Access to Higher Education (As of Aug 2020)

Admission Qualifications for Higher Education Courses

Admission Qualifications for Higher Education Courses
Course Admission Qualifications
Doctor’s degree Master’s degree /
Equivalent or higher academic background
Master's degree Bachelor’s degree /
Equivalent or higher academic background
Bachelor’s degree High school diploma (completion of curricula for at least 12 years) /
A certificate of passing the High School Graduation Equivalency Examination /
Equivalent or higher academic background
Associate degree

Admission to Korean HEIs

Under the Article 34-5 of the 「Higher Education Act」, a school consultative publicly announces basic matters concerning the selection of applicants for admission to each university or college (“basic rules on the selection of applicants for admission to each university or college”) at least six months before the beginning of the school year two years earlier than each admission year. The head of each university formulates and publicly announces an implementation plan for the selection of applicants for admission to the university or college (including the ratio of reflection of each type of material for the selection of applicants for admission) at least ten months before the beginning of the school year immediately before each admission year.

Type

Admission to higher education institutions consists of two types, general and special admission. The general admission is designed to select students according to universal educational standards for ordinary students and the special admission is designed to select students based on the standards presented by universities, such as special experience, aptitude, or those who need to be selected based on differential educational compensation standards. Overseas Koreans and foreigners are also subject to the special admission.

According to period, there are early admission and regular admission. For early admission, students are evaluated based on their school records and other extra-curricular activities from high school. For regular admission, students are evaluated based on the results of the College Scholastic Ability Test (CSAT). Most universities and colleges implement their regular admissions on the basis of a combination of student records (School Activities Record) and CSAT scores. Some universities also use essays, interviews or in-house entrance examinations for additional screening purposes.


CSAT (College Scholastic Ability Test)

The CSAT is run and administered by the Korea Institute of Curriculum and Evaluation (KICE) – a government funded research institute. The CSAT is taken once a year, normally in mid-November and lasts full day. The CSAT now consists of Language Arts, Mathematics, English, Korean History, Social Studies/Science/Vocational Education, and second foreign languages/Chinese characters & classics tests. Students may select all or some of the five tests, as well as specific subjects.

Even though the CSAT is not mandatory, most high school students in korea choose to take the test to meet the requirements of universities which students want to enter.