The number of international students choosing to study in Turkey has experienced a significant surge in recent years, indicating the country's increasing importance as a destination for higher education. Turkish universities have received high ratings and have been included in various global rankings.
Reasons for studying in Turkey include the opportunity to receive a good and relatively affordable education, with chances for scholarships that also provide a monthly stipend, covering accommodation, tuition fees, health insurance, and travel expenses.
Higher Education System in Turkey :
The higher education system in Turkey was comprehensively restructured in 1981, becoming centralized with all higher education institutions linked to the Council of Higher Education, known as "YÖK" in Turkish. The number of Turkish universities has reached approximately 209, offering bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees. Turkish universities are divided into public universities and foundation universities or private universities.
Both public and private Turkish universities also adhere to the Bologna Agreement for Higher Education in Europe, receiving a 5 out of 5 score based on the agreement's evaluation criteria. This means that any degree obtained from official Turkish universities is recognized in all European countries. Students in Turkish universities receive their degrees according to the evaluation system based on the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS).
According to the latest edition of the QS World University Rankings, the Turkish higher education system ranks 43rd globally. In terms of scientific research and patents, Turkey has reached the 10th position among countries worldwide in terms of scientific publications in international journals, obtaining patents, scientific creativity, and receiving international awards.
Many Turkish universities participate in programs such as Erasmus+, Turkey Scholarships, Mevlana Exchange, joint degree programs, project-based international exchange programs, and the YABSIS project.
Higher Education in Turkey in Numbers :
- The number of universities in Turkey has reached 209, including 192 public universities, 74 private universities, and 4 vocational higher schools.
- Turkish universities offer more than 45,000 different programs, ensuring a diverse range of options to suit individual preferences.
- Turkish universities provide 11,819 programs at the undergraduate level, 10,260 at the master's level, 5,972 at the doctoral level, and 136 in the field of artistic doctorates.
- The number of international students in Turkey has reached approximately 260,289.
- The total number of enrolled students in Turkish universities is 8,297,101, with 50.3% male and 49.1% female students.
- The number of faculty members in Turkish universities is 184,702.
- The number of students who participated in the +Erasmus student exchange program in Turkey is 22,327, including 17,653 Turkish students who exchanged with universities in Europe and 4,674 European students who exchanged with Turkish universities.
- Turkish universities have a large number of joint diploma programs with other countries. The United States has the highest number with 47 programs, followed by the United Kingdom with 52 programs, France with 30 programs, Germany with 29 programs, and other countries such as the Netherlands, Malaysia, Russia, and Spain.
Universities in Turkish Cities :
Istanbul has the highest number of universities among Turkish cities, with 58 universities, including the largest number of private universities. Ankara follows with 21 universities, followed by Izmir with 10 universities. Antalya and Konya each have 5 universities, while Gaziantep, Mersin, and Kayseri have 4 universities each. Bursa, Eskisehir, Kütahya, and Trabzon have 3 universities each. Other Turkish cities have either two or one university.
Student Life in Turkish Universities :
With at least one university in every city, Turkey is exactly a student-friendly country! Social clubs, sports teams, and cultural events bring students together in every university, making distant geographical areas feel closer.
When you arrive in Turkey, you'll realize that the most active spots in the city are where students socialize, thanks to cafes, restaurants, and libraries. Regardless of which of the 208 universities you attend, you'll experience a modern and comfortable campus life equipped with the latest technologies.
In every university, there are student clubs where students with different interests come together and organize events. For example, an astronomy community sometimes follows solar eclipses, and at other times, a photography community travels on every street of the city.
You can be a member of an archaeology society that organizes tours to countless archaeological sites in Turkey, or you can showcase your hidden talents by joining a jazz music community. Alternatively, you can enjoy a food tasting community to discover tastes of Turkey that are not easily accessible. If you are a cinema enthusiast, you might have a group that follows classics of world cinema as well as Turkish films.
Public Universities in Turkey :
Despite the high quality of education in public universities in Turkey, the study costs are very reasonable, especially when compared to universities in Europe and America. However, the admission requirements for public universities in Turkey are more complex than those for private Turkish universities.
Admission Requirements for Public Universities in Turkey :
International applicants who wish to enroll in public universities in Turkey are usually required to have a high school diploma (for undergraduate degree), a bachelor's degree (for master's degree), a master's degree (for doctoral degree), or an equivalent qualification in their home country.
