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Shiraz University

Coordinates: 29°38′23.07″N 52°31′36.3″E / 29.6397417°N 52.526750°E / 29.6397417; 52.526750
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Shiraz University
دانشگاه شيراز
Shiraz University Seal
Mottoخرد، کوشش (old)
دارالعلم در دارالعلم
Motto in English
Wisdom, Endeavor (old)
A Dar-al-Elm (University) in a Dar-al-Elm (Former Epithet of Shiraz)
EndowmentUS$ 373.1 million (10 December 2021)[1]
ChancellorMohammad Moazzeni
Academic staff
Studentsaround 21,000[3]
Location, ,
29°38′23.07″N 52°31′36.3″E / 29.6397417°N 52.526750°E / 29.6397417; 52.526750
Athletics12 teams
ColorsDark Blue and Yellow    
Shiraz University Publication Banner

Shiraz University (Persian: دانشگاه شیراز Dāneshgāh-e-Shirāz, formerly known as Pahlavi University دانشگاه پهلوی Dāneshgāh-e Pahlavi) is a public university located in Shiraz, Fars, Iran, established in 1946. Being one of the oldest and most prestigious modern universities in Iran, Shiraz University is listed among the top three research-oriented schools in the nation according to a ranking of Iranian universities based on scientific output.[4] In the first report of state universities ranking and among almost 70 universities and higher education institutes, Shiraz University is regarded as first-level university.[5]

Shiraz University has pioneered the establishment of doctoral programs in Iran. Currently and after the separation of medical universities from universities under Ministry of Science, Research and Technology the university has over 20,000 students, with 200 bachelor's degree programs (BA, BSc), 300 master's degree programs (MA, MSc), one professional degree program (Doctor of Veterinary Medicine or DVM), and 150 PhD programs.



Shiraz University traces its roots to 1946, with the establishment of a technical college aimed at training specialists in the medical sciences with a four-year program. Initially called the High Institute of Health, it developed into a medical school in 1950. In 1953, the Namazi School of Nursing and the Colleges of Agriculture and Arts and Sciences were established. With the addition of the College of Engineering and College of Veterinary Medicine in 1954, the school was elevated to university-status and named after the reigning Pahlavi dynasty. Other units that were subsequently added were the Dental School in 1969, the Graduate School and College of Electronics in 1969, Dentistry in 1970, and the Colleges of Law and Education in 1977.

Pahlavi University[edit]

Mohammad Reza Pahlavi

In 1960, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, Shah of Iran invited the atomic physicist Gaylord P. Harnwell, president of the University of Pennsylvania (Penn), to come to Iran and examine Iran's higher education institutions. At the Shah's request, Harnwell prepared a report entitled A Pattern for a New University in Iran, and the Shah subsequently decided that Penn would assist the Iranian government in transforming Pahlavi University[6] into the only institution in Iran based on American-style higher education.[7] The University of Pennsylvania thus became highly influential in shaping many of Pahlavi University's departments and institutions.[8] Harnwell and Penn assisted the Iranian government in establishing American-style higher education by supervising the new university's academic and administrative system in its early years.[9] Many faculty members from Penn were sent to Pahlavi University to teach and carry out research, and a widespread exchange program was established. The president of the University of Pennsylvania was awarded an honorary degree in Shiraz, in recognition of the help of Penn to Pahlavi University.[10]

The development of Pahlavi University, as it then was, was directly under the supervision and management of this renowned American university, to the point that the scientific and cultural relations between the two universities became one of the strongest scientific and cultural relationships between Iran and the United States. This continued until the last days of the Shah.[11] In 1962, Isa Sedigh became responsible for implementing the Ivy League's models at Pahlavi University.[12] The development of many courses, the design and development of university campuses, the training of professors, and the establishment of many research institutes at Pahlavi University were all assigned to this Ivy League university.[11] Later, during the administration of Houshang Nahavandi (fa), the famous Kent State University also participated in the formation and development of Pahlavi University.[12]

