Iranian Studies Departments and Centers in the World

Dec 20, 2020 in Persian Language

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In this blog post, we have tried to present Iranian Studies centers, institutes, departments, programs worldwide. It seems an endless work to complete such a list, and we will update it regularly.

This list only presents the Iranian Studies Centers outside the Islamic Republic of Iran. You can read our previous post if you are interested in Persian language courses in Iran.  

In this list, we have also included the Persian Studies programs, i.e., programs within the University that only teach the Persian language. 

There is absolute chaos in the way the Iranian or Persian studies programs or departments are presented. It isn't easy to understand the difference between program, center, institute, school, department, fund, language program, major program, minor program. We call all these entities "Centers".

There are Iranian Studies centers within departments; endowed chairs, and unendowed professorships within departments of universities that are part of other schools; university schools affiliated with institutes; academies related to associations; majors inside minors; programs within centers offered by the foundations inside the departments outside the University but inside the faculty affiliated with a school and related to the institute, and so on. 

Another ambiguity is that a program of Iranian Studies can often be a part of the following departments or schools: Middle Eastern Studies, Islamic Studies, Religious Studies, Philosophy, Oriental Studies, Near Eastern Studies, Linguistics, Politics, International Relations, History, and so on. We have included some of such cases in this list. If you know of any relevant programs, please send them to us, and we will update the list immediately. 

The other problem is the websites of Iranian Studies centers. The website technologies of many Iranian Studies departments, centers, schools, programs seem to have remained in the early 90s. Even if the center, program, the department is inside one of the best universities, with a great website, the Iranian Studies center's website is often very inconsolable. The present state of the website technologies of Iranian Studies may become a topic of another article. 

In this list, we have presented only the centers that have at least a working website. We have most probably missed many centers because the centers do not have a properly working website. 

Please, if you find a missing entity, or you think we should delete something from this list, please let us know via email: [email protected] 

At the end of the article, we also present the Iranian Studies foundations, associations, and language programs. We have also prepared the list of Iranian Studies Journals.

The list is presenting the Iranian Studies centers in each country. This list only gives the name of the Center and a link to the website. In the future, we will also add a description of each Center. The format of this article is not yet complete. We are working on updating this list regularly. 

Thank you, and I hope this is a helpful list. 

Iranian Studies in Armenia

Department of Iranian Studies, Faculty of Oriental Studies, Yerevan State University

Institute of Oriental Studies, National Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Armenia 

Institute of Oriental Studies, Russian-Armenian University, Yerevan

Iranian Studies in Australia

Persian Program, Australian National University

Farsi Courses, The University of Queensland

Iranian Studies in Austria

Institute of Iranian Studies, Austrian Academy of Sciences

Iranian Studies in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Department of Oriental Philology, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Sarajevo

Faculty of Philosophy, University of Sarajevo

Institute of Oriental Studies, University of Sarajevo

Iranian and Persian Studies in Canada 

Persian Studies, University of Toronto

Learn Farsi, University of Toronto

Learn Persian, Simon Fraser University

Persian Program, The University of British Columbia

Persian Course, York University

Iranian Studies in Georgia

Institute of Oriental Studies, Ilia State University

Center of Iranology, Georgian International Academy of Sciences

Persian Language Summer School (4-8 weeks) course cover image

From Jul 07, 2024 to Aug 30, 2024

Yerevan, Armenia

Iranian Studies in France

Institut d'études iraniennes, l'Université Sorbonne Nouvelle

Iranian Studies in Poland

Department of Iranian Studies, University of Warsaw

Department of Iranian Studies, Institute of Oriental Studies, Jagiellonian University in Krakow

Iranian Studies in Kazakhstan

Faculty of Oriental Studies, Al-Farabi Kazakh National University

Iranian Studies in the Netherlands

Amsterdam Center for Middle Eastern Studies

Persian and Iranian Studies, University of Leiden

Iranian Studies in Germany

Institute of Iranian Studies, East Asia and the Middle East Academic Unit, Free University Berlin 

Institute of Iranian Studies, Department of History and Cultural Studies, Freie Universitat Berlin

Institute of Iranian Studies, Goettingen University

Iranian Studies, University of Bamberg

Iranian Studies Program, Marburg University

Iranian Studies in Lithuania

Centre of Oriental Studies, Vilnius University

Iranian Studies in Norway

Persian Courses, University of Oslo

Iranian Studies in India

The Centre of Persian & Central Asian Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University

Persian Language Courses, Deccan College - (website is not available)

Department of Persian, Jamia Millia Islamia

Institute of Indo-Persian Studies

Iranian Studies in Israel

Tel Aviv University ACIS - Alliance Center for Iranian Studies 

Iranian Studies in the United States of America

Persian Language Summer School (4-8 weeks) course cover image

From Jul 07, 2024 to Aug 30, 2024

Yerevan, Armenia

Arizona University Persian Program at the School of Middle Eastern & North African Studies 


Arizona University Roshan Graduate Interdisciplinary Program in Persian and Iranian Studies 

In 2016, Dr. Kamran Talattof with the support of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences received a multimillion-dollar grant from the Roshan Cultural Heritage Institute to establish the Roshan Graduate Interdisciplinary Program in Persian and Iranian Studies. He founded the program in 2016-2017.


Berkeley Initiative for Iranian Studies 


Boston University 


Columbia University Ehsan Yarshater Center for Iranian Studies

The Ehsan Yarshater Center for Iranian Studies was established at Columbia University in 2018 with the support of a generous gift from the Persian Heritage Foundation in honor of Professor Ehsan Yarshater's remarkable scholarship and his lifelong dedication to the study of Iran's culture and history.




