Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) Program

The Ph.D. program at the Department of Psychology is designed to build a strong, interdisciplinary background in theory and research in the psychological sciences. The program focuses on cognitive, social, developmental, and neuroscience areas. Students may enter the Ph.D. program with or without a Master’s degree. Graduate students are expected to participate in research activities upon entering the program. To support psychological research, the university has developed strong infrastructure, including state-of-the-art research laboratories equipped with observation rooms for testing children and adults, testing rooms for psychophysical and behavioral experiments, meeting rooms, and graduate student offices. Additional facilities include the National Magnetic Resonance Research Center (UMRAM) with fMRI, EEG, psychophysics, and genetic testing facilities.

For areas of faculty research see faculty section at Faculty Members.

Admission requirements

Admission requirements are announced by Bilkent University Graduate School of Economics and Social Sciences. For this year requirements are as follows:

1. Proof of Degree: A degree from a related undergraduate program for the Ph.D. program without a Master’s degree. A degree from a related master’s program for the Ph.D. program with a Master’s degree.

2. CGPA: Undergraduate cumulative grade point average: Minimum 3.00 over 4.00 or 75%.

3. English Proficiency:


*Validity period for all exams: 2 years

4. Standardized graduate examinations:

   a) GRE for international students:

  • Ph.D (with a Masters degree with thesis): Minimum 302 points (total of verbal and quantitative exam scores)and 3.5 on the analytic writing.
  • Ph.D (with an undergraduate degree with thesis): Minimum 312 points (total of verbal and quantitative exam scores), and 4.0 on the analytic writing part.

   b) ALES for Turkish citizens: 

  • Ph.D: (with a Masters degree with thesis): Minimum 60 (equally-weighted)
  • Ph.D: (with an undergraduate degree): Minimum 80 (equally-weighted)

ALES is required for resident Turkish citizens who are applying for the MA & PhD programs. Turkish citizens who are residing abroad and non-Turkish citizens are asked to provide GRE scores instead of ALES. ALES and GRE scores are valid for 5 years.

5. Transcript(s): Undergraduate transcript and master’s transcript (if applicable).

6. Statement of purpose: A letter describing past research experience or any other relevant experience, academic achievements, research interests, and motivations for applying for the program (Word limit: 600 to 800 words, double-spaced). In your letter, please clearly state which sub-areas (e.g., social, developmental, cognitive) you are most interested in, topics of research that interest you the most, faculty members whom you would like to with, and why you are interested in studying at Bilkent Psychology.

7. Letters of Recommendation: Three reference letters (completed online by referee) to support your application. 

8. Curriculum Vitae

9. Writing Sample (optional): A sample essay in English (e.g., senior thesis project, term paper, etc.). 

Application Deadline: 31 May 2021
Date of Exam: No exam will be conducted.
Date of interviews: June 15th, 2021

Based on application documents, the graduate admission committee will announce the applicants who are invited for interviews.

Please follow the below link to apply for the program:

Ph.D Program Applications

For our Ph.D. curriculum please click here.

If you have any questions or issues please contact Jedediah Allen, the graduate program coordinator (