Frequently Asked Questions


1. How can I apply to the M.A. Program in Turkish Studies at Sabancı University?

Please follow the link to find out about the requirements for application to the program. You will notice that you must complete all the procedure online as well as send the application package as a hard copy to the Department of Student Resources. Please click for the online application guide. Please try to send all the parts of your application as one file when you are using the regular post. Applications sent via e-mail are not accepted. Do not send any material to any contact person.

Follow this link for the web admission guide for the graduate application:

You can access the online application system directly by following this link:

For the specific application overview and requirements for Turkish Studies Program please follow the following link:

2. I cannot see the program code when applying online. What is wrong?

Please check that you chose the right term for application. You cannot see the program code if you failed to do this. If you did this correctly and you still cannot see it, probably the system is not open to receive applications yet. Please try later.

3. What are the requirements for admission?

For an application overview, application form and requirements:

More information on the application process can be found in the following link:

4. What are the application deadlines?

Please follow the announcements from program website.

After an initial screening eligible candidates are invited for an interview via e-mail.

Deadlines will be posted in the academic calendar:

More information on the application process can be found in the following link:

5. I missed the application deadline. Can I still apply?

No. The online system closes on the date of the application deadline, and all required documents must be submitted during applications. Applications with incomplete documentation will not be taken into consideration. Recommended documents are not obligatory, but will be influential in the review process.

6. Do I have to take the GRE test to apply?

Turkish and international candidates should submit one of these (GRE, ALES, or e-ALES) exams’ results during application. Taking one of these exams is a YÖK (Turkish Higher Education Council) requirement. After the test date, ALES / e-ALES scores are valid for 3 years; GRE score is valid for 5 years. Applications without this documentation will not be taken into consideration.

7. Do I have to take ALES? 

As said above, Turkish and international candidates should submit one of these (GRE, ALES, or e-ALES) exams’ results during application. Taking one of these exams is a YÖK (Turkish Higher Education Council) requirement. After the test date, ALES / e-ALES scores are valid for 3 years; GRE score is valid for 5 years. Applications without this documentation will not be taken into consideration.

8. Do I have to submit statement of purpose and writing sample during the applications?

Yes. As they are required documents for this program, you should submit your statement of purpose and writing sample. They are going to be evaluated for the interview. 

More information on the application process can be found in the following link:

9. I haven’t taken TOEFL IBT, e-YDS, YDS, KPDS and ÜDS, can I take Sabancı University’s own English Language Assessment Exam (ELAE)?

Yes, you can. But candidates are required to submit their English proficiency exam scores like TOEFL IBT, e-YDS, YDS, KPDS and ÜDS during the application. Applicants who are unable to provide a valid English Proficiency Exam score can only be admitted to graduate study upon obtaining a satisfactory grade in Sabancı University English Language Assessment Exam (ELAE). Those candidates who fail to attend or get a satisfactory grade in ELAE exam are obliged to attend and successfully complete English Language Preparation course(s) in order to enroll in a graduate program. Scholarships do not apply to the English Language Preparation courses. You have to pay the full amount of tuition for the course.

10. I graduated from a college/university where the language of instruction was English OR I hold dual citizenship where one native language is English. Do I still have to take TOEFL IBT, e-YDS, YDS, ÜDS, KPDS etc?

Unless you are a native speaker, you have to prove your command of English through a standardized test, e.g. TOEFL IBT, e-YDS, YDS, ÜDS, KPDS.

11. My English is not that good. Should I still apply?

No. All required and elective courses are taught in English and the courseload is highly rigorous. The teaching language at Sabancı University is English and we expect our students to have excellent command of the language.

12. Is there a written test and if so, when will I be contacted to take the test? 

No. The M.A. in Turkish Studies doesn’t require applicants to take a written test. You will, however, be required to attend an interview if shortlisted.

13. I submitted my application, when will I be contacted to be invited for an interview?

If you are shortlisted to attend an interview, you will be contacted via e-mail or phone by one of our administrative assistants. The interview date for our program will also be announced on our website. Please check your e-mail frequently after the deadline of submission. If you are not contacted before the program interview date, you may follow your online application account for your application result.

