Persian Studies at UCI

Persian Studies at University of California, Irvine

Farhang Foundation and the University of California, Irvine (UCI) have officially announced the launch of a Persian Studies minor program in the School of Humanities. Already established at UCI, is the Samuel Jordan Center for Persian Studies and Culture that offers many conferences and programs focused on Iran, which are an invaluable source of information for researchers and the broader community alike. Now, for the first time, UCI will offer its students a minor in Persian Studies as part of the developing academic program. This minor within the School of Humanities will be the first degree-granting program in Persian Studies at UCI.

What is the significance & purpose of this program?

Now more than ever it is imperative that students have access to academic programs that increase their knowledge of the Middle East — specifically Iran, its culture, history, and language. Through a systematic education at a leading university such as UCI, students will gain access to a rigorous academic curriculum and world-class faculty.

By becoming proficient in Persian language, as well as the history, culture, and contributions of Iran, students will learn about a complex region of the world that is increasingly at the center of today’s political climate and international affairs, as well as gain a competitive edge in the job market. Additionally, with so many Iranians living in Southern California today, access to Persian language and Iranian Studies programs is in great demand, and will help preserve the language, culture, history, and heritage of Iran for future generations of Iranian Americans.


“The School of Humanities is proud to work with the Farhang Foundation in order to enhance the field of Persian studies, supporting UCI’s aspirations both to deliver a first-class and truly global curriculum, and to serve important constituents of our local Orange County community. Persian civilization is one of the oldest and most influential world cultures, still as vibrant today as it was three millennia ago, and we are very pleased indeed to make its achievements and heritage available for our students to study here at Irvine.” Georges Van Den Abbeele, Dean, School of Humanities at UC Irvine.

“This is a wonderful investment in UCI Humanities and the Jordan Center for Persian Studies.”,
notes Dr. Fariborz Maseeh, the benefactor for the Samuel Jordan Center for Persian Studies and Culture. “Aside from its financial investment today and in the past, Farhang Foundation is the ideal partner to engage the Persian community with the Jordan Center on a local and global scale. This is what the Jordan Center needs the most.”

“Farhang Foundation is both honored and delighted to have played an integral role in helping to develop a Persian Studies minor program at UC Irvine. We are privileged to be in a position to be able to help celebrate and promote our wonderful Persian cultural heritage. And through this program, we have found a meaningful and enduring way of perpetuating it through students who will shape the fabric of our world for years to come,” Ali Razi, Chairman of Farhang Foundation.

“Here at UC Irvine we are able to do something very special, and that is the establishment of Persian Studies.” Dr. Touraj Daryaee, Director, UCI Jordan Center for Persian Studies.

“For years, Farhang Foundation has enjoyed a fruitful relationship with UC Irvine. Our mutual passion for sharing the culture and history of Iran with the public has culminated in this groundbreaking endeavor. Through this program, UCI will be giving its students the opportunity to gain proficiency in Persian Studies, to be better prepared for the global job market, and to further their understanding of a misunderstood region.” Assad Kazeminy, Chair of Farhang’s Orange County Council.

How YOU can help…

Spearheaded by Farhang Foundation and welcomed by UCI, this program has been made possible by the generous contributions of various individuals. But in order to maintain our momentum, we still have to raise more funds. With your help, we can achieve these goals.

And please remember, contributions are welcome in more ways than one:

  • Become a financial donor to the Persian Studies Program at UCI
  • Volunteer your time and help us spread the word
  • Know a current or former UCI alumni? Refer them to Farhang Foundation for the latest news on this exciting program

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