University of Tehran

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The University of Tehran (دانشگاه تهران in Persian), also known as Tehran University, is the oldest and largest university of Iran (Persia).

The university is prestigious and is among the first options of applicants in the annual nationwide entrance exam for top Iranian universities. The school also admits students from all over the world and is known for its wide-ranging fields of research. Many influential people have studied at this university including Mohammad Khatami, current President of Iran and Shirin Ebadi, Nobel Peace Prize winner of 2003.



The history of the establishment of universities in Iran dates back to the year 1851 and the establishment of Darolfonoon. In 1928, Professor Mahmoud Hessaby proposed the establishment of a center which could cover most of the sciences to Ali Asghar Hekmat, the then Minister of Culture.

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Tehran University, with 32000 students, is Iran's largest university.

In January 1933, during the cabinet meeting, the subject was discussed. Ali Asghar Hekmat, the acting minister of the Ministry of Education stated the following words there:

Of course, there is no doubt on the thriving state and the glory of the capital, but the only obvious deficiency is that this city has no “ university”. It is a pity that this city lags far behind other great countries of the world.

His words had a profound impact on everyone in the meeting, resulting in the acceptance of the proposal. Thus allocating an initial budget of 250,000 Tomans, the Ministry of Education was authorized to find a suitable land for the establishment of the university and take necessary measures to construct the building as soon as possible.

Immediately, Ali Asghar Hekmat in collaboration and consultation with Andre Gaudar, a French skillful architect - who was serving the Ministry of Education as an engineer, began looking for a suitable location for the University grounds. By the orders of Reza Shah, the compound of Jalaliyeh garden was selected. Jalaliyeh garden was located in the north of the then Tehran between Amirabad village and the northern trench of Tehran. This beautiful garden, full of orchards was founded in the early 1900s during the final years of Nasereddin Shah, by the order of Prince Jalal-o-dowleh.

The master plan of the institute was drawn up by Andre Gaudar, Markov, Maxim Cierro, and Mauser. The influences of early 20th century modernist architecture is still readily visible on the main campus grounds of the University today.

The University of Tehran officially inaugurated in 1934. The Amir-abad (North Karegar) campus was added in 1945 after American troops left the property as WWII was coming to an end.


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The main entrance gates of main campus of the University of Tehran, designed by a UT student, symbolizes science and wisdom

At present, UT is comprised of 40 faculties, institutes, and centers of research and education. The university consists of six campuses:

  1. The main campus on Enghelab Ave.
  2. North Kargar Campus
  3. Karaj Campus
  4. Varamin Campus
  5. Qom Campus
  6. Choka Campus


Initially University of Tehran included six faculties:

  • Engineering
  • Natural Science and Mathematics
  • Literature, Philosophy and Pedagogical Sciences
  • Medicine and related sciences
  • Jurisprudence, Political and Economic Sciences
  • Theology
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The Tehran University gates appear on the 500 Rial bill of Iran's currency
Later more faculties were founded:
  • Fine Arts (1941)
  • Veterinary Medicine (1943)
  • Agriculture(1945)
  • Business Administration (1954)
  • Education (1954)
  • Natural Resources (1963)
  • Economics (1970)
  • Foreign Languages (1989)
  • Environmental Studies (1992)
  • Faculty of Physical Education

In 1992, the faculties of Medicine, Dentistry and Pharmacology seceded to become the Tehran University of Medical Sciences but is still located in same place as before, which is called The centeral Pardis.


University of Tehran also co-ordinates four institutions:

  • The Institute of Biochemistry and Biophysics
  • The Institute of Geophysics
  • The International Research Center for Coexistence with Deserts
  • History of Science Research Center

The Institute of Geophysics is responsible for authoring the Lunar and Solar calendars each year, and registers all tremors and earthquakes in Iran.

The University has 1500 faculty, 3500 staff, and 32000 students plus 340 foreign students. UT offers 116 bachelor degrees, 160 masters degrees, and 120 Ph.D. degrees.

The emblem

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The official emblem of the University of Tehran
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The emblem of the University of Tehran has been modeled after this stucco relief discovered in Ctesiphon

The emblem of the University of Tehran, which was designed by Dr. Mohsen Moghadam, a late faculty member of the Faculty of Fine Arts, is based on an image, which can be found in the stucco relief and seals of the Sasanid period. In this case, it is a copy from a stucco relief discovered in the city of Ctesiphon.

The seal symbolized ownership. In the Sasanid period, these seals were used in stucco reliefs, coins, and silver utensils as a family symbol. Since the alphabet of Sasanid Pahlavi’s script was used in these badges, they have the nature of a monogram as well.

The motif is placed between two eagle wings. One can also find these motifs in other images of this period, such as in royal crowns, particularly at the end of the Sasanid period. Crowns with these seals have been called “two-feather crowns” in The Shahnameh. The motif between the wings was made by combining Pahlavi scripts. Some scholars have tried to read these images. The script is in the form of “Afzoot” (Amrood), which means plentiful and increasing.

Political Role

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Tehran University has played key roles in political events in recent memory of Persia (Iran). The most recent is the July 1999 unrest.

Perhaps, to the westerner, the University of Tehran is most notably remembered for its key roles in the political events of recent history. It was in front of the same gates of this school that The Shah's army opened fire on dissident students, further triggering the 1979 revolution of Iran.

It was here that dissident students confronted the soldiers once again, 20 years later in July of 1999. UT has always been a bastion of political movement and ideology. It is here that the leaders of the current regime deliver their most potent speeches on every Friday. And it is here, from where future political events will perhaps unfold.

Since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, the main campus of the university and its surrounding streets have been the site for Tehran's Friday prayers.


  • The renowned movie director Abbas Kiarostami studied in the Faculty of Arts of this school.

See also

External links


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