Seoul National University

South Korea COUNTRY
Oh Se-jung DEAN



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 serve as public servants in key positions of the Korean government. Considered to be the most prestigious university in the country,Seoul National University was founded in 1946 soon after the Korean War broke out. Its undergraduate liberal arts college has its roots in the remaining properties from the abolished Keijō Imperial University, one of the Imperial Universities founded by the Japanese Empire which was later abolished. Later the Government of Republic of Korea merged the remaining properties with nine colleges and professional schools, and the consolidated institution was renamed as Seoul National University in accordance with the Act of the National University Seoul enacted in the National Assembly.

It is a national research university located in Seoul, South Korea which holds a memorandum of understanding with over 700 academic institutions in 40 countries,the World Bank and a general academic exchange program with the University of Pennsylvania. The university comprises sixteen colleges, one graduate school and nine professional schools.  The Graduate School of Business offers dual master's degrees with Duke University, ESSEC Business School, Hitotsubashi University and Yale School of Management and MBA-, MS- and PhD-candidate exchange programs with universities in ten countries on four continents.The university is also part of Washington University in St. Louis's McDonnell International Scholars Academy.The student body consists of nearly 17,000 undergraduate and 11,000 graduate students. 


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.

  • College of Humanities
  • College of Social Sciences
  • College of Business Administration
  • College of Education
  • College of Fine Arts
  • College of Liberal Studies
  • College of Human Ecology
  • College of Music
  • College of Engineering
  • College of Natural Sciences
  • College of Agriculture & Life Sciences
  • College of Medicine
  • College of Nursing
  • College of Pharmacy
  • College of Veterinary Medicine


The university currently has three campuses: the main campus situated in 1 Gwanak-ro, Gwanak-gu; and two additional campuses in Daehangno and Pyeongchang. In February 2010 Seoul National initiated a memorandum with the city of Siheung to establish a global campus.



Seoul National University Library is located behind the university administrative building in the 62nd block of the Gwanak Campus.. The chief librarian, Dr. Kim Jong-seo, professor of religious studies in the College of Humanities, took office in 2009.The Central Library has constructed a digital library, which in addition to the regular library collection provides access to university publications, ancient texts, and theses. Included here are images of pamphlets, lecture slides, and insects. The digital library offers access to video of university exhibitions, scientific events, symposia, and seminars.

In 1966, provisions were made to systematize the library's collections. The original library was organized into 12 annexes for each of the university's colleges: engineering, education, physics, art, law, theology, pharmacology, music, medicine, dentistry, administration, and agricultural sciences. Two years later, in 1968, libraries for newspapers and the liberal arts were added to bring the number of annexes to 14. However, as the main branch was moved to the Gwanak Campus, the education, physics, legal, theological, administrative, newspaper, liberal arts, and pharmacological libraries were combined in a single building.  In 2009, the library's collection of books, including all the annexes, was 4 million volumes.


The Kyujanggak, also known as Gyujanggak, was the royal library of the Joseon Dynasty. Today, Kyujanggak Royal Library or Kyujanggak Archives are maintained by Kyujanggak Institute for Korean Studies at Seoul National University. It functions as a key repository of Korean historical records and a centre for research and publication of the annual journal Kyujanggak.


Seoul National University Museum is located at the Gwanak Campus. It opened alongside the university in 1946 under the name "The Seoul National University Museum Annex." Dr. Park Nak-gyu is its director.

Seoul National University Museum of Art (SNUMoA) was established in 1995 with contributions from the Samsung Cultural Foundation after a proposal from Dr. Lee Jong-sang, a professor of Oriental Art. The building was designed by Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas, with construction entrusted to the Samsung Group. Construction lasted from 2003 to 2005, and the museum opened on June 8, 2006. Dr. Jung Hung-min assumed directorship of the gallery in 2006


Gwanaksa is the name for dormitories for undergraduate and graduate students as well as families. It was founded in August 1975, with five Gwanaksa buildings and one welfare building, which housed 970 male students. The female dormitory was founded in February 1983. By June 2007, there was one administration building, two welfare buildings, 12 undergraduate dormitory buildings, six graduate students’ dormitory buildings, which in total housed 3,680 students. Unlike other university dormitories in South Korea, there is no curfew hour.

The Yeongeonsa located in Yeongeon campus, which is the medical school of Seoul National University. The Yeongeonsa can house 533 undergraduate students and 17 family households.


The University Newspaper is the students' press of Seoul National University. The first edition of the paper was launched while seeking refuge from the ravages of the Korean War, on February 4, 1952. At the time of its first launch the paper was sold for 500 won a copy, sometimes twice a week. Now, however, it is distributed for free every Monday. The school paper is not available during school breaks or exams.

Reputation & Rankings

Seoul National University was ranked 20th in publications by a 2008 analysis of data from the Science Citation Index, and the following year ranked 8th in the world in clinical trials.In 2011, the Mines ParisTech : Professional Ranking World Universities reported that Seoul National University is ranked 10th in the world in terms of the number of alumni holding CEO positions in Fortune 500 enterprises.Seoul National University also had the third highest number of students who went on to earn Ph.Ds in American institutions in 2006.

QS National Ranking - 2nd

ARWU National Ranking - 1st

USNWR National Ranking - 1st

QS Asia (World Ranking version) - 10th

QS Asia (Asian Ranking version) - 10th

THE Asia Ranking- 9th

USNWR Asia Ranking-10th

THE World Ranking- 64th

QS World Ranking - 37th

USNWR World Ranking -129th


Vision / R&D
Finance / Economy
Talent / People / Culture
Innovation / Livability
Smart policies / Tax incentives
Social impact
Veritas lux mea (Latin)
Motto in English
The truth is my light
Academic staff
2,130 (2019)[3]
27,784 (2019)[3]
Doctoral students
Urban, 4.2 km2 (1037 acres)
7.0 km2 (1,729 acres), including the arboreta and other campuses.
AEARU, APRU, BESETOHA, ARN, APSIA, AALAU, Washington University in St. Louis McDonnell International Scholars Academy[4]
Revised Romanization
Seoul Daehakgyo
Sŏul Taehakkyo
Sourced by wikipedia