The Islamic Republic of Iran, once known as Persia, is the second largest nation in the Middle East and home to one of the world’s oldest and most fascinating civilizations. UNESCO recognizes 17 World Heritage Sites here, including the ancient walled citadel of Bam and the sacred city of Elam, which is over 3,000 years old. Its substantial natural gas supply, the largest in the world, and extensive oil reserves give the nation formidable economic and political power. To the northwest lies Armenia, and the Persian Gulf lies to the south. It shares a western border with Turkey and Iraq and an eastern border with Afghanistan and Pakistan.
The nation is a theocratic republic, and the state works to ensure that its educational programs, particularly those that are publicly funded and administered, adhere to Islamic law. Academics have a long and illustrious history here, and Iranian schools strive to continue that tradition. Students who wish to study business in Iran will find many internationally respected programs to choose from. It is home to 54 public and 289 private universities, many of which maintain close ties to prominent European institutions.
The 10-month academic year runs from September through June and is divided into two terms. Exact dates are dictated by the Persian calendar. Classes are held on Saturday through Thursday. There is no break between terms, but students have a three-month summer vacation. Schools are closed for several days in March to celebrate the Iranian new year.
At public universities the tuition and living expenses of undergraduate students are paid for by the state, although graduates repay the debt by serving the government for a number of years or paying a sum to free themselves of the obligation. The state does not pay for the education of international students, but may offer grants and scholarships to subsidize their expenses.
Universities in Iran offer several types of degrees. A kārdāni is equivalent to an associate’s degree and requires two years of study. A kāršenāsi, or bachelor’s degree, can be earned in four years. A master’s degree is called kāršenāsi e aršad and requires two additional years of study. Students may go on to pursue a doctorā or PhD.
Many of the Middle East’s most prestigious universities are in Iran, mainly in the capital city of Tehran. Those who study business in Iran benefit from a rigorous curriculum and high quality instructors. Some will appreciate the combination of a conservative moral culture, including segregated classes, and a competitive, contemporary education. The nation has many thriving industries in addition to natural gas, which provide students with interesting networking and internship opportunities.