Korea's higher education institutions include universities, industrial universities, junior colleges, universities of education, open universities, technological universities, and other miscellaneous institutions. Korean universities are divided according to the body that established them, ie. into national universities established and run by the Korean government, public universities established and run by local governments, and private universities established and run by incorporated educational institutions. Regarding the selection of students at universities, the Korean government only stipulates the minimum basic requirements in order to extend the scope of university autonomy. By allowing the admission department of each university to autonomously set all screening documents and standards such as the national academic aptitude test, essay examinations, qualifications, recommendation letters, etc., the authority to select students of universities has been expanded. As of April 1, 2014, there are 447 universities in Korea. These include 189 universities, 140 junior colleges, 43 graduate schools, 2 industrial universities, 10 universities of education, 20 cyber universities, 26 technology colleges, and 17 others.
The purposes of university education are to research profound academic theory and wide ranging and detailed application methodology necessary for the development of the nation and human society, and to cultivate leadership. The length of the courses is 4 to 6 years. Medicine, oriental medicine and dentistry each require 6 years of study. There are degree courses in thirty different majors including literature, law, theology, political science, economics, business administration, public administration, pedagogy, library science, science, engineering, dentistry, oriental medicine, pharmacy, nursing, agriculture, veterinary medicine, fishery science, fine arts, music, etc. The total number of credits required for graduation is generally140 credits. Undergraduate degrees are conferred on those who have completed the course as set out in the school regulations.
Junior colleges are organized in terms of various majors such as Humanities and Social Sciences, Natural Sciences, Engineering, Performing Arts and Physical Education, Health, etc., and have a minimum course length of two or three years. 2-year junior college requires 80 credits for graduation and 3-year junior college requires 120 credits. A diploma from a junior college is conferred on those who have completed the courses as set out in the school regulations. Those who have graduated from junior colleges may enroll in universities, industrial universities or open universities.
Graduate schools are designed to pursue the objectives of higher education more profoundly, while cultivating both the ability to guide academic research and creative talent. These are divided into general graduate schools centered on academic research and specialized graduate schools that are practice-orientated.
The required course of study for a Master's degree is two years or more. Usually, students are required to obtain 24 credits. After gaining the prescribed credits and passing the set examination, candidates for a Master's degree must submit a Master's thesis which must pass the examination of at least three examiners.
The required course of study for a Ph. D is three years or more. Usually, students are required to obtain 36 credits. After gaining the prescribed credits and passing the comprehensive examination, candidates for a Ph. D must submit a Ph. D thesis which must pass the examination of at least five examiners.
These courses are for continuing research after completion of a Ph. D course. Presently, many Korean universities are inviting post-doc researchers to work on research projects for the BK21 program.
|Junior College||Foreigners who have completed courses of primary and secondary education abroad (12 years total)||2 - 3 years|
|Undergraduate||Foreigners who have completed courses of primary and secondary education abroad (12 years total)||4 - 6 years|
|Master's Course||Persons who have completed courses of primary and secondary education abroad and have a Bachelor's Degree||2 years or more|
|Ph. D Course||Persons who have completed courses of primary and secondary education abroad and have a Bachelor's Degree||2 years or more|
|Language Study||Person who has at least graduated from high school||1 - 2 years|
|Exchange Student||Person enrolled at a partner university||1 semester - 1 year|
|Short-term Self-funded Study||Study at a Korean university on an exchange program with the home university or as a student on leave or graduate from the home university||1 semester - 1 year|
|Vacation Study for Foreigners||Foreign students participating in programs related to Korean language or Korean studies held during the summer or winter vacations||2 - 3 months|
※Minor differences exist between universities
※Please refer to the particular university as required documents may differ
After a student has received acceptance from a regular educational program in Korea as a regular student or a language student, student must obtain a student visa by submitting the documents required for entry into Korea. As periods of stay can vary depending on the programs, one should check related regulations concerning each one.
In order to shorten the issuing period and simplify visa issuance procedures, the director of an immigration office can issue a certificate for recognition of visa issuance after examining the applicant's documents upon the request of a sponsor in Korea. Then, the Korean missions overseas will issue a visa based on the certificate. The certificate is required except for special cases. The applicant or sponsor in Korea can apply for the certificate at the nearest immigration office (or its branch) with required documents. When the certificate is issued and sent to the applicant, then the applicant can obtain a visa by submitting the certificate to the nearest Korean missions overseas. The certificate is effective for three months and valid for a single visa application.
Persons who intend to receive education in a standard course (Bachelors, Masters, Ph. D) or research specialist fields in junior colleges, universities, graduate schools established according to the Framework Act on Education, or academic research institutions established under the provisions of a special law of a status at least as high as a junior college.
※ In case of obtaining recognition of visa issuance or visa issuance approval number, you only need to submit a valid passport, visa application form, and the visa issuance approval (or number)
For persons who study Korean at a university-run language school, persons who study in a qualified educational institute or an educational institute other than an academic research institute, persons who receive technical training at national or public research institutes, training institutes, bodies, etc., persons receiving payment from research institutes or who have industrial training qualifications
※ Provided that, where you have recognition of visa issuance or visa issuance approval number, you only need to submit a valid passport, visa application form, and the visa issuance approval (or number)
|Junior Colleges||Busan Arts College||71- 74 Motgolbeonyeong-ro, Nam-gu, Busan||81-51-628-3990
|Universities||Kyungsung University||309 Suyeong-ro (Daeyeon-dong), Nam-gu, Busan||81-51-663-4114
|Tongmyong University||428 Sinseon-ro, Nam-gu, Busan||81-51-629-1000
|Pukyong National University||45 Yongso-ro, Nam-gu, Busan||81-51-629-4141