Middle Eastern Studies | College of Liberal Arts
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Persian or Farsi is the standard language of more than 110 million people in Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, and many diasporic communities around the world. Persian Studies at the University of Texas at Austin is a comprehensive program of Persian language and Persianate culture at all levels. The program serves undergraduate students fulfilling university foreign language requirements and majoring and minoring in Islamic Studies, Middle Eastern Studies, and Middle Eastern Languages & Cultures. Students can also pursue a minor in Persian by completing at least three hours of advanced content courses. The University of Texas Persian Program also serves graduate students concentrating on Persian in many degree programs such as Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures, Middle Eastern Studies, Linguistics, History, International Relations and Global Studies, Public Affairs, Global Policy Studies, Comparative Literature, Media Studies, Government, and Asian Studies.

Persian Sequence

The core Persian curriculum consists of three semesters of language centered coursework that aims to build skills in reading, listening, speaking, writing, and culture. 

First Year: PRS601C: Intensive Persian I and PRS611C: Intensive Persian II are the first year, beginning level Persian courses for undergraduate students. PRS381H and PRS381J are the beginning level Persian courses for the graduate students.

Second Year: PRS322K is the sole intermediate level course in Persian that is offered each Fall. This course focuses on everyday life in modern Iran, and aims to improve the students’ four language macro-skills (reading, writing, listening, speaking).

Third Year: PRS329 is the course number for a variety of advanced level content courses offered in both Fall and Spring semesters. These courses usually focus on literature, media, and history of modern Iran and are taught entirely in Persian.

First Year Second Year Third Year
PRS 601C or PRS 381H PRS 322K PRS 329 (varied topics)
PRS 611C or PRS 381J PRS 329 (varied topics) PRS 329 (varied topics)

Heritage Learners, Bilingual Students, Native Speakers

Students with any knowledge of Persian (written and/or spoken) must take the placement exam to correctly identify which level of the language they may enroll in. Details on the placement exam can be found here.

Students who want to receive credit for PRS 601C and PRS 611C may take the Credit-by-Exam test. Details on the CBE can be found here.

Oral Proficiency Interviews

Please note that at the end of the 611C course, you may be asked to complete an oral proficiency interview (OPI). Each year Middle Eastern Studies is required to administer OPIs to a pool of randomly selected students, to verify that we are meeting curriculum goals in our first-year language courses. This process is dependent on voluntary student participation. The interviews are extracurricular and will not figure into your course grade, but students selected to participate will receive a notification letting them know their proficiency level in the language. The test is administered over the telephone (or Zoom) and rated by an ACTFL Certified Tester. OPIs can be rated according to the ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines 2012 or the Interagency Language Roundtable (ILR) scale.

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Program Contacts:

Megan Conner
Undergraduate Advisor for Middle Eastern Studies

Dr. Babak Tabarraee
Persian Language Coordinator