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The basics
South Korea: Subject Guides - Must read

Top fields to study in South Korea

Find out about the top fields to study in South Korea for international students, including studying engineering, natural sciences and the humanities.

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South Korea’s vibrant culture, dynamic cities and quality education system make the country a great destination for international students. As the reputation of South Korea continues to grow globally, more opportunities are on offer for international students. 

This relates both to what degrees and qualifications are on offer, and to the career options available to students once they graduate. We’ve taken a look at three of the most popular fields of study in the country and the possible career paths they could open up.  


Study engineering in South Korea


A perennial favourite for international students, studying engineering abroad often brings with it both a challenging and engaging degree allied to good graduate prospects. South Korea has a global reputation for technological and engineering innovation making it quite sought after a destination to study in related fields. Further, degrees are globally recognised, giving you career mobility. Some of the areas you could specialise in include:



If you choose to pursue a degree in engineering in South Korea you may end up studying at KAIST and Seoul National University. KAIST is ranked 39th in the world by the QS World University Rankings 2021 and is one of the premier institutions in the country. Seoul National University is ranked just above KAIST by the QS World University Rankings 2021, coming in 37th place globally. Earning an engineering degree from either one of these institutions will place you in a good position with any employer


Think you have what it takes to become an engineer? Read our guide to the essential traits you need to have.


Study natural science in South Korea


A degree in natural science will equip you with some key skills that you can take with you into the workplace. You’ll develop excellent research skills, creativity and collaborative abilities while studying. These are highly transferable skills when looking at potential career paths. If you study a natural science degree you may choose to specialise in a particular field, including:



Having an interest in the natural world is generally a prerequisite if you’re going to study in the area as is good mathematical ability. Some of the institutions where you could choose to study in South Korea include KAIST and Pohang University of Science and Technology, which is rated as a top 100 global university by the QS World University Rankings 2023


Study humanities in South Korea 

You mustn’t underestimate the value of a humanities degree. A qualification in the field gives you a chance to explore politics, culture and society while enhancing core competencies like critical thinking and communication. Humanities is also a popular choice for international students. The careers for humanities graduates are quite varied and may surprise you. Some of the more common subjects you may study if you choose humanities include:



Studying a humanities degree in South Korea will also give you insight into the dense traditional and political history of this country. For most students that want to enter the job market in South Korea or abroad, a masters degree in the humanities is highly recommended. In terms of some of the top institutions for humanities in South Korea you could look towards Yonsei University, which is ranked at 85th in the QS World University Rankings 2021, and Sungkyunkwan University which is another top 100 university in the world according to the QS World University Rankings 2023


You are probably wondering at this point how exactly you apply to a study at a university in South Korea and perhaps also what the cost of living in the country is. Remember that when you’re planning to study abroad, keeping on top of your application is key, which is why we have a comprehensive application guide for you. Most importantly, never feel that you can’t contact a university directly or speak to an education counsellor to ask questions and find out what you need to know. 

Studying in South Korea could provide you with the ideal launchpad for your career and provide you with a great student lifestyle while you study. Perhaps you’re ready to start researching further and in this case, may find our course matcher tool useful.