Dongguk University

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Dongguk University
Symbol of Dongguk University
Symbol of Dongguk University
Former names
Myungjin School (1906-1940)
Hyehwa Professional College (1940-1946)
Dongguk College (1946-1953)
Motto 攝心, 信實, 慈愛, 度世(hanja)
Motto in English
Steady one's clean mind, Behave truly and reliably, Love people with benevolence, Save mankind from agony
Type Private
Established May 8, 1906
President Han Tae-sik
Undergraduates 13,759 (2015)[1]
1,992 (2015)[2]
Location Seoul, South Korea
Campus Urban
Colors Orange     
Sports Football, Baseball, Basketball, Golf
Nickname Dongguk Elephants
Mascot Elephant, Lotus
Affiliations Mahayana Buddhism
Website English website
Korean website
Dongguk University
Revised Romanization Dongguk Daehakgyo
McCune–Reischauer Tong'guk Taehakkyo

Dongguk University (Korean: 동국대학교, Hanja: 東國大學校) is a private, coeducational university in South Korea, based on Buddhism. The university operates campuses in Seoul, Goyang, Gyeongju, and Los Angeles, United States. The university operates two affiliated hospitals of Western medicine, and four of Oriental medicine, a generic term which includes traditional Korean medicine studies.


Founded in 1906 by Korea's ecumenically minded Jogye Order, Dongguk remains one of the few Buddhist affiliated universities in the world.

The university began as Myeongjin School (명진학교) on May 8, 1906. The university was closed by the Japanese Occupation Government from 1922 to 1928, after the Samil Undong uprising, and again in 1944. The university was one of the first institutions in the South Korea to gain university status, in the western sense, being designated a university in 1953. The postgraduate school opened simultaneously.

During the Korean War, provisional classes were held in Busan, but were moved back to Seoul in 1953. In 1959, the Dongguk University Broadcasting system was initiated. During the 1960s students of the university participated in the democratic uprisings, which caused deaths of students of the university. The College of Education was launched in 1968 with four courses, adding Education of Physical Education a year later.[3] In 1978, the Gyeongju Campus was established.

In 1997 the university made an agreement with Royal University of America,[4] and on March 5, 2009 Royal University of America was merged into Dongguk University, finally becoming Dongguk University Los Angeles(DULA).

In 2008 the university sued Yale University for 50 million dollars for a national scandal involved with then-assistant professor Shin Jeong-ah, which was called "Shingate".[5] Dongguk University claimed that actions of Yale had damaged the university's reputation, and the lawsuit was finally concluded with Yale's innocence over the scandal.


Seoul campus[edit]

Dongguk University's main campus is located in Jung-gu, Seoul just north of Namsan. The upper buildings of the campus are directly connected into the trails of Namsan park.

The campus' main entrance is at Dongguk University Station the intersection of Seoul Subway Line 3 and 4. Chungmuro Station is near the rear entrance.[6]

The university is also served by the following Seoul metropolitan buses:

  • 144, 301, 420, 407, 7212

Ilsan, Goyang campus[edit]

Located near the Dongguk University Ilsan hospital, the campus concentrates in the medical technology, medicine and traditional Korean medicine.

Gyeongju campus[edit]

Opened in 1979, the campus is located in Gyeongju, North Gyeongsang Province.

Los Angeles campus[edit]

After the amalgamation of the university and Royal University of America, the campus concentrates in the traditional Korean medicine.



Dongguk's symbol animal is an elephant which is considered a holy animal with wisdom and fortune in the Eastern world. It intends to describe modern, progressive and active characteristics, and it also expresses university students of the new generation who are wise, brave, bright and friendly.[7] And the elephant means Manjushri of Mahayana, the bodhisattva of transcendent wisdom.


Dongguk's flower is a lotus blossom, the emblem of Buddhist truth.

Rankings and reputation[edit]

As of September 2016
University rankings
QS[8] 501-550
QS[9] 113-118

Dongguk University was ranked 11th in JoongAng Ilbo's Korean university rankings in 2014. Dongguk University was ranked 77th among the Asian universities in 2015 QS World University Rankings.[10]

The college of Business Administration of Dongguk university has obtained international recognition by acquiring Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) certificates, and the business school offers a dual degree MBA programme with University of Texas at Dallas. Alumni of Police administration major are spread out across South Korean police organisations, intelligence institutes, and judicial organisations including Korean National Police Agency. And to prepare for the Korean reunification and to research North Korea–South Korea relations, in 1994 the university installed the North Korean studies major for the first time in Korea.

The university has International cooperation with nearly 160 universities of 40 nations, and attracts about 1,800 international students every year. And the university offers hybrid programmes with Swinburne University of Technology, University of Manitoba, University of Santo Tomas, Hindustan University and East China Normal University that combined the language education and area studies with the student exchange programme.

Notable alumni[edit]

Notable Dongguk University Alumni
Korean Buddhist reformer
Han Yong-un ('06)
Manhae Prize winner novelist
Jo Jung-rae ('62)
Grand Bell Awards Best actress winner
Jun Ji-hyun ('00)
Blue Dragon Film Awards Best actress winner
Han Hyo-joo ('05)
K-pop entertainer
Lee Seung-gi ('05)

Literature and arts[edit]


Politics, government and public service[edit]




Bachelor and Masteral Degree colleges[edit]

Seoul campus[edit]

Gyeongju campus[edit]

Los Angeles, USA Campus[edit]

  • College of Oriental Medicine

Graduate schools[edit]

Seoul campus[edit]

Gyeongju campus[edit]

  • Graduate School of Buddhist Culture and fine art
  • Graduate School of Social Science

Los Angeles, USA campus[edit]

  • College of Oriental Medicine


There is a student-run daily newspaper, Dongdae Shinmun (동대신문). The newspaper was founded on April 15, 1950, and continued to circulate even during Korean war, April Revolution and June Democratic Uprising. Also there is a student-run English newspaper, The Dongguk Post which was founded in 1965. Both newspapers are overseen by a board of directors of the university and run by a student chief editor.

University broadcasting station, Dongguk University Broadcasting System (DUBS) is founded on September 1, 1959, and focuses on broadcasting educational programmes.


See also[edit]


External links[edit]

Coordinates: 37°33′57″N 126°56′19″E / 37.56583°N 126.93861°E / 37.56583; 126.93861