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civil engineering masters in turkey

Last Updated on August 12, 2023 by Oluwajuwon Alvina

A Masters in Turkey has plenty to offer adventurous international students, with historic universities and a long tradition of intellectual exchange. Turkish universities are attractive for more practical reasons too, with relatively low fees for its postgraduate programmes.

This page provides a complete introduction to Masters study abroad in Turkey, with information on universities and courses and advice on fees, applications and student visas.

Postgraduate opportunities in Turkey – what’s on offer for 2022?

Situated at the crossroads of Europe and Asia, Turkey is certainly one of the more exotic and exciting destinations for postgraduate study in Europe. In fact, the country has always played an important role in the exchange of eastern and western ideas.

Some of its universities date back to the fifteenth century, when Turkey was the seat of the Ottoman Empire: a transcontinental civilisation that prided itself on its scientific and philosophical innovations (several important concepts in mathematics and astronomy owe their origin to Ottoman thinkers).

  • Global outlook – Turkey is an important hub for intellectual exchange and international scholarship. As a candidate for EU membership, the country is also a full participant in the Bologna Process, with estimates suggesting that around 120,000 foreign students enrol in the country each year.
  • Unique academic opportunities – Postgraduates are attracted to Turkey by modern advanced research facilities and archives of historical material unavailable elsewhere in the western world.
  • Location – Turkey’s Mediterranean climate, beautiful architecture and diverse geography make it an attractive study abroad destination.
  • Affordability – Tuition fees and living costs are comparatively low across Turkey.
Masters Study in Turkey – Key Details
Universities166
Oldest UniversityIstanbul University (1453)
International Students154,505
Course Length1-2 years
Typical Fees (International)€120-705
Academic YearOctober to July

Study in Turkey

Higher Education in Turkey

Higher education at universities includes bachelor’ s, master’ s, doctoral degrees. In addition to the master’ s degree, a Higher Engineering Diploma is also awarded which is the equivalent of a master’ s degree. Both degrees require a thesis be completed and defended. Universities are divided into two types, with 104 state universities and 62 private universities. Turkish universities are held in high regard, with 5 schools in the top 400 world-wide, according to the 2012  “”=””>Times Higher Education World University Rankings.

Why Study in Turkey?

Students pursuing master’ s degrees in any academic discipline will find a safe, welcoming and rewarding multicultural environment that is a bridge between western and middle-eastern cultures. Turkish higher education institutions are known for high quality relative to low tuition and many programs are taught in English. Non-English speaking students who attend traditional programs will also find many opportunities to learn the English language as they complete their primary studies.

Universities in Turkey

Programs at state universities are generally taught in Turkish, although some programs are taught in English, German or French. Students not proficient in Turkish who enter Turkish programs can take one year of language training before pursuing their studies. Most international programs are taught at private universities, where the language of instruction is mostly English. Private universities are also known as foundation universities.

Currently about 30,000 international students are enrolled in education programs in the country; however, Turkey has a goal to increase that number to 150,000. Although most academic disciplines are available, popular programs for international students are International Relations, Eastern Mediterranean Studies, Multicultural Affairs Studies, Engineering, Business Management and Hospitality.

Tuition and Program Duration

Tuition per semester at state universities where instruction is in Turkish is about $100-$200 (US) for Turkish nationals and students from Azerbaijan, Bashkortostan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Dagestan, Karachay-Cherkessia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Macedonia, Mongolia, Moldova, Nakhchivan, Uzbekistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Tartarstan, Turkmenistan, and Ukraine. International student tuition per semester at state universities where instruction is in Turkish is about $300-$600 (US). Tuition is about 1.5 to 2 times higher at state institutions where instruction is in English.

Annual tuition at foundation universities is typically $6,000 (US) to $20,000 (US); however, foundation universities also provide many students with scholarships that cover 30 to 40 percent of their tuition.

Most master’ s degrees take two years to complete, but this varies by program and institution.

To help defray costs, international students may find employment with a university as a researcher; however, international students do not have a right to work in other organizations within the public or private sector.

