University of California, Berkeley

About the Program


The Persian minor introduces students to the people, language, cultures, history of the Persian-speaking world. The minor develops a student's command of reading, writing, speaking, and comprehension in the Persian language and may complement the student's intended major study. 

Students wishing to major in the study of Persian should see the major requirements in Near Eastern Languages and Literatures

Students minoring in Persian can choose one of two options. Option A is open to students with little or no background in the language. Option B is for students who have completed the equivalent of two years of university-level coursework in the language. For specific information regarding the requirements for each option, please see the Minor Requirements tab on this page. 

Declaring the Minor

Students may petition to add the Persian minor as soon as they begin their study of Persian. Please submit the Petition to Complete the Minor form to the undergraduate student adviser. 

Other Majors and Minors offered by the Department of Near Eastern Studies

Ancient Egyptian Near Eastern Art and Archaeology (Major)
Ancient Egyptian and Near Eastern Civilizations (Major)  
Near Eastern Languages and Literatures (Major)
Ancient Egyptian and Near Eastern Civilizations (Minor)
Arabic (Minor)
Hebrew (Minor)
Turkish (Minor)

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Minor Requirements

The minor program requires five upper-division courses in Persian literature and culture. Students may overlap one course from their major in order to complete the Persian minor requirements. 

General Guidelines

  1. All courses taken to fulfill major requirements must be taken for a letter grade and be at least 3 units.
  2. Students pursuing a double major may overlap two courses to meet both major requirements. Students can also overlap one course to fulfill major and minor requirements.  
  3. A minimum grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 must be maintained in both upper and lower division courses used to fulfill the major requirements. For information regarding residency requirements and unit requirements, please see the College Requirements tab.
  4. With prior consent of the major adviser, students may take courses across various disciplines to fulfill major requirements.

Minor Requirements

Open to students with no background in the language.

Lower Division
PERSIAN 1AElementary Modern Persian5
PERSIAN 1BElementary Modern Persian5
or Persian 11A & Persian 11B for heritage speakers
PERSIAN 20AIntermediate Modern Persian5
PERSIAN 20BIntermediate Modern Persian5
Upper Division
PERSIAN 100AAdvanced Persian3
Select two of the following:6
Advanced Persian [3]
Readings in Classical Persian Prose [3]
Readings in Classical Persian Prose [3]
Classical Persian Poetry [3]
Classical Persian Poetry [3]
Contemporary Persian Literature [3]
Contemporary Persian Literature [3]
Modern Analytical Prose in Persian [3]
Select two of the following:6
The undergraduate major adviser may approve external department substitution courses for the culture/history requirement.
Topics in Islamic Thought and Institutions [3]
Islam [3]
History of Persian Literature [4]
History of Persian Literature [4]
Film and Fiction of Iran [4]
History and Culture of Afghanistan [3]
Total Units35



Faculty and Instructors


Wali Ahmadi, Associate Professor. Persian languages, Persian literature.
Research Profile

Asad Ahmed, Associate Professor. Islam (social and intellectual history).
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Daniel Boyarin, Professor. Talmud, rhetoric, Christianity, genealogy of, invention of Judaism.
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Ahmad Diab, Assistant Professor. Modern Arabic Literature.

Ronald Hendel, Professor. Textual criticism, Hebrew bible, ancient Near Eastern religion and mythology, Northwest Semitic linguistics.
Research Profile

Chana Kronfeld, Professor. Comparative literature, modernism, Hebrew, Yiddish, modern poetry, minor literatures, politics of literary history, feminist stylistics, intertextuality, translation studies.
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Margaret Larkin, Professor. Near Eastern studies.
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Rita Lucarelli, Associate Professor. Egyptology.
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Sabrina Sonia Maras, Assistant Adjunct Professor.

Maria Mavroudi, Professor. Byzantine studies.
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Benjamin Porter, Assistant Professor. Archaeology, Near Eastern archaeology, Middle East, Arid Environments, anthropology, Heritage, tourism, and Museum Studies.
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Carol A. Redmount, Associate Professor. Egyptology.
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Carol Redmount, Associate Professor. Near Eastern Studies.

Francesca Rochberg, Professor. History of science, ancient near east, cuneiform studies.
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Niek Veldhuis, Professor. Digital humanities, intellectual history, Sumerian, cuneiform.
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Rutie Adler, Lecturer.

Hatem A. Bazian, Lecturer. Near Eastern studies.
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Chava Boyarin, Lecturer.

Elsa Elmahdy, Lecturer.

Gholam-Reza Ghahramani, Lecturer.

John L. Hayes, Lecturer.

Lissette M. Jimenez, Lecturer.

Nawal M. Laymoun, Lecturer.

Sanjyot Mehendale, Lecturer. Near Eastern studies, Central Asia, Central Asian studies, archaeology and art history.
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Haitham S. Mohamed, Lecturer.

Laurie Pearce, Lecturer.

Barbara Richter, Lecturer.

Jason Christopher Vivrette, Lecturer.

Visiting Faculty

Manuel Duarte De Oliveira, Visiting Professor.

Emeritus Faculty

Ayla Algar, Lecturer Emeritus. Turkish language and literature, language pedagogy.

Hamid Algar, Professor Emeritus.

Robert B. Alter, Professor Emeritus. Comparative literature, Near Eastern studies, 19th-century European and American novel, modernism, literary aspects of the bible, modern and biblical Hebrew literature.
Research Profile

Guitty Azarpay, Professor Emeritus. Art and archaeology of the ancient Near East and Central Asia.
Research Profile

Ariel A. Bloch, Professor Emeritus.

Wolfgang J. Heimpel, Professor Emeritus. Near Eastern studies.
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Anne D. Kilmer, Professor Emeritus.

David Larkin, Lecturer Emeritus. Egyptology.

James T. Monroe, Professor Emeritus.

Jaleh Pirnazar, Lecturer Emeritus. Modern Iranian history. Persian language and literature, Iranian Cinema.

Martin Schwartz, Professor Emeritus. Near Eastern studies.
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Muhammad Siddiq, Professor Emeritus. Near Eastern studies.
Research Profile

David B. Stronach, Professor Emeritus.

Contact Information

Department of Near Eastern Studies

250 Barrows Hall

Phone: 510-642-3757

Fax: 510-643-8430

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Department Chair and Professor of Ancient Near Eastern History

Francesca Rochberg, PhD

262 Barrows Hall

Undergraduate Faculty Advisor for Arabic, Hebrew, Persian Studies, Islamic Studies and Professor of Persian Literature

Wali Ahmadi, PhD

284 Barrows Hall

Phone: 510-642-3757

Undergraduate Student Advisor

Rania Shah, MA

250 Barrows Hall

Phone: 510-642-3758

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