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)

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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 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 [3]
Explorers, Archaeologists, and Tourists in the Middle East [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]
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]
Wonder and the Fantastic: The Thousand and One Nights in World Literary Imagination [3]
Sociolinguistics of 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]
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 Units35-40



Contact Information

Department of Near Eastern Studies

250 Social Sciences Building

Phone: 510-642-3757

Fax: 510-643-8430

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Department Chair

Wali Ahmadi

284 Social Sciences Building

Undergraduate Major Advisor

Rania Shah, MA

250 Social Sciences Building

Phone: 510-642-3758

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