Pahlavi University became the first university in Iran to receive an international-level accreditation for its degrees, as well as the first Iranian university where a Nobel Prize winner gave a lecture. In the Pahlavi era, Shiraz was called the sister of Princeton in the United States. Linus Pauling, scientist, peace activist, author, and winner of two Nobel Prizes, in Chemistry and Peace, came to Nowruz in Iran in 1975 at the invitation of the Iranian Society of Chemists to deliver a speech to the first Iranian Congress of Chemists. This congress was held at Pahlavi University.[13]

The university was also the first in Iran to have a board of trustees. The members of this board were the minister of the court, the minister of culture, the chancellor of the university, the governor of Fars, the CEO of the Planning Organization, the CEO of the National Iranian Oil Company, and between nine and fifteen others, competent cultural and financial personalities and captains of industry, chosen by the Ministry of Court and Culture, with the approval of Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, and appointed for a period of six months. The chairman of the board of trustees was the minister of the court, and in his absence the minister of culture. This board of trustees was the legal representative of the university at that time, and all scientific, technical, educational, financial, administrative and employment affairs of the university were managed under its supervision. Later, after the Iranian Revolution of 1979, ministers Mostafa Moeen and Reza Malekzadeh, both university alumni, introduced a similar system for other universities in Iran.[13]

Shiraz University Administration Building

After revolution[edit]

After the 1979 Islamic Revolution overthrew the Pahlavi dynasty, drastic changes were implemented at all universities. The name of Pahlavi University was immediately changed to Shiraz University. All universities were closed for three years in a so-called Iran's Cultural Revolution of 1980-1987 to Islamize all the universities. Later in 1986, the Iranian Ministry of Health, Treatment, and Medical Education took over the schools related to health and medical sciences including mainly Medicine, Dentistry, Pharmacy, and Nursing which resulted in the separation of these schools from the university campus and the establishment of Shiraz University of Medical Sciences. Also in 2004, former Electronic Industries College which was originally founded in 1968, was named Shiraz University of Technology as an independent university.[14]

Since then, Shiraz University acted as "The Mother/Maternal University" (Persian: دانشگاه مادر) and became responsible for the establishment of many later founded universities in the south of Iran including Hormozgan, Persian Gulf in Bushehr, Yasouj, Shiraz University of Technology, Fasa, Shiraz University of Arts among others. Shiraz University is also responsible for monitoring and evaluating 166 universities and institutes of higher education in Fars province.[15]

Taq-e Bostan Tree of Life Relief and The Basic Motif for current Seal

Shiraz University also pioneered many PhD programs for the first time in Iran. Among them are Organic chemistry and Chemistry-Physics.[16]


The official seal of the Shiraz University serves as the signature and symbol of authenticity on documents issued by the university. Before the Islamic Revolution in Iran, a logo was used as the official logo of Pahlavi University inspired by Persepolis. The logo was inscribed with two words; Wisdom and Endeavor. However, after the revolution, this logo was also changed.

After the Revolution, the later seal designed by the current faculty of Department of Arts, Bahman Feizabi inspired by the logo designed for The Asia Institute.[17]


Eram Paradise Campus (main campus)[edit]

Shiraz University Big Replica
I want my darling by Parviz Tanavoli located at the School of Art and Architecture

Shiraz University has the second-biggest campus in Iran. The Eram Hill lands mostly owned by Shirazi tycoons Mohammad Namazi and Zabihollah Ghorban dedicated to university and was initially designed by American architect Minoru Yamasaki,[18] who also designed the World Trade Center. Later in 1968 during the further constructing of the university campus and while Shiraz was getting ready to host its first Shiraz Arts Festival, many Iranian visual artists including Parviz Tanavoli, Sohrab Sepehri, Abolghasem Saeedi, Bahman Mohasses and Hossein Zenderoudi got involved designing artistic elements and wall paintings for the amphitheater, self-service dining and outside the campus.[19]

