The Graduate Specialization in Ancient Iran and the Premodern Persian World is University of California, Irvine’s interdisciplinary program for graduate study in premodern Iranian Studies. First of its kind in the University of California, it is designed to provide Ph.D. students the interdisciplinary training they need to conduct advanced research in the art, archaeology, architecture, history, literatures and religions of Iran, as well as those peoples, regions and empires whose destinies were intertwined with Iran, or impacted by its cultures (e.g. ancient Greece and Rome, Armenia, or Islamic Western or South Asia). Now supported by a $1.65 million grant by the Roshan Cultural Heritage Institute to establish PhD fellowships, the interdisciplinary Specialization offers students the opportunity to tailor their program of study to support their own research interests. Moreover it provides a dual credential upon graduating, which increases their marketability when they apply for jobs.

The University of California, Irvine boasts unparalleled faculty and programmatic resources for the study of ancient Iran and the wider premodern Persian world, including the highest concentration of endowed chairs in ancient Iranian studies of any North American institution, including a new endowed chair in Zoroastrianism. With faculty strengths in ancient Iran and Persianate Western and South Asia, the specialization’s broader historical scope encompasses the Bronze Age cultures of the Iranian Plateau, Mesopotamia and Central Asia up to the early modern empires of the Mughals, Safavids and Ottomans (ca. 3500 BCE – ca. 1740 CE). The specialization’s broad conception of premodern Iranian Studies is paralleled in, and supported by, the extensive programming of UCI’s Samuel Jordan Center for Persian Studies and Culture, which provides the primary focus of the program's graduate workshop. 

For more information on the program's curriculum visit the UCI Catalogue.

Matthew P. Canepa, Director
2000 Humanities Gateway