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Historian, historiographer, demographer and sociologist — as a 14th century intellectual giant Ibn Haldun was a man of many talents. Nearly 650 years from the inception of the Muqaddimah, the History Department at IHU aspires to a similarly complex, interdisciplinary, multi-faceted, comparative and sociological richness capable of transcending both Eurocentric and narrowly Ottoman-Turkish focused approaches.

Eventually the History Department will be running a full range of ve undergraduate and graduate programs: a History BA, a History MA (with and without thesis), and a History PhD, plus a more interdisciplinary MA in Turkish Studies (with and without thesis) as well as a unique PhD also in Turkish Studies. In all cases, English is the primary language of instruction, complemented by proficiency in Modern Turkish as well as the requisite research languages of Ottoman Turkish, Arabic and Persian. In turn, such linguistic skills shall pave the way for a combination of high standards in empirical research with broad theoretical horizons.

Apart from these current or projected degree pro- grams, History also makes a rich contribution to the undergraduate core curriculum. With only a few exceptions, most first (or in some cases second) year IHU undergraduates will be taking the same twelve (six per semester) University Courses, including two terms each of World History, World Art and Literature, Modern Turkish History, and Modern Turkish Literature. While vectoring into other departments’ expectations in different ways, these eight University Courses constitute a solid bedrock especially for the History BA program.

A second tier of foundation-building for the History BA comprises a pool of ten electives from other IHU faculties and departments, including two law (LAW), two economics (ECON), two politics (POLS), two sociology (SOC) and two philosophy (PHIL) courses. To complete the History BA, students have to take a minimum of four courses from this pool. They may do so at any time after their freshman year. This is intended to enhance their mental awareness of neighboring disciplines and to instil an overall sense of the Humanities and Social Sciences.

Next come (a) a required course in historical thought and method, as well as (b) a selection of two out of nine courses in world history or the historical sociology that are listed as core electives. Students are then directed to one of three sub-concentrations:

  • Ottoman and Modern Turkish History;
  • Middle Eastern, Islamic and Asian History;
  • European and American History.

Each specialisation calls for another ve electives, plus a set of language requirements specific to that branch. For their remaining electives, students are encouraged to turn to a broad range of art and literature courses to bolster their cultural back- ground and diversify their intellectual horizons.