List of Top Universities in South Korea

In this university, we will be discussing the best universities in South Korea for international students. South Korea is a country in East Asia known for its high-tech cities and subtropical islands. It has a long and rich history, which has resulted in a variety of customs, as evidenced through folk performances and cultural heritage sites. Korea is home to IT powerhouses such as Samsung and automobile industry giants such as Hyundai. Korean pop culture continues to have an impact on the rest of the world, influencing everything from art to fashion to innovative cuisine options. 

Among the top universities of the world, the top universities in South Korea rank very high. South Korea is attracting an increasing number of international students, and the country has recently experienced significant growth in foreign enrolment rates. The government has established a goal of 200,000 international enrolments by 2032, and it is working hard to entice even more students from the United States, Europe, and Asia to study in South Korea. These are the top universities in South Korea if you’re thinking about studying there.


Top Universities in South Korea

1. Seoul National University

Seoul National University, one of South Korea’s most prominent higher education institutions, allows students to study in the center of the country’s busy capital city. The university is consistently ranked among Asia’s leading universities. The university offers hundreds of undergraduate, postgraduate, and Ph.D. courses across 16 colleges, a graduate school, and ten professional graduate schools. 

Since 1946, Seoul National University has been the best university in Korea for international students, setting the bar for academic achievement in the country. It is a member of the famous SKY universities, a three-member league among Korea’s most distinguished institutions. It contains sixteen colleges that cover everything from humanities to medicine to engineering. 

Its professional graduate programs offer hands-on training in subjects such as data science and public administration. Seoul National University is also on the list of universities in South Korea that teach courses in English, with over 700 English-taught courses, and the number is growing every year, making it one of the leading English universities in South Korea. SNU is also noted for its cutting-edge research, particularly in the fields of engineering and natural sciences. 

This 74-year-old public university in Korea has a stringent admission procedure based on entrance exams and students’ previous academic records and ratings. This South Korean higher education school is the most selective, with admission rates ranging from 10% to 20%. Regarded as one of the best universities in South Korea for international students, Applicants from all around the world are welcome to apply.

SNU also provides a library, accommodation, sports facilities, financial assistance and/or scholarships, overseas study and exchange programs, as well as administrative services to students. Nearly 17,000 undergraduates and 11,000 graduate students make up the student body. Seoul National University is a huge university with approximately 20.000 students.

2. Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST)

KAIST was South Korea’s first research-led science and technology institution, founded in 1971 with assistance from US experts. The institution, which is located in Daejeon, was founded “in recognition of the nation’s need for superior human resources in science and technology,” and it has remained faithful to that idea.

Your smartphone, laptop, or automobile might have been built by a KAIST graduate, and the university’s teaching and cutting-edge research have helped to establish South Korea’s reputation for high-tech ability. Kaist also tops the list of best universities for international students, KAIST is a multi-ethnic Korean university that accepts over 600 international students each year. 

This Public University in Korea consists of five colleges, seven schools, and thirteen graduate schools, all intending to produce worldwide value. Furthermore, almost 80% of classes are offered in English, making it one of the biggest English universities in South Korea.

The institution boasts a cutting-edge academic system and is free to function without the constraints of government curriculum and admissions policies that apply to other universities. South Korea’s first test-free admissions procedure was adopted at KAIST (admissions instead being based on grades, letters of recommendation from teachers, and personal statements). Undergraduates can try out several courses before deciding on a major, and they can change their field of study at any time.

KAIST has about 622 academic staff, 10,000+ full-time students, and 1,140 faculty researchers. It has an admission rate of 14.9 percent for local students and 13.2 percent for foreign students, with an enrollment range of 10,000.

3. Sungkyunkwan University

Sungkyunkwan University is among Korea’s finest private colleges, with origins in Sungkyunkwan, the Joseon dynasty’s premier educational institution. The institution is still located on its original campus, but it is now a major player in business and technology. SKKU’s research divisions are funded by Hyundai, Samsung, and several government organizations, and they provide research that is useful to industry and society.

