Record number of graduates

In Hungary, most doctors, dentists, pharmacists and midwives have graduated from Semmelweis University. The institution has awarded more than 100,000 diplomas since it was founded, with a total of 30,686 between 2008 and 2022. According to the national Graduate Career Tracking System, nearly two-thirds (61%) of the university’s students found a job immediately or within a month after completing their studies.

Hungary’s largest medical training institution

Semmelweis University's Faculty of Medicine and Faculty of Dentistry is the largest medical and dental school in Hungary. Together, more than six thousand students study at the two faculties. More than 50 percent of the students come to Semmelweis University from abroad.

One of the most international universities in the world

Semmelweis University is among the most international universities in the world. The number of our students is more than 16,000 and is constantly growing. A third of the students come from 115 countries from 5 continents of the world. In total, the university's faculties maintain links with more than 200 higher education institutions abroad – European, Asian and American – in various fields of cooperation.

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The most popular training institution for medicine and health sciences

In Hungary, most of the students applying for medical and health sciences courses choose Semmelweis University. For many years now, the admission threshold has been significantly higher than that of other national institutions in the field.
The number of first place applicants is 2-4 times higher in Hungarian-language training, while the number of first place applicants in foreign-language courses is almost five times higher in the Faculty of Medicine, three times higher in the Faculty of Dentistry and six times higher in some courses.

The best-known Hungarian doctor

Ignác Fülöp Semmelweis, the namesake of Semmelweis University, is one of the best-known Hungarian doctors in the world. With the chlorinated water handwashing he introduced, deaths caused by puerperal fever were dramatically reduced – hence his nickname 'the saviour of mothers'. But he was not only recognized for his insistence on his ground-breaking hygiene insights despite the opposition of his peers. He was one of the pioneers of experimental pathology, performing the first ovarian surgery in our country and the second caesarean section. In the United States, Ignác Semmelweis has a statue at the International Museum of Surgical Science in Chicago, where he is one of 12 memorials to eminent physicians. His teachings on the importance of handwashing were brought to the fore again during the coronavirus epidemic – no wonder the Google search engine homepage paid tribute to him and his legacy with a Doodle video for a day in March 2020.

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Most academics in the field

Semmelweis has the highest number of academics in the field of medicine and biomedical sciences among Hungarian universities.

oldest medical training institution

The oldest continuously operating medical school

Semmelweis University is the oldest medical school in Hungary, continuously operating since its foundation. The history of the university began more than 250 years ago, on 7 November 1769, when Maria Theresa added a medical faculty to the University of Nagyszombat. Education started in 1770 with five departments.

The first Hungarian female doctors

The very first Hungarian woman doctor, Vilma Hugonnai, defended her degree at the University of Zurich in order to practice her profession in Hungary. She passed her medical examinations (all three) in 1897 and was ordained on 30 April 1897. Sarolta Steinberger, who was the first female doctor to graduate from a Hungarian university, was also inaugurated at Semmelweis University on 3 November 1900. In 1906, Erzsébet Légrády became the first Hungarian woman to receive a doctorate in pharmacy from the university.


The first domestic surgery under general anaesthesia

On 9 February 1847, just a few months after the first experiment at the Massachusetts Hospital in Boston, János Balassa successfully performed ether anaesthesia, which at that time was still called sulphuric anaesthesia, on four volunteers in front of a large audience at the University of Pest. The very first anaesthetic operation in Hungary was performed a day later by Ágost Schoepf-Merei on a four-year-old boy.

One of Hungary’s largest COVID care provider

The university was quick to take the lead in the fight against the coronavirus when it emerged in Hungary. An Epidemic Committee and Steering Group were set up at the university, and 97% of the graduating students volunteered to help in the fight during the first wave. In the field of patient care, the University became one of the largest COVID-19 care centers in the country. In May 2020, a national representative screening study called H-UNCOVER was launched in cooperation with the four Hungarian medical universities and the Hungarian Central Statistical Office (KSH), supported by the Ministry of Innovation and Technology and led by Semmelweis University with the involvement of 550 people Semmelweis citizens. Semmelweis University, as one of the largest vaccination centers in Hungary, was one of the first institutions to be involved in the Hungarian COVID-19 vaccination program, with nearly half a million vaccinations.

