Middle East Technical University

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Middle East Technical University (METU; in Turkish, Orta Doğu Teknik Üniversitesi, commonly referred to as ODTÜ) is a public research university in Ankara, Turkey. The research and education conducted by the university has an emphasis on engineering and natural sciences.

The official language of instruction at METU is English.[1] METU also manages Turkey's Country Code Top-level Domain (ccTLD) (the ".tr" domain).
Established November 15, 1956 
Type: Public 
President: Ural Akbulut 
Faculty: 1,000 
Undergraduates: 20,000 
Postgraduates: 3,000 
Location: Ankara, Turkey 
Campus: Suburban, 11,100 acres (45 km²), also 7,500 acres (30 km²) METU Forest 
Member of: EUA 
Website: www.metu.edu.tr 


Middle East Technical University was founded by Vecdi Diker under the name "Orta Doðu Yüksek Teknoloji Enstitüsü" (Middle East High Technology Institute) on November 15, 1956, to contribute to the development of Turkey and the countries of Middle East by creating a skilled workforce in the natural and social sciences. "Arrangements and Procedures as for the Foundation of METU, Law No 6387" was enacted on January 29, 1957. Finally, "Foundation Act No 7307", which sets forth the particular standing of METU and describes the conditions rendering METU as a juridical entity, was enacted on May 27, 1959.

METU's presence brought about new methods and introduced innovations to the Turkish higher education system, manifesting METU as a pioneer of modern education nationwide. In its earliest years, one part of METU was located in a small building that belonged to the Social Security Office of Retirees at Kýzýlay's Müdafaa Street; the other part was in the barracks behind the TBMM (Grand National Assembly of Turkey). In 1963, the university moved to its current location west of Ankara city center, creating the first university campus of Turkey.

In 1956, the Department of Architecture initiated the first academic program at METU. In the spring of 1957, the Department of Mechanical Engineering launched its academic program. At the onset of the 19571958 academic year, the faculties of Architecture, of Engineering, and of Administrative Sciences were established. In 1959, the establishment of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences was completed. The Faculty of Education launched its academic program in 1982. Today, there are a total of 41 undergraduate and 143 graduate programs taught in the faculties and graduate schools of METU.

METU celebrated 50 years of its existence on June 10, 2006 with great fanfare at Ankara. Thousands of alumni converged on the campus to honour their alma mater on this Golden Jubilee. A contingent of around 40 Pakistani alumni and their families also came to Ankara specially for this occasion to celebrate their strong bond with Turkey and METU.


Faculties and departments

METU has 41 academic departments, most of which are organized into 5 faculties. These are responsible for the undergraduate programs.

  • Faculty of Architecture: Architecture, City and Regional Planning, Industrial Design
  • Faculty of Arts and Sciences: Biology, Chemistry, History, Mathematics, Molecular Biology and Genetics, Philosophy, Physics, Psychology, Sociology, Statistics
  • Faculty of Economic and Administrative Sciences: Business Administration, Economics, International Relations, Political Science and Public Administration
  • Faculty of Education: Computer Education and Instructional Technology, Educational Sciences, Elementary Education, Foreign Language Education, Physical Education and Sports, Secondary Science and Mathematics Education
  • Faculty of Engineering: Aerospace Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Computer Engineering, Electrical and Electronics Engineering, Engineering Sciences, Environmental Engineering, Food Engineering, Geological Engineering, Industrial Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Metallurgical and Materials Engineering, Mining Engineering, Petroleum and Natural Gas Engineering

In addition to these, there are the Department of Basic English and the Department of Modern Languages in the School of Foreign Languages, Technical Vocational School of Higher Education, and bound to the President's Office, the Department of Turkish Language and the Department of Music and Fine Arts.

Graduate schools

The 5 graduate schools present in METU are responsible for the graduate programs.

  • Graduate School of Applied Mathematics
  • Graduate School of Informatics
  • Graduate School of Marine Sciences
  • Graduate School of Natural and Applied Sciences
  • Graduate School of Social Sciences


Over 21,000 students registered to METU in the 2005-2006 academic year; approximately 25% of these were enrolled in graduate programs. As of 2006, the university employs 750 faculty (professors, associates professors etc.), 400 academic instructors, and over 1,400 research assistants. The number of the alumni exceeds 500,000 (about 350,000 having completed undergraduate programs).

