Turkey is a melting pot of both Europe and Asian continents. The country is rich in cultural and historical diversity that helps develop its education system. Not to mention, Turkey is one of the cities with a low cost of living and affordable tuition fees. That is why it is hard not to consider taking a medicine program in this majestic country, which holds the two of the Ancient Wonders of the World. Let us dig dip into the medical education Turkey has to offer.  In this article, we will be looking at the best medical schools in Turkey.

Can International Students Enroll in Medical Schools in Turkey?

Yes, Turkey’s medical education is open to international students, which they even teach in English. However, the students will still need to learn Turkish, which is necessary for their clinical clerkships as most of their patients are Turkish. Some schools offer the Turkish language course, usually in the first years, which the students should pass to be eligible for clinical practice. Aside from the English and Turkish language proficiency, most medical schools in Turkey also require the following:

  • A high school diploma that proves twelve years of education.
  • Transcript of Records and Letter of Recommendation from the previous school
  • Scanned copy of your valid passport or birth certificate
  • A high GPA and excellent grades in hard sciences
  • A passing/high grade from the placement/admission exam
  • Proof of Income or Scholarship to attest that you can afford to live in Turkey

All medical schools in Turkey accept overseas students, and the few who also teach them in English are Hacettepe UniversityIstanbul University, and Ankara Üniversitesi, to name some.

Check Also: Programs in Europe for International Students

What Is the Medical Curriculum Like in Medical Schools in Turkey? 

Like most countries in Asia and Europe, Turkey’s medical schools also offer an accelerated program to become a physician, which only lasts for six years, and without taking a pre-medicine course. The following is the sample curriculum from Hacettepe University:

The medical system is divided into six phases corresponding to each year. The first phase contains the introduction to medical-related communication and professional behavior, and where basic sciences are re-visited. In the second phase, a few clinical subjects are taught, such as human biology and microbiology. Discussion of pathology, pharmacology, physiopathology, and other more complex core subjects is in Phase III. And in between these three phases, a Subject Committee Examination will be given consisting of written and practical tests.

Phase IV and V will focus on clinical clerkship in outpatient clinics, which will also have an assessment at the end. The sixth and last phase will be a paid internship where the students will provide actual patient care under supervision. After graduation, the students can only receive their diploma after a two-year mandatory local work.

Best Medical Schools in Turkey

1. Hacettepe University

The founding of Hacettepe University’s Faculty of Medicine, in 1963, was preceded by the establishment of the Department of Child in Ankara. What made their Faculty of Medicine stand out among competitors is that they integrate the scope of many fields in one subject, which shortens their pre-clinical and clinical years. As a result, Hacettepe University is the best medical school in Turkey. They also offer 30% of their program in English, which makes their medical program foreign-friendly.

2. Istanbul University

Istanbul University’s Faculty of Medicine is considered Turkey’s first medical school dated back to 1453, but it was un-established until 1827. As the first medical school in Turkey, it is the frontier of Turkey’s medical education that offers modern medical science with the latest technologies.

In 1967, due to administration and education conflicts, the Faculty of Medicine separated into two: the İstanbul Faculty of Medicine and the Cerrahpaşa Faculty of Medicine. The Cerrahpaşa Journal of Medicine is one of the leading platforms for medical publications in Turkey. They offer their medical programs in both English and Turkish.

3. Ankara Üniversitesi

After Turkey became a Republic, there was an increase in medical students that the Istanbul Faculty of Medicine can no longer accommodate. The need for another medical school was great, which resulted in the founding of the Ankara School of Medicine in 1945. And so Istanbul University’s School of Medicine is the first medical school in Turkey, but Ankara University is the first medical school built in the Republic of Turkey.

And after only a few years, it quickly emerged as one of Turkey’s best medical schools. In 2018, they launched a medical program taught entirely in English for their graduates to be able to work internationally and to attract international students as well.

4. Ege University

Opposite to the previous three universities, Ege University’s medical program only uses Turkish as the language for instruction. Their approach in medical education uses the Vertical Integration Program that is organ-based. Ege University is also one of the first medical schools in Turkey accredited by the National Medical Education Accreditation Board (TEBDAD). It is equipped with medical infrastructures and programs to provide excellent medical education such as simulated patient laboratories, specific study modules, research training programs, and more.

They are always open to international students; their first academic year in 1955 even included 20 foreign out of 90 students. However, they require non-Turkish students to pass the Turkish Language Proficiency test. A failing grade would mean that the students will have to undergo a preparatory program based on their language capacity.

5. Dokuz Eylül Üniversitesi

Ege University grew into a massive institution with many facilities and schools in different provinces. In accordance, during 1982, Ege University was divided through the Higher Education Institutes Foundation Law no. 41. Some of its facilities served as the foundation of many universities, including Dokuz Eylül University. Dokuz Eylül University is a mosaic of many facilities from Ege University, the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, and the Ministry of Culture and Tourism.

Fast-forward to the present, Dokuz Eylül university is now one of the best medical schools in Turkey, on par with Ege University. And just like Ege University, they accept international students but only use Turkish as an instruction medium.

6. Koç University

If you are interested in enrolling at Koç University, be prepared to attend their multiple campuses as they teach the first three years of the medical program in their Rumeli Feneri Campus. While the clinical clerkship at Koç University’s Training and Research Hospital is based in Topkapi. Their medical education is in English and follows a Doric order with professionalism on its dome, the anatomically-based syllabus on supporting columns, and research and public health programs at its base. This top medical school in Turkey aims to use this model in producing excellent and well-rounded doctors capable of addressing health issues of the 21st century.

7. Gazi Üniversitesi

Similar to the Dokuz Eylül University, Gazi University is also composed of different facilities from various schools. And for Gazi University, these were from Ankara High Technical Teacher and Ankara Girls Technical Higher Teacher Schools, Ankara Economic and Commercial Sciences Academy, and Ankara State Engineering Architecture Academy.

Gazi University Faculty of Medicine, one of the top medical universities in Turkey, was formerly a portion of Ankara Economic and Commercial Sciences Academy, built out of a former Emergency and Traumatology Hospital in 1979. At its early stage, the Faculty of Medicine suffered due to a lack of facilities and laboratories, which they supplied by converted barracks nearby. After years of property acquisition and educational improvement, Gazi University rises to be one of the leading institutions in medicine and the first state university accredited by the Turkish Quality Standards Institute (TQSI).


It is evident from the above list that it is not only the different cultures of Europe and Asia that converged in Turkey. Yet also the infrastructure of its many schools, to produce the culturally abundant and world-class medical schools we can now have the privilege to enroll in today. Experience the rich history and complex culture of Turkey now!


I hope that this article on the best medical schools in Turkey was helpful. If you are interested in knowing more, check out the Programs in Europe for International Students!