Program Overview

The Department of Philosophy at Koç University produces world-class research, scholarship, and instruction in philosophy and its history. Our graduate program offers a wide range of courses and expert supervision in several specializations, aimed at providing students with the skills necessary for advanced research in philosophy and for pursuing doctoral or professional work at leading international institutions.

Our two-year MA program accepts talented students from diverse academic backgrounds, including different levels of prior experience in philosophy. Students receive training in several core philosophical fields, as well as guidance in the production of a high-quality, original masters thesis in a chosen specialization. Additionally, the Department offers interdisciplinary training in two of its principal strengths through two certificate programs, the Certificate in Ancient Philosophy and the Certificate in Mind & Language.


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Learn more about courses.​

MA with Thesis

Learn more about MA with Thesis​.​​

PO1 students are versed in the major subdisciplines of philosophy such as Ontology, Metaphysics, Epistemology, Philosophy of Mind, Philosophy of Language, Logic, Ethics, Social and Political Philosophy, Aesthetics

PO2 students are acquainted with History of Philosophy (Ancient, Modern, Philosophy in the Middle Ages and Renaissance, History of Early Analytic Philosophy.)

PO3 students have the ability to reason clearly, coherently, and logically

PO4 students are acquainted with methods of moral reasoning and are familiar with the sound principles of action.

PO5 students have a variety of area elective courses such as political philosophy, contemporary political theory, philosophy of mind, philosophy of language, philosophy of action, human rights and philosophy, philosophical perspectives on gender in their areas of interest and which have connections to other disciplines

PO6 students achieve creativity in doing philosophy and gain self-confidence on the way to publishing their work with the support of the faculty

PO7 students are prepared for graduate studies

PO8 students learn actively and take the initiative to organize seminars and talks in undergraduate philosophy club.

University, secondary education, media, public relation, press, charitable foundation, sivil society are some of institutions which be able to work philosophy graduates.

PHIL 501 / GRADUATE SEMINARIn this seminar students in their first year will cover a variety of topics designed to introduce the practical and theoretical skills necessary for graduate-level philosophy.
PHIL 590 / THESIS SEMINARIn this seminar students in the second year present work relevant to their thesis research.

An advanced study of a topic in ancient ethical or political philosophy, broadly construed. Topics to focus on a figure or school, a question or theme, or a relevant text. Emphasis on critical engagement with current scholarly debates on the chosen topic.


PHIL 451.01/551.01 MIND AND REALITY IN THE ANCIENT WORLD*An advanced study of a topic in ancient Greek and Roman philosophy, emphasizing issues related to metaphysics, epistemology, and theoretical approaches to phenomena we would call “mental”. Topics might focus on a particular figure or school (e.g. Plato’s theory of Forms, Stoic epistemology), a general question or theme (e.g. ancient skepticism), or a relevant text (e.g. Aristotle’s Metaphysics); but in every case students will engage with contemporary scholarship on the chosen topic as well as recent work on related philosophical problems.
PHIL 450 / FALLIBILISM, CERTAINTY, AND DOGMATISMDiscussion of epistemic and ethical questions concerning fallibilism; whether certainty is a condition for knowledge, whether claims to knowledge is always a dogmatic attitude, how to be open-minded without being a skeptic.
PHIL 404/504 PHILOSOPHY OF CURIOSITY*Discussion of historical, epistemic, semantic, and ethical questions related to the notion of curiosity; defining curiosity; its historical background; how curiosity relates to awareness of ignorance, Meno’s Paradox, asking questions, knowledge, belief, acquaintance, understanding, truth and epistemic virtues.
PHIL 455/555 METAPHYSICS OF SCIENCEDiscussion of the relationship between metaphysics and empirical sciences; specific metaphysical issues arising from scientific theories; for example, metaphysics of time in relativity; metaphysics of fundamental entities in quantum mechanics; metaphysics of kinds in biology.
PHIL 501 / GRADUATE SEMINAR x  x   x x x
PHIL 590 / THESIS SEMINAR x  x   x x 

Note: These are selections from some of the classes offered recently, and new courses are designed and offered every year.

For more information about life as a graduate student at Koç and some of the structures and regulations relevant to all graduates in the Graduate School of Social Science and Humanities, see the Student Handbook.

Course Requirements

By the end of the third semester, MA students must have taken seven for-credit courses (3 credits each; total 21 credits):

  • PHIL 500: First-year seminar
  •  Six elective courses, including at least one from each of the following areas:
    • History of philosophy
    • Ethical and political philosophy
    • Epistemology and metaphysics

Electives are typically PHIL coded courses, but students may choose to take one graduate-level course from another department with the approval of the graduate coordinator.

