PhD studies

PhD studies

PhD studies
The Faculty of Humanities launched its doctoral programs after the introduction of PhD degree programs in Hungary in 1993. The diversity of the subjects – we have accredited doctoral programs in all academic fields – make the Faculty a unique doctoral centre in the country.

The 75 PhD programs offered at present are part of 4 larger units, known as Doctoral Schools. Proof of the exceptionally high standard of education is the ever-growing interest in our programs. Our Faculty occupies a leading position in almost all fields, and is in many cases the only institution providing a particular program not only within Hungary, but throughout Eastern Europe, and thus accounts for the development of specialists within that field in the whole region.

Doctoral studies FAQs

Minimum admission requirements

  • Master’s diploma minimum with ‘good’ qualification. Candidates who have not yet passed their final examination by the date of the admission test, but who will do so no later than the semester of admission may also apply.
  • In the case of a diploma with ‘satisfactory’ or lower qualification, candidates may not apply until at least 3 years after graduation.
  • A state-accredited minimum intermediate level (B2) complex (C) language examination or equivalent.
  • Individual doctoral schools and doctoral programs may require specific conditions (e.g. degree, language skills) - see below.
  • Successful entrance examination. More information

Obtainment of the Doctoral Degree

  • Obtaining the Pre-degree Certificate (Absolutorium).
  • Knowledge of two languages at the level specified in the doctoral regulations - see below
  • 3 publications on the subject of the doctoral dissertation, uploaded in MTMT (Database of Hungarian Scientific Works).
  • Successful research centre disputation (in-house defence).
  • Submission of the doctoral dissertation within a maximum of 3 (4 in cases of merit) academic years from the comprehensive examination.
  • The doctoral candidate successfully defends the submitted doctoral dissertation in a public disputation.

Student status and semester registration/enrolment

  • Student status is established by enrolment, which consists of two parts
    • Online registration via the NEPTUN system: Administration/ Enrolment/Registration (make sure that the "Active only" field is not checked).
    • Enrol in person (present original documents of diploma and language certificate(s), sign the enrolment form).
  • Registration period at the beginning of the semester: at the beginning of each semester, students must declare in the NEPTUN system under Administration/Enrolment/Registration whether they wish to have active or passive status for the semester.
  • The deadline for the registration period is the end of the registration period, which is published each semester in the list of deadlines published by the Department of Doctoral and Academic Affairs.
  • From the end of the registration period, the "Certificate of university studies" can be printed separately (Information/General forms).
       ► Same data content as the student status certificate

Doctoral training

  • The full-time doctoral program is taught on a full-time basis, five days a week, on working days.
  • During their studies, doctoral students are entitled to full-time student status, a student card and health insurance until they obtain their absolutorium.
  • Duration of doctoral studies: up to 4 years (8 semesters), ends with the Pre-degree Certificate (Absolutorium). After the 8th semester, students may not enrol for further semesters.
  • During the doctoral studies, the student must accumulate a total of 240 credits.
  • The doctoral program consists of two main parts:
    • The first and second years (1-4 semesters) are the Training and Research phase. During the training period, the student takes courses designed to deepen his/her knowledge of the research topic and methods, and to prepare him/her for a career in science. The Training and Research phase ends with the comprehensive examination.
    • The third and fourth years (5-8 semesters) are the Research and Dissertation phase. The 120 credits of the second part are obtained through research work supervised by the topic supervisor, publications, teaching, and participation in conferences, giving lectures, and other scientific activities.
  • During the course of their training, students must complete the curriculum of their doctoral program.

Course registration

  • Courses to be taken during the doctoral studies (contact hours, consultations, scientific and educational credits) must be registered in NEPTUN at the beginning of each semester, during the registration period, which is published in the list of deadlines by the Office of Doctoral and Academic Affairs.
  • The course enrolment is available in NEPTUN under Subjects/Register for subject. If an announced subject does not appear under "Subjects from curriculum", click on "All other subjects in the institution".


