History of the Program
In 2005, the United Nations, by the sponsorship of the governments of Spain and Turkey, established the Alliance of Civilizations Initiative (UNAOC) with the purpose of addressing “roots of polarization between societies and cultures today, and to recommend a practical programme of action.” In order to provide an academic basis for this vision, the Alliance of Civilizations Institute (ACI) was established as a graduate institution in 2010, then as part of Fatih Sultan Mehmet Vakıf University in Istanbul. Since 2017, ACI has carried on its research and teaching activity as a graduate institute of Ibn Haldun University.
Multidisciplinary and Transdisciplinary Approach
The program analyzes different civilizations through a comparative perspective. The students enrolled in the program investigate civilizations adopting an interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary approach fed by various disciplines such as religion, art, literature, history, sociology, and political science. The faculty at our Institute regard different disciplines not as different areas of research but as complementary perspectives that aim to analyze humanity’s common issues. Students coming to our Institute from different corners of the world with awareness of different problems, choose a particular issue which they tackle through a particular research question and strive to answer this question through the thesis writing process.
In our courses, we encourage students to be aware of the strong connections between civilizations, and languages – as carriers of civilizations. Our Institute by nature is multilingual as it studies multiple civilizations. While English is the language of instruction in most courses, we provide language learning support in Turkish and Arabic as well.
Students who have completed all the required courses and their chosen electives, and then defended their thesis successfully gain the right of receiving a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree from the Department of Civilization Studies
Recognition of Prior Learning
Students who have gained admission after having studied at other higher education establishments can ask for transfer of credit for the courses they have completed successfully at their previous institution.
The Institute Board may accept or reject the application.
Assessment and Grading
For matters concerning exams and other assessments, the institute is subject to the 23rd article of Ibn Haldun University Education and Exam Regulations for Graduate Studies.
Our students may be employed in:
- State administration
- International organizations
We believe that at the heart of academic inquiry lies the ability to problematize the familiar. Therefore, our program encourages students to perceive and pursue what is problematic in the most normalized social, political, cultural, and religious practices of their own milieu. The Institute thus works to inspire students to undertake projects guided by such original questions that have been formulated through the knowledge of the literature. Formulating questions is thus an integral part of the education at the Institute.
By the completion of the Civilization Studies PhD program, students will be able to
- Demonstrate an understanding of the complexity of seemingly simple social, cultural, and political phenomena
- Compare the main characteristics of world civilizations
- Compare different theoretical approaches and their core concepts in Civilization Studies
- Explain a subject in an interdisciplinary and critical manner
- Relate their research endeavour in humanities and social sciences to their ethical and moral aspect
- Distinguish micro-dynamics in macro structures and vice versa
- Develop a research question and express it in due format
- Develop argumentative skills
- Analyze a contemporary problem from the Civilization Studies perspective
- Design a research project on the subject matter under study
- Gain competence in three languages: Turkish, Arabic, English
- Demonstrate that they have a good grasp of the research that has already been done in their field of study
- Identify how certain questions concerning the field have been solved and thus gain knowledge about methodology in the field of Civilization Studies
- Apply their knowledge of field and method to a particular case study or a topic
- Compare different concepts of civilizations through main and classical foundational texts
- Identify the relevance of contemporary issues in classical texts
- Demonstrate advanced understanding of two specific civilizations
- Demonstrate competence in critically evaluating cutting-edge ideas and relate civilizational problems with a focus on the issue areas that have not yet been adequately explored
- Develop an idea that poses and solves an original problem to build on and contribute to the existing literature
- Completing all the courses required at the department they are enrolled in ( PhD: 264 ECTS) successfully
- Having achieved a GPA of 3,00 and above
- Having completed and successfully defended the PhD thesis
- Journal Article: Before the thesis defence, the student who has completed his/her doctoral dissertation must present at least one article produced from their thesis, alone or coauthored with other researchers. The article should include the University's name and must be published (or accepted for publication or has received “revise and resubmit”) in journals indexed by Web of Science or other international indexes approved by the board of the institute.
- Conference Presentation: During the thesis period, the student is required to make a presentation about his/her research at the annual Graduate Conference on Social Sciences, Humanities, Education, and Management organized by the University or at any other academic events organized within or outside the University. The student must provide proof of this with a document to be submitted to the Graduate School Directorate.
Currently, there are nearly a hundred students at our Institute, coming from forty different countries. With our diverse body of students and our esteemed faculty from different disciplines and universities from all over the world, MEDIT/ACI is a polyphonic family. Each year we receive hundreds of applications from Turkey and abroad. We apply the highest standards in our selection process and admitted students continue their education with generous scholarships.
Our students engage in social projects and teamwork. Led by our faculty and the student body in turn, we organize MA and PhD writing workshops, weekly conferences and conduct research projects. Our unique academic/institutional environment cherishes and facilitates staff-student interaction and cooperation.