Admission Requirements for Master and Doctorate in South Korea

Master Studies

A Masters degree in South Korea lasts for 2 years. The course content varies depending upon the institution and across different areas of study. Students are required to complete coursework of at least 24 credits and later appear for a final examination.  

PhD Studies

 A PhD at a South Korean university lasts for 2-3 years. Studying for a PhD program in South Korea comprises of 3 phases. Depending on the applicant’s Masters level qualification, they are called for to finish research training and taught courses to the value of 36 credits.  After the completion of the coursework, you’re required to pass a written exam. And then the last phase includes a completion of a thesis under the direction of a supervisor/s and submission of the same. The thesis is assessed by at least 5 examiners.

Admission Requirements

For Master Program

Applicant must have finished 16 years of education. The requisites of each institution may vary, but you should possess a good undergraduate degree or expect to obtain one prior to the commencement of your Masters studies. 

For PhD Program

The admittance requirement for a PhD program in South Korea varies depending upon the institutions. The applicants should generally possess a Master’s degree or its equivalent in a relevant field of study.

Application Procedure

Applications may be made directly to your chosen institution. Each Institution application procedure varies. Some Institutions have online applying system while other institutions require downloading the form from their website, filling it and posting it along with documentation.

If applying directly to the institution, abide by these steps-

Step 1: Fill out an application form-online or offline. Enter all the required details.

Step 2: Submit the form along with the application fee and relevant documents. If applying via online mode, upload all the documents as attachment files. Print the online application form after submitting it.

Step 3: Once accepted by the Institution of your choice, you’ll receive a ‘Letter of Acceptance’.

Step 4: Apply for Visa. Contact the South Korean Embassy at your place of residence. (For International Students) Plan your arrival!


Following are the documents needed for admissions to a Master and PhD programs in South Korea (May vary between institutions)-

Application form: It should be completely filled. 

Personal Statement: It should highlight your personal experience and educational background, grades, skills, accomplishments and your personal interest. Write down the reasons why you are interested in this particular course of study and institution, and your future plans within the field. Put down anything that demonstrates responsibility and creativity.  It should be structured, with an introduction, main body and conclusion.

Letter of Recommendation: The Letter of recommendation should come from a faculty member at the institution where you have completed your undergraduate degree. It should highlight your academic ability to succeed at the Master or PhD level based on prior achievements and experience. It should include details about your experience, skills and accomplishments, personal qualities like leadership skills and so on. 

Official Records: Should include Bachelor degree certificate (for Master’s program) and Master degree certificate (for PhD studies).

Passport: A photocopy of your passport. 

Language Proficiency Certificates: Proof of proficiency in English as well as Korean language (as demanded by the program chosen)

Proof of Financial Resources:  The applicant is required to prove that he/she possess sufficient financial resources to bear the tuition and living expenses in South Korea.  You may also need to provide evidence that you or a financial sponsor have sufficient financial means to support your studies (the Korean Government specifies proof of a bank balance of 10,000 US Dollars). If you will be aided by a sponsor, you are asked to provide proof of their employment. 

Portfolio: Applicants interested in pursuing arts or physical education studies, require a portfolio entry or any other evidence to demonstrate their skills.

Language Proficiency

Applicants are required to prove their Korean as well as English language proficiency in order to gain admittance to Universities and Colleges in South Korea.

Korean Language Proficiency

If the language of instruction in your target Institution is Korean, then demonstrate your Korean language proficiency through TOPIK test. 

Test of Proficiency in Korea, or TOPIK: TOPIK assess the Korean language skills and is used for admission to Educational Institutions and for job seeking purposes in South Korea. 

English Language Proficiency

If the medium of instruction is English, then the TOEFL iBT and IELTS scores are accepted. TOEFL iBT accepted score is 79 to 80 or IELTS accepted score is 6.0 or more

Test of English as a Foreign Language: TOEFL tests English language proficiency in academic settings.

International English Language Testing System: IELTS tests the proficiency in English language of non-native speakers.

TEPS: The Test of English Proficiency  is an English proficiency test established by Seoul National University's Language Education Institute to assess South Korean applicants English language knowledge and skills.

Careers Opportunities

Master Degree Program

A Masters degree from a South Korean institution will allow you to go on to PhD level study at a South Korean university or elsewhere and will prepare you well for work in the technological fields for which the country is internationally known. 

PhD Studies

A PhD from a South Korean institution will equip you especially well for those technical and engineering fields in which South Korean expertise and innovation is world-famous. 
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