Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Cultural Studies
The degree of PhD in Cultural Studies program is run by the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences (HSS) at Yıldız Technical University. It is the first PhD program on cultural studies realized in Turkey. Students from across the world are welcome to the program. MA degree holders in cultural studies and equivalent degrees are invited to apply, including majors in sociology, anthropology, politics, international relations, psychology, history, art history, human geography, philosophy, gender and women studies, world literature, Turkish literature, law and multicultural education.
Language of the Program
The language of instruction is English. All writing and speaking activities in the program such as courses, theses, assignments, exams and comprehensives are held in English. The program has its own English language requirement. Students must have a score from YDS (the Turkish national examination for English language proficiency) or an equivalent score from international tests (such as TOEFL and IELTS) recognized by Turkish Higher Education Institution (YÖK). For the current updated score requirements please check out the Graduate Institute of Social Sciences website.
The applicants must perform a score from the ALES examination for admission. An equivalent score from GRE is also accepted. For the current updated score requirements please check out the Graduate Institute of Social Sciences website.
Following their enrollment, students must take 3 preparatory courses from the MA in Humanities and Social Sciences program during their first semester (Fall) before starting the regular coursework. These three courses will be Modern World History (ITB 5199), Major Theories in Social Sciences (ITB5101) and another course to be assigned before the semester begins. Students should score at least a CB (2.5/4.0) from each preparatory course. These courses are not included in the cumulative GPA.
Coursework and Credit Requirements
Please check out the Graduate School of Social Sciences (YTÜ Sosyal Bilimler Enstitüsü) and Turkish Higher Educational Institution’s (YÖK) rules and regulations for minimum credit requirements and other procedures for graduation. As per course requirements, students will have 21 hours of course load (7 courses) excluding the preparatory courses. Of these 7 courses, 2 must be core courses and the remaining 5 are electives. Other than these 7 departmental courses, students are expected to pass 2 non-credit (pass/fail) courses, namely Seminar (Spring) and Ethics & Research Methods (Fall). The Seminar course should be taken not earlier than the second semester.
Students are expected to organize their own schedule and are responsible for their own choices. PhD students should complete all their coursework in 4 semesters (2 years) excluding the one semester preparatory courses. Under normal circumstances one core course is available every semester. The non-credit courses may not be available every semester. Seminar can be taken in the Spring semester and Ethics & Research Methods will be available in the Fall semester. The Seminar course could only be taken once the student is officially assigned to a thesis supervisor.
Students should take the core courses as soon as they are available. Postponing the core courses may risk not completing the course load on time.
Core Courses (Required)
HSS requires all students to take two core courses that are fundamental to comprehending theoretical and methodological debates within the field of cultural studies. The core courses will also constitute an important part of the qualifying examinations.
· ITB 6100 Theories in Cultural Studies
· ITB 6101 Qualitative Research Methods
Cultural Studies program offers a wide range of elective courses each semester. These courses can be divided into three groups. The first group of courses covers theoretical issues in social sciences and cultural studies, while the second group of courses aims to prepare students for research skills such as research design, literature review, data collection, data analysis, and writing skills. The rest of the courses reflect the diversity of faculty expertise and student interest. Students are advised to contact faculty members to be able to choose the courses that best fit their needs and interests.
The elective courses aim to help students customize their own program. Find a list of all approved courses below. Note that some of the courses may not be available every semester as the faculty will decide to open only a limited number of courses from the course pool. Also, the faculty may decide to approve and open new courses that are not on this list. Please check out the elective alternatives from the department at the beginning of each semester. Students are allowed to take up to two courses from the MA program in Humanities and Social Sciences. However, the MA course should not be identical to any course elected from the PhD list. Please consult the department or your supervisor in case you have questions.
