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Kamran Scot Aghaie, Chair CAL 528 | 204 W 21st St F9400 | Austin, TX 78712-1029 • 512-471-3881

Online Persian

UT Austin's Middle Eastern Studies Online Language Institute will be offering a graduate Persian langauge course on Iranian History and Historians during Fall and Spring semester of the 2013-14 academic year. This course will allow us to create a "virtual classroom" that is ideal for language learning. Students will be able to work in small groups and pairs, or as a class, and they will be able to receive individualized attention just as they would in a normal language class. This innovative content-based program aims to push students toward advanced and superior proficiency in Persian (on the ACTFL scale) through a combination of proficiency-based communicative language instruction and discipline-based content on Iranian history and politics.

Online Persian picture

Course title & instructional staff
PRS 384C Iranian History and Historians (in Persian)  

Kamran Scot Aghaie, Associate Professor of Iranian History and Persian Studies, UT Austin

Course description
This course has four main goals in order to prepare students to become academics focused on Modern Iran. First, this course will provide students with a broad sampling of academic scholarship on Iranian History, in the form of scholarly articles in Persian. After reading and discussing these articles students will understand some dominant trends in historical scholarship and historiography on Modern Iran. Second, students will learn how to read, understand, and analyze primary historical documents in the Persian language (i.e. hand-written texts), such as unpublished manuscripts, memoirs, treaties, religious letters, treatises, government communiqués, chronicles, and other selected archival materials. Third, students will learn to give academic conference-style presentations in Persian. Fourth, students will learn how to research and write academic-style papers in Persian. All assignments and all activities associated with the class will be conducted in Persian. 

Course format
This course runs from August 30, 2013 through May 2, 2014. The course requires approximately five and a half hours of work each week and offers opportunities for additional optional independent work. This includes one and a half hours of live online class-time and four hours of outside work per week.

When will the live online classes take place?
Classes will be held on Fridays at the following times: 
Eastern (US), 1 PM - 2:30 PM
Central (US), 12 - 1:30 PM
Mountain (US), 11 - 12:30 PM
Pacific (US), 10 - 11:30 AM 

Who should apply?
We welcome applications from students and working professionals, UT affiliates and non-UT affiliates. Students' skills should range from intermediate-high through superior levels on the ACTFL scale (equivalent of ILR1+ through ILR3), 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. However, the program is not open to native speakers who were educated in Persian, or who are fluent or near-fluent native speakers.

What sort of credit do I get for this course?
Students will receive three hours of graduate credit through UT Extension.

What are the technology requirements?
Personal Computer (Windows or Macintosh) with:
  • Sound card
  • Good quality headphones with microphone capability
  • Webcam (the better the quality, the clearer your video stream will be)
  • Internet connection (Broadband/Ethernet; Wi Fi is usually too slow)
For Windows Users:
  • 1.4GHz Intel® Pentium® 4 or faster processor (or equivalent) for Microsoft® Windows® XP or Windows 7; 2GHz Pentium 4 or faster processor (or equivalent) for Windows Vista®  
  • Windows XP, Windows Vista, or Windows 
  • 512 MB of RAM (1GB recommended) for Windows XP or Windows 7; 1GB of RAM (2GB recommended) for Windows Vista
For Mac OS Users:
  • 1.83GHz Intel Core™ Duo or faster processor
  • Mac OS X, 10.5, 10.6 or 10.7.2 (Intel)
  • 512MB of RAM (1GB recommended)

What will it cost?
The tuition for this course is $1,200.  A limited number of tuition reduction offers are also available, which will reduce the tuition cost to $600.  Priority for these tuition reduction offers will be given to full-time graduate and undergraduate students, who do not otherwise have access to funding support for this course. Click here for a link to the tuition reduction application.

How do I apply?
The online application is available by clicking here. Applications are due by August 2, 2013.

Submit a PDF (must be a PDF) copy of your transcript to:
Maggie Bell,

UT students may submit an academic summary from the Office of the Registrar to document UT coursework, but should also submit transcripts from any other colleges or universities attended.

Notable dates
8/2, Applications are due
8/5 - 8/9, Oral examinations
8/16, Notifications of acceptance 
8/23, Payment due
8/30, Class begins

Refund schedule
Official withdrawal prior to the first class day = 100% refunded
Official withdrawal prior to September 6th = 75% refunded
Official withdrawal prior to September 13th = 50% refunded
Official withdrawal after September 20th = No refund

For questions, please contact:
Denise Beachum, 

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