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Discover Turkey Turkish Education system

Education system

By Turkey Campus November 18, 2021

Education in Turkey is compulsory for 12 years, a law has been issued to oblige education for children for 12 years. The duration is divided as follows:

  1. 4 years for primary education, 4 years for intermediate education and 4 years for secondary education.

Primary education:

  1. It is a compulsory four-year period for the child to study basic subjects and he is entitled to choose material for study only during intermediate education.

Intermediate Education:

  1. It is a compulsory four-year period and is divided into three types: general intermediate, specialized intermediate and technical intermediate. Intermediate education is linked to secondary education in the sense that if the student chooses a certain type of intermediate education, he will pave the way for completing it in secondary education. So in Turkey, you will find that the high school also includes the intermediate with it, i.e. the student studies 8 years in one school.

These Schools are called High schools:

General secondary schools

It is 8 years of studying and after completing this period, if the student wants to enter the university, he must pass exams to qualify for college, and these exams are:

  1. Higher Education Exam - Yükseköğrenime Geçiş Sınavı (YGS)
  2. Undergraduate Placement Examinations - Lisans Yerleştirme Sınavı (LYS)

Specialized secondary schools

  1. Graduates of specialized schools can enroll in higher institutes without entering exams. Disciplines can be developed as follows, technical, communication, health, hospitality, tourism and Marine. And there is one additional school year in these secondary schools.

Anatolian High Schools

  1. They are secondary schools that give the foreign language great importance; there is a preparatory year for language in some schools. School hours are slightly more than other schools and a second foreign language can be chosen during the study.
  2. Examples: Galatasaray Secondary School-Kadi Koi Secondary School-Istanbol Secondary School

Technical secondary schools

  1. These schools are for students who are technically talented or talented in art sciences and they can join the university's technical colleges without an exam.

Imam Khatib Schools

  1. They are schools for the graduation of imams, preachers and teachers of Quran and religion, which are recognized by the Turkish Ministry of Education and has an intermediate education and the student is taught for eight academic years. It is considered a preparation for joining to the College of Divine for university stage.

High School for Fine Arts

  1. These schools are specially created for talented students in the field of fine arts and are keen to develop their skills from the very young age.

Special secondary Schools

  1. They are the so-called KOLEJ and the subjects are taught in foreign languages, and their expenses are considered to be expensive and somewhat difficult to accept.

Such as: Robert KOLEJ – St. Joseph KOLEJ – Austrian High School

Higher education:

  1. Secondary or equivalent graduates are entitled to attend colleges according to the exams applied by the Turkish exams authority Ölçme Seçme ve Yerleştirme Merkezi (ÖSYM) and the Supreme Council of Turkish Universities (YÖK)

The exams are as follows:

  1. Turks have the right to enter two exams
  2. Higher Education Exam - Yükseköğrenime Geçiş Sınavı (YGS)
  3. Undergraduate Placement Examinations Lisans Yerleştirme Sınavı (LYS)

And foreign students have the right to enter Turkish universities either through an exam also in Turkish, which is the YÖS exam:

  1. Yabancı Uyruklu Öğrenci Sınavı (YÖS) Or through the total secondary grades in the student's country.
  2. Turkish universities have the right to determine the total grades or the final degree of the YÖS test for admission, and this information is advertised through universities.
  3. Universities have the right to impose SAT for enrolling in certain disciplines in them such as technical or musical disciplines and the like.

Higher institutes

  1. Graduates of technical and specialized high schools and the like are entitled to enroll in higher colleges without testing. But high school graduates (DÜZ LİSESİ) must undergo the YGS test.
  2. The duration of the study in the higher institutes is two years, and in some institutes, the study requires a preparatory year for the foreign languages.
  3. Graduates of higher institutes have the right to complete their studies in Turkish universities for the degree of bachelor and study for four years after passing the test Dikey Geçiş Sınavı (DGS)

Bachelor Degree

  1. The Bachelor's degree is a four-year study at a Turkish university. However, in some colleges such as medicine, dentistry and Pharmacy colleges, the number of years is more to be five or six years.

Master's Degree

  1. A bachelor's degree holder is entitled to a master's degree in accordance with the requirements of the university to be enrolled. A master's degree is two academic years, and there are two types of masters; with a scientific thesis (Academic Master's degree) and one that does not require writing a scientific thesis (Practical Master). In the event of an academic master's degree, the student must have 21 degrees and write his/her thesis to obtain the degree. For a practical master, he/she must have 30 degrees and a graduation project.

Doctorate degree

  1. A master's degree holder is entitled to apply for a doctorate degree. The student must study at least 7 subjects and get 21 degrees and also pass the proficiency test to obtain the doctorate degree.

Medical Specialty

  1. The doctor in government and public hospitals and research hospitals becomes a specialist after receiving a doctorate degree in medicine by passing the medical specialization test (TUS). After passing the test, a scientific thesis should be written and presented orally to the supervisors of what is known as the doctoral thesis discussion.

Technical Specialties

  1. After passing the tests in the colleges or higher institutes of technical disciplines, the student is asked to provide a work of art explaining the impact of this art on the student. After accepting this work, the student has received the doctorate degree in his specialization.

University education in Turkey

  1. There are two types of universities in Turkey where a foreign student is entitled to attend, public universities and private universities. Both types of universities are under the full supervision of the Supreme Council of Turkish universities and are recognized both inside and outside Turkey.
  2. According to the article of the Turkish Constitution issued in August 2012, all expenses in Turkish public universities for Turkish citizens have been cancelled in the so-called "free education" law until after the bachelor's degree, while the foreign student pays some fees which are considered very low according to the quality provided.
  3. Private universities are entitled to apply tuition fees on all nationalities. There are all specialties in private universities ranging from business administration and accounting to end to medical specialties. There are not all disciplines in each university, it is customary that the university is specialized in a particular branch of science, such as social, engineering or medical disciplines or together. Most private universities have English as their language of study, so the student is qualified for a full year as a preparatory year for the foreign language.


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