METU has 41 undergraduate programs within the faculties of Engineering, Architecture, Arts and Sciences, Economic and Administrative Sciences, and Education, and there are 93 masters and 51 doctorate programs available in the graduate schools of Natural and Applied Sciences, Social Sciences, Informatics, Applied Mathematics, and Marine Sciences. Marine Sciences conducts its academic program studies on the Mediterranean coast in Erdemli, near Mersin. Most of the engineering departments at METU are periodically reviewed and deemed "substantially equivalent to similarly titled and accredited programs in the U.S.A." by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, the recognized U.S. accreditor of college and university programs in applied science, computing, engineering, and technology.

The language of instruction at METU is English. All enrolled students are required to have a degree of proficiency in English for academic purposes, and this is assured by a proficiency examination before the commence of studies. Students with unsatisfactory knowledge of English follow a preparatory English education for one year, given by the METU School of Foreign Languages.

International perspective

Each year, between 800 and 1,200 students with various academic degrees from nearly 50 different foreign countries attend programs at METU. Undergraduate and graduate students from a number of countries attend METU as "Special Students" or "Exchange Students" for a semester or a year. METU currently has active student exchange programs with several foreign universities.

METU is a participant in the Socrates - Erasmus programme of the European Commission, which has the aim of increasing student and academician mobility within the European Union, its candidates, and the European Economic Area.

METU library

The library [1] has one of the largest collections in Turkey, containing 348,260 books and 159,900 bound periodicals. It has subscription to 11,000 electronic and 1,500 print journals. The library also provides access to 50 online databases, over 1,780 book and serial CDs, 1,300 doctoral dissertations and 11,600 masters theses. Collections are predominantly in English, but also in Turkish, German, and French.


Main campus

METU main campus in Ankara, used by the university since 1963, is the first university campus of Turkey. It is situated about 20 km from central Ankara and encompasses an area of 11,100 acres (45 km²), of which 7,500 acres (30.43 km²) constitute the METU Forest. The campus grounds was transformed into a forest with the continuing help of students and volunteers since the foundation of the university. Lake Eymir, inside the campus, is used by the students and faculty for rowing and recreational activities. The campus is accessible by several types of public transport, and the construction of METU subway station on the entrance to the campus is near completion.

Northern Cyprus Campus

The new METU Northern Cyprus Campus, about 50 km west of Lefkoþa (Nicosia) on the island of Cyprus, admitted its first students during the academic year 2003 - 2004, but the doors were officially opened in Cyprus in September 2005.

Live footage from both campuses can be accessed via METU-CAM, a collection of 6 webcams in METU main campus, 1 in METU Northern Cyprus Campus, and 1 in the Graduate School of Marine Sciences, in Ýçel.


METU strives to maintain a high standard of education by international standards. All 13 departments of the Faculty of Engineering have been evaluated, at METU's request, by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) and their programs were given approval by this board. Because of METU's effort to maintain international standards, the Faculty of Engineering was awarded in 1977 the "Silver Badge of Honor" by the UNESCO International Center for Engineering Education and the "Meritorious Achievement Award in Accreditation Activities" by the American Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers.

Environmental issues are among the serious concerns of the university. METU was the only university that was awarded the International 1995 Aga Khan Award for Architecture for its Forestation Program. This prize, coincidentally, was received when the 40th anniversary of METU was being celebrated.


METU-Technopolis is the first science and research park of Turkey. Founded within the campus, it aims to facilitate the development of companies that conduct substantial research and development to produce high-tech products and services through benefiting from METU's research capacity and information pool. Priority is given to companies executing research and development work on IT, advanced materials, energy, automotive, chemistry, biology and environment technologies.

Student life and culture

The student life at METU is marked with the activities of student societies, political protests and festivals. The main campus hosts the annual METU Spring Festival, which is a five day long series of concerts and exhibitions and during which an opposition between the students and the school authority about the excess consumption of alcoholic beverages on campus is known to occur.

There are various traits shared by METU students, including the usage of an English - Turkish jargon (apparently stemming from the fact that English is the language of instruction) covering academic processes and student life, which might not be liked much by the students of other schools, and the omnipresent "hocam" (meaning "my teacher"), which is used by METU students to address anyone from bus drivers to senior faculty members. Underneath this phrase lies the philosophy that everyone has something to learn from each other.

