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University System

Each Turkish university sets its own admission criteria and decides which applicants meet those criteria. Therefore, applications by international students seeking an undergraduate degree must be made directly to the Student Affairs Office of the respective university.


In 2010, YÖK (Higher Education Council) announced new arrangements for the Foreign Student Examination (YÖS) and foreign students studying at universities in Turkey.

According to these new regulations starting from 2011, the YÖS exam will no longer be centrally administered by ÖSYM. Instead, universities will set their own criteria for the admission of international students and organize their own Examinations for Foreign Students (YÖS). Therefore, prospective students should apply separately to each university.

Required Documents:

  • International Student Application Form (mostly online)
  • Copy of High School Diploma (notarized translation required if not in Turkish or English)
  • Copy of the Exam Result accepted by the university
  • Official Transcript (showing all courses and grades taken in high school, signed and stamped by the high school authority)
  • Language Proficiency Score (Requirements depend on the university. Students who cannot take an international language test (TOEFL, PTE, etc.) may take the university’s proficiency test upon arrival. Those who fail must take the university’s language program before starting their academic studies.)
  • Application Fee
  • Essay (explaining why you want to attend the university, the course of study you wish to pursue, and your career goals)
  • Academic Letter of Recommendation (if available)
  • YÖS Exam Result


Graduate-level programs are coordinated directly by the institutes themselves. A postgraduate qualification or master’s degree typically takes two years to complete, although this can vary depending on the institution. Applicants should provide evidence of existing undergraduate qualifications in a relevant subject area. Recognition of degrees is usually straightforward, especially for those who have previously studied in Europe. If your qualifications are less familiar, you may need to contact your university in advance; their international office should be experienced in handling these enquiries.

In addition to requiring appropriate qualifications at the previous level of study, most applicants to Turkish universities must also sit an entrance exam. This applies to postgraduate programs and international applicants.

The test used within Turkey is the Entrance Examination for Academic Staff and Graduate Students (ALES). Many master’s programs require applicants to achieve a score of at least 50-55 on this test. Higher scores may increase your chances of admission to more competitive programs or of winning merit-based scholarships.

Required Documents:

  • International Student Application Form
  • Bachelor’s or Master’s Diploma and its translation (Turkish or English)
  • Official Transcript and its translation (Turkish or English)
  • Updated Resume
  • Statement of Purpose
  • Recommendation Letters
  • Language Proficiency Score (Applicants should meet the minimum English/Turkish language requirements of the university. Students who do not meet the requirements may take the university’s proficiency test, if offered, upon arrival. Those who fail must attend the English Preparatory Program provided by the university.)
  • Result for Graduate Program Entrance Exam
  • Written Exams and/or Interviews
  • Financial Guarantee Letter
  • Application Fee