Political Science and International Relations
Program Overview

Committed to a liberal arts tradition of intellectual curiosity and diversity, the International Relations Department at Koç University offers students a rigorous program of study that prepares them for successful careers in a rapidly globalizing world.

Koç University offers BA, MA and PhD degrees in International Relations.The students examine the basic questions of International Relations, including how nations struggle over power and wealth, how political communities reconcile claims of authority, liberty, and justice, and how governments and societies produce the policies that influence our lives. Students choose courses from the major subfields of international politics, comparative government, Turkish politics, and political theory. They develop critical analytical skills allowing them to explain, compare, and generalize about political phenomena in a broad range of countries, employing the key methodologies of the discipline.


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MA with Thesis

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MA without Thesis

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Master of Art  and Ph.D. in International Relations program reflects the Department’s emerging strength in the areas of European Integration, International Political Economy, and Security Studies.Graduates of the program are continuing their studies in top-ranking programs throughout the world in addition to working in multinational corporations, non-governmental agencies, and for the state.Scholarships are offered.

The Center for Research on Globalization  Peace and Democratic Governance (GLODEM) has been operating as a research center at Koç University since November 2004 to enrich the debate about globalization and democracy on campus and to promote the flow of ideas between Koç and the global policy arena. The Center encourages comparative and multidisciplinary research on globalization and democratic governance, and serves as an intellectual platform for dialogue between academic and research scholars.

Koç University is the first university from Türkiye to partner with the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations. This was established, at the initiative of the Governments of Spain and Türkiye, under the auspices of the UN to promote understanding among societies.

  • Recognize, critically analyze and develop solutions to managerial, economic and political issues in personal and professional environments
  • Formulate and communicate arguments effectively in oral, written and graphical form
  • Thrive in diverse, multi-disciplinary teams and take initiative as responsible team members
  • Maintain a global, socially inclusive and ethical perspective with emphasis on sustainability
  • Learn fundamental concepts and theories to formulate and implement creative and effective solutions to domestic and international political challenges
  • Use the appropriate research methods and tools to analyze data to assess the validity of political arguments

Graduates of the Master’s Program in International Relations will be able to pursue their careers in civil society and international organizations (eg. United Nations Development Program, International Migration Organization, TÜSEV); domestic and international private sector (e.g. Abdi İbrahim, Arçelik, Boston Consulting Group, Boyner, Facebook, Microsoft, Target) and public sector (e.g. Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Economy).

Also a significant number of our graduates are accepted to prestigious doctoral programs in North America, Europe and Türkiye, such as Columbia University, Cornell University, University of Oxford, University of Toronto and Yale University, among others.

Our PhD graduates also have a strong placement record, both in Türkiye and abroad. Our PhD alumni in academia are working at prestigious institutions in North America, Europe and Türkiye, such as Duke University, Stockholm University and TOBB ETU, among others.

INTL 501 / RESEARCH METHODSIntroduction to the fundamental research methods in social science, covering issues and methods shared by all of the social sciences and by many of the natural sciences. Particular emphasis on contemporary work in the fields of international relations and political science, elaborating on both quantitative and qualitative methods and highlighting the steps in identifying a problem worthy of study and developing testable hypotheses, designing a research strategy, gathering data, analyzing data, research and publication ethics and interpreting the results.
INTL 503 / GLOBALIZATION AND INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS THEORYHistorical and analytical analysis of globalization processes and their impacts on world politics, with special focus on the questions of the changing nature of the nation state, sustainable economic development and democratic global governance. Presentation of an inter-disciplinary framework for an in-depth analysis of change in international relations, while paying attention to the debate on globalization that is taking place in the fields of international relations, sociology, economics and management.
INTL 504 / COMPARATIVE POLITICSExamination of current issues of importance for the field of comparative politics such as: the expansion and problems of democracy as a political system, democratic consolidation, politics of economic restructuring, governance in an era of economic globalization, and nationalism and inter-cultural conflict. Review of the scope and methods of the field, and of alternate theoretical approaches such as historical sociology, rational choice, political culture and institutionalism.
INTL 525 / TURKISH FOREIGN POLICY IN THE GLOBAL CONTEXTIntroduction to the theoretical tools for foreign policy analysis and the examination of the major contours, concepts, trends and issues of Turkish foreign policy particularly in the post-Cold War era; comprehensive assessment of the key issues and regions for Türkiye and the formulation, conduct and changing priorities of Turkish foreign policy with regards to changes in the global context.
INTL 532 / POLITICAL ECONOMY OF GLOBALIZATION AND DEVELOPMENTTopics to be covered include globalization and the nation state debate; multilateral agreements: from GATT to WTO, new regionalism in comparative perspective; the European model of political economy and its future trajectory; NAFTA and Asia Pacific: evolution and future prospects; neo-liberal reforms and democratization in Latin America and Eastern Europe; dynamics of emerging market crises and the reform of the IMF; transnational corporations and FDI: positive and normative dimensions; the emerging post-Washington Consensus and the future of North-South relations; trans-nationalism and global governance; issues in the political economy of Türkiye.
INTL 551 / SELECTED TOPICS IN INTERNATIONAL RELATIONSTopics will be announced when offered.
INTL 575 / POLITICS OF ETHNICITY AND NATIONALISMThis is an undergraduate and graduate seminar investigating the definitions of and relationship between ethnicity and nationhood. Competing definitions of ethnicity and rival explanations for the emergence of nationalism are critically engaged. While covering the classical works in the field of ethnicity and nationalism studies, the course readings incorporate the most recent, cutting-edge works in the field as well.
INTL 590 / PRE-THESIS SEMINARPrepares students for a successful start on their theses, helping them to choose their thesis topics and supervisor, and to formulate their question and methodology, through faculty guidance, and faculty and fellow-student feedback.
INTL 600 / POLITICAL THEORYExamines the major questions and theories in classical and contemporary political theory.
INTL 601 / QUANTITATIVE RESEARCH METHODSComprehensive coverage of various quantitative methods used in the fields of Political Science and International Relations. Research and publication ethics, modeling techniques with an emphasis on the application of the following methods in the analysis of large-N datasets including panel, survey, cross-sectional and duration data by learning and using an appropriate statistical software program: linear regression analysis, diagnostics and revised models, such as generalized linear model fixing for nonlinearity and heteroskedasticity, limited and categorical dependent variable models including logit, probit,ordinal and mutinomial logit, count dependent variable models and poisson and negative binomial methods, event-history modeling, such as duration and hazard analysis, and selection models.
INTL 602 / COMPARATIVE POLITICSExamines the major theories and questions in the field of comparative politics with particular emphasis on reviewing and applying the comparative method.
INTL 603 / INTERNATIONAL RELATIONSExamines the core theories and questions in the field of international relations with particular emphasis on divergent methodological approaches and their assumptions.
INTL 604 / QUALITATIVE RESEARCH METHODSComprehensive introduction to qualitative research methods used in social sciences. Selection of methods and techniques to be covered are: case studies for theory development and testing, including small-N, within-case comparative and single case studies, crucial case studies, most similar and most different cases studies, most likely and least likely case study design, the method of process tracing; inference of causal mechanisms; the logic of knowledge accumulation in comparative historical research; causal and descriptive inference; conceptualization; selection bias and concept stretching; time dimension of political processes, periodization, preferences, and inter-temporal analysis; relationship between ontology and methodology; necessary and sufficient concept structure; natural experiments and matching techniques; typologies and typological theorizing; counterfactual analysis; congruence method; fuzzy sets; content analysis; discourse analysis; interview techniques; ethnography and immersion; thick description; and useful tips and logistics of conducting fieldwork and archival research.