Additionally, students are required to take the following non-credit courses:

  • ENGL 500: Academic Writing (Advanced) course. All students must complete this course at least once.
  • ETHR 500: Two-hour online certificate course. Please make sure you complete the course by the 2nd semester. As a GSSSH student, you must choose section 02.
  • PHIL 595-695: Thesis Course. In your second semester and every semester thereafter, you must enroll in this course.
  • PHIL 590: Thesis Seminar. Students should enroll in this for one semester during the second year
  • KOLT 500-600: Teaching in Higher Education. All students must complete this course at least once. We advise you to take this course in your 1st semester.
  • TEAC 500: Teaching and Research Assistantship. You must enroll in TEAC 500 every semester. As a GSSSH student, you must choose section 01.
  • LIBR 500: This course is compulsory for all first-semester graduate students.

In some circumstances, it might be possible to transfer credits from previous studies: consult with the GSSSH office and then with the grad program coordinator.

MA students may take only one undergraduate level course normally exclusive to undergraduates, if approved by the grad program coordinator. The course, and assessment criteria, may be changed to reflect graduate-level standards.

Assuming they plan to finish in two years, students are expected to finish all courses by the third semester, with only one course in their third semester.

If you are wondering whether a specific PHIL elective meets an area or track requirement, ask the professor who teaches the course.


The thesis should describe a well-motivated question or problem in an area of philosophy, display a broad mastery of the ideas and literature relevant to this area, and defend an original thesis that addresses the question or problem.

There is no general maximum or minimum required length. The student should consult with their faculty advisor to decide on an appropriate length, and to decide other details such as format and organization, references, etc.

An important step along the way is the thesis proposal. Students are expected to finish their proposal by the second semester. They must finish the proposal before the beginning of the third semester. A successful proposal shows that you have a viable thesis project that you have the capacity to complete. It is expected to be between 2000 and 6000 words (4 to 12 single-spaced pages) and should: (a) clearly and succinctly articulate the question you will investigate and any position you will defend; (b) present a well researched summary of the current literature relevant to your question and/or position (expect to discuss approximately 6 to 12 authors, depending on the topic); and (c) outline the structure you expect your thesis to take. Your proposal explains what you plan to work on; as you work on the thesis, it is fine for the project to change in certain respects, as long as these are developments of what you initially proposed and are approved by your advisor.

The thesis is assessed by a jury appointed by the department and approved by the Graduate School and composed of three members who are Assistant Professor or above, one of whom must be from another university.

Students should expect to meet their advisors face to face (or via videoconferencing) approximately biweekly during semesters and monthly outside semester.

Teaching and Research Experience

Students are typically expected to gain teaching experience as part of their studies and will be appointed as teaching assistants at the beginning of each semester. Faculty members may also seek research assistance from students. Please find the TA/RA regulations set by the graduate school in this link.

Presence on Campus

Except for official holidays when the university is closed, graduate students are expected to be on campus fulfilling their degree requirements. During summer months graduate students who are on scholarships can take paid vacation (maximum two weeks) upon the recommendation of their advisors and the program coordinator.

Mind & Language Certificate

The Philosophy Department is particularly strong in philosophy of mind and philosophy of language. Students are provided with the opportunity to receive the Certificate in Mind & Language on the condition that they fulfill the requirements stated below. The aim of the Certificate in Mind & Language is to encourage students to explore the ways in which these areas intersect with each other and/or one of the listed sciences.

The requirements for receiving the Certificate in Mind & Language are as follows:

Science Requirement: Students must replace one of their electives with an advanced course, approved by the course coordinator, in sciences that study mind and cognition, such as computer science, psychology, linguistics, neuroscience, and medical sciences.

Course Requirement: Students must take at least one course in the area of philosophy of mind, broadly construed, and one at least one course in the area of philosophy of language, broadly construed. (One of these courses will also satisfy the Epistemology and Metaphysics area requirement.)

Students who haven’t previously studied philosophy of mind are also encouraged to audit one of our remedial course Phil 338: Philosophy of Mind.

Greek and Latin

If a graduate student is working on a thesis related to ancient philosophy, they can apply for approval from the graduate coordinator to replace one of their philosophy electives with one language elective in Greek or Latin in a course focusing on philosophical texts, at a level determined by a qualifying exam.


November 2023
Philosophers from Koç, Boğaziçi, and Bilkent are co-organizing a two-day workshop on social ontology and the future. Here is the call for abstracts. Submissions are due March 1, 2024. The workshop will occur on May 31 and June 1.

September 2023
On September 22, Zeynep Coşkunkan successfully defended her MA thesis entitled Hume on the Value of Insatiable Curiosity with a unanimous decision by her committee members. Congratulations, Zeynep!

Summer 2023
David Killoren and Seçil Aracı (Philosophy, Boğaziçi) co-organized an August workshop on ethics & relationships. The workshop was generously supported by funding from CSSH and included presentations by scholars from North America, Europe, and Türkiye. The workshop program can be viewed here and some photos from the workshop can be viewed here.