Mohsen Hashemi Rafsanjani was born on (24 October 1961 in Qom, Iran. He is the eldest son of Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, the fourth president of Iran, and his wife, Effat Marashi. He has two sisters, Fatemeh and Faezeh. He has also two younger brothers, Mehdi and Yasser.
During his childhood, his family were pursued by the SAVAK. At the age of three, Rafsanjani's father was jailed by the SAVAK. In order to escape persecution, his father moved the family from Qom to Tehran. Rafsanjani studied at Islamic schools in Tehran, such as Alavi and Valyasr.
Rafsanjani's father was jailed for three years before the Iranian Revolution. During that time, Rafsanjani was the head of the house. He became active in cultural school activities and responsible in the library of the bazaar Tajrish mosque, where he read books. During the Iranian Revolution, seventeen-year-old Rafsanjani was active alongside the revolutionaries.
In 1987, Rafsanjani earned a master of applied science (MASc) degree in mechanical engineering from the Polytechnique Montréal.