Bilkent University (Turkish: Bilkent Üniversitesi) is a non-profit private university located in Ankara, Turkey. It was founded by İhsan Doğramacı, the first president of The Council of Higher Education and the head of the prominent Doğramacı family, with the aim of creating a center of excellence in higher education and research in 1984.[4] It has constantly been ranked among the top Turkish universities since its establishment.[5][6] In 2011, it was ranked 112th in the world by The World University Rankings.[7] Bilkent University was modeled after Harvard University and was the first non-profit private university established in the country. The name Bilkent is an abbreviation of bilim kenti: Turkish for "city of science".

Bilkent University
Bilkent Üniversitesi
Latin: Universitas Bilkentum
Gerçek! (Turkish)
Motto in English
TypePrivate research university
Established20 October 1984 (1984-10-20)
EndowmentUS$300 million[1] (2011)
PresidentAli Doğramacı
RectorKürşat Aydoğan[2]
Academic staff
39°52′04.80″N 32°44′55.32″E / 39.8680000°N 32.7487000°E / 39.8680000; 32.7487000
CampusUrban, 5,000 acres (20 km2)[3]
Colors   Red & blue
NicknameBilkent Judges (American Football)
MascotBilkent Fox



Preparations for the establishment of the university began in 1967, with the purchase of a tract of land to the west of Ankara. In the late 1970s the foundations of the buildings which now house administrative offices, the faculty of engineering, and the library, were laid. Construction of residences for academic staff, cafeterias, student dormitories, and various academic buildings followed rapidly.[4]


Bilkent University campus
Bilkent University - Main Campus Square
Bilkent University - Main Library
Bilkent University Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture
Bilkent University Odeon Outdoor Concert Hall
Bilkent University Faculty of Science
Statue of Bilkent's founder, İhsan Doğramacı, in the main campus square
Bilkent University Main Indoor Concert Hall

The university occupies three campuses. They are located about 12 km west of the center of Ankara, and cover a total area of more than 300 hectares.[8]



The university library houses a large collection of books with annual acquisitions valued at over 3 million U.S. dollars. As of 2017, Bilkent University Library is the largest university library of Turkey, and it is the only university library to rank in the top 10 libraries in the country.[9]

A student from the Faculty of Music and Performing Arts, performing in the Bilkent University Library Art Gallery.

In addition to books, the collection includes periodical subscriptions, microforms, CD-ROM, access to numerous online databases and electronic journals, DVD, VHS and audio cassettes. Sheet music and sound recordings are available in the music rooms. The library also hosts a number of private collections and an exhibition hall.[10]



The university offers 33 undergraduate majors, together with 32 graduate programs spanning 22 different fields.


  • Faculty of Applied Sciences
  • Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture
  • Faculty of Business Administration
  • Faculty of Economics, Administrative and Social Sciences
  • Faculty of Engineering
  • Faculty of Humanities and Letters
  • Faculty of Law
  • Faculty of Music and Performing Arts
  • Faculty of Science


  • Graduate School of Education
  • School of Applied Languages
  • School of Applied Technology and Management
  • Vocational School of Computer Technology and Office Management
  • Vocational School of Tourism and Hotel Services


University rankings
Global – Overall
ARWU World[11]801–900 (2020)
QS World[12]=502 (2024)
THE World[13]601–800 (2024)
USNWR Global[14]=684 (2023)
Regional – Overall
QS Emerging Europe and Central Asia[15]20 (2022)

The Times Higher Education World University Rankings[16] consistently ranks Bilkent University as one of the top universities in Turkey.

