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2019 South Korean University Rankings - Top Choices for Postgraduate Study

South Koreans are very proud of their higher education system, and rightly so. A winning combination of traditional values and modern innovation has pushed the country’s universities to the forefront of international research in subjects such as the Arts and Humanities, Engineering and Digital Technologies.

This hasn’t gone unnoticed by prospective graduates: South Korea has welcomed record numbers of foreign students in recent years and over 70,000 international students are now enrolled at its universities.

Postgraduate-level study in South Korea largely takes place in the country’s 40 graduate schools. Some of the ranked universities, such as Seoul National University, have their own graduate schools which offer tuition to international students.

This page summarises the performance of the top South Korean universities in the three most widely recognised international league tables.

Top Ranked South Korean Universities

The following table gives the 10 best universities in South Korea in 2019, according to global rankings.

This information is based on the latest rankings tables, researched and published by Times Higher Education, QS and the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU).

Each ranking system uses its own methodology, with different factors having more or less influence on a university's result.

For more information on using international rankings as a postgraduate, see our guide.


Top 10 South Korean Universities in 2019
University THE 2019 QS 2019 ARWU 2018
Seoul National University 63 36 101-150
Sungkyunkwan University =82 =100 151-200
Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) 102 40 201-300
Pohang University of Science and Technology 142 =83 401-500
Korea University 198 86 201-300
Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology 201-250 - 301-400
Yonsei University 201-300 107 301-400
Hanyang University 351-400 =151 201-300
Kyung Hee University 351-400 =264 301-400
Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology 401-500 =315 -
Information in this table is based on the latest Times Higher Education World University Rankings, QS World University Rankings and Academic Ranking of World Universities. Visit their websites for more information.

How do rankings work for Masters study?

International rankings use all sorts of metrics to assess universities and they aren't all equally relevant to postgraduate study. That's why we've put together a guide to university rankings for Masters students.

So, how good are South Korean universities for Masters study?

South Korea ranks reasonably well in the international league tables, with its top two universities placed in the top 50 on the QS World University Rankings 2019. Its highest-ranking institution, Seoul National University, also claims ninth place in the Times Higher Education Asia University Rankings 2018.

As South Korea’s economy continues to grow, so too does its reputation as a world-leader in university education. Postgraduate degrees from South Korean universities are highly regarded across the globe, especially those in specialised or highly-technical subjects.

South Korea also offer ‘Gold Cards’ to its international students who have graduated from postgraduate degrees specialising in high-end technologies. The Gold Cards are designed to assist foreign students with securing employment in South Korea – another reason to consider studying abroad there!

Find your perfect Masters now

Ready to start looking for your Masters? Begin your search with us or take a look at our guide to life in South Korea.

Last updated - 02/10/2018

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