Dar ul-Funun

It was Amir Kabir, then the royal vizier (Prime Minister) to Nasereddin Shah, who following Europe’s higher education system, came up with the initial idea for Dar al-Funun. Having witnessed a variety of Russian schools and academies and having learnt about the western higher education institutions, Amir Kabir grappled with the idea of Dar ul-Funun for quite a while before finally in 1849 he got Nasereddin Shah’s permission and ordered the construction of Dar ul-Funun in a land located in the north-east of the royal palace which previously had been used as barracks.

Dar ul-Funun was opened in 1851, only 13 days before Amir Kabir’s murder. Unfortunately, therefore, the founder of dar ul-Funun, Amir Kabir, who had a great role in the construction of the school and then recruiting foreign professors to teach there, could not attend the opening ceremony. Many of Amir Kabir’s development plans were undone due to his murder. Untactful dismissal of Amir Kabir and then his death order issued by Nasereddin Shah frustrated many of development opportunities for Iran.

First majors established in dar ul-Funun were:

Infantry   39 Students

Artillery   26 Students

Medicine and Surgery   20 Students

Engineering   12 Students

Physic, chemistry and Pharmacy   7 Students

Minerology   5 Students

Cavalry   5 Students

Total number of students: 114

After Amir Kabir’s dismissal and murder, Dar al-Funun had a slow-paced development till it reached a proper status as an academic organization. 38 years after it was founded the number of admitted students increased to 387. After 5 decades, due to extremist acts of people like Mirza Malkam Khan, Shah’s view of Dar al-Funun and its graduates deteriorated and with it so did the status of Dar al-Funun. After the Constitutional Revolution and with the help of French Professors, fundamental measures to improve the status of Dar al-Funun were taken. In 1906, “Dar al-Funun Academic Regulations” was compiled. Based on the new regulations, academic year started in September and ended in June.    

Danesh-Saraye Ali (House of Knowledge for Higher Education)

First school for teacher education was founded in 1919 with the title of “Dar-almoallemin-e Markazi” (Central House of Teachers). This institution started with 2 classes: teacher training courses for elementary classes and teacher training courses for higher education classes. Elementary courses were supposed to prepare teachers for elementary schools. Later these were replaced by Danesh-Saraye Moghaddamati (House of Knowledge for Elementary Education). Higher education courses were supposed to prepare teachers for high schools. Later, they were replaced by Danesh-Saraye Ali. In 1933, Dar-almoallemin-e Markazi was turned to Dar-almoallemin for Higher Education and was relocated to a new place in Negarestan Building.

After University of Tehran was founded in 1934, the literature department of Danesh-Saraye Ali was turned to the Faculty of Literature and the scientific department was turned to Faculty of Sciences as a part of the University of Tehran. After 1935, Danesh-Saraye Ali was separated from Faculty of Literature and Sciences and started a new phase of its activities.

University of Tehran

The initial plan to found the University of Tehran was submitted in 1928 by Professor Mahmoud Hessabi to the then Culture Minister Mr. Hekmat. Later in 1931, a detailed plan to found the university was prepared and submitted to the culture minister of the time. In 1933, due to Professor Hessabi’s negotiations with the members of parliament, the plan was brought to the National Consultative Assembly and finally in 1934 the bill to found the university was passed. According to this law, Ministry of Education was allowed to found an institute called University for Higher Education in sciences, engineering, literature and philosophy. Different Faculties of this University were:

  1. Islamic philosophy and Fiqh
  2. Natural Sciences and Mathematics
  3. Literature, Philosophy and Education Sciences
  4. Medicine
  5. Law, Political Science and Economics
  6. Engineering


College of Engineering

After the establishment of the University of Tehran in 1934, the College of Engineering as of one of the six founding colleges of UT was founded by the relentless efforts of professor Mahmoud Hessabi beginning operations in September of the same year. While the college did not initially enjoy proper facilities to house itself, a single floor in Dar ul-Funun was used as the premises of the college. In 1934, the College received its first intake of 40 students from among a batch of 100 high-school graduates in the fields of civil, mechanical, electrical and mining engineering. The College of Engineering was initially headed by its founding figure Professor Mahmoud Hessabi who compiled college regulations in addition to laying out admission schemes, entrance examinations, course plans, recruitment of domestic and international academic staff and all other requirements for running a modern engineering college.

In 1938, the construction of the college building began on the western wing of UT’s campus under the auspices of Professor Hessabi, based on the plan of the French architect Maxime Siroux, allowing for a capacity of 200 students before relocation in 1941. Since its beginning up until the academic year of 1956-1957 the duration of study added up to 4 years accruing to the degree of Master of Science. Thereafter, a year was added to the original duration of the program whereby students would be conferred with the degree of Master of Science after completing the program’s five-year requirement. After the Islamic Revolution and since 1983 the admission of students at undergraduate level was authorized and pursuing studies at graduate and PhD level became conditional on passing a separate entrance examination.

Ab initio the College of Engineering admitted students in four fields including construction, mechanical, electrical and mining engineering subsequently replacing mechanical and electrical engineering with electromechanical engineering producing 20 graduates in the academic year of 1945-1946. Later a chemical engineering program was added to existing programs with the first cohort graduating in 1947. Petroleum refining was later added and in 1955-56 had its first batch of graduation with 7 students. Petroleum extraction in 1956-57 and geology in 1960 further had their first graduates in those years. All 3 programs, however, were later withdrawn and metallurgical engineering was added in 1971. Surveying engineering was added in 1988 and had its first graduation batch in 1992-93. Computer engineering under the School of Electronics and Computer Science started undergraduate admission in 1990 and later together with medical engineering in 1994 started its graduate admission. Industrial engineering was established in 1995 in the College of Engineering, admitting graduate students at the moment.

Along with changes at the University of Tehran, in 2005 the Faculty of Engineering was retitled to “College of Engineering” beginning a new chapter in its activities. The college, while being the largest center for higher education in engineering accommodating 6 schools of engineering, continues to train and educate young engineers cherishing a proud number of 22000 graduates since its inception.

Heads of the college of engineering since establishment





Dr. Mahmoud Hessabi



Dr. Gholamhossein Rahnema

1935 – 1945


Mehdi Bazargan

1945 – 1951


Abdolhossein Khalili

1952 – 1954


Abdollah Riazi

1954 – 1963


Reza Ganje’i

1963 – 1965


Dr. Gholamali Bazargan Dilmaghani

1956 – 1967


Mohammad Mozafar Zangeneh

1967 – 1968



1969 – 1971


Iraj Shams Malek Ara

1971 – 1972


Dr. Mostafa Mozayyani

1972 – 1973


Dr. Amir Mansoor Miri

1973 – 1978


Dr. Abdollah Ostad Hosseini

1978 – 1981


Dr. Naser Moniri

1981– 1982


Sajjad Hashemi

1982 – 1984


Ahmad Feiz Dizaji

1984 – 1985


Dr. Mohammad Rahimian

1985 – 1989


Dr. Rasool Mirghaderi

1989 – 1990


Dr. Mojtaba Shariati Niassar

1990 – 1994


Dr. Mahmoud Mousavi Mashhadi

1994– 1997


Dr. Reza Faraji Dana

1997 – 2002


Dr Mahmoud Nilee Ahmadabadi

2002 – 2009


Dr. Mahmoud Kamarei

2009 – 2016


Dr Nasser Soltani