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Yonsei University

South Korea South Korea


THE World Ranking: 78



Located in the city of Seoul, Yonsei University is one of the oldest institutions in South Korea. It’s also one of the ‘SKY’ universities, a nickname for the country’s three best institutions. Founded in 1885, this amazing university is proud to have seen lots of important eras. This South Korean cultural hotspot is a great place to learn and grow, perfect for international students who want to enjoy university life in a special city.


For 135 years, barriers have been broken down, and Yonsei has aimed for equality of experience. High teaching standards from all the lecturers and courses have always been the goal. Support services, from academic and professional coaching to emotional counselling, are easy to access. Care is taken to make sure that students from all backgrounds feel at home. Multiple scholarship options are offered, and international and domestic students are automatically considered for them.


The long list of famous alumni is exciting, and these successful past students don’t come from one subject area. They might be in the arts, the sciences, or politics. This shouldn’t be a surprise because talented international and Korean scholars teach every programme at Yonsei University.


Yonsei University is also a Christian university. Every student is educated in a way that matches up with this faith's values — generosity, honesty, and kindness. Students who study at this institution become free and creative thinkers, natural leaders and talented researchers.


On the topic of research, this is a crucial focus of energy at Yonsei. It’s one of the most research-intensive universities in Korea. It’s a great place to connect with curiosity, encourage inner creativity and aim for a future career through internships and other relevant work placements.


Near central Seoul, a city that connects past, present and future, people who enrol at Yonsei will be studying in a setting that includes modern architecture and ancient temples and palaces. Seoul is famous for its fashion, busy streets and nightlife, so the fun for students doesn’t have to stop when class is over.


Discover more about studying at Yonsei:


Teaching quality

Entry requirements

Scholarships & funding

University structure


Student support

Graduate outcomes


Teaching Quality

Tutors at Yonsei University deliver high-quality teaching across all the available programmes of education. More than 4,000 faculty members and 36,000 degree-seeking students meet in a space where teaching quality is the most important priority. With one academic staff member to every nine students, everyone gets the right level of attention. Everyone is important.


Because every student matters at Yonsei, each individual is given the help and guidance that they need to perform at their best in an engaging, interesting university setting. They are also prepared very well for the world beyond education.


The learning doesn’t stop with the certification that a person has reached a new level of formal education. Instead, Yonsei University wants to give every student that graduates from the institution all the tools and knowledge required to become a professional business leader, creating change in their industry and driving the world forward.


Focused learning opportunities are available from start to end of a degree, and so are elite resources and top academic minds. International students are offered unique help to settle in and learn effectively, and all students are academically, socially and emotionally supported.


Build a bright future at one of the top private universities in Seoul, ranked 73rd in the QS World University Rankings for 2023 and ranked the 16th best university in the continent of Asia. Quality teaching is the standard, and every staff member is committed to helping each Yonsei student pursue their dreams.


Entry Requirements

Because Yonsei University is one of Asia’s top institutions and one of South Korea’s ‘SKY’ universities, the entry requirements are high. There is strong competition to go to this institution, and the competition comes from domestic students and international students. The acceptance rate for international students is estimated to be around 25 per cent.


For those who dream of being in that 25 per cent, it’s important to understand the university entry requirements and the student admission process. Applications are considered individually, and the university doesn’t just look at academic achievements and grades. It also looks at extracurricular activities and overall attitude.


Yonsei University is a historic, ambitious university that aims to admit equally ambitious students. Students who are driven and global-minded. Students who want to become a valuable part of the Yonsei community when they arrive.


For international students, there are two different entry routes into Yonsei University — entry via the Underwood International College or entry via the Global Leaders College. The Underwood International College accepts applications from international students year-round.


Specific university requirements for entry will depend on educational background and previous country of study, but generally, a CGPA of over 2.5 out of 4.0 or an ECTS grade of C or above is needed. Previous university qualifications will be considered for postgraduate students, and the application process will be slightly different.


English Score Required

Those hoping to study at Yonsei University will need to meet specific language requirements to enrol on any programme. English speakers and people who want to enrol on an English degree programme are exempt from these tests. But, if a student does need to prove proficiency, popular and accepted options at Yonsei include the IELTS (International English Language Testing System) or the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language).


An IELTS score of an overall band of 6.5 or above is needed. A TOEFL score of at least 550 PBT, 213 CBT or 79 IBT is required. Students who fail to meet these standards will not see their application for admission considered.



