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Seoul National University


Seoul National University honors the ideals of liberal education and aims to teach students a lifelong love of learning that will form the basis for continuous personal growth. At the same time it is committed to preparing students to work and live in an increasingly competitive global environment. As South Korea's first national university, Seoul National University has a tradition of standing up for democracy and peace on the Korean peninsula. Graduates have long served as public servants in key positions of the Korean government. In teaching, research, and public service, Seoul National University continues to set the standard of excellence.

The mission of Seoul National University in the twenty-first century is to create a vibrant intellectual community where students and scholars join together in building the future. As Korea's leading research university, Seoul National University is committed to diversifying its student body and faculty, fostering global exchange, and promoting path-breaking research in all fields of knowledge.

The origin of Seoul National University (SNU) dates back to the late nineteenth century when Korean Emperor Gojong established modern higher education institutions which later became part of SNU. In 1895 Emperor Gojong issued Imperial Order 49 and established the National Law Academy as the first modern higher education institution in Korea.

The early years of Seoul National University were marked by trials and tribulations during a time of turmoil. After gaining independence from Japan in 1945, one hundred dignitaries of the Korean Education Council proposed opening a national university by making use of the Seoul Imperial College buildings. With the support of Korean officials working at the Education Department of the United States Army Military Government, a proposal to establish “Seoul National University” was formally announced on July 13, 1946, and was formalized in an Act to establish Seoul National University on August 27, 1946.

Prominent graduates from Seoul National University include celebrities, politicians, business people, athletes and more. Some of the examples are: Ko San, a CEO and founder of TIDE Institute and ATEAM Ventures; Ahn Cheol-soo, also known as Charles Ahn, a South Korean businessman, politician, and former professor who founded AhnLab, Inc., an antivirus software company, in 1995; Samuel Kanyon Doe, the former leader of Liberia who served as chairman of the People's Redemption Council and de facto head of state from 1980 until his election as the 21st President of Liberia in 1985.

QS World University Rankings (2014/15) considered it 31st in the world and 4th in Asia, it was 4th in the independent regional QS Asian University Rankings (2013). The university was 4th in Asia and 50th in the world by the 2014-15 Times Higher Education World University Rankings when its World Reputation Rankings considered it to be 26th globally.

  • Year established
  • Registered students

Academic specialism

Today, the University has 16 colleges, 9 professional graduate schools, 1 graduate school, and 135 research institutes and other supporting facilities, all of which are distributed over two campuses. Sixteen colleges of the University offer 83 undergraduate degree programs. For master and doctoral programs there is one graduate school with 99 programs from five fields of studies. The interdisciplinary programs are the ones invented and operated by more than two departments. In addition to that, there are nine professional graduate schools.

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Seoul National University
Seoul National University 1 Gwanak-ro, Gwanak-gu, Seoul 151-742
Korea (South)
Korea (South)
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Seoul city has a very organized public transportation system and you may come and visit Seoul National University easily by using the bus and subway. Gwanak Campus, the main campus of the university, is located at the foot of the magnificent Gwanak Mountains in a 4.8 km² area. The Schools of Medicine, Nursing and Dentistry and the University Hospital are all located on the Yeongeon Campus in downtown Seoul.