Doctoral School of History

Doctoral School of History
The Doctoral School of History was founded in 1993 within the Faculty of Arts of ELTE and was accredited in 1994. Since 2019 it has been led by professor Gábor Sonkoly DSc, professor.

Since its foundation, the school's syllabus has gradually expanded in accordance with the growing number of accredited MA majors. The number of PhD programmes has risen accordingly. These programmes receive support from the Institute of Historical Studies, the Institute of Archaeological Studies, the Institute for Ancient and Classical Studies and the Institute of Oriental Studies. The staff comprises teachers from these departments.

In order to cover the fields of science more thoroughly, DSH has made it its policy to encourage colleagues to participate in the work and research conducted in the workshops of the school. Besides the teachers of ELTE, accredited fellows have been invited from other universities, the institutes of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, from national archives and museums. The quality of education has been further improved by classes held partly in foreign languages by foreign professors and internationally recognized scholars.

In accordance with the School's original goals, the programmes cover both universal and Hungarian history from the Ancient Times to the present. To meet this significant professional challenge, the School offers three types of training:

  1. Hungarian and world history are dealt with in seven programmes in chronological order: ancient history; medieval and early modern world history; medieval Hungarian history; early modern Hungarian history; modern and contemporary world history; modern and contemporary Hungarian history; and the history of Eastern Europe;
  2. there are five thematic programmes available: auxiliary studies of history; economic and social history; cultural history; Atelier European historiography and social sciences; the history of the Ottoman Empire and the Republic of Turkey;
  3. three programmes focus on other history-related sciences: archaeology; Assyriology and Hebraic-Judaic studies; Egyptology.

Doctoral Programs

The Structure of the Studies

The studies of a number of students are funded by the state of Hungary. Students may apply for state funds, and the decision is made by the Council of the Doctoral School. The Students has to complete four year long training in two parts. The first part the Training and Research Period focuses on the academic background of the Doctoral Thesis. After collecting 120 credits the students have to participate on the Comprehensive Examination which aims to examine the gained theoretical knowledge from the Training and Research Period and prove the preparedness for the second part of the training. In the second part, the Research and Dissertation Period the students only have consultations and they are focusing on their Research collecting 120 credits with consultations and academic work.

In the first four years (8 semesters) of their studies, students complete their chosen programme, each of which has an accredited curriculum. Students are provided with a study unit list containing compulsory subjects, professional subjects and also the dissertation consultation units. Students of the accredited history programmes may apply for permission to take the units of any other programmes. This transferability allows students to join other courses where they can further improve their knowledge and gain new insights. Students who wish to take a course of another programme have to obtain the permission of the teacher of the course and the director of their own programme. The course then will be given a code number and will be included in the curriculum of the student's original programme. If the unit is necessary for the chosen research topic, it will be counted in the compulsory credits. During the eight semesters, 240 credits will be completed in order for the students to receive a final pre-degree certificate stating that all course requirements have been fulfilled.

The 240 credits can be earned with three modules: 1. study unit module, 2. research module and 3. teaching module.

In the first module credits can be earned by completing the courses (8X 10 credits) and consultations (8X10 credits) of the programmes. It total 160 units can be earned in this module.

In the second module credits may be obtained as follows: publications (published studies are worth 5-10 credits;), conference presentations in Hungarian (a presentation is worth 5 credits) and in foreign languages (10 credits), editing or reviews (5-10  credtis), science management (5-10 credits) and research abroad (5-15 credits).

The third module comprises teaching and participation in the work of a given department (10 credits). In the DSH credits to be earned in the third module can be substituted by alternatives offered in the second module. From the two modules 80 credits has to be collected.

Students may be admitted to tailor-made training in the Doctoral School if, prior to the admission, they had performed outstanding scientific work, such as obtaining a foreign PhD degree which is not recognised or cannot be naturalised in Hungary. Applicants may receive a special curriculum and schedule of studies.

