If you are interested in studying abroad, doing so in Istanbul will give you the opportunity to experience a true mix of European and Asian cultures. Istanbul basically straddles two continents and has a long history of multiculturalism. Moreover, Turkey has been aiming to attract students from all over the world to its universities, and therefore you can find a lot of low tuition universities in Istanbul. In this article, we will be looking at the cheap universities in Istanbul.

The other advantage of studying in Istanbul is that you can experience a vividly multicultural metropolis at a relatively low cost compared to European cities. The cost of living in Istanbul is low, about $500 to $600 per month.

There are numerous private as well as state universities in Istanbul, with state universities having the tendency to offer high-quality education for a cheaper fee. Here we have selected the best value options for you to consider. Please note that Turkish students are not required to pay any fees for studying in state universities unless they fail to graduate on time.

In the article below, we listed the cheapest universities you can find in Istanbul! We hope that this will help you in choosing a university.

How Much Does it Cost to Study in Istanbul for International Students?

The cost of education and living in Istanbul is low compared to other neighboring countries. Undergraduate tuition fees may start from USD 1,000 per year up to USD 4,500, depending on your degree, program, or specialization.

For the cost of living, an international student should have at least USD 500 to 600 a month. This amount can cover the accommodation, food, and travel expenses.

Check Also: Available Programs for International Students

Can International Students Have Free Tuition Fees in Istanbul?

The short answer is no. No universities in Turkey and Istanbul are free for international students. However, here’s the good news: There are a lot of universities in Istanbul that are cheap! International students can study in Istanbul with affordable education. Additionally, you can also get scholarships from these universities.

In the article below, we listed some cheap universities in Istanbul that you can consider if you’re planning to study here. Make sure to read more!

Cheap Universities in Istanbul

1. Istanbul University

Founded in 1453, this state university is by far the largest, with 7,000 members of staff and 180,000 students (across graduate, undergraduate, open, and distance learning courses).  Here you can study for a degree 100% in English or a mix of languages so that you also take some classes in Turkish, and it is open for undergraduate or graduate study with a total of 22 faculties (among which: law, economics, political science, communication, education, medicine, sciences, etc.)

The university has a historical campus as well as 12 others spread throughout the city. It also has the most international students of any university in Turkey.

Fees for international students must be obtained from the admissions office by contacting them through the website.

2. Boğaziçi University

  • International Tuition Fee: Starting from TL 14,256 (USD 973)
  • Tuition Fee Link 

Boğaziçi University is also a cheap university in Istanbul and has 4 faculties, 2 schools, and 6 institutes covering a multitude of programs and counting c. 17,000 undergraduate and 2,500 graduate students.

The university was founded in the 19th century by Dr. Cyrus Hamlin, an American from New England who came to Turkey to start a seminary for boys, where he taught until 1860. Upon meeting Christopher Robert, a wealthy merchant from New York, they agreed to establish the oldest American College outside the United States. They offer courses in Arts and Sciences, Economics and Administrative Sciences, Education, Engineering, etc. There is a School of Foreign Languages, an Institute of Biomedical Engineering, and one of Environmental Sciences. They also take pride in having an active and colorful campus life, with residential facilities and a vast array of student clubs.

Domestic students don’t have to pay tuition while, every year, the University Executive Council announces the fees for international students. Therefore, we advise that you contact them directly to ensure you obtain the right fees.

3. Üsküdar University

  • International Tuition Fee: Starting from TL 46,859 (USD 3,200)
  • Tuition Fee Link

This is a relatively young university, formally established in 2011. They are extremely focused on research in neurology and aim to contribute to global medicine through their research and use of high-tech devices and projects. The faculties at this university are Medicine, Health Sciences, Engineering and Natural Sciences, and Humanities and Social Sciences; they also offer a Vocational School of Health Services. There are 3 campuses, and you can do double major and minor programs here too.

In order to apply, you should refer to the admission criteria available online for international students. The most expensive program to study here is Medicine, at $19,500 per year. Other degrees under Communication, Arts and Sciences, etc., cost $3,900 per year. Please review these on their website to see the most up-to-date numbers for the relevant admission year concerning you.

4. Bahçesehir University

  • International Tuition Fee: Starting from TL 30,000 (USD 2,048)
  • Tuition Fee Link

Bahçesehir University’s slogan is “At the heart of Istanbul,” with its main campus right on the edge of the Bosphorus. They have a very large number of international students, and they are proud of their partnerships with universities around the world. Its programs are for undergraduate and graduate students alike. They count c. 17,500 undergraduate students and c. 8,500 graduate students across a School of Foreign Languages, the Faculties of Dentistry, Educational Sciences, Law, Economics, Communication, Architecture and Design, Engineering, Health Sciences, and Medicine. For graduate studies, they offer programs in Natural and Applied Sciences, Social Sciences, Education, and Health Sciences.

The fees at this cheap university in Istanbul for the undergraduate programs are $7,900 currently, except for the School of Medicine, which costs $25,000 per year. Graduate programs run for 2 years and cost $12,000 (total) and PhD programs cost $40,000 for a 3.5-year program.

5. Istanbul Aydin University

  • International Tuition Fee: Starting from TL 30,000 (USD 4,500)
  • Tuition Fee Link

Another private university located in the center of Istanbul, Aydin University, has the slogan “Towards a Bright Future” and boasts a vital campus, high international student percentage, and a focus on preparing students for business life “during their education life.” It was established in 2007 and offers both undergraduate and graduate programs. Today, there are c. 39,000 students enrolled across the Faculty of Dentistry, Education, Science and Literature, Fine Arts, Law, Economics, Engineering, Architecture, Health Sciences, and Medicine.

A Bachelor’s Degree costs $4,500 per year (a 4-year program), while the MA/MSc. programs are $4,500 total cost if following the same discipline as your undergraduate one, or $6,000 total cost otherwise. These programs are 2 years long. However, the Medicine program costs $17,500 per year. You can also obtain a Ph.D. over 4 years, and if studying the same discipline as your MA/MSc, the total cost for that is $8,000.


I hope that this article on cheap universities in Istanbul was helpful. Make sure to also check out the Available Programs for International Students!