Coordinates: 36°22′19″N 127°21′47″E / 36.372°N 127.363°E / 36.372; 127.363
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology
KAIST logo.svg
Budget1 trillion
(US$878 million)
PresidentLee Kwang-hyung
Academic staff
646 (2021)[2]
Administrative staff
944 (2021)[2]
Students10,793 (2021)[2]
Other students
1,354[2] Joint MS-PhD
Location, ,
1,432,882 square metres (354.07 acres) (Daedeok Campus)
413,346 square metres (102.14 acres) (Seoul Campus)
AffiliationsAEARU, APRU, AOTULE, ASPIRE League.
KAIST logo small.svg
韓國科學技術院 / 카이스트
Revised RomanizationHanguk Gwahak Gisurwon / Kaiseuteu
McCune–ReischauerHan'guk Kwahak Kisurwŏn / K'aisŭt'ŭ

The Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) is a national research university located in Daedeok Innopolis, Daejeon, South Korea. KAIST was established by the Korean government in 1971 as the nation's first public, research-oriented science and engineering institution.[3] KAIST is considered to be one of the most prestigious universities in the nation.[4][5] KAIST has been internationally accredited in business education,[6] and hosting the Secretariat of the Association of Asia-Pacific Business Schools (AAPBS).[7] KAIST has 10,504 full-time students and 1,342 faculty researchers (as of Fall 2019 Semester) and had a total budget of US$765 million in 2013, of which US$459 million was from research contracts.

In 2007, KAIST partnered with international institutions and adopted dual degree programs for its students. Its partner institutions include the Technical University of Denmark,[8] Carnegie Mellon University,[9] the Georgia Institute of Technology,[10] the Technical University of Berlin,[11] and the Technical University of Munich.[12]


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$38 million[13] 2019) 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, then vice president of Stanford University, and Chung Geum-mo, a professor at the Polytechnic Institution of Brooklyn.[14] 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 had begun 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, under the leadership of physics professor Choochon Lee.[15] 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.[16]


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
December 27, 1984 Korea Institute of Technology (KIT) is established in Daejeon, South Korea
March 28, 1986 First matriculation for undergraduates
June 12, 1989 KAIST and KIST separate, KAIST retains institution name
July 4, 1989 KAIST merges with KIT, 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 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, and does not rely on a standardized test conducted by the university. In 2014, the acceptance rate for local students was 14.9%, and for international students at 13.2%.[17]

Full scholarships are given to all students including international students in the bachelor, master and doctorate courses.[18] Doctoral students are given military-exemption benefits from South Korea's compulsory military service. Up to 80% of courses taught in KAIST are conducted in English.

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, and undergraduates are allowed 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.[19]


KAIST produced 69,388 alumni from 1975 to 2021, with 19,457 bachelor's, 35,513 master's, and 14,418 doctorate degree holders. As of Spring 2021, 10,793 students were enrolled in KAIST with 3,605 bachelor's, 3,069 master's, 1,354 joint M.S.-Ph.D.'s, and 2,765 doctoral students.[20] More than 70 percent of KAIST undergraduates come from specialized science high schools.[21] 817 international students from 81 countries are studying at KAIST (as of spring semester 2021), making it one of the most ethnically diverse universities in the country.[20]


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).[22]


A view of the main campus
KAIST's sport complex at night
Geese and ducks residing in the KAIST campus lake

KAIST has two campuses in Daejeon and one campus in Seoul. The university is mainly located in the Daedeok Science Town 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 such as CNU and high-tech venture capital companies.

Most lectures, research activities, and housing services are located in the Daejeon main campus. It has a total of 29 dormitories. 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.

The Seoul campus is the home of the Business Faculty of the university. The graduate schools of finance, management and information & media management are located there. The total area of the Seoul campus is 413,346 m2 (4,449,220 sq ft).

The Munji campus, the former campus of Information and Communications University until its merger with KAIST, is located ca. 4 km (2.5 mi) away from the main campus. It has two dormitories, one for undergraduate students and the other for graduate students. The Institute for Basic Science (IBS) Center for Axion and Precision Physics Research is located here doing particle and nuclear physics related to dark matter and the Rare Isotope Science Project has the Superconducting Radio Frequency test facility.

Main library[edit]

The 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.[23]

The library underwent expansion and remodeling, which finished in 2018, to include conference rooms, collaboration rooms, and media rooms.