14. I am a foreign student and I live outside of Turkey. If shortlisted, do I have to come to the interview in person?

No. Your application will be evaluated over your written application package. However, please provide your Skype account name, your e-mail address and phone number while submitting your application. If the evaluation committee finds it necessary and would like to request a Skype interview, you will be contacted to arrange a time.

15. I submitted my application early; is it possible for me to start my studies in January if I am accepted? 

No. Our program starts in September. You have to take certain introductory courses, which are only offered in the Fall Semester. Mid-year start is not allowed.

16. I submitted my application and attended the interview. When will I hear from you regarding the admission decision?

Please allow the faculty board and the administration around one or two weeks to review your application. You will be contacted via e-mail, phone call or regular post once a decision is made. Please do not call the faculty members to inquire about the decision.

17. How do I choose between thesis and non-thesis track options? How is the M.A. program structured? Where can I learn more?

All students start the program as thesis-track students. However, at the end of the second semester, they choose one of the two tracks. You do not choose one when applying. To learn more about the requirements of these tracks, see below:

Non-Thesis Program Requirements:

Thesis Program Requirements:

18. Can I get more information about the cost of the program and financial aid opportunities?

Please follow the link to get more information on fees:

If you are an international student, you can also check the following link prepared by the International Office of Sabancı University:

19. Where can I get more information on scholarships and other funding opportunities?

Please follow the links here: Scholarships are given on a merit basis. There are no fixed lines. The evaluation committee decides on the scholarships based on the lines available. Please be advised that there is a certain required amount of teaching or research assistantship required for scholarships.

20. I applied early and received my acceptance; however, I haven’t heard anything about my scholarship. When will I find out? 

In early applications, the evaluation committee might decide on your acceptance/rejection to the program, but not on the scholarship. This means that you might be on the waiting list and the decision will be given after the regular application period. In that case, you will have to wait until mid-summer to learn about the scholarship decision.

21. How do I find out about my scholarship?

You will be contacted by the university regarding a potential scholarship offer. Please do not contact the faculty members, you will be contacted once the decision is made.

22. What are the visa procedures?

Important for foreign students to remember is that they must get a student visa from the Turkish Embassy in their country, as they cannot get one in Turkey.

International candidates, in case of their admission, must obtain a Student Visa from their home countries, prior to their arrival in Turkey, in order to be enrolled at Sabancı University. They should apply to the nearest Turkish Consulate or the Turkish Embassy. Tourist visas are not accepted.

Student visa information can be found on the international office website:

23. Where can I find an overview of the program/ a program description?

By visiting M.A. in Turkish Studies Website:

24. How long will this program take me?

The program is designed to be finished in a year and a half (three semesters) for those who decide to write a thesis. There is also the option of a non-thesis track, where students are expected to finish the program in two at most in three semesters. All students enter the program under the category of “thesis track” for administrative purposes. At the end of your second semester, you are given the opportunity to choose between thesis and non-thesis tracks.

25. How is the M.A. program structured, and what does the timeline look like? How many mandatory, electives and free electives are included in the M.A.? Will I be able to draw an individual path of classes throughout the program?

The program has mandatory classes and electives. For the graduation requirements, you should look at the 17th question. 

26. What are some of the current courses offered in the program?

For an overview of current courses:

27. I'd like to do some basic reading before/during application. What readings do you advise me to read?

You can find basic readings on our website under the “resources” tab:

28. What kind of undergraduate background do students have entering the program?

Since our program is an interdisciplinary one, students from different fields are interested. We have students who studied history, International Relations, Political Science, Sociology, Psychology, Human Rights, etc. We do not require any specific background or previous course work to attend the program. However, you might want to familiarize yourself with the topic through our website to submit a strong application.

29. What is the difference between writing a thesis and doing a final project?

You don’t have to decide whether you will be doing a thesis or not until the second semester of the program, but to give you an idea what is expected you can follow the following links with the guides and specific requirements for each:

Thesis Outline Guide - 

Non-Thesis Outline Guide – 

One important thing to remember for any student wishing to pursue Phd studies in Turkey is that YÖK (Turkish Higher Education Council) has decided that it is then compulsory to follow the M.A. thesis track.

30. Where can I find a list of previous thesis works done by M.A. students?

31. How do I get to campus?

More information on arrival to campus, directions and transport from the airport:

If you need any additional information, please e-mail the International Relations Office at