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Application Requirements for the Graduate School of Social Sciences Doctoral (PhD) Programs

This document contains important information regarding application rules and documents to be submitted in applications for PhD programs offered by the Graduate School of Social Sciences at Sabancı University.
Who can apply?
-PhD programs in Political Science and Economics admit candidates with undergraduate or master’s degrees. PhD programs in History and Gender Studies admit only candidates with master’s degrees. Admitted candidates are expected to have completed their degrees by the time of registration for the PhD program.
-Turkish nationals studying abroad are required to obtain an equivalency certificate for their degrees from the Council of Higher Education of Turkey (YÖK) to submit at the time of registration.
-Foreign nationals studying abroad are required to obtain an approval of eligibility for their education and recognition of their institution from the Council of Higher Education of Turkey (YÖK) to submit at the time of registration. The inquiry is done by the candidate, and the relevant document for recognition is submitted to the university.
When can I apply?
-Please click here to view the application deadlines of the Graduate School of Social Sciences.
How can I apply?

  • Stage 1: The required documents listed below, and any additional documents that the candidate may wish to submit, must be uploaded to the online application system by the announced application deadline. To access the online application system, please click here.
  • Stage 2: All required documents and a printed copy of the online application receipt page must be mailed or personally delivered to the Sabancı University Student Resources Department address below:

Sabancı Üniversitesi Öğrenci Kaynakları Birimi
Orta Mahalle, Üniversite Cd., No: 27

Tuzla, 34956 İstanbul/Türkiye
-All documents must be received by the university by the application deadline.
-Documents sent by email are not accepted.
Your application documents cannot be returned before or after admissions evaluations. Therefore, you are advised to retain any originals you may later require. In the application phase, only transcripts are required to be originals. However, please bear in mind that if you are admitted, you will need to submit the originals of all required documents during registration.
What are the required application documents?
-Required application documents are indicated separately for each program in Table 1.
-To be considered, candidates must upload all required documents.
-Some PhD programs list recommended documents that may be submitted in addition to the required documents. While you are not required to submit these documents, submitting them may have an impact on the evaluation of your application.

Table 1

Required Documents

Recommended Additional Documents

Economics

1, 2, 3, 4, 7, 8, 10

5, 6, 11

Political Science

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 10, 11

6

History

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10

-

Gender Studies

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10

11

Details regarding required application documents
1. Online Application Form: Candidates may apply to multiple programs. A separate application file must be prepared for each program applied for. Please click here for the online application form.
2. Official Transcript: An official document issued by the Registrar of the candidate's previous institution, showing all courses taken and grades received by the candidate.
-Preferably, transcripts should be submitted in sealed envelopes.
-Only original documents will be accepted (no photocopies).
-Candidates applying to a PhD program with an undergraduate degree must have a minimum GPA of 3.00 out of 4.00. Graduates of universities that use a different grading system are required to submit an official explanation or a conversion table as appropriate. There is no such requirement for candidates applying with a master’s degree.
3. Two recommendation letters: Candidates are required to provide contact details for two people who will write recommendation letters.
-Under normal conditions, the writers of recommendation letters are expected to upload them to the online system. When the application is completed, a link will be emailed to the email addresses indicated in the “Recommenders” section of the online application system for them to upload their recommendation letters.
-In exceptional circumstances where submitting an online recommendation letter is not possible, letters may be mailed to Sabancı University Student Resources in sealed envelopes by the recommender or the candidate.
-A template for recommendation letters is available here.
4. One passport-sized photo: Candidates must upload a passport-sized photo to the online system.
5. Statement of Purpose: Candidates must submit a statement, written in English, explaining their intent in applying to the program. Preferably, this should be no more than two pages.
6. Sample work: The sample work submitted by candidates must be in English and no more than 30 pages. The work may be a paper, assignment, dissertation or similar writing.
7. Graduate Education Entrance Examination scores: Recognized exams and minimum scores are given in Table 2 for candidates applying to PhD programs with a master’s degree, and in Table 3 for candidates applying with an undergraduate degree. No other exams or score types will be accepted.

