May 26, 2024  
USC Catalogue 2023-2024 
USC Catalogue 2023-2024

Iranian Studies Minor

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This minor is an interdisciplinary degree focusing on the peoples and cultures of Iran. Its courses offer students interested in exploring the richness and complexity of Iran a framework for developing both expertise and wide-ranging critical perspectives on its past, present, and future. The cross-section of courses and rigorous training in the Persian language allow students to develop a wide-ranging perspective on the country or a narrower focus on a particular historical period or theme.

Learning Objectives for the Iranian Studies Minor:

  1. Offer foundational knowledge of the geography, cultures and history of Iran.
  2. Offer rigorous training in a range of social science and humanities approaches from history, economics, political science, geography and international relations to literary and cultural criticism with an emphasis on their application to the study of Iranian society.
  3. Develop critical thinking skills that enable the student to place recent and current events in appropriate historical and contemporary contexts.
  4. Enhance students’ ability to question non-scholarly accounts of Iran’s past and present.
  5. Deliver firm grounding in the Persian language.
  6. Train students to conduct informed research on Iran and its diaspora.

A special accommodation is in place for majors in the Department of Political Science and International Relations who minor in Iranian Studies. Courses that are cross-listed between MDES and IR can satisfy the four unique courses (at least 16 units) that must be completed outside of their major department for this interdisciplinary minor. Students will still be required, however, to complete at least four courses (16 units) that are unique to the minor (not required to meet major course requirements). A minimum of 20 units is required.


Students wishing to minor in Iranian Studies must demonstrate fourth-semester proficiency in the Persian language. This can be achieved through placement, transfer credits (subject to approval), from study abroad, or through successfully completing the level IV Persian (IRAN 250 ) course at USC. Students who place out of the requirement to take IRAN 250  must take an additional elective course.

Required Course - Lower Division

All students must take one of the following courses:

Required Course - Upper Division

All students must take the following course:

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