As you know, on 20 April, 2016, the Council of Higher Education made some important changes to the Regulations for Graduate Education. In accordance with the changes made to these Regulations, our University’s Regulations for Graduate Education had to be revised and our University’s new Regulations for Graduate Education became effective upon publication in the Official Gazette dated 27/09/2016 and numbered 29840.
In order to ensure smooth implementation, the important changes in the new Regulations are listed in detail below. Your sensitivity and attention to this issue is important for ensuring that problems do not occur in the carrying out of related processes and procedures.

Foreign Language Exam Score

In applications for Master’s programs taught in English, or partly in English, candidates previously had to obtain a minimum score of 50 from the YDS exam, while in applications for PhD programs they had to obtain a minimum score of 55 from this exam. With the new regulations, the minimum required score for this exam is now 65. (KHAS Regulations Article 6)

Acceptance of Visiting Students

The status of visiting studentship has been revised and it has been explained that visiting studentship “does not provide an education directly leading to a degree from that program” and a time limit of a maximum of two semesters has been set. Additionally, the following article has been added to the regulations: “In cases where students accepted for a graduate program are given exemption for courses they have previously taken and succeeded in as visiting students, the number of such courses cannot amount to more than 50 percent of the courses to be taken in the related graduate program.”(KHAS Regulations Article 11)

Acceptance of Transfer Students

Although transfer is possible between graduate programs, transfer applications to graduate programs at the thesis stage of a program will not be accepted. (KHAS Regulations Article 12)

Education Programs and Courses

The new regulations require that “Every program must include at least one compulsory course focusing on scholarly research techniques and research and publication ethics.” Programs without such a course in their curriculum must review their curricula. (KHAS Regulations Article 18/3)

Additionally, in accordance with the articles stating that “Students may take as many credits as specified in their curriculum during the semesters they are registered. When necessary, the credit load can be increased with the approval of the institute administrative board” and “Where students take courses which are outside of the normal curriculum they are expected to successfully complete them”, when students want to take courses outside of the normal curriculum, Discipline Area approval and Institute Administrative Board decisions are needed. (KHAS Regulations Article 18/4-5)

Course Withdrawal

“Students may withdraw with the approval of their advisor from a maximum of one course in one semester up to the deadline announced in the academic calendar for each semester, or two courses during their studies. A course from which a student has withdrawn from is indicated as a Ç (Withdrawal) in his/her transcript.” (KHAS Regulations Article 19)

Increasing the Cumulative GPA

With the new regulations students who would like to improve their cumulative GPA are given the opportunity to repeat courses with the approval of the Institute administrative board. In calculating the Cumulative Grade Point Average of these students the grade received for the most recently taken course is taken into account.(KHAS Regulations Article 22)

Single-Course and Grade Increasing Exams

In consideration of the abrogation of re-take exams, students are given the opportunity to take single-course and grade increasing exams in accordance with the principles specified in Articles 27 and 28.

Thesis Track Master’s Program

1. Regarding the period of study for thesis track Master’s programs the Council of Higher Education’s Regulations for Graduate Education states: “The duration of a Master’s program is four semesters, including the first semester when the courses of the program starts, regardless of whether or not the student was registered every semester, and the program must be completed within six semesters at the latest.” The same provision is included in the 34th article of KHÜ Regulations for Graduate Education. According to these provisions:

a) For students who were registered on Thesis track Master’s Programs of our University before 20 April 2016, the maximum period of study begins from the Fall Semester of the 2016-2017 Academic Year. The maximum period of time these students can use will expire at the end of the Spring semester of the 2017-2018 academic year, which is the end of the fourth semester of their studies. The University will terminate its relationship with students who fail to take their courses and complete them successfully in accordance with the curriculum within this period of time.

b) Students who have completed their course-work but not their thesis may use the Fall and Spring semesters of the 2018-2019 Academic Year as an additional period. This 2 (two) semester additional period of time allowed these students is the maximum time limit and can only be granted following the approval of the students’ advisor and discipline area directorate, and the resolution of the Institute Administrative Board. Students who fail to successfully complete their thesis or who fail to take the thesis examination by the end of this additional time will be dismissed and their relationship with the university terminated.

