Skip to content

Programs : Brochure

If the program location currently has a travel warning issued by the U.S. Department of State, please consult a study abroad advisor before starting your application.
  • Locations: Budapest, Hungary
  • Program Terms: Academic Year, Fall, Spring, Summer
  • Homepage: Click to visit
  • Restrictions: Rice applicants only
Fact Sheet:
Fact Sheet:
Click here for a definition of this term Program Type: Direct Enroll, Research
Program Description:

BSM BridgeBSM sword and crucingerBSM peasant woman


The Budapest Semesters in Mathematics program is a unique study abroad opportunity for Rice students in Budapest, Hungary.  The coursework is primarily mathematical and conducted in English by eminent Hungarian scholars/professors, drawn primarily from Eötvös Loránd University and Mathematics Research Institute of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences.  Originally started by László Lovász, László Babai, Vera Sós, and Pál Erdos, the first semester was conducted in Spring 1985.  The program is currently run by Paul D. Humke, the North American Director, and Dezsõ Miklós, the Hungarian Director.

In addition to exceptional mathematics-based courses, Rice students have the opportunity to take culture classes such as beginning and intermediate Hungarian Language classes and Hungarian Arts and Culture.


In keeping with Hungarian tradition, teachers closely monitor each individual student's progress. Considerable time is devoted  to problem solving and encouraging student creativity. Emphasis is on depth of understanding rather than on the quantity of material.

The imprint of the Hungarian tradition is particularly prominent in a number of courses:

"Combinatorics" concentrates on combinatorial structures and algorithms, a stronghold of Hungarian mathematics. The courses, along with "Theory of Computing", are a valuable introduction to Theoretical Computer Science.

"Conjecture and Proof", even more than other courses, introduces the student to the excitement of mathematical discovery. Concepts, methods, ideas, and paradoxes that have startled or puzzled mathematicians for centuries will be reinvented and examined under the guidance of enthusiastic and experienced instructors. The topics covered range from ancient problems of geometry and arithmetic to 20th century measure theory and mathematical logic.

For the detailed list of courses currently being offered please consult Budapest Semesters in Mathematics course listings

Optional language-intensive course
Prior to classes starting, students can arrive early to attend an optional two-week intensive language course.  For approximately eight hours each day, students are immersed in the language, learning numbers, greetings, and other necessary vocabulary.

Student Life

More information can be found here:


Students have the choice of two housing options:

• Renting a furnished apartment and sharing it with other Budapest Semesters participants, or
• Living with a Hungarian family as a member of the family

Living with a host family is encouraged for all Rice students as this opportunity greatly enhances  the cross-cultural experience.  Please note: "family" is loosely defined and could consist of the traditional mother, father, and children; elderly couples, newly married couples, or a pensioner.  All homes will be within easy reach of the university using the frequent and inexpensive public transportation. Program administrators in Budapest will help students with housing and any problems that arise.


Classes are held in the College International, located at Bethlen Gábor Tér in the heart of Pest.  This is also the location for several other programs which attract both Hungarian and international students.

Hungary is a small country with a population of 10 million. Located in Central Europe, it is bordered by Slovakia on the north, Ukraine and Romania on the east, Slovenia, Croatia, and Serbia to the south, and Austria on the west.

Budapest dominates the cultural, economic, and political life of the nation. Budapest hosts eleven universities, two opera and ballet theaters, scores of theaters, museums, art collections, and parks plus many cinemas and sports arenas.

Learning English has been quite fashionable in the country for many years. In the University virtually all faculty speak English, as do many students, to a reasonable degree. Students will have no difficulty finding helpful people speaking English all around Budapest as well as having the opportunity to engage in and study the Hungarian language.  Another foreign language spoken by many Hungarians is German.