Seoul National University

Seoul National University

Seoul National University is a public institution of higher education in Seoul, South Korea. This university was established in 1946. It is also known as SNU. The Motto of this university in English is The Truth is My Light. This university is a part of the Flagship Korean National Universities Council.

Seoul National University History


This university originates from different educational institutions founded by King Gojong of the Joseon dynasty. Some of them were incorporated into different colleges when this university was established.

Gojong started the foundation of modern higher education institutions to modernize the country. In 1897, Gojong was inspired to form more modern education institutions after the proclamation of the Korean Empire.

A medical school was founded in 1899. This school changed its name many times and named it the Gyeongseong Medical College. Finally, it became the College of Medicine of this university. A department of Nursing was founded in 1901.

Keijo Imperial University was founded as one of the 9 imperial universities of Japan during the Japanese Rule. The name of the university was changed from Keijō Teikoku Daigaku to Gyeongseong University after World War II and the independence of Korea.

The Hanja that was used in the name was definite in the Korean reading and the characteristic Imperial was removed.


This university was established on August 27, 1946, by combining 10 higher education institutions around the Seoul Area. The Schools which have been merged to form this university were:

  • Gyeongseong University
  • Gyeongseong College of Education
  • Gyeongseong Women's College of Education
  • Gyeongseong Law College
  • Gyeongseong Industrial College
  • Gyeongseong Mining College
  • Gyeongseong Medical College
  • Suwon Agriculture College
  • Gyeongseong College of Economics
  • Gyeongseong Dentistry College

Harry Bidwell Ansted was its first president. There was an objection movement by students and professors against the law of the U.S. military government in Korean integration colleges for more than 1.5 years.

Finally, 4,950 students left the school and 320 professors were fired. During the Korean War in 1950, the university was occupied by North Korea, and the Seoul National University Hospital massacre was established. Temporarily, this university shifted to Busan and merged with the other universities in South Korea.

Former Names of the Seoul National University

  • Keijo Teikoku Daigaku
  • Gyeongseong University

President of the Seoul National University

Dr. Honglim Ryu is the President of this university. He is the 28th President of the SNU.

Students Enrolled at Seoul National University

In the academic year 2022, this university enrolled a total of 28, of 264 students out of which 15,870 were Undergraduate students, 12,394 were Postgraduate students and 4,019 were Doctoral students. This university has 2,278 academic staff in 2022.

Admission Requirements

  • Official High School Transcript
  • Official High School Certificate of Enrollment
  • Language Proficiency Proof
  • Standardized Test Score Reports
  • Recommendation Letters

Seoul National University Ranking

In 2023, this university will be ranked as the #29th best university in the world and #7th in Asia by QS World University Rankings. According to the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, it is ranked #11th in Asia and #56th in the World in 2023. In 2022, it is ranked #98th worldwide by Academic Rankings of the World Universities.

Seoul National University Academics


Admissions at this university are highly competitive. An applicant could apply only to one university at a time from 1981 to 1987 over than 80% of the top 0.5% scorers in the yearly government-administered scholastic achievement test applied to this university and most of them were unsuccessful.

Academic Structure

Almost 16 colleges of this university offer 83 undergraduate degree programs. For Doctoral and Master Programs, there is one graduate school with almost 99 programs from 5 fields of study. Multidisciplinary programs are the ones invented and operated by over than two departments. Further, there are almost 12 professional graduate schools.

