About the Armenian Studies Program


Barlow Der Mugrdechian, Berberian Coordinator,
Armenian Studies Program,
Director, Center for Armenian Studies

Sergio La Porta, Haig and Isabel Berberian Professor
of Armenian Studies, Interim Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Humanities

Hagop Ohanessian, Lecturer in Armenian Studies

Dickran Kouymjian, Haig and Isabel Berberian Professor
of Armenian Studies, Emeritus


The Armenian Studies Program offers courses on Armenian history,  Armenian language and literature, art and architecture, film, William Saroyan, the Genocide, and contemporary issues. Courses in Armenian history are also offered under the Department of History.

The Minor in Armenian Studies prepares students for teaching careers in one of the 25 Armenian schools in the United States, for administrative positions in Armenian cultural, social, and benevolent organizations, for study and volunteer work in the Armenian Republic, or for graduate work in Armenian doctoral programs at UCLA, Harvard, Columbia, Tufts, the University of Michigan, or Oxford University.

The Haig and Isabel Berberian Chair of Armenian Studies. The Berberian Endowed Chair provides financial support for a distinguished Armenologist. The endowment honoring the Berberians was established by a major gift from their son-in-law and daughter, Dr. Arnold H. and Dianne Gazarian. Other friends have made significant contributions to this endowment.

The Henry S. Khanzadian Kazan Visiting Professorship in Armenian Studies. This specially designed endowment allows the Armenian Studies Program to invite, for one semester each year, an internationally recognized scholar in contemporary Armenian affairs. The distinguished professor will teach a single course on a subject related to modern Armenian history, including the Genocide of 1915 and the formation of the Armenian Republic. In addition, the scholar will present three public lectures on a single topic; these will be published as a volume in the Kazan Armenian Studies series.

The M. Victoria Karagozian Kazan Endowment Fund for the Armenian Studies Program. Thanks to a generous donation by Henry and Victoria Kazan, the university has received a special endowment to support Armenian Studies Program activities and to provide financial resources for research, publications, and conferences related to Armenian studies.

Pete P. Peters Endowment. In 1998, Mr. Pete Peters, a long-time supporter of Armenian Studies, offered the university a substantial endowment exclusively for helping with the program's outreach activities. For the first few years proceeds from the endowment will be used for student scholarships.

The Harry and Mary Topoozian Armenian Studies Merit Scholarship Fund was established by a gift from Mr. Harry Topoozian. An Outstanding Achievement Scholarship will be awarded to a student who has excelled in scholarship, leadership, and community service. Any student enrolled in Armenian Studies courses is eligible.

The Armenian Studies Program Dickran Kouymjian Writing Award. In 1997 the Armenian Studies Program Advisory Board decided to establish an endowment fund for excellence in writing from the proceeds of the 20th Anniversary Banquet honoring Professor Kouymjian. Each year a prize will be given for the best student essay, term paper, or literary work in any discipline on a topic related to Armenia or the Armenians.

The Norma and Bob Der Mugrdechian Armenian Studies Endowed Scholarship has been established to provide scholarships for students who are studying, or have declared a major, in the area of Armenian Studies.

The Armenian Studies Program supports the Armenian Students Organization, the student and program newspaper Hye Sharzhoom, and the Armenian Studies Program Lecture Series.

Thanks to an exchange agreement between Fresno State and Yerevan State University, qualified students can study up to one year in Armenia while registering and paying tuition in Fresno.


Each year CSU Fresno through its Armenian Studies Program awards more than $70,000 in scholarships and grants from endowments given to the University to aid students interested in Armenia and the Armenians. Awards range from $1,000 to $2,000. These scholarships are for anyone taking Armenian Studies Program courses and not only for students of "Armenian" heritage. Students pursuing a minor in Armenian Studies are usually guaranteed a scholarship. Additionally, each year there are several Research Grants awarded by the Armenian Studies Program to students with a high GPA interested in carrying out research in Armenian history, art, or literature under the direction of a faculty member.

Students working toward a minor or simply enrolling in Armenian courses are eligible for scholarships administered by the program. These include the Armenian Professional Society of San Francisco Armenian Scholarship; Charles K. and Pansy Pategian Zlokovich Scholarship; the Nerces and Ruth Azadian Memorial Scholarship; the Ronald J. Garabedian II Scholarship; the Albert and Isabelle Kabrielian Memorial Scholarship; the Armen Kandarian Armenian Scholarship; the Charlie Keyan Endowed Scholarship; the Thomas A. Kooyumjian Family Foundation Scholarship; the Yervant, Rose, and Hovannes Levonian Educational Grant; the James L. Melikian & L.A. Brothers Scholarshipthe John and Lucille Melkonian Scholarship; the Bertha and John Garabedian Charitable Foundation Scholarship Fund; the Pete P. Peters Endowment; the Leon S. Peters Scholarship; the Koren and Alice Odian Kasparian Scholarship; the Haiganoosh (Agnes) and Simon D. Peterson Family Scholarship; the Robert V. Saroyan Family Scholarship; the Walter Sepetjian Endowed Scholarship; the Genevieve Tatoian Scholarship; the Telfeyan Scholarship Fund; the Armenian Professional Society of San Francisco  Endowed Scholarship; and the Norma and Bob Der Mugrdechian Armenian Studies Endowed Scholarship Fund.