2. According to the new Regulations, a thesis advisor must be appointed to each student at the latest by the end of the first semester of studies. The relevant institute must be informed of the thesis topic, determined by the student and his/her advisor, by the end of the second semester of studies at the latest. Furthermore, the student must register every semester following the appointment of his/her thesis advisor, that is from the second semester onwards, for the thesis period. (KHAS Regulations Article 33)

3. According to the new regulations the thesis advisor is to be selected from among faculty members of the University who have the necessary attributes as determined by the Senate. Instructors may not be appointed as thesis advisors. (KHAS Regulations Article 35)

4. Before the thesis defense, the advisor must submit to the Institute his/her assessment that the thesis is defendable, together with the plagiarism software evaluation report on the thesis. (KHAS Regulations Article 36)

5. A Master’s thesis jury must be comprised of three or five members, one of whom must be the student’s advisor and at least one of whom must be from another higher education institution. If the jury is comprised of three members, the co-advisor cannot be a jury member. Additionally, two substitute members must be selected, one of whom must be a faculty member from the University and the other from another higher education institution.(KHAS Regulations Article 36)

Non-Thesis Master’s Program

1. The following article regarding the period of study for the non-thesis Master’s program is included in Council of Higher Education’s Regulations for Graduate Education: “The period of study for non-thesis Master’s programs is, excluding foreign language preparation and academic preparation programs, a minimum of two and a maximum of three semesters, regardless of whether or not the student was registered for each semester. The relationship between the University and students who have been unsuccessful or who have not completed the program by the end of this time will be terminated.” The same provision is included in the 40th article of KHÜ Regulations for Graduate Education. According to these provisions:

a) For students who were registered to Non-Thesis Master’s Programs of our University before 20 April 2016, the maximum period of study starts to apply as of the Fall Semester of the 2016-2017 Academic Year. The maximum period of time these students can use will expire by the end of the Spring Semester of the 2016-2017 Academic Year which is the end of the second semester. Students who fail to take their courses and submit their project within this period of time, in accordance with the curriculum, or whose project is deemed unsuccessful, can use the Spring Semester of 2017-2018 Academic Year as an additional period.

b) The 1 (one) semester-long additional period of time allowed these students is the maximum time limit, and it can only be given with the approval of the advisor and discipline area directorate, and with the resolution of the Institute Administrative Board. Students who are unsuccessful or who cannot complete the program by the end of this additional time will be dismissed and their relationship with the university terminated.

2. According to the new Regulations, by the end of the first semester of studies at the latest, the relevant institute’s discipline area directorate must appoint, for each student, a faculty member, or a lecturer with a PhD degree who fulfills the requirements specified by the Senate, who will advise the student on his/her course selection and term project. Instructors with a PhD degree may be appointed as project advisors in non-Thesis programs. (KHAS Regulations Article 39)

PhD Programs

1. The following article regarding the period of study for the PhD program is included in Council of Higher Education’s Regulations for Graduate Education: “The period of study for the PhD program for students holding a thesis track Master’s degree is, excluding foreign language preparation and academic preparation programs, eight semesters including the first semester when the courses of the program start, regardless of whether or not the student was registered for each semester, and the program must be completed within a maximum of twelve semesters; while the normal period of study is ten semesters for those accepted to the program with an undergraduate degree, and the maximum period of study for these students is fourteen semesters.” The same provision is included in the 43rdarticle of KHÜ Regulations for Graduate Education. According to these provisions:

a. For students accepted to PhD Programs of our University with a Master’s degree and who were registered to their programs before 20 April 2016, the maximum period of study starts to apply as of the Fall Semester of the 2016-2017 Academic Year. The maximum period of time these students may use will expire by the end of the Spring semester of the 2019-2020 academic year which is the end of the eighth semester. For students accepted to the program with an undergraduate degree this date is the end of the Spring semester of the 2020-2021 academic year.

b. The 4 (four) semester-long additional period of time given to these students is the maximum time limit, and may only be allowed provided that this decision does not contradict other provisions of the relevant Regulations and following the approval of the advisor and discipline area directorate, and with the resolution of the Institute Administrative Board,.

2. Students at the Course-Work Stage
The following provision is included in these Regulations. “The maximum amount of time in which credit courses for the PhD program must be completed is four semesters for students with a thesis track Master’s degree and six semesters for students accepted with an undergraduate degree. The relationship between the University and students who have not successfully completed their courses within this period of time or who cannot achieve a minimum GPA of 3.00/4.00 will be dissolved.”

