Program Guidelines

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 selection

MA Students must take seven for-credit courses (3 credits each; total 21 credits):

  • PHIL 500: Graduate 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
  • ETHR 500: Research ethics (online)
  • PHIL 595: MA Thesis
  • PHIL 590: Thesis seminar

And are normally expected to take the following non-credit courses, related to teaching experience:

  • KOLT 500: TA workshops
  • TEACH 500: TA assignments

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

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

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 fulfil 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.


The thesis should describe a well-motivate 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.

All MA students must submit a thesis proposal by the first week of their 2nd semester.

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.

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.