Number of vaccines administered at Semmelweis University - 27. June 2022
532799 Total vaccines

The university has graduated the most…

In Hungary, the most medical doctors, dentists, pharmacists and midwives have graduated from Semmelweis University. According to available records, the institution granted a total of 76,297 diplomas between 1770 and 2007. Based on data from the national Graduate Career Tracking System, almost two-thirds (61 percent) of the university’s students found a job within one month at most after completing their studies.

Hungary’s largest medical training institution

Semmelweis University’s Faculty of Medicine and Faculty of Dentistry are Hungary’s largest medical and dentist training faculties. A combined 5,500 students study at the two faculties, with almost every second student coming to Semmelweis University from abroad.

One of the most international universities in the world

Semmelweis University is among the world’s most international universities, according to a ranking made by Times Higher Education. One quarter of its more than 10,000 students are international, who come from around 70 countries across five continents. The university’s various faculties maintain bilateral relations with more than 200 higher education institutions from Europe, Asia and America, spanning a wide range of areas of cooperation.

most popular

The most popular training institution for medicine and health sciences

Most students applying to study medicine or health sciences in Hungary choose Semmelweis University. The scores needed for admittance to the university have for many years been well above the scores for other similar institutions in Hungary. In the Hungarian-language program, two to four times as many students apply to Semmelweis as their first choice than are accepted, while over-application in the foreign-language program at the Faculty of Medicine is almost fivefold, at the Faculty of Dentistry it is threefold, and in certain programs as many as six times the students apply than are accepted.

most academics

Most educators with academic rank in the field

In the professional fields of medicine and medical biology, Semmelweis has the most educators with academic rank in Hungary.

oldest medical training institution

The oldest continuously operating medical training institution

Semmelweis University is Hungary’s oldest medical training institution, which has been operating continuously since it was founded. The university’s history started almost 250 years ago, on November 7, 1769, when Queen Maria Theresa added a medical faculty to the University of Nagyszombat*. Teaching at the institution started in 1770 with five departments.

*The University of Nagyszombat's medical faculty is the predecessor of Semmelweis University. The city of Nagyszombat, at the time located in the Kingdom of Hungary, today is part of Slovakia and known by its Slovakian name Trnava. 

The first Hungarian women doctors

It was at Semmelweis that the first Hungarian woman medical doctor, Vilma Hugonnai, defended the degree she had received in Zürich, so she could practice her profession in Hungary as well. She completed her comprehensive medical exams (all three) in 1897, and she graduated on April 30, 1897. It was also at Semmelweis University, on November 3, 1900, that Sarolta Steinberger, the first woman medical doctor to graduate from a Hungarian university, was awarded a medical degree. In 1906, Erzsébet Légrády became the first Hungarian woman to receive a degree as a Doctor of Pharmacy at the Budapest university.

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.


First Hungarian operation under anesthesia

On February 8, 1847, only a few months after the first experiment was conducted at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, János Balassa held a successful public demonstration of ether narcosis at the Budapest university on four volunteers. The first surgery under anesthesia in Hungary was conducted one day later by Ágost Schoepf-Merei on a four-year-old boy.

introduction of vaccines

The first smallpox vaccine – pioneer role in establishing vaccine system

Several professors of Semmelweis University’s legal predecessor played a significant role in establishing the Hungarian vaccine system, with many vaccines first introduced here. Ferenc Bene administered the first smallpox vaccine in Hungary, in 1801, and later played a major role in its propagation. With the introduction of serum therapy to Hungary, János Bókai contributed greatly to the decline in child mortality from diphtheria. Endre Hőgyes is best-known for introducing Pasteur’s rabies vaccine to Hungary, as well as further developing the vaccine. Sándor Korányi was a legendary internist of his time, who initiated the BCG vaccine in Hungary in the 1920s.

One of the most successful Hungarian universities in international rankings

Semmelweis University placed 254th in the 2018 Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) ranking in its field, making it the highest placed among Hungarian higher education institutions in the category of life sciences and medicine training. The university also placed among the top 200 institutions in the world in the specific areas of pharmacy-pharmacology and medicine.

Semmelweis ranked among the top 500 universities in the world (placed in the 401–500 range) on Times Higher Education’s (THE) 2019 comprehensive international ranking, making it the highest-ranked higher education institution in Hungary. In THE’s 2019 ranking by fields of training, the institution placed even better, reaching positions in the 301–400 range in the life sciences and medicine-health sciences categories.

most advanced

The country’s most advanced PET-CT machine

Hungary’s most advanced PET-CT machine was installed in early 2017, with which Semmelweis University became a social security-financed PET-CT providing location in Central Hungary. Thanks to the PET-CT machine’s high sensitivity and large axial field of view, both the applied radiopharmaceutical dose and the exposure of patients to radiation is lower, and the time needed to administer the PET scan is shorter as well, which reduces the chance of movement during the scan and increases patient comfort.

The most deceased-donor kidney transplants

Semmelweis University performs the most deceased-donor kidney transplants among Eurotransplant countries, according to statistics published in early 2018. In 2017, 168 kidney transplants were performed at the university’s Department of Transplantation and Surgery, with the vast majority (139) of organs coming from brain-dead donors.

The most advanced cardiac CT scanners

In 2011, Semmelweis University’s Városmajor Heart and Vascular Center was the first in the region to install a new-generation, 256-slice cardiac CT scanner, while in 2018 it was among the first in the world to receive a CT scanner that is capable of creating a comprehensive image of the coronaries and the heart within the time of a single heartbeat. Thanks to the high number of slices, both machines are able to create high-quality images with a low dose of radiation.


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.


The most funded research groups

In the field of medicine and health sciences – and overall as well, compared to the size of the university – Semmelweis has the most research groups that are funded by the Hungarian Academy of Sciences or the National Research, Development and Innovation Office, currently numbering 31 (2017 figure).

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 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 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 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 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. 

the first operations

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 10,500 inpatients a month in 4 main clinical centers (Inner Clinical Center, Outer Clinical Center, Kútvölgyi Clinical Center, Városmajor Clinical Center) at nearly 40 independent units. In 2016, Semmelweis University treated 122,000 medical cases for 91,000 inpatients and 2.4 million cases for 290,000 outpatients, which represents around 6% of the Hungarian population’s health care provision needs.

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.

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 around 1,000, while their effect on the scientific public, which can be measured by the number of citations, is 16,000 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 34% in 2016.

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.

The tallest high-rise

The university’s Theoretical Building at Nagyvárad tér was completed in 1978, and since then it has been Hungary’s tallest residential and office building. The 88-meter-high “NET,” as it is usually referred to, is the third tallest building in Budapest after Parliament and St. Stephen’s Basilica. A total of 461 stairs lead up to the top of the 22-story high-rise. The NET’s auditorium also houses one of the country’s largest stained glass installments. The glass wall, which is around 7 meters high and 21 meters long, was designed by Gyula Hincz.

The oldest building of the university

The university’s oldest building that is still in use today is the current Department of Dermatology, Venereology and Dermato-Oncology, which was designed by Ferenc Kolbenheyer and completed in 1877. Following the Compromise of 1867 with Austria, the Hungarian state embarked on a large-scale, comprehensive program to develop the country’s health care. This included the construction of the first Faculty of Medicine in Budapest on Üllői út, in what was very much the outskirts of the town at the time. On the area that is the Inner Clinical Center today (Üllői út – Szentkirályi utca – Baross utca – Mária utca) the first to begin construction was the 1st Department of Surgery (today’s Department of Dermatology, Venereology and Dermato-Oncology) in 1872.