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Apply to the Persian Flagship Program

The Persian Flagship Program accepts applications three times a year: August, December, and April. If you are studying Persian at UMD, a Flagship staff member or intern will be visiting your class during each academic semester to tell you about the program and answer any questions you may have. No prior Persian language study is required to apply for the program.

We are looking for students who:

  • Are currently degree-seeking undergraduate students at UMD or have applied to UMD
  • Demonstrate language learning talent
  • Show long term commitment to Persian
  • Are high academic achievers with GPAs of 3.25+
  • Demonstrate character and leadership potential

Application Information

How to Apply

  • Complete the Application Form, including essays, unofficial transcript, and instructor recommendation.

  • Return all materials to the Flagship Coordinator via email at

  • To be considered for scholarships, you must have filed current year's FAFSA (UM's FAFSA code is 002103)

Applications are reviewed by a committee of Flagship faculty and staff. Students considered for admission will be contacted for an on-campus interview with the Persian Flagship Director and program staff. Students will also undergo a brief evaluation of their language skills.

For more information, please contact


Am I eligible to apply?

To be eligible, you must be a full time undergraduate UMD student in good standing with a GPA of 3.25 or higher. Incoming freshman, heritage speakers, learners committed to completing the program, and open-minded students are all encouraged to apply.

If I am not a UMD student, can I still apply?

You must have applied for a full time undergraduate program at UMD to be eligible for our program. The Persian Flagship Program recruits students three times annual (summer, fall and spring) so you will be able to apply once your UMD application is submitted

I am graduating within a year, am I still eligible?

We typically expect a commitment of between 3 and 5 years. You must be able to reach Superior proficiency in Persian, which takes approximately 5 years. For this reason, a senior in first year Persian would not be a good match for our program.

I am a graduate student, am I still eligible?


No, the PFP is a program for undergraduate students. However, our UMD Summer Language Institute accepts undergraduates, graduates, and working professionals and it’s a great way to study Persian intensively at UMD. More information can be found here.

What level of Persian proficiency should I have before I can apply to Persian Flagship at UMD?

You may be at any level of Persian, including a complete beginner.

I am a native/heritage speaker of Persian, am I eligible to apply?

It depends on your level of proficiency in Persian. If you speak and read Persian fluently and are already at or above the Superior level, this is not the best match for you. However, if your level is in the Intermediate to Advanced range of proficiency, you are welcome to apply.

I have never taken Persian before, can I provide a recommendation letter from another professor in a different department?

Yes, if you have not previously completed Persian language coursework, you can provide recommendation letters from professors in different departments. If applicable, it is preferable that you provide at least one recommendation letter from a language instructor regardless of the language.

Do I have to major or minor in Persian to participate in Persian Flagship at UMD?

No, the PFP accepts students from any major and is particularly interested in applicants that come from other disciplines such as Business, Engineering, Communications, Government and Politics, and Linguistics.

As a Flagship student, what is expected from me in addition to taking Persian classes?

- Weekly one-on-one meetings with a language partner to practice your Persian
- Participation in PFP Cultural clubs, events and field trips
- Commitment to a year-long Capstone Program

If I am a Flagship student, am I eligible for scholarships?

Yes, Flagship students are eligible for need-based funding to help meet the costs of intensive summer and the Capstone year. Flagship students also are highly competitive for a range of other national scholarships such as the Critical Language Scholarships (CLS)Boren Scholarships, and Gilman Scholarships, which can be used for further Persian study during or after the undergraduate program. Flagship staff work closely with students to make good financial plans and to help them pursue funding for their studies. You can view our Scholarships & Internships page for more detailed information.

What are the requirements to become a Flagship Certified Graduate?

- Complete your UMD undergraduate degree(s)
- Complete the Capstone Year and internship
- Achieve a level 3 (Superior) in Persian at the end of program testing in Speaking, and at least a 2+ in Listening and Reading.

Why do you call it Persian and not Farsi?

Would you ever say that you speak English and español? Do you speak Deutsch or français? Of course not—you would say that you speak Spanish or German or French, and the same goes for Persian. Farsi is the Arabic form of "Parsi", which is the native name of the Persian language. To read more about the use of "Persian" and "Farsi" and the history behind their usage, we recommend you read "Persian or Farsi? The Debate Continues..." published in The Iranian by Kamran Talattof of Princeton University or "Farsi or Persian?" by Pejman Akbarzadeh in Payvand News.

Is the Flagship Program part of the Roshan Institute?

The Persian Flagship Program and the Roshan Institute for Persian Studies are different entities, though there is coordination between the two as well as a shared goal of promoting Persian language and culture. The Roshan Institute is nonprofit organization at the University of Maryland that fosters Persian studies and supports educational programs promoting Persian language and culture. The Persian Flagship Program is a specific, intensive Persian language curriculum that students can pursue to gain professional fluency in the language as well as gain an in-depth understanding of the culture.

Is the Persian Summer Institute part of the Flagship Program?

The Summer Institute is a separate program from the regular semester curriculum offered through the PFP. It is open to students as well as professionals wishing to advance their skills over a period of weeks, with small class sizes, 22 contact hours per week, and a focus on building listening comprehension skills through media and current events. Competitive scholarships are available to help offset the cost of attendance. Click here for more information about the Summer Institute.