PH.D. Milestones

  • The normal duration of doctoral programs is eight semesters, and the maximum duration is twelve semesters. The normal duration of integrated doctoral programs is ten semesters, while their maximum duration is fourteen semesters.
  • With the exception of suspension of registration cases; semesters of academic leave of absence, semesters taken as vacation, or semesters in which no course registrations were made shall count towards the total duration.

For doctoral programs the thesis advisor must be appointed latest by the end of the second semester.

For doctoral programs, the maximum allowed duration for successful completion of credit courses and the seminar course is four semesters.

  • Students admitted with a MA/MS Degree must take the exam latest by  the end of their 5th semester*.
  • Students admitted with a BA/BS Degree must take the exam latest by  the end of their 7th semester*.
  • Competence examinations are organized and executed by the five Doctoral Competence Committee suggested by the relevant program coordinator and approved by the Graduate School.
  • The examination jury shall be made up of five faculty members including the advisor with at least two members from an outside institution.
  • Competence examinations are administered in two parts; written and oral.
    Students who fail the exam in their first attempt may re-take the exam within the next 6 months.
  • If ‘fail’ in the second attempt, student will be dismissed from the University.
  • Not taking the exam by the latest term with a valid excuse approved by the Graduate School will be automatically considered as fail.
    *Some programs may require you to take the exam earlier.
  • All PhD students who pass their Qualifying Exams should appoint a Thesis Monitoring Jury (TIK) one month after the exam.
  • Thesis Monitoring Committee shall be formed with three faculty members (the committee shall be composed of the thesis advisor of the student, a faculty member from the same department, and a faculty member from outside the department. The second thesis advisor can attend TMC meetings on a non-voting basis.)
  • Following the appointment of your thesis monitoring committee, students must defend their thesis proposal (within six months after passing the qualifying exam).
  • If you do not pass the first attempt of your thesis proposal meeting or miss the 6 month deadline, you will receive ‘unsuccessful’.
  • You may defend / re-defended your proposal within the next 6 months.
    Students who fail to defend their proposal within 6 + 6 months following the qualifying exam will be dismissed from the  University.
  • Please note that if you have not defend your thesis proposal with a valid excuse approved by your TIK members within 12 months following the Qual Exam date, you will be automatically dismissed from the University.
  • At least twice a year, once between January–June and once between July–December, TMC meetings shall be organized and the thesis related work shall be monitored. (These meetings shall be held every six months after thesis proposal is accepted.)
  • Student’s thesis work shall be evaluated as successful or unsuccessful. The relevant form shall be sent to the graduate school within three days following the date of the meeting.
  • A student who has successfully completed the course load of the program shall complete their thesis and present it to their advisor.
  • The advisor shall submit the thesis to the graduate school, alongside their view that the thesis is ready to be defended.
  • The graduate school shall produce a plagiarism detection software report for the thesis in question.
  • The jury shall be made up of five faculty members including the advisor, three being the faculty members making up the TMC, and a minimum two being from outside the establishment. In case the advisor does not have a voting right, the jury can be made up of six faculty members. In addition, the second thesis advisor can take part in the jury without having a voting right.
  • The members of the jury shall meet within one month after the thesis in question was submitted to them, and they shall ask the student to defend the thesis.
  • The thesis defense examination consists of the presentation of the thesis followed by a question-and-answer session.
  • Thesis defense meetings are open to audiences made up of faculty members, graduate students, and experts in the field.
  • After the completion of the thesis defense, the jury shall hold a closed session and decide by majority vote to accept or to reject the thesis, or to request revisions.
  • A student whose thesis is to be revised must complete the required revisions within six months at most and must defend thesis again in front of the same jury.
  • A student who is deemed unsuccessful in this jury shall be dismissed from the University.


*It is the students’ responsibility to follow up these time-lines and submit necessary documents (forms are available below)

**All the dates on the forms must be in full. Please do not leave the date part blank.

***Also all the signatures (digital signatures are accepted) must be completed.

We kindly remind you that these are YÖK regulations and we are subject to these procedures and deadlines, which cannot be amended/extended or alternated.

For graduation process after your defense, please click here for details.