Boğaziçi University

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Boğaziçi University
Boğaziçi Üniversitesi
Boğaziçi University logo.svg
Former names
Robert College (1863–1971)
PresidentMehmet Naci İnci[1]
Academic staff
Administrative staff
Campus6 campuses: total 1.816 square kilometres (449 acres)[4]
ColoursLight blue and dark blue   

Boğaziçi University (Turkish: Boğaziçi Üniversitesi) is a major research university in Istanbul, Turkey. Its main campus is located on the European side of the Bosphorus strait. It has six faculties and two schools offering undergraduate degrees, and six institutes offering graduate degrees. Traditionally, the language of instruction is English. Despite the fact that there is no official statement, the university is also, and alternatively, referred to as the "Bosphorus University".[7][8]

Founded in 1863, as Robert College, it is the first American higher education institution founded outside the United States. Though under entirely Turkish administration today, the university still maintains strong ties to the American educational system.

Boğaziçi University consistently ranks highest in Turkey, having the greatest number of applicants via Turkish university entrance examinations which makes it the most selective state university in Turkey.[9] The well-known programs are electrical and electronics engineering,[10] computer engineering,[11] and industrial engineering.[12] Only the top 800 of the approximately 1.8 million participants in the annual Turkish university entrance examination (TYT-AYT) are admitted to register for these subjects at the university.[9] To be admitted into other degree programs, one usually has to be in the top 1% of the university entrance exam as well. This allows Boğaziçi University to attract many of the highest scoring students;[13] as well as having the most preferred applied science, education, engineering, and social science programs in Turkey.[14][15]


Boğaziçi University Main Campus
Boğaziçi University Economics and Administrative Sciences Faculty building

In 1863, Robert College was founded in Bebek by Christopher Robert, a wealthy American philanthropist, and Cyrus Hamlin, a Congregational missionary devoted to education.[16][17] Six years after its foundation, with the permission (Ottoman Turkish: irade‎) of the Ottoman Sultan Abdulaziz, the first campus (the current-day Boğaziçi South Campus) was built in Bebek at the ridge of the Rumelian Castle.[16]

According to a college catalog that was compiled for the 1878–1879 academic year, "the object of the College is to give to its students, without distinction of race or religion, a thorough educational equal in all respects to that obtained at a first-class American college and based upon the same general principles."[18]

After Cyrus Hamlin, the college was administrated by George Washburn (1877–1903) and Caleb Gates (1903–1932).[16] Though founded at the time of the Ottoman Empire as an institution of higher learning serving mainly the Christian minorities of the Empire and foreigners residing in Constantinople, and yet retaining a smaller Muslim and Jewish student body since its earlier days, the school adopted a strictly secular educational model in 1923 in accordance with the republican principles and policies of Turkey.[19]

Before 1971, Robert College, had junior high school, high school, and university sections under the names Robert Academy, Robert College, and Robert College Yüksek. In 1971, the Bebek campus and academic staff of Robert College were turned over to the Republic of Turkey to be transformed into a public university named Boğaziçi University, the renamed continuation of Robert College's university section (i.e. Robert College Yüksek). The rest of Robert College moved into the American College for Girls' Arnavutköy campus, and despite retaining the title of 'College', has continued to function only as a "high school."[20]

In the fall of 1971, Boğaziçi University started its first academic year with former faculty and students of Robert College Yüksek as well as a new cohort of freshman students.[16] Aptullah Kuran, the former vice-president of Robert College Yüksek was the founding rector of the university.[21] Since then, the university was gradually transformed from a small liberal arts college into a major research university.

