From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Rebranded KAIST logographic.gif
Established February 16, 1971
Type National
President Sung Mo Kang
Academic staff 1,140[1] (2013)
Admin. staff 322[2] (2008)
Students 10,249[1] (2013)
Undergraduates 4,047[1] (2013)
Postgraduates 6,202[1] (2013)
Doctoral students 2,311[1] (2013)
Other students 1,187[1] co-terminal MS/PhD (2013)
Location Yuseong, Daejeon, South Korea South Korea
Campus Urban
1,432,882 square metres (354.07 acres) (Daedeok Campus)[2]
413,346 square metres (102.14 acres) (Seoul Campus)
Affiliations AEARU, LAOTSE, AOTULE, ASPIRE League.
Website www.kaist.edu/edu.html
Hangul (Full Name No Longer In Use) /
Hanja / 카이스트
Revised Romanization Hanguk Gwahak Gisurwon / Kaiseuteu
McCune–Reischauer Han'guk Kwahak Kisurwŏn / Kaisŭt'ŭ

KAIST is a public research university located in Daedeok Innopolis, Daejeon, South Korea. KAIST was established by the Korean government with the help of American policymakers in 1971 as the nation's first research oriented science and engineering institution.[3] KAIST has approximately 10,200 full-time students and 1,140 faculty researchers and had a total budget of US$765 million in 2013, of which US$459 million was from research contracts.[1] From 1980 to 2008, the institute was known as the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology. In 2008, the name was shortened to KAIST.

KAIST ranked 60th globally and 12th in Asia in the QS World University Rankings (2013/14), making it the second in the country,[4] while it came second in the independent regional QS Asian University Rankings (2014), considered as the best Korean institution.[5] Moreover, it was placed 16th in Materials Science and 24th in Engineering and Technology by QS of the same year.[6]

Times Higher Education ranked KAIST the third best university under the age of 50 years in the world in its 2014 league table.[7] In 2007 KAIST adopted dual degree programs with leading world universities to offer its students diverse educational opportunities and strengthen academic exchanges; since then with Carnegie Mellon University,[8] the Georgia Institute of Technology,[9] Technische Universität Berlin,[10] and the Technische Universität München.[11]


Korean representatives and Frederick E. Terman discuss the establishment of the institute.

The institute was founded in 1971 as the Korea Advanced Institute of Science (KAIS) by a loan of US$6 million (US$33 million[12] 2012) from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and supported by President Park Chung-Hee.[3] The institute's academic scheme was mainly designed by Frederick E. Terman, vice president of Stanford University, and Chung Geum-mo, a professor at the Polytechnic Institution of Brooklyn.[13] The institute's two main functions were to train advanced scientists and engineers and develop a structure of graduate education in the country. Research studies began by 1973 and undergraduates studied for bachelor's degrees by 1984.

In 1981 the government merged the Korean Advanced Institute of Science and the Korean Institute of Science and Technology (KIST) to form the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, or KAIST. Due to differing research philosophies, KIST and KAIST split in 1989. In the same year KAIST and the Korea Institute of Technology (KIT) combined and moved from Seoul to the Daedeok Science Town in Daejeon. The first act of President Suh upon his inauguration in July 2006 was to lay out the KAIST Development Plan. The ‘KAIST Development Five-Year Plan’ was finalized on February 5, 2007 by KAIST Steering Committee. The goals of KAIST set by Suh were to become one of the best science and technology universities in the world, and to become one of the top-10 universities by 2011. In January 2008, the university dropped its full name, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, and changed its official name to only KAIST.[14]


February 16, 1971 Korea Advanced Institute of Science (KAIS), Hongneung Campus, Seoul is established
March 5, 1973 Candidates matriculate for master's degree
August 20, 1975 First commencement for the master's program
September 12, 1975 Candidates matriculate for doctorate degree
August 19, 1978 First commencement for the doctoral program
December 31, 1980 Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) is formed by merger with KIST
June 12, 1989 KAIST and KIST separate, KAIST retains institution name
July 4, 1989 KAIST merges with Korea Institute of Technology, relocates to Daejeon
December 17, 1990 First commencement for bachelor's degree students
October 1, 1996 Establishes Korea Institute of Advanced Study (KIAS)
May 4, 2004 Founds National Nanofab Center (NNFC)
January 1, 2008 Officially changes name to acronym KAIST, replacing the spelled-out name
March 1, 2009 Acquires Information and Communications University (ICU), renaming it KAIST Information Technology Convergence Campus



