Urmia University (also known as University of Urmia) is a public university in the West Azerbaijan province, Iran. It was founded by Joseph Cochran in 1878 as West Minster Medical College, in the city of Urmia. It was thought to be the first attempt to set up an higher education institution in Urmia. Dr. Cochran was an American citizen who spent much of his professional life developing Urmia’s medical college and hospital.
Its main campus is in Nazlu, on the 11 kilometre road from Urmia to Serow, but it has a total of six campuses, seven schools, with more than 14,000 students. Urmia University also has several exclusive research centres including: Microelectronic, Antenna and Microwave Laboratory, NanoTechnology, MEMS, and Artimia. It is often ranked highly in national rankings.
All six campuses are in the West Azerbaijan Province, and include the Nazlu campus, City Campus in Urmia City, the Literature Campus inside Urmia City, the School of Economics Campus, just under two kilometres from Serow Road, the Khoy Campus and the School of Arts Campus, inside Urmia City.
Notable alumni include Isa Kalantari, former Minister of Agriculture in Iran and Mohammad Oraz, the first Iranian national to climb Mount Everest.
Urmia is the largest city in the West Azerbaijan Province of Iran and the capital of Urmia County. It is located along the Shahar Chay river (City River) on the Urmia Plain.
Lake Urmia, one of the world's largest salt lakes, lies to the east of the city, and the mountainous Turkish border area lies to the west.
Urmia is the 10th most populated city in Iran and most inhabitants are predominantly Azerbaijanis who speak the Azerbaijani language but there are also minorities of Kurds, Assyrians, and Armenians.
The Christian history of Urmia is well preserved and is especially evident in the city's many churches and cathedrals.