A solid knowledge of modern Turkish grammar, normally at least two years of academic study or the equivalent, and demonstrable experience in reading printed Ottoman texts are mandatory.

Some knowledge of Persian and/or Arabic is highly desirable, and study of these languages will be taken into consideration in the selection process.

Prospective students should note that typically successful applicants have had three or more years of modern Turkish. Those with no academic training in Arabic and/or Persian may not be selected.