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 the Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures major. 

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 study at UC Berkeley. Please find the minor declaration form in the Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures department or email the undergraduate major advisor. 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 Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures (MELC) Department

Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures (Major and Minor)
Arabic (Minor)
Hebrew (Minor)
Turkish (Minor)

Visit Department Website

Minor Requirements

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

General Guidelines

  1. All minors must be declared before the first day of classes in your Expected Graduation Term (EGT). For summer graduates, minors must be declared prior to the first day of Summer Session A. 

  2. All upper-division courses must be taken for a letter grade. 

  3. A minimum of three of the upper-division courses taken to fulfill the minor requirements must be completed at UC Berkeley.

  4. A minimum grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 is required in the upper-division courses to fulfill the minor requirements.

  5. Courses used to fulfill the minor requirements may be applied toward the Seven-Course Breadth requirement, for Letters & Science students.

  6. No more than one upper division course may be used to simultaneously fulfill requirements for a student's major and minor programs.

  7. All minor requirements must be completed prior to the last day of finals during the semester in which the student plans to graduate. If students cannot finish all courses required for the minor by that time, they should see a College of Letters & Science adviser.

  8. All minor requirements must be completed within the unit ceiling. (For further information regarding the unit ceiling, please see the College Requirements tab.)


Lower Division Requirements20
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 Requirements15-20
Persian Language and Literature
Advanced Persian [3]
Select two courses:
Advanced Persian [3]
Readings in Persian Literature [3]
Readings in Persian Literature [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]
Persian Culture and History
Select two courses:
Mesopotamian History: Stories of Ancient People and Places [3]
MELC 111Disease, Health and Pandemics in Ancient Egypt, the Ancient Middle East, and the Classical World4
Gilgamesh: King, Hero, and God [4]
The Origins of Racism in the West [4]
Writing Systems of the World [4]
Explorers, Archaeologists, and Tourists in the Middle East [4]
The Art of Ancient Mesopotamia: 1000-330 BCE [4]
Topics in Islamic Art [4]
Silk Road Art and Archaeology [3]
Arts of Iran and Central Asia [4]
Topics in Islamic Thought and Institutions [3]
Modern and Contemporary Islamic Thought [3]
Shi'ite Islam [3]
Islam in Iran [3]
Sufism: The Mysticism of Islam [3]
Women in Islam [4]
Islam [4]
The Rise of Islamic Civilization [4]
Emergence of the Modern Middle East [4]
The Modern Middle East from WWI to the Present [4]
Middle Eastern Women Writers [4]
Cultural Encounters in Modern Arabic Literature [3]
Synagogues, Cathedrals, and Mosques: The Rise and Fall of Islamic Spain [4]
The Thousand and One Nights in World Literary Imagination [3]
Sociolinguistics of the Middle East [4]
Reel Arabs: Film and Fiction in the Middle East [4]
Middle East: Post-Colonialism, Migration, and Diaspora [4]
Middle East, Empire, and Orientalism [4]
Religions of Ancient Iran [3]
Topics in Persian Art and Culture [4]
History of Persian Literature [4]
Persian Literature in Translation [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 Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures: Iranian/Persian [4]
Undergrad Seminar: Problems and Research in Middle Eastern Studies: Iranian/Persian [2,4]
Directed Group Study for Upper Division Students [1-4]
Supervised Independent Study and Research [1-4]
Total Units39-44



Contact Information

Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures

250 Social Sciences Building

Phone: 510-642-3757

Fax: 510-643-8430

Visit Department Website

Department Chair

Christine Philliou

Undergraduate Major Advisor

Rania Shah, MA

250 Social Sciences Building

Phone: 510-642-3758

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