If applying for admission at Yonsei University’s Underwood International College, prospective students must apply directly using the Common Application system. The process is not the same for the Global Leaders College (an interview or examination might also be required in this case, depending on the programme applied for), and applicants can find more information on both university admission journeys on the Yonsei website.


Both application methods will involve paying a fee, completing a digital application form and sending documents by post, including exam transcripts and a letter of consent and verification. The exact fee will depend on an applicant’s chosen area of study.


For most majors, the fee is KRW 150,000 (or USD 115/ GBP 95). For people who want to study pre-medicine, pre-dentistry or pharmaceutical studies, the fee is KRW 200,000 (or USD 150 / GBP 125). For people who want to study music, physical education or sport, the fee for applications is KRW 225,000 (or USD 170/GBP 140).


In terms of tuition fees, possible future Underwood International College attendees should note that the estimated cost for international students for one semester is KRW 7,212,000 (or USD 5,515 /GBP 4,565).


Scholarships & Funding

Yonsei University is an institution that aims to provide every student with a great education. So, it offers as much financial aid as it can. This includes several university scholarships and funding options. Scholarships are available for degree and non-degree programmes and domestic and international students.


Every international student at Yonsei is automatically considered for the scholarships they’d be eligible for. They don’t need to make a separate application if they decide they’d like to be considered — they just will be, already. There are three main scholarships offered by the Underwood International College:


  • The Admissions Scholarship, for which all successful applicants will be considered — this scholarship will cover a student’s tuition fees for the duration of their course. 
  • The Merit-based Scholarship for currently enrolled students — this can cover a semester’s fees in full, cover half, or cover one-third.
  • The Needs-based Scholarship is for students who need financial aid — this one does require an application and might also require an interview with the Scholarships Committee.


There are several other scholarships available to students in need of support. When available, these will be announced by the Underwood International College, and the opportunity to apply will be shared with eligible students.


The Global Leaders College provides scholarship opportunities, too. Examples include the Outstanding Foreigners Scholarship and the Jinri Scholarship. The Outstanding Foreigners Scholarship is awarded based on excellent admission scores, while the Jinri Scholarship is awarded for impressive academic performance.


Overall, at Yonsei University, no student is left to struggle with funding issues alone. Even when help can’t be offered directly, a student will absolutely be pointed in the right direction. Every person enrolled at the institution is a valued member of the community, so every person receives help and respect when these things are needed.


University Structure

Yonsei’s amazing architecture and teaching excellence covers three campuses. The main campus is called the Sinchon Campus, and the stories of Yonsei University, from the 1880s to the 2020s, are hidden between the historic bricks. There’s also lots of great green space for studying and socialising.


The second campus is called the Songdo International Campus, and it was founded in 2010. Songdo is 300,000 square metres, and it’s in a highly convenient location close to Incheon International Airport, Incheon Harbour, and the Advanced Technology Convention facilities. Songdo’s well-designed buildings are ideal for hard-working Yonsei international students.


The third and final campus is Mirae Campus in Wonju, which sits at the bottom of some lovely green hills. Yonsei is confident that Mirae is an ideal learning environment, built to help students create and innovate.


Structurally, Yonsei university uses a college system. Degree programmes fall under different colleges and schools. There are 19 colleges containing over 960 undergraduate courses taught in English and many postgraduate degree opportunities. The colleges are:


  • The College of Commerce and Economics
  • The College of Computing
  • The College of Dentistry
  • The College of Educational Sciences
  • The College of Engineering
  • The College of Human Ecology
  • The College of Liberal Arts
  • The College of Life Science and Biotechnology
  • The College of Medicine
  • The College of Music
  • The College of Nursing
  • The College of Pharmacy
  • The College of Science
  • The College of Social Sciences
  • The College of Theology
  • The Global Leaders College
  • The School of Business
  • The Underwood International College
  • The University College


There are also multiple impressive research centres at this university. Yonsei has a lot of reasons to be proud of its research teams, who work across lots of different fields and make lots of new discoveries and developments each year. It starts with fields like medicine, chemistry, neuroscience, biochemistry and engineering, and it doesn’t stop there.


Students at this university can become pioneers in their chosen areas of expertise. Students and staff members are always working together to move Yonsei into the future and keep the institution ahead of the competition.



There is so much to see and do across the three campuses of Yonsei University. With a student life centre like a café or bar around one corner and a student recreation centre like a gym or swimming pool around the next, no student will ever have the time to feel lost or bored. There will always be plenty of different activities on campus, as well as the exciting city of Seoul just beyond.


