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Iranian Studies

Persian Languages

  • History of Iran' s Literature
  • Children s Literature
  • Persian literature (poems)
  • Persian litrrature (prose)
  • The Contemporary Literature
  • History of Persian Language


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Online Programs | Learn On Demand

About the Course

This course, taught entirely in Persian, aims to introduce students to major trends in Iran's modern history and Historiography. This innovative content-based program aims to push students toward advanced- and superior-level proficiency in Persian (on the ACTFL scale) through a combination of proficiency-based communicative language instruction and discipline-based content on Iranian history and historians. Students will gather in a "virtual classroom" and work in small groups and pairs, and they will receive individualized attention just as they would in a normal language class. The course will help students build a vocabulary base and repertoire of useful expressions, so that by the end of the course, they feel confident using the language in a variety of contexts.

Course Syllabus

Week 1. Introduction:

Week 2.

Week 3.

Week 4.

Week 5.

Week 6.

Week 7.


This course runs from May 25 through August 10, 2016.  

Classes will be held on Wednesdays and Fridays at the following times: 

Central (US), 4 - 6 PM
Eastern (US), 5 - 7 PM
Mountain (US), 3 - 5 PM
Pacific (US), 2 - 4 PM


Recommended Background

You must be comfortable with mathematical thinking and rigorous arguments. Relatively little specific math is required; the course involves lightweight probability theory (for example, you should know what a conditional probability is) and very lightweight calculus (for instance, taking a derivative).

Suggested Readings

The following background readings provide more detailed coverage of the course material:

Course Format

The course consists of the following materials:

  • Videos. The lectures are delivered via videos, which are broken into small chunks, usually between five and fifteen minutes each. There will be approximately one and a half hours of video content per week. You may watch the lecture videos at your convenience. Lower-resolution videos are also available for those with slow internet connections.
  • Slides.  We have made available pdf files of all the lecture slides.
  • Quizzes. There will be non-graded short "quiz" questions that will follow some of the videos to help you gauge your understanding.
  • Online Lab Exercises After some of the videos, we will ask you to go online to play some games. These are entirely optional, and are designed to illustrate some of the concepts from the course.
  • Problem Sets. There will also be graded weekly problem sets that you will also answer online, but may work through offline; those must be completed within two weeks of the time that they are posted in order to be graded for full credit. If you miss a problem set deadline, you may complete it before the end of the course for half credit. You may discuss problems from the problem sets with other students in an online forum, without providing explicit answers.
  • Final Exam. There will be an online final exam that you will have to complete within two weeks of its posting. Once you begin the exam, you will have four hours to complete it.
  • Screen-side Chats. Each week on Thursday (Pacific time; Friday in some parts of the world) we will hold a brief online chat where we answer  questions and discuss topics relevant to the course.


The online application can be found here.

Technology Requirements

Personal Computer (Windows or Macintosh) with:

  • Sound card
  • Good quality headphones with microphone capability (note: earbuds with microphones generally do not provide high enough quality. We have a list of inexpensive headsets to recommend).
  • Webcam (the better the quality, the clearer your video stream will be)
  • Internet connection (Broadband/Ethernet; Wi Fi is usually too slow)


  • 1.4GHz Intel® Pentium® 4 or faster processor (or equivalent) for Microsoft® Windows® XP, Windows 7 or Windows 8
  • Windows 8.1 (32-bit/64-bit), Windows 8 (32-bit/64-bit), Windows 7 (32-bit/64-bit), Windows XP
  • 512MB of RAM (1GB recommended) for Windows XP, Windows 7 or Windows 8
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer 8, 9, 10, 11; Mozilla Firefox; Google Chrome
  • Adobe® Flash® Player 11.2+

Mac OS

  • 1.83GHz Intel Core™ Duo or faster processor
  • 512MB of RAM (1GB recommended)
  • Mac OS X 10.7.4, 10.8, 10.9
  • Mozilla Firefox; Apple Safari; Google Chrome
  • Adobe Flash Player 11.2+

Some Linux operating systems are supported - please contact us for more information.


  • Who should apply?

We welcome applications from students and working professionals. Students' skills should be in the intermediate level at the beginning of the program. Informal OPI tests will be conducted at the beginning and end of the program. Heritage learners whose language skill levels are appropriate for this program are encouraged to apply.

The program is not open to native speakers who were educated in Persian, or who are fluent or near-fluent native speakers.

  • Will I get a statement of accomplishment after completing this class?

Yes. Students who successfully complete the class will receive a statement of accomplishment signed by the instructor.

  • What is the format of the class?

The class will consist of lecture videos, which are broken into small chunks, usually between eight and twelve minutes each. Some of these may contain integrated quiz questions. There will also be standalone quizzes that are not part of video lectures. There will be approximately two hours worth of video content per week.

  • I'm not in the United States. Can I still apply?

Yes! We have had students from around the world enroll.

  • For questions, please contact