Universities in Budapest, Hungary

Large gothic style building next to a body of water

Budapest is well known for the distinctive gothic style architecture, and is home to many historically important buildings

Budapest is the capital of Hungary and the ninth-largest city in the European Union, with a metropolitan population of over 3.3 million residents. A third of Hungary’s total population resides in and around Budapest, and the city has been a major European centre for culture, arts, politics and industry for several centuries. Budapest offers excellent urban infrastructure and public safety for its residents.

The Danube river runs through Budapest, and the central area of the city has been classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Budapest attracts over 12 million international travellers every year, and with nearly 20 percent of city residents speaking English, travellers can comfortably explore the Hungarian capital’s historical sights. Budapest is Hungary’s financial centre and is home to world-leading companies in industries such as media, art, fashion, research and technology. In fact, Budapest is the second-fastest growing urban economy in Europe.

Top Universities in Budapest

Eötvös Loránd University

Founded nearly four hundred years ago in 1635, Eötvös Loránd University has been Hungary’s leading institute for research & academics for centuries. Today, Eötvös Loránd is home to nearly 30,000 enrolled students including 3,600 international admits. Eötvös Loránd offers degree programmes across eight faculties, including more than one hundred programmes taught in foreign languages such as English. The university also operates more than 1,000 exchange programmes every year through the Erasmus foundation and CEEPUS (Central European Exchange Program for University Studies).

Eötvös Loránd University places special focus on world-class research & innovation, and maintains technical research partnerships with some of the world’s biggest companies including IBM, Ericsson, Lufthansa, T-Mobile and Morgan Stanley. The university operates on six campuses across Budapest, as well as a satellite campus in the town of Szombathely.

Budapest University of Technology & Economics (BME)

Established in 1782, the Budapest University of Technology & Economics is one of the world’s oldest universities specialising in technology. The university offers courses in five languages, including English, across more than 100 departments.

The university is home to nearly 21,000 enrolled students including an international community of over 1,000 students. Additionally, BME operates multiple award-winning research centres such as the Knowledge Centre for Water Sciences and Disaster Prevention and the Biomechanical Cooperative Research Centre.

The university is located on an urban campus only a few minutes away from central Budapest, and students can walk to plenty of cafes, restaurants and entertainment venues straight from their classrooms and residences.

Corvinus University of Budapest

Originally established as the Faculty of Economics of the Royal Hungarian University in 1920, Corvinus University is a leading research university. Corvinus University’s main campus is located in central Budapest, and is home to over 12,500 students including 2,500 international students.

Ranked in the global top 50 by the Financial Times European Masters in Management rankings, Corvinus University is well-known for its strong programs in business management, agriculture and sociology. Research centres at Corvinus University include the Centre for Empirical Social Research (CESR) and the Corvinus Fintech Centre.

Óbuda University

Founded in the year 2000 as Budapest Tech following a merger of three polytechnic universities, Óbuda University is well-known for its especially strong vocational training programs in many disciplines. The university is primarily located in Budapest’s Óbuda neighbourhood, and operates satellite campuses in three additional campuses across the city.

Óbuda University maintains technical research & exchange partnerships with nearly 275 top-ranked universities in more than 50 countries worldwide, and operates eight world-class advanced research centres in Budapest. These include world-leading robotics research facilities and technological R&D centres. International students seeking financial assistance will also be delighted to know that Óbuda University offers multiple scholarships for international students.

Semmelweis University

Semmelweis University is well-known as one of the world’s best medical universities since its founding over 250 years ago. International students from nearly 100 countries are enrolled at Semmelweis University and form a sizable international community of 4,000 students, with total enrolment being 12,000 students.

Hospitals and clinics operated by Semmelweis University take care of almost 5% of Hungary’s population, and provide international students with excellent opportunities for vocational training and preparation for post-graduation employment in the healthcare industry. About 2.5 million Hungarian citizens receive treatments at the 40 institutes and clinical departments operated by the university yearly.