In 1969, during the first Shiraz art festival, with the suggestion and invitation of Farah Pahlavi, then Queen of Iran a complex was designed by renowned contemporary architect, Alvar Aalto, for Shiraz Museum of Arts.[20] The project halted due to the sudden death of Aalto in 1976. In 2016 Aalto University and Finnish embassy in Iran contacted Shiraz University regarding full documentation of design drafts by Aalto himself. In 2018, Shiraz Municipality and a two Iranian and Finnish investing partners got involved in project although the project halted once again because of new sanctions and lack of budget.[21]

After more than 70 years, the university campus originally designed plan for central dormitory and school buildings is still not completed and is under construction under multi-year planning. After the 1979 revolution, many lands owned by the university divided due to different causes such as separation of Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, insufficiency of maintenance costs, lack of budget, urban planning, or other reasons.

The Asia Institute[edit]

Narenjestan of Ghavam, Home to The Asia Institute

In 1966, the New York based Asia Institute under Arthur Upham Pope re-established itself under the university supervision at Narenjestan Museum.[22][23][24]

With the death of Pope, the management of the institute was entrusted to Richard Nelson Frye. Before that, due to the Pope's close relationship with the Iranian royal family, the institute had autonomy, but after him, it went completely under the supervision of the Pahlavi University of Shiraz. This caused tensions in the institution. Among them, Houshang Nahavandi, then chancellor of Pahlavi University, claimed that Gluck, a member of the institute, was involved in smuggling Iranian antiques to Japan and demanded his removal. On the other hand, after receiving the title of professorship from Harvard University, Frye had less time to attend the institute. Despite all this, the research and educational activities of the institute continued. In 1971, on the eve of the celebrations of the 2,500-year celebration of the Persian Empire, the Asian Institute held a large seminar entitled "Iranian Studies" in Shiraz. In 1975, the institute's contract with Dr. Frye ended and Mahyar Navabi, who had previously been the executive director of the institute, was appointed president of the institute. He was the first Iranian president of the Asian Institute of Pahlavi University. At this time, the institute moved from Narenjestan to a larger building on the university campus and became a part of the university's linguistics department.

Shahla Solhju the first co-director of Abu Reihan Observatory pictured with the main telescope

Biruni Observatory[25][edit]

Abu Reihan Biruni Observatory was set up and established by Yousef Sobouti in collaboration with Edward Guinan and Robert H. Koch in 1975. The idea to build this center was proposed by Yousef Sobouti in the late 1960s to promote observational astronomy and training a new generation of astronomers in Iran before building a large national telescope. In Fall 1969, Robert H. Koch (1929-2010), the head of the Department of Astronomy & Astrophysics of the University of Pennsylvania, visited Shiraz to evaluate a possible construction of an observatory for Shiraz University. He encouraged Shiraz University and proposed his suggestions for developing Astronomy in Iran. The idea pursued by Sobouti and in 1972, the telescope was finally ordered from the Astro Mechanics company in the United States of America with a cost of about 50K US dollars. Also, in 1976, Iranian Lady Shahla Solhju, one of Iran's very first female professional astronomers, became the first co-director of Abu Reihan Observatory.

The activities of this center have more or less continued over the past decades.

Eram Paradise Campus, with Dormitories and Central Library in the view


Mulla Sadra Library was established in the early 1960s as the central library for Shiraz University and began its activities as a university library. Mulla Sadra Library is one of the richest university libraries due to its very scarce resources including books, dissertations, and publications and is considered as the only hub for maintaining basic science resources in the south of the country.[26]

Central Library of Shiraz University

Now, with valuable collections of Persian and Latin books and reference books, archives of old and new magazines and newspapers, documents and manuscripts, and electronic scientific resources, it is one of the prominent university libraries in the country. The total infrastructure of the current building of the Central Library and Documentation Center is about 11,000 square meters and is designed on four floors.[27]

