Iranian Studies Graduate Programs

Oct 20, 2021

An Iranian studies graduate program can help students better understand Iranian culture. This can be done through a focus on Iranian literature, religion, society, and politics.

Information About Graduate Programs in Iranian Studies

Masters and PhD programs are both available in Iranian studies. Programs tend to be multi-track and usually will offer a diverse set of concentration options with a large number of courses from which to choose, including the following:


It's not uncommon for programs to require that students take coursework in a Persian, Arabic, or other Indo-European language. Sometimes this might include studying an older variation of Iranian. In other cases, students may choose to learn Sanskrit or Turkish. Regardless of the language they choose, students will need to complete their coursework and examinations to demonstrate proficiency in their chosen language of study.

Archaeology of Iran

Iran is an ancient country with architectural buildings constructed from the modern era to the distant past. However, the emphasis of this course will be on the archaeology of the more distant past. Students may be expected to learn about archaeology from the prehistoric times to the times of Achaemenid.

Master's Thesis or Doctoral Dissertation

Depending on what degree track you are on, you will often be required to complete either a master's thesis or doctoral dissertation. The master's thesis may include completing not only your written thesis but also an oral examination with your professors. A doctoral dissertation includes not only the completion of your dissertation but a defense of it before your doctoral committee.

Persian Literature

Students are afforded the opportunity to study various works of Persian literature. In most cases, this will be focused on classical Persian texts. Studies in this area often vary and are commonly decided upon by the professors.

The Baha'i Faith

Students of this course will come to know more about the Baha'i religion. Specifically, they often explore English readings on the faith and its role in Iran. Part of this course may include learning about how this religion began and spread throughout the Iranian region.

Graduate Program Admittance Requirements

You will submit all transcripts from previous college coursework, and a minimum GPA may be required. Prerequisites related to Iranian studies, including a language proficiency, may be in place, although provisional admittance pending fulfillment of the requirements may be available. Some schools request a statement of purpose, and you will typically be asked to submit three letters of recommendation, as well. In some cases, you may be asked to submit your GRE scores.

Iranian studies graduate programs are interdisciplinary and offer a wide range of options for study. You may find some programs are a better fit with your career goals, so it's best to reach out to various institutions to learn about their specific programs, course offerings and admission requirements.

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