For PhD students already registered to a PhD program and who are at the course-work stage, the maximum period of study applies from the Fall semester of the 2016-2017 academic year. The maximum period of time these students may use will expire by the end of the Spring semester of the 2017-2018 academic year, which is the end of the fourth semester. The relationship between the University and students who fail to take their credit-courses or who don’t have a minimum GPA of 3.00/4.00 by the end of this period of time will be terminated.

3. Students at the Comprehensive Exam Stage
Students who started their PhD studies with a Master’s degree must take the comprehensive exam by their fifth semester and students who started their PhD studies with an undergraduate degree must take the comprehensive exam by the seventh semester at the latest if they have completed their credit coursework and seminar courses and have a minimum GPA of 3.00. Students who fail the comprehensive exam or parts of the exam may retake the part/parts of the exam which they failed in the following semester. The related Regulations include the following provision: “The relationship between the University and students who fail the retake exam will be terminated.”

For students who are already registered on a PhD program and who are at the stage of the comprehensive exam, the maximum period of study to take this exam starts to apply as of the Fall semester of the 2016-2017 academic year. The comprehensive exams these students took and failed in the previous semesters will not be taken into account in the process of the termination of registration. Students who do not take the comprehensive exams are deemed to have failed. The relationship between the University and students who twice fail this exam will be terminated.

4. Students at the Thesis Proposal Stage
Within a maximum of six months of passing the comprehensive exam, students must give, to the thesis committee, an oral defense of their thesis proposal, which includes the thesis’s aims, methodology and plan of study. The provisions specified in the related articles apply to students who are unsuccessful.

5. Students at the Thesis Monitoring Stage
In the related Regulations, the following provision is included: The relationship between the University and the student is terminated if a student is evaluated as being unsuccessful twice consecutively or three times non-consecutively by the Thesis Monitoring Committee.

For students who are already registered to a PhD program and who are at the stage of thesis monitoring, the time limit begins as of the Fall semester of the 2016-2017 academic year. The Thesis Monitoring meetings these students participated in and failed in the previous semesters will not be taken into account in the process of the termination of registration.

6. Students at the Thesis Defense Stage:
If a student’s thesis is found to be inadequate and rejected, his/her relationship with the University will be terminated.

7. The thesis advisor “selected from among faculty members” must be appointed by the end of the second semester of studies at the latest (previously, this was by the end of the third semester). (KHAS Regulations Article 44/1)

8. In the new Regulations, the following provision is included: For a faculty member to be an advisor of a PhD thesis, he/she must have advised at least one successfully completed Master’s thesis. (KHAS Regulations Article 44/3)

9. The Comprehensive Exam jury will consist of five faculty members and must include the thesis advisor, and at least two of the jury members must be from outside of the University. The jury must also have two substitute members, one of whom must be from outside of the University. (KHAS Regulations Article 45/4)

10. The thesis monitoring committee appointed for students who have passed the defense must meet twice per year, once between January and June and once between July and December. One member, in addition to the thesis advisor, must be from the relevant institute’s discipline area and one must be from outside of the University. (KHAS Regulations Article 46/2)

11. The relationship between the University and the student will be terminated if a student is twice consecutively evaluated as being unsuccessful or three times non-consecutively evaluated as being unsuccessful by the Thesis Monitoring Committee. (KHAS Regulations Article 47/4)

12. For the completion of the thesis, the student must have submitted at least three thesis monitoring reports. (KHAS Regulations Article 48/3)

13. Before the thesis defense, the advisor must submit to the Institute his/her opinion that the thesis is defendable, together with evaluations including the plagiarism software report of the thesis. (KHAS Regulations Article 48)

14. A PhD thesis jury is appointed in accordance with the recommendation of the relevant institute’s discipline area directorate and with the approval of the institute administrative board. The jury must be comprised of five members, three of whom must be faculty members who are also on the student’s thesis monitoring committee and at least two of whom must be from another higher education institution. Additionally, two replacement (substitute) jury members, one of whom must be a faculty member of the University and one who must be a faculty member of another higher education institution. The co-advisor can also be on the jury as a non-voting member. (KHAS Regulations Article 48/4)