South Korea, otherwise known as the Land of the Morning Calm, is an East Asian country filled with highly modernized cities as well as areas with lovely mountains and flowing valleys. Its capital is Seoul. As of 2021, around 51,672,000 people are residing in the country. The country’s official languages include Korean and Korean Sign Language, while many speak English. As for religion, it varies, but the majority of the residents do not have a religious affiliation. However, there are also Buddhists and Christians in the country.

In Asia, South Korea is one of the top destinations for tourists looking to do some sightseeing, taste flavorful food, and experience new things. Some of the country’s top tourist destinations include Lotte World, Gyeongbokgung Palace, Jeju Island, Itaewon, and Gwangjang Market. There are loads to try when it comes to the local dishes, and a few of these are bulgogi, japchae, bibimbap, tteokbokki, and samgyeopsal.

Furthermore, South Korea is also famous for its entertainment industry. The Korean Wave has swept people from all over the world. From K-dramas to K-pop to Korean movies, these are all well-received by plenty of audiences at any age.

In the country, the educational levels follow a 6-3-3-4 system which means that there are six years of elementary school, three years of middle school, three years of high school, and four years of tertiary school. Additionally, it is good to note that South Korea’s education system is deemed one of the best worldwide.

The field of humanities is truly a broad one. From art to history to society and even philosophy, there is a wide range of learning areas that students in humanities can explore. With that, there are countless job opportunities for graduates of any humanities-related study program. Below, we discuss some of the best universities for humanities in South Korea.

Top Universities for Humanities in South Korea

1. Seoul National University

Seoul National University (SNU) is a consistent top-ranking institute of higher education. In 2022, it placed 18th and 36th at the QS Asia University Rankings and QS World University Rankings, respectively. Officially founded as the country’s premier national university in 1946, SNU has now come a long way. At present, the university has four campuses: Gwanak Campus, Yeongeon Campus, Pyeongchang Campus, and Siheung Campus.

Incoming undergraduates can choose from the university’s 15 colleges which offer numerous degree programs across several fields. Moreover, the institution also has a graduate school complete with 106 programs to choose from. Lastly, the center of learning also has a variety of professional graduate schools.

At SNU, the College of Humanities was formerly a part of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Nowadays, it is independent as a college with 16 departments and over 190 professors who are all working towards a common goal of ensuring that all students attain high-quality education in the said field.

2. Sungkyunkwan University

A private university with historical roots dating back to 1398, Sungkyunkwan University (SKKU) is an esteemed private higher education institution. It has two campuses: one in Seoul for Humanities and Social Sciences and one in Gyeonggi-do for Natural Sciences.

Since SKKU is a distinguished university, many students choose to pursue their tertiary education at the said learning center. With that, it is only natural that it has an extensive list of notable alumni, including politician and former broadcaster Park Byeong-seug, poet and diplomat Ko Chang-soo, professional golfer Mi-Hyun Kim, businessman and former actor Bae Yong-joon, and famous actor Song Joong-ki.

At SKKU’s Humanities and Social Sciences campus, several colleges offer students a wide range of programs across undergraduate and postgraduate levels. One such example is the College of Liberal Arts, formerly referred to as the College of Humanities, which offers study options like Korean Language and Literature, History, and Philosophy. It is no surprise that Sungkyunkwan University is among the best humanities universities in South Korea.

3. Pusan National University

Pusan National University (PNU) is a national university situated in Busan. It was established in 1946 and began with only two faculties, the Faculty of Humanities and the Faculty of Fisheries. Currently, the multi-campus institution has 15 colleges and three types of graduate schools: a general one, a professional one, and a special one.

At PNU, the College of Humanities has study programs for students across all tertiary levels. For instance, courses like Archaeology and Language and Information are available for prospective Master’s students at this top-notch humanities school.

4. Chung-Ang University

Chung-Ang University (CAU) is a private university that opened its doors to students in 1918. Today, it has become a reputable institution with around 32,600 students. CAU has two campuses: the Seoul campus and the Anseong campus.

Moving on to the university’s colleges, there are 14: Humanities, Education, Biotechnology, ICT Engineering, Business and Economics, Pharmacy, Art, Social Sciences, Natural Sciences, Engineering, Software, Medicine, Nursing, and Sport Sciences.

CAU is recognized in South Korea as a leading university for the fields of pharmacy as well as culture and arts. Speaking of arts, the institute is also dubbed as the center of the Korean culture wave. Many Korean artists graduated from CAU, like Girls’ Generation’s Kwon Yuri and Sooyoung, actors Kang Ha-neul and Lee Jae-wook, and actress Park Shin-hye.

As for the College of Humanities, it has four departments and two schools, all of which offer a variety of study programs and courses for those who want to pursue a Humanities-focused career path.

5. Ajou University

Located in the city of Suwon, Ajou University is a private research university founded in 1973. It started with only four departments. Presently, it is now a highly regarded center of learning in South Korea.

Ajou University is recognized as one of the best humanities universities in South Korea. The university’s College for this specific learning area is comprised of five departments: Department of Korean Language and Literature, Department of English Language and Literature, Department of French Language and Literature, Department of History, and Department of Culture and Contents.


We hope this article on the best humanities schools in South Korea was informative & insightful. Make sure to also check out the Available Programs for International Students to know more!

About the Author: Hyun Lee

Hyun is the founder at Global Scholarships. He has received a full-tuition scholarship at Birmingham-Southern College as well as $1,000 Burger King Scholarship for his undergraduate degree and has been offered a fully funded scholarship consisting of tuition, living stipend, and health insurance for computer science Ph.D. program at North Carolina State University. Read more about his scholarship journey here.

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