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Semmelweis University Faculty of Medicine - Ranking, Tuition, Campus & Environment | ValueMD

General Information

A Brief History of Hungary by The World Factbook 2006

Flag of Hungary

Hungary was part of the polyglot Austro-Hungarian Empire, which collapsed during World War I. The country fell under Communist rule following World War II. In 1956, a revolt and announced withdrawal from the Warsaw Pact were met with a massive military intervention by Moscow. Under the leadership of Janos KADAR in 1968, Hungary began liberalizing its economy, introducing so-called "Goulash Communism." Hungary held its first multiparty elections in 1990 and initiated a free market economy. It joined NATO in 1999 and the EU in 2004. Read More

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Semmelweis University Medical School

Semmelweis University Medical School

Semmelweis is a multi-campus university. The medical departments and the University Clinics occupy a huge area on the Pest side of the Hungarian capital. With a quarter of a million of books, the Semmelweis University has one of the biggest and best furnished medical-biological collections in Hungary, and among the Hungarian universities Semmelweis produces the greatest number of publications. The university is deeply involved in the patient care of the Great-Budapest region. Out of its 3000 clinical beds 75 % takes part in the regional medical care and some special outpatients' departments also supply the teaching hospitals with patients needed by the training.

The portrait of Maria Theresa in the Assembly Hall of the University still commemorates the founding of the Medical Faculty by the Empress of Austria-Hungary more than 230 years ago, forging a continuous link in the education and training of medical students.

The name of the institution honors Ignác Semmelweis, a former professor of the Medical Faculty between 1855-1865, who discovered the cause and prevention of puerperal fever. Semmelweis was the first Hungarian university, which started to offer international courses at the Faculty of Medicine in German in 1983. The English programs started four years later, in 1987. Nowadays, the university enrolls more than 200 new international students each year. Still, students from Germany form the majority of the international student body, although the number of students from Israel, Scandinavia and Cyprus shows a constant growth.

The General Medicine program is listed by the WHO and it is recognized without any licensing examinations in all European Union countries (- applies to the nationals of the member states.)

The program leading to the Doctor of Medicine degree, consist of six years: two years of general medical studies, three years of clinical studies and one year of a rotating internship. The international programs in Medicine started in 1983 in German and in 1984 in English. Each year approximately 120 international students are enrolled at the English program mostly from Israel, Norway, Cyprus, Iran and USA.

The Semmelweis University seeks motivated candidates for the program with a solid background in Biology and Chemistry. In addition to these subjects you have to pass an entrance exam in English as well. The application deadline is in April and the course starts in September. Enrtrance exams are arranged at several locations in Europe, Israel, North America, Asia and Africa.

The Mission of Semmelweis University

  • The basic aim of Semmelweis University is to train medical and dental doctors and pharmacists who are able to provide safe and effective professional care.
  • Semmelweis University maintains high academic standards and a curriculum with up-to-date technical and health care requirements.
  • The University trains graduates who are capable of functioning effectively both in individual or group practices.
  • Semmelweis University has a leading role in academic research in Hungary, providing - through its Ph.D. doctoral programs - highly qualified researchers for future generations.
  • Semmelweis University monitors and facilitates University Development Programs and assists the promotion of its university members.
  • Semmelweis University is the main field of life-long continuing education and is responsible for the scientific and professional merits of health care in Hungary.
  • Semmelweis University is also the largest hospital and polyclinic in Hungary and provides a large part of the specialty care for Hungarian citizens.
  • Semmelweis University is responsible for Public Health Programs and prophylaxis.
  • Semmelweis University’s PR activity and participation in several governmental, municipal and civic organizations and counseling bodies serves the interest of the profession and also the well-being of every patient.

The History of the
Semmelweis University

Cardinal Péter Pázmány founded the predecessor of the present day University in 1635 at Nagyszombat (today Trnava in Slovakia), his bishop seat. On November 7, 1769 Queen Maria Theresa of Austria–Hungary attached a Faculty of Medicine to the former Faculties (Theology and Jura). The new Faculty was moved to Buda in 1777. The “Diploma Inaugurale” which stated the rights of the University and allocated the necessary financial means was signed in 1780. After a few years, the University moved to the other side of the Danube, to Pest. (Buda and Pest were independent cities at that time). In 1848, at the time of the National War of Independence , the former University of Nagyszombat became a National University.

Dr. Ignaz Semmelweis

The establishment of the present clinical departments and theoretical institutes started at the end of the 19th century at their present location in Budapest. These buildings are still in use after reconstruction and modernization. New clinics and institutes were built during the 20th century. In 1951, the Faculty of Medicine was reorganized into an independent medical school, and the institutional name was changed to Budapest University of Medicine. In 1955, Faculties of Dentistry and Pharmacy were incorporated into the University.