Robert College 1880

In early 2021, the university received a lot of media attention, after the Turkish government appointed a new rector, disrespecting the tradition of the university of a democratic election of rectors.[22][23][24] Students protested against the curtailment of academic freedom.[25][26] More than 150 students were detained.[27]

Boğaziçi University South Campus Washburn Hall


The Faculty of Arts and Sciences

Boğaziçi University operates on six campuses in Istanbul. Four of these campuses (South Campus, North Campus, Hisar Campus, and Uçaksavar Campus) are within walking distance to each other, and they are located on a hill in the affluent district of Bebek on the European side of Istanbul, overlooking the Bosphorus (hence the name).

The South Campus is considered to be the most popular Boğaziçi University Campus among students and visitors alike. It houses various historic buildings of Robert College, including Hamlin, Washburn, Theodorus, Dodge, Albert Long and Anderson Halls as well as the Kennedy Lodge, named after John F. Kennedy, and currently serving as a welcoming facility for visiting professors and staff.[28]

The North Campus is home to Aptullah Kuran Library, which contains more than 740,000 printed books, 800,000 e-books, 55,000 e-journals as well as an extensive collection of Braille books, and a collection of rare books and manuscripts.[29][30]

The Kandilli Campus is right across from the shore, located on the Asian side of Istanbul (in Çengelköy) and hosts the historic Kandilli Observatory and Earthquake Research Institute (KOERI).[31]

The newest campus is in Kilyos on the Black Sea coast, and is home to a private beach. Boğaziçi's Kilyos Campus is the first sustainable energy, self-sufficient university campus in the world, meeting all of its electricity demands from its own wind power plant.[32]

South Campus Rectorate Building


Washburn Hall at Boğaziçi University Main

The university has ten dormitories on its different campuses. Boğaziçi's 1st Men's and Women's Dorms are located on the historic South Campus and are housed in some of the oldest buildings within the campus. By accommodating at these two historic buildings, students get the chance of participating in the active social and historical life of Boğaziçi University.

There are also four dormitories on Boğaziçi's North Campus. 1st and 2nd North Campus Dormitories were opened to service in 1985; and while the former serves for female students, the latter is only for male students. These two dorms have similar 1980s modernist architectural designs. The 3rd North Campus Dorm was opened in 2010 and accepts only female students. The fourth Dorm of the North Campus has been in service since 2011, and mainly accepts graduate students.

The Kilyos Campus Dormitories are located on Boğaziçi's Kilyos Campus, which is approximately one-hour drive away from Boğaziçi South and North campuses. 1st Kilyos Dorm serves only female students while the male students accommodate at the 2nd Kilyos Dorm. All of the power demands of the Kilyos dorms are supplied by the electricity that is produced on campus.

Apart from the dormitories mentioned above, Superdorm and Kandilli Dorms also provide accommodation to Boğaziçi University students. Put into service in the 1998–99 academic year, Superdorm enables the students to socialize and experience the dorm life with higher service quality, and accordingly for higher fees. The Kandilli Dorm, which was opened in 2017 on the Kandilli Campus right across the Bosphorus, serves only female students. The waste water collected from the bathrooms at the Kandilli Dorm is reused in the toilet reservoirs after a treatment process.[33]

International rankings[edit]

University rankings
Global – Overall
CWUR World[34]645 (2020-21)
CWTS World[35]1074 (2020)
QS World[36]651-700 (2021)
THE World[37]601–800 (2021)
USNWR Global[38]=197 (2021)

Boğaziçi University ranks 1st in Turkey and 197th internationally according to U.S. News & World Report 2021 Best Global Universities Rankings,[39] and shares the 5th rank among the Turkish universities according to the Times Higher Education World University Rankings of 2021 (internationally: 601 – 800).[40]

Music festival[edit]

Tasoda Festivali

Taşoda Music Festival is organized by Boğaziçi University Music Club every spring. It is the most important amateur music festival that is held in Turkey, and it takes its name from Music Club's studio at the South Campus.[41]

Sports festival[edit]

Every spring, during May, an international sports festival, called the Boğaziçi Sports Fest, is held at the South Campus and other venues of Boğaziçi University. Usually, around 300 to 800 students from all over the world come to the campus to participate in various tournaments.[42]

