Faculty of Economics is the oldest institution in its field, representing the first independent school on economics in Turkey. It was founded on 14 December 1936 upon Atatürk's directives. Faculty of Economics established when not too many Western countries had separate economics faculties, has more than 20.000 graduates since its establishment. By education and research activities, it continues to contribute to Turkish social and economic life.

Faculty of Economics is proud to have employed European academics Umberto Ricci, Josef Dobretsberger, Wilhelm Röpke, Fritz Neumark, Alexander Rüstow, Alfred Issac, and Gerhard Kessler during the 1940s. Along with other Europeans employed at other faculties of the university, these professors contributed immensely to Istanbul University in its transformation from a traditional institution into a modern and contemporary establishment.

As of today, there are eight departments in the Faculty of Economics. There are two Economics Departments where teaching is conducted in English in one and Turkish in the other. The other six are Department of Labor Economics and Industrial Relations, Department of Public Finance, Department of Econometrics, Department of Political Science and International Relations, Department of Business Administration, and Department of Tourism Management.