Our doctoral program is highly selective, competitive, and academically-oriented. Hence, the program is reserved for a limited number of students who are qualified to spend several years conducting intensive research and wish to pursue an academic career. All prospective students admitted to the program are fully-funded to serve as research and teaching assistants in pursuing their degree. The main objective of the program is to develop the skills of doctoral candidates in international political analysis, to increase their capacity to conduct cutting-edge and innovative research, and to prepare them for teaching. To achieve these objectives, we equip our students with substantive knowledge about the field, rigorous methodological and analytical skills on wide array of topics of international security, foreign policy, international political economy, regional integration, global environmental problems, peacekeeping and conflict resolution. Almost all of our graduates are currently working as professional scholars in leading academic institutions of Europe and Turkey, and highly contribute to the field of International Relations.

Our students take 8 courses to complete their 25 credit units course work along with program required training such as Pre-Thesis Seminar, Academic Practices and PhD Dissertation. Among these 8 courses, they must take one program-required courses, Current Debates in International Relations Theory; minimum two courses among the method-elective cluster; four courses from department-elective cluster; and one unrestricted elective course that can be taken from any department to support the expertise of the student. Following the completion of the course load, our students take a comprehensive exam to qualify for dissertation stage, and they are expected to defend their dissertation by the end of the fifth year in the program. 

Our graduate admissions committee select the prospective students based on their achievements, scholarly skills, and academic fit. To apply the program, prospective students must have completed a Bachelor of Arts degree, and Master of Arts in International Relations or approximately equivalent training with a minimum of 1) 3.00 cumulative GPA, 2) ALES score of 55 (equally weighted, for Turkish citizens), or GRE score of 298 (verbal and quantitative total + minimum 4.0 analytical, for foreigners), 3) English proficiency measured via TOEFL IBT (at least 87 – home edition not accepted), IELTS (at least 6.5 average and 5.5 from each section) or Bilkent PAE (at least C).

For more information about the program, please contact: dgs_ir@bilkent.edu.tr.