Introduction: Budapest Semesters in Mathematics
A Program in English for American and Canadian Undergraduates.
“Hungary is a tiny country, and yet she sent to North America an amazing number of outstanding [people] in all intellectual fields, scientific, literary and artistic.” – Laura Fermi, Illustrious Immigrants
Clearly, the Hungarian educational system has been the most successful for pure mathematics; it’s a model that ought to be studied very carefully because it works.” – Donald Knuth, Two Year College Mathematics Journal, Vol. 13
“Without a doubt, the most exciting part of my classes was the emphasis on creative problem solving.” – Julie Kerr, Alephnaught, Vol.35, No.1
Spend part of your undergraduate studies in Budapest.
Learn mathematics from leading Hungarian scholars—in English.
Hungary has a long tradition of excellence in mathematics education. However, because of the language barrier, students have not been able to take advantage of the skill and dedication of the mathematics faculties of Hungarian universities.
Initiated by Paul Erdős, László Lovasz, and Vera T. Sós, the program Budapest Semesters in Mathematics (BSM) provides a unique opportunity for North American undergraduates. Through this program, mathematics and computer science majors in their junior/senior years may spend fall, spring or summer semester in Budapest and study under the tutelage of eminent Hungarian scholar-teachers. The instructors of BSM are members of Eötvös University, the Mathematical Institute of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, and Budapest University of Technology and Economics, the three institutions known for having educated more than half of Hungary’s highly acclaimed mathematicians. BSM classes are held at the College International, a Hungarian-based educational institution focusing on international students studying in Budapest. Most instructors have had teaching experience in North America and are familiar with the cultural differences.
All courses are taught in English.
Classes are small.
Credits are transferable to North American colleges and universities.
The school is near the center of historic Budapest.
Living costs are modest.
Fall semester starts the first week of September, spring semester first week in February, and summer semester third week in June. An optional intensive language course is offered about two weeks before regular semester classes begin (not available for the summer semester). Early applications are encouraged. Qualified applicants will be accepted to participate in the program on a rolling basis once their applications are complete.
- Students enroll in a two-week pre-session non-credit Hungarian language and culture course required by Pomona.
- Students must enroll in a full-time course load; typical enrollment is 4-5 courses to equal 4-5 Pomona credits.
- Students enroll in a Hungarian language course (1 Pomona credit).
- Students enroll in one elective in European history or culture (1 Pomona credit).
- Students enroll in at least two math courses (1 Pomona credit each).
There is no CR/NC option on this program.
Students rent a furnished apartment and share it with other Budapest Semesters participants.
Pomona provides a room and board allowance to students. Students pay directly onsite for housing.
College International campus of the Technical University Budapest, near the historic city center.
Listen to Lily Feldman's (PO '22) experience on the BSM program in Budapest on the Sagehens Abroad Podcast.