A statue of Jang Young Sil, a Korean scientist, in front of science library, Daejeon campus

Admission to KAIST is based on overall grades, grades on math and science courses, recommendation letters from teachers, study plan, personal statements, and other data that show the excellence of potential students. It is Korea’s first test-free admissions system.

Full scholarships are given to all students including international students in the bachelor, master and doctorate courses. Doctoral students are given military-exemption benefits. In addition, many courses are provided in English. According to JoongAng Daily National Rankings, more than 80% of major courses taught at KAIST are conducted in English.

Governed by a special law, the university has an autonomous and flexible academic system. Other South Korean colleges and universities are required to abide by government-directed admissions and curriculum requirements. Undergraduate students can join the school through an “open major system” that allows students to take classes for three terms and then choose a discipline that suits their aptitude. In addition, undergraduate students are free to change their major anytime.KAIST has also produced many doctorates through the integrated master’s and doctoral program and early-completion system. Students must publish papers in internationally renowned academic journals for graduation.[15]


KAIST produced a total of 48,398 alumni from 1975 to 2014, with 13,743 bachelor's, 24,776 master's, and 9,879 doctorate degree holders. As of April 2014, 10,146 students were enrolled in KAIST with 3,980 bachelor’s, 2,918 master’s, and 3,518 doctoral students.More than 70% of KAIST undergraduate students come from specialized Science High Schools and Science Academies, which are for students gifted in science and mathematics. In Korea, the general consensus is that KAIST students are geniuses in their field. A TV series called “KAIST” that aired from 1999-2000 depicted the students as such.

On average, about 600 international students from more than 70 different countries come to study at KAIST, making KAIST one of the most ethnically diverse universities in the country.

After graduation, about 70% of undergraduate students pursue a higher degree and more than 50% stay at KAIST for a Master’s degree.

45-50% of new students are selected through KAIST Early Admission, which allows them to skip their final year of high school. In addition, many students choose to enroll in the integrated master’s and doctorate program, resulting in a large number of students earning a Ph.D degree while still in their twenties.


Former Full emblem of KAIST, used until 2010.

KAIST is organized into 6 colleges, 2 schools and 33 departments/divisions. KAIST also has three affiliated institutes including the Korea Institute of Advanced Study (KIAS), National NanoFab Center (NNFC), and Korea Science Academy (KSA).[16]

College of Natural Science[edit]

College of Life Science & Bioengineering[edit]

College of Engineering[edit]

College of Information Science & Technology[edit]

School of Innovation[edit]

College of Liberal Arts and Convergence Science[edit]

  • Graduate School of Culture Technology
  • School of Humanities & Social Sciences

College of Business[edit]

Affiliated Institutes[edit]

A view of the main campus

College of Natural Science[edit]

The College of Natural Sciences consists of three departments and one professional graduate school: Physics, Mathematical Sciences, Chemistry and Graduate School of Nanoscience and Technology. Each department is in charge of not only the education of each subject but also the education of elementary science subjects for all undergraduate students. Furthermore, it maintains a wide and systematic relationship with each other department, maintaining a close, cooperative system.

The College of Natural Sciences also holds the Natural Science Research Institute as an annexed research institute. The college has greatly contributed to academic-research-business exchange through cooperative studies with governmental research institutes and companies.[citation needed] In addition, it actively operates international cooperative projects through academic exchanges.

College of Life Science and Bioengineering[edit]

Founded on June 1, 2008, the College of Life Science and Bioengineering pursues multidisciplinary education and research in the field of bioscience, biotechnology, and bioengineering. Its goal is to support the nation’s endeavor to develop bioscience and technology by fostering new areas of science through convergence with IT and NT. The college consists of the Department of Bio and Brain Engineering, the Department of Biological Science, and the Graduate School of Medical Science and Engineering.