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The first smallpox vaccination – a pioneering role in the development of the vaccination system

Several professors of the predecessor of Semmelweis University played a major role in the development of the Hungarian vaccination system, and many vaccines were first introduced here. Ferenc Bene was the first person to carry out smallpox vaccination in Hungary in 1801, and he played a major role in its dissemination. János Bókay made a major contribution to the reduction of infant mortality from diphtheria by introducing serum therapy. Endre Hőgyes is best known for the introduction of the Pasteur rabies vaccine in Hungary and for the further development of the vaccine. Sándor Korányi was a legendary internist of his time, initiating BCG vaccination in Hungary in the 1920s.

One of the most successful Hungarian figures in international rankings

Semmelweis is among the top 300 universities in the world in the Times Higher Education (THE) 2024 world rankings, the highest ranked Hungarian higher education institution. The university has steadily improved its ranking in recent years. In the Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) 2022 ranking of the life and medical sciences, Semmelweis University was ranked 262nd, also the best in Hungary. The institution was ranked 201-250 in Pharmacy and Medicine, and 101-140 in Anatomy and Life Sciences. ShanghaiRankings 2023 ranked the university among the world's top 300 higher education institutions in dentistry, while in clinical medicine, and in medical technology it is in the top 400.  

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The country’s most advanced PET-CT machine

Hungary's most state-of-the-art PET-CT machine was handed over at the beginning of 2017, making Semmelweis University a socially funded PET-CT centre in Central Hungary. Thanks to the high sensitivity and large axial field of view of the PET-CT machine, the applicable radiopharmaceutical dose and patient exposure are lower and the PET scan time is shorter, reducing the risk of displacement during the scan and increasing patient comfort.

Among the best in the cardiovascular field

In the US News Best Global Universities 2023 world ranking, Semmelweis University is the 43rd best higher education institution in the world in the field of "Cardiology and Cardiovascular System". In total, the university was ranked in 8 medical and health science disciplines, taking first place in each of them at the national level.

State-of-the-art cardiac CT equipment

In 2011, Semmelweis University's Városmajor Heart and Vascular Centre was the first in the region to receive a 256-slice CT scanner representing the latest generation of cardiac CT scanners, and in 2018 it became one of the first in the world to receive a CT scanner that can take a full image of the coronary arteries and heart in a single heartbeat. Thanks to the many slices, both devices provide excellent image quality at low radiation doses.


Hybrid operating room that is unique in the region

One of its kind in Central Europe, a combined imaging and operating room, a so-called hybrid operating room, is located in Semmelweis University’s Városmajor Heart and Vascular Center. In this hybrid operating room, any cardiovascular surgical and/or catheterization procedure can be performed at the same time, with the same machine, without having to move or transport the patient.

Excellent publication activity

Among Hungarian institutes of higher education, Semmelweis University’s scientific publication activity is the most significant in its field, based on relevant indicators. The number of scientific publications published a year is more than 1,500, while their effect on the scientific public, which can be measured by the number of citations, is 17,000 over a five-year period. The ratio of quality publications is the highest among all Hungarian universities. The ratio of high-prestige publications – i.e. those published in the top 10 percent of global publications in a given field – was 28% in 2021.

Unique human brain tissue bank

The university’s Department of Anatomy, Histology and Embryology contains a Human Brain Tissue Bank and Laboratory that is unique even on an international level, established by Dr. Miklós Palkovits, professor emeritus. The tissue bank provides the necessary samples on a national level to studies conducted under the National Brain Research Program.

The country’s oldest and biggest Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences

Semmelweis University’s Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences is the country’s oldest independent faculty in this field, created in 1955. It has the highest number of students, highest average scores of those accepted, highest rate of over-application, and most students who marked this as their first choice.

First German-language pharmacy training program

In 2011, Semmelweis University was the first to launch, and remains the only one in Hungary to offer a German-language training program in pharmacy. Graduating students, along with their diplomas, also receive a professional doctorate in pharmacy, which is considered a curiosity even in Germany and Austria.

Most educators with academic degrees in the field of dentistry

The Faculty of Dentistry is first in its field in Hungary in terms of the ratio of educators with academic degrees to students.

The first Hungarian-language university textbook

Sámuel Rácz, a professor of medicine who was also rector of the university’s legal predecessor, published the first Hungarian-language physiology textbook in 1789, titled “A Short Summary of Physiology,” which is also considered to be the first Hungarian-language university textbook. His work was aimed primarily at Master of Surgery students who did not speak Latin.

The country’s first health services management training program

In 1993, Semmelweis University launched a health services management training project, and in 1995 was the first Hungarian university to establish a manager training institution in the field, called Health Services Management Training Center. Following three years of an experimental program, the first postgraduate specialist training course for health services managers started in September 1996 with 17 students, and operates today as a 120-credit Master’s program.