Year Turkey In Asia In the World
2010-11 1st 14th 112th
2011-12 1st 21st 201-225th
2012-13 2nd 27th 226-250th
2013-14 4th 31st 226-250th
2014-15 5th 25th 201-225th
2015-16 3rd 45th 351-400th
2016-17 3rd 46th 351-400th
2017-18 3rd 54th 401-500th
2018-19 3rd 82nd 501-600th
2019-20 3rd n/a 501-600th

Bilkent, as a university with less than 50 years of history, is also ranked as one of the most prestigious younger universities in the world:[17]

Year Turkey In the world
2012 1st 32nd
2013 2nd 39th
2014 1st 31st
2015 2nd 28th
2016 3rd 76th

THE powered by Thomson Reuters ranked Bilkent in the category BRICS & Emerging Economies[18] as follows:

Year Turkey In the world
2014 4th 12th
2015 5th 19th
2016 3rd 41st

Bilkent University is particularly noted for the quality of its Faculty of Engineering. The Times Higher Education World University Rankings rank Bilkent among the top 100 universities for Engineering and Technology,[19] as follows:

Year Turkey In the world
1st 98th first 98th

The Faculty of Business Administration of Bilkent University was the first business school in Turkey to be accredited by AACSB; less than 5% of the business schools around the world have received this accreditation.[20] The business school has been ranked by Eduniversal among the best business schools of the Eurasia region for international influence.[21]

According to the QS World University Rankings of 2012 and 2013 the university ranks in the 151–200 range in the subject of "Economics & Econometrics".[22]

Student life




Students can participate in many sports courses and be trained by university staff, mostly for free. The university presents many individuals and teams in different sports in varsity competitions. The most well-known sport teams of the university are the Bilkent Goats and the Bilkent Judges, the ultimate team and the football team, respectively.

Student unions and clubs


The board and the departmental members of the Bilkent Student Union are chosen annually among all registered university students. The Student Union is the main sponsor and the organizer of Mayfest, the traditional Bilkent University summer festival. Various student clubs organize regular activities every day on and off the campus, mostly open to everyone. All students are allowed to join, or participate in the events and activities of any club they wish to. Student union and club activities are coordinated under the supervision of Student Events Center of Bilkent.



Bilkent University is host to numerous events regarding music and the performing arts. The university also sponsors frequent lectures, art exhibitions, and literary evenings throughout the academic year. During the first week of may, each year Mayfest is held. Mayfest is a well-known festival among the youth of Ankara, consisting of a large number of activities, as well as open-air concerts where renowned Turkish pop and rock bands and singers take the stage every night throughout the week.

Notable people



  • István Aranyosi - Faculty of Humanities and Letters
  • Gürer Aykal - Faculty of Music, conductor
  • Suna Kan - Faculty of Music, violinist
  • Gülsin Onay - Faculty of Music, pianist
  • Fazıl Say - Faculty of Music, pianist
  • Jason Hale - Faculty of Music and Performing Arts-Theatre Department Chair, actor/director
  • Talat Sait Halman (deceased in 2014)- Dean of the School of Humanities and Letters, first Minister of Culture of Turkey
  • Stanford J. Shaw (deceased in 2006) - Faculty of History
  • Halil İnalcık - Faculty of History
  • Norman Stone - Faculty of International Relations, and History
  • Hikmet Sami Türk - Faculty of Law, former Minister of Justice of Turkey
  • İlber Ortaylı - Faculty of Law
  • Sami Selçuk - Faculty of Law, former Head Judge of the Supreme Court of Turkey
  • Hilmi Volkan Demir - Faculty of Science, Department of Physics, and Faculty of Engineering, Department of Electrical and Electronics Engineering, Director of UNAM
  • Abdullah Atalar - Faculty of Engineering, Department of Electrical and Electronics Engineering
  • Orhan Aytür - Faculty of Engineering, Department of Electrical and Electronics Engineering
  • Erdal Arikan - Founder of Polar Codes, Faculty of Engineering, Department in Electrical and Electronics Engineering
  • Mustafa Akgül (deceased in 2017) - School of Applied Technology and Management, Department of Computer Technology and Information Systems






  • National Research Center for Magnetic Resonance (UMRAM)[24]
  • Bilkent University Center for European Union Affairs
  • Ahmed Adnan Saygun Center for Music Research and Education
  • Bilkent Center for Advanced Studies (BICAS)
  • Center for Mind, Language & Culture
  • Center for Brain Research
  • Center for Environmental Sciences
  • Center for International Economics
  • Center for Russian Studies
  • Center for Studies in Society and Politics
  • Center for Turkish Language and Speech Processing
  • Center for Turkish Politics and History
  • Center for Research in Transitional Societies (CRTS)
  • Center for Turkish Literature
  • Communications and Spectrum Management Research Center (ISYAM)
  • Genetics and Biotechnology Research and Development Center (BILGEN)
  • Halil Inalcik Center of Ottoman Studies
  • Nanotechnology Research Center (NANOTAM)[25]
  • National Nanotechnology Research Center (UNAM)[26]
  • Bilkent University Computational Electromagnetics Research Center (BiLCEM) [27]



Bilkent Cyberpark, founded in 2002, is the fastest growing techno park in Turkey serving with 240 technology-based companies, one micro nano chip factory, five research centers, and 4,00 personnel.


