Armenian Studies, Minor


Armenian Studies Program

Barlow Der Mugrdechian, Coordinator
Peters Business Building, Room 384
FAX: 559.278.2129

Degrees and Programs Offered

MN in Armenian Studies, Minor

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, UC Berkeley, 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 course 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.

The Armenian Series. The Armenian Series was established under the auspices of The Press at California State University, Fresno. Books with an Armenian theme are published in the The Armenian Series.

Pete P. Peters Endowment. In 1998, Mr. Pete Peters, a long-time supporter of Armenian Studies, offered the university a substantial endowment. For the first few years, proceeds from the endowment will be used for student scholarships. Proceeds from the endowment will be used for student scholarships.

The Leon S. Peters Foundation has generously supported the Armenian Studies Program by funding its Lecture Series, providing student scholarships, and providing general support for the program.

The Thomas A. Kooyumjian Family Foundation has provided general support for the Armenian Studies Program and support for special programs. It has also provided for students 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.


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 Scholarship; the Nerces and Ruth Azadian Memorial Scholarship; the Kirkor and Mary Bedoian Memorial Scholarship; the Bertha and John Garabedian Charitable Foundation Scholarship Fund; the Peter Mourad Hagopian Memorial Scholarship; Albert and Isabelle Kabrielian Scholarship for Armenian Studies; the Armen Kandarian Memorial Scholarship; the Koren and Alice Odian Kasparian Scholarship; the Charlie Keyan Endowed Scholarship; the Yervant, Rose, and Hovannes Levonian Educational Grant; the John and Lucille Melkonian Scholarship; the John Ohanian Scholarship; the Charles K. and Pansy Pategian Zlokovich Scholarship; the Walter Sepetjian Memorial Scholarship; the Genevieve Tatoian Scholarship; the Telfeyan Evangelical Fund, Inc. Scholarship; and the Robert V. Saroyan Family Scholarship. The Warren and Lesa Paboojian Foundation student editor award is given annually to the 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.

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.


Armenian Studies

ARM 1A. Elementary Armenian

Beginning course in conversational and written Armenian. Not open to students with two or more years of high school Armenian credit.

Units: 4
GE Area: C2

ARM 1B. Elementary Armenian

Prerequisite: G.E. Foundation A2, 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.

Units: 4
GE Area: C2

ARM 2A. Intermediate Armenian

Prerequisites: G.E. Foundation A2, ARM 1B or permission of instructor. Review of grammar and emphasis on conversation and reading. G.E. Breadth C2.

Units: 3
GE Area: C2

ARM 2B. Intermediate Armenian

Prerequisites: G.E. Foundation A2, ARM 2A or permission of instructor. Advanced conversation, composition, and reading.

Units: 3

ARM 148. Masterpieces of Armenian Culture

Prerequisites: G.E. Foundation and Breadth Area C. 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.

Units: 3
GE Area: IC

ARM 190. Independent Study

See Academic Placement -- Independent Study. Approved for RP grading.

Units: 1-3, Repeatable up to 6 units

ARMS 10. Introduction to Armenian Studies

Prerequisite: GE Foundation A2 for students in English college-readiness Category III and IV. 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.

Units: 3
GE Area: D3

ARMS 20. The Arts of Armenia

An introduction to Armenian architecture, painting, sculpture, ceramics, metal work, and textiles. All lectures are illustrated with slides. G.E. Breadth C1.

Units: 3
GE Area: C1

ARMS 45. William Saroyan

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.

Units: 3

ARMS 50T. Studies in Armenian Literature

Various masterpieces of Armenian literature: David of Sassoun, Saroyan, historical literature, modern literature, Armenian American authors.

Units: 3

ARMS 50T. William Saroyan

Exploration of William Saroyan's fiction, plays, and essays from 1930s to 1981 with attention to Fresno influence and context

Units: 3

ARMS 105. Armenian Genocide in Comparative Context

(ARMS 105 same as HIST 105.) Review of theory and characteristics of genocide. Study of the Armenian Genocide as an example and show comparison with other genocides in the 20th century. Discusses role of international constituencies and prevention and lessons of genocide. (Formerly HIST 109T section)

Units: 3

ARMS 106. Armenians in North America

(ARMS 106 same as HIST 106). Study of six waves of Armenian migrations 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 ARMS 120T section)

Units: 3

ARMS 108A. Armenian History I: Ancient and Medieval

(HIST 108A same as ARMS 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 Turkish dynasties.

Units: 3

ARMS 108B. Armenian History II: Modern and Contemporary

(HIST 108B same as ARMS 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.

Units: 3

ARMS 120T. Topics in Armenian Studies

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.

Units: 1-3, Repeatable up to 6 units

ARMS 120T. The Armenian Genocide in Comparative Perspective

This course is a comparative studey of mass killings in the twentieth century, especially the Armenian Genocide. Many questions remain about why these egregious acts occurred. The course will analyze mass killings, the forces that explain them. The second section compares and analyzes three cases: 1) the Armenian Genocide of 1915, 2) the Holocaust, 3) the Rwandan genocide. The course concludes with how one can best detect and prevent future Genocides. (Offered Fall 2018)

Units: 3

ARMS 120T. Armenian Cultural History

This course focuses on the cultural history of Eastern Anatolia, Armenia, and the Caucasus in the 12th - 14th century. During this period, the region passed under the control of the various Empires, and witnessed the rise of the Georgian kingdom. This course highlights continuities of socioeconomic institutions and practices as well as the emergence of regional norms that created a degree of stability in a highly dynamic period. Topics to be examined will include: demographic changes, processes of urbanization and social mobility, evolutions in gender and class roles, inter-communal relations between faiths, and the visual representation of power and legitimacy.

Units: 3, Repeatable up to 6 units

ARMS 120T. Armenians in Fresno

The course Armenians in Fresno takes an intensive look at the Armenian experience in Fresno, California. Fresno was the first colony of Armenians in California and has a major role to play in the history of Armenian immigration to America. The Fresno Armenian experience is a very interesting example for students to learn about the ethnic experience. 2018 marks the 110th anniversary of the birth of author William Saroyan, a Fresno native. His works will also be discussed in the course. (Offered Fall 2018)

Units: 1, Repeatable up to 6 units

ARMS 121. Armenian Painting

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.

Units: 3

ARMS 123. Armenian Architecture

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 17th centuries. All lectures are illustrated with slides.

Units: 3

ARMS 190. Independent Study

See Academic Placement -- Independent Study. Approved for RP grading.

Units: 1-3, Repeatable up to 6 units

ARMS 190H. Honors Independent Study

Designed for advanced undergraduate students who have successfully been admitted into the Armenian Studies Honors Program. Students will work closely with assigned faculty to develop a research proposal and to complete an honors thesis ready for publication.

Units: 3


Armenian Studies Minor Requirements

ARM 1A, 1B, 2A, 2B (6-8 units)*
ARM 148 (3 units)
ARMS 10 and 20 (6 units)
ARMS 120T (3 units)
ARMS 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.

Upper-Division Honors Certificate

The Armenian Studies Upper-Division Honors Program provides the opportunity for highly qualified, advanced Armenian Studies Program students to pursue the Upper-Division Honors Certificate in Armenian Studies. Please see Upper-Division Honors Certificate.


For faculty phone numbers and e-mail, see the campus directory.

For more on the faculty, see the faculty pages.
The faculty pages are updated by the department or program.