University of Tehran
University of Tehran also known as
Tehran University and UT is
Iran's oldest university. Located in
Tehran, the university is among the most prestigious in the country, and is consistently selected as the first choice of many applicants in the annual nationwide entrance exam for top
Iranian universities. Based on its historical, socio-cultural and political pedigree, as well as its research and teaching profile, UT has been nicknamed "The mother university of Iran" (
Persian: دانشگاه مادر). The university offers 111 bachelor degree programs, 177 masters' degree programs, and 156 Ph.D. programs. The school's renowned undergraduate and graduate engineering programs require that prospective applicants take a comprehensive entrance exam. Only candidates scoring in the top one percent or better are offered admission.
After abolition of the
Dynasty, during inauguration of the
Majlis library in 1926, the idea of a modern university surfaced and was discussed among parliament members but the grandeur of the project needed in-depth studies and allocation of resources. The main problem in fact was that some Iranian officials thought it was too soon for a university.
On March 31, 1931, Minister of
Abdolhossein Teimurtash wrote to Isa Sadegh who was completing his doctoral thesis at
Columbia University in
New York to inquire as to requirements for the establishment of a University in Tehran. Sadegh considered the letter an invitation to outline a comprehensive scheme for the establishment of a University.
In January 1933, during the cabinet meeting, the subject was brought up. Ali Asghar Hekmat, the Minister of Education stated the obvious deficiency that Tehran had no university, expressing a pity that the city lagged 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.
Reza Shah was thrilled by Dr. Hesabi's reasoning that construction of a university would eliminate the need for foreigners for infrastructural projects.
Shah immediately allocated the compound of
Jalaliyeh garden and paid 100,000 Tomans for start-up. 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
Naseroddin Shah of Qajar Dynasty.
The master plan of the campus buildings was drawn up by
French architects Roland Dubrulle and Maxime Siroux,
Swiss architect Alexandre Moser, as well as Andre Godard, Markov, and Mohsen Foroughi. The influences of early 20th century modernist architecture are today readily visible on the main campus grounds of the University.
While actual work had already begun, formalities followed and Majlis approved the bill to establish a university on May, 29, 1934. Reza Shah participated in a foundation ceremony on Feb, 4, 1935 and Tehran University was officially inaugurated in March, 15, 1935.
In 1986, the Iranian parliament, known as the Majlis of Iran, stipulated that the university's overcrowded College of Medicine be separated into the independent Tehran University of Medical Sciences (TUMS), and that TUMS be placed under the leadership of the new Ministry of Health and Medical Education. With over 13,000 current students, TUMS remains the best medical school in Iran.
At present, UT is comprised of 40 faculties, institutes, as well as centers of research and education. The university consists of seven campuses:
The central Pardis campus, on
Enghelab Ave, is the oldest and best known of the campuses.
North Kargar Campus is where most of the dormitories are located.
Karaj campus of agriculture and natural resources
Karaj Campus, which, until 1981, was known as the University of Tehran School of Finance and Commerce. It was subsequently renamed as the Allameh Tabatabayee University.
Research & Facilities
The University of Tehran hosts many cultural and academic activities on the national and international levels. UT enjoys the cooperation of foreign countries in holding international conferences, seminars and workshops. In 2008, close to 1,000 UT professors and graduate students have taken part in international conferences with university funding. Furthermore, UT regularly hosts many delegations and professors from abroad.
University of Tehran is appointed as a Center of Excellence by Iran's Ministry of Science and Technology in the fields of "Evaluation and improvement of irrigation networks", "Breeding and Biotechnology of trees", "Farming, Grading and Biotechnology", "Applied Electromagnetic Systems", "Land Logistics", "Sustainable Urban Planning and Development", "Architectural Technology", "Biological Control of Pests and Plant Diseases", "Rural Studies and Planning", "High-Performance Materials", "Control and Intelligent Processing", "Sustainable Management of Watershed", "Applied Management of Fast Growing Wood Species", "Surveying and Disaster Management", "Engineering and Infrastructure Management", "Oil and Gas". This appointment is based on national standing based on research achievements and invested funding in the mentioned topics. Fifteen percent of the country’s Centers of Excellence, as recognized by the government, are located at the University of Tehran, which along with more than 40 research centers ensure UT’s commitment to research. Together, over 3,500 laboratories are active in these centers and in the faculties. In addition, the University of Tehran publishes more than 50 scientific journals, some of which have the ISI index.