The largest training institution for health sciences

The Faculty of Health Sciences has the most students among all similar faculties in Hungary. The number of international students accepted to the nursing and patient care basic training program is the highest among all Hungarian institutions offering training in health sciences.

The most health care professional graduates

The annual number of graduates attaining professional qualifications is the highest by far at the Faculty of Health Sciences among all higher education institutions in Hungary that offer training in health sciences.

The first higher education institution to train health care professionals

The Faculty of Health Sciences was the first higher education institution in Hungary to offer higher-level training for health care professionals.

The first health and public administration university faculty

The Senate of Semmelweis University established the Faculty of Health and Public Administration in 2008, which started in 2010 as the country’s first faculty that operates exclusively on the areas bordering medicine and health sciences on the one hand, and social and natural sciences in the widest possible sense on the other.

Hungary’s most popular health services management training program

The success of the health services management basic training program (BSc), which was started in 2006, is indicated by the fact that while other Hungarian institutions also offer similar programs, most people choose the training provided by Semmelweis University. University-level training for health care IT managers, which was a precursor to this program, was established and started in Hungary by Semmelweis University.


Unique conductor training

In Hungary, conductor training is provided exclusively at the András Pető Faculty, and conductive pedagogy, all in one place from infancy to adulthood, is also available exclusively at the faculty’s teaching locations. The Pető method was the first to be awarded the intellectual hungaricum title in 2006 by the Hungaricum Club, and was also awarded the Hungarian Heritage Award and a Prima Award at the Prima Primissima gala in 2013 for its originality and uniqueness.

First to serve mental health care and families

The Faculty of Health and Public Administration’ Institute of Mental Health is the first and only Hungarian university organizational unit that was established to deal with mental health care and prevention. Mental hygiene special training was launched in 1987, followed later by postgraduate specialist training. Spiritual counseling training has been available since 2002, which provides an opportunity for accredited postgraduate specialist training for those with ecumenical degrees. In 2015, the faculty was also the first to launch a Master’s program in mental health-oriented family studies and family therapy.

Patient care on the highest progressivity level

Semmelweis University conducts its patient care activities in accordance with the highest level of progressive patient care. Departments are located at the peak of progressive patient care and have an obligation on a national level to provide care in most professional fields, thus they play a crucial role in taking care of patients with the most severe conditions who require complex treatment. Making the appropriate medical diagnosis is aided by state-of-the-art equipment, and several procedures in certain fields (e.g. some organ transplants) are available only at Semmelweis University. 

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Many procedures were carried out here for the first time in Hungary

Many first-time procedures in Hungary were carried out at Semmelweis University, such as the first successful kidney transplant (1973), liver transplant (1995) and heart transplant (1992). The first permanent artificial heart in Hungary was implanted here (2012), the first cardiac catheterization operation (2015), as well as the first keyhole surgery in children born with esophageal obstruction (2016) were performed at the university along with the first diaphragm pacing implantation (2018).

The first lung transplant in Hungary in adults (2015) was carried out in collaboration with the National Institute of Oncology, and the first lung transplant among children was performed in 2018.

One of Hungary’s largest health care institutions

Semmelweis University is one of the country’s largest health care institutions. Its patient care institutes and departments treat around 200,000 outpatients and nearly 12,000 inpatients a month in several clinical centers at nearly 40 independent units. In 2023, the university treated more than 170,000 cases of 96,700 inpatients and 2.66 million cases of 425,500 outpatients.

The first uro-oncology unit in Hungary

Semmelweis University’s Department of Urology was the first in Hungary to establish a uro-oncology unit, which has been operating since 2008 as the Uro-Oncology Center.

First inpatient wing for patients suffering from rare disorders

Semmelweis University was the first to establish an inpatient unit dealing with rare disorders in August 2017. The unit, a part of the Institute of Genomic Medicine and Rare Disorders, accepts patients from all around the country.

The most widely-used Hungarian drug was developed here

The Hungarian drug that has made the biggest global impact, selegiline, can be attributed to pharmaceutical researchers of the university. The drug is available in most countries of the world, is used primarily for patients suffering from Parkinson’s, and was developed with the participation of two of the university’s professors emeritus: under the direction of Dr. József Knoll and with key contributions made by Dr. Kálmán Magyar.

First In Vivo Imaging Center in Hungary

Semmelweis University was the first in Hungary to establish an In Vivo Imaging Center, which allows researchers to conduct functional imaging in the case of animal models as well. Current imaging technology allows researchers to track physiological processes in high temporal and spatial resolution, as well as create extremely precise morphological images at the same time.