If you want to pursue medicine in another country, you can consider studying in South Korea. This Asian country is known for its quality practice and performance in medicine and education. The healthcare and medicine field in South Korea is advanced, and when it comes to higher education, they take pride in their innovative research and teaching.

But as an international student here, expect that you’ll have difficulties along the way. Education in Korea is only in their native language, and although some efforts to reinforce English are present, there is still no fully equipped medical program in English. So, to begin with, you have to speak fluent Korean. This language can be difficult for English speakers, but it is possible to learn it.

Korea is very affordable, thus attractive to international students, and if you dare to learn the language, this might just be a perfect opportunity for you. In this article, we listed the best medical schools in South Korea that you can consider!

Can International Students Enroll in Medical Schools in Korea?

Yes, according to SNU, international students can enroll in medical schools in Korea, but there are a few important things to consider before applying. Korean medical schools rarely have a separate testing phase for national and international students. This means that the admissions process for domestic and foreign nationals is the same, and all of it is in Korean language.

Getting into medical school in Korea is a very competitive business, where you have to compete with people whose first language is Korean, and not only that, they are used to the schooling and education system, while most foreigners are not.

Also, international students must pass the Korean language proficiency test as soon as they enroll because education is only available in the Korean language. On the other hand, almost every university will provide separate classes for learning the language and culture.

Check Out: How to Study in Korea for Free

What is the Medical Curriculum Like in Medical Schools in Korea?

Medical education in South Korea lasts six years, but the first two years of medical school are mandatory pre-clinical. For the next two years, students are allowed in hospitals, and in the last two years, there is clinical education. Students do rotations and work in the hospital, something like an internship.

After the initial 6-year program, you would get a bachelor’s degree and the opportunity to study and specialize further. Medical schools in Korea are one of the hardest to get into but also tough to finish, so you have to be prepared for some work. Most schools offer Ph.D. and master’s programs.

Check Also: Available Programs for International Students

Top Medical School in South Korea

1. Seoul National University – College of Medicine

The Seoul National University was established in 1946, and it is the leading medical school in Korea. Since its establishment, the university has produced thousands of professionals in various fields, including doctors and other healthcare professionals. Almost all faculty members have doctorates, and the education provided here is high-quality.

The medical school offers various programs for both local and international students. They continuously provide medical education and aim to be a research-oriented educational institution.

Today, the university has more than 27,000 students, and over 200 of them are international. SNU also has research centers and cooperation with many international partners. Lastly, the university has an acceptance rate of around 17%, indicating that they are very selective. So if you’re planning to study at SNU, make sure to be more academically competent.

2. Yonsei University – College of Medicine

Yonsei University was established in 1957, and it is considered the oldest university in Korea and one of the most popular ones. For decades, this educational institution has been highly acknowledged, as they take pride in various fields, including medicine.

Now, Yonsei University is a good choice for medical education because they’ve led the changes and development in the country’s medical field. They have a big rivalry with the Seoul National University, competing for Korea’s best medical school.

International students are welcome to apply to the university. As a medical student here, you’re expected to meet their language and academic requirements. As you study here, you’ll receive an outstanding quality education, and the location allows students to be a part of local life and learn Korean with ease, which will be useful when studying there.

3. Sungkyunkwan University – School of Medicine

Sungkyunkwan University was founded over 600 years ago in 1398, but they are not only one of the oldest universities. They are also one of the most modern and innovative ones on our list. This university strives to incorporate new technology with traditional philosophy.

The first language used in this university is Korean, but unlike other universities, Sungkyunkwan University offers many programs in English, and this can make a world of difference for international students. This is why they have over 23,000+ students, and over 4,000 are from foreign countries.

The medical school of Sungkyunkwan University focuses on the development of skills of the students. As they share knowledge with their students, they aim to put into practice the skills acquired from the school. Medical students in the university are widely exposed to various fields such as research institutions and hospitals.

4. Korea University – College of Medicine

The Korea University dates back to 1905 and in 1946, it got the name we know today. They are proudly standing by the innovative ideas that led them to be one of the best universities in Korea. They are also one of the hardest universities to get into, with an acceptance rate of 15%.

Korea University also has one of the biggest libraries, combined with fully equipped multimedia systems and production facilities. They are home to more than 37,000 students, and more than 1,800 are international students.

The College of Medicine of Korea University is known for its various achievements in the medical field, and today, they are internationally recognized for its expertise in medical research.

5. University of Ulsan – College of Medicine

The University of Ulsan was established in 1969 as Ulsan Institute of Technology, and for more than five decades, this university has built its reputation in various fields. The programs in medicine and science are highly acknowledged because of their expertise. They have high rankings in the country and Asia. The university has over 15,000 students enrolled, and over 5% are international students.

The College of Medicine was founded in 1988. Today, it has amazing cooperation with well-known industries like Hyundai and affiliate hospitals. It will provide medical students with first-hand experiences and ensure that they will acquire the knowledge in rotations. Graduates from this school are always positioned high, and the employment rate goes to their benefit.

6. Pusan National University – School of Medicine

The Pusan National University was established in 1946 and had only two faculties initially, but they have come a long way since then and now represent one of the top national schools in Korea. They are located in the metropolis of Busan, with over 3.5 million residents. This would be an amazing opportunity to get a premium education in one of the best universities while living in Korea’s lively and cultural heritage.

Like the university itself, the medical school has a long history of providing quality medical education. For the past years, they’ve made developments and progress.

7. Kyungpook National University – School of Medicine

Kyungpook National University was founded in 1946, and they have a unique education philosophy standing on principles of truth, pride, and service. They are developing the next generation of doctors who seek the truth, proudly doing their service for the people.

