All Ibn Haldun undergraduates are required to pursue a liberal arts core curriculum designed to provide them with interdisciplinary horizons through a series of compulsory University Courses in science, comparative methodologies, world and Turkish history, and world and Turkish art and literature. These constitute a 12-course package, which in most programs is taken (on a 6+6 basis) in the first year, though in two schools curriculum congestion forces a postponement into the second year. Either way, students generally embark upon their major field courses from their second year onward. Such foundations development is managed by the General Education Directorate.

Beyond its immediate academic objectives, this core curriculum is also intended to impart a common and distinctive cultural foundation to IHU students; to repair and rebuild their fractured and fragmented worlds of high school education into more solidly unified bodies of learning; to inculcate habits of seeing the forest before the trees, and of rigorous analytical thinking; and to make young men and women feel that they are on the threshold of a new life-stage and intellectual venture that will see them coming face to face with, and penetrating ever more deeply into, humankind’s immense stores of knowledge.