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Political Science, Ph.D.

  • Application Deadline
  • 48 months
University rank #521 (QS) ,
The graduate program in Political Science at Sabanci University provides integrated training at MA and PhD levels.The program offers a comprehensive and up-to-date review of the major fields of Political Science and provides the students with a rigorous conceptual framework, basic analytical tools and sound methodological training in the discipline. 


The graduate program in Political Science at Sabanci University covers the major fields of Political Science (Comparative Politics, International Relations, Political Theory) and offers a rich set of specialization possibilities. With a thematic concentration on Turkish Politics, Middle Eastern Politics, and European Politics, the program stands out among its competitors in Turkey by its courses and faculty members specializing in formal theory and the production and analysis of quantitative evidence.

While some graduates of the MA program choose to pursue their careers in business, public administration or other professions, others enroll in PhD programs abroad or they move up to our integrated PhD program. The admission decisions concerning MA students are made by a committee consisting of the members of the graduate program in Political Science. The committee makes its decisions taking into account (a) the applicant's performance in the "PhD gateway exam", and (b) the applicant's general performance in the courses in the field.

PhD Gateway Exam

The applicants to the PhD program in Political Science at Sabanc? University must pass (in their first attempt) an anonymous and written "gateway" exam. This exam assesses the applicants' ability to write coherent and meaningful essays reflecting their grasp of the basic methodologies and debates in political science. This exam also aims at giving the applicants a chance to synthesize the disciplinary essentials they have been exposed to and articulate their own views. The results of the exam are evaluated by a committee made up of the members of the graduate program in Political Science.

PhD students must write and present a research paper in a faculty seminar with the participation of thesis committee, faculty members and students before their thesis defense in order to meet the graduation requirement besides fulfilling other program requirements.

Program objectives

The PhD program in Political Science at Sabanc? University is geared towards preparing students towards writing a PhD dissertation that constitutes a contribution to theory. The focus of the program is on comparative politics and political thought currents. The program opts for producing original research on issues of citizenship and currents of thought such  as conservatism, liberalism, nationalism, fascism as well as minority issues in modern nation-states.

Detailed Programme Facts

  • Programme intensity Full-time
    • Full-time duration 48 months
  • Credits
    240 alternative credits
  • Languages
    • English
  • Delivery mode
    On Campus

Programme Structure

Courses include (but not limited to):
    • Comparative Method  
    • Comp.Party Sys&Elect.Behav. 
    • Quantitative Research Methods  
    • International Negotiation  
    • Latin American Politics  
    • Turkish Politics  
    • Current Issues in Turkish Pol.
    • Ethnicity & Nationalism  Course Web Site  
    • Human Rights in World Affairs   
    • Loc.Gov. in Turkey&The Eu. Un. 
    • Acad. Practices & Development 
    • Acad. Practices & Development2  
    • AcademicWriting forGR Students 
    • Comparative Politics  
    • International Relations Theory 
    • Acad. Practices & Development3  
    • Thesis Preparation Seminar 

                                          English Language Requirements

                                          You need the following TOEFL iBT ® score:

                                          • Minimum required score:


                                            The TOEFL iBT ® measures your English-language abilities in an academic setting. The test has four sections (reading, listening, speaking, and writing), each with a score range of 0-30, for a total score range of 0-120. Read more about TOEFL iBT ®.

                                            Schedule TOEFL®

                                          Academic Requirements

                                          You need the following GPA score:

                                          Required score: 3

                                          Applicants for graduate programs must have the equivalent of a bachelor’s degree with a minimum GPA equivalent to 3 on a US 4.0 grading scale. Admitted applicants typically have an undergraduate GPA of or better on a 4.0 scale. No exam grade should be lower than 4.5 (European grade scale) or D (American grade scale).

                                          Your GPA (Grade Point Average) is calculated using the grades that you received in each course, and is determined by the points assigned to each grade (e.g. for the US grading scale from A-F).

                                          • This programme accepts GRE® scores and has provided a minimum required score range.

                                            Minimum required Quantitative Reasoning score:


                                            The score range represents scores typically accepted at this institution.

                                            The GRE® General Test is a widely administered admissions test that measures the skills needed in today's graduate and business school programs worldwide. The GRE® General Test contains three sections - Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, and Analytical Writing. Three scores are reported: a Verbal Reasoning score on a 130 - 170 score scale in one-point increments, a Quantitative Reasoning score on a 130 - 170 score scale in one-point increments, and an Analytical Writing score on a 0 - 6 score scale in half-point increments.

                                          General Requirements

                                          Application Documents and Requirements: 

                                          • Online Application Form Candidates can apply to more than one program via the online system. A separate application form should be filled out for each program to which a candidate wishes to apply.
                                          • Official Transcript: A sealed official transcript issued by the Student Affairs unit of the applicant's previous university should be submitted. This document should indicate the courses taken and grades received by the applicant 
                                          • Two Letters of Recommendation: These should be either submitted online or posted in a sealed envelope. Sample letter
                                          • One Photograph
                                          • Statement of Purpose
                                          • Writing Sample
                                          • Portfolio
                                          • Result for Graduate Program Entrance Exam

                                          Tuition Fee

                                          • International

                                            18000 USD/year
                                            Tuition Fee
                                            Based on the original amount of 18000 USD per year and a duration of 48 months.
                                          We've labeled the tuition fee that applies to you because we think you are from and prefer over other currencies.

                                          Living costs for Istanbul

                                          • 2000 - 3240 TRY/month
                                            Living Costs

                                          The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.


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