Semmelweis University has been offering courses taught in English since 1989, and provides world-class training and research facilities to its students. Areas of research expertise at Semmelweis include cardiology, oncology, brain research and neuroscience. World-leading research centres at the university include the Centre for Translational Medicine and the Laboratory Animal Science Coordination Centre. Each research centre at Semmelweis University focuses on performing research with real-world medical applications.

Budapest Universities World Ranking 2022

Below are the top-ranked Budapest universities for international students, with their ranks in two of the world’s most well-respected international university rankings, the QS 2022 University World rankings and the Times Higher Education 2022 Rankings.

For more information about rankings systems and methodologies see our University rankings explained guide.

UniversityQS World Ranking 2022Times Higher Education Ranking 2022QS Rank in HungaryTHE Rank in Hungary
Eotvos Lorand University651-700601-80032
Budapest University of Technology & Economics801-1,0001,201+57
Corvinus University of Budapest801-1,0001,201+68
Óbuda University1,001-1,2006
Semmelweis University251-3001

List of other top-ranked Colleges & Universities in Budapest

In addition to the five best Budapest universities for international students, the Hungarian capital offers plenty of specialised institutes providing degrees and vocational training in a variety of fields including engineering, business and the performing arts. A few of the top-ranked institutes in and around Budapest for international students are:

  • Central European University
  • Budapest Business School 
  • Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music
  • Budapest Metropolitan University
  • International Business School
  • Andrássy University Budapest
  • Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design
  • Hungarian University of Fine Arts
  • University of Public Service
  • Pázmány Péter Catholic University
  • Academy of Drama and Film
  • University of Veterinary Medicine Budapest
  • Wekerle Business School
  • McDaniel College Budapest

Tuition and Living Costs in Budapest

Top-ranked Hungarian universities usually charge international students between 1,000-5,000 US Dollars per year as tuition fees for most degree programmes. Certain specialised programmes such as medicine and dentistry may cost more, at up to 15,000 US Dollars per year.

As for living costs, Budapest College estimates that international students will require about 500-700 US Dollars per month. This estimated budget includes 250-350 US Dollars for shared accommodation, 200-250 US Dollars for food expenses, 30-50 US Dollars for utilities and transport, and another 60-80 US Dollars for entertainment and miscellaneous expenses.

Current Hungarian student visa rules enable international students to work upto 24 hours a week during the semester and 66 working days during academic breaks. Many international students use online platforms such as Indeed and LinkedIn to secure ideal part-time positions in research centres, campus facilities and many other locations across Budapest, in order to offset tuition and living expenses.

Life in Budapest for International Students

Budapest is well-known for its stunning architecture, tourist-friendly environment and world-class restaurants all over the old city area such as the Gerbeaud Café, the Százéves, and Biarritz. Budapest also offers plenty of parks and outdoor spaces for you to relax during academic breaks and try out activities, like boating in the summer and skating in the winter months. Budapest is known for having as many as 80 thermal springs in and around the city, and you can enjoy a unique spa day at any one of these venues.

International students can comfortably travel from their home countries to Budapest International Airport via connections through all major European cities, and you can also make short weekend trips to tourist-favourite European destinations including Barcelona, Paris and Milan by air. Budapest also offers a well-connected public transport network all over the city, which can be used at very affordable prices by international students. Below are a few of Budapest’s most iconic venues which international students can visit when in the city:

  • Hungarian Parliament Building
  • Buda Castle
  • Szechenyi Thermal Bath
  • St. Stephen’s Basilica
  • Fisherman’s Bastion
  • Central Market Hall
  • Heroes’ Square
  • Matthias Church
  • Gellert Thermal Bath
  • Margaret Island
  • Hungarian State Opera
  • Vajdahunyad Castle
  • Gellert Hill
  • House of Terror
  • Museum of Fine Arts
  • City Park
  • Hungarian National Gallery
  • Hungarian National Museum

Budapest offers the best of European culture, history and urban life at much more affordable living costs than most western European cities such as Paris or London. This combination of world-class urban infrastructure with a welcoming multicultural city community means that Budapest is becoming increasingly popular as an international student destination, and you should certainly consider Budapest’s top-ranked universities for your academic journey.

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