Frequently Asked Questions |


If you have a question related to a specific program please check the relevant Graduate School FAQ page.

If you haven’t found an answer to your question you can reach us at



Eligibility to Graduate Programs

Q. May I apply to a program if my undergraduate degree is from a different discipline?

A: Yes, you may if you are prepared to demonstrate your interest in the discipline you are applying for. Please note that it is not enough to only state that you have an interest in the program; you need to demonstrate it through the courses taken, seminars or trainings attended, etc. Please note that you may have to take remedial courses at the undergraduate level.

Q. I have an MA/MSc degree from a non-thesis program. I am thinking of applying to a PhD program. Can I be accepted?

A. Yes, but according to the program and supervisor you might be asked to take specific courses or carry out empirical studies early in your PhD program to strengthen your research skills.

Q. Do I need a Master’s degree to apply to a PhD program?

A. No, you can apply to our PhD programs with your Bachelor degree, however, the duration of the program will be 5 years instead of 4 years. This is valid for all nationalities except for applicants from Iran.

Q. Can I study for an MS or MA degree without a thesis option?

A. We have MS and MA programs without the thesis option. Detailed information can be found at the relevant Graduate Schools’ websites. Non-Thesis Master Program tuition is determined per course, calculated as 10 % of the full year tuition. 

Q. Is work experience a requirement?

A. No. Only the MBA, Executive MBA and MSc Finance programs require candidates to have a minimum number of years of full time Professional work experience. For more details visit the Graduate School of Business website.

Q. Who should apply to the PhD programs at Koç University?

A. Interested students should desire an academic position at a top university or industry, and possess the motivation and ability to attain this goal. Admitted applicants typically have high GPAs and test scores, undergraduate degrees in a related field and research experience.

Q. What are the quotas for each program?

A. Unfortunately we do not have a policy of announcing the quotas for the programs.

Q. Where can I get the statistics on ALES/GRE/GMAT or GPA scores of prior years applicants?

A. We do not announce this type of information either.

Q. How can I get in touch with your current students or alumni?

A. We will be glad to assist you in getting in touch with our students and alumni as appropriate. Please e-mail us at

Q. Can I visit your campus and attend a class?

A. With prior notification, it is possible for candidates to visit the campus and attend a lecture. Please email us at

Q. Can you send me more information regarding a particular program?

A. Please visit the relevant Graduate School and program's website for courses and curriculum. There you can also find information about faculty members and their research areas.


How to Apply

Q. How do I apply?

A. You can only apply using Gradapp, our online application system.

Q. Can I apply on paper?

A: No – Koç University only accepts online applications made through Gradapp.

Q. Can I apply for more than one program?

A: Candidates can apply to more than one program via the online system. A separate application form should be filled out for each program to which a candidate wishes to apply.

Q. How to apply as an international student?

A: The process is the same as it is for Turkish students.

Q. What documents should I have to submit my application?

Please check the relevant Graduate School website for detailed information on the necessary documents for application. In general, most graduate programs will ask you to provide:

  • GMAT or GRE test scores (ALES for Turkish applicants)
  • TOEFL (Master / PhD) test scores (YDS for Turkish applicants)
  • An official academic transcript from every university attended
  • A statement of purpose describing your proposed area of study and why you are prepared for this program
  • 2 (MSc/MA) or 3 (PhD) letters of recommendation
  • Resume/CV
  • Samples of past work, if available (eg. publications, thesis chapters, certificates)

Q. Is there an application fee?

A: No, the application process is free for all programs except for Business School programs (eg. MBA, MIM, EMBA, etc). Please check the Graduate School of Business website for detailed information.


Contacting Faculty Members

Q. Can I contact and request information from faculty members?

A: For Science, Engineering and Health Science MSc programs: Yes, but please contact only potential faculty members you would want to work with. Please do not send general emails to all faculty members.

For Social Science and Humanities MA programs: No, please do not contact individual faculty members for personal evaluations and recommendations or ask for individual visits. We are unable to meet such requests due to the volume of applicants and also to ensure fairness among all applicants. You can find the relevant information about our programs on the Graduate School website.

All PhD Applicants: if you want to get more information about the program, please contact / (if possible) meet with only potential faculty members you would want to work with. Please do not send general emails to all faculty members.


Test Scores and Grades

Q: Should I not apply if I don’t have high GPA and/or GRE scores?

A: PhD students do not pay tuition at Koç University. To maintain high quality in our programs we wish to recruit students with high GPA and GRE scores. Students with lower test scores may be admitted, but only if they are outstanding in other admissions criteria.

Q. What test scores are needed for admission?

A: Please check the relevant Graduate School website and program website as some programs specify a minimum GRE or GMAT score whilst others don’t.

Q: I have an ALES score lower than 55 and/or a GRE Score lower than 149 - May I still apply?

