Political Science And International Relations MA With Thesis

Program Overview

Master of Art (M.A.) in International Relations Program responds to a growing need for focused graduate programs in International Relations, offering students thorough training for careers in research, politics, foreign policy and business. The program serves students in two general directions: The first is preparing students for future careers in governmental and non-governmental organizations, both in Türkiye and abroad, as well as careers in the private sector, public institutions including foreign service, international organizations and NGOs. The second is preparing students for PhD programs in Europe and North America. In addition, the MA program makes a valuable contribution to the Department’s and the university’s research environment and academic reputation.

The composition of the program reflects the strength of the faculty in a variety of areas such as European Integration, International Political Economy, and Conflict Studies. Individual faculty research also allows students to pursue studies in areas such as Citizenship, Civil Society and Democracy, Development, Globalization, International Relations Theory, Middle East Politics, Migration, Religion and Secularism, and Turkish Politics.

The members of the International Relations Department at Koç University are recognized as contributors to the frontiers of knowledge in Türkiye and abroad.

Our graduate students are exposed to the latest theoretical debates and methodological techniques. They also have the opportunity to participate in the research programs of the faculty members.

Application Requirements

Statement of Purpose

Required for all applicants. It should not exceed 2,000 words focusing on the following questions: 

Why do you apply to Koç University?

Why do you apply to the particular program?

What are your career objectives?

For applicants of PhD programs what are your research interests and who do you want to work with?


You must have a 3.00 GPA for application for MA Applications. 

We strongly encourage applicants to submit a scanned image of the transcript at the time of application, which can speed processing; however, a final, official transcript will be required of all admitted students during registration. Applicants who have attended international institutions must submit transcripts or certified attestations of study, with certified English translations. Once translated, the original transcript and the certified translations are to be sent to the Graduate School admission office.

Letters of Recommendation

The Graduate School requires two letters of recommendation for MA applications. These should be by persons well qualified to speak from first-hand knowledge about the applicant’s potential for graduate study. Letters of recommendation must be submitted online.


Applicants to MA programs must have their available scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) for foreign applicants or ALES (Akademik Lisansüstü Eğitim Sınavı) for native applicants sent to the Graduate School and uploaded during online application. You may leave these spaces empty if your scores are not available at the time of application. We do accept applications without ALES and/or TOEFL scores. You must submit these scores as soon as they are announced.


All applicants and international applicants whose native language is not English must ensure that the Graduate School receives their official score from the Test of English as a Foreign Language.

MA with Thesis International Relations Admission Requirements
Scores Minimum Requriment
ALES(Equal Weighed) 70
GRE (Quantitative) 153
GPA 3.00


  • Citizenship
  • Civil Society
  • Conflict Studies
  • Democratization
  • Development
  • Ethnic politics and nationalism
  • European Union
  • Foreign Policy
  • Globalization
  • International Political Economy
  • International Relations Theory
  • Middle East Politics
  • Migration
  • Religion and Secularism
  • Turkish Politics
1st Year – Fall Semester1st Year – Spring Semester
INTL 501: Research Methods (pre-requisite)Elective
INTL 503: International RelationsElective
INTL 504: Comparative PoliticsElective
ElectiveINTL 590 Seminar Course
KOLT 500: TA WorkshopsETHR 500: Ethics Course
TEACH 500: TA AssignmentsTEACH 500: TA Assignments
INTL 590: Seminar CourseINTL 590: Seminar Course
2nd Year – Fall Semester2nd Year – Spring Semester
ENGL 500: English Academic WritingINTL 595: MA Dissertation
TEACH 500: TA AssignmentsTEACH 500: TA Assignments
INTL 595: MA Dissertation 

MA students can take any graduate courses listed under International Relations program as well as some of the courses from other relevant graduate programs with the consent of the graduate program coordinator. Students will have the opportunity to take graduate-level electives on such topics as European Union, Turkish politics, political economy, and conflict studies among others, which reflect the areas of particular strength in our department.  Students will also have the opportunity to attend programs in other countries, including distinguished universities in Europe and the United States as an exchange student. 

→ Course Descriptions

All students are required to take the following non-credit courses to successfully complete the program:

KOLT 500: Teaching Assistant Training and Workshops (all students are required to take these workshops in their first semester.)