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Sungkyunkwan Institution is the oldest university in East Asia, originally founded over 600 years ago.  The university has two campuses: one in Seoul for humanities and social sciences and another in Suwon for scientific sciences. Academic exchange programs and connections with 653 universities in 73 countries are available at the university, making SKKU one of the best universities in South Korea for international students.

It also intends to develop its dual-degree programs with several top colleges throughout the globe. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Schools of Engineering and Business, Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business, Fudan University, Peking University, and the University of Birmingham are among the university’s 33 dual-degree partners. Academic departments of SKKU provide courses in a range of subjects, such as Confucian studies and Eastern philosophy, economics, and engineering, to name a few.

Both English and Korean language programs are available at the associated Sungkyun Language Institute. The academic calendar of the institution is semester-based, and the major medium of teaching is Korean, while several courses are available in English. Some degree programs, such as the MBA program at the SKK Graduate School of Business, are taught entirely in English. Even though traditional, SKKU remains one of the best English universities in South Korea.

The Center for East Asian History, the Nano/Bio Fusion Technology Research Center, and the Zero Emission Center are only a few of the university’s research institutions and centers. Professor Park Nam-Gyu of Chemical Engineering, who was nominated as one of the potential Chemistry Nobel laureates by Clarivate Analytics in 2017, and professor Lee Young-hee, director of the Center for Integrated Nanostructure Physics in the Research center for Basic Science, are two of the university’s internationally renowned research scientists who are currently active in research and frequently appear in Nature

4. Korea University

Korea University, which was established in 1905, is commonly regarded as one of the country’s oldest, largest, and best-ranked universities. It has a strong reputation for excellence in teaching, research, and service to the Korean community. Korea University’s academic reputation is built on eminent staff, great students, and internationally known research programs. KU, being one of the top universities in South Korea, provides a wide range of courses in the liberal arts and sciences, as well as in all professional professions, like law, medicine, and business administration. 

KU is one of Korea’s most prestigious SKY universities. Korea University already has about 4000 international students, and the number is growing. This number sets KU among the best universities in South Korea for international students and one of the best English universities in South Korea. Greater worldwide collaboration is fostered by the newly founded Graduate School of International Studies. Also, More than 280,000 university graduates make up the Korea University Alumni Association.

Korea University is a big research school that is famous in South Korean history for being the first academic institution in the country to provide academic programs in fields such as law, economics, and journalism. Korea University is now ranked equal 69th in the world and third in South Korea, with a student population of roughly 37,000 students and a faculty of 1,700 who possess a Ph.D. or equivalent in their discipline. The school’s faculty of law is known for having one of the country’s most respected undergraduate legal schools.

Chemical engineering, social policy and administration, modern languages, politics, and accounting and finance are all highly ranked at the institution. KU also has an infamous Olympic-sized ice rink on campus. Korea University is located in Seoul and is separated into departments. Its main Anam campus is just minutes away from a variety of restaurants, pubs, stores, and cultural sites, including a well-known Buddhist temple.

5. Yonsei University

Yonsei University is one of Korea’s oldest universities as well as one of the most prominent. It has extremely competitive admission rates as a SKY university member and is well-known for acing international university rankings. Yonsei University provides graduate and undergraduate degrees in nearly every field. Its 153 research centers collaborate on multidisciplinary projects that address current global concerns including climate change and inequality. In its academic community, Yonsei promotes the values of truth and liberty.

The institution as we know it now was founded in 1957. This university is on the list of universities in South Korea with several campuses, the most important of which being the Sinchon campus in Seoul. The International Campus in Songdo, which started in 2010, and the Wonju Campus are two more locations. Domestic and international students pay the same tuition at Yonsei, which varies by academic field. This and her English programs set Yonsei among the best Universities for international students.

