Established in the 2000-2001 academic year, the Graduate Program in American Culture and Literature is a two-year program leading to an M.A. degree. Students may complete the program with or without writing a thesis. The language of instruction is English. The program represents a new departure for American Culture and Literature departments in Turkey, in that it offers graduates the chance to take one academic year of foundation courses in literary and cultural studies, and subsequently to specialize in whatever areas they choose. All the work in the M.A. program is designed to develop students' research skills, encouraging self-reliance. In this way, it is hoped that the program will serve as a preparation for those wishing to pursue an academic career, as well as for those wishing to work in those fields traditionally attractive to graduates of literature departments such as teaching, tourism, the media, and public relations. The academic staff consists of 1 professor, 4 assistant professors, 3 lecturers, and 2 research assistants.