Higher Education System in Turkey

Higher Education System in Turkey

The Higher Education System in Turkey is divided into six different types. Although the Ministry of National Education is subordinate to pre-primary, primary and secondary education, and non-formal education, Higher Education in Turkey is an exception. “Institutions of higher education are autonomous for training and study purposes.”

This independence, however, is governed by the University Council (Yükseköğretim Kurulu – YÖK), which is responsible for higher education preparation and coordination and to which the higher education institutions are obliged to report annually. The institutions of higher education include universities, conservatories, higher vocational schools, and research centers.

Types and Functions of the Higher Education Institutions:

Faculty: It is the unit that provides higher education, scientific research, and publications. The faculty can include different departments and programs. Students earn a bachelor’s degree at the end of an education program lasting at least four years.

Institute: This is the unit where university postgraduate education, academic research, and publication are conducted. The institutes grant bachelor or doctorate degrees.

School: For a certain occupation it is the unit that focuses on education and training. It takes about eight semesters.

Conservatory: It’s the place where the music and performing arts train artists. It takes about eight semesters.

Post-Secondary Vocational School: This is the unit that seeks to increase qualified workforce for other careers and is awarded an associate degree at the end of the four-semester cycle.

Study and Application Center: It is the unit where curriculum, practice and study are carried out for the application needs of various fields and training and support activities of certain professionals to promote education in institutions of higher education.

Study in Turkey - Higher Education System

Degrees in Higher Education System in Turkey

Associate Degree: The degree awarded after the two year preparation program has been completed. There are also several distance education programmes. Associate degree programs can take a while to graduate.

Undergraduate: Awarded after completing a four-year training programme and 240 ECTS. The study period for dentistry, veterinary medicine and pharmacy shall be five years, and six years for surgery. Qualifications obtained in these four fields are considered equal to the degree of the Master.

Master’s: It is a two-year program for a degree in Social Sciences (MA) or Mathematics (MS). There are two types of Master’s degrees, with thesis and without. The master’s degree program is a two-year programme, usually of at least 120 ECTS credits, accompanied by degree classes. Non-thesis classes are classes completed in one or a half years, with the completion of at least 90 course credits and a term assignment.

PhD: It is a program consisting of eight semesters, with a PhD degree usually granted. It includes 180-240 ECTS marks, competency test, a thesis summary, oral defense thesis. Students must first apply their thesis to a research committee and defend it orally after successfully finishing their courses and the competence test.