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All undergraduate and graduate students have access to university housing. Freshmen at Yonsei University spend their first year on the International Campus and engage in the university’s residential college system, where they are assigned to one of 12 houses that offer educational and social activities. Colleges of liberal arts, commerce and economics, science, engineering, and theology, among others, make up the university’s academic divisions. Although Korean is the major language of teaching at Yonsei, several degree programs are taught in English.

Programs at the university’s Underwood International College, a liberal arts college, and the Graduate School of International Studies, for example, are exclusively taught in English. The Yonsei Global MBA program is another English-taught option. Yonsei can be regarded as one of the best English universities in South Korea. There are 26,731 undergraduate students, 11,994 graduate students, 4,518 faculty members, 6,788 staff members, and 257,931 alumni on the campus.  The institution is Christian, and its enrollment ranges from 30,000 to 35,000 students. 

6. Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology

UNIST has evolved into a world-class institution since its inception in 2009, with a fast-growing recognition for its research and influence across a wide variety of subjects. Leading academics from around the globe have been invited to present cutting-edge research and education. Many scientists throughout the globe admired UNIST’s research facilities, which included a world-class laboratory and cutting-edge research equipment.

UNIST’s ambitious actions have driven it to become one of the world’s premier scientific and technology colleges in a short time. Through a scientific partnership with experts from around the world, UNIST is improving its competitiveness. UNIST is the only public university in Korea where all classes are taught entirely in English. UNIST has opened its doors to talented students and world-renowned scientists from all corners of the globe who aspire to be the next Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein, or Bill Gates.

UNIST is regarded as one of the best English universities in South Korea. UNIST also regarded as a warm institution, boasts of being one of the best universities in South Korea, if not the best. UNIST has recently been recognized as one of the world’s leading graphene research and development institutes, with three IBS campus-based research facilities. The Institute for Basic Science (IBS) of South Korea will sponsor these research institutes for ten years at $255 million (as of December 2015).

UNIST intends to contribute to the growth of local industry and economy by transmitting the research experience, knowledge, and technology of its experts, with the help of the Korean government and the city of Ulsan. UNIST contains 13 science and engineering departments, as well as a business school and four specialty graduate schools. Composite technologies and next-generation energy are the focus of its current research. UNIST promotes interdisciplinary education, in which students and teachers study two different areas of study.

UNIST is always looking for overseas students. This drive for outside intelligence makes UNIST one of the top Universities in South Korea. 

7. Pohang University of Science and Technology (POSTECH)

POSCO, one of the world’s largest steel firms, established Pohang University of Science and Technology (POSTECH) in 1986. It was founded with the goal of training expert engineers who might create the foundation for future technological advancement. Park Tae-Joon the university’s founding chairman, modeled POSTECH after the California Institute of Technology. The institution has 11 undergraduate departments, four of which specialize in science and seven in engineering.

The institution also offers a graduate program, which includes 11 departments, five divisions, two interdisciplinary programs, two professional graduate schools, and one special graduate school, in addition to the 11 departments. The student-to-faculty ratio at the institution is 5:1, allowing staff to focus on individual students and give high-quality instruction. POSTECH welcomes students from all over the world to contribute to Korea’s technological advancement, also making POSTECH one of the best universities for international students.

POSTECH’s 400-acre campus is completely equipped with cutting-edge technology. It houses the Pohang Accelerator Laboratory as well as 73 research institutes. Korea’s sole synchrotron radiation facility is also located there. The institution can conduct new research thanks to these cutting-edge facilities. To support world-class research, the Korean government has created four Institute for Basic Science centers at the institution. POSTECH was placed first in the Times Higher Education’s “100 Under 50 Young Universities” rankings from 2012 to 2014.

