The Farzaneh Family Center for Iranian and Persian Gulf Studies is very concerned about the effect of the Trump administration’s executive order imposing restrictions on travel to the United States for citizens from selected countries, including Iran. Since the imposition of the Trump administration’s "travel ban" in 2017, these restrictions have had a disproportionate effect on international students seeking to pursue higher education in the United States.
The University of Oklahoma has a long history of supporting international education, and a proud heritage of welcoming international students, including Iranian students, into the Sooner family. Since the 1950s, thousands of Iranian students have traveled to our campus, joined our community, and pursued advanced degrees at the University of Oklahoma. Hundreds of Iranian students continue to study at OU today. We are proud of this history and will do everything we can to preserve it.
In keeping with this commitment, the Farzaneh Family Center for Iranian and Persian Gulf Studies is increasing its fellowship opportunities for Iranian students at the University of Oklahoma. Through generous support from our founding benefactors, Muhammad and Jalal Farzaneh, we will be making a significant expansion of the financial resources available to Iranian students at the University of Oklahoma.
For more information about scholarship opportunities for international students from Iran, click on the "'Farzaneh Family Scholarships for Iranian Students" link below.
Scholarships and Awards
The Farzaneh family have been long-time supporters of the University of Oklahoma and the David L. Boren College of International Studies. The Farzaneh Family’s gift to to support the Iranian and Persian Gulf Studies at OU includes scholarships to OU students studying the Persian language. Up to 12 scholarships will be awarded in the amount of $1,000 each.
- Must be a full-time, regularly enrolled student at the University;
- Must be enrolled in a Persian language course;
- Must not be the Donor or an immediate family member of the Donor.
The Farzaneh family have been long-time supporters of the University of Oklahoma and the College of International Studies. The Farzaneh Family’s gift to support the Iranian and Persian Gulf Studies at OU includes scholarships to OU students who meet the criteria and are citizens of Iran. This generous gift to OU Iranian students is provided to assist those who have a significant financial need. Scholarship award amounts will vary depending upon financial need.
- Must be a full-time, regularly enrolled student at the University
- Must have a minimum 2.5 GPA on a 4.0 scale
- Must be a citizen of Iran (US citizens are not eligible)
- Must have an F1 student visa
- Must have a significant financial need
- Must not be the Donor or an immediate family member of the Donor
Funding for the Spring 2020 semester is limited to one award per student issued.
Eligible students may be subject to a personal interview.
Mehdi Firoozabadi, who graduated from the University of Oklahoma in 1969 with a degree in Petroleum Engineering, was an international student from Iran who served as the President of the International Advisory Committee. His love for the University of Oklahoma was inspired by the warmth and support that he received from the University, its students and the surrounding community during his four years in Norman. His brother, Amir, fondly remembers waiting with anticipation to receive letters from Mehdi stamped, “Norman, OK USA.” In 1970, after graduation, Mehdi returned home to Iran to honor his scholarship from the National Iranian Oil company and go to work for them in the field. Although it was tough dirty work, Mehdi kept a positive attitude and was promoted to superintendent of Lavant, an offshore petrolatum company in the Persian Gulf. He was happily married for six months when tragedy struck, and his car crashed into a river canyon losing his life on June 7, 1975.
Now Amir, a proud US citizen, who considered his brother a “model citizen,” wishes to honor Mehdi’s legacy and show his appreciation for the University of Oklahoma by helping future generations of Iranian Americans and other students who seek to promote the enduring friendship between the Iranian and American people as Sooners.
The OU Iranian Studies Program is awarding a $250 prize for the best undergraduate research paper on a topic in the area of Iranian Studies. Papers must be no longer than twenty pages and may focus on any topic or time-period relating to the history, culture, politics, and society of Iran and the Persian-speaking world.
Questions regarding the prize should be directed to Dr. Afshin Marashi, firstname.lastname@example.org.
2019 winner: Lindsey Eisenmann, "American Colonialism and the Illusion of Power in US-Iranian Relations"
2018 winner: Adam Oberlitner, "Queer Theology: Theological, Theocratic, and Secular Influences on Iran's Relationship with Transgender Bodies"
2017 Winner: Jared Johnson, for his paper titled, "Iran's Others through Cinema."