Georgetown University Persian Studies Program 

Support for the Persian Studies Program is provided, in part, by the Jalinous Endowed Fund for Persian Culture and Language Studies. The Jalinous Fund supports lectures, programming, faculty and student research, and teaching and related to the Persian language and culture at Georgetown University.


George Washington University Persian Program 


George Mason University 


Georgia Tech 


Harvard Iranian Studies (website is not available)


Indiana University Persian program at the Department of Central Eurasian Studies (CEUS) 


New York University Iranian Studies Initiative 


NC University 


Ohio State University Persian Studies Minor 


Portland State University Persian Minor 


Princeton University Persian Language Studies 


Princeton University

The Center was established in 2012, supported by a generous gift from alumni and Board of Trustees members Sharmin Mossavar-Rahmani, Class of 1980, and Bijan Mossavar-Rahmani, Class of 1974. Launched to promote groundbreaking independent scholarship and teaching, the Center adds a new dimension to programming first inspired by the Pahlavi Fund, which dates to 1969 and exists to promote a new understanding of Iranian society and culture.


San Diego State University Persian Language Program at the Department of Linguistics and Asian/Middle Eastern Languages 


San Francisco State University Persian Studies Program at the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures 


Stanford University Hamid and Christina Moghadam Program in Iranian Studies 

Hamid and Christina Moghadam endowed the Program in Iranian Studies in 2003, enriching the Stanford curriculum and exemplifying their dedication to the pluralism of ideas.






University of Connecticut 


University of Pennsylvania Persian Language Program 


University of Utah Persian Major or Minor 


The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Persian Program 


University of Maryland Roshan Institute for Persian Studies 

In 2007, Roshan Cultural Heritage Institute made a $3 million leadership gift to the University of Maryland College Park Foundation and in 2008, a major and a minor in Persian language and studies were developed. As a result, the existing four-year old "Center for Persian Studies" expanded into the current Roshan Institute for Persian Studies.




UC San Diego Heritage Persian Program 


UCLA Program of Iranian Studies at the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures 


UCLA Pourdavoud Center for the Study of the Iranian World 

The Pourdavoud Center was made possible by a gift from Professor Pourdavoud's granddaughter, Dr. Anahita Naficy Lovelace, and her husband, Mr. James B. Lovelace.


UC Irvine Samuel Jordan Center for Persian Studies and Culture 

The Samuel Jordan Center for Persian Studies and Culture was made possible through the generosity of Dr. Fariborz Maseeh and The Massiah Foundation.


UCI Ferdowsi Presidential Chair in Zoroastrian Studies at the Samuel Jordan Center for Persian Studies and Culture 


UC Santa Barbara Iranian Studies Initiative 

The Iranian Studies Initiative (ISI) was established in 2010 with support from the Duncan and Suzanne Mellichamp Endowment in Global Religion and Modernity in collaboration with the Department of Religious Studies and the Center for Middle East Studies. With a generous contribution from the Gramian-Emrani Foundation we started our conference series in 2016. Iranian Studies faculty and staff organize annual lectures, symposia, film screenings, and conferences.


University of Southern California in Los Angeles, Minor in Iranian Studies


Persian at Rutgers University


Persian at UC Davis


Persian Studies Program, San Jose State University


University of Chicago Iranian Prehistoric Project 


University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Persian Program 


University of Oklahoma Farzaneh Family Center for Iranian and Persian Gulf Studies 

The Farzaneh Family Center for Iranian and Persian Gulf Studies serves as the hub for Iranian Studies at the University of Oklahoma. Established in 2010 as an academic program within the OU David L. Boren College of International Studies, the Farzaneh Family Center for Iranian and Persian Gulf Studies expanded into a center in 2016 through a generous donation by the Farzaneh Family.


University of Virginia Persian Program 


University of Washington Persian and Iranian Studies Program 


University of Wisconsin Persian Program at the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures


Yale University Program in Iranian Studies at MacMillan Center



Iranian Studies in the United Kingdom

Cambridge University Persian Studies 


Centre for Iranian Studies at SOAS University of London 




University of St Andrews - Institute of Iranian Studies










King's College 




Marshal Center 



Massiah Foundation


Roshan Cultural Heritage Institute 


Persian Heritage Foundation


Foundation for Iranian Studies 


Iran Heritage Foundation:

Persian Heritage Foundation:

Farhang Foundation:

Unique Zan Foundation:

Omid Foundation:

The Hand Foundation:

The Iranian Scholarship Foundation:

Parsa Community Foundation:

The Houtan Scholarship Foundation:

Iranian American Scholarship fund:

Momeni Foundation 

Barakat trust 

Soudavar Memorial Foundation



Iran Heritage Foundation 




Societas Iranologica Europaea (S.I.E.) 


Association pour l’Avancement des études iraniennes (AAIE) 



Scandinavian Society for Iranian Studies 



Association for Iranian Studies 


The American Association of Teachers of Persian 




Association for the Study of Persianate Societies 



London Institute of Iranian Studies 


Indiana University Persian Summer Program 


San Diego State University 


The University of Wisconsin Arabic, Persian and Turkish Language Institute

A summer intensive program is providing students with two semesters of language credit in eight weeks.


University of Maryland Persian Summer School 


Georgetown Summer Persian 


Arizona State


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