From the Start of the New Nation
Korean people have always maintained their faith in the power of education, even through colonial occupation and war during the tumultuous first half of the 20th century. Thus in 1946, just months after Korea regained its independence, Seoul National University was established as the first piece of the educational foundation for the new nation.
After a few short years, the campus had to be abandoned at the start of the Korean war in 1950, as civilians fled south to escape the frontlines. But the passion of the professors and students sustained the school through the war, with classes held outside refugee camps.
Comprehensive Research University
Thanks to this 'education fever', Seoul National University has grown remarkably in the past six decades. Now comprising 16 colleges and associated graduate schools, 6 professional graduate schools, and 65 research institutes, the SNU community has expanded to nearly 23,000 students and 2,500 faculty members. It has moved to Gwanak campus which has 192.366km2 of campus and 300 of buildings for education and research. SNU is in building new campuses outside of Gwanak such as 'Bio information technology port at Cheongna(0.6km2, by 2017), Advanced institute of convergence technology (0.1km2, by 2008) and Greenbio research complex (by 2010).
A Tradition of Academic Excellence
SNU trains the most outstanding students in Korea in a wide array of areas in the undergraduate, masters and doctorate programs. 22% of Its freshmen belong to the top 1% of those who take the National Entrance Examination which is similar to American SAT. At SNU, one out of five students study on until they get doctoral degrees. In the result, 27% of all the tenure-equivalent professors in Korean universities are SNU alumni. (last counted in 2002)
Best Education with Moderate Expense For a Select Few
SNU keeps its class size as small as 15 to 30, but still costs 1/8 of American private universities and 1/2 of Korean private universities with sustainable help from the Korean government.
The achievements of the Korean people in semiconductors, automobiles, IT, and Bio technology are drawing the worlds attention. Research efforts of Seoul National University has been at the forefront of them. Inter-university semi-conductor research center supported by Samsung and Automotive research center supported by Hyundai are representing SNU-industry relations.
The founders' vision of the role of an educated public has come to fruition. The half of the lawmakers in current National Assembly of Korea are SNU alumni. Judges in the high court and Supreme court are mostly from SNU, which is 88% of all. More than half of cabinet members in the present ministry are also SNU alumni. 55% of CEOs of top 500 companies in Korea are SNU graduates.
Since the foundation, SNU has been the academic pinnacle in Korea. But resting on our laurels is not our style, and the globalized flow of people and ideas has opened up new possibilities. SNU has focused on internationalize its members and curricula, and now it has 2,000 international students and the acceptace rate of international admission is 20%. Of all the courses, 460 courses are conducted in English.
Vibrant Campus Life
SNU offers a wealth of invaluable academic and cultural resources. Public lecturer and forums are daily events and visits from renowned international speakers are common. SNU is famous as a high technology campus, with its free wireless networks for all students, a high-speed gigabyte backbone network for general operations, and a Super Computer facility for research.