Departments offering bachelor's degrees[edit]

Faculty of Arts and Sciences

Boğaziçi University

Faculty of Economics and Administrative Sciences

Faculty of Education

Faculty of Engineering

School of Applied Disciplines

School of Foreign Languages

  • Advanced English
  • English Preparatory Division
  • Modern Languages Unit

Institutes offering graduate programs[edit]

Institute for Graduate Studies in Sciences and Engineering

Atatürk Institute for Modern Turkish History

Institute of Biomedical Engineering

Institute of Environmental Sciences

Kandilli Observatory and Earthquake Research Institute

Institute for Graduate Studies in Social Sciences

Vocational School of Hotel Management

  • Tourism Administration Program (Secondary education)

Other Units

Independent centers[edit]

  • Asian Studies Center
  • Boğaziçi University Center for European Studies
  • Boğaziçi University Center for Psychological Research and Services
  • Byzantine Studies Research Center
  • Center for Economics and Econometrics
  • Istanbul Center for Mathematical Sciences (IMBM)
  • Mithat Alam Film Center
  • Nafi Baba Sufism, History, and Cultural Heritage Research Center
  • Nazım Hikmet Culture and Arts Research Center
  • Peace Education and Research Center
  • Polymer Research Center
  • Sustainable Development and Cleaner Production Center (SDCPC)

Student clubs[edit]

Notable alumni[edit]

