Sogang University

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Sogang University
Sogang University emblem.png
Former names
Sogang College (1960-1969)
Motto Obedire Veritati (Latin)
Motto in English
Be obedient to the truth
Established 1960
Type Private Research
Liberal Arts
Affiliation Roman Catholic, Jesuit
President Yoo Ki-pung Ph.D.
Academic staff
432 (full-time)
800 (adjunct)
Administrative staff
Students c. 12,000
Undergraduates c. 8,000
Postgraduates 3,581
Location Seoul, South Korea
Campus Urban
Colors Cardinal ‹See Tfm›    
Mascot Albatross
Affiliations ACUCA
Korean name
Hanja 西
Revised Romanization Seogang Daehakgyo
McCune–Reischauer Sŏgang Taehakkyo

Sogang University (hangul: 서강대학교 hanja: 西) is one of the leading research and liberal arts universities of South Korea. The university was established in 1960 by the Wisconsin province of the Society of Jesus to provide education based on Catholic beliefs inspired by the Jesuit education philosophy. Sister schools of Sogang founded on Jesuit philosophies include Georgetown University, Boston College and Sophia University.

It ranked first in Korea among four-year universities without medical schools in JoongAng Ilbo's University Ranking Evaluation in 2008 and second in Korea in terms of reputation of graduates' ability in Chosun Ilbo's University Ranking Evaluation in 2009. In general, Sogang University is known as one of Top 3 private university in Korea or Top 4 highly reputed university.



At the initiative of the Catholic Hierarchy of Korea, Pope Pius XII gave assurance that a Catholic institution of higher learning would be established in Korea. Later he entrusted the task to the Society of Jesus (September 1948). Fr. Theodor Geppert, S.J. from Sophia University of Tokyo came to Korea and started searching for a suitable site to establish a Jesuit college in October 1954. Fr. Leo Burns, S.J., Superior of the Wisconsin Province came to Korea and, with the Catholic Hierarchy, began negotiations with the government for the foundation of the college in February 1955. In January 1957 the Society of Jesus purchased a property of 67,075 pyong (217,323 sq. meters, 53 acres) at Nogo San, Sinsu-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul. Work began to prepare the site for the Administration Building. The Administration Building was completed in November 1959.

Foundation of Sogang College[edit]

The founding Fathers decided to name the college "Sogang" (the West of Han River). The charter for Sogang College was granted by the Ministry of Education. In February 1960 Fr. Kenneth E. Killoren, S.J. was installed as the first president. Sogang College opened its doors with six departments: Economics, English Language and Literature, History, Mathematics, Philosophy and Physics. Out of 600 applicants 166 were admitted as the first class. Classes began on 18 April 1960, just one day before the April Revolution.

A university charter was granted by the Ministry of Education and Sogang College became Sogang University: A full-scale university consisting of a College of Arts and Science with six departments, College of Science and Engineering with five departments and a College of Commerce with three departments in December 1969.


On March 2, 1970, the inauguration and the president's installation was held at Mary Hall. Fr. John P. Daly, S.J. took office as the first president. The president emphasized 'Education Based on Belief and Reason'. On April 7, 1970, South Korean President Park Chung-hee donated two buses to help transport faculty and staff. Later, because of management difficulties, the two buses had to be sold. As Sogang began life as a full university, there was an increase in student numbers and the library, which had moved to Ricci Hall, became extremely congested with students, so there was an urgent need for an independent library building. Construction of the library to the north of the sports field began in January 1973 and was completed on December 20. Sogang University's Loyola Library became South Korea's first full open-resource library.

The campus festival was an annual event that began to be seen as a means of encouraging student solidarity. Sogang's festival turned into a real campus festival in 1969, when a series of academic symposiums were included in the program.


On April 24, 1985, a ceremony to commemorate Sogang's 25th anniversary was held. Guests included Fr. Geppert, one of the first Jesuits to come to Korea and the person who is recognized as Sogang's founder.

1979 Nobel Peace Prize winner Mother Teresa visited Sogang in May 1981 and gave two lectures, one in the auditorium and the other at the basketball court, at which she appealed for all people to practice true love.

In 1984 the Korean Catholic Church celebrated its bicentennial. To celebrate, Pope John Paul II visited Korea on May 5. The Pope came to Sogang to meet with the members of the religious orders, brothers, nuns, and priests at the gymnasium, and with Korean intellectuals at the auditorium.


A Sogang University campus building

The most meaningful event among the 30th anniversary commemoration business was the unveiling of the Albatross. The statue, that symbolizes the Albatross soaring with its great white wings, was made through donations gathered by the Alumni Association and was presented at the April 17 unveiling ceremony. Sogang's appearance changed during the 1990s. First of all, the Front Gate, the face of the school was rebuilt in marble and the Albatross was built directly in front of it. The previous small playground was renamed Cheongnyeon Gwanjang (Youth Square) and given a neater look. As new buildings were built, there was a shortage of parking space, so an underground parking lot was built under the Albatross Square. In November 1997, with the completion of the underground parking lot, stage facilities for cultural events were constructed above it.