Colleges at Seoul National University

  • 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

Professional and Graduate Schools Seoul National University

  • Graduate School of Data Science
  • Graduate School of Public Health
  • Graduate School of Public Administration
  • Graduate School of Environmental Studies
  • Graduate School of International Studies
  • Graduate School of Business
  • Graduate School of Convergence Science Technology
  • Graduate School of International Agriculture Technology
  • Graduate School of Engineering Practice
  • School of Law
  • School of Dentistry
  • School of Medicine
  • Majors at Seoul National University
  • Archaeology
  • Biological and Life Science
  • Computer Science
  • Chemical Engineering
  • Biotechnology
  • Biomedical Science
  • Communication
  • Computer Science and Economics
  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Accounting
  • Cognitive Science
  • Agricultural Science
  • Chemistry
  • Architecture
  • Anthropology
  • Civil Engineering
  • Astronomy
  • Chinese

Seoul National University Campus

This university occupies 2 Seoul-based campuses and one Pyeongchang-based campus. The Gwanak Campus is located at 1 Gwanak-ro, Gwanak-gu, and the Yongon Campus is north of the Han River in Daehangno, Jongno District, and the new Pyeongchang campus in Pyeongchang County, Gangwon Province.


Gwanak Campus is the main campus of the university. It is situated in the southern part of Seoul. It is served by its subway station on Line 2. Yeongeon Campus is the medical campus of this university. It is on the University Street in Northeast Seoul.

The Defunct Suwon Campus is the agricultural campus which is also popular as the Evergreen Campus. It is located in Suwon about 40 km south of Seoul. The agricultural campus shifted to Gwanak in autumn 2004 but some research facilities remain in Suwon.

Seoul National University Library

The library of this university is situated behind the university administrative building in the 62nd block of the Gwanak Campus. Dr. Kim Jong Seo is the chief librarian and the professor of religious studies at the College of Humanities took office in 2009.

The SNU Library reached a size of almost 57,747 square meters after the completion of the Kwanjeong Library in February 2015. This library is the house of almost 5.2 million volumes of books as well as more than 260,000 academic journals and e-journals and over 230,000 non-book materials.

The Central Library of the university has constructed a Digital Library which in addition to the regular library collection provides access to university publications, theses, and ancient texts. Included here are images of lecture slides, pamphlets, and insects. The Digital Library offers an approach to video of university exhibitions symposia, scientific events, and seminars.

In 1946, the library was formed as the Seoul National University Central Library. Later its name was changed to Seoul National University Library Annex in 1949. In 1975, it was again renamed the Seoul National University Library when the main branch of the library was relocated to the Gwanak Campus. It was renamed again as Seoul National University Central Library in 1992.

Museum of Art at Seoul National University

In 1995, the Museum of Art of this university was founded with charity from the Samsung Cultural Foundation after a proposal from Dr. Lee Jong-sang who was a professor of Oriental Art. Its building was designed by Rem Koolhaas.

Its 4,450 square meters structure has 3 stories above and below ground with its main unique feature the forward area cantilevering off the ground.

Seoul National University Gymnasium

The Gymnasium of this university is an indoor sporting arena. It was built in 1986. The capacity of the arena is almost 5,000. It hosted table tennis and badminton events at the 1988 Summer Olympics.

University Newspaper

Student Newspaper is the university newspaper. During the Korean War on February 4, 1952, the first edition of the newspaper was launched.  It was shifted to the Dongsung–dong in Seoul in 1953 where new additions for high school were in print. In 1960, financial difficulties led the paper to stop printing for a time.

In 1975, it was relocated to the Gwanak Campus where it has been in constant publication until the present day.  At its first launch, the paper was sold for 500 won a copy and sometimes twice a week. Now, it is distributed for free every Monday.

Contact Us


1 Gwanak ro, Gwanak-gu, Seoul, South Korea

Phone No

+82 2-880-5114

Official Websites


FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

What is the requirement of a GPA at this university to get into?

The GPA required at this university is at least 3.6.

What is the acceptance rate for this university?

The acceptance rate at this university is around 20%.

What is the gender ratio at SNU?

The percentage of male to female at this university consists of 45%: 55%.

Which courses are taught in English at this university?

  • Computational Sciences
  • Global Environment Management
  • Media Art
  • Comparative Studies for East Asian Humanities
  • System Semiconductor Engineering for AI
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