Academic Year

The academic year in Turkey is based on two semesters and runs from October until June.

Post-Graduate Opportunities

After graduation, international students may find opportunities for employment as researchers or on the staff at universities, especially universities with programs taught in English. Turkish students and international students with good Turkish language skills will find opportunities available in other industries as well. Non-Turkish citizens will need to obtain a work permit once they have been offered a job.

Turkish universities

As is common throughout Europe, Turkish higher education providers may be either public or private institutions.

Public universities (Devlet Üniversiteleri) are founded and administered by the Turkish state. These institutions account for the majority of enrolments (around 75% of the total) and will generally provide the widest range of Masters programmes in different fields.

Private universities (Özel Üniversiteleri) are established and administered as independent institutions, on a non-profit basis. They are sometimes referred to as ‘foundation universities’, having been established by groups seeking to conduct research or training in specific areas or through specific external partnerships. Some also operate in association with overseas universities or employ international experts.

As a prospective Masters student in Turkey you can study at either a public or private university, depending on the opportunities available in your subject area. Private universities will usually charge higher fees, but this cost may be offset by unique partnerships and opportunities that are unavailable at public institutions.

Turkish university rankings

Several Turkish universities feature among the top 600 in the world, according to the Times Higher Education and QS World University Ranking systems.

UniversityTHE 2022QS 2022ARWU 2021
Cankaya University401-500
Koç University501-600511-520
Sabancı University501-600541-550
Bilkent University601-800591-600
Hacettepe University601-600801-1000701-800
Istanbul Technical University601-800701-750901-1000
Middle East Technical University601-800551-660901-1000
Information in this table is based on the latest Times Higher Education World University Rankings, QS World University Rankings and Academic Ranking of World Universities. Visit their websites for more information.

Course types

The academic year in Turkey takes place across two semesters, from October to January and from February to July. A two week holiday period usually separates these teaching sessions, with a longer summer vacation between July and October. Most full time Masters programmes commence in October, but other options may be available for part-time students or on courses that allow entry in the second semester.

A Masters in Turkey (Yüksek Lisans Diplomasi) usually takes around two years to complete, encompassing 120 ECTS credits. You will enrol in a series of modules delivered in specific semesters, with the assessment of these individual components contributing to your final grade.

The majority of Turkish Masters degree programmes also require you to produce an individual thesis in the second half of your second year. This is usually be submitted for an examination, which will be conducted orally in a similar manner to the defence of a PhD thesis. This may seem intimidating if you are used to education systems in countries such as the UK, where most Masters dissertations are simply marked and returned, but don’t let it worry you. By the time you’ve completed your degree and written your dissertation you’ll be confident in your expertise and the examination should provide an opportunity to show off your knowledge in a stimulating intellectual discussion. Plus, undergoing an oral examination as part of your Masters degree is an excellent preparation for further academic work – an opportunity not many students get before they begin a PhD.

Some Turkish Masters courses don’t involve a written thesis, instead requiring students to complete a vocational project.

Masters fees and funding in Turkey

Fees for Masters degrees in Turkey can be quite variable. As a general rule you can expect costs to be higher for courses in English and for private universities to charge more than public universities. Programmes in English at public universities will cost between €120 and €705 per year for international students.

Costs at private institutions can be significantly higher.

Funding

Funding to study a Masters in Turkey is available, with the Turkish government offering various scholarships for international students. Eligibility for this will depend on your country of origin, with students from developing nations in Africa and Asia often prioritised over those from wealthier European or North American countries.

Many universities also offer maintenance support or fee waiver scholarships to some of their own students. Eligibility for these may be determined according to academic merit and / or financial need. Information about such funding may be advertised on university websites or made available upon request.

Turkey also participates in the Erasmus exchange programmes run by the European Commission, having recruited over 5,000 international students this way so far.

Applying for a Masters in Turkey

Turkish universities carry out their own admissions and you should therefore contact institutions directly to enquire about their process. As a minimum you should be able to provide evidence of existing undergraduate qualifications in a relevant subject area. Recognition of degrees will usually be a simple process, particularly if you 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.