  • Institute of Economic and Social Sciences
  • Institute of Engineering and Science
  • Institute of Fine Arts
  • Institute of Music and Performing Arts
  • Institute of World Systems, Economies and Strategic Research
  • Institute of Materials Science and Nanotechnology

See also



  1. ^ As of October 2, 2018. "Bilkent"in butcesi 250 milyon lira". Hürriyet. 2011. Archived from the original on 2019-06-22. Retrieved 2019-06-22.
  2. ^ "Bilkent University - Rector".
  3. ^ a b c "Bilkent University Facts". 2010. Archived from the original on 2010-12-20.
  4. ^ a b "EN / Bilkent University – Historical Background". Archived from the original on 2018-02-15. Retrieved 2018-02-15.
  5. ^ "Bilkent University in The World University Rankings". Archived from the original on 2019-07-05. Retrieved 2019-06-22.
  6. ^ "QS University Rankings". Archived from the original on 2019-07-06. Retrieved 2019-06-22.
  7. ^ "2011 THE World University Rankings". 13 April 2015. Archived from the original on 15 October 2015. Retrieved 22 June 2019.
  8. ^ "EN / Bilkent University – About Bilkent". Archived from the original on 2018-02-18. Retrieved 2018-02-18.
  9. ^ "Türkiye'nin en iyi 10 kütüphanesi". Archived from the original on 23 March 2012. Retrieved 2 July 2016.
  10. ^ "Statistics". Bilkent University Library. Archived from the original on 2018-02-18. Retrieved 2018-02-18.
  11. ^ "Academic Ranking of World Universities 2020". Retrieved 24 February 2020.
  12. ^ "QS World University Rankings: Bilkent University". Top Universities. 29 June 2023. Retrieved 29 June 2023.
  13. ^ "Bilkent University". Times Higher Education (THE). 28 September 2023. Retrieved 28 September 2023.
  14. ^ U.S. News. "Ihsan Dogramaci Bilkent University". Retrieved 27 February 2024.
  15. ^ "QS World University Rankings-Emerging Europe & Central Asia". Retrieved 15 January 2023.
  16. ^ World University Rankings Archived 2015-09-09 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved, May 24th, 2010.
  17. ^ "Best 100 Universities Under the Age of 50 Years" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 2013-11-01. Retrieved 2012-06-01.
  18. ^ "BRICS & Emerging Economies". 13 April 2015. Archived from the original on 18 March 2015. Retrieved 2 July 2016.
  19. ^ Top 100 universities for Engineering and Technology Archived 2013-11-02 at the Wayback Machine
  20. ^ Sanpark. "Bilkent FBA". Archived from the original on 9 June 2016. Retrieved 2 July 2016.
  21. ^ "University and business school ranking in Turkey". Archived from the original on 2 July 2016. Retrieved 2 July 2016.
  22. ^ "Bilkent University Rankings". Archived from the original on 18 August 2016. Retrieved 2 July 2016.
  23. ^ "Emrah Yücel". Turkish Film Council. Archived from the original on 17 November 2007. Retrieved 25 May 2010.
  24. ^ "UMRAM - NEWS". Archived from the original on 28 September 2018. Retrieved 2 July 2016.
  25. ^ "BİLKENT UNIVERSITY NANOTECHNOLOGY RESEARCH CENTER". Archived from the original on 25 June 2016. Retrieved 2 July 2016.
  26. ^ "UNAM - National Nanotechnology Research Center". Archived from the original on 26 October 2008. Retrieved 2 July 2016.
  27. ^ "BiLCEM website". Archived from the original on 1999-11-28.