The purpose of this study is to test a theoretical model concerning the role of self-esteem as a mediator between university students' automatic thoughts and their levels of hopelessness. The participants consisted of 338 students (197 females (58.3%) and 141 males (41.7%) from various departments at the Celal Bayar University. The research data was obtained by utilizing the Automatic Thoughts Scale, the Beck Hopelessness Scale, the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale, and a personal information form. In this study, the direct and indirect relationship between the university students' self-esteem and automatic thoughts as well as their levels of hopelessness were tested using structural equation modeling. The proposed structural model, based on the measurement models, was confirmed as a result of the analyses. In addition, the findings show that the fit indices of the model generally met the conditions of acceptance value, and that the t-values pertaining to the relationships among all of the variables were meaningful. Accordingly, automatic thoughts and self-esteem significantly predict the onset of hopelessness, whereas self-esteem does not serve as a mediator between automatic thoughts and hopelessness.