Also, in 1964, with the establishment of the School of Engineering, the library started working with 22 volumes of dictionary books in the vicinity of the classrooms of Engineering Building No. 1. After the development of the faculty building, this library had a study hall, a publication hall, and a limited number of librarians on the second floor of Engineering School No. 1. The new building of the library named after Muhammad ibn Musa al-Khwarizmi, a prominent Muslim mathematician and the father of algebra and arithmetic, with an area of 7220 square meters in eight and a half sections and different sections, was put into operation in 1992. The complex has an amphitheater, central heating, and cooling system, central automatic fire extinguishing system, emergency power system, and many other facilities. Kharazmi Library has one of the richest technical and engineering resources in the country and has a capacity of 700 people at a time.[28]

Academic profile[edit]


The university is known to be strict and usually, the grade point average (GPA) of students is lower than their peers in other Iranian universities.[29] Shiraz University is well known as a tough university with a low GPA especially in Civil, Electrical and Mechanical engineering. As such, many students of Shiraz University believe their grades do not reflect their academic performance.[30]


University rankings
Shiraz University
Global – Overall
ARWU World[31]701–800 (2020)
CWTS World[32]480 (2020)
QS World[33]681-690 (2024)
THE World[34]801-1000 (2024)
USNWR Global[35]821 (2023)

According to a report by the Ministry of Science, Research and Technology (Iran) published in 2010 and 2011, Shiraz University ranked 6th respectively between 64 and 68 non-medical universities and institutions in Iran. It was also one of the top three non-technical and non-medical universities along with the University of Tehran and Tarbiat Modares University in a 2012 ranking.[36]

According to the 2017 rankings of the best universities given by the Times Higher Education, Shiraz University has been ranked in the top 3 universities in Iran. In 2016 only eight universities from Iran were included in this ranking, whereas in 2017, fourteen universities from Iran were among the top universities rankings. Based on these rankings, Shiraz University became the best comprehensive university in Iran.[37]

Besides, regarding the 2019 rankings of the best universities given by the Times Higher Education (THE), Shiraz University's Computer discipline has been ranked in the top 3 universities in Iran. Also, based on the teaching criterion of the ranking in Computer Science, Shiraz University has achieved the first rank in Iran.[38][39]

Iranian Science and Culture Hall of Fame members[edit]

Iranian Science and Culture Hall of Fame is a formal ceremony to honor influential contemporary scientific and cultural eminence. Many faculty and alumni have been receiving the award. Among them are:[40]


The first university horse manege was opened at Shiraz University in 2011.[41]

Championship and public sports, dormitory, boys

The General Department of Physical Education under the Ministry of Science, Research, and Technology allocates substantial funds to enhance the sports landscape, focusing on the construction of stadiums, complexes, sports clubs, and the provision of sports equipment. It assumes a crucial role in catering to the diverse needs of affiliated entities, emphasizing sports and related activities.

The Department of Championship and General Sports, housed within the Boys' Dormitory of Shiraz University's Physical Education Management, is dedicated to planning and executing comprehensive sports programs. These initiatives aim to promote healthy recreation among male students and encompass various tasks:

  1. Provision of public sports services, including daily sports activities, free access to university sports facilities, and organizing public sports festivals.
  2. Offering championship sports services by recruiting and forming select student sports teams for regional competitions and Olympiads.
  3. Fostering continuous student participation in diverse sports activities.
  4. Implementation of educational programs across various disciplines.
  5. Organization and oversight of sports competitions to ensure their smooth execution.
  6. Supplying necessary sports equipment at the university level.
  7. Support for talented sports students.
  8. Delegating executive responsibilities to students and encouraging volunteerism to strengthen associations.

