When I started this blog, I had intended for it to remain as a solo project, and therefore limited to dentistry in the UK.

But more recently, I have changed my plans to focus on the bigger picture too – which is dentistry across the globe! And so my long terms ambitions for this blog/website are to now aim for this to be a global project.

Dentistry has an amazing community worldwide; people are always happy to share their expertise and experiences with others for the greater good. I want to embrace this community to help develop the dorkydentalstudent.com site.

Personally, I find it fascinating to know how different dentistry is in different countries. And I’d like to think my curiosity is shared with many others.

Dentistry differs in so many respects – here are a few:

  • Dental School applications
  • The way dentistry is taught
  • The health care system in each country
  • The scope of practice for dentists
  • The number of dental specialties

It would be impossible to create content specific to other countries myself, and so that’s why I will rely on collaborations with fellow dorky dental students. So moving forward, I am hoping and relying on building a network with individuals around the world who share a common passion for dentistry!

If anyone reading this is a dental student from somewhere other than the UK, please contact me if you’d be interested in collaborating with me as a guest writer!

Anyway, that’s the intro and now for the actual post! I am very excited to make this post public, as it is the first in this new series of features!


Getting into Dental School – Turkey


Hi everybody!

I’m Irem Gaye Ustuner and I’m a 3rd year dental student from Istanbul, Turkey. I study at Marmara University, one of the oldest universities in Turkey.

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I have written this post for dorkydentalstudent.com as a guest writer and this will hopefully be a useful article for any prospective dental students thinking of applying to dental school in Turkey or for anyone simply curious to know what the application process for dental schools in Turkey is like.

You can visit the web site of Marmara University to find out more information if you are interested.

Also you can check Marmara University, Faculty of Dentistry location tag on Instagram – there are lots of posts to see from a student’s perspective.

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Health Sciences Campus, Marmara University – Istanbul




The application process, maybe the biggest step into this journey!

But don’t worry it is not so complicated in Turkey. After graduation from high school we take a series of exams to define our academic level and by those exams we get a mark out of 500.

All people who took those exams is sorting and after that we see where we are and make our preferences. We are allowed to make  up to 24 preferences and those can be about different professions (i.e. not just dentistry).

You can take a look into all the dental schools in Turkey from this site

You will see that there is a lot of dental schools in Turkey but by general ranking the top 5 public dental schools is like this:

  1. Hacettepe University
  2. İstanbul University
  3. Marmara University
  4. Ege University
  5. Ankara University

A couple weeks later you can see which university do you get based on your mark.

So you can ask: What is the content of those exams?

Well there is 2 steps of exams:

  • First step is YGS
  • Second step is LYS

Every student who graduated from highschool should pass YGS and this exam is generally about Turkish, social sciences and basic maths knowledge.

But LYS has different steps inside of it, too. After YGS you should decide what kind of career you want. And based on it you should apply that type LYS exam. There is different LYS exams for social sciences, mathematical and biological sciences. If you go for mathematical and biological sciences you will come across with those 5 exams:

LYS exams on mathematical and biological sciences:

  1. Maths (50 Questions)
  2. Geometry (30 Questions)
  3. Biology (30 Questions)
  4. Physics (30 Questions)
  5. Chemistry (30 Questions)

The contents of these questions can be different from other countries for highschool level students. Because for example, we learn derivative and integral at highschool and the questions are generally includes them. I could not find English version of this exam but Maths has no language!

So if you want to take a look you can see 2013 LYS Maths exam here.

And when calculating the point, the average of your high school marks are adding to the top. Basically this is how you get into a dental school in Turkey.

As you can see there is no interviews or no personal statements.

You can think is it really the right way to accept dental students? Well, thats okay. This has been the system for dental school applications in Turkey for many years and it works well. It is just different to the UK system for dental school applications for example.


Every year approximately 1,500,000 people take the 5 dental school application exams. But not all of them make their choice for health sciences. Some go for social sciences and basic sciences. After that like 500,000 people would be who you are competiting with. That is a lot of students – so it is a very competitive process!

To get into dentistry programme of my university (Marmara University, Istanbul) you should be one of the top 15,000 prospective dental applicants (which means you need to be in the top 3% of applicants) and the requisite level of points is like ~470/500.

So as you see, it is stressful and a kind of hard step to make. You need to do very well in the exams to enhance your chances of having a successful application.

But my dental school (Marmara University, Istanbul) is a part of a public university.

The dental school applications process is slightly different if you are happy to go to a private university to train. The application process for private dental schools is not as academically competitive, since you don’t have to get such a high mark in the application exams.


Most of the university dentistry courses in Turkey are taught in in Turkish. But at some universities, the course is taught in English and those are: Yeditepe University, Marmara University, Katip Çelebi University, Medipol University, Yakındoğu University as all I know. Because universities can change their taught language after a academic year, it is not permanent.

Mine (Marmara University, Istanbul) is one of the few schools where dentistry is taught in English. So we need to pass an English proficiency exam before we can start the academic courses. I chose a course tuaght in English on purpose because as you know English is the open door to the world.


Every year approximately 3000 students get into a dentistry programme in Turkey. And for each university the quota is between 140 and 170 students. My university (Marmara University, Istanbul) accepts 144 students every year and that includes ~10 foreign students. And those foreign students are mostly from Kazakhistan, Iran, Mongolia, Bulgaria and Greece.


If you are studying in a public university and if you are not a foreign student you don’t pay anything to school. It’s totally FREE!!

If you are a foreign student, you pay like 1500 Turkish Liras which equates to ~400 Euros per year. But in private universties the costs depends on which university you are in, in general you should pay 30.000 Turkish Liras per year whether you are foreign student or not.


If you are interested in applying for dental school in Turkey and want to know anymore specific information, then please don’t hesitate to contact me.

My email address is: gayeustuner@gmail.com 

And here is my personal Instagram page if you want to follow me 🙂

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