Ön Lisans Diploması

    Students can obtain an Ön Lisans Diploması (associate degree) from a higher professional education institution (meslek yüksekokulu). Such institutions are generally part of a university.

    • Duration: 2 years (120 ECTS).
    • Content: higher professional education. Subjects are often based on the first 2 years of the Lisans (bachelor’s) programme for a similar specialisation.
    • Admission requirements: a Meslek Lisesi Diploması, Teknik Lisesi Diploması or Lise Diploması. as well as at least 150 points in total for the entrance examinations.
    • Function of the diploma: work. Students may also sit a transition examination for a Lisans programme, the Dikey Geçiş Sinavi. If they pass this examination, they may progress to year 3 of a Lisans programme.
    • Diploma: Ön Lisans Diploması.

    We compare the Ön Lisans Diploması to an associate degree or to 2 years of higher professional education (HBO).

    Lisans Diploması

    A student's Lisans (bachelor's) programme consists of academic or professionally oriented education.

    • Duration: 4 years (240 ECTS). Students must complete the programme within 7 years.
    • Content: academic education or higher professional education, depending on the specialisation. May be concluded with a thesis or project.
    • Admission requirements: a Lise Diploması or Teknik Lisesi Diploması, as well as at least 180 points in total for the entrance examinations.
    • Function of the diploma: access to master programmes (Yüksek Lisans Diploması) or work. Sometimes (in case of exceptionally good study results) students have access to PhD programmes (Doktora Diploması).
    • Diploma: Lisans Diploması.

    The name of the diploma may be combined with a title, for example:

    • Lisans Diploması ve Mimar Ünvanı (architect); or
    • Lisans Diploması ve Mühendis Ünvanı (engineer).

    The Pharmacology programme leads to the Eczacilik Lisans Diploması.

    Please note: students may also be awarded a provisional certificate, known as a Lisans Geçici Mezuniyet Belgesi. After a certain period of time has passed, they are awarded their definitive diploma (see Checking documents).

    We compare the Lisans Diploması to an HBO or a WO bachelor's degree. This depends on the content of the study programme.

    Yüksek Lisans Diploması

    After having obtained the Lisans Diploması, students may pursue the Yüksek Lisans Diploması (master). They can do so by studying a degree programme that may or may not be concluded with a thesis.

    • Duration: 1½ years (90 ECTS, no thesis) or 2 years (120 ECTS, including thesis).
    • Content: academic education, concluding with a thesis in the case of the 2-year programme.
    • Admission requirements: a Lisans Diploması. Other than that, institutions decide for themselves which students they admit, depending on the average mark obtained for the Lisans programme, the results of the Academic Staff and Graduate Education Entrance Examination (Akademik Personel ve Lisansüstü Eğitimi Giriş Sınavı – ALES) and the results of a personal interview.
    • Function of the diploma: access to PhD programmes (Doktora Diploması) or work.
    • Diploma: Yüksek Lisans Diploması.

    We compare the Yüksek Lisans Diploması to an HBO or a WO master’s degree. This depends on the content of the study programme.

    Medical degree programmes

    Medical degree programmes have a duration of either 5 or 6 years.

    • Duration: 5 years (300 ECTS, veterinary medicine and dentistry), 6 years (360 ECTS, medicine).
    • Content: academic education preparing for a profession as a doctor, veterinarian or dentist.
    • Admission requirements: a Lise Diploması or Teknik Lisesi Diploması, as well as at least 180 points in total for the entrance examinations.
    • Diploma: Veterinerlik Yüksek Lisans Diploması (veterinary medicine), Dişhekimliği Lisans Diploması (dentistry) en Tip Doktorluğu Diploması (medicine).

    The diploma for these specialisations is equivalent to a Yüksek Lisans Diploması (master's degree).

    Doktora Diploması

    In principle, students who have obtained a Yüksek Lisans Diploması may pursue a Doktora Diploması (PhD). If they obtain the Lisans Diploması with exceptionally high marks, they may be admitted directly (i.e. without obtaining a Yüksek Lisans Diploması). This is conditional on them taking compulsory additional preparatory courses.

    • Duration: 2 to 5 years (minimum 180 ECTS).
    • Content: academic education, a qualification exam and the writing and defence of a dissertation.
    • Admission requirements: a Yüksek Lisans Diploması possibly with additional requirements, and sometimes a Lisans Diploması (in case of exceptionally good study results).
    • Diploma: Doktora Diploması (PhD).

    English-language programmes

    At some universities, such as the Boğaziçi Üniversitesi, the Örta Doğu Teknik Üniversitesi and the Bilkent Üniversitesi, the language of instruction is English. There are also universities that offer certain degree programmes in English or as bilingual programmes.

    To qualify for admission to foreign-language and bilingual programmes, students must take a 1-year hazırlık (preparatory language programme) if English was not the language of instruction at their secondary school (lise).

    Types of higher education institutions

    Turkish students receive higher education at:

    • public universities; or
    • non-profit foundation universities.

    Public universities

    In 2019, Turkey counted 129 public universities. Education is free.

    Non-profit foundation universities

    In 2019, there were 72 non-profit foundation universities in Turkey. These universities receive no funding from the government, as they were founded by companies, organisations or private individuals. For this reason, students pay tuition fees. Many non-profit foundation universities have a foreign language as the language of instruction, usually English. These institutions are accredited by the YÖK, see also Accreditation and quality assurance.

    Turkish universities offer both academic and higher professional education.

    Entrance examinations

    For admission to a Turkish university, students must hold a Lise Diploması or Teknik Lisesi Diploması. In addition, they must take 2 central entrance examinations. Since 2018 these are:

    • TYT: Temel Yeterlilik Testi (Basic Proficiency Test); 120 questions (40 Turkish language and literature, 40 mathematics, 20 social sciences, 20 natural sciences) - 40% of the overall result.
    • YKS: Yükseköğretim Kurumları Sınavı (Higher Education Institutions Exam); 160 questions (40 Turkish language and literature, 40 mathematics, 20 social sciences, 40 natural sciences) - 60% of the overall result.

    Please note: from 2010 to 2018, the entrance examinations were the YGS and LYS (YGS: Yükseköğretime Geçis Sınavı, LYS: Lisans Yerleştirme Sınav).

    Admission requirements

    • For a 2-year associate degree programme (Ön Lisans Diploması): at least 150 points in total for the TYT and YKS.
    • For a 4-year bachelor programme (Lisans Diploması): at least 180 point in total for the TYT and YKS.

    The Ögrenci Seçme ve Yerlestirme Merkezi (ÖSYM) organises and administers these entrance examinations, the TYT and YKS. The ÖSYM is the student selection and placement centre and is affiliated with the YÖK.