  • In passive status, the candidate’s student status with the university is maintained, but the student does not benefit from the advantages of being a student (e.g. student card, scholarship).
  • Declaration of student status: during the registration period via NEPTUN: Administration/ Enrolment/Registration (make sure that the "Only active" field is not checked)
  • Training and Research phase: two consecutive passive semesters are allowed, but after one more active semester the student can have passive status again. Permission for a third (or any additional) passive semester(s) shall be subject to a request for Dean’s Equity.
  • Research and Dissertation phase: up to two passive semesters are allowed (consecutively or separately), and no passive semesters are allowed even with the Dean’s Equity. It is important to note that these passive semesters do not affect the deadline for submitting the dissertation.
  • Extraordinary passivation during the semester: NEPTUN/Administration/Requests/Student’s request for interruption of studies due to extraordinary circumstances

Training and research phase

  • The aim of the doctoral courses/subjects is to deepen professional knowledge in an academic context, to acquire research methods and to develop research and teaching skills.
  • Doctoral candidates are required to complete 8 contact hours over 4 semesters (Some programs of the Doctoral School of Literary Studies may also require the completion of IR-11 Doctoral Special Elective Course) and 4 consultations.
  • In addition to the lessons required in the curriculum and announced in NEPTUN, a Digital Humanities Workshop is announced each semester, one of which must be completed before the comprehensive examination.

Comprehensive examination

  • At the end of the fourth active semester, at the end of the Training and Research phase, doctoral students must pass the comprehensive examination.
  • In order to apply for the comprehensive examination students must complete 8 doctoral courses, 4 consultations and the Digital Humanities Workshop.
  • Passing the comprehensive examination is a prerequisite for the start of the Research and Dissertation phase; failure or non-passing of the comprehensive examination will result in the termination of the student status.
  • Information on the comprehensive examination and how to apply is available on our site.

Research and dissertation phase

  • Registration and enrolment in the NEPTUN system is still required!
  • Starting from the 5th active semester, the student will take up each semester the due consultation (4 in total) courses and the scientific and/or teaching module courses during the course registration period (see the training plan).
  • The total number of credits to be completed in the scientific and/or educational module is 80, including at least 3 scientific publications. Credit for a publication can only be given if its bibliographic data are available in the MTMT database. Faculty administrators can assist with uploading the publications.
  • Completed science/education module courses, after the approval from the head of the doctoral program, must be recorded in NEPTUN no later than the last day of the exam period each semester.

Requirements for obtaining the Pre-degree Certificate (Absolutorium)

  • At the end of the semester in which the student has acquired 240 credits (80 credits of doctoral courses, 80 credits of consultations, 80 credits of completed academic units) and fulfilled the requirements of the curriculum (mainly publications and consultations), he/she will be awarded the Pre-degree certificate (Absolutorium).
  • If the student has fulfilled the requirements for the award of the Pre-degree Certificate (Absolutorium), the faculty office will issue it within 20 days, with the date of completion. The end date of the student's enrolment is 31 January for the autumn semester and 31 August for the spring semester (regardless of the date of the Pre-degree Certificate).
  • Scholarship eligibility lasts until the end of the semester in which the student gets the Pre-degree certificate (Absolutorium).

Doctoral process

  • Before the planned submission of the dissertation, but no later than the date of the award of the Pre-degree Certificate (Absolutorium), the doctoral candidate must submit an application for the initiation of the doctoral procedure using the form provided for this purpose (see ). The Humanities Doctoral Council decides on the acceptance of the application (and on the composition of the evaluation committee).
  • The evaluation committee is composed of five members and a maximum of two substitute members. One-third of the members of the Assessment Committee, but no less than two members shall be persons who do not have either a full-time or part-time employment status, appointed lecturer or research status with the University. The Assessment Committee shall include the officially invited opponents as voting members. The committee may be chaired by a professor or professor emeritus of the University. At least one of the officially invited opponent shall not be a full-time or part-time civil servant (lecturer, researcher) of the University.
  • The dissertation may only be submitted after the doctoral procedure has been initiated and the dissertation has been approved by the BDT (Humanities Doctoral Council).
  • The deadline for submission of the application for the start of the doctoral procedure is 6 months before the submission deadline (practically: 31 August for the autumn semester and 31 March for the spring semester)
  • Requirements and annexes for starting the procedure

