Iran’s system of education is divided into the following levels:


1. Pre-School/Kindergarten: It is optional, starts at age 5 and lasts for 1 year.


2. Elementary Education: This level is mandatory and starts at age 6, and lasts for 6 years.


3. Lower Secondary Education: This stage is also mandatory, starts at age 12 and lasts for 3 years. The aim of this level is to develop students’ decision-making for selecting their main study branch in the next level by recognizing and identifying their capabilities and skills.


4. Upper Secondary Education: This level starts at age 15 and lasts for 3 years. There are two branches for students that can be taken by their own preference:


Theoretical Branch, which includes three specialties: Mathematics/Physics, Biology/Experimental Sciences, and Humanities.


Vocational Branch, which prepares students to go into the business market as semi-skilled and skilled workers.



5. Higher Education: This level is provided by state universities and private institutions. All education levels at state universities are free. The academic year runs from September to June and is divided into 2 semesters.


Entrance to this level is highly competitive for Iranian students as they need to take the national university entrance exam (Konkoor) which is held only once a year.


Recent statistics show that women make up more than 60 percent of the population of university students in Iran.  





  • Kardani: 2-year program equivalent to the Associate degree;
  • Karshenasi: 4-year program equivalent to the Bachelor’s degree;
  • Karshenasi Arshad: 2-year program beyond the Karshenasi equivalent to the Master’s degree;
  • Doctora: 3-year program equivalent to the Ph.D. degree;
  • Specialized Doctorates: Degrees in dentistry, medicine, pharmacy, veterinary medicine etc. 





In Iran, the grading system is based on a 0-20 scale. At the elementary, secondary, and undergraduate levels, an average grade of 10 is a minimum required passing grade. The minimum average grade at the graduate level is 12, and in doctoral programs, the cut-off score stands at 14.





Different ministries are responsible for education in Iran:


  • Primary and Secondary Education:

Ministry of Education: Responsible for primary and secondary education.


  • Higher Education:

Ministry of Science, Research and Technology: Responsible for non-medical institutions and universities.


Ministry of Health, Treatment, and Medical Education: Responsible for medical institutions, universities, and teaching hospitals.






InstagramGoogle+LinkedInRSS Feed
Stay connected, follow our newsletter!
Email Address: