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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 program focuses on the Palaeolithic, Neolithic and Bronze Age through the Classical and Byzantine periods of modern Turkey, the Eastern Mediterranean and the Near East, but also their connections with the rest of the antique world. With an emphasis on how material remains contribute to our knowledge of the past, our approach is comprehensive and interdisciplinary. On the one hand, we study antiquity in a cultural, artistic and historical perspective, involving cultural and physical anthropology and scientific analysis. On the other, we provide full professional and practical training in archaeological drawing and surveying, digital archaeological (GIS, 3D modelling), as well as excavations and museum practices. As a small department, we promote a warm sense of community between fellow students and teachers, supporting this further with departmental visits to various archaeological sites and museums that represent Turkey’s rich cultural heritage. The result is an excellent environment for learning and a setting which encourages our students to perfect their practical, analytical and presentational skills to the highest ability with the opportunity to become full-trained archaeologists or to embrace whatever career comes afterwards.

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 the department of philosophy has established a reputation for high quality philosophical education and research. Its members have published articles in renowned international journals, as well as books with leading 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 Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Doctoral degrees in philosophy. In addition, we have a philosophy minor program for students majoring in other subjects. Our students are active participants in the life of the department – helping to organize conferences, PhilFest, the philosophical lexicon, and our undergraduate journal.

Translation and Interpretation

The degree program in Translation and Interpretation trains translators and interpreters in Turkish, English and French. It is dedicated to providing students with the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in the evolving and challenging field of translation and interpretation. Our curriculum combines theoretical and practical knowledge to equip our students with the necessary toolkit in light of the existing demands of the field. The curriculum is designed to introduce a building block approach towards acquisition of translation and interpreting skills. Our course offerings include a wide range of topics, from basic translation and interpreting courses to advanced courses supplemented with courses aimed at enriching general knowledge and world know-how of the students such as culture, technology, international institutions, diction and Turkish language. Specialized courses such as note-taking, consecutive interpreting, translation of texts on economy, law, current affairs, technology, literature etc. are also given all the while to help students find their passion in this field, and guide them accordingly. We also offer a variety of electives to help students tailor their education to their individual interests and career goals. The staff at Department of Translation and Interpretation is committed to providing a constructive and enabling learning environment for all students.

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.