Founded in 1949 as a public university, Seoul National University (SNU) is considered to be a very prestigious university. Its motto, “A Tradition of Excellence; Honoring Public Service; Pioneering Knowledge” shows SNU’s dedication to improving the world through research. The university is organized into 15 colleges, 1 graduate school, and 11 professional graduate schools.
Although SNU has made large efforts to internationalize, its student body is still largely Korean. However, there are numerous great programs for international students, mostly at the graduate level. Especially its MBA and GSIS are of high quality. As an added bonus, because SNU is a public university, the tuition fee is quite low!
Seoul National University’s academic year begins in spring. International students are offered admission in both the fall and the spring semesters. The admissions process includes an online application, performance test, announcement, an admissions decision, registration, and then a Korean proficiency test.
There are two tracks in the university’s International Admissions: Track I and Track II. International Admissions I require that the applicant’s parents are not Korean citizens and that the applicant is a high school graduate or the equivalent to that. International Admissions II is for students who hold a Korean or foreign citizenship and undertook their education (both primary and secondary) outside of Korea.
Undergraduate students can take general electives and courses for their majors. To complete the undergraduate program, a student must have at least 130 credits which include 36+ general course credit and 39+ major credits.
Seoul National University has a Korean Language & Culture Program that was developed in 1969. The Language Institute provides intensive Korean language training to international students admitted to Korean Universities and others interested in learning more about Korean language and culture.
There is an application fee of 70,000 KRW for undergraduates and 90,000 KRW for the graduate program.
Tuition is normally paid twice a year before the semester begins. The average tuition fee is 6,000 USD per semester, however, it varies according to the student’s major and the number of credits taken.
For undergraduate students, there are a couple of scholarships available.
The Korean Government Scholarship Program (KGSP) is provided to international students who intend to undertake an undergraduate, graduate or doctorate program at SNU. About 20-40 applicants are chosen every year. The coverage of this scholarship includes full tuition fee, 80,000 KRW for living expenses, one economy round trip, a one-year Korean language training program, and other expenses.
The candidates for Overseas Koreans Scholarship are overseas Korean students who wish to receive an undergraduate degree from SNU. The coverage of this scholarship includes full tuition exemption for a maximum of 8 semesters, airfare for one economy round trip, fee exemption at the language education institute for 6 months, and a medical insurance subscription.
Seoul National University has a total of 27,784 students, 342 international exchange students, and 5,533 professors. In addition, it has four campuses: Gwanak campus, Yeongeon campus, Pyeongchang campus, and Siheung campus.
The university’s main campus in Gwanak-gu has an area of 4,109㎡ and 223 buildings. The latest dormitory is Gwanak-sa. Undergraduate dorms are double rooms with large public restrooms and laundry rooms on each floor. Students interested in applying for a room in a student dormitory must meet a minimum GPA requirement of 2.0 or higher to be eligible (freshmen are exempt from this requirement).
International students who are a part of the SNU community have access to a comprehensive guidebook to the university and Korea.
Seoul National University’s notable alumni include actress Kim Tae-hee, politician Ban Ki-moon, and actress Lee Ha-nui.
Seoul National University was placed 9th in The Asia University Rankings 2019 and 64th in Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings in 2019.
QS has ranked SNU 11th in Asia and 37th in the world as of 2019.