Study in Hungary

Study in Hungary

Last edited on 27 Sep 2020

Hi! Üdv Magyarországon!

Hi! Welcome to Hungary!

Hungary is situated in Central Europe and has been a melting pot of European cultures. Budapest, its capital, is seen as the one of the most beautiful European city. The population of the country is 10 million and has a pleasant continental climate. Hungarian is the country’s official language, English and German are taught in schools as second languages. With a combination of Western and European influences, Hungary boasts a rich heritage and culture that attracts people from all over the world. Next to that, Hungary offers more attraction, it has geological sites, ancient Roman ruins, relics from Turkish culture, and well-preserved buildings, providing an insight into the different styles in the history of European architecture. Eight of these sites are UNESCO World Heritage.

As the bridge of Central and Eastern Europe, Hungary offers a combination of many attractions from both regions – yet it also have its pride of its own identity. This pride is not without foundation. Despite the country is relatively small, it has much to offer visitors, from the architectural and cultural delights of capital city Budapest, to vineyard-covered hills and historic castles. With so many natural and manmade attractions, combined with relatively low living costs and a strong focus on internationalization, it seems likely that Hungary’s popularity as a study destination will continue to grow. Choose to study in Hungary now, and you could be at the leading edge of that trend.

Well regarded internationally, the Hungarian higher education sector consists of state universities, public universities, state financed colleges and religious educational institutions – with higher education qualifications recognized in the EU and beyond.

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.

Higher Education System

Hungary provides high quality education in the heart of Europe. International students are attracted by the degrees recognised universally, the wide variety of study programmes, beautiful landscapes, a favourable cost-to-value ratio and its good reputation for its scientific inventions (e.g. Vitamin C, digital computing, Prezi). State-funded scholarships and EU-funded opportunities are available in every level of academic degrees.

Hungarian higher education has been a hub for academic excellence for several centuries. The oldest Hungarian university celebrated the 650th anniversary of its foundation in the beginning of September 2017.

Today, there are 66 higher education institutions in Hungary, which are well known throughout Europe. They offer 550 courses in English, German, French and other languages. Annually, thousands of foreign students from all over the world arrive to Hungary in order to study. The aim of the Hungarian Government is to increase further the number of incoming (25 000 to 40 000) and outgoing (10 to 20%) students in higher education. The degree structure of Hungarian higher education is based on three cycles (Bachelor’s, Master’s, Doctoral), in accordance with the objectives of the Bologna process.

The European Credit Transfer System (ECTS) is the only existing credit system in Hungary, facilitating the recognition of learning achievements and qualifications in many countries throughout the European Higher Education Area. Hungarian higher education institutions are becoming more and more active in international cooperation, offering a number of double and joint degree programmes, R&D projects, and academic partnerships within Europe and throughout the world.

Hungary joined the Bologna Process in 1999 by signing the Bologna Declaration with 28 other countries with a view to establishing the European Higher Education Area by 2010.

The degree structure based on three cycles of higher education was adopted in December 2004. All main fields of study have been restructured in accordance with the new system. However, there are some exceptions: medicine, pharmacy, dental and veterinary studies, architecture, law and certain crafts, arts and design related study programs, which retain a long single-cycle structure of 5-6 years of study. A new Act on National Higher Education was approved in 2011, which restructured teacher training into the long single-cycle.

The first cycle programs last 6-8 semesters (3-4 years, 180-240 credit points) and lead to a Bachelor’s degree. The second cycle, leading to a Master’s degree, last 2-4 semesters (1-2 years, 60-120 credit points.  Programs can be full-time, part-time or of a distance learning nature. The third cycle programs are three-year doctoral programs. They are post-graduate alternatives to follow any Master’s or equivalent qualification. A doctoral program consists of two modules: the module of contact-hour courses is composed of diverse courses lasting for a period of 6 semesters (180 credit points) and a written dissertation supported by scientific publications.

An average student’s annual timetable: 

Autumn semester 

  • Early September: registration and signing up for courses 

  • Mid-September to mid-December: term time 

  • Mid-December to end of January: exam period

Spring semester

  • Early February: registration and signing up for courses 

  • Mid-February to the mid-May: term time 

  • Mid-May to early July: exam period


Language requirements for studies at universities in Hungary


According to Hungarian legislation, foreign students must pass an exam in Hungarian language as a requirement to be awarded the diploma. In the event you are taking undergraduate studies, you will be required to have a level of command of Hungarian corresponding to, at least, C1 in the Europass Language Passport. For graduate courses, your institution will determine which language exams you will have to take before you can be awarded the diploma. However, if the language of instruction is not Hungarian, you are exempted from the Hungarian language examination requirement.


If the language of instruction is English, you will be requested to prove your level of command of the English language. For this purpose, you may present the results obtained at internationally recognized examinations, such as the TOEFL test, or pass an exam at the Hungarian institution where you will be studying. If you are an EU student, you may also ask your institution to evaluate your English studies from upper secondary school to learn whether they are sufficient for you to meet the language requirement. Students from English speaking countries who have received their upper secondary education in English are usually exempted from passing any English language examination.

Preparatory courses

If you have not taken or passed the university entrance examination in your home country or you are not an EU student, you will most probably need to enroll in a preparatory course at the institution you are interested in before applying for higher education studies. The preparatory courses aim at providing students with the required level of knowledge in basic subjects to access the selected study program. These preparatory courses last at most 2 semesters and students are charged tuition fees that vary depending on the program and institution.

Minimum grade point requirement to access the university studies in Hungary

Students in Hungary are ranked based on their previous studies when applying for a study place at higher education institution. This ranking is based on the student's grade point average from previous studies and even work experience if applying for specific programs that require it. Therefore, always check with your university/colleges in Hungary about the minimum passing grade you need to meet.

You may use the European grades comparison chart to learn what the equivalence of your grade in Europe would be.

Source: Act CXXXIX of 2005 on Higher Education in Hungary