TEACH 500: Teaching Experience during the semesters of their assignments. (all students must enroll to TEACH 500 every semester) 

ETHR 500: Students must complete an online ethics course lates by 2nd Semester. 

ENGL 500: Academic Writing (Advanced) course. (all students must complete this course in their second year) 

INTL 590: Seminar Course (all students must complete the seminar requirements)


Required Courses: M.A. Students must take 7 courses* (21 Credits) in the course of the M.A Program: 3 Required (INTL 501, INTL 503, INTL 504*), 4 Elective (2 of which should be area electives).

Additionally, students are required to take 6 non- Credit courses;

KOLT 500: Teaching Assistant Training and Workshops (all students are required to take these workshops in their first semester.)

TEACH 500: Teaching Experience during the semesters of their assignments. (all students must enroll to TEACH 500 every semester) 

ETHR 500: Students must complete an online ethics course lates by 2nd Semester. 

ENGL 500: Academic Writing (Advanced) course. (all students must complete this course in their second year) 

INTL 590: Seminar Course (all students must complete the seminar requirement in their first year)


INTL 595: Thesis Course (Required every semester after completing all the course requirements and starting the Thesis)

Students are urged to complete all the course requirements by the end of the 2nd semester. See degree requirements for details.

Students must have a minimum of 3.00 GPA to graduate.

Taking Courses from different departments: For free electives, M.A. students can take courses from other relevant graduate programs offered at KU or other Universities with the approval of the program coordinators.

Undergraduate CoursesMA students may only take 1 undergraduate level course, if approved by the program coordinator.

Language Courses:Language courses may not be calculated towards degree requirements.

Transferring Courses from previous studies: Please consult with GSSSH office and then with the program coordinator.


Appointing an advisor: Students are required to choose and get the approval of a thesis advisor latest by the end of the 2nd semester and turn in the advisor appointment form to GSSSH office.

Changing an advisor: Students may change their advisor in the course of their studies with the approval of previous advisor, prospective advisor and the program coordinator.

Withdrawal of an advisor: In the case that advisor decides to discontinue monitoring the student’s thesis then the student must find an advisor within one month (30 days) or may opt to leave the program.

Co-Advisor: Students may appoint more than one advisor. Second advisor may be outside of KU.

Forms Required: can be found in the link enclosed. Advisor Appointment Form

THESIS PROPOSAL: All MA students must submit a thesis proposal form latest by the end of the 2nd semester.


Traditional format: Thesis can be written in the form of a book consisting of chapters. The number of chapters written depends on the specific research project and the course duration.


Thesis jury is composed of 3 Faculty members. 1 Member must be from another university. 2nd advisor may attend the meetings. Jury must be appointed by the department and approved by the Graduate School. Members of this committee must be affiliated with a University or an Academic Institution and must at least hold the rank of an Assistant Professor.

Forms Required: * Please find the document in the link Thesis Appointment Form


Final draft of the thesis must be sent to all the appointed Jury members at least 3 weeks before the defense date in a hardcopy format.

Students must notify the Graduate School of their defense date and provide announcement information at least 2 weeks before the defense date.

After the thesis is revised and finalized, students must submit a bound copy to all jury members who prefer to have one.

Forms Required: * Please see the link for thesis defense form:


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. Otherwise they all have to be on campus.

Long-Term Leave of Absence: Students may hold their studies up to two consecutive semesters with the approval of their advisor, program coordinator and the graduate office. Their stipends will also be on hold during these terms.  Students who would like to expand their hold beyond two consecutive semesters will have to consult with the program coordinator and the graduate school and students may lose their stipends and benefits and may be subject to pay registration fee.


All students are appointed as TA and RA in the beginning of each semester. Please find the TA/RA regulations set by the graduate school enclosed. Please note that the task found in the enclosed is not exhaustive.  All students must enroll in TEACH 500- Teaching Assignments Course every semester to have their TA duties graded. RA Spring assignments will continue in the summer months unless indicated otherwise.


All GSSSH students are expected to be present for proctoring exams (including make up and amnesty exams) of the courses they are assigned to. They may also be asked to proctor exams for courses, which they are not assigned to as TAs. These extra proctoring assignments would not exceed 4 per academic year. Proctoring assignment will be done centrally by the graduate office. Proctoring may be necessary on weekends, late evenings, or times outside of regular hours.


All grievances should be first communicated to the program coordinators.