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Ankara University > Graduate Study > Doctoral Degree

Doctoral Degree

Objectives and Scope
• The objective of the doctoral education is to equip the students with the ability to conduct independent research and the skills to study and analyze scientific events from a wide and profound perspective, and identify new steps to be taken to reach new syntheses. The dissertation to be prepared at the end of doctoral study should fulfill at least one of the requirements stated below:
- introduce some new aspects in the field,
- develop a new scientific method,
- apply a known method to a new field.
• Doctoral program consists of minimum seven courses having at least 21 credit values in total, seminar, proficiency examination, and dissertation proposal and dissertation study.
• Courses can be selected from the courses offered at other higher education institutions upon the recommendation of relevant department’s academic board and with approval of the Graduate School Executive Committee.
• Undergraduate courses are not taken into account in the course load and doctoral study credit value calculations.
• Doctoral programs can also be arranged as domestic or abroad integrated doctoral programs. Rules and principles for those programs will be set by the Higher Education Council upon the recommendation of the Senate of Ankara University and having the views of the Academics and Researchers Training Board.

• The completion period of doctoral programs is eight semesters. The students who are failing in the program can be dismissed from the program in accordance with the provisions of the Regulation before the end of this period.
• The student who successfully completed the course loud, proved to be successful in the proficiency examination and whose dissertation proposal has been approved, yet has been unable to take the dissertation exam by the end of eight semester, can be given an additional period of four semesters maximum to defend his/her dissertation before the jury. This extended period is granted upon the recommendation of relevant Department’s Academic Board and with the approval of Graduate School Executive Committee.

Dissertation Advisor
• The Department Academic Board recommends a dissertation advisor for each student of the Graduate School. The recommendation concerning the dissertation advisor is finalized with approval of the Graduate School Executive Committee. Dissertation advisor should be appointed by the beginning of the second semester at the latest.
• If the dissertation study requires more than one advisor, a second advisor may be appointed. Dissertation advisors shall be selected from the academics.
• Starting from the beginning of the semester that follows the approval of the dissertation proposal, the advisor may open a course for the students he/she is responsible for, namely “ special area course” in addition to all of his/her academic and administrative tasks and duties. Every PhD student is obliged to take this course. The principles concerning the special area course are described by the Graduate Council and implemented by the Executive Committee.

Doctoral Proficiency Examination
• The objective of the proficiency exam is to test if the student has sufficient knowledge on the subjects related to his/her doctoral studies. Proficiency exams are conducted twice a year on the dates that are specified by the Graduate School Executive Committee.
• Students who fulfilled the credit requirements and the other conditions set by the Graduate School Executive Committee can take the proficiency exam. Each student is obliged to take the Proficiency exam by the end of the fifth semester at the latest.
• Proficiency exams are arranged and conducted by a Doctoral Proficiency Committee of five members recommended by the Department’s Academic Board and certified by the Graduate School Executive Committee. The office term of the committee is one year.
• To be eligible to take the doctoral exam one should score at least 60/100 in the KPDS exam (Foreign Language Proficiency Exam for Public Servants). Candidates who are foreign nationals, and whose native language is the same as the language of the exam, will be given an exam in other languages or Turkish. That exam will be conducted by a jury of minimum three members, one member being an instructor of the exam’s language. The jury will be formed by the relevant University Executive Board.
• If candidate for doctoral education, fails in the foreign language test, he/she will be given an extension period for one year to improve his/her language skills. At the end of this period, if the candidate fails to pass the mentioned central foreign language proficiency exam, he/she will be discharged.
• Doctoral Proficiency exam will be conducted in two sections, verbal and written. Doctoral Proficiency Committee shall evaluate the recommendations of the exam committee and the score of the student in verbal and written exams. After the evaluation, the committee will decide with the vote of qualified majority whether the student will pass or fail the exam. This decision shall be notified to the relevant Graduate School by the Department via a written report within three days after the proficiency exam.
• The student, who fails the proficiency exam, will be given a second chance in the next semester. If the student fails again, he/she shall be dismissed.

Dissertation Supervisory Committee
• For the student who proved to be successful in the proficiency exam, a Dissertation supervisory committee shall be formed within a month upon the recommendation of the Academic board of relevant department and with approval of the Graduate School Executive Committee.
• Dissertation supervisory committee is composed of three academics. The committee, other than the dissertation advisor includes two members, one being from inside the University and one, from outside.
• Following the establishment of dissertation supervisory committee, changes may be made concerning the composition of the committee members upon the recommendation of the Academic Board of relevant department with the approval of the Graduate School Executive Committee.

Defending of the Dissertation Proposal
• The student who was successful in the doctoral proficiency examination, will defend his/her dissertation Proposal including the objective and, and methodology of the research his/her study scheme verbally before the dissertation supervisory committee within six months at the latest. The student will circulate a written report concerning his dissertation design to the committee members at least fifteen days before his/her verbal defense.
• Dissertation proposal defense will be open to the audience where the audience may contribute to the dissertation proposal.
• The supervisory committee will decide on the acceptance or rejection of the submitted dissertation proposal with the vote of the qualified majority. The relevant Graduate School will be informed by the Department, about the decision via a written report within three days after the defense.
• The student, whose dissertation proposal has been rejected, has the right to ask for a new advisor and a new dissertation topic. In that case, a new supervisory committee may be assigned. The student who wants to continue the program with the same advisor will be asked to re-defend his/her dissertation within three months. The student who wishes to have a different advisor and a different topic has to defend within six months. Should his/her dissertation proposal be rejected again the student shall be dismissed.
• The supervisory committee meets twice a year between the months of January-June and July-December for the student whose dissertation proposal has been approved. The student will submit a written report to the committee members at least one month before the date of the meeting. In that report, the summary of studies conducted up to the current stage and the study scheme for the next stage will be included. The dissertation of the student will be evaluated as “pass” or “fail” by the committee. Student, whose dissertation is identified as “fail” twice in a row or three times at intervals, will be dismissed.

Conclusion of Doctoral Dissertation
• Students studying in a doctoral program must write their dissertations in accordance with the dissertation writing rules set by the institute and defend their dissertation before a jury.
• Doctoral dissertation jury is appointed upon the recommendation of relevant department’s Academic Board and with approval of the Graduate School Executive Committee. The jury consists of five members, three being the dissertation supervisors of the student, and at least one member from another higher education institution.
• Jury members with their individual reports meet within one month at the latest, after the dissertation is submitted to them and give the student a dissertation exam. The dissertation exam consists of the presentation of dissertation study, followed by a question and answer session. Exam lasts for 60-120 minutes and is open to the audience.

Upon the completion of dissertation exam, the jury comes together in a closed session and reaches a rationalized decision on the dissertation with the vote of qualified majority, the decision being “approved”, “rejected” or “revision”. This decision shall be notified to the relevant Graduate School by the Department through a written report within three days after the dissertation exam. The student, whose dissertation study has been rejected, is dismissed. Students, whose dissertation received a revision decision, have to conduct the required studies and if possible, defend their dissertation before the same jury within six months at the latest. If the dissertation is rejected again in the second trial, then the student is dismissed.

Doctoral Diploma
• Doctoral (PhD) diploma is given to students, who were successful in the doctoral exam and have fulfilled all other requirements, and have submitted three bounded copies of the dissertation study to the relevant institute within one month after the dissertation exam, and whose dissertation study have been considered to be appropriate with respect to the format.
• On Doctoral Diploma, the approved title of the program within the department shall be stated in writing.

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