University symbol[edit]

The cardinal color, which is the university color, symbolizes love, the holy spirit, martyr, loyalty, and victory. The silver chevron comes from the first letter 'ㅅ' of 서강(Sogang), representing the intellect spirit of Sogang, and an ivory tower. 'IHS' comes from the first letters of the Greek name Ιησους(ΙΗΣΟΥΣ) of Jesus and is also found on the seal of the Society of Jesus, the Catholic religious order that founded the university. The medieval crown stands for the Virgin and Trinity, meaning wisdom.


Sogang University has a tendency to be ranked weaker than its real reputation in many university evaluations because Sogang has no medical school and only 1/3 of enrollment size comparing with other competitive universities in Korea. But still in general, Sogang University is widely regarded as one of Top 3 private Korean Schools or Top 4 highly reputed universities. Sogang University was ranked first in NCSI in years 1998, 1999, 2003, 2004 and 2006 (The National Customer Satisfaction Index (NCSI) is an index model based on the modeling of the degree of satisfaction of the final consumers.)


  • Ranked 1st in Korea (among the four-year universities without medical school), [2008 JoongAng Ilbo University Ranking Evaluation][1]
  • Ranked 1st in Korea (among the four-year universities in Korea), [2012 Korean Standard - Service Quality Index][2]
  • Ranked 2nd in Korea, on the reputation of graduates' ability (behind Seoul National University) [2009 Chosun Ilbo University Evaluation][3]
  • Ranked 28th in Asia, on Arts & Humanities [2010 THE - QS Asian University Rankings][4]
  • Ranked 38th in Asia, on Social Sciences [2010 THE - QS Asian University Rankings][5]

Sogang Business School[edit]

In October 2009 Sogang University earned an accreditation of the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) in business.[6]

One of top five business schools in Korea, top 1% of high school graduates on their college entrance exam, located close to the financial hub in Seoul, highest job-landing ratio for undergraduates (in 2006, 2007 and 2008, the percentages of employment in major companies measured by the ministry of education have been 55.1%, 53.3% and 54.9% for each. It has ranked first among every university in Korea in a row).

The “Sogang School”[edit]

The School has made significant contribution to the rapid economic growth of Korea during the last four decades. Some of its faculty members have been deeply involved in the design of the economic development program by assuming top level cabinet positions in the government. Due to these important engagements, a group of economists, affiliated with the School and engaged in policy-making, has earned the unique name of “Sogang School.” The college has risen immediately to contend with the top economics departments in Korea. Based upon this reputation, the School has consistently attracted young talents of the highest caliber, mostly top 1% in the national college entrance exam. Reflecting its excellent research capacity, the School has been ranked among top 3 economics departments in Korea in terms of international journal publications according to RePEc.


Undergraduate programs[edit]

  • School of Humanities and International Cultures
    • Department of Korean Language and Literature
    • Department of History
    • Department of Philosophy
    • Department of Religious Studies
    • Department of English Literature and Linguistics
    • Department of American Culture
    • Department of German Culture
    • Department of French Culture
    • Department of Chinese Culture
    • Department of Japanese Culture
  • School of Social Sciences
    • Department of Sociology
    • Department of Political Science
    • Department of Psychology
  • School of Engineering
    • Department of Electronic Engineering
    • Department of Computer Science and Engineering
    • Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
    • Department of Mechanical Engineering
  • School of Economics
    • Department of Economics
  • Sogang Business School (Undergraduate Program)
    • Department of Business Administration
  • School of Communication
    • Department of Mass Communications
  • Interdisciplinary Programs
    • Public Leadership
    • Education
    • Gender Studies
    • PEP (Political Science, Economics, and Philosophy)
    • Sports Media
    • Integrated Biotechnology
    • General Science
    • Samsung Convergence Software Course
    • Sogang Startup Academy
    • Korean Development and International Development Cooperation

Graduate programs[edit]

  • Special Graduate Schools
    • Graduate School of Public Policy
    • Graduate School of Education
    • Graduate School of Economics
    • Graduate School of Mass Communication
    • Graduate School of Information & Technology

Korean Language Education Center[edit]

Research institutes[edit]

  • Sogang Institute of Advanced Technology (SIAT) Cluster
  • Technologies and Sciences
    • Center for Microcrystal Assembly
    • Center for Quantum Space-Time
    • Research Institute for Basic Science
    • Research Institute for Applied Science and Technology
    • Research Center of Integrated Biotechnology
    • Center for Nano Materials
    • Nanobioelectonics Lab
  • Humanities and Social Sciences
    • Institute for Philosophical Studies
    • Institute for Religion
    • Institute for Theology
    • Institute for Life and Culture
    • Humanities Research Institute
    • Language and Information Institute
    • Institute for the Study of Media Culture
    • Institute for East Asian Studies - SEAS
    • Institute of Social Sciences
    • Sogang Institute for Political Studies
    • Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies
    • Institute for International and Area Studies
    • Legal Science Institute
    • Institute for Economic Research
    • Sogang Research Institute for Market Economy
    • Institute for Business Research

Notable alumni and faculty[edit]



Business and Finance


Broadcasting and entertainment

Notable Faculty[edit]


In July 2010 four professors in the department of Business Administration were dismissed after exposing the mishandling of grant funds by a fellow professor. The professors appealed to the Ministry of Education, Science, and Technology. Neither the professors nor the university were satisfied with the Appeal Commission's ruling, with both sides filing suit.[7]


External links[edit]

Coordinates: 37°33′04″N 126°56′28″E / 37.55111°N 126.94111°E / 37.55111; 126.94111