Each academic year begins with an opening ceremony in the Aula. This is particularly memorable for the newly enrolled students who see their future professors for the first time dressed in academic gowns and marching in to music.
1. Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
The entire curriculum consists of more than 5000 hours, a curriculum standard for the European Community. The degree program lasts five years divided into ten semesters. Before the conclusion of the program, students must submit and defend a thesis and pass the state examination. The curriculum contains lectures, practicums, and field- or extramural practice. Lectures are given for an entire term, practicums are held in a tutorial system with 8-15 students in a group.
The curriculum is divided into a preclinical and a clinical-paraclinical period.
The preclinical period
This comprises the first four semesters (two years). The main subjects are Anatomy, Histology, Embryology, Biology, Chemistry, Biophysics, Zoology, Physiology, Biochemistry, Biomathematics, and Computer Applications. Languages can be chosen as electives. The preclinical period also contains a farm practicum in animal husbandry. The clinical-paraclinical period
This period lasts three years and includes the paraclinical subjects Animal Breeding and Husbandry, Pathology, Pharmacology, Toxicology, Immunology, Microbiology, Virology, Pathophysiology, Parasitology, Epizootiology, Animal Nutrition, Animal Hygiene, Food Hygiene, State Veterinary Medicine and Economics, and Forensic Veterinary Medicine. Parallel to these, the student has a large number of weekly clinical hours in Veterinary Medicine, Veterinary Surgery, Obstetrics and Animal Reproduction.
The clinical-paraclinical period includes several extramural practicums. Subjects listed for both the preclinical and the paraclinical-clinical periods are the core studies complemented with a number of minor and elective subjects.
The curriculum is, within limits, flexible and adaptable to current needs. In the near future, a gradual move towards a companion animal/farm animal division of the curriculum is envisaged to replace the current medically structured education.
Final exams are oral, semi-finals and mid-terms are both oral and written. The state exam is taken before a committee to determine the student's proficiency in subjects related to public health and state veterinary organization. Hungarian students must have a certificate from an accredited language-school proving their knowledge of a world language before they can receive their veterinary diploma.
The final events
The final steps of veterinary studies are accompanied by two ceremonial events. Having completed the curricular program at the end of the 10th semester, graduating students make a farewell march around the campus visiting the clinics and departments, and saying good-bye to their professors.
The diploma is handed over during a ceremony in the Aula. In front of the professors dressed in academic gowns, the students are called forward to the Dean for a handshake symbolizing their acceptance by the community of veterinarians.
The veterinary diploma
The diploma issued by the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine entitles a Hungarian citizen to work as a veterinarian in the Hungarian Republic. Foreign graduates must obtain a work permit for Hungary. In their home country, the acceptance of the diploma is usually tied to exams in subjects related to local public health and state veterinary medicine regulations. All international graduates of the Budapest Veterinary Faculty have had their diplomas accepted in their home countries and are working as fully licensed veterinarians.
2. Applied Zoology
Since 1993, students have had the possibility to major in applied zoology. With a yearly enrollment of 25, this five-year program partly overlaps the veterinary preclinical section, then, from the third year is confined to specific zoological/biological subjects. Emphasis is put on animal etology, environmental biodiversity, preservation of natural habitats and biological equilibrium. The principles of teaching and examinations are similar to those of the veterinary program. Basic science subjects are studied at the veterinary departments, the special subjects at the school's Institute for Zoology.
3. Postgraduate programs
For a limited number of graduates, a one-year residency is available at a Faculty Clinic or Department.
The school's graduates can enter a three-year Ph.D. program. The program is open also for graduates from other accredited higher educational institutions. Acceptance into the program is based on a successful entrance examination. The main topics of the program are
- Clinical and Applied Veterinary Sciences;
- Veterinary Microbiology;
- Veterinary Immunology and Endocrinology.
Within the main topics several sub-topics can be chosen as part of the degree program.
For practitioners, the Veterinary Faculty offers a continuing education program. Courses are held by staffmembers as well as outside experts to keep practicioners informed about advances in veterinary medicine. These courses add valuable scores to the practicioners' records at the Hungarian Veterinary Chamber which issues and renews veterinary licenses on the basis of an evaluation system.
Lecture halls on the campus are well-suited for the number of students in a term, which is currently between 50 and 120. Accordingly, two halls can accomodate 140 students, another two, 100, and five others between 50 and 80 students. The Large Animal Clinic has its own lecture theatre for 70 students. The halls are equipped with standard demonstration facilities including closed-circuit TV and computer networks operated by the lecturer from a control panel built into the lectern. In addition, clinical lecture halls are adaptable for all kinds of live animal demonstrations.
Seminar rooms and laboratories are equipped for practicums held for small groups.
Facilities for diagnostics, therapy and research include among equipment, small and large animal X-ray and ultrasound units, a CT unit, two electron microscopic laboratories, fully equipped clinical laboratories, and a feed analysis laboratory.
The Central Library offers free Internet access for students. The Multimedia Unit (Physiology Department) and the Anatomical Teaching Museum has several places for computer-assisted learning with courseware and self-evaluation programs. Departments are active in developing their own coursewares and making them freely accessible to students.
The Central Library is located in the old Rectoral Building. Its reading room formerly was the Assembly Hall of the school. It has a rich collection of current periodicals and recent veterinary books. Particularly valuable is the collection of old veterinary books from the 16th to the 19th century. Besides this heritage museum, the Central Library contains the leading journals of veterinary sciences and biology and has on-line connections with the largest computerized data services of the world.
The organization of the Faculty is pyramidal. The Forum of Professors, Lecturers, Staff, and Students are four occasional assemblies. Each Forum has an elected head. They express opinions on important Faculty affairs and send elected representatives to the Faculty's decision-making body, the Faculty Senate. The Senate is presided over by the Dean who is the head of the Faculty. The Dean is elected by the Senate for a three-year period. The Dean is helped by Assistant Deans nominated by him and approved by the Senate.
When studies can be forgotten, student life begins. On a sunny day this may simply mean chatting in the garden where hidden nooks ensure a remarkable degree of privacy. It may continue with various get-togethers within the campus such as parties in the Students' Club, sport competitions between terms or groups, or listening to classical music at lunchtime. There are. however, some special yearly events that attract many guests. Each November, the third term organizes a ball for the newly enrolled students called in local slang a "stork." The Stork-Ball begins ceremo- nially with an opening address by the Dean. A coreographed classical Hungarian ballroom dance follows performed by the dance group of the third term, then roaring decibels take over!
Another important series of events takes place in the carnival period. This is called the "Equus Days" with a lot of fun, parades in fancy-dresses, parodying of professors, etc. Its climax is the campaign and election for one day of a Student Dean, called Bos Major (Big Ox).
A relatively new but promising event is International Day. In the Aula, international students introduce their countries at exhibition stands. To make it a real success, each stand has a buffet where snacks of various national foods are served.
Outside the campus, a vibrant Central European metropolis with pubs, restaurants, museums, theatres and concert halls entertains students during their leisure time. Or almost … because during the week students must always remember that lectures begin next morning at exactly quarter-past-eight!
Students are officially represented by the local Student Association, a member of the National Student Association. This body sends representatives into the Faculty Senate, decides in (non-curricular) matters relevant to students, edits a monthly newsletter, and runs an actors' studio.