Budapest Semesters in Mathematics

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The Budapest Semesters in Mathematics program is a study abroad opportunity for North American undergraduate students in Budapest, Hungary. The coursework is primarily mathematical and conducted in English by Hungarian professors, drawn primarily from Eötvös Loránd University and the Alfréd Rényi Institute of Mathematics of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. Originally started by László Lovász, László Babai, Vera Sós, and Pál Erdős, the first semester was conducted in Spring 1985. The North- American part of the program is currently run by Tina Garrett (North American Director). She is supported by Kendra Killpatrick (Associate Director) and Eileen Shimota (Program Administrator). The former North American Directors were Paul D. Humke (1988–2011) and Tom Trotter. The Hungarian director is Dezső Miklós.

Courses offered[edit]

Here is a list of courses commonly offered at BSM.

  • Introduction to Abstract Algebra
  • Advanced Abstract Algebra
  • Topics in Analysis
  • Complex Functions
  • Combinatorics 1
  • Combinatorics 2
  • Commutative Algebra
  • Conjecture and Proof
  • Functional Analysis
  • Elementary Problem Solving
  • Galois Theory
  • Topics in Geometry
  • Graph Theory
  • Number Theory
  • Topics in Number Theory
  • Probability Theory
  • Real Functions and Measures
  • Set Theory
  • Introduction to Topology
  • Mathematical Physics
  • Theory of Computing
  • Differential Geometry
  • Dynamical Systems and Bifurcations
  • Stochastic Models in Bioinformatics
  • Mathematical Logic

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


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. Entry to the building is monitored; each student receives a card that electronically admits him or her to the building. There are also cameras to monitor movement exterior to the building. Several tram and bus lines have stops near the school, as does the Red Metro Line, which stops at Keleti railway station.

Optional intensive language course[edit]

Prior to classes starting, students can arrive early to attend an optional two-week intensive language course at the Babilon Nyelvstúdió. For approximately eight hours each day, students are immersed in the language, learning numbers, greetings, and other necessary vocabulary. This course has a fee of around $400.

See also[edit]


  • Paul D. Humke: Math majors study abroad in beautiful Budapest, Math Horizons, April 1999, 10-13.