Istanbul University

Istanbul University (Turkish: İstanbul Üniversitesi) is a prominent public research university in Istanbul, Turkey.

Founded by Mehmed II on May 30, 1453, a day after the conquest of Constantinople by the Turks, it was re-established in 1846 as the first Ottoman higher education institution based on European traditions. The successor institution, which has been operating under its current name since 1933, is the first university in modern Turkey. Some pre-1930 Western sources refer to it as the University of Constantinople, after the previous name of the city. In contrast, one in French referred to it as the Université de Stamboul (“Stamboul” the name for the historic inner city).

At present, there are 69,411 undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral students studying in 33 academic units, including faculties, institutes, colleges, and vocational schools at ten campuses. The main campus is adjacent to Beyazıt Square in Fatih, the province’s capital district, on the city’s European side.

Besides being a member of the Coimbra Group, in 2019, the University took first place in Turkey according to the Academic Ranking of World Universities. Moreover, Istanbul University is ranked in the top 25 at the QS Universities In Emerging Europe And Central Asia 2021 Ranking. In 2020, the university’s AACSB accredited Business School was ranked 3rd in the Middle East and 2nd in Turkey, according to Eduniversal. The Faculty of Transport and Logistics is accredited by the International Road and Transport Union. In addition, the Faculty of Natural Sciences represents Turkey in four major studies conducted by the European Organization for Nuclear Research.

Istanbul University alumni include 2 Nobel laureates, Aziz Sancar (in Chemistry) and Orhan Pamuk (in Literature), the longest-serving President of Israel Yitzhak Ben-Zvi, two Prime Ministers of Israel (David Ben-Gurion and Moshe Sharett), President of Turkey Abdullah Gül, six Prime Ministers of Turkey (Suat Hayri Ürgüplü, Sadi Irmak, Nihat Erim, Refik Saydam, Naim Talu, Yıldırım Akbulut), Mayor of Istanbul Ekrem İmamoğlu.


  • Faculty of Medicine
  • Faculty of Law
  • Faculty of Literature
  • Faculty of Science
  • Faculty of Economics
  • Faculty of Pharmacy
  • Faculty of Dentistry
  • Faculty of Management
  • Faculty of Political Sciences
  • Faculty of Communication
  • Faculty of Aquatic Sciences
  • Faculty of Theology
  • Faculty of Transportation and Logistics
  • Faculty of Nursing
  • Faculty of Architecture
  • Faculty of Open and Distance Education

International perspective and rankings

Istanbul University School of Business is the only AACSB-Accredited Business School among the public universities in Turkey.

In the Academic Ranking of World Universities 2019, Istanbul University is ranked at 401–500th worldwide (1st in Turkey). It is also ranked at 251–300th in “Veterinary Sciences”, 401–500th in “Clinical Medicine”, 101–150th in “Dentistry & Oral Sciences”, 201–300th in “Nursing”, and 301–400th in “Medical Technology“.

In the QS World University Rankings 2022, Istanbul University is ranked at 801–1000th globally. In the broad subject areas, it is ranked 293rd in “Life Sciences and Medicine”, 342nd in “Arts and Humanities”, and 401-450th in “Social Sciences and Management”. In the specific subject areas, it is ranked at 251-300th in “Law and Legal Studies“, 251-300th in “Modern Languages“, 251-300th in “Agriculture & Forestry”, 251-300th in “Pharmacy & Pharmacology”, 301–350th in “Medicine”, 401-450th in “Biological Sciences”, 401-450th in “Business & Management Studies“, 551-600th in “Computer Science and Information Systems”, and 601-630th in “Chemistry”.

University rankings
Global – Overall
ARWU World 401–500 (2021)
CWUR World 644 (2020–2021)
CWTS World 355 (2020)
QS World 801–1000 (2021)
RUR World 536 (2020)
THE World 801–1000 (2021)
USNWR Global 714 (2021)

In 2020, Times Higher Education ranked the university top 1000 in the world, 301–400th in “Clinical, preclinical and health“, 401–500th in “Education“, 501–600th in “Social Sciences”, and 601–800th in “Life Sciences”.

The Best Global Universities Ranking 2021 of the U.S. News & World Report ranks Istanbul University 714th in the world, 225th in “Surgery“, 243rd in “Clinical Medicine”, 195th in “Endocrinology and Metabolism”, 255th in “Neuroscience and Behavior”, 383rd in “Molecular Biology and Genetics“, 442nd in “Plant and Animal Science”, 446th in “Biology and Biochemistry“, and 593rd in “Physics”.

By CWTS Leiden Ranking 2019, Istanbul University is ranked 335th (overall), 196th in “Biomedical and Health Sciences”, 374th in “Life and Earth Sciences”, 669th in “Mathematics and Computer Science“, 544th in “Physical Sciences and Engineering“, and 570th in “Social Sciences and Humanities”.

By Round University Ranking 2019, Istanbul University is ranked 529th in the world, 490th in “Humanities”, 496th in “Life Sciences”, 329th in “Medical Sciences”, 556th in “Natural Sciences”, 506th in “Social Sciences” and 600th in “Technical Sciences”.

Notable faculty

Please see the page Istanbul University faculty.

Notable alumni

See also Istanbul University alumni for a detailed list.

Turkish Presidents

Foreign Presidents

Speakers of the Turkish parliament

Turkish Prime Ministers

Foreign Prime Ministers

Turkish Ministers









Main Gate

Main Gate

Faculty of Literature

Faculty of Literature


Faculty of Pharmacology

Faculty of Pharmacology


Beyazit Campus

Beyazit Campus

Beyazit Campus

Beyazit Campus

Faculty of Political Sciences Gulhane Building

Faculty of Political Sciences Gulhane Building

Garden of Istanbul University - Süleymaniye Mosque at Rear

Garden of Istanbul University – Süleymaniye Mosque at Rear


Süleymaniye Mosque - Istanbul University - Aerial view

Süleymaniye Mosque Istanbul University – Aerial view


Main Entrance and Beyazit Tower

Main Entrance and Beyazit Tower


Courtyard of the Faculty of Literature

Courtyard of the Faculty of Literature


Beyazit Tower in Main Campus

Beyazit Tower in Main Campus