These efforts collectively contribute to the development and promotion of sports culture within the university community.[42]

School of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering, Shiraz University
Eram Botanical Garden of Shiraz University
School of Engineering, Shiraz University

Notable people[edit]


Chancellor Tenure Alma mater Speciality
Zabihollah Ghorban 1955–1961 France École centrale de Lyon Medicine
Mohammad Ali Mojtahedi 1961–1962 France Université Lille Nord de France Mechanical Engineering
Lotfali Souratgar 1962–1964 United Kingdom University of London English Literature
Asadollah Alam 1964–1968 Iran University of Tehran Agricultural Engineering
Houchang Nahavandi 1968–1971 France University of Paris Law
Farhang Mehr 1971–1978 United Kingdom University of Southampton International Relations
AmirHoushang Mehryar 1978–1979 United Kingdom University of London Educational Psychology
Hassan Zohour 1979–1981 United States Purdue University Mechanical Engineering
Mostafa Moeen 1981–1983 Iran Shiraz University Medicine
Mohammad Reza Fartoukzadeh 1983–1984 Iran Shiraz University Medicine
Reza Malekzadeh 1984–1987 Iran Shiraz University Medicine
Abdolhamid Riazi 1987–1989 Canada University of Calgary Pure Mathematics
Seyed Reza Ghazi 1989–1992 United Kingdom University of Bristol Veterinary medicine
Gholam Hossein Zamani 1992–1996 United States University of Nebraska–Lincoln Agriculture and Educational Management
Mohammad Mehdi Alishahi 1996–1997 United States MIT Mechanical Engineering
Mahmoud Mostafavi 1997–2000 United Kingdom Newcastle University Mechanical Biosystems Engineering
Majid Ershad-Langeroodi 2000–2005 United States University of Iowa Mathematics
Mohammad Hadi Sadeghi 2005–2009 Iran Tarbiat Modares University Criminal Law
Mohammad Moazzeni 2009–2013 Iran Shiraz University Parasitology
Majid Ershad-Langeroodi 2013–2016 United States University of Iowa Mathematics
Ebrahim Goshtasbi Rad 2016–2018 Iran Shiraz University Mechanical Engineering
Hamid Nadgaran 2018–2021 United Kingdom University of Manchester Physics
Mohammad Moazzeni 2021–current Iran Shiraz University Parasitology

