Studying a PhD in Turkey – Conditions and Required Documents


Turkey is an interesting country, with a unique location between East and West. As it is a home to many different cultures, both modern and ancient, which is why it is a destination for many students all over the world.


Studying a PhD in Turkey is a good option for many students, due to the high academic level of Turkish universities, also the lower cost of living and studying in Turkey than many European countries.

Moreover, universities in Turkey have excellent and modern facilities, and many degrees in Turkey are also valid all over the world.

There are many famous PhD programs in Turkey, and you can choose what suits you to complete the study in one of them.

Below we will talk about the best university to study a PhD in Turkey, the conditions and required documents.


Studying a PhD in Turkey

A PhD is a scientific research or course of study that lasts 2 to 5 years, and PhD students are admitted after completing a master’s degree.

A PhD is the highest level of postgraduate study, and people with a PhD degree are usually allowed to teach at universities.

Conditions for studying a PhD in Turkey

Students who wish to study a PhD in Turkey must take an admission test in Turkish universities to prove their academic expertise.

The admission tests to Turkish universities in the PhD program are:

  • ALES Test: The minimum score required to pass this test is 50 to 70, and this test is taken three times a year.
  • GMAT Test: The minimum score required for admission is 500, which is valid for five years.
  • GRE Test: The minimum score required for admission is 685, which is valid for five years.


Students are evaluated for PhD studies in Turkey on the basis of one of these tests, these tests are certified in Turkish universities in written and oral form.

After passing the admission exam, students can start studying for a PhD, and the university’s competency committee reviews students’ research regularly every six months.

When a student completes their research, their final thesis will be reviewed by a jury.

Note that studying a PhD in Turkey does not have a specific age requirement, but to receive a scholarship to study a PhD in Turkey, the student must be less than 35 years.

Students wishing to obtain a scholarship to study a PhD in Turkey must have a GPA above 15 in their master’s program.

Languages ​​for PhD programs in Turkey

The predominant study languages ​​in many PhD programs in Turkish universities are English and Turkish.

Foreign students must take one of the English or Turkish language tests in order to study for a PhD in Turkey.

English language tests include:

  • TOEFL Test: The minimum TOEFL score required for a PhD program is 79 and is valid for two years.
  • IELTS Test: The minimum score required for the IELTS test in a PhD program is 7 and is valid for two years.

Turkish language tests include:

  • TÖMER Test: The most popular Turkish language test, students in this test must obtain a Turkish language certificate with C1 skills to study for a doctorate.


PhD programs in Turkey

PhD programs in Turkey include many specializations in various fields. The most important of which are:

Medicine, Veterinary medicine, Nursing, Finance and Banking, Business Administration, Architecture, Industrial Engineering, Civil Engineering, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science, Design Studies, Biosciences and Genetics, International Relations…

The most famous universities to study a PhD in Turkey

PhD studies are possible in 166 universities in Turkey, the duration of doctoral studies is usually two or three years.

Universities in Turkey are divided into public and private universities, and all Turkish universities are subject to the Turkish Higher Education Council (YOK), which means that Turkish universities compete internationally and follow high educational standards.

Here is a list of the most famous universities to study PhD in Turkey:

  • Cankaya University: ranked 401-500 in THE 2021 Rankings of Best Universities in the World.
  • Koç University: ranked 501–600.
  • Hacettepe University: ranked 601–800.
  • Sabancı University: ranked 501–600.
  • Bilkent University: ranked 601–800.
  • Boğaziçi University: ranked 801–1000.
  • Istanbul Technical University: ranked 601–800.


The tuition fees to study a PhD in Turkey

The tuition fees of studying a PhD in Turkey ranges from 1000$ to 2000$ in public universities, while it rises to about 3000$ to 15,000$ in private universities annually.

PhD students in Turkey can also get scholarships, but since PhD tuition fees at Turkish public universities are relatively low, scholarships are usually reserved for students from countries with weaker economies.

Working conditions while studying for a PhD in Turkey

PhD Students in Turkey are not allowed to work full time, but they can find part time jobs, some of the most popular part time jobs:

  • Librarian.
  • Assistant Professor.
  • Waiters in cafes or restaurants.
  • Salesman in stores or supermarkets.
  • Private teacher for school lessons.
  • Online jobs.


Work after a PhD in Turkey

PhD students can be employed in universities after completing their PhD study.

They can also obtain a work permit and residence in Turkey, and they can also buy a property in Turkey and obtain a residence permit.

Documents needed to study a PhD in Turkey

  • Bachelor’s degree.
  • Master’s degree.
  • Master’s Thesis.
  • A copy of a passport valid for at least 90 days.
  • Recent photograph.
  • Proof of financial ability.
  • health insurance.


Frequently Asked Questions About PhD Study in Turkey

Why is pursuing a PhD in Turkey a good choice for foreign students?

Because of the high quality of education in Turkish universities, and the lower cost of education and living compared to other countries.

How long does it take to study for a PhD in Turkey?

Studying a PhD in Turkey usually takes between two to three years, and may reach five years in some disciplines.

What are the admission tests for PhD studies in Turkey?

ALES test, GMAT test, or GRE test.

Are the universities that offer PhD programs in Turkey only public?

No, public and private universities in Turkey offer different PhD programs.

What Turkish cities contain the most famous universities to study for a PhD degree?

İstanbul, İzmir, Ankara, Mersin, Kayseri city.

How much is the tuition fee for a PhD in Turkey?

Tuition fees to study a PhD degree in Turkish public universities range from $1,000 to $2,000 per year.

While the tuition fees for doctoral studies in private Turkish universities range from 3000 to 15,000 dollars annually.

Can PhD students in Turkey get scholarships?

Yes, the Turkish government and some private and public universities in Turkey offer scholarships for PhD students.

Are PhD students allowed to work while studying in Turkey?

Yes, PhD students in Turkey are allowed to work part-time, about 30 hours per week.