Furthermore, POSTECH, being one of Korea’s top institutions for foreign students, accepts a large number of overseas students, particularly for master’s and doctoral degrees. It also works closely with international and local institutions to achieve the same aim of innovation. For example, as a knowledge-exchange forum for students, POSTECH and KAIST hold the yearly Science War. This knowledge exchange spearheaded by POSTECH makes POSTECH one of the top universities in South Korea.

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8. Kyung Hee University (KHU)

Kyung Hee University, one of the best universities in South Korea for international students, is part of a larger educational system that spans kindergarten through graduate school. The College of Medicine at KHU is a leader in traditional Korean medicine and other Asian medical techniques. KHU’s Department of Physical Education is Korea’s top center for physical education, sports medicine, coaching, and Taekwondo. The university’s highest-ranking curriculum is Hospitality and Leisure Management.

There are 23 undergraduate colleges, 1 general graduate school, 13 specialty graduate schools, and 49 auxiliary research entities that make up the university. The institution has partnered with 434 sister universities in 69 countries to offer a study abroad program. The famous College of Korean Medicine at Kyung Hee University is regarded as a top institution in traditional Korean medicine and other traditional Asian medical disciplines. Also, KHU’s partnership with other schools abroad sets her among the best English universities in South Korea. 

9. Sejong University

Sejong University is a prestigious and public university in South Korea. It was founded in 1940 as the Kyung Sung Humanities Institute and later became a women’s teaching institution before being named after Sejong the Great, the fourth monarch of the Chosun Dynasty and creator of the Korean alphabet Hangeul, in 1978. The institution, which is now co-educational, comprises nine colleges and is known for its hotel management, animation, and physical education programs.

The institution, on the other hand, has been fast to recognize shifting teaching and research trends. For example, Korea’s research foundation has designated its Graphene Research Institute as a priority research center, and a national defense agency has just been established. Around 5,000 artifacts are shown in the Sejong University Museum, which is divided into sections depending on historical period and field, with traditional dwellings reconstructed on the second level.

The multifunctional DaeYang Hall, which has a capacity of slightly over 2,000 people and has hosted many talks, concerts, and artistic events, is also one of Korea’s greatest cultural locations. The university’s library, which has more than 740,000 books and was the first World Trade Organization-sponsored library in Korea, is also a source of pride. It also has a range of specialty rooms for electronic information, journals, social sciences, humanities, natural science, and the arts, as well as places for over 3,000 students.



Korea is one of Asia’s and the world’s most popular study destinations. Korea has a strong presence in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, with seven universities in the top 200 in 2021. Korean language programs, study-abroad semesters, and entire degree programs are all offered to overseas students. The majority of these courses are taught in Korean, however, English is becoming more common. Korea boasts of some of the best English Universities in Asia.

International and domestic students pay the same tuition, which ranges from 4000 to 20,000 USD. The best universities in South Korea for international students are found in Korea. Scholarships and research money are frequently provided by universities and government entities. Korea’s living costs are lower than those of other affluent countries. It provides low-cost internet and mobile services, as well as reasonable lodging and a thriving culture. Confucianism may still be seen in modern Korea through its compassionate social behavior.


Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best major to study in South Korea?

Arts and Literature, Business Studies, Economics, Engineering & Natural Sciences, Management studies (including MBA), and Social Sciences are among the best courses to study in South Korea in 2022.

Is Seoul good for international students?

With its state-of-the-art campuses, jaw-dropping technology, refreshing nature, and breath-taking historical landmarks, Seoul (the capital of South Korea) are one of the greatest cities for a high-quality student experience, according to QS Best Student Cities Ranking Top 10.

Is Kaist better than SNU?

KAIST is unquestionably superior for all engineering programs, while SNU is likely to be on par with KAIST and is located in Seoul. Both schools are excellent.

Is studying in Korea worth it?

Studying in South Korea can provide you with a wide choice of job prospects. Employers all across the world are eager to hire graduates from Korean colleges. Furthermore, the South Korean economy is exceptionally solid, ensuring that you will have a financially secure future after graduation.

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