Skip to main content
European Commission logo
EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice
Organisation of general upper secondary education


6.Upper secondary and post-secondary non-tertiary Education

6.1Organisation of general upper secondary education

Last update: 27 November 2023

Types of Institutions

General secondary schools are educational and training institutions which give boarding or day education to junior high and secondary school education for four years. These general secondary education institutions are Science High Schools, Social Sciences High Schools, Anatolian High Schools, Fine Arts High Schools and Sports High Schools (ISCED 3). Science High Schools, in the fields of science and mathematics; Social Sciences High Schools aim to train students as scientists in the fields of literature and social sciences, Fine Arts High Schools aim to provide students with basic knowledge and skills about fine arts and to be a resource for raising qualified people in the field of fine arts, Sports High Schools provide students with basic knowledge and skills in the field of physical education and sports. aims to provide knowledge and skills, and to be a resource for training qualified people in the field of physical education and sports.

Imam hatip schools are institutions that prepare students for both profession and higher education. These schools, which offer cultural courses and Basic Islamic Sciences courses together in the curriculum, train students for all departments of universities, become a brand with their educational content, originality and diversity, and become a copyright education model of our country.

"Program Variety" applied according to the interests, abilities and career goals of students in the context of 21st century skills in Imam Hatip schools, along with Basic Islamic Sciences, Science and Social Sciences, International, Foreign Languages, Music, Sports, Traditional and Contemporary Visual Arts, Hafiz and Technology programs are available.

Geographical Accessibility

Geographical access is supported by school boarding and student transportation applications in accordance with the principles of the Regulation on Boarding, Scholarship, Social Assistance and School Pensions in Official Schools affiliated to the Ministry of National Education and the Ministry of National Education Regulation on Access to Education by Transportation.

Free boarding support includes non-refundable accommodation, pocket money and welfare payments.

In order to ensure equal access to compulsory education, student mobility is carried out (Regulation on Access to Education through MEB Transportation). According to the relevant regulation, there is no public transport service, the students will be covered in the selection of the school and the settlement of the population to be less or scattered, the number of students, the geographical characteristics of the settlement, road conditions, the student in need of access to education in a permanent or temporary residence in the settlement will meet this need. The emergence of sudden and unexpected incidents such as the absence of educational institutions or the presence of such institutions, natural disasters, epidemics, the danger of loss of life and property and or the work of repair, strengthening, disposal or treatment requires such events as migrations and seasonal labor movements might be considered such factors. In secondary education institutions, free family support is provided to the students who are deprived of their financial means in accordance with the quota determined by the Ministry.

Admission Requirements and Choice of School

Students who have completed secondary schools and religious secondary schools make the transition to secondary schools in accordance with test scores and their preferences. Application preferences, placement, and information on the enrollment are specified by the Ministry each year manually in the guides and published in the electronic media. Performance at the end of primary school (sometimes a transition examination) determines the school type or ability group to which the pupil is assigned in lower-secondary education. The pupils’ academic performance is taken into account, as is the attitude to work, learning a behavior and social conduct. As regards the choice of school the same rules apply as for the primary level.

Students are obliged to take the common exams: Science and Technology, Mathematics, Turkish, Revolution History, and Kemalism, Foreign Language, Religion and Ethics are elective exams. The students are placed by the Ministry in secondary schools in the electronic environment in line with a predetermined quota of school placement basis points and points in the direction according to these exam results. Students who are unable to settle any preferences are placed in outdoor education institutions by the system (2015 Guide of Orientation and Placement). Students into High School of Fine Arts and High School of Sports are placed in the schools through the point scale placement obtained by examination with 30% of 100 points of students and 70% of the scores obtained from the ability to test not less than 50 points.

In order to enroll in secondary schools, students must be 18 years old and who have to complete their secondary and religious middle schools. Students who move the age requirement of formal secondary schools are not registered. Registration is made based on the information in the student's e-school system. Those who are married are not enrolled. Those who get married during their education are sent to Vocational High Schools via e-School.

Age Levels and Grouping of Pupils/Students

The duration of secondary education is 4 years. It constitutes the final stage of compulsory education lasting 12 years. Officially, it begins at the age of 14 and ends at 17. Those who are older than 18 years can enroll in Open Education High Schools and Vocational Open Education High Schools. The age limit is not sought for those who have not given up on their education, but at the end of the 22-year school year, the students who are not graduated from the school will be transferred to open education institutions or vocational training centers. However, this provision is not applicable to vocational training centers students. Special education vocational training center and special education job application center is made of the records of individuals who have not received the special education needs.

In this stage, the education is given by branch teachers. The guidance teacher is responsible for helping the students with their needs related to various topics. It is essential that there are 30 students in science high schools, social sciences high schools, educational institutions implementing projects and 34 students in Anatolian technical programs for each branch of open quotas on class basis (Secondary Education Institutions Regulation, 38-2).

Organization of the School Year

School education is organized in school years, school terms, school weeks, school days and school hours. The school year begins around September and finishes around June. During the school year, pupils take a Christmas, interterm, spring, and summer holidays. The duration of holidays (summer holidays excluded), as well as the days for recreation of first-class pupils and other non-attendance days, are specified by an order of the Minister of National Education.

Organization of the School Day and Week

A school week lasts 5 days. Exceptions are permitted only if envisaged in the curriculum. The duration of a school hour is 40 minutes for all grades and breaks between school hours last at most 10 minutes. There is a lunch break only for a full-day time organization. Breaks should not be less than 10 minutes, and lunch breaks should not be less than 45 minutes. If necessary, classes may be combined. Each combined class is limited to two hours of classes.