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Types of Degrees in South Korea

South Korean higher education follows a 3-tier system- Undergraduate degree followed by Masters and PhD degree qualifications. The length of study at each level varies.  

Undergraduate Studies

The Undergraduate Studies in South Korea comprises of Associate degree and bachelor’s degree.

Associate Degree 

Junior colleges and industrial universities offer 2-3-year programs in a range of vocationally oriented studies. Most of the programmes last for 2 years and require at least 80 credits while 3-year programmes require the completion of at least 120 credits. The 3-year programmes are provided in 9 disciplines, including nursing, fisheries and mechanics. The programmes provide 40 percent general subject content and 60 percent technical content, with major focus on the internships. Pupils are evaluated by means of examinations conducted during the term and also at the end of the each semester. Junior colleges emphasize on training mid-level technicians.
  • Duration: 2-3 years (Depending upon the course)

Bachelor Degree 

The Korean bachelor degree program (Haksa) is provided by the universities and colleges in South Korea. It generally lasts for 4 years, but professional degree can lasts for 5-6 years as well, such as architecture program lasts for 5 years, and dentistry, medicine and oriental medicine lasts for 6 years.
The normal 4-year bachelor degree requires at least 140 credits and the first 2 years focuses on the general/basic education while the next 2 years focuses on specialised education.  
  • Duration: 4 years
Undergraduate Majors: About 30 different undergraduate majors are provided in Korea such as business administration, literature,  fine arts, law, music, pedagogy science, theology, economics, agriculture, political science, administration, engineering, library science, medicine, nursing, oriental medicine, dentistry, pharmacy,  and veterinary medicine.

Master's Degree

The Master degree (Suksa) is provided at universities and 4-year colleges.The Master degree program requires the completion of coursework and a thesis, and also requires at least 24 or more credits and a GPA (grade point average) of 3.0 or above. The thesis is evaluated by 3 or more examiners. For admittance to a Master degree program, students must have completed their bachelor degree course. 
  • Duration: 2 years (Full-time Study)

Doctoral Degree

Doctoral degree programs in South Korea are overseen and managed by the Ministry of Education. The doctoral program requires at least 36 credits if done after the completion of a Master degree and 60 credits if done after a bachelor degree. It also requires passing of a written exam and a completion of a thesis. The thesis is evaluated by 5 examiners. Students must also demonstrate proficiency in 2 foreign languages and maintain a GPA (grade point average) of a B or better. Admittance is based on the completion of a master’s degree in a relevant field. 
  • Duration: 2-3 years
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