Other applications procedures are at the discretion of universities, but it is not uncommon for Masters students to be invited to interview. Information on requirements and dates will usually be posted by institutions in advance. If you are likely to have difficulties with travel or accommodation you should contact your institution early and ask for advice.

Entrance examinations

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

The test used within Turkey is the Entrance Examination for Academic Staff and Graduate Students (ALES). Many Masters programmes will require applicants to achieve a score of at least 50-55 on this test, with better results potentially increasing your chance of admission to more competitive places or of winning merit-based scholarships. The content of the ALES is designed to confirm that prospective students possess the basic skills and competencies needed to successfully complete a postgraduate course. It isn’t intended to trip up applicants and shouldn’t be a concern for students who are otherwise prepared for Masters-level study. The body responsible for administering the ALES is ÖSYM.

Some institutions may accept international tests such as the GMAT or GRE in lieu of the ALES. As a rule, scores of 450 or 610, respectively, will be recognised as equivalent to a passing ALES score. Read our guide to graduate admissions tests.

Language requirements

Some Masters programmes are taught wholly or partly in English and this trend is increasing at newer universities seeking to attract more international students. Where a programme is taught in Turkish you will usually be asked to take a Turkish language test as part of your admissions process.

If you are applying for an English-language programme and English is your second language you may need to take a proficiency test. ÖSYM offers its own tests for this purpose, but Turkish universities may also accept international tests such as TOEFL or IELTS. Find out more about common English language tests for international students.

It’s worth learning some Turkish regardless of the specific requirements on your course. Acquiring foreign language skills is one of the many advantages of postgraduate study abroad and a great way of reflecting this experience on your CV.

Popular degree subjects in Turkey

Higher education in Turkey is not that much different from what you’ll find in the European Union (EU) Bologna system. It is organised on 3 levels: Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Ph.D.

Regardless of the degree type you are after, you can choose to study at one of the 104 public universities and 62 private ones. Some universities which offer English-taught study programmes include:

  • Sabanci University
  • Istanbul Okan University
  • Istanbul Aydin University
  • TED University (TEDU)
  • Bilkent University
  • Koc University
  • Istanbul Sehir University

What is important to know is that each year the Turkish government establishes a fixed number of places for foreign students for each programme, which you should check to estimate your chances of being accepted (the smaller the number of places, the higher the competition).

how to apply to a Turkish university

University admission requirements and application documents

If you’ve found your study programme in Turkey, the next step is to check the requirements to apply for that degree. While you should always check the exact criteria on the programme website and see if you meet them, there are also some general conditions you have to fulfil.

Applying for an undergraduate degree in Turkey

If you intend to do a Bachelor’s degree in Turkey, you will need to have graduated from high school or be about to graduate. The next documents should be on your list:

  • Application form
  • High school diploma (or a paper certifying you will graduate)
  • Transcript of records
  • Language proficiency score (TOEFL or a university’s proficiency test upon arrival)
  • Motivation letter
  • Proof of application fee payment (35-100 USD)
  • A certificate attesting you had a secondary school exit exam (e.g. SAT 1, International Baccalaureate, National Baccalaureate, etc.)
  • A letter which guarantees you have the financial funds to support yourself during your studies

The general deadline for submitting your application documents is before the 1st of August.

Applying for a graduate degree in Turkey

If you want to pursue a Master’s degree or a Ph.D. programme in Turkey, you will also have to check the specific requirements on each programme website. You can surely expect some of the following documents to be listed:

  • Application form
  • Bachelor’s or Master’s diploma
  • A statement of purpose (presenting your project and motivation)
  • An updated CV
  • Reference letters from professors and employers
  • Transcript of records  
  • Graduate exam scores (depending on the programme: GRE or GMAT)
  • Language proficiency score (TOEFL, or a university’s proficiency test upon arrival)
  • Written exams and/or interviews
  • A letter which guarantees you have the financial funds to support yourself during your studies

There are typically two application deadlines for graduate programmes:

  • For the fall semester: end of May
  • For the spring semester: end of December

Application and the university admission response

Once you have all your papers in order, you can submit your application. Note that even if you apply online, you will also have to send the documents via post before the deadline. Also, if you have an entrance exam or interview, you will need to travel to Turkey to attend them.

