Persian is an important language of the Middle East and Central Asia. With over 100 million native speakers in Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Bahrain, Persian is ranked among the world’s 20 most widely spoken first languages. In addition, over 50 million people speak it as their second language. Persian is in high demand in government, business, and non-governmental organizations.

Persian is one of the 10 oldest languages still spoken in the world today, with roots dating back to the Persian Empire of the 6th Century B.C. It is the language of many famous poems, stories, and writings of Hafez, Rumi, and Ferdowsi. Iran is also home to a spectacular filmmaking tradition, with Iranian-made films regularly winning recognition in film festivals around the world.

Majors & Certificates 

Languages and Cultures of Asia Major, Middle East Studies Certificate; visit the Majors & Certificates page for more information.


Rachel Weiss,

Student Organizations 

Persian Student Society; browse the Wisconsin Involvement Network for more information.


Consider an internship where you can use Persian, either in the US or abroad. An internship in any field can complement your language study and can provide valuable professional experience.