Since the education is mainly in the Korean language, this top medical school in Korea offers international students additional Korean language courses that will help with accommodation and learning. This is also a good way to get introduced to Korean culture and understand how things work in this country.

8. Catholic University of Korea – College of Medicine

With top-notch medical instruction, biological research, patient care, and volunteer work, the Catholic University of Korea has developed into one of the top medical schools in Korea. At the Catholic University of Korea, the College of Medicine has made significant contributions to the fields of medical physics, radiological physics, and biomedical engineering as well as the training of graduate students pursuing master’s or doctoral degrees. Also, this college is working to give students a thorough understanding of holistic medicine, which is embedded in the Catholic faith, and to give them the knowledge and specific skills needed by doctors in the modern world.

The College of Medicine at CUK is especially committed to developing qualified medical professionals who have a strong desire to assist others, as well as exploring the knowledge and practical skills required for the improvement of human society and national development. The students are provided with a variety of scholarships from the school and outside organizations so that they can fully focus on their academics. The CELL Program, which enables professors and students of various years and levels to provide and receive learning support as a community to lead a more happy and successful life on campus, is now being carried out by specialists together with Phase II research.

The Catholic University of Korea’s College of Medicine educates specialists who can significantly advance human society based on the Catholic faith. For competitive research performance, the college department has set up several foundations, including industry-academic cooperation studies.

9. Inje University – College of Medicine

Since its founding in 1946, Inje University College of Medicine has attempted to continually enhance the learning environment and curriculum in order to meet its educational objective of producing competent physicians. The college has consistently engaged students with high academics since it started.

Students will gain the knowledge and skills required to comprehend live occurrences from a scientific perspective and to better apply those understandings. Additionally, it offers a wide range of humanities and social science courses to help students acquire the soft skills that competent doctors should possess in addition to their medical knowledge.

10. Chonnam National University – Medical School

Since its founding in 1944, Chonnam National University Medical School (CNUMS) has attracted key employees, students, and community support. The school’s major objective is to prepare students to deliver primary healthcare by teaching them the fundamentals of medicine and giving them clinical experience. After graduation, CNUMS encourages continuous education and the pursuit of professional medical knowledge.

CNUMS trains the students to become qualified doctors who will oversee the world’s healthcare system as well as develop their problem-solving and medical research passions. The school creates and implements a variety of educational research programs through lectures in the classroom, including programs that focus on real-world talents, individual research lab courses, and an international transfer plan. Because of these, it has become one of the top medical schools in Korea.

Learn About: Becoming a Medical Doctor in Korea

11. Hanyang University – College of Medicine

By 2030, Hanyang University College of Medicine, which was founded in 1968, hopes to rank among the top medical institutions worldwide. The Medical College is committed to promoting active self-development and the practical use of expert medical knowledge in the pursuit of medical professionals. Hanyang Medical School promotes proactive self-improvement and creative methods for applying medical research to the treatment of specific patients. Additionally, it seeks to lead medical education through a variety of medical curricula, successful clinical practice, globalization, and energetic international exchanges.

The fundamental tenet of Hanyang University College of Medicine is just to put others before oneself. The College has always aimed to cultivate medical professionals who can advance both health care and medical research in the community. The school provides learners with an opportunity to partake in clinical observation so that they can continue to serve humanity in the spirit of compassion and make a positive contribution to the neighborhood, society, and humankind. A biomedical complex, for example, that mixes strategies and foundations, clinical and biomedical sciences, and engineering is being built by the school administration as part of its effort to transform the school into a research-oriented university.

12. Ajou University – School of Medicine

The Ajou University School of Medicine (AUSOM), which was founded in 1988, is to develop its students to become global leaders in a range of professional domains and to generate medical professionals with integrity and the capacity to bear responsibility for public health.

AUSOM offers medical students a welcoming learning atmosphere, which has the benefit of creating a strong connection between medical education and clinical internships. The Science Research Center and the Medical Research Center are just two of the top research departments of the medical school. It aims to educate and develop competent, professional physicians from medical students.

The Ajou University School of Medicine is a youthful and vibrant school that values the aspirations and goals of every individual. Through pursuing these goals, the community at Ajou University School of Medicine aspires to make a positive impact on its surroundings. The joining students have the chance to take part in medical activities in the lab, clinic, and even medical enterprises to carry out their research and communicate the results.

13. Hallym University – College of Medicine

The Hallym University Medicine School, which was founded in 1982, is associated with five major hospitals, all of which are available to students for electives. Therefore, all the graduates of medicine school have faithfully carried out their missions as not only educators but also medical practitioners in many prestigious medical schools and general hospitals at home as well as abroad.

The school ensures facilities to develop its students into global leaders in a range of professional domains and to generate medical professionals with integrity and the capacity to bear responsibility for public health. With these in their vision, it’s no surprise that Hallym University has one of the top medical schools in Korea.


Korea is putting a lot of effort into innovation and cooperation with international partners. They have excellent education and research facilities to offer, along with one of the best hospitals to learn in. The prices in Korea are more than fair, and many universities will provide international students with grants and scholarships that will cover most of the costs.

That being said, be prepared to work hard on a few things, primarily your knowledge of the Korean language. English is still not used enough in this country, so it’s up to you to learn their language and accommodate lectures. Also, it’s wise to do your research and prepare for different social norms and ways of life since Korea is one of the older and more traditional countries. If all of that doesn’t represent an obstacle for you, Korea might be a good destination to get your diploma.


We hope that this article on the best medical schools in South Korea was helpful. If you are interested in more information like this, check out the Available Programs for International Students and Study in Korea pages!

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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