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How to Apply to Universities in Turkey (9 Steps)

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Turkey is a country that is known for being a part of both Asia and Europe. It also serves as the home of various historical attractions, including Göbekli Tepe, Ephesus, Hattusha, the Blue Mosque, and Hagia Sophia.

As the melting pot of various cultures, Turkey proves to be a welcoming destination for many international students. With 183 universities and academies to choose from, you can make your dreams come true by applying to any of the universities in Turkey. In this article, we will be going over how to apply to universities in Turkey.

1. Know what you subject you to study in Turkey

43 Turkish universities are recognized as some of the best in the world. So if you’re thinking of applying to any of these institutions, then you should consider taking the most popular degrees for foreign students.

The number 1 choice amongst applicants is Textiles and Design. After all, this industry contributes to a big chunk of Turkey’s exports. With the country’s rich design tradition, the country proves to be a great choice for creative minds.

Another popular option amongst international students is Business, followed by Computer Science and Engineering. Should you decide to take any of these 3 programs, there’s sure to be a reputable Turkish university to cater to your needs.

It is vital that you know what you want to study in Turkey. Once you know that, you should apply to universities in Turkey that are reputable in that field.

2. Fulfill the English Requirements if You Want to Study in English Programs in Turkey

Many Turkish universities offer programs in English. For those who wish to take courses in Turkish, they need to complete the Turkish Proficiency Exam or YTS.

However, if you only want to apply to universities in Turkey with English-taught courses, you need to meet the English proficiency requirements set by the school.

At the Istanbul Okan University, undergraduate students need to prove their proficiency in English through the TOEFL-iBT. A minimum grade of 79 is required.

In case the applicant is unable to demonstrate English proficiency, he/she may take the Istanbul Okan University Proficiency Test, where he/she should get a mark of 80/100. Failure to do so will require a 1-year attendance to the university’s Intensive English program.

At Altinbas University, the minimum scores vary according to the master’s program. Those applying at the Graduate Schools of Science & Engineering, for example, need a TOEFL-iBT score of 70. On the other hand, those applying for the School of Social Sciences need a score of 75. A grade of 79, which is the highest requirement at the university, is expected of Health Science students.

As for PTE Academic takers, the minimum results should be 55 for Science & Engineering and 60 for the Social Sciences.

A grade of C for the Cambridge Exam is accepted for Science & Engineering and Social Science applicants, while a result of B is required for Health Science students.

3. Fulfill the Prerequisites to Apply to Universities in Turkey

While undergraduate admission requirements differ according to institutions, the most important document to submit is your high school diploma.

At the Istanbul Bilgi University, applicants need to submit this diploma together with the following requirements:

  • Official transcripts (spanning the last 4 years)
  • Completed application form
  • Photocopy of passport page
  • 2 photographs
  • English proficiency test score
  • SAT results, if available

As with undergraduate students, the requirement for Master’s students to apply to universities in Turkey depends on the university and the program. At Sabanci University, applicants for a non-thesis Master’s program need to submit the following:

  • Bachelor’s diploma with official transcripts
  • Completed application form
  • Statement of purpose
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Passport-sized photo
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Proof of English proficiency

Those who wish to take a thesis track program, on the other hand, need to submit the results of his/her graduate entrance test. The university will consider the GRE (minimum score of 153), GAT (cumulative score of 65), or ALES (minimum 65).

4. Consider Applying to Top Universities in Turkey

As mentioned, 43 universities have landed in the prestigious World Rankings list. In summation, the top 10 Turkish institutions according to this evaluation are:

  1. Cankaya University
  2. Koç University
  3. Hacettepe University
  4. Sabanci University
  5. Bilkent University
  6. Boğaziçi University
  7. Ozyegin University

Other reputable universities include Istanbul University, Istanbul Technical University, Karabuk University, and Middle East Technical University (METU).

5. In Addition, Consider Universities that Are Top in their Field

Although you may lean towards the top 3 universities, you should align your decision with the program you wish to take. While Cankaya University is considered as the best university in Turkey, this is not reflected throughout the many specializations. You should consider applying to other universities in Turkey that are top in their field.

For Arts & Humanities, for example, the sixth-ranked Boğaziçi University is the best choice, followed by the higher-ranking Bilkent University.

As for Business & Economics, Bilkent University is the foremost institution followed by METU and Boğaziçi.

For the clinical sciences, the top 3 choices for applicants should be the Hacettepe, Istanbul, and Koç Universities.

Fourth-ranked Sabanci University is the best destination for Computer Science applicants, followed by METU and Bilkent.

METU, on the other hand, leads in the field of Education. It is trailed by Boğaziçi and Hacettepe.

Koç University, meanwhile, is the most popular institution for Engineering. The Bilkent and Sabanci Universities are good options for future Engineers as well.

Bilkent University is proclaimed the leader in the Physical Sciences, together with Koç and Ataturk Universities.

As for Psychology, only 2 Turkish universities are globally-renowned: Koç and METU.

Koç also leads in the Social Sciences. It is trailed by the Sabanci and Boğaziçi Universities.

The top 10 universities don’t always lead the listings, as proven by Ataturk University. Although it is not included in the top 10 list, it is deemed the best university for Life Science education. It is followed by other universities that are not included in the top 10 list as well – namely the Erciyes and Gazi Universities.

6. Consider Applying to Cheap Universities in Turkey

Turkey is one of the cheapest study locations, as its public universities only levy about $1,500 universities. Private institutions, on the other hand, can cost as much as $20,000. Add to this, you will need to pay an additional $300 to $400 for your monthly living allowance – which is not that expensive compared to other countries.

Although this is the case, some students are limited by their financial capacities. Needless to say, if you don’t want to spend a lot on your tuition, then a public university is your best option.

A good thing about the cheap schools in Turkey is that they boast of high quality. For example, the tenth-ranked METU only has a tuition fee of about $250 a year. Another inexpensive option is Boğaziçi University, where the tuition costs as low as $500 a year.

7. Reseach Scholarships in Turkey

Since affordable universities in Turkey usually have a lot of applicants, the chances of admission can be rather slim. If you get accepted to a more expensive university, you can still afford to study here as long as you apply for a scholarship program.

The Turkish government scholarship, for one, offers a multitude of benefits for undergraduate and graduate students alike. This covers the entire tuition fee, including an allowance for living expenses as well as health insurance. In most cases, it includes tickets and project/conference funding as well.

Apart from government scholarships, some institutions and organizations fund students as well. Some universities offer their bursaries as well. You can apply for any of these before or after you arrive in Turkey.

8. Prepare Your Application

Now, it is time to prepare your application. You should have made a list of universities in Turkey to apply by this point, so go to their website and find out how to apply. Then, follow their instructions and prepare your application.

9. Submit Your Application!

Once you are prepared to submit your application, you should submit by the deadline!

I hope that this article on how to apply to universities in Turkey was helpful. If you are interested, visit the Asia Scholarships Page!