Second language examination requirements

At the latest at the same time as submitting your dissertation, students must also submit proof of knowledge of the second language required for the obtainment of the doctoral degree (if it is not already done so). This may be:

  1. A state-accredited (or equivalent) intermediate (B2) or advanced (C1), complex (written + oral) or partial (written or oral) language examination certificate.
  2. For languages other than English, the so-called PhD language proficiency, administered by the Faculty's foreign language departments, which aims to measure the ability to process scientific texts in a foreign language with understanding. For further information on the PhD language examinations, please contact Péter Vörös (
  • The PhD language examination costs 20 000 HUF.
  • On the basis of an individual assessment (application), the doctoral school councils may accept other language examination documents or equivalent (at least four semesters of prior higher education studies in a living or extinct language) as proof of knowledge of a second language required for the award of a doctorate.

The research centre disputation/ In-house defence

  • The doctoral dissertation must be disputed in public in the research unit (workplace) for preliminary scientific evaluation before submission. The research centre disputation is organised by the doctoral program with the involvement of the relevant department (institute) or research group.
  • The research centre disputation must be held at least 90 days before the submission of the dissertation (planned, but at the latest by the deadline specified in the regulations), so that the results of the disputation can be incorporated into the dissertation. The 90-day time limit may be reduced to a maximum of 30 days in justified cases on the written professional recommendation of the refereeing committee involved in the research centre disputation (recorded in the minutes of the research centre disputation).
  • The research centre disputation may be held at any time from the beginning of the research and dissertation phase, as soon as the supervisor considers that the thesis has reached the level of preparation required for the discussion.

Rules of organisation

  • The research centre disputation is organised by the topic supervisor and the head of the doctoral program in collaboration with the relevant department/institute or research group. Two or three pre-opponents, preferably a lecturer from the doctoral program and, if possible, a lecturer who is not a member of the University staff, shall be invited to the research centre disputation. It is also recommended to invite a doctoral student as a pre-proponent. The pre-proposers (except the doctoral candidate) must hold an academic degree. The pre-proponents with an academic degree may also be members of the defence committee for the public debate (also in the capacity of opponent).
  • The manuscript of the dissertation to be submitted for discussion in the research venue must be made available (digitally and/or on paper) to the staff of the relevant department, the students of the doctoral program, experts in the field and other interested parties.
  • The minutes of the debate should be sent to the candidate, his/her supervisor, the relevant programme leader and the faculty office (Peter Vörös,

Defence of the doctoral dissertation

  • A public disputation may take place if both opponents consider the submitted dissertation to be open to public disputation.
  • The public disputation must be scheduled for a date beyond 15 days but within 60 days of the candidate's written response to the opponents' comments. No public defence shall be held in July or August.
  • Procedures for organising the defence
  • The public disputation will take place in front of a BDT-approved Assessment Committee, and the candidate must invite eminent representatives of the profession to the public debate by sending the invitation and the thesis booklet.

Qualification of the public disputation

a) "summa cum laude" up to 90-100% of the possible score,

(b) 'cum laude' up to 75-89% of the possible marks,

c) "rite" up to 60-74% of the possible score,

d) "insufficienter" if the candidate does not obtain 60% of the possible score.

The award of the doctorate is decided by the University Doctoral Council, after which the doctoral candidate takes the doctoral oath at a centrally organised ceremony.

Submission of the dissertation

  • The final dissertation, which must be completed (and have undergone the in-house defence), must be submitted within three academic years of the complex examination. The deadline for submitting the dissertation may be extended by up to one year in cases of special merit. A request may be submitted to the Humanities Doctoral Council before the deadline. The request must be accompanied by the document(s) supporting the application of the merit and a supporting statement (with the merits) from the supervisor. 
  • The dissertation may only be submitted after the approval of the doctoral procedure and the thesis committee by the Humanities Doctoral Council! 
  • At the latest at the same time as the submission of the dissertation, proof of knowledge of the second language required for the award of the degree must also be submitted (if it has not been done by then). 
  • The rules for submitting a doctoral thesis can be found at the following page