With its illustrious educational institutions leaving their mark among the world’s top universities, Korea’s education system ranks high around the globe. Being a member of the United Nations and the founding member of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) it holds regional significance. This highlights many of its educational institutes as a preferred choice of international students, with KAIST among the top priorities.

The Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) is known for its advanced sciences and engineering programs and international accreditation of its business school. Its collaboration with industrial leaders and focus on project-based learning has made it one of the highly sought-after institutes for higher studies.

Its Alumni Association is working with elite corporations such as the USA space program and tech giants. When it comes to employability rankings, it is comparatively high compared to other renowned institutes in the country. All these qualities represent that KAIST has a strict admission procedure and a low acceptance rate.

To get more details regarding the KAIST acceptance rate for international students, follow our article below.

KAIST Acceptance Rate

  • Estimated Acceptance Rate: 20%

There are no official published numbers on the KAIST website that show the accurate acceptance rate of the university. However, various sources conducted research depending on the percentage of students enrolled and standardized testing procedures. This research indicates that the KIAST acceptance rate is below 20% which translates to the competitive nature of its courses and global recognition.

Students from around 70 countries are currently enrolled in the university. Being a national research university, it is highly selective, with its engineering department having more stringent rules than others. However, a graduate from KAIST engineering school has career prospects open with major businesses such as Samsung, Hyundai, etc making it a major attraction.

Preparing for KAIST Admissions

Although the acceptance rate of this university is low, students who have a brilliant educational background can opt to pursue one of its courses. Also, keeping in mind its admission requirements and tuition fee along with grants offered is key.

Admission Requirements of KAIST

An application form along with the required details needs to be provided for the admission committee to consider your application. Admission to KAIST’S bachelor or master’s programs requires a diploma or equivalent certificates of previous education, language proficiency tests (TOPIK for Korean-taught courses, IELTS, TOEFL for English-taught courses), a statement of purpose, a valid passport, and letter of recommendation to gain admission. All these documents should be accurate and provided as per the requirements to be considered.

Tuition Fees

Another factor prospective students need to keep in mind is the tuition fee requirement. The student must have the financial capacity to fund his education in the institute. The average bachelor’s tuition fee is around 6,866,000 KRW, while 22,159,000 KRW is the average master’s tuition fee. This is on the costlier side, so you should have some savings on the side as this can be a huge investment for the future.


Students who have financial constraints but with incredible potential are not left unattended at KAIST. Their fully-funded scholarship programs such as the KAIST International Student Scholarship, and KAIST Global Presidential Scholarship (KGPS) allow the qualifying student to enjoy the many educational benefits offered by the institute.

Must-Know Facts About KAIST

Established in 1971, KAIST holds a reputation as the first research-oriented science and engineering university in South Korea. The institution has a stellar reputation for cutting-edge research in many fields, including engineering, science, and technology.

Attracting world-renowned scientists and researchers creates an atmosphere open to collaboration and new ideas. It promotes entrepreneurship encouraging students in business development.

Famous Alumni

KAIST has over 50,000 alumni and a number of them have gone on to very successful and accomplished careers. Yi So-yeon, the first Korean to fly in space, has received numerous degrees from KAIST. Other notable alumni include Tony Kim (founder of ProtoPie), San Soo Oh (founder of the world’s first internet phone, DialPad), and Bum-Chun Lee (founder of QNIX). KAIST also helped several musicians and K-Pop stars get their education, including Kim So-Jung, Lee Jang-won (Peppertones), and Shin Jae-Pyung (Peppertones). Also, the actress Yoon So-hee studied engineering at KAIST.


KAIST is a global leader and it is one of the main reasons why international students opt for an advanced education here. Its competitive programs lowered its acceptance rate and strict admittance procedure.


We hope this article provides all the information regarding the acceptance rate of KAIST effectively. To learn about South Korea, visit the Study in Korea for more insightful articles. Do also check out the currently open courses at Available Programs for International Students!

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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