Having obtained the final certificate, students are eligible for the doctoral process as regulated by the Doctoral Council of the Department and by the School (latest 3 years after the comprehensive examination). Deadlines are set for the students to pass their final exam and to submit their dissertation as required. Defence of the dissertation will be arranged depending on the referrees' reports. After a successful defence of their paper, students conclude their studies by swearing the doctoral oath.

Besides teaching at the School, the teachers (members) of the DSH also deal with supervising, examination management and they work as referrees and committee members. The supervisors play the most important role in the professional life of the students. These teachers coordinate and organize their students' studies and research; they also aid PhD candidates in their preparation to obtain their degree.

The staff participate in the national and international scientific life as well as in the campus life. The heads of the programmes and the senior professors are members of Hungarian Academic Committees and other national and international scientific organizations, and various boards of trustees. They lead three academic research teams at ELTE. Teachers of the DSH are also members of the editorial boards of several frontline periodicals in Hungary and editors of book series. Scholarships and applications further contribute to the fruitful operation of the DSH (OTKA, Bolyai-scholarship, post-doctoral scholarship, TEMPUS-applications, and hopefully successful European Union applications).


The Academic Staff

All members and teachers of the staff possess scientific degrees. a., number of accredited members: 20
  1. Laszló Borhy CMHAS, professor
  2. László Csorba DSc, professor
  3. Géza Dávid DSc, professor
  4. Tamás Dezső DSc, professor
  5. István Draskóczy DSc, professor
  6. Gábor Erdődy DSc, professor
  7. Eleonóra Géra PhD, associate professor
  8. Nóra Etényi CSc, associate professor
  9. Ildikó Horn DSc, professor
  10. Tamás Magyarics DSc, professor
  11. Tamás Mohay DSc, professor
  12. Balázs Nagy PhD, associate professor
  13. György Németh DSc, professor
  14. Balázs Sipos PhD, associate professor
  15. Gábor Sonkoly DSc, professor
  16. István Szijártó DSc, associate professor
  17. Ágnes Judit Szilágyi PhD, associate professor
  18. Zsuzsanna Varga DSc, professor
  19. Gábor Zólyomi CSc, professor
  20. Attila Zsoldos MHAS, professor (MTA)


b.) number of accredited teachers: 257

c.) number of supervisors: 131

The Students

The significant number of students proves that the DSH offers successful and recognized programmes: students arrive from provincial fellow universities, from ecclesiastical and private institutions and from Slovakian, Ukrainian and Romanian universities. Annually 8 students arrive from the countries of the EU, from the United States or other non-European countries. (For a successful completion of their studies students are required to be able to read Hungarian fluently.)

Teachers and supervisors give the students opportunity to publish their scientific results in both national and international periodicals of the discipline. Moreover, in 2002, the DSH launched its own scientific quarterly entitled KÚT, where mainly students of the DSH can publish their papers. The staff may publish in the book series that bears the name of the school.

Individual programmes often co-operate to organize conferences and compile collections of outstanding papers. These activities take place within the framework of workshops, and the joint efforts of the teachers and their students further prepare the latter to perform independent work and research.

Students are supported by the unique and rich library network of ELTE. Departments and institutes alike can boast an extensive collection of source studies, handbooks, periodicals and so on.

Having completed the first part of their studies, the most promising students may be requested to giveseminars to undergraduate peers. Many of these students also participate in science management at the university.

The number and qualification of the staff, the number of pre- and post-doctoral students and the wide range of programmes offered undoubtedly position the DSH of ELTE as the most venerable and most successful Doctoral School of History in Hungary.

In recognition of the school's achievements on 28 March 2006 the Hungarian Accreditation Committee,with the approval of the Rectors' Conference and the Minister of Education and Culture, awarded the School the "Place of Excellence" certificate.


The Documents of the Doctoral Schoolf of History



Professor Mr. Gábor Sonkoly

ACT AS DEPUTY until 31.01.2023:

Assistant Professor Ms. Ágnes Judit Szilágyi


Zsolt Horváth