The Central Library and Documentation Center of the University of Tehran has been a member of the International Federation of Library Associations and institutions (IFLA) since 1967. The Central Library is the largest academic library in Iran. The library compliments the 35 specialized libraries based at different faculties, all with the aim of advancing the research goals of the University. Currently the Central Library and Documentation Center is offering its services to more than 65 thousand members. It hosts more than 5,000 users daily. The library offers its resources under 13 main collections (most of which have been donated by distinguished professors of the University). The manuscript collection of the University of Tehran includes over 17,000 volumes of manuscripts in Persian,
Arabic and Turkish. The library also hosts a state of the art center for the preservation of manuscripts. The
University of Tehran Press (UTP), which focuses on publishing academic books, has published over 5,000 books up until today, and currently publishes on average more than one book per day. UTP has over 96 distribution agents throughout the country as well as one in
University of Tehran is a public university and its funding is provided by the government of Iran. For the top ranks of the national university entrance exam, education is free in all public universities. The people with ranks below the normal capacity of the universities will be required to pay part or all of the tuition. In 2011 University of Tehran with an amount equivalent to 200 million dollars got the highest budget among all universities in Iran.
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
Sassanid period. In this case, it is a copy from a stucco relief discovered in the city of
The seal symbolized ownership. In the Sassanid period, these seals were used in stucco reliefs, coins, and silver utensils as a family symbol. Since the alphabet of Sassanid 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 Sassanid 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.
University of Tehran main entrance was designed in 1965 by Koorosh Farzami, one of the students of the faculty of Fine Arts of the University. The structural engineer was an
Armenian-Iranian by the name of Simon Sarkissian. For the importance of the University, these gates have gradually become the symbol of Iran's Higher Education system. University of Tehran gates are depicted on the reverse of the Iranian 500
Initially University of Tehran included six faculties:
Faculty of Theology
Faculty of Science (1934)
Faculty of Literature, Philosophy and Educational Science
Faculty of Medicine (1934)
Faculty of Pharmacy (1934)
Faculty of Dentistry (1939)
Faculty of Engineering (Fanni) (1942)
Faculty of Law and Political
Faculty of Economics
Later more faculties were founded:
Faculty of Fine Arts (1941)
Faculty of Veterinary Medicine (1943)
Faculty of Agriculture (1945)
Faculty of Management (1954)
Faculty of Education (1954)
Faculty of Natural Resources (1963)
Faculty of Economics (1970)
Social Sciences (~1972)
Faculty of Foreign Languages (1989)
Faculty of Environmental Studies (1992)
Faculty of Physical Education
Faculty of Geography (~2002)
Faculty of World Studies (~2007)
Faculty of Entrepreneurship
In 1992, the faculties of Medicine, Dentistry and Pharmacology seceded to become the Tehran University of Medical Sciences but are still located at the main campus (The central Pardis).
University of Tehran also co-ordinates several major institutes:
Institute of Biochemistry and Biophysics
Institute of Geophysics
The International Research Center for Coexistence with Deserts
Institute of History of Science
Institute for North
American and European Studies
Institute of Electrotechnic
Center for Women's Studies
Applied Management Research Center
Dehkhoda Dictionary Institute
Vehicle, Fuel, and Environment Research Institute
Turbo Machine Institute
Institute of Petroleum Engineering
The Research Institute of Energy Planning and Management
The Engineering Optimization Research Group
Biomaterial Research Institute
Advanced Material Research Institute
Inorganic Material Research Institute
Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU/Shanghai Ranking)
2011: International rank: 301-400, National rank : 1
2010: International rank: 401-500, National rank : 1
2009: International rank: 402-501, National rank : 1
QS World University Rankings
2010: International rank: 401-450, National rank: 1
2009: International rank: 368, National rank: 1
2008: International rank: 401-500, National rank: 1
2007: International rank: 539, National rank: 2
Webometrics Ranking of World Universities
2011: International rank: 708, National rank: 1
2010: International rank: 899, National rank: 1
2009: International rank: 987, National rank: 1
2008: International rank: 1083, National rank: 1
2007: International rank: 1463, National rank: 1
2010: International rank: 473, National rank: 1
2009: International rank: 308, National rank: 1
UT's central mosque has been a center for religious and political activity in Tehran during the past 30 years.
University of Tehran's central place in Iranian elite circles has made it the setting for many political events and cultural works.
Perhaps, to historians, 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, killing many and further triggering the 1979 revolution of Iran. It was there and 20 years later in July 1999 that, albeit, a much smaller number of dissident students confronted the police.
University of Tehran (UT) has always been a bastion of political movement and ideology. At UT the leaders of the country deliver some of their most potent speeches often on Friday during prayers. Since the 1979
Islamic Revolution, the main campus of the university and its surrounding streets has been the site for Tehran's Friday prayers.
One hundred and nineteen faculty members of the University of Tehran are said to have resigned on June 15, 2009 to protest the attack on university dorms in the wake of contested 2009 presidential elections: although clear follow-up data is hard to establish, it seems that most or all resignations were not accepted.