College of Engineering[edit]

Humanoid Robot, Hubo walks 1.2 km/h by itself, and has 10 fingers and 41 joints

The College of Engineering consists of 1 school, 4 departments, 3 divisions and 1 professional graduate school.

College of Information Science and Technology[edit]

In an endeavor to take the initiative in developing information technology (IT) for the 21st century, KAIST launched the new College of Information Science and Technology in 2008 by relocating the Departments of Electrical Engineering, Computer Science and Industrial and Systems Engineering from the College of Engineering and establishing the Department of Knowledge Service Engineering. When ICU merged into KAIST in 2009, the Department of Information and Communications Engineering at ICU came into the College of Information Science and Technology.

College of Liberal Arts and Convergence Science[edit]

The College of Liberal Arts and Convergence Science is composed of two departments: the Department of Humanities & Social Sciences and the Graduate School of Culture Technology.

The Department of Humanities & Social Sciences offers students an undergraduate education in a range of courses in the humanities and social sciences. The Graduate School of Culture Technology also provides master and doctoral degree programs for the purpose of producing manpower of the nation’s cultural industry with support of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism.

The Department of Humanities & Social Sciences has about 75 faculty members (3 professor emeritus, 18 full-time faculties, 13 visiting professors, 1 research professor, 40 lecturers), the Graduate School of Culture Technology also has 4 full-time faculties, 5 visiting professors, 7 adjunct professors, and 89 master students and 36 doctoral students. The Graduate School established the Humanities and Social Science Research Center and the Culture and Technology Research Center, and has carried out various research projects.

College of Interdisciplinary Studies[edit]

The interdisciplinary major program at KAIST was founded on September 1, 2003. With the subsequent establishment of auxiliary organizations, the program was launched in earnest in April 2004.

College of Business[edit]

KAIST Business School (also known as KAIST College of Business) is a graduate school for research and teaching in science and technology.

In 2006, the 3 graduate schools of KAIST were combined under the single name of KAIST Business School. Whilst still maintaining a degree of autonomy, this move has allowed for increased cooperation between the schools in working towards the common goal of developing a world renowned technology-based management school.[citation needed] The 3 separate schools are the KAIST Graduate School of Management, KAIST Graduate School of Finance, and the KAIST Graduate School of Information & Media Management.

KAIST Business School provides general MBA programs (Techno-MBA, IMBA, Executive MBA), specialized MBA programs (Finance MBA, Information & Media MBA) and MS/Ph.D.

  • KAIST Graduate School of Management (Techno-MBA, IMBA, Executive MBA)
  • KAIST Graduate School of Finance & Accounting (Finance MBA)
  • KAIST Graduate School of Information & Media Management (Information & Media MBA)
  • Management Engineering (MS/Ph.D)


A view of the main campus
KAIST Main Library

KAIST has two campuses in Daejeon and one campus in Seoul. The university is mainly located in the Daedeok Research Complex in the city of Daejeon, 150 kilometers south of the capital Seoul. Daedeok is also home to some 50 public and private research institutes, universities and high-tech venture capital companies.

The Daejeon campus (besides Daejeon Expo Park) plays main roles including lectures, research activities, housing services. It has a total of 29 dormitories where all students wishing to reside can stay. Twenty-three dormitories for male students and four dormitories for female students are located on the outskirts of the campus, and two apartments for married students are located outside the campus.

KAIST Seoul Campus is the home of the Business Faculty of the university. Graduate school of finance, management and information & media management is located there. The total area of Seoul Campus is 413,346 m2 (4,449,220 sq ft). Its primary goal is to achieve an optimal combination of engineering and business studies which will make engineers more effective at their craft.

The Munji campus, previously ICU (Information and Communication University) campus, KAIST Information Technology Convergence Campus near main campus, has a total of two dormitories, one for undergraduate students and the other for graduate students.

