Higher Education Qualifications in Turkey

The higher education degree structure of Turkey adheres to the Bologna declaration. The higher education system of Turkey follows a three cycle structure- bachelor, master and doctorate. Also, an associate degree is offered in vocational and technical domains in order to enter the job market. 

The higher education qualifications in Turkey are awarded with a Turkish title or an English title.

Turkish Higher Education Qualifications

Associate Degree (Onlisans Diploması) 

The associate degree is conferred in vocational and technical fields, and is provided by the independent post-secondary vocational schools or post-secondary vocational educational institutions attached to the universities. This degree also involves on-the-job training. Students who successfully complete this degree are eligible to apply for bachelor degree programme. 
  • Duration: 2 years
  • ECTS:  64 or 120 credits
Associate Degree Popular Fields of Study
  • Logistics and Transportation
  • Commerce and Administration
  • Accounting and Taxation
  • Computer Technology and Programming
  • Fashion Design
  • Translation and Interpretation
  • Graphic Design
  • Tourism
  • Foreign Trade
  • Culinary Arts

Bachelor Degree (Lisans Diploması)

A bachelor’s degree is provided in several fields.
  • Duration: 4 years 
  • This degree programme requires completion of 128 credits, 240 ECTS. 
The duration of this degree can be 5 or 6 years also, depending upon the field of study. The dentistry, engineering, veterinary medicine and architecture fields require 5 years of study, and completion of 160 credits (300 ECTS). The medicine study programmes lasts for 6 years. 

A diploma in engineering is awarded by higher technical institutions and technical universities.

Professional degree titles: 
  • General: Lisans Diploması
  • In the field of dentistry: Dis Hekimligi Diploması  (Diploma in Dentistry)
  • In the field of pharmacy: Eczacilik Lisans Diploması (Bachelor of Pharmac)
  • In the field of engineering: Muhendis Diplomasi (Diploma in Engineering/Engineering Diploma)
  • In the field of medicine: Tip Doktorlugu Diploması (Doctor of Medicine Degree)
  • In the field of veterinary medicine: Veteriner Hekim Diploması (Diploma in Veterinary)
Popular Study Fields
  • Banking and Finance
  • Information Technologies
  • Tourism and Hospitality
  • International Relations
  • Engineering
  • International Trade
  • Business and Management

Post-Graduate Studies

Masters Degree (Yuksek Lisans Diploması)

Students must have competed bachelor’s degree programme in order to gain admittance into the Master’s degree programme. The Master’s degree programme in Turkey is of 2 types:
  • With thesis: This programmes lasts for 2 years, and requires completion of 60 credits (120 ECTS). This programme comprises of 7 courses and requires a submission of a thesis.
  • Without thesis: This programme lasts for one and a half years, and requires completion of 45 credits (90 ECTS). The non-thesis programme requires completion of 10 graduate courses and a term project. 
Specialist Diploma in Science (Bilim Uzmanligi Diploması): This degree is provided in specialized discipline, and requires 2 years of full-time study. This degree is offered in the following fields: veterinary medicine, agriculture and pharmacy. In the field of medicine, this degree consists of 2 to 6 years of clinical training.

A specialist certificate (Uzmanlık Belgesi) is awarded after the completion of a 2- year programme.

  • In the field of Arts: Master of Arts (MA)
  • In the field of Science: Master of Sciences (MSc)

Doctorate/PhD Degree (Doktora Diploması)

Students who have completed their master’s degree are eligible to apply for doctorate degree programme. This degree programme requires completion of a qualification exam, and preparation and public defense of a doctoral thesis. 

Doctoral degrees are also provided by universities and institutes of higher education. Students can either carry out independent research supported by the university or involve in research for the university while completing mandatory course work. 
  • Duration: 3 to 5 years; the doctoral degree requires 2 years of study in the field of Veterinary medicine, agriculture or pharmacy; 3 years in field of arts and sciences, and 3 to 6 years in the field of medicine. 
Types of PhD programmes
  • 8-semester programme: This degree programme requires completion of a minimum of 7 courses (coursework) with at least 21 face-to-face credits, a qualification exam and an oral defense of a doctoral dissertation in front of a committee. 
  • 10-semester programme: This is an integrated PhD programme which requires completion of a minimum of 14 courses with at least 42 face-to-face credits, a proficiency examination, a thesis proposal, and an oral defense of the PhD thesis. Students holding a bachelor degree may apply for this programme.
  • PhD degree (Doktora Diplomasi)
  • In the field of science: Doctorate Degree in Science (Bilim Doktorlugu Diplomasi)
  • In the field of medicine:  Specialist Degree in Medicine (Tipta Uzmanlık Belgesi)
  • In the field of fine arts:  Fine Arts Mastery Degree (Sanatta Yeterlik Diplomasi)

Proficiency in Arts

The Proficiency in Art degree is the equivalent of a doctorate in fine arts. This programme is in the field of performing and visual arts, and requires completion of an original creative work in art, performing arts or music.  This programme is of at least 6 semesters post-Master’s programme. 

Specialisation in Medicine Programme

A Specialist Degree (Tipta Uzmanlık Belgesi) is equivalent to a doctorate degree in medical science (Doktora Diplomasi). The specialization programme in the field of medicine is conducted in the faculties of medicine, research and training hospitals, and university hospitals.  

Top Postgraduate Degree Fields of Study

  • Law
  • Molecular Biology and Genetics
  • Information Technologies     
  •  International Political Economy
  • Industrial Engineering
  • International Relations
  • Cultural Studies
  • Business Administration
  • Computing
  • Engineering Management

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