A forum was held at the Basic Medical Science Centre about the terms and conditions of the admission to the PhD training by Professor József Tímár, Head of the Doctoral Council and Professor Zoltán Benyó, Head of the Educational and Credit Board. The Professors emphasized that the Doctoral School welcomes international PhD students also and is committed to providing all necessary information in order to support candidates in the application process. More information on PhD studies can be found in English on the Doctoral School’s Homepage, but colleagues of the School are also available for personal consultations at the Doctoral Secretariat Office.

The Károly Rácz School of PhD Studies of Semmelweis University has 7 Doctoral Schools: Basic Medicine, Clinical Medicine, Pharmaceutical Sciences, Mental Health Sciences, Neurosciences, Molecular Medicine and Pathological Sciences. The 8th doctoral school of Health Sciences is currently under the accreditation process, but its scientific and research programmes are available within the framework of the existing doctoral schools. As an internationally renowned higher education research institution, the School of PhD Studies offers over 40 programmes in Hungarian and English, attracting students from all over the world, fostering a vibrant, multicultural community. Currently, 10% of the PhD students are coming from a foreign country.

The four-year-long PhD training (lasting minimum 5 semesters, maximum 8 semesters) is made up of two parts: during the first, educational phase students take part in courses and do research activity based on their research plan led by their supervisor. After the first two years, students have to take a compulsory exam which is a condition to continue their studies. In the second, so-called qualification phase, students evaluate the results and publish them in acknowledged scientific journals. Finally, they are required to defend their dissertations. Doctoral training also has an educational component and a certain number of credits have to be collected, but the main activity is research – Professor Tímár explained.

The minimum requirements for the dissertation are two publications in an international journal with a significant impact factor. Every second PhD candidate at Semmelweis University receives a diploma for publications that are published in the top 25 percent of international journals, half of which are quality publications of the top 10 percent – he added.

The School of PhD Studies provides international applicants different payment and funding options. EU citizens can enter the doctoral training as a state-funded, full–time PhD student. The state-funded training supports students with 140 000 HUF / month in the first two years and 180 000 HUF / month in the 3rd and 4th years. In addition, the Doctoral School offers a research support of 67 500 HUF / month. If the applicant is not coming from the EU, the Stipendium Hungaricum Scholarship Programme can help. If a student is not an EU citizen and has no other source of financial support, he/she can enter the training as a fee-paying, full-time student. In this case, the official tuition fee for international students is 8 000 Euro /semester, for Semmelweis University international graduates 4 000 Euro / semester. Dr. József Tímár also stressed that the Doctoral School aims to support his students in as many ways as possible. PhD students can apply for support for international scientific publications and for participation in scientific conferences. The Erasmus+ programme provides opportunities to do research in laboratories abroad.

In his briefing about the application process, Professor Benyó explained that doctoral applicants must be university graduates (MSc or MA degree) or students registered for their final semester of university studies. Applicants for the English-Language Programme must have a good command of English and are required to choose a supervisor and state the specific PhD training programme and research topic they wish to pursue within one of the University’s Doctoral Schools. The admission process is based on evaluating the candidate’s level of general and special (topic-related) knowledge and academic competence. It is an advantage if the applicant has already done some research work before. Having a supervisor and an attractive research programme are the keys to a successful application – Professor Benyó emphasized.

The deadline for applications for the PhD doctoral training has been extended to the 31st  of May. Further information is available on the website of the Károly Rácz School of PhD Studies. The admission will be in June and results will be announced in July. The school year begins on September 1st 2019.


Zita Dékán
Photo: Semmelweis University – Attila Kovács