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.