Everything you need to know about studying at the Jessenius Faculty of Medicine, Comenius University

The Jessenius Faculty of Medicine in Martin is getting more and more popular every year. There are students from all over the world studying course General medicine in English. As you probably know, there are 3 faculty of medicine in Slovakia: Faculty of Medicine in Bratislava, Faculty of medicine in Kosice, and Jessenius Faculty in Martin. Compared to Kosice and Bratislava, the Jessenius Faculty is not very well known – although the quality of education, as well as laboratories, is excellent.

You can find here a comprehensive overview of all aspects of studying and living in Slovakia.

1. Basic information about the city of Martin

The city of Martin has a very long history – the first recorded reference is from 1284 – the name of the city was Vila Sancti Martin. Martin played also an important role during the second world war – it was one of the center of resistance against the German army (Slovak National Uprising).

Nowadays, Martin has a population of about 55,000 citizens and is situated in the well-known picturesque Turiec Garden wreathed by the Vel’ká and Malá Fatra mountains. There are seats of important Slovak institutions: Slovenska Matica – cultural organization of Slovakia and Slovak National Library, with one of the most extensive collections of books in Slovakia. This picturesque town lies in beautiful surroundings offering students and their parent’s excellent possibilities for walking and hiking in summer and skiing in winter. plenty of tourists are coming to the city for holiday and recreation.

2. History and presence of the Jessenius Faculty of Comenius University

The Jessenius Faculty of Medicine in Martin is part of Comenius University, the oldest and largest university in the Slovak Republic. Comenius University builds on the tradition set up by Academia Istropolitana, which was established in Bratislava in 1465 by Hungarian king Matthias Corvinus. Comenius University is named after the father of education – John Amos Comenius and has more than 30 000 graduates. Ranking of the University is among the best 500 universities in the world. 

The Jessenius Faculty was founded in 1969 and became part of Comenius University subsequently. It changed the name to the Jessenius faculty of medicine in 1991. The Faculty offers bachelor, master, and postgraduate programs in Slovak and English language. It has 1650 daily students in 2018 with 700 international students.

The faculty is popular thanks to the high level of education, modern equipment in educational and research facilities and professional teaching staff. There are 3 centres of excellence: the Center of Excellence for Perinatology Research, the Center for Experimental and Clinical Respirology (CEKR) and the Center of Excellence for Research in Personalized Therapy. Centers of Excellence are focused primarily on basic research in the medical sciences.

The largest project of the Faculty, BioMed – Centre for Biomedical research was started in 2013, more than 27 millions of euro were invested.

3. Living costs and monthly budget in Martin

The cost of living in Martin, Slovakia is moderate. The rent at the Faculty Hostel is around 120-150€ per month (depending on the number of beds in the room).

Many students also rent a flat in the city (starting at 150€ per month) or even invest in buying property for 6 years. Moreover you should count with the price of food – as a student, you get an excellent discount in University canteen.

Canteen provides students rates: standard price of lunch is approximate 2€, same as for dinner. Students recharge their ISIC cards and the given sum is deducted after each meal. Student ID card (ISIC card) is also securing plenty of various discounts.

Your monthly budget will start at 300-350€, which is really acceptable compared to cost of living in western countries.

4. Accommodation for medical students 

Students of the Jessenius Faculty of Medicine may choose their accommodation either in a rented flat or at the Faculty’s student hostel. Accommodation at the Student Hostel is provided in rooms with a toilet, shower, kitchen, and a refrigerator. There are also washing machines at the disposal for all residents of hostel. The rooms have naturally connection to the internet. There are 2 students hostels: Pavla Orsaga Hviezdoslava 35 and Laca Novomestkeho 7 (you can check pictures and equipment of the dorm). It is needed to reserve dorm in advance, as the capacity is limited.

5. Level of education and organization of study

The Jessenius Faculty of medicine in Martin educates international students with up-to-date knowledge within study program of General medicine. Education is compatible with education in European Union and in accordance with criteria for regulated professions. According to recent comparisons of ARRA (Academic Ranking and Rating Agency) achieve this Faculty has the best results in Slovakia. 
Main priorities of Faculty are therapeutic and preventive care and educational, scientific and research activities. The Faculty has theoretical, pre-clinical, and clinical workplaces but most of the clinical teaching workplaces are placed at Martin University Hospital (Martin University Hospital has been ruled as the best hospital in Slovakia in 2020). The faculty of Medicine in Martin is the second faculty of Comenius University – another is in Bratislava.