· ITB 6102 Heritage Studies
· ITB 6103 Contemporary Approaches to Urban Studies
· ITB 6104 Culture, Power and Inequality
· ITB 6105 Political Economy and Cultural Studies
· ITB 6106 Ottoman Ceremonies and Manners
· ITB 6107 Space and Identity
· ITB 6108 Minorities in the Middle East
· ITB 6109 Media and Cultural Representation
· ITB 6110 Cultural Diversity
· ITB 6111 Cultural Politics of ‘Race’ and Ethnicity
· ITB 6112 History of Everyday Life
· ITB 6113 Cultural History
· ITB 6114 Cultures of Conspiracy
· ITB 6115 Materialism and Positivism in Turkish Intellectual History
· ITB 6116 Bergsonianism in Turkish Intellectual History
· ITB 6117 Popular Culture in Turkey
· ITB 6118 Gender, Culture and Representation
· ITB 6119 History of Perception
· ITB 6120 History, Narratives, Discourse
· ITB 6121 History of Material Culture
· ITB 6122 Philosophy of Film
· ITB 6123 Language and Power in Political Thought
. ITB 6124 The Socio-Cultural Context of Aging and Poverty
· ITB 6125 Music in Ottoman Society During the Nineteenth Century: Cultural Processes
. ITB 6126 Oral History and Memory
· ITB 6001 Seminar
· ITB 6004 Ethics & Research Methods
In order to be qualified to take the PhD comprehensive examination, students must have a GPA of at least 3.0/4.0 (BB) in their coursework with no grade lower than a BB. Comprehensive examinations will take place twice a year. The student taking the exam needs to work with his/her supervisor throughout the process. In comprehensive examinations, students are expected to demonstrate competence in two fields: (1) theory and practice in cultural studies and (2) an area of specialization. Students are examined in each of these fields. A written examination is followed by an oral examination.
Once completed their full coursework, students are obliged to register online at the beginning of the semester they plan to enter the comprehensive examination. Students will receive a list of reading material 6 months prior to the exam. Students must enter the comprehensive examination at the end of 5 semesters (2.5 years) latest. In the event that a student fails in the comprehensive examination, there will be another chance in 6 months. A third chance will not be granted.
Students should decide on a dissertation topic and be assigned to a supervisor by the end of the first year in order to be able to choose courses for the following year. It is the responsibility of the student to contact and find a supervisor and agree to formally work on a dissertation topic. Once the dissertation supervisor is formally identified, students must add from GSIS the following two courses at the registration period of each semester: Doktora Tezi and Uzmanlık Alan Dersi. Each candidate must prepare a dissertation under the guidance of his/her supervisor to be defended finally in an oral examination. The dissertation must be completed in accordance with the deadlines and guidelines of the Graduate Institute of Social Sciences.
Dissertation and the Monitoring Process
Students work with their supervisors in preparing their dissertations. A Dissertation Committee follows the progress made by the student. This Committee ideally consists of three members recommended by the student’s supervisor and approved by both the department chair and the Graduate School of Social Sciences. In their first meeting, the Committee approves the student’s dissertation outline. The Dissertation Committee meets twice a year to assist the student and review the student’s progress.
Dissertation Defense (Oral Examination)
A full dissertation draft must be submitted to the Graduate School of Social Sciences and a preliminary approval received for the scheduling of the oral examination date. The supervisor identifies 4 other jury members of which 2 are external and 2 are internal examiners. All oral exams are open to public. Students should consult their supervisors for the oral exam details.
For a student to graduate from the program, s/he has to fulfil the departmental requirements above as well as the requirements of the Graduate School of Social Sciences (SBE) and Turkish Higher Education Institution (YÖK). Student must publish an article with their supervisor in an international/Turkish peer-reviewed academic journal and make a presentation in an international/Turkish academic conference. Please consult your supervisor and visit the Graduate School of Social Sciences website for formal procedures required for graduation. The maximum duration of the program including the courses, comprehensives and the dissertation is 12 semesters (6 years).
For more information on the program and the admission requirements, please visit the the Graduate School of Social Sciences website: