University of California, Berkeley

About the Program


The Persian minor introduces students to the language, peoples, cultures, histories 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 Persian should see the major requirements in Near Eastern Languages and Literatures

Students minoring in Persian must satisfy the lower division prerequisite requirements. Students may also take a language proficiency exam to waive the elementary and intermediate language courses. Please meet with the undergraduate major advisor to discuss course options or plan for study abroad. 


Declaring the Minor

Students may declare the Persian minor as soon as they begin their course study. Please find the minor declaration form in the Near Eastern Studies Department. Students must declare the minor no later than the semester before their Expected Graduation Term (EGT). Please see the L&S minor guidelines page for more information. 

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 Persian minor program requires five upper-division courses in Persian literature and culture. 

General Guidelines

  1. All minors must be declared no later than one semester before a student's Expected Graduation Term (EGT). If the semester before EGT is fall or spring, the deadline is the last day of RRR week. If the semester before EGT is summer, the deadline is the final Friday of Summer Sessions. To declare a minor, contact the department advisor for information on requirements, and the declaration process.
  2. All courses taken to satisfy the minor requirement must be taken for a letter grade and be at least 3 units.

  3. A minimum grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 must be maintained in order to declare and complete the minor. 

  4. No more than one upper division course may be used to simultaneously satisfy requirements for a student's major and minor program.
  5. With the prior consent of the faculty major advisor, students may take courses across various disciplines to fulfill the Persian minor culture and history requirement. 

Minor Requirements

Lower Division
Elementary Modern Persian [5]
Elementary Modern Persian [5]
or Persian 11A & Persian 11B for heritage speakers
Intermediate Modern Persian [5]
Intermediate Modern Persian [5]
Upper Division
PERSIAN 100AAdvanced Persian3
Select two from 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 from the following:6
Persian Culture and History
Topics in Islamic Art [4]
Topics in Islamic Art [4]
Arts of Iran and Central Asia [4]
Shi'ite Islam [3]
Sufism: The Mysticism of Islam [3]
Topics in Islamic Thought and Institutions [3]
Islam [4]
Emergence of the Modern Middle East [4]
Synagogues, Cathedrals, and Mosques: The Rise and Fall of Islamic Spain [4]
Middle Eastern Women Writers [4]
Wonder and the Fantastic: The Thousand and One Nights in World Literary Imagination [3]
Sociolinguistics of the Greater Middle East [4]
Religions of Ancient Iran [3]
Topics in Persian Art and Culture [4]
History of Persian Literature [4]
History of Persian Literature [4]
Film and Fiction of Iran [4]
Islamic History and Historiography (600-1050) [3]
History and Culture of Afghanistan [3]
The Quran and Its Interpretation [4]
Special Topics in Fields of Near Eastern Studies: Iranian/Persian [4]
Muslims in America [4]
Islamophobia and Constructing Otherness [4]
The Middle East From the 18th Century to the Present [4]
Total Units15



Faculty and Instructors


Azza Ahmad, Assistant Adjunct Professor. Arabic Languages, CMES.

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

Asad Ahmed, Associate Professor. Islam (social and intellectual history).
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Adam Benkato, Professor. Iranian Studies, Senior Research Scholar at CMES.

Daniel Boyarin, Professor. Talmud, rhetoric, Christianity, genealogy of, invention of Judaism.
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Simon Brelaud, Assistant Adjunct Professor. Assyrian Studies, Syriac Language.

Ahmad Diab, Assistant Professor. Modern Arabic Literature.
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Ronald Hendel, Professor. Textual criticism, Hebrew bible, ancient Near Eastern religion and mythology, Northwest Semitic linguistics.
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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. Near Eastern Studies, Egyptology.
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Maria Mavroudi, Professor. Byzantine studies.
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Nasser Meerkhan, Assistant Professor. Near Eastern Studies, and Spanish and Portuguese.

Benjamin Porter, Associate 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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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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Elsa Elmahdy, Lecturer.

Gholam-Reza Ghahramani, Lecturer.

John L. Hayes, 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.

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.
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Ariel A. Bloch, Professor Emeritus.

Chava Boyarin, 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.
Research Profile

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

Visit Department Website

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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