A: Due to the Turkish Council of Higher Education (YÖK) regulations, one can not apply with an ALES score lower that 55 (GRE lower than 149) for MA Applications and ALES score lower than 70 (GRE lower than 153) for PhD Applications. Students applying directly to PhD with only a BA degree should have minimum ALES 80 / GRE 156

Q. If I uploaded my transcript do I also need to mail the official copy?

A: No, not at this time. We do not require an official transcript unless you are admitted to a program. If all required materials were uploaded at the time of application, you do not need to send any additional documents by mail.

Q. I am senior student in my bachelor’s program and I don’t have my last semester’s transcript at the time of application, would it be a problem?

A. You can upload your transcripts including the semester that you are in. You can submit your graduation transcript when you register.

Q. I have a GPA lower than 2.5 out of 4.00 (or 70 out of 100), may I still apply to an MA/MSc or PhD Program?

A. Please check the relevant Graduate School website for more details on minimum acceptable GPAs.

Q: My undergraduate GPA is lower than 2.5, but I completed a Master's program elsewhere with a higher GPA; may I apply?

A: Yes, if your undergraduate degree is from a discipline different than the program you are applying for.

Q. My school's grading system does not use a 1-4 scale. How do I enter my grade point average in the online application?

A: If your school has not converted your GPA for you, enter 0.00 in the GPA fields of the online application. Your GPA will be calculated from your transcripts.

Q. My GRE/TOEFL scores are not recent. Will you accept them?

A: GRE scores are valid for approximately five years from the date taken. ALES is valid for three years. TOEFL scores submitted to Koç University must be from a test taken within the last 18 months. 

Q: Can I apply without a ALES/GRE and without TOEFL/YDS scores?

A: Yes, you can submit your application to the system without your GRE (for foreign applicants) or ALES (for Turkish applicants) and TOEFL scores. You will be able to leave these spaces empty if your scores are not available at the time of application, however, please do indicate the date you are scheduled to take the exam. You must make sure to register for the earliest exam available. You need to upload your scores to the online application system as soon as they are announced.


Q. What is the required minimum TOEFL score?

A. Internet based 80, Paper based 550, Computer based 213.

Q. Do you accept other exam results such as UDS, KPDS or YDS (for Turkish applicants)?

A. We do not accept UDS scores. KPDS & YDS scores are accepted (min. 87).

Q. Does Koç University have an institutional language exam?

A. Not for external candidates

Q. I have graduated from a university where all my courses where taught in English, do you still request a TOEFL score?

A. We require a TOEFL score from all non-native English speakers because of Turkish Higher Education Council regulations.

Q. My undergraduate degree program was in English, do you still request a TOEFL score?

A. We require a TOEFL score from all non-native English speakers because of Turkish Higher Education Council regulations.

Q. Can I take the GRE/GMAT/TOEFL test more than once?

There are no limitations on the number of times these exams can be taken. Highest score attained will be considered during the application process.

Q. Is it compulsory to have the official test score sent to your institution?

A: Yes, test scores must be sent to Koç University.

Q. What are the codes for sending test scores?

A: The code is 0163 for GRE and TOEFL, and 0668 for the GMAT exam.

Q: I can’t see if my official tests scores were received.

A: Unfortunately, this information can’t be checked through application status. We receive tests scores from ETS for TOEFL and GRE exam scores via mail. If you have requested that your scores be sent to Koç University, they will be mailed to us. The school code for Koç University is 0163 for GRE and TOEFL, and 0668 for the GMAT exam.


Q. What is YDS?

A. YDS is a national "English Proficiency Exam" that is applicable only Turkish citizens.

Q. What is GRE?

A. GRE is an international graduate admissions exam and stands for “Graduate Records Examination”. A GRE result is required from all international applicants. You can see more information about the GRE test here:


Recommendation Letters

Q. How many recommendations do I need?

A: Applicants for MA/MSc programs need 2 (two) and Applicants for PhD programs need 3 (three) recommendation letters from faculty or others qualified to evaluate your potential for graduate study.

Q. Who should I ask to be my recommenders?

A: At least one evaluation and letter should be from a faculty member from the last school you attended as a full-time student (unless you have been out of school for more than five years). Substitutions for faculty recommendations may include work associates or others who can comment on your academic potential for graduate work.

Q. How are the letters of recommendation submitted?

A: Recommenders are to submit the letters online - not by mail, fax or e-mail. When you enter the names and email addresses of your recommenders in the online application, they will receive a message with instructions on how to submit their recommendations directly to Koç University. If you have any questions, contact the relevant Graduate School.

Q: My recommender cannot log in to the site.

A: Please note that older web browsers are not supported by our online application platform and could prevent access. The following browsers are supported:

  • For Windows: Chrome, Firefox v3.6+, Internet Explorer v6+,Opera v9+,Safari v2+
  • For Mac OSX: Chrome, Firefox v3.6+, Safari v2+


Q: My recommender did not get a confirmation that the letter was successfully submitted.