Notable faculty and alumni[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Financial information". Fars News. 10 December 2014.
  2. ^ "Report of Shiraz University in September 2013". Shiraz University.
  3. ^ Shiraz University, Degrees and Programs
  4. ^ "پژوهشی ترین دانشگاههای ایران را بشناسید/ نمره ۱۴ دانشگاه برتر". Mehr News Agency (in Persian). 21 July 2015. Retrieved 4 February 2018.
  5. ^ "نتایج سطح بندی دانشگاه‌های دولتی اعلام شد". Mehr News Agency (in Persian). 22 June 2016. Retrieved 4 February 2018.
  6. ^ "مرکز پژوهشها - لایحه قانونی تأسیس دانشگاه پهلوی". majlis.ir. Retrieved 11 September 2015.
  7. ^ "Trends by Region: MIDDLE EAST and Penn's Global Engagement, University of Pennsylvania University Archives". upenn.edu. Retrieved 11 September 2015.
  8. ^ "ERIC - Problems and Issues in Higher Education: Perspectives on the Iran-United States Educational Relations and Influences., 1994-Aug-29". ed.gov. Retrieved 11 September 2015.
  9. ^ Harnwell, Gaylord P. (1962). Educational Voyaging in Iran. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.
  10. ^ Frye, R. N. Greater Iran. Mazda Publishers. 2005. ISBN 1-56859-177-2. p. 232
  11. ^ a b "Trends by Region: MIDDLE EAST and Penn's Global Engagement, University of Pennsylvania Archives". Archived from the original on 19 May 2011. Retrieved 20 September 2007.
  12. ^ a b Problems and Issues in Higher Education: Perspectives on Iran-United States Educational Relations and Influences
  13. ^ a b "اولین دانشگاهی که برنده جایزه نوبل در آن سخنرانی کرد/ دانشگاه شیراز؛ قطب پژوهشی کشور". خبرگزاری دانشجو. Retrieved 12 September 2019.
  14. ^ "به سایت دانشگاه صنعتی شیراز خوش آمدید". دانشگاه صنعتی شیراز. Archived from the original on 15 October 2011. Retrieved 16 October 2011.
  15. ^ Shiraz University catalogue
  16. ^ "برگزاري بزرگداشت شصتمين سال تاسيس بخش شيمي دانشگاه شيراز - ایسنا".
  17. ^ دانشگاه شیراز: انتصاب مدير جديد روابط عمومي دانشگاه شيراز
  18. ^ Kooros, Jamshid (1963). DSpace@MIT: Pahlavi University, Shiraz, Iran. mit.edu (Thesis). hdl:1721.1/75620. Retrieved 11 September 2015.
  19. ^ ""من عزيزم را مي‌خوام" نخستين مجسمه‌ي مدرن ايران، پس از بازسازي، در دانشگاه شيراز پرده‌برداري مي‌شود". isna.ir. 23 September 2005. Retrieved 4 March 2023.
  20. ^ "موزه هنر شیراز - معماری معاصر ایران". www.caoi.ir. Retrieved 4 March 2023.
  21. ^ "موزه هنرهای معاصر شیراز و حسرت ۴۰ و چند ساله/ سایت مورد نظر معمار فنلاندی خانه مسکونی شد/حالا باغات بدون درخت چمران و ۱۰۰ میلیارد تومان". ایران آرت. Retrieved 4 March 2023.
  22. ^ Iranica Online. Asia Institute
  23. ^ "Bulletin of the Asia Institute". www.bulletinasiainstitute.org. Retrieved 4 March 2023.
  24. ^ Narenjestan Mansion website "Naranjestan". Archived from the original on 28 May 2014. Retrieved 29 July 2012.
  25. ^ "History » Biruni Observatory".
  26. ^ Mulla Sadra Library Shiraz University. [dead link]
  27. ^ تاریخچه کتابخانه مرکزی
  28. ^ تاریخچه کتابخانه خوارزمی
  29. ^ دانشگاه شیراز
  30. ^ "Shiraz University; Tough and Distinguished" (PDF).
  31. ^ Academic Ranking of World Universities 2020, Shanghai Ranking Consultancy, retrieved 24 September 2020
  32. ^ CWTS Leiden Ranking 2020, Centre for Science and Technology Studies, Leiden University, retrieved 24 September 2020
  33. ^ QS World University Rankings® 2024
  34. ^ World University Rankings 2021, THE Education Ltd, 25 August 2020, retrieved 2 September 2020
  35. ^ Best Global Universities in Iran, U.S. News & World Report, retrieved 24 September 2020
  36. ^ "Ranking Universities and Research Centers of Iran". Ranking Universities of the Islamic World Website. Islamic World Science Citation Center. Archived from the original on 18 March 2012. Retrieved 31 July 2017.
  37. ^ "Shiraz University in the Times Ranking 2017". Shiraz University. Retrieved 31 July 2017.
  38. ^ "Shiraz University's Computer discipline achieves 401- 500 rank in Times Rankings". Islamic Republic News Agency. 3 March 2019. Retrieved 10 March 2019.
  39. ^ "Shiraz University". Times Higher Education (THE). 5 February 2018. Retrieved 10 March 2019.
  40. ^ "چهره های ماندگار". shirazu.ac.ir. Retrieved 4 March 2023.
  41. ^ "با حضور مديركل تربيت بدني وزارت علوم انجام شد؛". farsnews.ir. 22 November 2010. Retrieved 11 September 2015.
  42. ^ "اداره ورزش قهرمانی و همگانی پسران - معاونت دانشجویی". student.shirazu.ac.ir. Retrieved 25 February 2024.
  43. ^ "وبسایت دانشگاه شیراز: فارغ التحصیلان صاحب منصب". Retrieved 4 March 2023.
  44. ^ "6 Symposium: Speculations on Anonymous Materials - Reza Negarestani". Retrieved 4 March 2023 – via www.youtube.com.
  45. ^ Faculty of Engineering, University of Western Ontario. "Rohani to receive Engineering Medal at the 2008 Ontario Professional Engineers Awards Gala – Faculty of Engineering, The University of Western Ontario". uwo.ca. Retrieved 11 September 2015.

External links[edit]