Determine if you are eligible for your chosen degree and program

There are a range of Master and PhD programs available at Koç University. Make sure you read in detail the specific admission requirements for your program of interest in the relevant Graduate School websites below:

Generally, faculty members are looking for candidates with:

  • Good academic performance in their bachelor and master degrees from accredited universities (demonstrated by high CGPA and class rankings)
  • Good analytical and argumentative skills (demonstrated by high GRE or GMAT exam scores and a strong Statement of Purpose)
  • Good English speaking and writing skills (demonstrated by TOEFL exam scores of 80 points on the IBT or higher)
  • Research experience gained through lab work, field work, internships and assistantships and/or other practical experience.
  • Any published research work or papers is always a plus for PhD candidates
  • Enthusiasm for learning and high potential for scholarly research and teaching

Identify a potential supervisor (for PhD applicants)

The following advice applies mostly to PhD applicants in Science, Engineering, Health Science and Business PhD programs: before submitting an application, Koç University recommends that you independently contact by email a faculty member and obtain feedback on your research topic of interest.

When identifying a potential supervisor, it is important to consider the following:

  • Research area
  • Resources (time, space, infrastructure)

Once you find a supervisor that you want to work with, it is important that you email them and meet them- either face to face or via telephone/video call - to ensure that your research interests are compatible.

You should also consider whether any of the following are important to you:

  • Personality
  • Compatible working styles
  • Support/mentoring
  • Guidance on skills development

Click here to download "How to find a PhD Supervisor at Koç University".


Prepare a strong Statement of Purpose

As part of the application process you are required to provide a Statement of Purpose. This document should be a concise and well written description of:

  • your academic background and achievements
  • your proposed area of study or research interests
  • why you are prepared for this program

When writing about your proposed area of study or research interests you should try to include a title (even if it is tentative), a statement of the research problem or topic, an outline of how you plan to address this problem, and details of your previous research or publications.

If you have ideas about possible dissertation topics, please include this in your statement. You do not need to have decided on a definite topic, but we do need to get an idea of your research interests.

Download “How to write a Statement of Purpose for Koç University PhD programs”.


Prepare your supporting documents

Before starting your online application make sure you have the following documents:

  • Resume / CV
  • Transcripts (including the grading system of institution) and GPA
  • Diplomas
  • English language proficiency test results (either TOEFL for Master's or PhD programs or YDS for Turkish applicants)
  • GRE or GMAT test scores (ALES for Turkish applicants)
  • Reference letters

Other documentation may also be required. Below is a short explanation of what each of these documents mean:

Document What is it? Important notes 
Resume / CV Personal and educational background information in an academic or professional format. Must be in English. File should be a PDF or Word document.

Highlight your academic and/or professional achievements, skills you have develop which are relevant to academic research in your field and any experiences that would make you a great researcher and teacher.

English Language Proficiency Test scores Accepted test scores:
Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)
Koç University paper based TOEFL exam score
If your native language is not English you must provide official TOEFL scores.

If you completed your undergraduate or Master’s degree at an English medium institution but your native language is not English you still need to provide the official TOEFL scores If you don’t have your scores when you submit your application you can indicate the date when you have registered to take the exam. Once you receive the results you can send them to the relevant Graduate School.
Minimum scores:

GRE (Graduate Record Examination) A graduate admissions test required by most graduate schools in the United States and selected universities in other countries.

The test results help admission committees have a common measure for comparing candidates' qualifications.
More information about the GRE here 

Graduate admission decisions at Koç University are made based on a range of factors. GRE scores are used to supplement your undergraduate transcripts, reference letters and other qualifications for graduate-level study.

Some Graduate Schools specify a minimum score they will require for shortlisting candidates. Please check carefully the relevant Graduate School website to make sure you meet the eligibility criteria.

You should plan ahead to take this exam 3-4 months before you submit your online application.

If you don’t have your scores when you submit your application you can indicate the date when you have registered to take the exam. You will be able to leave these spaces empty if your scores are not available at the time of application. Once you receive the results you can send them to the relevant Graduate School but please note that if you submit your GRE scores 1-2 months after the application deadline your admission chances diminish considerably.

Turkish applicants can submit ALES (Akademik Lisansüstü Eğitim Sınavı) scores.