 If you have these points covered, you’ll just have to wait a bit. Tick-talk, tick-talk … until:

  • Mid-August: if you are applying for a Bachelor’s
  • Mid-September: if you’re applying for a Master’s or Ph.D.

The acceptance letter will also come with info about the next steps you have to take to claim your spot, such as paying tuition fees or applying for a student visa at the nearest Turkish Embassy or Consulate.

Scholarships for International Students 2021

International Scholarships are scholarships meant for students from all or selected regions of the world to study in a foreign country.

This includes International Undergraduate Scholarships, International Masters Scholarships, International PhD Scholarships, International Fellowships, etc.

If you are a bright, talented, or motivated international student, the best scholarships are for your taking.
World Scholarship Forum popular searched Scholarships 2021

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List of Scholarships for International Students 2021

Here are some selected Scholarships for International Students in 2021. Others can be found below. Just take your time and go through these scholarships.

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  • APPLY Korean Government Scholarships for 170 Bachelors, 800 Masters & PhD for Developing Countries 2021
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  • New Zealand Aid Programme Scholarship for African Countries, 2021
  • Top 10 UK Scholarships 2021 For International Students
  • 230 Fully-funded Commonwealth Shared Scholarships for Students from Developing Countries
  • Fully Funded Canadian Government International Scholarships, 2021
  • TOP 15+ Scholarships Opportunities for Africans to Study Abroad 2021
  • 18 fully funded scholarships for developing countries 2021
  • Top 20+ commonwealth scholarships 2021
  • List of Mastercard Foundation Scholarships 2021 for Various Countries[Apply Now]
  • Joint Japan/World Bank Scholarship 2021 Application Is Ongoing! 
  • Shanghai Government Scholarship for International Bachelors, Masters and PhD Students

A variety of qualifications can be considered for direct admission to undergraduate bachelor degree programmes. All applications for undergraduate programmes should be made through UCAS.

A Level
Applicants with a minimum of 3 A levels will be considered for direct admission to undergraduate programmes.

International Baccalaureate
International Baccalaureate diploma holders will be considered for direct admission to undergraduate programmes.

Required scores and subjects vary from course to course and can be found in our online prospectus.

Turkish High School
Applicants from Turkey may be required to undertake a foundation course, unless they attend a school approved for direct entry to our undergraduate programmes (in which case a high final year GPA will be required and advised according to the schools grading system).

US Qualifications
Sudents applying for Turkey with US qualifications will be required to reach the same entry levels as American applicants.

Undergraduate pathway programmes at the University of Sheffield International College

The University of Sheffield International College provides International Foundation Year programmes specifically for international students who want to progress to the University of Sheffield. Upon successful completion, students can progress to an undergraduate degree. Students can choose to study an International Foundation Year in the following subjects:

● International Foundation Year in Business, Social Sciences and Humanities

● International Foundation Year in Science and Engineering

● International Foundation Year in Dentistry


Postgraduate Taught Programmes e.g. MA, MSc, MBA

Holders of a good bachelor degree from a recognised university in Turkey with typically a GPA of 3.0 will be considered for direct admission to postgraduate diploma or masters programmes. However, this will be considered alongside the University ranking and overall quality of the application.

Entry to MBA

Holders of a good bachelor degree from a recognised university in Turkey and at least 3 years post-graduation work experience in a relevant role will be considered for direct admission to the MBA.

Postgraduate pathway programmes at the University of Sheffield International College

The University of Sheffield International College provides Pre-Masters programmes specifically for international students who want to progress to the University of Sheffield. Upon successful completion, students can progress to an postgraduate degree.Students can choose to study a Pre-Masters in the following subjects:

● Pre-Masters in Business, Social Sciences and Humanities

 Pre-Masters in Science and Engineering


Postgraduate Research Programmes e.g. MPhil, PhD, PhD with Integrated Masters

Holders of a good bachelor degree and a good masters degree from a recognised university in Turkey will be considered for direct admission to postgraduate research programmes.

