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History of Allameh Tabataba'i University (ATU)

The history of Allameh Tabataba'i University (ATU) goes back to 1957 and 1958 when “School of Accounting and Oil Financial Sciences” and “Tehran College of Commerce” were founded. In 1979, after the Islamic Revolution in Iran, these two colleges as well as 25 other universities, colleges, schools, institutes of higher education and centers were merged into two higher education complexes: 1) Literature and Humanities Complex, and 2) Administrative and Commercial Sciences Complex. The Literature and Humanities Complex was formed by merging 13 different schools, colleges, and universities as follows:

  • Azad University of Iran

Founded in 1972, Azad University of Iran aimed to develop an open academic education system. In 1979, there were about 3200 students and more than 420 lecturers and professors at that university.

  • Abu Reyhan Biruni University

Founded in 1971, Abu Reyhan Biruni University had the two faculties of Humanities and Basic Sciences. In 1976, a new college devoted to part-time education (distance learning) was established at this university. In 1979, this university had almost 4500 students and around 200 lecturers and professors.

  • College of Translation

Founded in 1969, this college offered programs in six fields: English, French, Arabic, Italian, Russian, and Spanish (added later).

  • Shemiran College

Founded in 1973, Shemiran College offered programs in Welfare Management, Counseling, and Kindergarten Teacher Training. In 1979, the college had almost 800 students and 27 lecturers and professors.

  • Damavand School

Founded in 1969, Damavand School offered programs in English Literature, Comparative Cultural Studies, Persian Literature, Islamic Knowledge, and English Language Teaching.

  • Research Center for Iranian Culture

Founded in 1970, this research center aimed at training researchers in the fields of Persian Literature, Dialectology in Iran, and Ancient Languages. In 1979, this center had 56 students and researchers.

  • School of Political Sciences and Party Affairs

Founded in 1971, School of Political Sciences and Party Affairs started its activities by training students in the field of Political Sciences. In 1979, more than 700 students were studying in that school.

  • School of Social Communication Sciences

Founded in 1966, School of Social Communication Sciences trained students in the two majors of Journalism and Translation. The school offered a total of seven fields, namely Journalism, News Translation, Management, Administrative Sciences and Social Communications, Public Relations, Marketing and Commercial Communication Management, and Advertisement Management. In 1979, more than 450 students were studying in this college.

  • College of Literature and Foreign Languages

Founded in 1964, College of Literature and Foreign Languages trained students in the fields of Persian Literature, Arabic, English, French, and German. In 1977, the two fields of French Literature and French Translation were also added to the courses offered in that college. In 1979, the college had 1018 students and 14 academic staff.

  • Teacher Training Institute

Founded in 1973, Teacher Training Institute offered programs at the Bachelor's level. This institute was merged into Literature and Humanities Complex in 1982; at that time, around 120 students were studying in that institute.

  • Social Services Institute

Founded in 1958, Social Services Institute offered undergraduate and graduate programs in social services. This institute was merged into Literature and Humanities Complex in 1982; at that time, the institute had more than 550 students and 26 academic staff.

  • Pars College

Founded in 1966, Pars College offered programs in Educational and Psychological Sciences, Foreign Languages, and Basic Sciences. In 1981, the programs in English Literature, Educational Sciences, and Psychology and Counseling were merged into the Literature and Humanities Complex; other fields, however, were merged into the programs in Shahid Beheshti University and Kharazmi University (previously called Teacher Training University). At that time, Pars College had more than 1740 students and 74 academic staff.

  • College of Sports

Founded in 1979, this college was merged into the Literature and Humanities Complex in the same year. However, some months later, the college joined Kharazmi University (previously named Teacher Training University).


The Administrative and Commercial Sciences Complex was formed by merging 14 different schools, colleges, and universities as follows:

  • Tehran College of Commerce

Founded in 1958, College of Commerce started its activities by offering the program of Commercial Sciences at Bachelor's level. Later on, it offered programs in two other fields, namely Marketing and Financial Affairs, and Management. In 1977 and 1978, other fields of study, such as Accounting, were also offered. In 1979, this school had 42 professors and almost 2100 students.

  • School of Accounting and Oil Financial Sciences

Founded in 1957, this school, under the supervision of the National Oil Company, offered BA and MA programs. In 1979, nearly 950 students were studying in this school.

  • Tehran College of Insurance

Founded in 1970, this college started its academic activities by offering programs in Commercial Insurance, and Welfare and Social Security. Later, it offered programs in Insurance and Economics. In 1979, there were 6 professors and almost 1300 students in this college.

  • College of Tourism and Information Services

Founded in 1972, this college offered programs in two fields of study: Hospitality Management and Tourism. In 1979-80, College of Tourism and Information Services had 11 academic staff and almost 300 students.

  • College of Flight Services

Founded in 1974, this college, under the supervision of IranAir, offered programs in Air and Flight Services and Attendance. In 1979, the college had 15 academic staff and 105 students.

  • Institute of Banking Sciences

Founded in 1964, this institute aimed to train experts in the field of Banking. This institute was under the supervision of Iran's Central Bank, Melli Bank, and Sepah Bank. In 1979, this institute had 5 academic staff and almost 1700 students.

  • Public Administration Training Centre

Founded in 1972, this center was under the supervision of the Organization for Administrative and Recruitment Affairs. The center offered courses at Master's level in Public Administration. In 1979, this center had 128 students and 14 academic staff.

