Department of Middle Eastern Studies
Department of Middle Eastern Studies

Persian Studies

women at event holding iranian flags

Persian Studies at the University of Texas at Austin is a comprehensive program of Persian language and literature at all levels. The program serves undergraduate students fulfilling university foreign language requirements and majoring and minoring in Islamic Studies, Middle Eastern Studies, Middle Eastern Languages & Cultures. The University of Texas Persian Program also serves graduate students concentrating or minoring in Persian in degree programs in Comparative Literature, History, Media Studies, Government, Linguistics, Asian Studies, and Middle Eastern 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 Second Year Third Year
PRS 601C PRS 322K PRS 329 (varied topics)
PRS 611C  PRS 329 (varied topics) PRS 329 (varied topics)

The Persian Studies program has a primary focus on the 19th and 20th centuries with special attention to the post-World War II period. Pre-modern language and literature receive attention as well, for example such classical literary works as Ferdowsi's Shâhnâmeh, Sa'di's Golestân, and Hâfez's Divân, studied as requisite background to the appreciation of contemporary Persian literature and Iranian culture. Students are also able to take Persian courses related to Iranian Cinema, Persian media, and visual culture.

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.


Program Contacts:

Kelly Houck
Undergraduate Coordinator

Dr. Babak Tabarraee
Persian Language Coordinator


Online Persian Instruction

Persian Grammar Online

Persian of Iran Today


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    The University of Texas at Austin
    204 W 21st Street Stop F9400
    Calhoun Hall (CAL) 528
    Austin, TX 78712
    +1-512-471-3881