Notable faculty[edit]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Boğaziçi Üniversitesi'nin yeni rektörü Prof. Dr. Mehmet Naci İnci oldu". 21 August 2021.
  2. ^ "About BU - Facts and Figures". Boğaziçi University Website.
  3. ^ "About BU - Facts and Figures". Boğaziçi University Website.
  4. ^ a b c d e Sayılarla Boğaziçi Universitesi 2019 Boğaziçi University
  5. ^ "The University". Boğaziçi University. Retrieved 17 April 2017. The language of instruction at BU is English
  6. ^ "Our founding universities". The European University of Brain and Technology.
  7. ^
  8. ^
  10. ^ [2] BOUN EE
  11. ^ [3] BOUN CmpE
  12. ^ [4] BOUN IE
  13. ^ İlk 1000 Universielere göre dağılım Archived 31 March 2010 at the Wayback Machine Boğaziçi University
  14. ^ Belgeler OSYM
  15. ^ Huisman, Jeroen; Pausits, Attila (23 April 2019). Higher Education Management and Development. Compendium for Managers. Waxmann Verlag. ISBN 9783830972860 – via Google Books.
  16. ^ a b c d "History of Boğaziçi University". Boğaziçi University Website.
  17. ^ Freely, John (2012). A Bridge of Culture: Robert College-Boğaziçi University. Boğaziçi Üniversitesi Yayınevi.
  18. ^ "Robert Kolej, Amerikan Kız Koleji, Boğaziçi Üniversitesi Arşivi". Boğaziçi Üniversitesi Arşiv ve Dokümantasyon Merkezi.
  19. ^ Freely, John (2012). A Bridge of Culture: Robert College-Boğaziçi University. Istanbul: Boğaziçi Üniversitesi Yayınevi.
  20. ^ "About Robert College". Archived from the original on 22 February 2012. Retrieved 7 February 2012.
  21. ^ "Who is Aptullah Kuran?". Boğaziçi University Archives and Documentation Center.
  22. ^ "Students and faculty at top Turkish university battle Erdogan's attempt at control". The Washington Post (February 2021). Retrieved 10 July 2021.
  23. ^ "The High Stakes of Turkey's University Protests" (9 February 2021). Foreign Policy. Retrieved 10 July 2021.
  24. ^ "Istanbul university students clash with police over rector appointment". The Guardian (6 January 2021). Retrieved 10 July 2021.
  25. ^ "Prestigious Istanbul University Fights Erdogan's Reach". The New York Times (1 February 2021). Retrieved 10 July 2021.
  26. ^ "Student protests grow as Turkey's young people turn against Erdoğan". The Guardian. Retrieved 10 July 2021.
  27. ^ "Protests at top Turkish university trigger more than 150 arrests". The Irish Times. 2 February 2021. Retrieved 10 July 2021.
  28. ^ "Boğaziçi University – South Campus". Boğaziçi University Web. Retrieved 10 July 2021.
  29. ^ "About the Library". Boğaziçi University Library Website.
  30. ^ "Library". Boğaziçi University Website.
  31. ^ "Kandilli Observatory – History". Kandilli Observatory and Earthquake Research Institute Website. Retrieved 19 July 2021.
  32. ^ "First clean energy, self-sufficient campus in the world" (14 January 2015). Daily Sabah. Retrieved 10 July 2021.
  33. ^ "Dormitories". Boğaziçi University Website. Retrieved 19 July 2021.
  34. ^ "World University Rankings 2020-2021". Center for World University Rankingsg. Retrieved 7 January 2021.
  35. ^ "CWTS Leiden Ranking 2020". Retrieved 7 January 2021.
  36. ^ "QS World University Rankings 2021". Top Universities. 7 January 2021.
  37. ^ "World University Rankings". Times Higher Education (THE). 7 January 2021.
  38. ^ "U.S. News Education: Best Global Universities 2021".
  39. ^ "U.S. News Education: Best Global Universities 2021".
  40. ^ World Rankings 2021 Times Higher Education
  41. ^ "BÜMK Caz Orkestrası" (in Turkish). Retrieved 23 November 2020.
  42. ^ "Boğaziçi University Sports Fest". Boğaziçi University Sports Fest Website.
  43. ^ "Boğaziçi Üniversitesi Bilişim Kulübü – Compec".
  44. ^ "BUMATEK".
  45. ^ "Boğaziçi Üniversitesi Spor Kurulu". Boğaziçi Üniversitesi Spor Kurulu.
  46. ^ "Guinness World Records – First solo circumnavigation of the globe using human power". Guinness World Records. Archived from the original on 19 March 2016. Retrieved 16 January 2016.
  47. ^ "Guinness World Records – First Person to Row Three Oceans". Guinness World Records. Archived from the original on 19 March 2016. Retrieved 8 December 2013.
  48. ^ "The end of democracy in Turkey?". The Hertie School. Retrieved 11 October 2020.
  49. ^ "Murat Ulker". Forbes. Retrieved 24 January 2015.

Further readings on Boğaziçi University[edit]

  • Ata, Ranan. 2006. Boğaziçi Üniversitesi'nde Sonbahar. Istanbul: Boğaziçi Üniversitesi Yayınları.
  • Çıracıoğlu, Vecdi and Mustafa Baykan. 2013. Bilim Yolunda 100 Yıl: Boğaziçi Üniversitesi Mühendislik Fakültesi. Istanbul: Boğaziçi Üniversitesi Yayınları.
  • Freely, John. 2012. A Bridge of Culture: Robert College-Bogazici University: How An American College in Istanbul Became A Turkish University. Istanbul: Boğaziçi Üniversitesi Yayınları.
  • Freely, John. 2009. A History of Robert College. Istanbul: YKY.
  • Hamlin Cyrus, 2014. Among The Turks – My Life and Times. Istanbul: Boğaziçi Üniversitesi Yayınları (Originally published separately by Robert Carter & Brothers, New York, 1878; and Congregational School and Publishing Society, Boston and Chicago, 1893).
  • Washburn, George. 2012. Fifty Years in Constantinople and Recollections of Robert College. Istanbul: Boğaziçi Üniversitesi Yayınları (Originally published by Houghton Mufflin Company, Boston and New York, 1909).

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 41°05′01″N 29°03′02″E / 41.083556°N 29.050598°E / 41.083556; 29.050598