Persian Image


GMU’s Persian program offers courses from beginning to advanced levels. Classes help both heritage and non-heritage students develop their Persian language skills and cultural understanding through careful study and application. 

In beginner Persian courses, students are empowered to practice their skills in writing, reading, listening, and speaking. In upper-level classes, students analyze a wide range of sources from the Persianate world. They learn to critically read, accurately summarize, analyze, translate, and interpret Persian texts related to political, social and economic contexts. Upon completion of GMU’s program, many students go on to apply their skills in the fields of diplomacy, business, linguistics, or intelligence in the United States and abroad. 


Persian is an Indo-European language and related to major European languages, including English. Although it utilizes Arabic script, it is not related to the Arabic language. Persian is spoken today by more than 100 million people worldwide. It is the official language in Iran as well as Afghanistan and Tajikistan, where it is known as Dari and Tajik, respectively. Classical poetry, literature, philosophy, science and mathematics in the Middle East have all been significantly influenced by Persian language and culture. 


Persian is considered a “critical language” by the U.S. government, and proficiency is especially valuable for students pursuing international affairs, political science, Middle East studies, Islamic studies, history and other related majors and minors.  




Resources for Modern and Classical Languages Students