In general, the required documents for public universities in Turkey include:
- Passport photo
- Personal photo
- Application form
- Certificate of the latest educational level (or a document proving that you are about to graduate)
- English or Turkish language proficiency test score, depending on the language of instruction
- Motivation letter
- YÖS (Unified Entrance Exam for International Students) result (YÖS exam is required for admission to most public universities in Turkey. It includes questions on mathematics, physics, and IQ, and requires a preparation period of at least 6 months to achieve the highest possible score).
- SAT (Scholastic Assessment Test, an American test for university admission) - can be submitted to some public universities in Turkey as an alternative to the YÖS exam.
- Statement of purpose (research project) - for graduate students
- Updated CV - for graduate students
- Reference letters from professors and employers - for graduate students
- Written exams and/or interviews - for graduate students
If the document/statement is not written in English/Turkish, it may need to be translated by a recognized and officially stamped translator.
It should be noted that each public university in Turkey has its own specific requirements for selecting applicants, and some universities may require their own YÖS test.
Application Deadlines :
The general deadline for submitting application documents to public universities in Turkey is before August 1st. Usually, the application deadlines for undergraduate programs are before August 1st, while there is a final deadline for graduate program applications, which is by the end of May for the fall semester or the end of December for the spring semester.
Language of Instruction in Public Universities in Turkey :
Turkish is the primary language of instruction in all programs and disciplines offered by public universities in Turkey. It is difficult to secure an opportunity to study in English because the number of programs offered in English is limited, and the competition for admission is high. Public universities typically require an English or Turkish language proficiency certificate, depending on the language of the study program.
Cost of Study in Public Universities in Turkey :
The tuition fees in public universities in Turkey range from $450 to $1,200 per year for undergraduate programs in Turkish language, while for English-language programs, tuition fees range from $500 to $1,500. As for graduate programs in public universities, the tuition fees reach approximately $300-600 when studying in Turkish language, and $600-900 when studying in English.
How to Apply to Public Universities in Turkey :
The application to Turkish public universities is done through the official website of the university, which includes a form and information about application deadlines and requirements. The application period for public universities usually starts from late April to July, and in some universities, it may extend to September.
The registration period is approximately two weeks, after which the university evaluates and selects the applicants. The university may open a second or third evaluation round if there are vacant seats.
The student is responsible for the registration process in universities. They access the registration form that appears on the university's website when the application is open. Then, they fill in their personal and academic information, upload the required certificates and documents, and choose the desired majors they wish to study.
The student can select 3, 5, or 10 majors (depending on the university) and prioritize them according to their preference. Afterward, they wait for the results to appear on the university's website or receive them through their email to find out if they have been accepted to a major or not.
Private Universities in Turkey :
Private Turkish universities provide a great opportunity for many international students to study in Turkey. Private Turkish universities are distinguished by their simple admission requirements and higher chances of accepting students compared to public universities, while maintaining a high academic and scientific level that competes with local and international universities. Many private Turkish universities rank high in university rankings worldwide.
Admission Requirements for Private Universities in Turkey :
Private Turkish universities primarily require a high school diploma as the main admission requirement. Here are the required documents for applying to private Turkish universities:
- Passport photo
- Personal photo
- High school completion certificate and transcript, showing the subjects you have studied.
- English language proficiency test certificate, such as the "TOEFL" or "IELTS" test if available. This applies if you have chosen an English language program. Alternatively, you can apply for the English language test administered by the university, which will determine if you are eligible to study in English.
Note that if you do not have an English language proficiency certificate or did not achieve the required score in the university's test, private universities in Turkey offer a preparatory year for studying English.
- Recommendation letter or letter of endorsement (required in some universities).
- Nomination letter (for students wishing to study for a master's degree at private Turkish universities).
Application Deadlines :
The general deadline for submitting application documents to private universities in Turkey varies from one university to another. Generally, the application period for private Turkish universities starts from August and lasts until the end of October each year.
To learn more details about available programs and application deadlines to easily obtain your university acceptance, you can contact one of the representatives of Turkey Campus to assist you in choosing the most suitable university for the specialization you want to study and one that you can afford its annual expenses.
Language of Instruction in Private Turkish Universities :
Most private universities in Turkey offer their programs in both English and Turkish languages. The study ratio in English at private universities reaches 70%, allowing you to choose to study any major in English or Turkish. Private universities also offer a preparatory year for language study if you did not provide an English or Turkish language proficiency certificate.
