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The Faculty of Humanities and Letters offers a rich selection of undergraduate and graduate degree programs.

American Culture and Literature

The Department of American Culture and Literature at Bilkent University invites students to engage “America” broadly and comparatively, studying U.S. history, politics, literature, culture, and media from a variety of perspectives. In so doing, our department aims to provide students with the special skills needed for succeeding in an increasingly interconnected world. As is the case with American Studies Departments in North America and Western Europe, the Department of American Culture and Literature at Bilkent University covers a wide, interdisciplinary range of literary, economic, cultural, political, social and historical issues. Our courses demand a large amount of reading and writing in English, thereby assuring that our graduates leave the department with a fluency in English not matched by other academic disciplines. But beyond this, our courses provide our students with the clear analytical and critical thinking required to navigate their personal and professional worlds.


The Department of Archaeology offers both an undergraduate (B.A.) and graduate (M.A.) degree. Our programs focus on the ancient and medieval civilizations of Turkey, the eastern Mediterranean, and the Near East, with an interest in how the material remains contribute to our knowledge. Our approach is comprehensive and interdisciplinary, drawing on such fields as art and architectural history, cultural and physical anthropology, history, and geology, chemistry, and other natural sciences. Because our classes are small, students enjoy a warm sense of community with fellow students and teachers – an excellent environment for learning the subjects taught and also skills of analysis and presentation that will be useful for whatever career comes afterward. Archaeology fascinates almost everyone, but even in Turkey, rich in archaeological remains, only a small number of people are trained in it.

English Language and Literature

Bilkent Department of English Language and Literature offers an intellectually stimulating four-year undergraduate degree programme which will prepare you for a wide range of careers or for graduate study. At Bilkent you will be taught by internationally published scholars, whose areas of expertise include literature in English from all around the globe and from the earliest times to the present, and embrace a wide range of theoretical and critical perspectives. This diversity of teaching and research interests allows us to offer a varied selection of courses reflecting the most recent developments in scholarship and theory.


Since its inception in 2002, the department of philosophy has established a reputation for high quality philosophical education and research. Its members have published numerous articles in noted international journals as well as several books with high-profile international publishers. The department is ranked #1 in Turkey in terms of publications and citations. We are an internationally diverse department with nine different nationalities represented among our faculty. Our research encompasses all the major areas of contemporary analytical philosophy, as well as the history of philosophy. We offer a B.A. degree and a M.A. degree in philosophy. In addition, we have a philosophy minor program for students majoring in other subjects.

Translation and Interpretation

The objective of the degree program in Translation and Interpretation is to train people to translate and interpret Turkish, English, and French. The curriculum aims to develop both oral and written translation skills by focusing on current issues, national and international politics, legal issues, economic issues, literature, and technical issues. In addition to basic translation skills, students will be given the opportunity to translate web pages, audio descriptions, audio dubbing, subtitles, and documents from EU institutions and courts as well as acquire the computer skills necessary to support such translations. At this first phase level of translation, courses are given that support document translation, consecutive translation, and simultaneous translation. At the end of their third year of study, students who want to improve their interpreting skills enter a three-lingual exam. Students who are successful in this exam will be trained to excel in cubicle translation.

Turkish Literature

The Department of Turkish Literature, which offers graduate degrees, has admitted its first students to the M.A. program in the 1998-1999 academic year. The Ph.D. program for the graduates of the M.A. program and other qualified candidates started in 2001. The graduate programs are designed to encompass all periods and genres of oral and written Turkish literature from its beginnings until the present day. Present fields of concentration are: Ottoman Literature, 19th Century Literature and 20th Century Literature. Unlike many of the traditional departments in this field, the Department of Turkish Literature encourages free and creative thinking, emphasizing research, analysis, interpretation, and criticism. Aiming at enhancing the standards of Turkish literary studies and universalizing the field, the Department underscores proficiency in several languages and encourages theoretical, interdisciplinary, and comparative approaches.

Cultures, Civilizations and Ideas

Founded in 1999, the Program in Cultures, Civilizations and Ideas teaches a year-long intensive course focusing on the meaning of culture: what it is, how it functions, and how we, as subjects, participate in it. The texts that we examine exemplify a number of social, political, philosophical, and literary currents from the past that have made us who we are as citizens, intellectuals, artists, scientists, and observers in the world today. The CCI Program also hosts a colloquium series and interdisciplinary symposia that address issues in the humanities.