The department’s goal is to give its students a better understanding of the world and its history and to foster critical thinking and writing by exploring textual and visual materials. Our lectures are supplemented with field trips, screenings of films and distinguished guest lecturers from Turkey and abroad. Through a diversified approach to understanding the past, we encourage our students to undertake historical studies in a dynamic and vibrant way. History majors can seek careers in a variety of areas such as government, business, the cultural sector, publishing, broadcasting, and journalism or continue their studies at the graduate level to become scholars.
The department offers courses in the History and Visual Culture of the Byzantine, Ottoman, Modern Turkish, Arab, Russian, and European Worlds, as well as ancient languages such as Greek, Latin, and Ottoman Turkish. Students have also an opportunity to take courses in Archaeology, Art and Architectural History of the Mediterranean, Europe and the Middle East from the Archaeology and History of Art Department. The department offers several elective courses such as history of modern diplomacy, history of ideologies, gender, culture and politics, and state and society in the Middle East. Many of the undergraduate history courses are cross listed with the Sociology, Economics and International Relations departments which facilitate the history student’s pursuit of a double major. The required core course of the university, the History of the Turkish Revolution, as well as a variety of elective core courses in History are administrated and offered by the department.
The faculty participates and organizes international conferences and workshops, pursues research in archives and at archaeological sites in Turkey and abroad. We cooperate closely with the Koç University Anatolian Civilizations Research Center in Beyoğlu. Our students benefit from its specialized research library, conferences and seminars, as well as the expertise of its in-residence international fellows. Students who are interested in advancing their Ottoman language and paleography have an opportunity to participate in the Harvard-Koç Ottoman Language Summer School in Cunda, Ayvalık.
The History Department has two graduate programs: MA in Comparative Studies in History and Society jointly with the Sociology Department and MA in Anatolian Civilization and Cultural Heritage Management offering full fellowships to successful candidates.