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Admission Requirement for Higher Education Institutions in Turkey

The universities in Turkey set their admission requirements individually. The requirements vary depending upon the study level, programme and nationality of student- Turkish or International. Read on to know about the general admission requirements and procedure of admission for Turkish as well as international students.

General Admission Requirements

For Undergraduate Studies: Associate and Bachelor Degree

Turkish students are required to sit for a university entrance exam organized by Student Selection and Placement Center (OSYM). The examination has 2 stages- YGS-LYS exam:
  • Stage 1: This stage consists of a higher education entrance exam (YGS).  Students must score 140 out of 500 to go to stage 2
  • Stage 2: This stage comprises of a bachelor placemen exam (LYS).
For associate degree programme: Students are accepted into the associate degree programme on the basis of the higher education entrance exam (YGS) scores. 

For admission into bachelor degree programme: Students are accepted into the bachelor degree programmes on the basis of the entrance exam scores and secondary education GPA (Grade point average).
Students must hold a secondary school leaving qualification (Lise Diplomasi), vocational high school diploma (Meslek Lise Diploması) or technical high school diploma (Teknik Lise Diploması) in order to gain admittance into the undergraduate programme. Equivalence students must have a university degree equivalent to qualifications/degrees conferred by Turkish Universities. The certificate of equivalence is provided by the Turkish Higher Education Council for registration.

For Graduate Studies in Turkey

The admission requirements for graduate studies in Turkey are determined by the individual department. Some departments conduct personal interviews also for admission.  

For Master’s & PhD degree programmes: Candidates must apply directly to the university of their choice. Students are required to sit for an exam-“Academic Personnel and Graduate Education Exam, or ALES” in order to gain admittance into the graduate programme. The exam is organized and managed by the Student Selection and Placement Center (OSYM). Also, for master's degree students must have completed undergraduate degree programmes; and for doctorate/PhD studies, students must hold a relevant master's degree. 

Minimum Grade Point Average (GPA) for Graduate Studies in Turkey
  • For MA/MS programmes: Students must hold a BA/BS degree with a GPA of at least 55 points over 100, or its equivalent
  • For MA/MS programmes without thesis: Students must hold a BA/BS degree and posses a GPA of at least  55 points out of 100, or its equivalent 
  • For PhD studies: Students must hold a MS/MA degree with a GPA of at least 65 points, or its equivalent. "MA/MS programs without thesis" is accepted for PhD studies if the thesis is submitted separately.

English Language Proficiency

TOEFL iBT (Test of English as a Foreign Language): Score of at least 70 is required.

IELTS: International English language testing system score 5.0 is required for pre-masters programmes, and for other academic programmes, score 6.0 is accepted. 

Turkish Language Proficiency

Students are required to demonstrate their level of command in Turkish language. Students must submit the scores of the Turkish proficiency exam (TYS) / Turkish as a foreign language. Yunus Emre Institute organizes and manages this exam. The exam is developed as per the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.

Other Turkish language proficiency tests that are accepted by universities in Turkey are:


Admission Dates and Deadlines

Students are accepted into the Turkish universities twice a year, once for fall semester and the other for the spring semester.
To know about the exact dates and deadlines, contact the respective higher education institution.

International Students 

For undergraduate degree programmes: International students are accepted on the basis of the fulfillment of the admission criteria set by the universities individually. Some of the universities conduct their own entrance exam for foreign students (YOS). International exams, such as ACT, SAT I or GCE scores are also accepted instead of YOS.
  • SAT-Scholastic Aptitude Test: International pupils who wish to study in universities in Turkey can use the SAT I results. SAT I comprises of three sections- reading, math and writing. The minimum SAT score accepted in 200 & maximum is 800.
For master’s degree programme: Students are required to sit for an exam-“Academic Personnel and Graduate Education Exam, or ALES”, and obtain a score of at least 50. Instead of ALES scores, GMAT (Graduate Management Aptitude Test) or GRE (Graduate Record Examination) scores are also valid and accepted-
  •  GMAT score of 450 is equivalent to score of 55 in ALES (Academic Personnel and Graduate Education Exam)
  • GRE quantitative section score of 610 is equivalent to 55 score in ALES

For PhD programmes: Students are required to sit for an exam-“Academic Personnel and Graduate Education Exam, or ALES”, and obtain a score of at least 70. Instead of ALES scores, GMAT (Graduate Management Aptitude Test) or GRE (Graduate Record Examination) scores are also valid and accepted-
  •  GMAT score of 500 is equivalent to score of 70 in ALES (Academic Personnel and Graduate Education Exam)
  • GRE quantitative section score of 685 is equivalent to 70 score in ALES

Application Procedure

International pupils are accepted to the Turkish higher education institutions on the basis of the fulfillment of the admission requirements set by the relevant higher education institution and approved by the Council of Higher Education (CoHE). 

Students must apply directly to the institution of their choice. Students must fill out an application form and submit it along with the required documents. Candidates can submit the documents personally or by post. Contact the respective institution to know about the mode of application submission. 

Documentation

Following supporting documents must be sent along with the application form to the Student office of the concerned higher education institution: 
  • Application fee
  • High school diploma/certificates
  • Bachelor’s or master’s degree for graduate studies
  • Language proficiency certificates and scores: If the programme is in Turkish, submit Turkish proficiency certificate; and if the programme is taught in English, submit the scored of TOEFL/IELTS.
  • Entrance exam scores: YGS-LYS, and/or ALES
  • Proof of sufficient funds
  • A copy of a valid identity card or a passport copy
  • Essay: It should include reasons of joining this particular course and institution, your career goals and objectives, your interest areas, how you are different from other candidates, and what you expect to gain from the course. Also, add a few lines on yourself that is not reflected in your grades. 
  • A detailed and updated Resume: It must include details of your education, extracurricular and volunteer activities undertaken, accomplishments and awards, and professional experience (if any).
  • Letter of Recommendation: It must be written by people who are familiar with your academic accomplishments and potential. It must be written by the faculty or other qualified individuals. The letter should include details about you, your leadership abilities, GPA, and your suitability for the course you wish to apply to. 
** All documents must be translated in Turkish or English

All documents must be submitted to the respective institution before the application deadline declared on the academic calendar.

Selection ways and means: Candidates are selected on the basis of the following criteria: GPA, entrance exam results/scores and documents. Also, some of the higher education institution conduct interview for candidate selection. 

Acceptance letter: Students who are accepted receive an acceptance letter from the respective institution via email or post. Students must then apply for student visa for Turkey at their nearest Turkish embassy or consulate. The visa is required in order to enter Turkey and register at the university.  The registration dates and documentation are sent along with the acceptance letter. 

Quota System

The Council of Higher Education (CoHE) announces a quota for international students every year. There are limited quotas in each of the university for international students. 
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