General Structure Of The Turkish Education System


Higher education in Turkey consists of universities with associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs, faculties, institution, conservatories and vocational schools. In total, 109 of 172 universities are state universities, the rest of them (63) are private ones. According to the data of recent years, the number of university students with the number of the students in formal education and distance education is about 3,5 million.

Admission Requirements For Undergraduate Programs

The applicants who want to study in any undergraduate programs should make an application directly to the university. Each university accepts international students on the basis of their own requirements that are published on their official websites.

Admission Requirements For Graduate Programs

Graduate programs in Turkey contain master, PhD and specialization in medicine programs. which are carried out via institutions.

The Documents Required FromThe Applicants

Diploma and course contents of the previously completed degrees , letter of reference and statement of purpose are required in the application procedures of the graduate programs Students who graduated in Turkey must submit Graduate Entrance Exam’s (ALES) result in addition to the given documents, . English-medium universities can ask for additional exam results such as TOEFL, GRE or GMAT which have international validity. Each university and program may have different admission criteria. Therefore, those who wants to have graduate education has to apply directly to the institutions of the universities.

Master Programs

Two types of master degrees as mastes with thesis and non-thesis programs are offered for students. Whereas master’s programs with thesis consist of at least seven courses, one seminar and a thesis study. non-thesis master programs contain at least ten courses and a semester project. The required period to complete the master degree is 2 years.

Doctorate Programs

Doctorate programs have at least seven courses, proficiency exam and a thesis. The period to complete the courses are four semesters at most and the period to finish the doctorate program is eight semesters. To be able to apply for doctorate programs, it is an obligation to have a master’s degree. The applicants can apply with their undergraduate diploma to the joint doctorate programs which consists of both master and doctorate education.

Specialization in Medicine Programs

Specialization in medicine programs are equivalent to doctorate programs and it is carried out by the faculty of the medicine of universities and by the research hospitals which are subject to the ministry of health. The students, who want to have an education in medicine and dentistry, must succeed in DUS or TUS exams.

Academic Calendar

In Turkey universities run on a two semester arrangements, known as fall and spring semesters. Besides, some universities have summer school programs.

Academic Examination Process

Academic performances at the universities are determined on success and attendance. Universities test students’ academic success with different examinations such as two midterm and one final or one midterm and one final. Some universities implement different different systems such as make-up exams or summer schools. In addition to exams, various homeworks and reports are efficient in taking grades. Passmarks in the universities are usually 60/100 (2.00/4.00) (These grades may differ among universities).

Language of Instruction

The applicants must prove their efficiency in the universities’ course language which is usually in Turkish (Also in English, French and German). The students, who are accepted to university but not able to get the efficiency in the required language, are given language course for a year. Also, Turkish lessons are given to international students.

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