Ignác SemmelweisIn 1969, the name of the University was changed to Semmelweis University of Medicine. The new name honors Ignác Semmelweis who discovered the cause of puerperal fever and was a professor and chairman on the Faculty of Medicine at the present 1st Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Today, Semmelweis University incorporates the Faculties of Medicine, Dentistry, Pharmacy, Physical Education and Sports Sciences and the College of Health Care. Semmelweis University was the first Hungarian higher educational institution, which, in addition to educate at the above faculties in Hungarian, started to offer an international program at the Faculty of Medicine in German in 1983, while its international program in English started in 1987, at the Faculties of Medicine, Dentistry and Pharmacy.

Clinical Training

In addition to the opportunities in Hungary, students of the Semmelweis University have the option of participating in the following clinical training programs in the United States.

New York Medical College

Semmelweis University Medical Students

Year of Supervised Clinical Training New York Medical College, one of the oldest and largest medical schools in the United States, is located in suburban Westchester County approximately 25 miles from New York City. As a regional medical/health sciences university and the nation’s third largest private medical college, it offers in addition to the Doctor of Medicine degree, the Master of Science, Master of Public Health and Doctor of Philosophy degrees. With 760 medical students and 800 graduate students enrolled, New York Medical College has over 2600 nationally and internationally known faculty members, more than 1200 of whom serve full-time. The College is the only academic biomedical research institution between New York City and Albany with some USD 39 million in support of nearly 400 sponsored programs of research, training and service.

New York Medical College is affiliated with two academic health centers: Westchester Medical Center and Saint Vincents Catholic Medical Centers of New York and 20 other hospitals within the tri-state metropolitan region. These hospitals range from technologically advanced regional tertiary care facilities to small suburban hospitals and specialty medical centers.

Citizens or Permanent Residents of the United States

Semmelweis students who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents are eligible to apply for New York Medical College’s Year of Supervised Clinical Training if they have completed all their coursework except for their 6th year internships. This year is in lieu of an internship at Semmelweis. Upon completion of the one-year program, the students must return to Semmelweis to take their final exams in order to receive their degree. Students are accepted for the program beginning in July and January. Semmelweis students should request application materials from Fifth Pathway Program, New York Medical College, Valhalla, NY 10595 U.S.A. New York Medical College is unable to accept Semmelweis students even U.S. citizens or permanent residents into the fourth year clerkships or clinical electives.

Non-US Citizens

Non-US citizens may apply for a limited number of senior year clinical electives at New York Medical College. Letters of interest should be addressed to the International Student and Scholar Advisor, New York Medical College, Valhalla, NY 10595 U.S.A.

Medical Board of California

English program students can participate in clinical clerkships in approved California training sites. Graduates of the English-language program can participate in postgraduate training programs in California and become licensed in California, provided all licensing requirements are satisfied.

General Information

Faculty of Medicine Anatomy BuildingFACTS AND FIGURES

Semmelweis University has a more than 230-year old tradition of academic excellence and commitment to the education of physicians. Among Semmelweis alumni are Nobel-laureates, world renowned researchers and clinicians. Current enrolment at the Faculty of Medicine is 2907 students, at the Faculty of Dentistry 500, and at the Faculty of Pharmacy 604. Four percent of all medical students are foreign citizens studying in Hungarian. A special German-Language Doctor of Medicine / Dentistry Program has 429 German students enrolled, while the programs in English have altogether 837 students registered at three faculties. The University Hospitals have 2800 beds and admit about 112,000 patients annually. The outpatient departments care for approximately 2.1 million patients each year. Research programs at the Preclinical and Clinical Departments are sponsored by the University, the Ministry of Education, the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, by many national and international grants.

As a state university Semmelweis University functions under the auspices of the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Health. The University is listed in the WHO’s directory of Medical Schools. The faculties of the University were reaccredited by the Hungarian Accreditation Board as follows: the Faculty of Medicine in 2000 and the Faculties of Dentistry and Pharmacy in 1998. The decision of the National Committee on Foreign Medical Education and Accreditation of the USA declares: The standards and processes used by the Hungarian Accreditation Council to accredit medical schools in Hungary are comparable to those used to accredit medical schools in the United States.


European Union: In those professions where the conditions of education in Hungary are identical with those in the European Union, and these have already been recognized (medical and dental doctors, pharmacists etc.), the member states of the European Union are obliged to accept the diplomas issued in Hungary, independent of the language of tuition.
USA: Semmelweis graduates (as foreign graduates) have the right to pass the United States Medical Licensing Examinations (USMLE), after which they are eligible for residency.
Semmelweis graduates are eligible to pass the Medical Council of Canada Evaluation Examination (MCCEE) and the Medical Council of Canada Qualifying Examination (MCCQE) before applying for residencies.
Israel: Semmelweis graduates have to complete a one-year practice and pass a test before they are eligible for obtaining the permit to practice medicine.
India: Doctor of Dentistry degree of Semmelweis University is equivalent to B.D.S. degree in India.



The Programs in English at Semmelweis University were instituted for students with a good knowledge of English. The programs begin in early September each year. The curriculum in Medicine consists of six years of studies, in Dentistry and Pharmacy five years. At the conclusion of the degree programs the degrees granted in English and German are identical to those granted at the Hungarian program: Doctor of Medicine (dr. med.), Doctor of Dentistry (dr. med. dent.) and Master of Science (M.Sc.).

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