Hungary is a growing international student destination because it’s affordable, it promises a multicultural student environment, and it has some iconic landscapes and buildings. Students from Romania, Slovakia, France, Spain, and Italy are particularly drawn to Hungary.
But you are also very likely to find yourself in the same class with students from Mongolia, Ecuador or India once you apply to a university in Hungary. So, if you want to do your higher education ‘the Hungarian way’, we’re here to guide you through.
General requirements for applying to a degree in Hungary
Depending on the degree level you want to apply to, there are some typical requirements that all prospective students have to meet:
For a Bachelor’s degree
- high school diploma
- high school transcript of records
- passing an entrance exam (only for some programmes)
For a Master’s degree
- Bachelor’s diploma (a four-year undergraduate degree is required if you apply for a one-year Master’s)
- university transcript of records
- proof that your Bachelor’s is related to the Master’s studies you apply to
For a PhD degree
- university degree which is equivalent to a master’s degree- ideally a Master’s of Arts or a Master’s of Science degree
- proof of prior professional experience (only for some programmes)
If you want to pursue an English-speaking program in Hungary, you either need to provide a language certificate such as IELTS or TOEFL, or to take a language skills entrance exam.
For Bachelor’s degrees
- 5.0 - 6.0 for the IELTS test
- 60 - 80 for the TOEFL test
For Master’s degrees
- 5.5 - 6.5 in IELTS
- 70 - 90 in TOEFL test
In Hungary, there are also some study programmes taught in German. If you opt for such a degree you will have to provide a German language certificate.
The application process step by step
1. Choose your university and programme
Hungary has 66 higher education institutions to choose from, out of which 7 rank in international education tops. Some of the most well-known universities to foreign students – and their typical destinations in Hungary – are:
- Central European University (CEU)
- University of Debrecen
- International Business School
- Budapest Metropolitan University
Naturally, the programme you choose depends on your skills, on your previous studies, and on where you want to head your career. But if you are unsure or have different graduate programmes in mind, it might help you to know that the most popular study options in Hungary are:
- Masters in Business Administration
- Masters in Computer Science
- Masters in Environmental Sciences
- Masters in International Relations
2. Check entry requirements and deadlines
Once you have decided on the exact programme or programmes you want to apply, you should check the specific application documents and collect them before the application deadlines. Here are some typical documents you’ll need:
- An up-to-date CV
- Copy of your passport or ID card
- Proof of language proficiency (English, German or Hungarian depending on the language the programme is taught in)
- Certified English translations of transcripts of records
- Certified English translation of your obtained diplomas
- Listing two academic referees or including two reference letters
- A letter of motivation
Some other possible specific application requirements can be:
- An academic paper (especially for Social Sciences and Humanities degrees)
- A competitive GMAT or GRE score (for STEM degrees)
- An entrance exam (mostly for Bachelor’s studies)
- A face-to-face or Skype interview (mostly for Master’s studies)
The application deadlines vary according to university, but the most common are:
- For the Autumn Semester: 15th of February
- For the Spring Semester: 15th of November
To make sure, check with your chosen university because these dates can vary a lot especially for English-taught programmes.
3. Apply online and pay the application fee
Generally, you can upload all the required documents online, on the page of your chosen programme. To make sure you have all you need, you can contact the university to ask them if there is anything else you need to do.
- Note that Hungarian universities perceive an application fee between 100 and 150 EUR
4. Wait to receive confirmation from the university
When you’re accepted you’ll be notified by e-mail or post (hurray!) and you will receive info about the next steps. If you are a fee-paying student, you will be asked to transfer at least part of the tuition fee before your enrolment.
- Average tuition fees at Hungarian universities for non- EU/EEA students: 2,000-5,000 EUR/year
5. Get your student visa for Hungary
If you are not from an EU/EEA country, you will need a visa to study in Hungary, which you can apply for after you have been accepted to your chosen programme. The general visa application documents are:
- University tuition fee receipt
- University acceptance letter
- Your passport should be valid at least 6 months after the entry day
- Proof of health insurance
- Proof of accommodation in Hungary
- Proof you have enough funds to cover living expenses during your studies
- Visa application form
When you get to Hungary, you will need to apply for your residence permit within 15 days. This is necessary even if you are an EU/ EEA resident.
Final thoughts: Consider applying for Stipendium Hungaricum Scholarship Programme
This is a government funded scholarship offered by Hungary based on agreements with 50 partner countries (your country might be among them!). These scholarships are offered for all degree levels, including preparatory courses. The application deadline is typically mid-February each year. You can read more about it here.
We‘re guessing that beyond the practical info about applying to a degree in Hungary, you’re also curious about the actual international student experience. And who better to tell you about it if not other international students?
Our advice is to you is to keep your ‘head up & heart open’ to the possibility of studying Hungary and, once you decide to apply, don’t let anything stop you from pursuing your dreams!