According to Turkish law, there are universities, faculties, institutions, and four-year schools. These schools offer degrees at four levels or stages: associate's, bachelor's, master's and doctorate.
Stage 1: Students who complete the first stage of a four-year, two-stage program earn an associate's degree. There are presently seven vocational higher schools that provide associate's degrees for international students in particular.
Stage 2: A bachelor's degree is awarded after completing four years of study. Dentistry, architecture and veterinary medicine require five years of study. Medicine takes six years, leading to the qualification of Medicine Doctor (MD). An Engineering Diploma is awarded by technical universities and higher technical institutions after four years of study.
Stage 3: A master’s degree and the Higher Engineering Diploma are awarded after two years of study beyond the undergraduate level and require the preparation and defense of a thesis. Both qualifications are considered to be the equivalent of a master's degree.
Stage 4: A doctorate or PhD degree requires two to four years of study beyond the master's and the preparation of a doctoral thesis. The Proficiency in Art degree is the equivalent of a doctorate in fine arts. A Specialist Degree is equivalent to a doctorate in medical science.
The current degree structure of Turkey's higher education conforms to the Bologna Declaration.