Iranian Studies Initiative at USC

Farhang Foundation’s Iranian Studies Initiative at the University of Southern California (ISI at USC) is a multi-phased effort launched in 2010 to establish a first-ever Iranian Studies program at USC. With full support from USC, Farhang Foundation spearheaded this initiative with one goal in mind: to create a thriving and comprehensive Iranian Studies program at USC.


Currently there is a real and practical demand for universities to offer learning opportunities in Persian language and Iranian Studies. ISI at USC hopes to meet this demand. Second and third generations of Iranian-Americans, as well as non-Iranians, who seek to learn the Persian language and deepen their knowledge of Iranian culture and history, will now have access to a systematic education in Iranian Studies at a world-class university located in the heart of Los Angeles where so many Iranian-Americans reside.


USC ISI funding chartDue to Farhang Foundation’s community outreach and fundraising efforts, as well as the continued generosity of dedicated donors, USC now offers Persian language courses as well as a Minor degree in Iranian Studies for the first time in school history. To ensure the longevity and ongoing success of this program, Farhang Foundation is now working tirelessly to launch the third and final phase of this initiative: to establish a Major degree in Iranian Studies at USC.


Join the prestigious community of donors whose continued support has made this groundbreaking and worthwhile initiative a reality by clicking here.

Donate Now to USC Iranian Studies Initiative

To maintain the momentum of this program, USC students are encouraged to visit to learn more about Persian language course offerings as well as the newly established Iranian Studies Minor program.

To learn more about Farhang Foundation’s Iranian Studies Initiative and to find out how you can contribute to this program, please email us at or call us at 310.666.1546.

The generous financial contribution of various individuals and companies has made this program possible; for a listing and to become a financial donor, please click here.


Today I was a fortunate witness to a small event that I trust will have broad implications. My university, the University of Southern California, signed an agreement with the Farhang Foundation to begin to do the best thing one can do to remind us all of what Persian culture truly embodies.” Bruce Zuckerman, Professor of Religion at USC

"In the past few years we have seen a tremendous demand by our students for Persian language and Iranian culture programs. Through this very generous gift from Farhang Foundation, we will be able to quickly respond to this demand and begin right away to build a vibrant and rigorous academic program in Iranian Studies. I look forward to partnering with Farhang Foundation as we make this program one of the premier programs in the country." Howard Gillman, Dean of the College of Letters, Arts & Sciences at USC

“The significance and necessity of an Iranian Studies Initiative at USC cannot be overstated… This effort - in partnership with USC - is both a historical duty for Farhang Foundation and at the very core of its mission.” Ali C. Razi, Chairman of Farhang Foundation

“It is my honor and privilege as an Iranian-American to be a part of Farhang Foundation and this effort in support of an Iranian Studies Initiative. This program will offer students from all walks of life the opportunity to explore and study thousands of years of Iranian culture and language.” Dr. Cyrus Adami, Iranian Studies Council at Farhang Foundation

2016 USC ISI Report
Download our 2016 Report
(4.0 MB PDF)


2018 USC ISI Report
Download our 2018 Report
(11.3 MB PDF)