  • International School of Administrative and Commercial Affairs

Founded in 1976, this school offered programs at Master's level in International Management. In 1979, it had 97 students and 3 academic staff.

  • Iran Center for Management Studies (ICMS)

Founded in 1972, this center offered Bachelor's program in Commercial Management. The center also offered short-term courses and Associate's degrees. In 1979, ithad 66 students and 6 academic staff.

  • Iran Zamin School of Business and Library Science

Founded in 1969, this school offered programs in Associate's level in the fields of Commerce, Secretarial Sciences, and Librarianship. Later, it offered Bachelor's programs in Commerce and Librarianship.

  • Industrial Management Organization

Founded in 1970, this organization offered Master's programin Industrial Management. In 1979, 57 students were studying in this organization.

  • University of Science and Technology

Founded in 1978, this university offered MA programs in Accounting, Administrative Management, and Commercial Management.

  • Karaj College of Mathematics and Economic Management

It is not clear when this college was founded; however, based on available information, it used to offer Bachelor's programs in Mathematics and Economic Management 1972.

  • Higher Education Institute for Accounting

This college's time of establishment is not clear; however, based on available information, it used to offer Bachelor's programs in Accounting, State Accounting, and Auditing.


Establishment of Allameh Tabataba'i University

In 1984, Allameh Tabataba'i University (ATU) was formally founded and named after the Iranian contemporary philosopher Allameh Mohammad Hossein Tabataba'i by merging the two above-mentioned higher education complexes. ATU started its academic and research activities with 6 faculties: Faculty of Persian Literature and Foreign Languages, Faculty of Social Sciences, Faculty of Economics, Faculty of Accounting and Management, Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences, and Faculty of Health and Basic Sciences. At that time, the university had 4 campuses in Tehran and 28 branches in other provinces.

In 1987, however, some of ATU's 27 colleges, institutes, and centers, such as Pars College and College of Sports joined other universities, such as University of Tehran, Shahid Beheshti University and Kharazmi University (previously called Teacher Training University). After a while, in September of 1987, Faculty of Health and Basic Sciences, all ATU branches in other cities, and ATU Publishing Center separated Allameh Tabataba'i University and joined the newly established Payam-e-Noor University.

In 1989, the College of Insurance, which had stopped all its activities since 1979, restarted its academic and research activities. Later in 1991, this college resumed its national and international activities in collaboration with the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO).

In 2004, ATU Faculty of Communications was established as a new ATU faculty. However, ATU's new era started in 2005 after the construction of ATU Central Campus in Dehkadeh Olampik (the Olympic Village, North West of Tehran, Iran). The university's Central Administration Building, Faculty of Law and Political Sciences, and Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences are located in this campus.

History of ATU Faculties

Faculty of Persian Literature and Foreign Languages

ATU Faculty of Persian Literature and Foreign Languages was founded in May 1984, by merging several schools, colleges, and higher education centers, such as College of Translation, College of Persian Literature and Foreign Languages, Damavand College, and the Research Center for Iranian Culture.

Faculty of Theology and Islamic Knowledge

In 2013, ATU Faculty of Theology and Islamic Knowledgewas derived the Faculty of Literature and Foreign Languages.

Faculty of Economics

In 1984, ATU Faculty of Economics was founded by merging several leading schools and colleges in the fields of commerce, banking, and insurance.

Faculty of Mathematical Sciences and Computer

In 2013, ATU Faculty of Mathematics and Computer Sciences was derived the Faculty of Economics.

Faculty of Management and Accounting

In 1984, ATU Faculty of Management and Accounting was formally founded by merging several institutes, schools, and colleges, such as Iran Zamin School of Business and Library Science, Tehran College of Insurance, Tehran College of Commerce, College of Tourism and Information Services, Iran Center for Management Studies, Institute of Banking Sciences, the International School of Administrative and Commercial Affairs, Oil and Gas Accounting Organization, and the College of Flight Services.

Faculty of Law and Political Sciences

In 1997, ATU Faculty of Law and Political Sciences was formally founded with a focus on three fields of study: Law, Political Sciences, and International Relations.

Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences

In 1981, this faculty was founded by merging several schools and institutes, and later joined Allameh Tabataba’i University. Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences moved to ATU’s Central Campus in 2006.

Faculty of Social Sciences

This faculty which was, actually, founded in 1964, was later named School of Eco-Political Sciences and Mass Media. In 1983, after the re-opening of universities in Iran, it was named Faculty of Social Sciences.

Faculty of Communications

In 2013, this faculty was derived ATU Faculty of Social Sciences.

ECO College of Insurance (ECOI)

The Regional Cooperation for Development (RCD) International School of Insurance was founded in 1970 in response to a pressing need for training insurance experts in Iran, Pakistan, and Turkey. The school was a unique experiment in regional cooperation and its development. Later, ECO College of Insurance (ECOI) was established in 1991 by reviving the former RCD International School of Insurance.

Faculty of Physical Education and Sports Sciences

In 2006, Department of Physical Education was established in ATU Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences. Later, in 2013, this department changed to ATU Faculty of Physical Education and Sports Sciences.

School of Gradute Studies

Before its formal inauguration in 1992, ATU School of Graduate Studies used to offer short-term courses ‎to fulfill the needs of different organizations‎. The school formally started its academic activities ‎in 1992 by offering‎ Associate’s, BA, and MA programs. In 2012, the school started offering all graduate programs in Humanities and Social Sciences.