MA Program

You will find below detailed info about our Master's program. The education language in Boğaziçi University is English.

Please note that there have been recent changes in our Grad Program Application Rules and Grad Program Coursework (Area) Requirements.

 

RULES, REGULATIONS, PROGRAM TIME-TABLE

(revised May 2020)


You will find here detailed explanation of the rules of the Philosophy Department M.A. program. The Boğaziçi University page of "General Rules and Regulations of Graduate Education" (in Turkish) can be viewed here. That page contains the general rules binding all departments.


1. The Remedial Program

Graduate students whose undergraduate degrees are not in philosophy have to complete two semesters of undergraduate courses, known as the "remedial year", in order to prepare themselves for the Master's Program. Also the department may decide in certain cases that a student must spend a remedial year despite the fact that they have studied philosophy at the university level. Typically the remedial students take four courses each semester. Three of those are the "must courses" for all remedial students and one course is chosen by the student, as explained below.

1st semester
Phil 131 Logic I
Phil 101 Introduction to Philosophy
Phil 273 Epistemology
Phil 341 Ethics
Phil 213 Ancient Philosophy
Phil 313 Modern Philosophy I

In the first semester the students must take Phil 131, Phil 273, Phil 341

2nd semester:
Phil 132 Logic II
Phil 106 Philosophical Texts
Phil 222 Philosophy of Science
Phil 382 Ontology
Phil 314 Modern Philosophy II

In the second semester the students must take Phil 132, Phil 222, Phil 382

The remedial courses have to be completed in at most two semesters. Regulations do not allow for any extension (apart from a leave of absence with the approval of the Institute of Social Sciences). During the remedial year students cannot take any grad-level (5xx and 6xx) courses.

According to the regulations remedial students whose cumulative GPA is less than 2.5 at the end of a semester, and those who get an F in any class are dismissed from the program. 


2. The Master's Program Coursework:

M.A. students normally have 4 semesters to graduate (not counting the remedial terms), and the maximum (extended) duration they have in the program is 6 semester. These rules stand whether students are registered for every term or remained unregistered for some.

Among the 6 courses taken, 4 of them must cover certain area requirements, as explained below.

Graduate courses that are opened each term are categorized in three groups:

Group 1: ethics, aesthetics, social philosophy, political philosophy, philosophy of law.
Group 2: logic, philosophy of science, epistemology, metaphysics and ontology, philosophy of language, philosophy of mind.
Group 3: history of philosophy.
 

Courses in Groups 1 and 2 have predominantly contemporary (as opposed to predominantly Ancient or Medieval or Modern) content. Courses in Group 3 have predominantly Ancient or Medieval or Modern (as opposed to contemporary) content.

Note: A graduate course offered any semester cannot satisfy the requirement for more than one group.

The area requirements are as follows:
 

One course from Group 1
Two courses from Group 2
One course from Group 3



The remaining two courses that are required may be taken from any group or from elective courses not falling into any of these groups.

Among these remaining courses, at most one can be at the 400 level and the rest must be at 500 or 600 level; at most one can be directed study; at most one can be from outside the department. However, for these sorts of courses the student must get the approval of the graduate advisor. Directed studies, 400 level courses and courses taken outside Philosophy Department do not fulfill any area requirements.  

Typically each semester at least one course from each area is offered. The graduate advisor will let you know during registration which course falls under which area.

Click here to view the "Graduate Programs in Philosophy" page of Bogaziçi University.  This page contains a full list and descriptions of the courses that are currently in the catalogue.  The courses that are actually opened vary each term and are decided by the department.


3. Important Reminders about the M.A. Program

(a) M.A. students determine their thesis supervisor by the end of the first M.A. term (not counting the remedial year), and declare it by submitting the pertinent form to the B. Ü. Institute for Graduate Studies in Social Sciences (the "Institute" for short hereafter) before the first term ends.

(b) M.A. students must register to the proper section of the thesis course PHIL-690 if they are at their second M.A. term or beyond that. They are given an F (fail) or TP (thesis in progress) grade by their thesis supervisor at the end of the term. If a student gets two successive F grades (or three F grades non-successively) they are dismissed from the program.

(c) Similarly, M.A. students declare their thesis topic by the end of the second M.A. term by filling out and submitting the relevant form.

(d) M.A. students must finish their coursework within at most 4 terms.

