B. Ü. Philosophy Doctoral Program
RULES, REGULATIONS, PROGRAM TIME-TABLE
The Remedial Program:
Graduate students whose undergraduate and Master's degrees are not in philosophy have to complete 2 semesters of undergraduate courses in order to prepare themselves for the Doctoral Program. Typically the remedial program consists of 4 courses each semester taken out of the following pools: (The remedial course program will be set according to the background and interests of the student by the graduate advisor.)
Phil 131 Logic I
Phil 101 Introduction to Philosophy
Phil 273 Epistemology
Phil 341 Ethics
Phil 213 Ancient Philosophy
Phil 313 Modern Philosophy I
Phil 132 Logic II
Phil 106 Philosophical Texts
Phil 222 Philosophy of Science
Phil 382 Ontology
Phil 314 Modern Philosophy II
Remedial students who have taken equivalent philosophy courses before may take other courses, including graduate courses (max.1 course per semester), or they can take less than 4 courses per semester with the approval of the graduate advisor.
The remedial courses have to be completed in at most 2 semesters. Regulations do not allow for any extension (apart from a leave of absence with the approval of the Institute of Social Sciences).
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.
The Doctoral Program Coursework:
PhD students have to take 6 courses (typically 4 credits each) and complete 24 credits to finish their coursework. Normally students are expected to take 3 courses per semester and finish their coursework in 2 semesters. However they can get an extension of 2 semesters with the approval of the graduate advisor. 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:
1 course from Group 1
2 courses from Group 2
1 course from Group 3
The remaining 2 courses that are required may be taken from any group or from elective courses not falling into any of these groups.
Important: Among these remaining courses, at most 1 can be at the 400 level and the rest must be at 500 or 600 level; at most 1 can be directed study; at most 1 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.
PhD students are not allowed to take any undergraduate courses for credit towards the degree.
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.
PhD students who have completed their course work will take their qualifying exams the following semester. They will enroll in PHIL 689 (1 credit) and will receive a letter grade based on their performance in the qualifying exams.
During the first week of classes, the Graduate Advisor will meet together with the qualifying students to discuss the semester’s procedures.
1. Each student will select three areas to be tested on, one as major area and two as minor areas, from the following list.
Philosophy of Mind
Philosophy of Language
Political and Social Philosophy
Philosophy of Science
Philosophy of Logic
2. Each student will then select a three-person qualifying exam committee. The chairperson will be especially knowledgeable about the major area, and the other members will be especially knowledgeable about the other two areas. Two members must be members of our department and the third member must be affiliated with another university. This committee is distinct from the later dissertation committee, though of course they may overlap.
3. The student will then prepare a list of readings in each area on which s/he will be tested. Lists should be prepared with the advice of committee members. Reading lists must be approved by the committee, by the end of the second week of the term.
4. In preparing reading lists, a student may focus on certain aspects within an area. The student must include readings that survey the entire field. The exam on the two minor areas will be designed to test the candidate’s knowledge of the major figures, theories, problems etc. in those areas, as well as their ability to teach a relevant introduction course. The exam on the major area will go beyond that and will also test whether the candidate is ready to do original and independent research in that area.
The qualifying exam will consist of the following:
Written exams: The candidate will take three written exams in the three areas. Each exam will take three hours and they preferably will be taken on three different days.
Qualifying Paper: The candidate will write a comprehensive paper on his/her major area and submit it to the committee before he/she takes the written exams. The paper is expected to show that the candidate is ready to work on his/her Ph.D. dissertation. The paper cannot be a term paper written for a seminar the candidate has taken earlier, but it could be a substantially revised and enlarged version of such a paper.
Oral Exam: After the candidate submits his/her qualifying paper and takes the written exams, he/she will take an oral exam. The committee members may ask questions on the three areas of the candidate, his/her answers in the written exams, and issues discussed in the qualifying paper.
(Note: The timing of the exams is determined in consultation with all of the committee members. The final decision about the candidate is given typically by the last day of the classes at that term. The candidates are advised to keep this point in mind in planning their Qualifying semester.)
The committee will reconvene to assess the candidate’s performance in all three written exams separately, as well as the oral defense and qualifying paper. If the committee decides that the candidate’s work in any of the exams is not satisfactory, the candidate will be considered to have failed on that part of the qualifying exams, in which case the candidate will be given a second chance to take that part of the exams the next semester. If the candidate does not pass all exams by the end of the following semester, the candidate will be dismissed from the program.
It is part of the "qualification" that the students take a language exam to prove their proficiency in English. A minimum score of 60 in the KPDS (Kamu Personeli Yabancý Dil Bilgisi Seviye Tespit Sýnavý) is required.
Candidates who pass the qualifying exams will start working on their dissertation. They will enroll in PHIL 790 (0 credit) every semester until their graduation. They will receive a "TP" grade (which stands for "thesis in progress") if their committee is satisfied with the progress in their dissertation for that particular semester. Otherwise they will receive an "F" grade. Students who receive an "F" grade in two consecutive semesters will be dismissed from the program. They will receive a "P" grade upon the completion and the successful defense of their dissertation. The dissertation committee will consist of five members, one of whom will be the chair (or two of whom will be co-chairs) and one of whom will have to be affiliated with another university (the external member). Emeritus professors from our department, and the external committee members cannot chair the committee alone, though they may act as co-chairs as long as the other co-chair is a member of our department.
(The candidates are advised to bear in mind that the topic, supervisor and committee of their proposal/thesis will have to be approved by the Department. In other words, it is not sufficient to pick a topic and determine a faculty member as the supervisor. The department must be convinced that the thesis topic is one that can be studied in this department and the supervisor & committee members are suitable for that job.)
The candidate will do a proposal before the committee members within six moths after he/she passes the qualifying exams. The proposal will be an oral presentation of the candidate’s work that is expected to lead into his/her dissertation. The candidate will submit a written version of the proposal to the committee members at least a week before the oral presentation takes place. If the committee members do not find the proposal satisfactory they will give their specific comments on how it may be improved or they may ask the candidate to work on another topic. The candidate will then be given a second chance to do the proposal the following semester.
Once the proposal is approved by the committee the candidate will start working on the dissertation. Once the dissertation is finished the candidate will submit it to the committee members and preferably at least a month later will do an oral defense of his/her work. Ph.D. candidates have to finish the program in twelve semesters (not including the remedial program) at the latest.