A: All recommenders receive confirmation mail if the forms are successfully submitted. If they have not, there may have been a problem in the system or in their mailing service.

Q: I submitted my application in time but the recommender will not finish before the deadline. Is this okay?

A: The recommender can submit the recommendation one or two days after the deadline. However, you must make sure that your application is submitted by the program deadline. Your recommenders can submit their recommendations after you have submitted your application as well.


Statement of Purpose

Q. Which language should I use to write the statement of purpose letter and my CV?

A. You should write both of them in English.

Q. What is a Statement of Purpose? Is it the same as a research proposal?

A. Please see the detailed guide on the “How to Apply" section.


Written Exam (Graduate School of Social Sciences and Humanities only)

Q. Who takes the written exam?

A. All applicants to some GSSSH MA programs (with thesis) and all PhD students take a written exam. Please check the Graduate School of Social Sciences and Humanities website for more details.

Q. What is the written exam composed of?

A.Students are given an empirical article and asked to answer questions on that article. The questions are mostly going to be about conceptualization of the research question and an evaluation of the research design and findings.



Q. Do you invite every applicant to an interview?

A. No, only short-listed candidates are invited to the interview.

Q. How are interviews arranged?

A. The relevant Graduate School will be in touch by email or telephone to schedule an appropriate time for a interview in person or by telephone/Skype with the relevant faculty member.


Application Deadlines

Q: What is the difference between early, late, and regular applications dates?

A: The program will start evaluating all applications received by the early application deadline. If the program hasn’t filled its quotas, then they will evaluate the applications received after the early application and before the regular application deadline. In order to be considered for the early application, the application package must be fully completed by the early application deadline, including the reference letters and test scores.

Q. What is the advantage of applying early?

A. Your chances of acceptance may be higher due to the quotas not being filled at the time of your application.

Q. What is the application deadline for the program?

A. Generally, for Fall admission the application deadline each year will be between April and June. For Spring admission the application deadline each year will be in December (for the programs open for Spring admission only). However, please check the relevant Graduate School website for up to date information on Spring and Fall admission application deadlines.




Q. What are the scholarship benefits? What does the scholarship cover?

A. Please check the relevant Graduate School website for detailed information on the scholarship benefits. In general the scholarship for admitted PhD students will include:

  • Tuition fee waiver
  • Monthly stipend
  • Accommodation in shared graduate student apartments near campus or housing allowance
  • Health insurance
  • Office space and laptop computer
  • Coverage of thesis-related expenses

Other benefits may include: meal pre-paid card, travel awards, research awards. For admitted MA with Thesis and MSc with Thesis admitted students the nature of scholarships offered will be decided on an academic merit and competitive basis and may include full or partial tuition fee waiver, housing, health insurance, monthly stipend and other benefits.

Q: I am an international student. Will I be eligible for Koç scholarship and benefits?

A: Yes. There is no difference between international and Turkish students with regards to scholarship eligibility.

Q. I am a citizen of “X” country. Are there country specific scholarships?

A. We provide full or partial scholarships to national and international students based on academic merit and potential, and not on the basis of citizenship. There are a number of agreements the university has established with scholarship awarding bodies in different countries which might mean a different type of scholarship is available. For more details please visit the Scholarships page.

Q. Do you provide scholarships based on financial need?

A. We provide full or partial scholarships to national and international students based on academic merit and potential only. For more details please visit the Scholarships page.

Q. What is the monthly stipend?

A. A monthly stipend is an amount of money the university provides an admitted graduate student to cover living expenses that are not already covered by the university. Please check the Financial Aid or Scholarships page of the relevant Graduate School for detailed information on monthly stipends for graduate students.

Q: How can I receive a monthly stipend?

  • Social Science and Humanities: see the Financial Aid section. Scholarships will be allocated on competitive basis. Students who have higher GPA and ALES/GRE scores stand a better chance to receive scholarships than those with lower GPA or ALES/GRE scores. 
  • Science and Engineering: ail admitted students receive a monthly stipend.
  • Health Sciences: all admitted students receive a monthly stipend.
  • Business: only PhD in Business Administration admitted students are eligible to receive a monthly stipend in addition to the tuition fee waiver.

Q: Are there scholarships available for the MBA program and how can I apply for it?

A: The Koç Graduate School of Business offers a limited number of scholarships to 12-Month MBA applicants only. Applicants to scholarships must complete the regular Koç MBA application form and an additional personal statement. Koç MBA Scholars are selected on the basis of merit and financial need. Through academic and business life accomplishments, they must demonstrate exceptional leadership skills, unusual intellectual curiosity, academic excellence, service to the community, and the drive to excel. A Koç MBA scholarship covers full or partial tuition. It is not on a repayment basis. The student is required to remain in good academic standing throughout the program for the continuation of the scholarship. For more information please visit the Graduate School of Business website.




