The Koç School (Turkish: Koç Okulu) is a private coeducational school in Turkey founded by Vehbi Koç, one of Turkey's wealthiest businessmen. The school comprises a high school that pioneered the IB program in Turkey and an elementary school. Prospective students gain admission into the high school based on their achievements on the nationwide examination for high schools in Turkey.

Koç School
Koç Okulu

TypePrivate, Boarding, Bilingual
MottoReason, Conscience & Courage
Established1988; 34 years ago (1988)
FounderVehbi Koç
CEEB code696175
Chairpersonİpek Kıraç
HeadmasterMurat Günel
192 Boarding
CampusSuburban (151 acres / 61 ha)
Team nameRams
AccreditationsIB, ECIS, NACAC
AffiliationVehbi Koç Foundation

General informationEdit

Main Entrance of the High School

Koç School is a high and elementary school fully accredited by the Turkish Ministry of Education, European Council of International Schools (ECIS), International Baccalaureate Organisation (IBO), Independent schools UK, England, Scotland, Wales & NI and international schools worldwide (ISBI) and the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC). It offers boarding for five or seven days a week for students of classes between high school prep to 12th grade at its dorms on its campus.


Founded in 1988 by Vehbi Koç Foundation, Koç School has quickly become one of Turkey's most selective and competitive university preparatory schools.

Post Construction, 1988

Koç School started offering the IB Diploma Programme in 1994.[1] With the introduction of the programme, many students began to apply to overseas educational institutes with high reputation.[2] Koç students have been accepted into universities such as Princeton, Harvard, Oxford, Cambridge, Cornell, Yale, Columbia, University of Pennsylvania, Stanford, MIT, and University of Chicago.[3][4][5] With a guidance office committed to assisting students in gaining admission to colleges abroad, the number of Koç students seeking overseas education has constantly increased.

The school's Turkish university entrance success is also considerable:[6] general student achievement is among the top when compared with other similar high schools.[7] In fact in 2000, the top scorer of ÖSS was a Koç School graduate.[8] In the 2006 ÖSS, 19 Koç students were in the top 1000 of over 1.500.000 attendants and many students that applied abroad were accepted to top ten universities in the US.[9]

General Directors
  • John Chalfant (1988 – 1992)
  • Gerald Shields (1992 – 1996)
  • John Chandler (1996 – 2005)
  • Tony Paulus (2005 – 2008)
  • Robert Lennox (2008 - 2013)[10]
  • Koray Özsaraç (2013 – 2018)
  • Murat Günel (2018 - present)[11]
High School Directors
  • Atakan Demirseren (1988 – 1998)
  • Fehmi Özbay (1998 – 1999)
  • Lalegül ... (1999 – 2000)
  • Füsun Ersoy (2000 – 2006)
  • İlkin Özyurt (2006 – 2008)
  • Koray Özsaraç (2008 – 2013)[12]
  • Selen Aydınoğlu (2013 – 2019)
  • Elif Kara Özturk (2019 - present)

Primary School Directors

  • Mesrure Tekay (1998 – 2013)
  • Handan Sungur (2013-2019)
  • Demet Gören Niron (2019 - present)

Middle School Directors

  • Tümay Dovan (2013 – 2019)
  • Meltem Önal Sertkaya (2019 - present)

Campus and facilitiesEdit

Koç School is located on a 151-acre (0.61 km2) campus on the eastern outskirts of Istanbul, near Tuzla, Istanbul. Many of the school facilities were subject to renovations after the first ten years of the school due to increased demands and population of the school.

The important facilities and buildings on the school campus are:

High schoolEdit


Koç School is a bilingual school in Turkish and English but also offers the option of a second language: French, German or Spanish. Students choose between an IB track or a non-IB track at the end of tenth grade. Koç School is also the IB coordinator in Istanbul, and prepared the IB Turkish Social Studies Curriculum to be covered in all around the world in IB Schools.[1]

Atakan Demirseren Hall
Science Building

Each year, many Koç students prefer to continue their education at overseas universities. The school's Overseas College Guidance Office is strong with its admission statistics.[13] At the end of the academic year, each department gives awards to a select number of students with high academic standing after taking into account the feedback submitted by teachers.

Koç School is also successful in national[14] and international[15] high school competitions in mathematics and sciences.

The school also provides an international faculty with teachers from Australia, Britain, Brazil, Canada, India, Ireland, Russia, Scotland, The Netherlands, U.S., New Zealand and Turkey teaching Science, languages, arts. Some of the current and former notable faculty include John Freely,[16] writer and professor of Physics at Bogazici University, and Erol Köroğlu, writer and doctor of literature and cultural studies at Sabanci University.


In the first two years of education, a high school student usually takes the following courses: Turkish Literature, Philosophy, Psychology, English, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Arts, Military Science, Physical Education, Religion and Ethics, History, Health, Geography, Geometry, Mathematics, an elective second language course, an elective from a variety of courses like Movie Studies, Advanced Multimedia, etc.

In the last two years, Koç School provides a variety of IB and non-IB courses. Among the mandatory and elective courses provided to junior and seniors are: Art History, Biology, Business & Management, Ceramics, Chemistry, Computer Science, Computer Programming, Economics, English, Environmental Systems, French, German, Information Technology in Global Society, Knowledge of Language and Literature, Linguistics, Mathematics, Music, Philosophy, Photography, Physics, Psychology, Theory of Knowledge, Turkish Social Studies, Turkish Literature, and Visual Arts.

There are usually two examinations (or projects and/or papers to be counted as an exam grade) for each course at each semester. Exams are usually held in Common Exam Week (or for the finals Final Examination Week). Examinations are scheduled by the Dean's office and regular class schedule continues to take place with shorter amount of time for each period. After the exam results are announced several awards (with different categories: Academic Success, Effort, Improvement) are given by the teachers to students.

Extracurriculars and traditional activitiesEdit

Extracurricular activitiesEdit

It is compulsory in elementary school for each student to join a student club or a sports activity offered at school. Every elementary school student has to pick one of the following activities at the beginning of each semester and has to regularly attend its meetings. From middle school onwards clubs are not required.

The school has over 50 clubs. Some of the available extracurricular activities and clubs are:

Koç School is also the first Turkish school to apply the International Award Association programme.

Environmental Projects are of the major activities in the school, in fact recycling project of Koc School Students won the First Prize in the International Volvo Adventure 2006 competition.[17][18][19]

11th grade students won the NASA Ames Space Settlement Design Contest in 2018 and 9th grade group won second prize in 2019.

At the end of each academic year, extracurricular awards are given to students according to the feedbacks of the supervisors of clubs.