The notion of establishing a “university” similar to the western model was first adopted under the educational arrangements of the administrative reform of 1839. The “Darülfünun” which was founded after various attempts that had failed to succeed, never acquired the status of a true university and existed till 1933.

The initial reform of higher education resulting from studies aimed at the organisation of the modern university system and the modernisation of educational and research activities at institutions of higher education during the first years of the newly founded Republic, brought about the closing of the Darülfünun in 1933 and the establishment of Istanbul University. The Higher Institute of Agriculture, bearing a status similar to that of a university both structurally and functionally, was established in Ankara the same year.

German academicians who played a significant role in the educational and research activities of both Istanbul University and the Higher Institute of Agriculture beginning from the 1930s, did not restrict their studies concerning the adaptation of the European, in particular the German system of higher education to Turkey to undergraduate studies, and by means of written sanctions the foundation of modern graduate studies was also laid.

Graduate studies included in the system of higher education upon the issue of the 4936 numbered law enforced in 1946, known as the first university law of Turkey, were started to be implemented in accordance with implementing regulations related to doctorate and expertise studies which were prepared based on this law. Furthermore, graduates of pharmacy, dentistry and veterinary faculties were permitted to attend expertise studies in certain fields in faculties of medicine or institutions approved and announced by the Ministry of Health in addition to graduates of faculties of medicine, by means of Implementing Regulations related to Expertise in Medicine issued in various years under various names based on Law No. 1219.

Expertise training in the field of veterinary medicine that had been previously carried out in accordance with implementing regulations prepared by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs at various dates, gained a legal basis with the enforcement of Law No. 6343 in 1954 and was further continued within the close cooperation of the University and Ministry upon the establishment of the Animal Breeding and Health Sciences Expertise Collegiate School of Ankara University Faculty of Veterinary Medicine in June 20, 1967. Furthermore, doctorate studies were initiated in accordance with the “Implementing Regulation Related to Doctorate Studies” of Ankara University, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine. This implementation was continued until the enforcement of the Law of Higher Education No. 2547 and the Expertise Collegiate School was abolished following the enforcement of the mentioned law.

Graduate studies in the field of health sciences, excluding “expertise in medicine” were included among the responsibilities of the Graduate Schools of Health Sciences established in accordance with the Law of Higher Education No. 2547. Within this context, The Graduate School of Health Sciences of Ankara University was established in 1982 for the organisation, implementation and inspection of graduate studies (master and doctorate studies) in the related departments of the Dentistry, Pharmacy, Medicine and Veterinary Faculties of Ankara University.

The first director of the Institute was appointed on the 7th of September in 1982 and the institutional organisation was completed after the establishment of the Administrative Council and the Council of the Institute. Graduate studies were launched in the Spring Semester of the 1982-1983 Academic Year and 102 students attending graduate studies in the Dentistry ,Pharmacy , Medicine and Veterinary Medicine Faculties were transferred to the Institute. Furthermore, 16 students were registered to 11 programmes initiated in 11 departments amongst which 7 were doctorate and 9 were master students.

The Institute has accelerated studies aimed at the harmonisation of undergraduate studies in the field of health sciences with modern, comparable and accredited European and global educational programmes and has been carrying out quality monitoring studies since the 2002-2003 academic year for the improvement and strengthening of administrative and educational quality throughout the pre-accession period to the European Union. Within this context, activities planned under the framework of “The Training of Scientists Project” initiated upon the attempts of Ankara University and support provided by the State Planning Organisation in 2005 and strategies developed concerning the Socrates-Erasmus educational programmes of the European Union have started to be implemented.

Since its foundation, the Graduate School of Health Sciences of Ankara University has trained scientists who have embraced scientific thought for guidance in every field of life, who bear the capabilities of free thinking, discussion, research and questioning, who are loyal to ethics and present the scientific knowledge they have produced to the interests of humanity. The Graduate School of Health Sciences continues its studies aimed at the accreditation of graduate studies in the field of health sciences with those of modern societies and the increase of the contribution of Turkish universities to science at international level.