Transcripts Official transcripts from all completed undergraduate and graduate degree programs, showing courses taken, grades obtained and Grade Point Average (GPA) issued by an accredited higher education institution. They should include the grading system of the institution and include a certified English translation if not originally in English. Certification can be done by a notary.

We strongly encourage applicants to submit a scanned image of the transcript at the time of application, which can speed processing; however, a final, official transcript will be required of all admitted students during registration.

Minimum GPA varies between 2.5 to 3.75 according to the program. Please check the relevant Graduate School websites to see minimum GPA requirements (if specified).

Reference Letters These should be by persons well qualified to speak from first-hand knowledge about the applicant's potential for graduate study.

References are essential in helping faculty decide whether to make you an offer of a place or not. You'll need to think carefully about who is best placed to act in this capacity for you.

Must be submitted online by the referee. The candidate only provides the name and contact detail of the referee and the Graduate School will contact them to submit the letter.

Make sure you tell your referees they will be contacted after you submit your online application and that you explain the nature and topics of research of the program you are applying to.

For PhD applications: 3 reference letters
For MA/MSc applications: 2 reference letters

Writing sample The Writing Sample could be a research paper, a chapter from your MA thesis or an article you have published. Mostly required for Graduate School of Social Science and Humanities PhD programs.

These should be in English.

Written exam


Successful performance in a written exam


Mostly required for shortlisted candidates applying to Graduate School of Social Science and Humanities PhD programs.

The exam takes place on campus and requires the applicant to write an essay type answer on a general question related to his field of interest. Grading is
based on the student’s analytical abilities, writing skills in English and general knowledge in the program topic areas.

For exceptional foreign students or residents of foreign countries, the written exam may be waived or arrangements can be made to let the student take the exam in his/her home country-institution.

Interview Successful performance in a face to face or online interview Required for all shortlisted candidates in all programs across Graduate Schools.


Submit your application online

All applications should be submitted via Gradapp

There is no need for a separate scholarship application. You only need to apply to the program(s) of your choice. Scholarship decisions are based on academic merit and not financial need. You can indicate in your Statement of Purpose if you are the recipient or eligible to one of our specific scholarship schemes. Click here for more information about Scholarships.


Important things to remember!

  • The application process is free. There is no application fee (except for Master programs in the Graduate School of Business)
  • It is important to scan your documents before starting the online application.
  • Supporting documents must be uploaded during the online process and not emailed to the university.
  • All documents must be in English or include a certified English translation.
  • Make sure you keep track of the different application deadlines and other key dates (when to expect a decision, shortlist period, etc)
  • Remember that some programs are open for admission only in the Fall term and others on both Spring and Fall terms so you might not see a specific program listed on Gradapp during the Spring application period.
  • Once you have submitted your application you can track its progress on Gradapp.
  • You will also be able to upload any additional documents required to process your application after you have submitted it online.
  • If there are any technical problems with your application you can always email the relevant Graduate School and email missing documents or information.


What happens after I submit my online application?

If you have missing documents

Make sure you send as soon as you can any missing test scores, reference contact details or any other information requested by the Graduate School.

If you have submitted all documents

You can check the status of your application on Gradapp. Please allow between 1- 2 months from the application deadline date until you hear from the administrators at the Graduate School.

If you have been shortlisted

  • The Graduate School will get in touch by email to schedule an interview or written exam (depending on the graduate program).
  • Make sure you reply quickly to their emails to make sure a possible admission offer is made earlier.
  • If within this period you are considering one or more offers from other Graduate Schools and would like to know the decision from the Graduate School please contact them and not the faculty member.

If it has been 3 months or more since you applied and you have not received an email from the Graduate School with a full or conditional offer please assume you have not been successful on this application round.

I have received a conditional / full admission offer. What should I do next?

  • If your application is successful you will be sent an offer by the relevant Graduate School which will outline any conditions you must meet.
  • Please read your offer letter carefully before accepting.
  • The earlier you let them know of your decision the better they will be able to help you in arranging your registration, accommodation, visa and other administrative procedures.
  • Some international students may require a student visa to enter Turkey. Our International Community Office (ICO) will provide all the necessary information to guide you through this process.  
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