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Doctorate Degree

Receiving a doctorate degree is the next step in graduate study and generally starts after earning a Master’s degree. Doctorate study usually takes three to four years to complete. In some fields more research is needed therefore the duration can be longer. Students must complete a dissertation within their doctorate degrees and the topic selected should be unique.  After they complete their dissertation and get the approval of their university, students earn a “Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)”degree. However, there are other doctorate degrees such as the Doctor of Business Administration (D.B.A) which are given according to the field of specialization.

Doctorate degrees have two stages. In the first stage, students complete the coursework  which can be two to three years long, depending on the system at their university. After the coursework is completed there is usually a comprehensive qualifying exam that must be passed. In the second stage, students begin their research on a selected topic and write their dissertation usually under the leadership of a faculty member.
In the U.S.A. some fields such as Economics, Psychology, and Engineering allow students to apply directly to a doctorate program upon completion of an undergraduate program. These programs are called Integrated Ph.D. programs.

If you are planning to apply to a U.S. university for a doctorate program, you can also apply for scholarships. In addition to the scholarships given by schools, students whose GPA is a minimum of 3.50 out of 4.00 or 88.33 out of 100 can apply for the Doctorate Grant from our Commission. Apart from the Grants given by our Commission, students can also consider applying for Grants from The Council of Higher Education, Ministry of National Education, TÜBİTAK, Turkish Education Foundation, and other institutions and foundations.

How can I apply for Doctorate programs?

If you are planning to make self-applications to doctorate programs in the U.S.A., you may want to consult the Educational Advisers of our Commission.

Students need to pay careful attention to the following points if they are planning to pursue a doctorate degree in the U.S.A.

1. Generally, the GPA of the most recent degree you have completed should be a minimum of 3.00 out of 4.00. You need to send your official transcripts to the selected U.S. universities. If transcripts are only available in Turkish from your university, have them translated into English and then approved at The Turkish Fulbright Commission Offices.

2. Students should have good command of the English language. In addition, students should have high scores from exams like TOEFL, GRE or GMAT.

3. The other criterion for U.S. universities to accept doctorate level students is previous academic work in the chosen field such as papers and presentations, participation at conferences, awards received at the national or international competitions, and internships.

4. Students will also be required to compose a statement of purpose or personal statement in which they mainly state the field they want to specialize, why they have chosen that field, how they have academically prepared themselves for the area, and what kind of a study plan they will be attempting in the U.S.A. Apart from the CV this statement of purpose is the only document that will give detailed information about themselves and their goals therefore it is important that this be written carefully. In addition to the statement of purpose, most universities will ask for a five to ten page writing sample of students’ previous written work.

5. Each university has a different deadline, academic calendar, programs, and elective courses. When you are searching for universities, pay attention to all these factors on the department web sites. It is important that you send all your documents on time in order for the committee of faculty members to consider you application for their program. Be aware that deadlines for doctorate programs often end earlier than the master’s programs especially at some competitive schools.

6. When searching for universities, make an initial list of twenty universities you would like to attend and then shorten this list to between six and nine schools after receiving detailed information about their programs.  You can apply to as many universities as you desire, but keep in mind that each school has its own application fee.

7. If you also want to receive an assistantship from the department you are applying to, you should have a high GPA and high scores on the TOEFL, GRE, and/or the GMAT. There are more scholarship opportunities at the doctorate level than the master’s level.

8. Some universities may require an interview with you. These interviews can be conducted by an alumnus of the university who lives in Turkey or via phone or the Internet.

Universities may ask for additional documents that are not mentioned above. Therefore we advise students to check the web sites of universities carefully.