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Short-cycle higher education


7.2.First-cycle programmes

7.2.2Short-cycle higher education

Last update: 27 November 2023

Branches of Study

Associate degree, which is at least semi-annually based on four secondary qualifications (2 years, 120 ECTS), is an higher program which aims to educate qualified manpower. Detailed information about workspaces for this section is provided by CoHE.

Admission Requirements

For the entrance to vocational colleges in accordance with the Law No. 2547 on Higher Education (2-year programs), Graduates of high schools applying a program for a profession, settling into an associate degree program in the same field to be determined by the Council of Higher Education, secondary education score is added to the points they have received from the central examinations are calculated. This score is determined by the Higher Education Council. multiplied by the score will be added. (Article 45 / d). 


According to the 2547 numbered Law on Higher Education, universities have academic autonomy in the areas of creating their own training programs, training and research services, preparation, presentation and evaluation in academic and vocational areas. Minimum and maximum number of credits that need to be taken each semester, thesis and theoretical course content are determined by the senate in line with the basic principles determined by the Council of Higher Education (Article 44 of Higher Education Law 2547/b). As stated above, the content of the academic programs within institutions of higher education is determined by the Senate. The exception to this situation is that the content of the Faculty of Education as primary school teaching program and the curriculum of teacher training are determined by the Council of Higher Education. However, undergraduate teacher training programs of the Faculty of Education were re-structured in the 2006-2007 academic year and mandatory courses stretched and 25% of the courses were given the authority to determine the courses.

Ataturk's principles and History of Turkish Language, Foreign Language, and occupational health and occupational safety and training for those who may be a specialist in Faculty of occupational health and safety are the mandatory courses. All of these courses are planned and implemented at least two years (Higher Education Law no: 2547 numbered, Article 5/i).

Teaching Methods

There is not a regulation on the selection of teaching methods at a national or institutional level. Generally, instructors are free to choose teaching methods appropriate to the course they teach. Different kinds of materials/classes/methods can be used. For example, computer-aided instruction, e-learning, etc., such as new technologies are increasingly developed. Materials and applications are paid, but the computer can be utilized free in the libraries.

Progression of Students

Each university has its own rules about passing the courses or classes issued by its own senate. The same common aspects of the common applications of passing a course or class university based on the legal framework for the preparation and the similarities are many. Students' progress in (1) preparatory classes (foreign language) and (2) interval classes can be handled in two groups. Field qualifications and credits are determined in accordance with Turkish Higher Education Qualifications Framework (THEQF). In this context, minimum and maximum credit limits to be taken each semester, compulsory and elective courses, and courses with prerequisites are determined by education regulations each university prepares. Students take courses within the limits prescribed in these regulations. A student who achieves the passing grade and provides minimum attendance is considered to be successful in the course. Courses students fail will not prevent them from moving up to a next stage or taking courses from an upper class. Students who have failed course/courses in the first semester must retake them. However, in the case of overlapping of repeated lessons with the semester course, the student may not take one of the courses as the relevant board argues/decides. There is not a difference between compulsory and elective courses. In case of failure, elective courses also must be taken again.

Excluding foreign language preparatory class, students have to complete their education, regardless of whether they make enrolment or not, in seven years for four-year programs, eight years for five-year programs, and nine years for six-year programs. Preparatory program is at most two years. However, this time at the end of year, students who graduate from educational institutions are granted two additional exams for all courses they have failed. Those who diminish their failed courses to five are given three semesters, and similarly those who fail up to five courses are given four semesters (two academic semesters based on passing grade system). Those who fail only course are given limitless opportunities to retake the exam of the course they fail. Even though they have taken passing grades from all the courses they take in order to graduate from the program, students who do not achieve required GPA are given the opportunity to retake the exam of the course they wish at the end of the semester. They are not expected to attend the courses except for those with practical applications. Students who have not taken the exam three times in a row are considered to waive their right and cannot benefit from this right. Students who have to take the limitless exams continue to pay tuition fees. However, these students do not benefit other student rights excluding examination right. Open education students are not limited to these as long as they benefit from student rights (2547 Higher Education Law Article 45/c). In addition, for associate degree graduates, not to exceed ten percent of the quota laid down in the decision of Council of Higher Education related degree programs with detachable vertical transfer quotas each year (2547 Higher Education Law Article 45 / e). Vertical Jump Test conducted by ÖSYM every year according to the degree programs are placed in areas that graduate successful students.


Although it is legally mandatory that professional consultancy is provided, there is not a structure that can be generalized for all higher education institutions. Higher education institutions are expected to help their graduates find jobs in cooperation with public institutions (2547 Higher Education Law, Article 47). Career Centers are established to provide these services in some higher education institutions. These centers or through various departments of a professional presentation meetings for students, the representatives of private sector participation in these activities are provided. In this way students and employers are trying to put together.

Student Assessment

Education principles are specified in the examination regulations based on the needs of higher education institutions, characteristics of organizations and granted diplomas based on this by each university (2547 Higher Education Law Article 43/a). The basic form of written exams of faculties and colleges in knowledge assessment is conducted unless the context otherwise requires. In addition, examinations may be written and /or verbal form. Apart from these tests, homework, projects, laboratory / workshop and so on also may affect the achievement points. This effect of the studies achievement scores is determined by a regulation issued by the university. According to Higher Education Law with a No 2547, such issues as how to carry on teaching activities by dividing how many semesters on condition that it should not exceed three semesters in higher education institutions; minimum and maximum amounts of credit to be taken in each semester; what will be the knowledge, skills and aptitudes that each diploma program will make the diploma owner attain and how to carry out assessment and evaluation; how to make the students attain foreign language proficiency through preparatory classes or by means of other ways and how to assess foreign language knowledge level; enrolment, attendance, application, the contents of thesis and theoretical courses, prerequisite courses, types of exams and their effect on course final grades; taking the views of external partner meaning the ones whose knowledge, views and experiences are needed with regard to the employment of students after graduation in diploma programs; the adjustment of the credits of the courses taken in other domestic and foreign higher education institutions; accreditation of the proficiencies attained beforehand with regard to completion of related program; making minor and double major by taking some courses from different diploma programs; internal and external quality insurance applications concerning the  continual improvement of teaching processes through practice, theory, distant and open education in order to get a diploma, and other issues with regard to the conduct of education are determined by the senates of higher education institutions in line with the basic principles determined by the Council of Higher Education (Article No 44/d). Proficiency, placement or all other tests assessing the success could be either implemented as paper based and concurrently or carried out on electronic media in a way that will allows to ask each candidate different questions in different times by gathering questions from a question bank protected in a secure way by sorting out the questions in terms of its difficulty. The principles with regard to the preparation of the questions to be asked in the exams, forming a question bank and cyphering it, saving exam questions on paper or electronic media and providing the security of the exam are all determined by the Council of Higher Education (Article 44/d).


Students who fulfill the foreseen requirements for graduation from a higher vocational education program are eligible for Associate Degree. Also, the "Licensing Regulations on Education Completion or complete non-Associate Diploma in Alma or Adaptation of" provisions are not offering double majors.

Organizational Variation

Higher education institutions are carried out in open and distance learning undergraduate programs, and accordingly the entry requirements are regulated for this program, "Access conditions" is held as part of the definition of affordable. These programs are in accordance with the theoretical part of the curriculum, and associate degrees.