Ph.D Programs



Ph.D. Program in Political Science and International Relations

The mission of the PhD program in Political and International Relations at Koç University is to educate world-class academics and public policy professionals. The objective is to equip our students with the training that will enable them to contribute to topnotch research and teaching in respectable institutions in Turkey and abroad. The faculty members of the Department have active research agendas and are internationally renowned for their research and expertise in a wide variety of areas including the list below. In addition to reflecting these strengths, the program and curriculum are designed to endow students with firm foundations in comparative politics, international relations, and political theory, and with cutting-edge qualitative as well as quantitative research skills. During their studies, students have generous opportunities to gain international experience through exchanges with prestigious institutions. They also become active contributors to the research activities of the department and gain teaching experience through assistantships. 
Research Areas: 
Civil Society 
Conflict Studies
Ethnic politics and nationalism
European Union
Foreign Policy
International Political Economy
International Relations Theory
Middle East Politics
Religion and Secularism
Turkish Politics

Please find more information about PhD Program in Political Science and International Relations on this web page.

Ph.D. Program in Psychology

To obtain a Ph.D., students with an undergraduate degree will complete at least 14 courses (max. 6 years), while those with a Master’s degree will complete at least 7 courses (max. 4 years).

The Cognitive Program in Psychology provides students with advanced background in cognition, examining mental processes such as learning, perception, attention, memory, decision-making, and language with the option of specializing in cognitive and/or behavioral neuroscience. Research is central in our graduate training in this program. Students begin research immediately and have the chance to work with core cognitive faculty members as well as collaborate with faculty in related programs. With the acquired broad knowledge in cognition and the extensive research experience gained from this program, students acquire the necessary tools to develop their independent research careers.

 Students Applying to the Program with an Undergraduate Degree:

Students admitted to the program with an undergraduate degree must fulfill the following requirements to work towards their Ph.D. degree.

  • have their Master’s level courses completed successfully (i.e. with a minimum GPA of 3.25), and
  • Successfully defend their Master’s Thesis or earn departmental approval to proceed to the Ph. D. level courses after completing a “major research paper.”

Students are required to complete a “major research paper” or a Master’s thesis before continuing to the Ph.D. program.

Students whose GPA is below 3.25 may not proceed to take courses to fulfill the requirements of the Ph.D. program. These students will have the opportunity to earn a Master’s degree after successfully defending their Master’s thesis.

Students applying to the Program with a Master’s Degree   OR  Students who Earned Departmental Approval to Proceed to the Ph. D. Program:

Students admitted to the Ph.D. program with a Master’s degree are expected to

  • complete their course work successfully,
  • pass their comprehensive examinations, and
  • defend their dissertation proposal.

The Ph. D. dissertation should be an original empirical study that has a significant potential to contribution to the scientific literature.

Students in the Ph.D. program must take 3 required courses and 4 electives. Course descriptions are provided below. It may not be possible to offer all the courses listed below. The available courses will be announced at the beginning of each academic year.

Two non-credit courses are required for the completion of the program: TEACH 500 (Classroom Management and Teaching Skills) and ENGL 500 (Academic Writing).

The courses with a 500 code are offered to students in both Ph.D. and Master’s programs.

Please find more information about PhD Program in Psychology on this web page.