If you are in any doubt about whether you are eligible to study at Sheffield, please contact the Turkey Team.

Masters Programs in Interior Design in Turkey 2022

A masters is the first level of graduate coursework and can be obtained after you receive a bachelor’s degree. Earning a masters usually requires two years of full-time study, which amounts to 36 to 54 semester credits.

The field of interior design combines technical skills with creative vision in order to create working and living spaces in residential or commercial structures. An interior designer brings design concepts and functional needs to fruition to enhance any indoor environment.

Top Master Programs in Interior Design in Turkey 2022

Master’s Degree Course in “Architecture – Interior Design and for Autonomy” in English with the Okan University of Istanbul / TURKEY

University of Campania "Luigi Vanvitelli"

University of Campania “Luigi Vanvitelli”Istanbul, Turkey +1 MoreAs part of the two-year study course in “Architecture_Interior Design and for Autonomy” in English, Master’s Degree in class LM-4 Architecture and building engineering-architecture, the Department of Architecture and Industrial Design “Luigi Vanvitelli” (DADI ) has entered into two international agreements for the establishment of two Double Titles, one in 2015 and the other in 2016

The first, in Architecture, with the Faculty of Engineering and Architecture of the Okan University in Istanbul, was regularly activated in the AY 2015/16 with the first exchange of students in the two semesters of the 1st year; the second, in Architecture and Fine Arts, will be activated starting from AY 2017/18 with the School of Design of the East China Normal University (ECNU) in Shanghai.

The first offers students the opportunity to obtain a Double Master’s Degree, i.e. a double master’s degree in Architecture. Okan University, one of the most dynamic and young universities in Turkey, was founded by the Okan Culture, Education, and Sports Foundation in 1999 and began its academic life in 2003-2004. Rapidly growing, it has reached a student body of 17,000 and includes 8 faculties in its 15th year. Okan University aims to build a bridge between academia and the business world by allowing students to work in companies as part of their undergraduate education, starting in their first year. To this end, it has entered into cooperation protocols with important exponents of the country’s business world. The Turkish university actively participates in intense European and international exchange programs. Okan headquarters is the modern campus in Akfirat with fully equipped classrooms and laboratories, a library, conference rooms, a fitness center, a swimming pool, gyms, canteens and restaurants and dormitories for students and female students. There is also a sports center, which includes a 400-person gym, swimming pool, tennis, basketball, volleyball and football courts. In particular, the Faculty of Engineering and Architecture has 11 Departments including the Department of Architecture and that of Urban Design and Landscape Architecture. The two-year course; provides for a training course designed together with the Turkish university with a mobility period of one semester in the first year; involves the release, at the end of the study period, of a Double Degree in Architecture. The thesis will be elaborated with two supervisors, one from SUN and the other from OKAN.

RECIPIENTS AND GRANTS

At the International Master’s Degree Course in “Architecture_Interior Design and for Autonomy” (APIA in EN) activated in partnership with the Faculty of Engineering and Architecture of the Okan University of Istanbul and with the School of Design of the East China Normal University of Shanghai , three-year graduates in Architectural Sciences (Degree Class L17) and all those who have obtained a first level degree in other classes (such as L04 – Class of Degrees in Industrial Design) can access, after having filled any training credits , to consolidate the preparation of future architects. To this end, the Department of Architecture and Industrial Design will activate, from the beginning of the next academic year, “remedial courses” to facilitate access to the APIA course. The Degree Program is locally programmed, therefore graduates from other Degree Classes other than L17, will not have to take the admission test required for nationally programmed Architecture Programs. In order to access the CdS, candidates must demonstrate knowledge of the English language (at least level B19 by showing suitable certification or by taking a test at the Department headquarters.

Those who decide to enroll in the International Master’s Degree Course in “Architecture_Design of the Interior and for Autonomy” (APIA in EN) will be able to apply for the scholarships allocated annually by SUN. Part of these scholarships are reserved for foreign students.

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