Cost of Study in Private Universities :
Tuition fees for private universities in Turkey vary from one university to another and from one major to another. However, we can say that you can study at private universities in Turkey for $2,000 to $30,000 per year. Usually, medical studies are the most expensive, with the cost of studying medicine ranging from around $20,000 to $30,000 per year. The cost of studying dentistry is about $15,000 per year, and the cost of studying pharmacy is about $10,000 per year.
The tuition fees for engineering majors in Turkey range from $7,000 to $18,000 per year. The fees for other majors such as business administration, psychology, education, law, and media range from $2,000 to $10,000 per year.
The tuition fees for postgraduate studies in private universities in Turkey range from $5,000 to $20,000 per year.
Turkey Campus provides you with the opportunity to receive discounts on tuition fees of up to 75% in many private Turkish universities when applying through us.
How to Apply to Private Universities in Turkey :
Usually, applications to private Turkish universities are made through study offices in Turkey, a service provided by Turkish Campus for free. With our extensive experience in helping students enroll in private Turkish universities, we will assist you in overcoming the obstacles you may face, allowing you to join the major you desire in the best private universities in Turkey and obtain significant study discounts.
The application system for private universities in Turkey is also based on competition and by selecting a list of majors, but usually the student is accepted into their first choice of major. After the university sends the student a provisional acceptance, you will need to pay a deposit amount, which varies from one university to another, to confirm your seat in the desired major. Typically, the deposit amount is $1000, which is deducted from the tuition fee for the first year upon final application. Acceptance letters are issued by private universities shortly after the registration date.
Top 10 Universities in Turkey and its Global and National Rankings:
Here are the top 10 universities in Turkey and their local and global rankings, according to the U.S. News & World Report classification:
Arabic University Name
English University Name
جامعة إسطنبول بيلجي
جامعة الشرق الأوسط التقنية
جامعة هاجي تبه
جامعة إسطنبول أيدن
جامعة إسطنبول التقنية
Important University Scholarships in Turkey :
The most important scholarships offered by universities in Turkey include financial support for international students at the undergraduate, master's, and doctoral levels. These scholarships may cover 100%, 75%, 50%, or 25% of the tuition fees. Some scholarships also provide benefits such as accommodation or a monthly stipend.
Here are some scholarships offered by Turkish universities:
- Sabanci University Scholarship
- Koç University Scholarship
- Boğaziçi University Scholarship
- Eskisehir University Scholarship
- Antalya Bilim University Scholarship
- Abdullah Gül University Scholarship
- Fatih Sultan Mehmet University Scholarship
- Bilkent University Scholarship in Turkey
- Eastern Mediterranean University Scholarship
Accreditations and Recognitions of Turkish Universities :
Turkish universities are among the globally recognized and reputable institutions around the world. Recently, the number of Turkish universities recognized in Arab countries, both government and private universities, has significantly increased. Turkish universities have also obtained numerous recognitions and accreditations.
Accreditation is an acknowledgment that the degree offered by a university is credible and aligned with the quality standards established by the Higher Education Council or the Ministry of Higher Education in each country. For any university to obtain accreditation, it must be licensed by the state.
Here are some of the important accreditations and recognitions obtained by Turkish universities:
- Mudek Recognition: An independent organization aimed at contributing to the improvement of the quality of education in various engineering disciplines. It has been a member of the European Network for Accreditation of Engineering Education since 2006 and a member of the Washington Accord since 2011.
- ABET Recognition: Academic accreditation for engineering and technology. ABET has become the foundation of quality for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines worldwide, not only in the United States.
- FIP Recognition: International Pharmaceutical Federation accreditation.
- Tepdad Recognition: Accreditation by the Association for the Assessment and Accreditation of Medical Education Programs.
Advantages of Applying through Turkey Campus :
Turkey Campus offers many advantages and services for applying and studying at private universities in Turkey. Some of the important ones include:
- Turkey Campus has signed contracts with many private universities in Turkey, ensuring that you can obtain university admission and benefit from reduced tuition fees.
- Turkey Campus provides multiple options for studying at private universities in Turkey, tailored to the student's desired major, budget, and qualifications for application.
- Free admission assistance.
- Guidance for students throughout all the necessary steps for official registration at the university and obtaining a student identity card.
- Assistance in securing suitable university accommodation and obtaining residence permits for students.
- Continuous communication with students to provide advice and address any inquiries they may have.
If you are interested in studying in Turkey, joining one of the top universities, knowing the budget required, obtaining a student visa, and reserving your study seat with discounts and facilitations for international students, contact one of the advisors at Turkey Campus for a free consultation.