Student societies

There are numerous student societies active in METU. The most important and active societies are:

IEEE which stands for International Electrical and Electronics Engineers is one of the most active student society in METU. Having twelve student sub-branches, IEEE METU Student Branch involves in both technical and social activities. The society is also active in European-wide projects and organizations such as EESTEC. IEEE METU publishes the magazine Biltek four times a year.

SDT Metu Socialist Thought Club Socialist Thought Club (Sosyalist Düþünce Topluluðu) is one of the oldest society of METU. It was originally founded in 1965 by 12 socialist students. During the beginning of 1970s, it was holding more than 400 members. It was closed by rectorship in 1971, as a part of the oppressive policy of the oncoming Military Coup in the country. SDT was refounded in 2002 by students with massive events in the campus.

KGT METU Classical Guitar Society Classical Guitar Society (Klasik Gitar Topluluðu) is one of the oldest student society of METU. Founded by Ahmet Kanneci in 1975, it is Turkey's first guitar society and the Ankara's first serious guitar education organization. The society aims to introduce and spread classical music culture. The society has raised some of the most talented artists (such as Ahmet Kanneci, Cem Duruöz,Orhan Anafarta, Emre Sabuncuoðlu, Gutay Yýldýran...) and been an active supporter of classical music with its voluntary classical guitar lessons, continuous music activities and annual International Classical Guitar Festival (which is also the longest classical guitar festival in Turkey)

Capoeira is the student society that deals with marital art capoeira. The student society was founded in 2000.

THBT Turkish Folklore Club (Türk Halk Bilimi Topluluðu) is one of the oldest student societies in METU. It is founded in 1961. Turkish Folklore Society engages in mainly folk dance and folk music. It opens free courses for Turkish folk instruments and folk dances. Anatolian Musical Festival and Folklore Days are the organizations that the society organizes annually.

Robot Society is a technical student society. Robot Society organizes free technical courses to METU students. The society enters Formula-G in Turkey every year. MEÞ-e, the solar car built by Robot Society won the Formula-G 2005.

Atatürk's Thought Club is a student society which involves in political activities. The group organizes panel discussions and debates on various aspects of politics.

ILKYAR is a student society which aims to bring moral and material aid to the Elementary and High School Students. The society organizes activities to raise money for these aids and it cooperates with many other companies and charities.

Mountaineering Society is an important sports society in METU. This society became famous after their trip to the peak of Everest. The first Turkish female summitter, Eylem Elif Maviþ is from Mountaineering Society of METU.

KTMT Turkish Classical Music Club (Klasik Türk Müziði Topluluðu) is another society on music. The scope of KTMT is mostly on classical Turkish Music instruments. Like THBT, KTMT also organizes free courses to students.

Book Club is a student society about literature, books and reading. The society organizes reading sessions every term and aims to increase students' scope of reading and intellectual abilities. Apart from organizing seminars about writers and literature, the society hosts renowned authors for panels.

SFFS Science Fiction and Fantasy Society is a student club that unites students who are interested in Science Fiction and Fantasy Literature, Cinema, Comic Books, Role Playing Games etc... The two major activities of the club are Treasure Hunt, which is one of the oldest and most popular activities of METU Spring Fest, and METUCON, a science fiction and fantasy convention held annually. Apart from TH and METUCON, the club organizes seminars and reading groups on science fiction and fantasy genre and film shows. Also a library dedicated to science fiction and fantasy literature is formed by the members of the club in years and everyone in the university can utilize it.

Chess Club METU Chess Club is a student society with real chess-lover members. The club organizes several tournaments and activities about chess.

