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Yerevan State University was founded on December, 1920. It was officially inaugurated on January 23, 1921. The classes started on January 24. Yerevan State University initially called Yerevan Popular University and was situated on Astafyan (now Abovyan) street in the building of former teaching seminary, which was built in 1900-1906 (in the second floor in 1933-1935 and in the right porch of studying part in 1939 – architecture V. Mirzon). The construction of new filial-branches (architecture E. Tigranyan) began in the fifties in the territory between Mravyan and Charents streets and is still there.

The first president of YSU was H. Manandyan (1921). Initially there were two faculties: of physical sciences and of social sciences. Later new ones were inaugurated – agricultural, oriental, technical (1921).

In 1923 labor faculty was jointed. In 1930 Polytechnic, Medical, Cooperative and Pedagogical Institutes were established in Yerevan on the base of the faculties of YSU.

In 1933 YSU was inaugurated   anew with 5 faculties (physico-mathematical, historico-philological, pedagogical, economical and physical). In 1934 Armenian Pedagogical Institute was established on the base of pedagogical faculty. Later chemical, geologico–geographical, biological (1934), law (1935) faculties were inaugurated. In 1936 historical faculty was divided into historical and philological faculties, in 1945 geologico-geographical faculty was divided into geological and geographical faculties.

In 1945-1953 the faculty of international relations functioned. In 1957 Russian Pedagogical Institute in Yerevan was jointed to YSU and the faculties of Russian philology and foreign languages were established (in 1962 Yerevan Russian and Foreign Languages Pedagogical Institute named after V. Brusov was founded on the base of these faculties). In 1959 physico-mathematical faculty was divided into physical and mathematical faculties. In 1964 the faculty of marketing and economy of merchandise, in 1968 oriental, in 1975 radiophysical, Russian language and literature faculties were established. In 1975 Yerevan Popular Economical Institute was founded on the base of economical, economy of merchandise and marketing faculties. Many outstanding scientists and pedagogues like H. Manandyan, M. Abeghyan, H. Acharyan, G. Ghapantsyan, A. Terteryan, S. Nersisyan, G. Chubaryan, G. Edilyan, T. Avdalbeguyan, T. Khangadyan, V. Rshtuny, SSRU AS academicians V. Hambardzumyan, I. Alikhanyan, A. Arzumanyan, M. Chailakhyan, A. Takhtajyan, SSRU AS correspondent-members E. Hasratyan, A. Alikhanyan, S. Merguelyan, and many others have lectured in YSU.

In 1924-1976 31.591 students graduated. SSRU AS academician M. Chailakhyan, SSRU AS correspondent-members E. Hasratyan, S. Merguelyan, SSRU AS academicians A. Shahinyan, M. Jrbashyan, G. Gharibyan, G. Davtyan, V. Gulcanyan, V. Ghazaryan, M. Nalbandyan, A. Babayan, M. Nersisyan, A. Hovhannisyan, G. Gharibjanyan, L.Khachikyan, G. Jahukyan, A. Gharibyan, G. Sevak and the well known writers N. Zaryan, T.Tarontsi, H. Shiraz, S. Kaputikyan, P. Sevak, V. Davtyan are also the gratuates of YSU.

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