Warren R. Paboojian Award for Editor of Hye Sharzhoom

Annual renewals are assured for students who continue to enroll in Armenian studies courses. In addition to these, full tuition scholarships and research-assistant grants are also available.

Armenian Studies Minor

ARM 1A, 1B, 2A, 2B (6-8 units)*
ARM 148 (3 units)
ARM S 10 and 20 (6 units)
ARM S 120T (3 units)
ARM S/HIST 108A or 108B (3 units)

Total (21-23 units)


* Students must take two of these courses in consultation with the program coordinator. Students who can speak, read, and write Armenian may elect to challenge one or two of these classes CBE (see Credit by Examination).

Note: The Armenian Studies Minor also requires a 2.0 GPA and 6 upper-division units in residence.


Armenian Studies (ARM S)

10 - Introduction to Armenian Studies (3)
Introduction to the historical and contemporary experience of Armenians in American society. Examines issues of identity, ethnicity, immigration, genocide, and cultural heritage in the United States. G.E. Breadth D3.

20 - The Arts of Armenia (3)
An introduction to Armenian architecture, painting, sculpture, ceramics, metal work, and textiles. All lectures are illustrated with slides. G.E. Breadth C1.

45 - William Saroyan (3)
The ethnic experience in America, especially the San Joaquin Valley, through the writings of William Saroyan. The author's major literary successes will be read and compared with films made of these same works. Writing assignments of at least 2,500 words. (Formerly ARM S 50T section)

50T - Studies in Armenian Literature (3)
Various masterpieces of Armenian literature: David of Sassoun, Saroyan, historical literature, modern literature, Armenian American authors.

105 - Armenian Genocide in Comparative Context (3)
(See HIST 105.) Review of theory and characteristics of genocide. Study of the Armenian Genocide as an example and comparison with other genocides in the 20th century. Discusses the role of international constituencies and prevention and lessons of genocide. (Formerly ARM S 120T section)

106 - Armenians in North America (3)
(See HIST 106.) Study of six waves of Armenian migration to North America from 1870-1995. Topics discussed include entry, settlement, work, family, community organizations, church, politics, culture, and integration in U.S. society. (Formerly ARM S 120T section)

108A - Armenian History I: Modern and Contemporary (3)
(See HIST 108A.) History of Armenia and Armenians from prehistoric times to the beginning of the modern era. The historical process will be considered from Armenia's point of view as well as from that of its neighbors: Assyria, Iran, Rome, Byzantium, the Arabs, the Seljuk Turks, the Crusades, the Mongols, and various Turkic dynasties.

108B - Armenian History II: Modern and Contemporary (3)
(See HIST 108B.) Overview of modern and contemporary Armenian history, including Armenia's relations with Persian, Turkish, and Russian empires, the Armenian Renaissance, the "Armenian Question," the Genocide, the Armenian Republic, Soviet Armenia, the Second Armenian Republic, and diasporan communities in America, Europe, and the Middle East.

120T - Topics in Armenian Studies (1-3; max total 6)
Specialized topics in Armenian history, art, and culture, not normally covered in other Armenian Studies courses. Topics include the Armenian church, minor arts, film, the Diaspora, and the Genocide.

121 - Armenian Painting (3)
History and development of Armenian painting with special concentration on the art of manuscript illumination and the origins of Christian art. All lectures are illustrated with slides.

123 - Armenian Architecture (3)
History and development of Armenian architecture is presented in the context of early Christian architecture. There will be a survey of monuments from the fourth to the seventeenth centuries. All lectures are illustrated with slides.

190 - Independent Study (1-3)
See Academic Placement -- Independent Study. Approved for SP grading.

Armenian (ARM)

1A - Elementary Armenian (4)
Beginning course in conversational and written Armenian. Not open to students with two or more years of high school Armenian credit.

1B - Elementary Armenian (4)
Prerequisite: ARM 1A or permission of instructor. Second semester course in conversational and written Armenian. Not open to those with three or more years of high school Armenian credit. G.E. Breadth C2.

2A - Intermediate Armenian (3)
Prerequisites: ARM 1A and 1B or permission of instructor. Review of grammar and emphasis on conversation and reading. G.E. Breadth C2.

2B - Intermediate Armenian (3)
Prerequisite: ARM 2A or permission of instructor. Advanced conversation, composition, and reading. G.E. Breadth C2.

148 - Masterpieces of Armenian Culture (3)
Survey of outstanding examples of Armenian culture including literary works by Naregatsi, Toumanian, Siamanto, Varoujean, and others. Survey of Christian Armenian architecture and music. G.E. Integration IC.

Armenian Studies Honors (ARMS)
190H. Honors Independent Study (3)
Designed for advanced undergraduate students who have successfully been admitted into the Armenian Studies Program's Honors Program. Students will work closely with assigned faculty to develop a research proposal and to complete an honors thesis ready for publication.)