Ewha Womans University

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Coordinates: 37°33′42.72″N 126°56′48.60″E / 37.5618667°N 126.9468333°E / 37.5618667; 126.9468333

Ewha Womans University
Ehwa badge.png
Motto Truth, Goodness, and Beauty
진(眞) · 선(善) · 미(美)
Established May 31, 1886 as Ewha School, college-course installed in 1910, re-established as a university on August 15, 1945
Type Private
President Prof. Kim Sun-Uk Ph.D.
Academic staff 856
Admin. staff 369
Students 19,503[1]
Undergraduates 14,904
Postgraduates 4,559
Location South KoreaSeodaemun, Seoul, South Korea
Campus Urban
Website www.ewha.ac.kr
Ewha Womans University
Revised Romanization Ihwa Yeoja Daehakgyo
McCune–Reischauer Ihwa Yŏja Taehakkyo
University main entrance

Ewha Womans University (Korean: 이화여자대학교, Hanja: 梨花女子大學校) is a private women's university in central Seoul, South Korea. It is one of the city's largest institutions of higher learning and currently the world's second-largest female educational institute.[2] It is one of the best-known universities in South Korea, also considered to be one of the prestigious universities in Korea. Ewha was founded in 1886 by the American Methodist Episcopal missionary Mary F. Scranton.

"Ewha" is a Sino-Korean term for "pear blossom". While the lack of an apostrophe in "Womans University" is unconventional, the use of "Womans" rather than "Women's" was normal in the past.[2]

Τhe use of "Womans" carries special meaning. The early founders of the college thought that every woman in this community is worth being respected; to promote this idea, they chose the word "woman" to avoid lumping students together under the word "women." [3][unreliable source?]


Ewha Womans University traces its roots back to Mary F. Scranton's Ihwa Hakdang (also Ewha Hakdang; 이화학당 梨花學堂) mission school for girls, which opened with only one student on May 31, 1886 (Lee, 2001).[4] The name, which means “Pear blossom academy”, was bestowed by the Emperor Gojong the following year. Historians speculate that this name was inspired by the pear trees near Scranton home.[5] The school began to provide college courses in 1910, and professional courses for women in 1925. Immediately following liberation of Korea on August 15, 1945, the college received government permission to become a university. It was the first South Korean university to be officially organized.

Ewha is now responsible for many firsts in Korean history: Korea's first female doctor, Esther Park; its first woman to get a doctoral degree, Helen Kim (who later became the university's first Korean president); the first female Korean lawyer, Lee Tai-young; the first female justice on the Constitutional Court, Jeon Hyo-sook, and the first female prime minister, Han Myeong-sook, were all Ewha graduates.[citation needed]Ewha's motto is to pursue the virtues of truth, goodness and beauty. [6]


  • 1886: In May, Mary F. Scranton, an American Methodist missionary, opens Korea's first school for women in her house with a single student. In November, the construction of a school building (the former base of Ewha Womans University) is completed in Jeong-dong.
  • 1887: King Gojong officially names the school "Ihwa (also Ewha)."
  • 1910: College courses begin.
  • 1925: Ewha Women's Professional School opens.
  • 1935: The campus moves to its current location.
  • 1946: Ewha becomes Ewha Womans University, Korea's first university for women.
  • 1950: Ewha graduate schools open.
  • 1977: Women's Studies classes begin.
  • 1984: The School of Continuing Education opens.
  • 1996: Ewha opens its College of Engineering, the first such school in a women's university.
  • 2001: Division of International Studies established.
  • 2003: Married women allowed to enroll for the first time.
  • 2006: Ewha offers inaugural Ewha Global Partnership Program and completes the restoration of Ewha Hakdang.
  • 2007: Ewha establishes Scranton College, a specialized undergraduate college incorporating its honors program and the Division of International Studies.
  • 2008: Ki Sung-hwa becomes the first married woman to graduate.[7]

Reputation and performance[edit]

A total of 170,000 women have graduated. The university is proceeding with a plan called "Initiative Ewha" to improve its global reputation. As of 2012, it is ranked 40th in Asia.[8]



  • 15 out of 32 female ministers graduated from Ewha: 46.8%
  • 17 out of 40 female members of the 17th parliament graduated from Ewha: 42.5%
  • Ewha ranks 5th in the nation for the number of graduates passing the judicial, civil, and foreign officers examinations (2007)
  • Ewha produced 2nd largest number of professional women leaders (2005)
  • Ranked first among universities on the National Customer Satisfaction Index (NSCI) in the overall evaluation category (1995, 2005)


  • Recognized for "Outstanding Programs of Specialization": Bio-science and International Development programs (Recognized for Core Competence Development Project Interdisciplinary Life Science and International Development programs Specialization Program on International Development Cooperation)
  • Selected for "2006 National Core Research Center Project": Center for Cell Signalling & Drug Discovery Research
  • Selected for a "Creative Research Project": Research Center of MEMS Space Telescope, Symbiosystem Research Center
  • Selected for the "Humanities Korea Project": The Trans-Humanities Research Team


  • Ewha ranks 4th in the pass rate of the National Judicial Exam level 1
  • Ewha students competed against students from around the world, and won top prize at the "Debate Asia" Competition
  • An Ewha undergraduate student's paper was published in a leading international chemistry journal
  • Lee Yun-jin a third-year student discovered the mechanism of oxygen-transmission protein
  • Choi Yoo-Sun became the youngest panelist to debate at the World Economic Forum, "Davos Forum", debating with Gordon Brown, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
  • Prominent international society recognized an Ewhaian Winner of 2007 NIM A Young Scientist Award
  • Park Na-hee, a physics student, participated in the "NASA Space Structure Research"



The undergraduate departments of Ewha are divided among 11 colleges with 65 departments. Likewise, the graduate courses are divided into 13 graduate schools.

