GE 400



This is a one-semester course offered to senior students in FEASS (Economics, International Relations and Political Science and Public Administration Departments). It is designed to enhance students’ transferable skills in learning beyond their disciplinary boundaries and applying theoretical material to real-life issues. Students taking GE 400 form groups consisting of five members composed of the three disciplines, and prepare a project that answers a pre-chosen question under the supervision of an advisor. The course components include seminars, weekly meetings with project collaborators as well as the supervisor/s, a 3000 jointly written paper, and a 10-minute team presentation in front of a panel of experts. Overall, the course is designed to prepare students for professional life by providing valuable tools geared toward lifelong learning.

The objectives of GE course include broadening our students’ theoretical and practical knowledge and insight beyond their own disciplinary boundaries and enabling them to experience applying their theoretical knowledge to “real world” issues.

The course conducted jointly with Faculty Academic English Program (FAE). The FAE component provides students the opportunity to develop and learn to apply the skills needed to design, write, and present an extended, collaborative, and interdisciplinary research project in the social sciences. Emphasis is on hands-on tasks and regular feedback from instructors and peers. Students will critically evaluate examples of research proposals, literature reviews, research project introductions, and other documents similar to those they will be expected to compose for this course.

Objectives of the course

Transdisciplinary project courses have proven to be valuable tools in preparing students for professional life. They do this by helping students to: 1) broaden their theoretical and empirical knowledge beyond their own disciplinary boundaries; 2) learn how to apply theoretical knowledge to ‘real world’ issues; 3) learn to communicate and cooperate across disciplines.

 GE 400 is designed keeping in mind three purposes that involve teaching the students how to:

  • apply their theoretical knowledge to ‘real world’ issues
  • broaden their horizons beyond their own discipline
  • manage a group project.

Students from Economics, International Relations, and Political Science and Public Administration Departments will be working in groups of five participants. Each group will complete an empirical research project that includes the analysis of a topic from the perspectives of economics, international relations, and political science disciplines.

In addition, the course aims to help students:

  • formulate a compelling, significant, and manageable research project
  • evaluate existing literature and data and relate it to the project
  • improve writing skills such as self-editing, getting feedback, rewriting, mastering academic style
  • make team presentations

Course Format

The format of the course combines the seminars with mainly group work. The course structure will be as follows:

  • Throughout the semester, seminars bringing together the whole student body will be run by the three Supervisors to disseminate knowledge on the mechanics of the group project as well as the issue of substance. Students are required to attend all seminars.
  • Guest speakers from within and outside Bilkent University will be invited. Attendance to such seminars would also be compulsory for the students. Students will be writing individual opinion papers on seminars and their literature review during the semester.
  • Groups will meet with content supervisors following a pre-determined schedule. Content Supervisors will be responsible for running the seminars, guiding students through various steps of the research process, grading and providing feedback on various components of the project, and grading. Every group will work with three content supervisors.
  • Every group will also work with language supervisors. Language supervisors will provide feedback to the groups about language and stylistic issues of their assignments. They will guide groups on how to write research projects throughout the course. The groups will have lectures and tutorials with language supervisors (for more detailed information, please see the course document prepared by the language supervisor’s on the MOODLE page of the course).
  • Groups will present their posters on Poster Presentation Day, which will be held one week before the panel day. The posters will be graded by content supervisors.
  • At the end of the semester, there will be a one-day panel where all groups will present the results of their research. Students’ group presentations and other performances in the workshop (asking questions, providing comments) will constitute a part of their grade.
  • The final project report will be graded (on the written report and their presentations at the panel) by content supervisors and language supervisors.