(e) Students are advised to be mindful of, and punctual about, the forms they must fill out and submit to the Institute. The downloadable forms are here. M.A. students must examine those forms and get clear on which ones they need to submit at what stage of the program.

M.A. students who have completed their coursework will start working on their Master's Thesis the following semester.


4. Explanation of Certain Important Grad Courses (Proposal, Thesis, Directed Study)

Given below is a simplified guide about the Proposal, Thesis, and Directed Study courses:


PHIL 579 (0 credit):

This "Proposal course" is taken after the coursework (6 courses) is done. Alternatively, if you have already taken 5 courses and only one course remains, then you can take that sixth course and PHIL 579 in the same semester. If, however, that last course is PHIL 590 (Directed Study), then make sure that the content of PHIL 590 is not the same as your Proposal.

PHIL 589 (1 credit):

This course is taken only once, in the term immediately following your Proposal. You cannot take 579 and 589 in the same semester. This also means that you cannot graduate in the term you are doing the Proposal.

PHIL 690 (0 credit):

Thesis course for MA students. Students register for this course in their second term, regardless of whether they have finished the M.A. courses or not, and keep on taking it until graduation. When you register for 690, pick the right section which bears the name of your current/prospective thesis supervisor. You will get a TP grade for this course every term unless you fail to keep in touch with your thesis advisor.

PHIL 590 (4 credits):

Directed Study course. If you choose to take 590, you must find an instructor to work with. The philosophical content must be substantial in this course.

A summary of 579, 589, 690: When a regular M.A. student finishes her coursework, her remaining two semesters go like the following: 690 and 579 in the first term; then 690 and 589 in the second term. If you have hitherto taken 5 courses, you will go as follows for the next two terms: one course and 690 and 579; then 690 and 589.


5. Preparation of the M.A. pre-Proposal and Proposal

Once students successfully pass the required courses in the M.A. program, they write and defend a Proposal (PHIL 579). Passing from the Proposal at the end of a term means that students can start to work on their thesis.

Early in the Proposal term, the students submit to the department a brief (several pages long) description of the Topic, as well as the names of their Supervisor and other Committee members, to the grad advisor by email. This document is called "pre-Proposal", and the students can keep on working on their Proposal only if their pre-Proposal is approved in a departmental meeting. The real Proposal (a longer and more developed document) is defended in the end of the term. These two documents need not be extremely detailed, but rather contain precise and clear statements of the thesis project. A short bibliography in the end is required for both the pre-Proposal and Proposal.

Students must submit the final draft of their Proposals to the Committee 7-10 days before their Proposal defense.

The M.A. thesis committee consists of 3 members. One member is the thesis supervisor and must be a full-time member of this department. Another member must be an "external", that is, an academic from another university. (Boğaziçi academics from other departments are not considered as "externals".) And the third member must be a member of this department. Students are also required to declare two substitute members, one internal and one external. Our retired professors cannot serve in the thesis committees; they can be externals if they work full time at other institutions at the time of committee formation. Moreover, retired professors can be co-supervisors unoficially, that is, without having a right to vote in thesis committees.

As soon as the three members of the committee are determined, the student submits the signed "MA Thesis Committee Assignment Form".

Students who fulfill these requirements will get a P grade for PHIL 579; those who do not turn in their Proposals in time, or do not successfully defend their proposals, will get an F grade. Students who get an F grade twice in PHIL 579 will be dismissed from the program.

After the Proposal is defended successfully, students will start working on their theses the following semester. In this semester students will enroll in PHIL 589 (1 credit). Depending on the progress report given by the thesis advisor students will get a letter grade in PHIL 589.


6. M.A. Thesis

Students are expected to write and submit their theses in two semesters. However they can get an extension for two more semesters (keeping in mind the "max. 6 terms" rule in the M.A. program).

In their last semester students will have to submit their thesis and defend it orally before their committee. The deadline for the thesis defense is, generally, early in the finals period. Students are asked to set a date in advance with their committee members and get the approval of the graduate advisor.

After the oral defense, the committee members will convene and decide whether the thesis is satisfactory. The committee may ask for certain revisions, in which case the student can be given an extension for three months. In such a case the student will have to file a petition to the Institute of Social Sciences. At the end of the three month period the student will have to defend the revised version of the thesis before the committee, and no further extension can be given.

Students are strongly advised to read carefully the General Rules and Regulations of Graduate Education for the details of the norms and regulations.