School system in Turkey

General Structure

In 1981, as per the new Higher Education Law (No. 2547) education system completely overhauled 1981 the system of higher learning in Turkey. The system was subsequently centralized, and the higher education institutions were tied with the Council of Higher Education (CoHE). After the reform, the entire system that offered higher education was created as universities. The country realized the expansion of higher education across the country and the application process for higher education was centralized, and you established a central university exam and admissions. In addition to the public university, the first private base university of Turkey was established to provide education to students in 1986.

Since 2012 it has been compulsory to attend school in Turkey runs for 12 years and is split into three phases (primary education, electrified education, and secondary).

Elementary School Curriculum It is an education for children between the ages range 3 to 5 who have not yet reached the age of compulsory primary school and can attend on an ad-hoc basis.

Elementary Education is the training and education of children between the ages of 6-10. Primary education is required for all residents. It is offered free in the State schools and runs for four years (1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 2nd).

Elementary Education involves the training and education of children between the age range of 10 to 14 years old. Education in elementary school is mandatory in all countries. It is offered for free in the State schools and runs for four years (5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 6th, and 7th grades). In the final year of elementary, pupils receive information on general technical and vocational high schools and the sorts of jobs they can be prepared for.

Secondary Education Secondary Education comprises high schools with either a vocational or general technical nature offering four-year programs that target children from 14-17 (9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th grades). Secondary education is mandatory for all citizens and offered free at State schools.

Higher Education When they graduate from high school, students can be admitted to higher education. It can be integrated with the Bologna three-cycle system.

Academic Unit and Higher Education Institutions

Faculty (College): A division involved in higher education, scholarly research, and publication. There are a variety of departments and programs that could be linked to it. Students are awarded an undergraduate degree after an academic program that lasts four years.

Grad school establishment in universities focuses on graduate education, research, and application. Graduate schools confer MSc, Ph.D. degrees, and MA.

School for 4 years: Higher education for the institution of, which is concerned with teaching specific occupations. It runs for eight semesters.

Conservatory establishes education for higher learning where artists are taught performance and music. It is eight semesters.

Post Secondary Vocational School: A higher education institution focused on building human capacities in particular occupations.

Application center and research: An institution of higher education that conducts research and applied research to satisfy the needs of applied research in various fields and offers preparatory and support actions for different professional areas to assist in the education process at higher education institutions.


Associate’s degrees (short course): Awarded for completing a two-year program. An associate degree is offered by universities and foundation vocational schools postsecondary. A few distance education programs are offered. Associate degree programs might require on-the-job training.

Degree of Bachelor’s (1st cycle): Awarded after completing a 4-year course and 240 ECTS. The study time for dentistry, veterinary medicine, and pharmacy lasts for five years, while the duration of the medical field is six years. The degrees awarded in these four areas are thought to be equivalent to a Master’s degree.

2nd cycle Master’s Degree Program: Two-year program leading to the Master of Arts (MA) or Master of Sciences (MS). There are two Master’s degrees, one without or with the thesis. The Master’s with thesis is typically a two-year degree comprised of courses with at least 120 ECTS and the submission of the thesis. The non-thesis program must be completed within one or two years and requires completing graduate courses with at least 90 credits and a term-long project.

Doctoral program (3rd cycle) generally eight-semester programs that lead towards a Ph.D. degree. It comprises classes ranging from 180 to 240 ECTS, a proficiency test, and a dissertation proposal. The dissertation and its oral defense. After completing the course work and proficiency exam, students must present their dissertation to be defended orally before an examiner.

Specializations in Medical Programs They are equivalent to doctoral-level programs and are conducted in medical faculties, universities, hospitals, and universities and research institutions. It is necessary to pass an examination to select candidates for competition across various medical fields to those who have graduated from the faculties for medicine. Specialized candidates must present a dissertation and defend it before an exam committee.

Proficiency in Arts is at a minimum a six-semester post-master’s program that covers the visual and performing arts branches, making it comparable to a doctorate. It is required to present an original piece of work or (in music or the performing arts) an outstanding, original performance.

International Student Admissions

Students from outside the country who want to pursue university studies at the undergraduate level within Turkey need to have completed secondary school at an elementary school or similar institution comparable to the Turkish secondary school. Students apply directly to the institution of their choice, and the university decides on the choice.

Students from other countries who want to pursue graduate or postgraduate studies in Turkey can also apply directly to universities, establishing their own admissions standards. There are also a variety of opportunities for scholarships for international students.

Tuition Fees

Tuition fees are regulated differently in foundations that are non-profit or public universities. In public universities, tuition fees are set and declared through the Presidential Decree, considering the duration and type of studies in various disciplines. For non-profit foundation schools, however, tuition fees are set through the university’s Board of Trustees.

Students are required to pay their tuition for the semester before registering for classes at the beginning of the particular semester. In both non-profit and public foundation universities, a specific proportion of students are accepted to the university and are granted various scholarship opportunities. These may be full or partial tuition waivers and merit or support scholarships. These scholarships could be used to pay for academic supplies, accommodation, food, beverages, or even certain allowances. Alongside this, student assistantships and research fellowships are different kinds of assistance that can benefit your study in Turkey.

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