Ph.D. Program in Archaeology and History of Art

Ph.D. program in Archaeology and History of Art has two different subject concentrations:
History of Art
The Ph.D. program in Archaeology offers the opportunity for advanced study in the archaeology of Turkey (ancient Anatolia) and the surrounding regions. Students should be interested in specializations that reflect the expertise of the faculty including the Neolithic, Bronze Age, Iron Age, Roman or Byzantine periods. Students are encouraged to participate in faculty on-site research at Alalakh, Barcın Höyük, Gordion, Küçükyalı, and Sagalassos among others. Field studies either at an excavation or an internship are required. The program emphasizes archaeological theory and methodology and students are given instruction in ceramic analysis, metallurgy and instrumental analysis. Partnerships with other departments at the university make available specialized instrumentation for analysis. Instruction is offered in scanning electron microscopy (SEM), petrography, micro-soil analysis, trace element analysis, metallurgy (polarizing light microscopy), GIS applications and organic residue analysis. The program also stresses the importance of cultural heritage management and public archaeology education through museums.
 The Ph.D. program in the History of Art combines the study of the cultural, formal and theoretical aspects of visual culture with academic and practical training in museum studies and heritage site management. Doctoral students in the program are expected to develop an academic specialization in a particular subject or era of art history in which there is faculty expertise (Roman, Byzantine, Seljuk or Ottoman). Additionally, students are expected to acquire a solid theoretical background along with the practical skills that are needed by museums and the heritage management industry. In addition to the upper level and graduate courses offered in the Archaeology and the History of Art department, PhD students in the History of Art are also eligible to take a variety of cross-listed courses in the History Department and the Media and Visual Arts department. The department maintains a close affiliation with many of the Koç Foundation cultural institutions throughout Turkey, particularly the Koç University Research Center for Anatolian Civilizations located in downtown Istanbul. Field studies are a integral part of the Ph.D. program in the history of art, and all doctoral students are expected to partake in an internship at a museum, cultural heritage organization or an archaeological site.

Please find more information about PhD Program in Archaeology and History of Art on this web page.

Ph.D. Program in Economics

Ph.D. program in economics aims to prepare students for outstanding research in economics. Upon graduation, our students will be able to pursue careers in prominent universities, research institutions, and government agencies in Turkey and abroad.
The first year of the program establishes a solid foundation in economic theory and econometrics, while during their second year, students take more advanced courses in the fields of their own choice. After finishing their coursework, students begin their own research and devote most of their time to writing their Ph.D. dissertation.
Koç University is one of the best places to obtain a Ph. D. degree in economics. The Economics faculty at Koç University has a solid reputation as contributors to the frontiers of knowledge in Turkey and abroad. Recently, the department has been ranked number 1 in Turkey and continues to improve its ranking in Europe and the world (Rankings are available here) Students are supported by research and teaching assistantships. They will have the opportunity to participate in the research projects of faculty members and teach their own classes so that they can develop their teaching skills further.

Please find more information about PhD Program in Economics on this web page.

Ph.D. Program in Design, Technology and Society

Developments in current technology offer a wide range of opportunities for creative industries. There are eight fundamental fields in the global market where creative industry can grow: design, film production, music, animation, interactive media, computer games, digital advertisement, gastronomy and cultural heritage. Creative industries need scholars and professionals who can use interdisciplinary thinking skills to develop new approaches to the utilization of display technologies and digital products. All over the world, there is an expanding need for experts who can creatively manage the convergence of different communication platforms, who can analyze, anticipate and address the changing needs and expectations of individuals (as consumers or as citizens).

More so than in the past, creative industries in today’s world comprise increasingly complex components and processes in terms of form, function, material and production. Consequently, it is becoming more important to acquire an interdisciplinary understanding of new concepts of the 21st century, such as interaction design, experience design, and service design.

This new interdisciplinary field- which combines applied design, social and behavioral sciences, computation, and experimental design- requires an extensive understanding of human cognition, emotions, and perceptions, of motor systems, informatics, history and philosophy of science, technology, and information. Therefore, close collaboration between design, computer engineering, psychology, sociology, history, and media studies is imperative.

Based on the above, this graduate program aims to provide students with an opportunity to acquire applied, theoretical, and critical understanding of interactive communication, experience design and service design and develop as researchers and/or practitioners. The Design, Technology, and Society graduate program offers students the options of completing the program with a graduation project (MDes Degree), a master’s thesis (MA Degree), or a doctoral thesis (PhD degree).

Applicants must follow the instructions below in order to be considered for acceptance into the graduate program. Applicants who cannot complete the process will not be considered.

For more information: http://dts.ku.edu.tr/

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