  • Liberal Arts
  • Social Sciences
  • Natural Sciences
  • Engineering
  • Music
  • Art & Design
  • Education
  • Law
  • Business
  • Health Sciences
  • Pharmacy
  • Scranton College (Honors Program, Division of International Studies)

Scranton College opened its doors on March 1, 2007. The college was named after Mary F. Scranton, the missionary who founded Ewha 120 years ago. The program stands at the core of the ‘Global Ewha 2010 Project’.

There are two main programs: the Scranton Honors Program which encompasses a multitude of disciplines, and the Division of International Studies.

The Division of International Studies (DIS) was established in March 2001 as an undergraduate program where English is the language of instruction. It was the first-of-its-kind to be established in Korea. Now, as part of Scranton College, DIS provides individualized curricula for the students.


  • The Graduate School
  • International Studies(GSIS)
  • Translation & Interpretation
  • Business
  • Medicine
  • Law
  • Education
  • Design
  • Social Welfare
  • Theology
  • Policy Sciences
  • Performing Arts
  • Clinical Health Sciences
  • Clinical Dentistry
  • Teaching Foreign Languages

Distinguished Fellows of Ewha Academy for Advanced Studies[edit]

Notable alumni[edit]

Twelve out of the 25 female ministers since national independence and one third of the 17 female National Assembly members are graduates of University.

Graduates include the first woman attorney, first woman PhD, first woman Prime Minister of South Korea, and first woman justice of the Constitutional Court of Korea.

  • Tan Zi Jie - editor
  • Dr. Jane Meejung Chang Oh — Principal Investigator, Flight Electronics and Software Systems, Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), California Institute of Technology (Caltech), National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
  • Son Ah-Jeong- Environmental Engineering Faculty in Auburn University USA, Recipient of 2011 National Science Foundation CAREER Award
  • Bae Su-ah—novelist
  • Kim Chi-won—novelist
  • Bang Jee-Young—pianist
  • Chunghi Choo (born 1938), jewelry designer and metalsmith
  • Yuko Fueki (2004, Informatics)—Japan and Korea-based actress
  • Hong Eun-joo (2003, Exercise, and Sport & Leisure Science)—youngest Korean international football referee
  • Grace Park (2003) —LPGA golfer
  • Son Ji-ae (1985, Political Science and Diplomacy)—first Korean CNN Seoul Bureau Chief
  • Choi In-a (1984, Political Science and Diplomacy)—first female Executive Managing Director in Samsung Group (Executive Vice President)
  • Lee Hyang-rim (1984, Biology)—first woman CEO in the imported automobile industry
  • No Seok-mi (1980, Business Administration)—first female CPA in Korea
  • Sohn Byoung-Ok (1974, English Literature) - first woman CEO of Prudential Life Korea
  • Jeon Hyo-sook (1973, Law)—first female justice in the Constitutional Court of Korea
  • Lee Sung-nam (1970, English Literature)—first female member of the Monetary Committee
  • Han Myung-sook, (1967, French Literature)—first woman Prime Minister of South Korea
  • Jeon Sin-ae (1965, English Literature)—former Assistant Secretary, U.S. Department of Labor
  • Jang Myung-soo (1964, Journalism & Mass Communication)—first woman CEO of a daily newspaper
  • Insoo Kim Berg (1955, Pharmacy)—US-based world renowned psychotherapist, lecturer and author
  • Hai Won Chang (1950, Pharmacy)—first women scientist in the field of chemistry
  • Lee Tae-young (1936, Home Economics)—first female attorney of law
  • Yu Gwan-sun (1919)—leader of March 1st Movement
  • Helen Kim (1918, College Course)—first female Doctor of Philosophy, first female Bachelor of Arts (1914)
  • Hah Ran-sa (1895, Ewha School)—first Korean woman to acquire a U.S. Bachelor of Arts degree
  • Esther Park (1886, Ewha School)—first female physician
  • Jeon Yeo-ok - South Korean politician
  • Mary Kim Joh (1930, Music), composer, honorary degree, 1980[9]


Public transportation[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Ewha Information". Ewha Womans University Official Website. 
  2. ^ Confer Texas Woman's University, named in 1957, Randolph-Macon Woman's College, named in 1893, as well as Mississippi Woman's College and Woman's College of the University of North Carolina which have since changed their names.
  3. ^ http://inews.ewha.ac.kr/news/articleView.html?idxno=14558
  4. ^ Lee Jeong-kyu. (2001). The establishment of modern universities in Korea and their implications for Korean education policies. In Education Policy Analysis Archives 9 (27)
  5. ^ "University name". Ewha Womans University website. Retrieved 27 December 2013. 
  6. ^ "University motto". Ewha Womans University website. Retrieved 27 December 2013. 
  7. ^ http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/special/2008/02/178_19139.html
  8. ^ http://www.topuniversities.com/node/2337/ranking-details/world-university-rankings/2012
  9. ^ Dunning, Jennifer. "Mary Kim Joh, 101, Who Wrote a Korean Anthem, Is Dead," New York Times. February 11, 2005; retrieved 2012-12-14.

External links[edit]