Main Library[edit]

KAIST Main Library was established in 1971 as KAIS library, and it went through a merge and separation process with KIST library. It merged with KIT in March 1990. A contemporary 5 story building was constructed as the Main Library, and it is being operated with an annex library. The library uses the American LC Classification Schedule.[17]

Daedeok Innopolis[edit]

Daedeok Innopolis, formally known as the Daedeok Science Park, is a cluster of institutions in research and development of technology located in Daedeok Valley in northern Daejeon. The cluster is built around KAIST, Chungnam National University, a group of government research institutes in applied technologies, corporate research centers and more than 1,000 venture companies.[18]


Seven KAIST Institutes (KIs) have been set up: the KI for the BioCentury, the KI for Information Technology Convergence, the KI for the Design of Complex Systems, the KI for Entertainment Engineering, the KI for the NanoCentury, the KI for Eco-Energy, and the KI for Urban Space and Systems. Each KI is operated as an independent research center at the level of a college, receiving support in terms of finance and facilities. KAIST is currently conducting research planned by the government and private businesses that are worth mounts as much as 100 billion won. In terms of ownership of intellectual property rights, KAIST holds 2,694 domestic patents and 723 international patents so far.[19]

Unusually for a mainstream scientific institute, KAIST has an active creation science presence: it has had a creation science display on campus since 1993, and has a creationist group, the Research Association for Creation Science;[20] see creationism in South Korea for context and details.

Electric vehicles[edit]

Researchers at KAIST have developed an electric transport system called Online Electric Vehicle (OLEV), where the vehicles get their power from cables underneath the surface of the road via non-contact magnetic charging (a power source is placed underneath the road surface and power is wirelessly picked up on the vehicle itself). As a possible solution to traffic congestion and to improve overall efficiency by minimizing air resistance and so reduce energy consumption, the test vehicles followed the power track in a convoy. In July 2009 the researchers successfully supplied up to 60% power to a bus over a gap of 12 cm (4.7 in) from a power line embedded in the ground using power supply and pick up technology developed in-house.[21]

Academic rankings[edit]

University rankings
ARWU[22] 201-300
Times[23] 68
QS[24] 60
ARWU[25] 24-35
Times[26] 10
QS (World version)[4]
QS (Asian version)[5]

In 2013/14 QS World University Rankings ranked KAIST 60th overall in the world and 12th within Asia, coming 16th in Material Sciences and 24th in Engineering and Technology.[27] In the 2009 THE-QS World University Rankings (in 2010 Times Higher Education World University Rankings and QS World University Rankings parted ways to produce separate rankings) for Engineering & IT, the University was placed 21st in the world and 1st in Korea[28] and was placed 69th overall.[29] KAIST was again recognized as a number one University in Korea by JoongAng Ilbo Review. In the year of 2009, KAIST's department of industrial design has also been listed in the top 30 Design Schools by Business Week.[30] KAIST ranked the best university in Republic of Korea and the 7th university in Asia in the Top 100 Asian Universities list, the first regional ranking issued by THE-QS World Rankings.[31][verification needed]

Times Higher Education ranked KAIST the third best university in the world under the age of 50 years in its 2014 league table.[7]

Notable faculty and staff[edit]

Notable alumni[edit]


Science and technology[edit]


Notes and references[edit]

