The department of Urban, Environmental and Local Government Policies was established in 1938 as an department affiliated to the School of Political Science, where Prof. Ernst Reuter taught courses such as urbanism, municipal policies, and municipal finance. Therefore, its presence as the first and only example in Turkey for many years. Today, the department is an academic section within the program of Political Science and Public Administration.
The studies of the department seperates two different part: undergraduate level and graduate level. The department has eight courses and seminars in undergraduate program: "Space and Politics" (2nd year), "Local Governments I", "Local Governments II", Contemporary Isues of Local Government Seminar and Contemporary Issues of Urban Policy Seminar (3rd year), "Environmental Policies", "Urban Policies" and "Cooperative and Rural Development Policies" (4th year).
The graduate level consists of three different programs: Master program, Doctoral program and Integrated Doctoral program. According to the data of 2017-18 academic year, the department has nearly 200 graduate student.
Besides the department, " Institute of Housing and Urban Studies" established in 1953. The name of Institute was changed to"Ernst Reuter Housing and Urban Studies Research Center" in 1980.