Keystone logo

Study in South Korea: Education in South Korea

Once as rigidly designed as Chinese higher education, South Korea’s system has softened over the last twenty years. It’s still as robust and as detailed as it ever was, but it now also places importance on independent learning.

Feb 6, 2024

Once as rigidly designed as Chinese higher education, South Korea’s system has softened over the last twenty years. It’s still as robust and as detailed as it ever was, but it now also places importance on independent learning.

Find a program

Want to study in South Korea? Find & compare programs

South Korea, like the US, uses a credit system. You earn your overall qualification by taking courses with a certain number of credits. You can take three-year associate degrees in vocational subjects like mechanics and nursing. However, these types of programs are normally only taught in Korean. 

south korea temple

Full Bachelor’s degrees take a minimum of four years to complete. Master’s degrees take two years and a PhD, like a Bachelor's, takes a minimum of four years to complete. PhDs candidates don’t normally teach during their studies, but it’s becoming more common to do so now. The three levels of higher education are known as Haksa, Suksa and Paksa respectively. 

South Korean schools are continuing to make a name for themselves, not just in Eastern Asia, but on the world stage. The most prestigious schools are the Seoul National University, the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) and Sungkyunkwan University.  As you’ll have a rigorous program of study under your belt, a South Korean degree is one that is increasingly worth having.

Study in South Korea

Want an overview of this remarkable country? This section looks at South Korean culture, the landscape, the unique language and its main sectors. This section also summarises why a South Korean degree can give you a competitive edge.

Student Visas

Do you need a visa to enter South Korea to study? Learn more about the student visa process, and what you need to enter the country, depending on your citizenship. Don't worry! South Korea's unusual approach to visas actually makes things surprisingly simple.

Housing & Living Costs

No matter where you study abroad, it’s important to create a budget in advance so that you’re prepared. Therefore, we’ve detailed average living and housing costs so that you can get a better idea of what you would be paying as a student in South Korea.

Tuition Fees & Scholarships

Tuition fees for degree programs in South Korea can vary. Both international and domestic students are expected to pay tuition fees in South Korea, but these fees can vary a lot. We've put together information on how this works, and on the fantastic Global Korea Scholarship, in this section.

Language & Culture

South Korea is a country with a rich culture. Find out more about what the country offers in terms of language, culture, and more! We also talk about how to stay safe in South Korea in this section.

Application Process

Learn more about the standard application process in South Korea. There's no national application portal, so this section covers what you'll generally need to do when applying to individual schools in South Korea.

Programs

Ready to look at education in Asia? Use our search engine to find and compare top programs in Asia today!

Keystone Team

Author

The Keystone Team is comprised of experienced educators and advisors dedicated to providing valuable resources and advice to students all over the world.