The Faculty obtained a prestigious certificate of quality ISO 9001:2009 and ISO 9001:2009 that confirms the quality of education in English language. The Jessenius Faculty in Martin is unique thanks to the ratio of students to full-time teaching staff. Apart from lectures, all educational activities, such as practical sessions, seminars or tutorials, are carried out in small study groups – there are no more than 8 students per teacher. In addition to that, the Jessenius Faculty hires renowned international professors, who raise credit of this institution.

6. English study program and perspective of graduates

After the fall of Iron Curtain, Jessenius Faculty was the first, which opened its gate to international students (it was year 1991) – it was the program of General medicine. Currently, there are around 1650 students of General medicine, out of which are 700 international. Most of international students are from Norway, Sweden, Iceland, Germany and Poland. 140 places for international students are offered every year in Martin.

The Jessenius Faculty of medicine obtained ECTS accreditation in 2001. The Degree from this faculty of medicine is recognized in the whole European Union. The average time for obtaining job for both Slovak and English graduates are 35 days. Unemployment rate of graduates is 1%.

Graduates master basic principles of medicine and its application in their profession. Graduates are generally educated and specialized to understand an existence and importance of relations between medicine, natural sciences and social sciences, and use this knowledge in their work. Graduates are prepared to work in primary health care; they master basic principles and organization of health system, basic principles of medical legislature required for their profession. Their practical and theoretical knowledge will help them to provide health care on appropriate level under supervision of experienced doctor.

The course itself takes 6 years (12 semesters). Student must pass states exam from Gynecology and Obstetrics, Pediatrics, Surgery and Internal Medicine in final year of studies and defend his/her diploma thesis.

You may find list of recommended books for studying here: Study_literatura_medicine_Martin (source: The Jessenius Faculty of medicine, Martin jmed.uniba.sk)

7. Transfer of medical studies from different medical universities

You can request the subject transfer or recognition in one of the following instances:
1. You have successfully passed the admission exam
2. You are requesting the change of the study programme within Comenius University
3. You are requesting a transfer from another university within the study program and study level.

The subject from your previous study can be recognized if:
– Your previous study has not been duly completed
– no more than five years have passed since completing the exams
– you achieved grades A to C or equivalent for the given subject(s)
– subjects are included in the study plan and specified in the study program as compulsory or semi-elective subjects

How to apply?
1. Every student of JFMED who successfully passed the admission exam can apply for recognition of completed subjects from the previous study within the same specialism. To apply, you will need to submit the request form to the JFMED study department and before
the start of the winter semester teaching period. Your request must be attached to the Course Unit Information Forms that contains successfully completed subjects (not required for subjects completed at JFMED CU).
You can find information about the application process at: https://www.jfmed.uniba.sk/en/study/applicants/admission-process/
2. If you are applying to change your study program within the same specialism at Comenius University, must provide proof of meeting the control phase requirements of the study programme you are transferring from.

The request must be submitted to the JFMED Study department by August 31 together with
the following documentation:
–  Completed application form
–  Official documents confirming your previous study
– Your completed Course Information Units of the subjects
–  Admission fee payment receipt
Please note, it is not possible to request the subject recognition, if:
– You have not met and/or completed the required study obligations of the current study year
–  You have terminated your studies and are not currently actively studying
– You have been expelled from your studies
3. If you are requesting a transfer from another university within the study programme and study level.
The transfer request must be submitted to the JFMED study department by August 31
together with the following documentation:
– Completed application form
– Official documentation confirming your current student status and confirmation of satisfactory completion of the given academic year
– Official documents confirming your previous study results
– Your completed Course Information Units of the subjects
– Admission fee payment receipt
Please note, it is not possible to be admitted to JFMED, if:
– You have not met and/or completed the required study obligations of the current
study year
– You have terminated your studies and are not currently actively studying
– You have been expelled from your studies
JFMED will only consider a transfer request from a student who currently studies the same
study program within the same specialism elsewhere and at the same level.
Based on the recommendations made by teachers of the respective subjects, the Dean will
issue the final approval for recognition of completed subjects. (Not applicable for
recognition of completed subjects at JFMED CU)
All documents must be original or verified copies and submitted by email and post in either
English or Slovak languages, to the address:

7. Feedback from the graduates

Faculty is continuously doing research among its graduates in order to check the quality of education. They asked the following question: Would you recommend your study program to your friends?