Yonsei University’s Outdoor Amphitheatre is a particularly exciting student activity centre, seating thousands and allowing for musical and acting performances from talented Yonsei students to be seen by loads of people.


The sports facilities are also great. There’s a fitness centre in the SK Global House, a swimming pool in the Physical Education building and even some tennis courts near the North Gate. When exercise leads to hunger, there are many dining options. There’s a food court in the Yonsei International House which caters for breakfast, lunch and dinner.


For students who prefer to eat alone, there are many smaller grocery stores and shopping centres around the campuses and around the city. From the days in the lecture theatre to the late nights in the library (which has more than 2.3 million print books and over 75,000 e-books), everything a student needs is available at Yonsei. Great facilities make good education easy and encourage strong student-to-student connections.



Some of the best facilities available to Yonsei University students are the student accommodation options. There are three main on-campus accommodation options — International House, SK Global House, and Muak Dormitory. All of these options offer easy internet access.


International House is proud to be a home away from home, with public facilities like a lounge and a computer room making it easy to socialise and study. There are shared toilets, shower rooms and laundry facilities. Each bedroom has a cosy living space, a single bed, a desk, a fridge and air conditioning.


SK Global House is another great university accommodation choice for international students, with living spaces very similar to International House. Double rooms are also available though, and guest rooms are open to faculty members.


Muak Dormitory is a housing complex of five buildings with over 2,000 residents, and it’s a place where undergraduate and postgraduate students can stay if they have a GPA of over 2.7/4.3. Muak has some great amenities, including a lounge, a store, a gym and a prayer room.


Yonsei understands how important it is for its students to feel comfortable and settled. That's why in the welcoming community that the university encourages, quality housing options are in place to protect the wellbeing of every enrolled student.


Students might also choose to live off-campus in Seoul, staying in anything from a shared student house to a studio apartment. Even off-campus residents can seek advice and guidance from the university’s student support channels, which might be the best way for international students to choose the right accommodation location.


Student Support

Yonsei University offers a range of student support services, from academic student support to personal student services. Mental health, mental welfare, physical welfare and academic success are all focused on, and plans are in place to help in any of these areas.


Examples of this help include International Counselling and Coaching Services (ICCS), the Open and Smart Education Centre and the General Counselling Centre. International students at Yonsei who struggle, for example, with cultural adaptation issues, can get the help they need from a caring and dedicated student guide.


Academically, peer tutoring is available as a type of student support programme, exam support is easy to access, and lecturers/staff members are always available to offer academic guidance and advice. There is no shortage of student support in or out of the classroom at Yonsei, and this culture of care just raises the teaching standard even more.


No student at Yonsei needs to feel isolated or lost. The environment is warm and welcoming for admitted students from all backgrounds, and the student support waiting for these students is sure to help them out of any stressful situation. Life in South Korea is made much more accessible by all the help Yonsei is ready to offer.


Graduate Outcomes

At Yonsei University, every student has the chance to succeed and grow. They can succeed and grow academically, yes, but they can also do the same thing personally. The excellent standards of teaching and the preparation for the world beyond university via career services have led to some really strong Yonsei University graduate outcomes.


These skills are taught to students at Yonsei from day one, either directly by the university or by joining academic study clubs like International One Yonsei. International One actually has a full ‘career preparation division’ full of employment services that help international students to become more employable and improve their post-graduation job prospects. There’s also a ‘volunteering division’ that could further expand career options.


From sitting down with a career guide to choose a dream job through to taking part in a work placement, opportunities offered during a degree programme at Yonsei are very helpful for graduates. Yonsei University’s distinguished alumni include Academy Award winning film director Bong Joon-ho, politician Kim Hyun-mee and former Prime Minister of South Korea, Han Seung-soo.


Other past students have gone on to produce (or produced at Yonsei) outstanding award-winning research, winning prizes like NASA’s Best International Paper Award, the Wall Street Journal Award and Medals of Honour for Science and Technology.


Subjects you can study at Yonsei University

  • Business and Management Business and Management
  • Humanities Humanities
  • Social Studies and Media Social Studies and Media

*There may be different IELTS requirements depending on your chosen course.

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Key facts and figures at Yonsei University


Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2023
Source: THE


QS World University Rankings 2024
Source: QS


Academic Ranking of World Universities 2022
Source: ARWU


Student life in numbers








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