Notable members


  • Cahit Arf (faculty 1968–1980) — Mathematician
  • Halil Berktay (faculty 1992–1997) — Historian, currently at Sabancý University
  • Ordal Demokan (faculty 1966–2004) — Physicist, electrical engineer
  • Feza Gürsey (faculty 1961–1974) — Mathematician and physicist
  • Erdal Ýnönü (president 1970–1971, faculty 1964–1974) — Physicist and former politician
  • Kemal Karpat (faculty 1958–1959, 1968–1971) — Historian, currently at University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Behram Kurþunoðlu (faculty 1956–1958) — Physicist


  • Taner Akçam (B.S. 1976) — Historian, sociologist and author
  • Alev Alatlý (B.S. 1963) — Writer
  • Ali Babacan (B.S. 1988) — Turkish Foreign Minister
  • Soner Büyükatalay — Mountaineer, Mt. Everest summiter
  • Vedat Çakmak (B.S. ME 1976) — Instructor, Université Galatasaray
  • Metin Çulhaoðlu — Writer
  • Yasemin Dalkýlýç (B.S.) — Holder of world records in free diving
  • Ali Dinçer (B.S. 1971) — Former Mayor of Ankara, member of parliament
  • Can Dündar (M.S. 1988, Ph.D. 1996) — Journalist
  • Haydar Ergülen — Poet
  • Þebnem Ferah — Rock artist
  • Ahmet Kanneci — Classical guitar virtuoso and educator
  • Erol Gelenbe — Computer scientist, engineer, applied mathematician
  • Serkan Girgin (B.S., M.S.) — Mountaineer, Mt. Everest summiter
  • Amir Farshad Ebrahimi (Ph.D.) Iranian peace & Human Rights activities
  • Mustafa Halilsoy (Ph.D.) — Turkish Cypriot physicist
  • Tunç Hamarat (B.S.) — Grandmaster and International Correspondence Chess Federation World Champion in 2004
  • Derya Köroðlu (B.S. 1979, M.S. 1983) — Musician, Yeni Türkü
  • Bora Maviþ (B.S., M.S.) — Mountaineer, summiter of Mt. Everest
  • Eylem Elif Maviþ (B.S., M.B.A.) — Mountaineer, first Turkish female summiter of Mt. Everest
  • Taylan Özgür (B.S.) — Student leader, principal role in Komer incident.
  • Burçak Özoðlu Poçan (B.A.) — Mountaineer, one of the four Turkish female summiters of Mt. Everest
  • Serhan Poçan (B.S.) — Mountaineer, summiter of Mt. Everest
  • Süreyya Serdengeçti (B.A. 1979) — Economist, former governor of the Central Bank of Turkey
  • Abdullah D. Saah (B.A. 1962) — Civil Engineer, Hydrologist Santa Clara Valley Water District, USA
  • Elif Þafak (B.A., M.A., Ph.D.) — Novelist
  • Mehmet Ali Talat (M.S. 1977) — President of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus
  • Kürþad Tüzmen (B.A. 1981) — Minister of International Trade and Customs
  • Turgay Uzer (B.S.) — Theoretical physicist at Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Suna Yýlmaz (B.S.) — Mountaineer, one of the four Turkish female summiters of Mt. Everest
  • Malik Asad Khan (M.S.) - "Nazim" (mayor) of city of Kohat, Pakistan
  • Kazi Zulkader Siddiqui - CEO and Founder, Techcorp Group of Companies, Pakistan/Bangladesh/UAE/China
  • M.A. Janjua (M.S.) - Managing Director, HMC Taxila (largest engineering organization in Pakistan)
  • Dr. Javaid Laghari, Senator in Pakistan Senate, Acting President & Project Director SZABIST, Pakistan
  • Ataç Ýmamoðlu (B.S.) - Scientist

See also

  • Institute of technology
  • List of universities in Turkey


  1. Middle East Technical University (February 2006). About METU—General Information. Retrieved on 2007-05-05.
  2. Nic.tr. Corporate Identity. Retrieved on 2007-05-05.

External links


  • Middle East Technical University (official web site in English)
  • Orta Doðu Teknik Üniversitesi (official web site in Turkish)
  • METU Northern Cyprus Campus (official web site)
  • METU-Technopolis (official web site)
  • radyo ODTÜ (METU Radio) (official web site)
  • METU Academic Units
  • METU International Students and Study Abroad Office
  • METU Library
  • List of METU Student Clubs and Societies
  • METU Campus Map
  • Country Code Top-level Domain ".tr" managed by METU

Online communities

  • ODTÜ Mezun Portalý (METU Alumni Portal)
  • Odtuders.com ODTÜ Özel Ders & Rehberlik
  • Hoccam.com ODTÜ Gayriresmi Ýnternet Sitesi
  • ODTÜ Satranç Topluluðu (METU Chess Club)
  • IEEE METU Student Branch