Q. When will I hear whether I have been accepted?

A: You will be notified by email by the relevant Graduate School. This will take between 8-12 weeks after the early and regular application closing dates, depending on the Graduate School.

Q. How can I check if I have been accepted?

A: You can check your application status on Gradapp. If after 3 months the status has not changed you can email the relevant Graduate School but please assume this might mean your application has not been successful on this occasion.




Q: May I start the program in the Spring term?

  • Science and Engineering PhD programs: Yes.
  • Science and Engineering Master programs: Yes.
  • Social Science and Humanities PhD programs: Yes, but please check the applications page as only some programs admit students during the Spring term.
  • Social Science and Humanities Master programs: Yes, but please check the applications page as only some programs admit students during the Spring term.
  • Health Sciences: No.
  • Business: No, admissions are only for Fall term.

Q. Is attendance to the courses mandatory?

A. Yes.

Q. Can PhD programs be done as part-time or distance format?

A. There are no part-time or distance PhD programs at the university. We offer some graduate programs on a Modular format such as MBA, MSc Finance, LLM and EMBA programs.

Q. Are there any classes in the evenings?

A. No, all classes are during day time. Only modular programs in the Graduate School of Business offer evening and weekend classes.

Q. I have an undergraduate degree in the same field as my chosen Master or PhD program. Do I have to take all the courses in the program curriculum or can I transfer course credits from my previous education?

A. All core courses are compulsory for all students regardless of their undergraduate or graduate degrees.

Q. How can I see the course schedules?

A. Course schedules may change every semester. However, you can visit the program’s own website to see which courses they offer.

Q. What is the academic calendar? Where can I find it?

A. The academic calendar shows the important dates and deadlines that are relevant to university life in a specific academic year, which in Koç University usually starts in Fall. You can find it in our Registrar’s Office page here.


Q. How long are the graduate programs?

Graduate Program Program Duration
MA/MSc without Thesis 1 year (2 semesters)
MA/MSc with Thesis 2 years (4 semesters)
PhD 4 years
MA/MSc leading to PhD 5 years
MBA 1 year (12 months)
Modular MBA 2 years (24 months)
MSc Finance 1 year (12 months)
MIM / CEMS MIM 1 year (2 semesters)
EMBA 1 year (2 semesters)


Q. What is the tuition?

Graduate Program Tuition Fees / Scholarships (On Campus Accommodation not included)
MA/MSc without Thesis 63,400 Turkish Lira/year (approximately 17,000 USD) for 2017-18 Academic Year
MA/MSc with Thesis Full or partial scholarships are available – please see the Scholarships section
PhD Full tuition waiver scholarships – No tuition
Business programs (MBA, MIM, EMBA, Finance) Check here for detailed program tuition


Q. Is teaching required for PhD programs?

A. Yes, because it is important to demonstrate teaching effectiveness on the academic job market. Students may be asked to teach one undergraduate course before they graduate or work as Teaching Assistants (TA) each semester. 

Q. How many hours a week do I have to work as a teaching or research assistant?

A. Please check the relevant Graduate School website for more details.

Q. Can I work somewhere else while I am an MS or PhD student at Koç University?

A. This is not possible for the students who receive a scholarship. Students who receive tuition fee waiver but no monthly stipend can work during their studies.

Q. How much are the living expenses? Is it cheap or expensive to live in Istabul?

A. Istanbul is an affordable city for students in terms of food and transportation. Rental accommodation prices vary significantly according to neighbourhoods. The table below is meant to provide an estimate of monthly and annual expenses for an average Master student. Please note that most of our graduate research students receive free university graduate accommodation or a monthly housing allowance, in which case you can substract the accommodation costs from the monthly costs.

Item Cost per month in Turkish Lira Cost per month in EUR Cost per month in USD Total per year in Turkish Lira Total per year in EUR Total per year in USD
University graduate accommodation (shared apartments with shared bathroom) (2100 TL per semester) 525 TL 148,24 EUR 159,56 USD 6.300 TL (3 semesters) 1.778,88 EUR 1.914,72 USD
Food, transportation, miscellaneous (Calculated with Numbeo service for Istanbul, excl. Accommodation - 1.419 TL 400,68 EUR 431,26 USD 17.028 TL 4.808,16 EUR 5.175,12 USD
Health Insurance (required for all international students for residence permit purposes) 58 TL 16,38 EUR 17,63 USD 700 TL* 196,56 EUR 211,56 USD
TOTAL (figures have been rounded up) 2.000 TL/month 600 EUR/month 610 USD/month 24.000 TL/year 6.800 EUR/year 7.300 USD/year

*Estimate is subject to change based on nationality, age and other factors.

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