This is one of the most important criterium when you want to be sure, that you choose the correct faculty of medicine. Studying medicine abroad has plenty of alternatives so everyone needs to be absolutely sure when deciding. 92% of graduates recommend studying at the Jessenius Faculty (27% definitely yes, 65% yes, only 6% no and 2% definitely no).

The faculty has also asked about graduates considering their education as first class. 92% of them answered with definitely yes or yes.

8. International cooperation of the Jessenius Faculty of medicine in Martin

The Jessenius Faculty is involved in international programs such as TEMPUS, CEEPUS, Erasmus+ and Framework program of the European Union. Students may take part in 2-weeks summer internships in Budapest (Hungary), Pécs (Hungary), and Olomouc (Czech Republic) or in 1-month summer practices in Austrian hospitals within Lions Austria program “Medical students beyond frontiers”

8. Admission process at the Jessenius Faculty of medicine

Students may apply for studying of General medicine in English. The minimum age for application is 17 years and there is no maximum age – so literally everyone may decide to apply and study medicine in Martin 🙂 Grades from secondary school are not taken into consideration – even if your result from biology and chemistry are not excellent you can prove your dedication in Martin, Slovakia.

The main requirement is passing an entrance examination. Results at the final exam at secondary school are not taken into consideration. An applicant must submit the following documents for registration:

  • Copy of secondary school degree
  • Copy of birth certificate
  • CV
  • Health certificate confirming that student may pursue education in medicine
  • Certicate about vaccination against hepatitis type B
  • Copy of passport or ID
  • 3 passport photos
  • Confirmation of payment of 70€ (entrance examination fee)

After submitting these documents by post, applicant obtains invitation letter for the entrance examination which usually takes place in August in Martin.

After passing an entrance exam, final letter is issued and student may appear at the enrollment to university in September.

9. Entrance examination at the Faculty
Entrance examination will take the form of a written test in Chemistry and Biology. Subjects of entrance examination, in terms of the content, do not exceed the content of a full secondary education. It means that the knowledge of biology and chemistry at level of from secondary school is sufficient. The Faculty publishes areas for entrance exam on its website.

Note: the entrance exam in the years 2020/21 and 21/22 were organised online, so students did not need to travel. All students were asked to have good internet connection and 360 degree camera. The most  important rule is that no one is allowed to enter the room – and students cannot leave the room as well.

A set of test questions for candidates consists of an equal number of  40 questions from Biology and 40 questions from Chemistry. The time limit is 80 minutes. Formulation of questions and answers allows an applicant to select only one single unambiguously correct answer. Each correct answer gives the candidate one point. Points are not deducted for incorrect answers.

Note: students with 32-33 points / 80 points got acceptance in 2021/22 intake

Unlike in Kosice and Bratislava, questions for the entrance examination are not known in advance, which means that you would need to prepare more generally.

Entrance exams are held usually in the middle of August in Martin – application deadline is in the middle of July. There are also some agents (e.g. in Iceland or in Norway) that offer writing an entrance exam abroad. Applicants will obtain results within several days.

10. I passed an entrance exam. What to do now? 

Did you pass the entrance exam? Congratulation! Now the fun begins!

First of all, think about the documentation needed for enrollment. You will need original of secondary leaving certificate with apostille, birth certificate with apostille and confirmation of payment of tuition fees. Tuition fees in academic year 2019/2020 were 9900€ per one academic year and cannot be paid in instalments.


Where to eat? 

There is a student canteen at the Hostel and also small shop where one can buy simple meals. There are also small kitchens on each floor. Menus in restaurants offer a wide choice of European meals. International restaurants appear as well. Students regurarly visits pizzerias, buffets, cafes since prices are really moderate, especially compared to western prices. (8-12€ per main dish at good restaurant)

Jessenius Faculty of Medicine in press

Andrej Kiska, President of Slovakia, visited Jessenius Faculty of medicine in Martin

4 new professors at the Jessenius Faculty of Medicine in Martin

Professor from Jessenius Faculty of Medicine led a team, that discovered breast cancer before development