized in Europe and around the world. And graduates from the faculty usually land their first job within 3 months of graduation. 

Learn more here about by visiting the website of Semmelweis University.

University of Debrecen Medical School

The University of Debrecen’s Medical School, in the city of Debrecen, is another top-tier institution in Hungary. Founded in 1918, it has a rich history of providing high-quality medical education. It also was the first campus medical school in Central Europe. In 1951, the faculty of medicine became an independent University Medical School under the supervision of Hungary’s Ministry of Health. 

This has still become one of the most prestigious medical schools in Hungary, featuring 22 departments of basic sciences and 25 clinical departments. The medical school also serves as the city hospital of Debrecen. Another unique aspect of this school is its strong emphasis on research. This consists of a wide range of life sciences research programs taking place at 45 theoretical and clinical facilities. 

Fields of studies are various and cover specializations from clinical chemistry to surgery, neurology and neurosurgery, as well as cardiology and pulmonology. Moreover, the University of Debrecen Medical School also collaborates with international universities, offering students a chance to participate in exchange programs and gain a global perspective on medicine. 

The leading research laboratories of the school took part in the foundation of the Research Center for Molecular Medicine, which in 2003 won the title “Centre of Excellence” from the European Commission. This center stands out by combining basic and applied research with technical development. The medical program also has accreditation from reputable international organizations.

Find out more about Debrecen University Medical School’s medical program, admission requirements and more by visiting its official website. 

Pécs University Medical School 

Pécs University Medical School is part of a prestigious institution which came into existence in 1367, in the picturesque city of Pécs. This is also one of the oldest medical schools in Hungary, making it an integral part of the country’s medical heritage. Nowadays, it’s one of the largest medical schools in Hungary in terms of student population, which consists of 3500 individuals from 67 countries. 

Moreover, this multinational university provides a wide range of medical programs in Hungarian, in German and of course in English. The school’s commitment to excellence is reflected in its modern facilities and well-qualified faculty, which includes 19 theoretical departments and 28 clinics. And along general medicine and dentistry programs, the medical university offers master’s, biotechnology and PhD courses. 

When it comes to the general medicine curriculum, it consists of 10 semesters plus one year of clinical rotations. In 6 years, students go through 3 modules: 

  • Basic module, during which students get basic training related to structure and functions of the healthy human body.
  • Pre-clinical module, preparing students for the clinical phase, during which they acquire basic patient examination skills 
  • Clinical module, during whuch students learn about specific diseases, and develop diagnostic and therapeutic skills. 

Students also benefit from cutting-edge facilities for practical learning at places like Szentágothai Research Centre, or the National Virology Laboratory, one of the most modern research facilities in Central Europe. At last, the M.D. diploma issued at the school is accepted in all European Union countries and several other countries such as the USA, Canada, etc.

Visit Pécs University Medical School’s website for more.

University of Szeged Albert Szent-Györgyi Medical School  

The University of Szeged has a history that dates back to 1581, and was the only institution of higher education in Hungary at the end of the 16th century. And it was two centuries later that the Faculty of Medicine-Surgery has come into existence. Since the 50s, it features a dentistry division and pharmacy training took place at a separate faculty. Moreover, since the end of the 80s, the medical school was named after its most renowned professor, the Nobel Prize Laureate Albert Szent-Györgyi. 

English language programs at the medical school also started in the 80s, and German-speaking programs for foreign students started from 1999. And since 2007, the medical school has become the primary health care services center and institution for medical studies and research in the region. Along its comprehensive medical curriculum, which includes a range of specialized programs: dental medicine, pharmacy, foundation year, nurse bachelor program and physiotherapist bachelor program. 

The medical program features a 12-semester curriculum, at the end of which graduates earn a Doctor of Medicine degree. The English-speaking course admits around 200 students per year. Furthermore, the 6-year path is similar to what applies at other medical schools in Hungary: 2 years of foundational medical training, followed by a regular clinical practice and 2 semesters of clinical rotations. 

Find out more by visiting the medical school’s website.


Choosing the right medical school is a significant decision that can shape your entire career in medicine. Hungary, with its long-standing tradition of excellence in education, offers a variety of outstanding options. Whether you prefer the historic charm of Pécs University Medical School or the vibrant research environment of the University of Debrecen Medical School, each of these top medical schools in Hungary provides a unique and enriching educational experience. Take the time to explore these institutions, consider your personal preferences, and make an informed choice that aligns with your aspirations in the field of medicine. Your journey to becoming a healthcare professional begins here, in the heart of Europe.

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