Table 2: For candidates holding master’s degrees

ALES/

e-ALES

GRE

GAT

Score Type

Equal Weight

Quantitative

Accumulative Percentile

Minimum Score

55

149

60%

Validity

5 years

5 years

2 years

Table 3: For candidates holding undergraduate degrees

ALES/

e-ALES

GRE

GAT

Score Type

Equal Weight

Quantitative

Accumulative Percentile

Minimum Score

80

157

60%

Validity

5 years

5 years

2 years

-The score sheet must be valid as of the candidate’s application date.
-Exam results must be announced by the application deadline. Results that are announced after the application deadline will not be considered.
-Please enter your score in the corresponding field in the online system and upload your score sheet.
-Photocopies of test results will be accepted for application purposes, but original results will be required for registration.
8. Proof of Foreign Language Proficiency: Candidates applying to PhD programs must present proof of proficiency in a language other than their native language. Candidates are expected to have obtained a minimum score in a central foreign language examination or an international examination recognized by the Turkish Council of Higher Education (YÖK), or an international foreign language exam recognized by the Turkish Measuring, Selection and Placement Center (ÖSYM). Please click here for ÖSYM-recognized foreign language tests.
-The recognized foreign language examinations and corresponding minimum scores are shown in Table 4. Other foreign language proficiency exams will not be accepted.

Table 4

TOEFL IBT

e-YDS, YDS, YÖKDİL

PTE Academic

CAE

CPE

Minimum Score

87

73

73

B

C

Validity

2 years

5 years

2 years

3 years

3 years

-The medium of instruction at Sabancı University is English. Therefore, candidates who submit proof of proficiency in a language other than English must also prove their proficiency in English. To do so, one of the conditions below must be met. Please note that this section applies only to candidates who submit proof of proficiency in a foreign language other than English.
-Candidates must submit score sheets which prove that they meet the minimum English proficiency score indicated in Table 4.
-Sabancı University graduates who apply to a PhD program will be exempt from English proficiency requirement if there is less than 2 years between the date of their graduation and their registration date for the PhD program.
-Candidates who are not exempt from English proficiency requirements and cannot present an English proficiency exam score sheet will be expected to take the Sabancı University English Language Assessment Exam (ELAE) held after the application deadline. The ELAE date is sent to such candidates by email.
-Candidates who cannot meet the English proficiency criterion will be required to complete the English preparatory year to continue their PhD program. However, there are no scholarships available for the preparatory year, and thus such candidates will be required to pay the full tuition fee.
-The Sabancı University English Language Assessment Exam ELAE Score Sheet does not qualify as a “Proof of Foreign Language Proficiency” under PhD admission requirements. However, candidates who submit proof of proficiency in a language other than English may take the ELAE to meet the English proficiency requirement.
-Exam results must be announced by the application deadline. Results that are announced after the application deadline will not be considered.
-The “Proof of Language Proficiency” requirement also applies to candidates who are Sabancı University graduates.
-Please enter your score in the corresponding field in the online system and upload your score sheet.
-Candidates who take one of the international language exams recognized by the Graduate School of Social Sciences (TOEFL IBT, PTE Academic, CAE and CPE) in Turkey must ensure that they take this exam in a building owned by a public (state) university. Exams taken in test centers or private (foundation) universities are not accepted.
-Photocopies of test results will be accepted for application purposes, but original results will be required during registration.
9. Research Plan: This outlines the candidate's intended research in the future. Research plans submitted for PhD admissions are expected to have a minimum of 1500 words.
10. Diploma for Master’s Degree with Thesis: Candidates who apply to PhD programs while holding a master’s degree will be required to submit their “master’s diploma with thesis.”
-A copy of the diploma will be accepted for application purposes, but the original will be required during registration.
-If the official transcript of the candidate indicates that the candidate has completed a master’s program with thesis, this will be enough for application purposes. However, the original diploma will still be required during registration.
-Candidates whose diplomas or transcripts do not state whether their program had a thesis requirement must obtain an official letter from their institution stating that the program which they have completed is a master’s program with a thesis requirement.
-Candidates who were registered in non-thesis master’s programs before February 6, 2013 may apply to PhD programs if they can document the date on which they were registered to the non-thesis program.
11. CV: A summary of the candidate's education and work experience.
How are the applications evaluated?
-Applications to PhD programs at the Graduate School of Social Sciences are evaluated by the admission jury of the respective program.
-Admission is finalized when recommended by the jury and approved by the Graduate School of Social Sciences, after which candidates are informed.
-Candidates may be invited to written exams or interviews. Exams and interviews will be in English.
-Turkish or foreign nationals who live abroad and cannot be interviewed in person may be interviewed over the phone or Skype.
How can I obtain more information?
You can reach the Sabancı University Student Resources Department with the contact information below:

Sabancı Üniversitesi Öğrenci Kaynakları Birimi, Orta Mahalle, Üniversite Cd. No: 27, Tuzla, 34956 Istanbul
(0216) 483 93 61
(0216) 483 90 73
studentinfo@sabanciuniv.edu

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