General Structure

In 1981, the administration of higher education in Türkiye was completely restructured in accordance with the new Higher Education Law (No. 2547). The structure then was consolidated, with all branches of higher education attached to the Higher Education Council (CoHE). During this reform all higher education institutions were structured as universities. Higher education was extended throughout the region, access of higher education was standardized, and a central university assessment and selection system implemented. In addition to public universities, the first private foundation university in Türkiye began offering student education in 1986.

Compulsory education in Türkiye has lasted twelve years since 2012 and is divided into three stages (primary, elementary, and secondary).

Pre-primary School Education: This includes, on an optional basis, the schooling of children in the 3 to 5 age group who have not met the level of compulsory primary education.

Primary Education: It involves educating and preparing children in the 6 to 10 age range. To all residents primary education is mandatory. At the State schools, education is free and lasts four years (1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th grades).

Elementary Education: It involves educating and training children in the 10 to 14-year age group. For all citizens Elementary education is compulsory. This is free and lasts four years at the public schools (5th , 6th, 7th, 8th grades). Pupils are given information about both general, vocational and technical high schools and the types of employment they are preparing for towards the end of the elementary school.

Secondary Education: This includes general or vocational and/or technical high schools offering four-year courses for children between 14 and 17 years of age (9th, 10th, 11th, 12th grade). Secondary education is compulsory for all citizens at the state schools and is free.

Higher Education: Students can enroll in higher education after graduating from high school which is consistent with the three-cycle program in Bologna.

Types Of Higher Education Institutions And Academic Units

Faculty (College): A division that performs higher education, research and publication in academics. This can be linked to different departments and programs. At the completion of an educational program, students earn a Bachelor’s degree which lasts for at least four years.

Graduate School: An institution engaged in higher education, scientific study and applications in universities. MA, MS or PhD degrees are awarded to graduate schools.

4-year School: A higher education institution that is primarily concerned with offering instruction to a specific occupation. It lasts eight semesters.

Conservatory: An higher education facility where artists are educated in music and the performing arts. It lasts eight semesters.

Post-Secondary Vocational School: A higher education institution which aims to train human capacity in specific professions and provides four semesters of instruction.

Research and Application Center: A higher education institution conducting research and applied studies to meet the needs of applied study in different areas and to provide preparatory and support programs for various professional fields, with the goal of promoting education in higher education institutions.


Associate’s degree (short cycle): Awarded after a two year research programme. Universities and foundation postsecondary technical schools sell the associate degree programs. There are also several distance education programmes. Associate Degree programs can include an on-the-job training period.

Bachelor’s degree (1st cycle): Awarded at the conclusion of a four-year course and 240 ECTS of research. The duration of the study is five years for dentistry, veterinary medicine, and pharmacy, and that of medicine is six years. The credentials are deemed to be the equivalent of a Master’s degree in those four regions.

Master’s degree program (2nd cycle): Two year Master of Arts (MA) or Master of Science (MS) program. Two types of Master’s programs exist, with or without a thesis. The Master’s with thesis program is a two-year program consisting generally of courses with a minimum of 120 ECTS followed by a thesis submission. Non-thesis programs are to be completed in one or one and a half years and require a total of 90 credits and a term project to complete the graduate courses.

Doctoral degree program (3rd cycle): Generally, an eight-semester program which leads to Ph.D. It consists of modules, with ECTS 180-240, a proficiency test, a request for a dissertation, a dissertation, and its oral defense. After the course work and the proficiency exam have been successfully completed, students must submit the dissertation and orally defend it before an examination committee.

Specialization in Medicine Programs: These are similar to advanced degree programs and are undertaken in medical schools, university hospitals, and clinics for study and training. Of medicine specialization, there is a rigorous screening test for those graduating from medicine faculties in various branches of medicine. Specialist applicants are expected to submit and defend a report before an Examining Committee.

Proficiency in Art: This is at least a post-Master ‘s six-semester degree in the fields of visual and performing art-making this equivalent to a doctorate. It requires the presence of original artwork or superior, creative performance (in music and the performing arts).

International Student Admissions

Foreign students wishing to pursue their undergraduate studies in Türkiye must have completed their secondary education in a secondary school or similar institution where the curriculum is equal to that of a Turkish high school. We apply directly to their chosen university and the university makes the pick.
Also, international students wishing to pursue their graduate / postgraduate studies in Türkiye apply directly to universities that set their own admission requirements. There are also various scholarship opportunities for certain foreign students.

Tuition Fees

Tuition fees in institutions of public and non-profit funds are handled differently. The presidential decree determines and establishes tuition fees at public universities, taking into account the form and length of study in various disciplines. On the other hand, in non-profit foundation universities, tuition fees are decided by the university’s board of trustees.

Students are expected to pay their tuition fees for each semester before registering for the courses at the start of that particular semester. Diverse scholarships are given to a certain percentage of the students in both public and non-profit foundation universities. Such scholarships can be a waiver, merit, or sponsorship of partial tuition scholarships. Some of these scholarships will come with learning expenses, lodging, food and drinks, and some allowances too. In addition to this funding, student assistantship and research fellowships are other forms of support that would be helpful in Türkiye during the study.