  • The Times-QS World University Rankings 2009 - KAIST 69th overall, 21st in the field of Engineering/Technology
  1. ^ a b c d e f g "KAIST Facts & Figures". KAIST Official Website. KAIST. Retrieved 30 June 2013. 
  2. ^ a b "KAIST General Information". KAIST Official Website. KAIST. Retrieved January 22, 2008. 
  3. ^ a b Park, Geunhong (21 April 2011). "The Advance of a Korean Institute: A Brief History of KAIST". herald.kaist.ac.kr. KAIST Herald. Retrieved 11 July 2013. 
  4. ^ a b "QS World University Rankings (extracting Asian universities from the list for counting this position)". QS Quacquarelli Symonds Limited. 2013. Retrieved September 10, 2013. 
  5. ^ a b "QS Asian University Rankings". QS Quacquarelli Symonds Limited. 2014. Retrieved May 19, 2014. 
  6. ^ http://www.topuniversities.com/institution/kaist-korea-advanced-institute-science-technology
  7. ^ a b "Times Higher Education 100 Under 50 2014". timeshighereducation.co.uk. Thomson Reuters. 1 May 2014. Retrieved 17 June 2014. 
  8. ^ "Carnegie Mellon and KAIST To Launch Dual Degree Program in Civil and Environmental Engineering". cmu.edu. Carnegie Mellon University. 4 October 2007. Retrieved 27 June 2013. 
  9. ^ "GT-ECE/KAIST-EE Dual BS and MS Program". gatech.edu. Georgia Institute of Technology. 23 May 2012. Retrieved 27 June 2013. 
  10. ^ "Agreement on Dual Degree Master Program Between KAIST Department of Computer Science and Technische Universitat Berlin Fakultat fur Elektrotechnik und Informatik (Fakultat IV)". eecs.tu-berlin.de. Technische Universitat Berlin. Retrieved 27 June 2013. 
  11. ^ "KAIST Goals and Strategies". KAIST.edu. KAIST. Retrieved 27 June 2013. 
  12. ^ "The Inflation Calculator". Westegg.com. 11 July 2013. Retrieved 11 July 2013. 
  13. ^ "KAIST's history and vision". KAIST.edu. KAIST. Retrieved 11 July 2013. 
  14. ^ 'KAIST' Decides Not to Use Original Full Name, KAIST announcement, January 10, 2008.
  15. ^ http://www.kaist.ac.kr/html/en/kaist/kaist_01020601.html
  16. ^ "About KAIST". www.kaist.edu. 20 June 2014. Retrieved 20 June 2014. 
  17. ^ http://www.kaist.ac.kr/html/en/research/research_0406.html
  18. ^ "Introducing INNOPOLIS-Statistics". dd.innopolis.or.kr. Retrieved 17 June 2014. 
  19. ^ KAIST Institute (KI)
  20. ^ Park, Soo Bin (2012-06-05). "South Korea surrenders to creationist demands". Nature 486 (7401): 14. doi:10.1038/486014a. PMID 22678257. Retrieved 2012-06-19.  edit
  21. ^ Gizmag.com
  22. ^ "Academic Ranking of World Universities: Global". Institute of Higher Education, Shanghai Jiao Tong University. 2013. Retrieved October 3, 2013. 
  23. ^ "Top 400 – The Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2013–2014". The Times Higher Education. 2013. Retrieved October 2, 2013. 
  24. ^ "QS World University Rankings (2013/14)". QS Quacquarelli Symonds Limited. 2013. Retrieved October 3, 2013. 
  25. ^ "Academic Ranking of World Universities: Global". Institute of Higher Education, Shanghai Jiao Tong University. 2012. Retrieved October 7, 2012. 
  26. ^ "Asia University Rankings 2013 Top 100". The Times Higher Education. 2013. Retrieved October 2, 2013. 
  27. ^ "QS World University Rankings (2013/14)". 
  28. ^ "The Times - QS World University Rankings 2007 - Technology". Archived from the original on 2008-01-26. Retrieved 2008-02-01. 
  29. ^ "The Times-QS World University Rankings 2008". Retrieved 2008-10-19. 
  30. ^ "D-Schools: The Global List". Retrieved 2008-12-13. 
  31. ^ In the Top 100 Asian Universities List, HKU won the first, KAIST 7th, SNU 8th(2009 아시아 대학평가 홍콩대 1위, 카이스트 7위, 서울대 8위) Chosun Ilbo 2009.5.12. (조선일보 5월 12일)
  32. ^ "QS World University Rankings: KAIST Rankings". QS World University Rankings. Retrieved 17 July 2014. 
  33. ^ http://physics.kaist.ac.kr/xe/nam_chang_hee

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 36°22′19″N 127°21′47″E / 36.372°N 127.363°E / 36.372; 127.363