KAIST's Seokrim Taeulje is a festival held by KAIST for three days every spring semester. The festival preparation committee under the undergraduate student council will be in charge of planning and execution, various food booths and experience booths will be opened, and stage events such as club performances and a song festival will be held. Also called the Cherry Blossom Festival, students eat strawberries on the lawn.[1]


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. In terms of ownership of intellectual property rights, KAIST holds 2,694 domestic patents and 723 international patents so far.[24]

Electric vehicles[edit]

Researchers at KAIST have developed the Online Electric Vehicle (OLEV), a technique of powering vehicles through 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). 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.[25]

Autonomous arms[edit]

In February 2018, the Korea Times published an article which stated that KAIST was starting an AI weapons research project together with the Korean arms manufacturer Hanwa. The allegations were of developing lethal autonomous weapons with Hanwa. This has led to researchers from 30 countries boycotting KAIST, which has denied existence of the program.[26]

Academic rankings[edit]

University rankings
QS National[27]General 1
ARWU National[28]General 3
USNWR National[29]General 3
QS Asia
(Asian Ranking version)[30]
General 9
THE Asia[31]General 13
USNWR Asia[32]General 31
THE World[33]General 96
QS World[34]General 39
USNWR World[35]General 252
ARWU World[36]Research 201-300
THE World (Young)[37]General/Young 5
QS World (50 Under 50)[38]General/Young 3

In 2019[39] Thomson Reuters named KAIST the 34th most innovative university in the world and the 2nd most innovative university in the Asia Pacific region.[40] In 2022 QS World University Rankings ranked KAIST 41st overall in the world and 12th within Asia, coming 16th in Material Sciences and 16th in Engineering and Technology.[41] 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[42] and was placed 69th overall.[43] 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.[44] 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.[45][verification needed]

Times Higher Education ranked KAIST the 3rd best university in the world under the age of 50 years in its 2015 league table.[47]

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. ^ "카이스트 수입 및 지출 현황". www.alio.go.kr. ALIO. 5 April 2021. Retrieved 9 September 2021.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "KAIST at a Glance". KAIST PR. KAIST. Retrieved 18 December 2021.
  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. ^ "Top 10 Universities in South Korea 2019 | Top Universities".
  5. ^ "Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST)". roundranking.com. Retrieved 2021-06-29.
  6. ^ "KAIST 경영대학". www.business.kaist.edu (in Korean). Retrieved 2018-11-18.
  7. ^ "Association of Asia-Pacific Business Schools". www.aapbs.org (in Korean). Retrieved 2018-11-18.
  8. ^ "Technical University of Denmark and KAIST To Launch Dual Degree Program". Technical University of Denmark. Retrieved 29 May 2016.
  9. ^ "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.
  10. ^ "GT-ECE/KAIST-EE Dual BS and MS Program". gatech.edu. Georgia Institute of Technology. 23 May 2012. Retrieved 27 June 2013.
  11. ^ "Agreement on Dual Degree Master Program Between KAIST Department of Computer Science and Technische Universitat Berlin Fakultat fur Elektrotechnik und Informatik (Fakultat IV)" (PDF). eecs.tu-berlin.de. Retrieved 27 June 2013.
  12. ^ "KAIST Goals and Strategies". KAIST.edu. KAIST. Archived from the original on 28 May 2010. Retrieved 27 June 2013.
  13. ^ "The Inflation Calculator". Westegg.com. 11 July 2013. Retrieved 11 July 2013.
  14. ^ "KAIST's history and vision". KAIST.edu. KAIST. Archived from the original on 12 October 2013. Retrieved 11 July 2013.
  15. ^ "KAIST Leadership, Former Presidents". Presidents of KAIST.
  16. ^ 'KAIST' Decides Not to Use Original Full Name Archived 2011-07-18 at the Wayback Machine, KAIST announcement, January 10, 2008.
  17. ^ "International Acceptance Rate Falls". herald.kaist.ac.kr (in Korean). 3 June 2015. Retrieved 2017-05-30.
  18. ^ KAIST. "Scholarship Types > Scholarships > Academics > Academics > KAIST". www.kaist.edu. Retrieved 2017-05-29.
  19. ^ "Undergraduate". kaist.ac.kr. Retrieved August 17, 2016.
  20. ^ a b "KAIST At a Glance". www.kaist.ac.kr. Retrieved 2021-12-18.
  21. ^ "KAIST Acceptance Rate". Acceptance Rates. 2019-04-25. Retrieved 2021-01-29.
  22. ^ "About KAIST". www.kaist.edu. 20 June 2014. Retrieved 20 June 2014.
  23. ^ "KAIST Library". www.kaist.ac.kr.
  24. ^ KAIST Institute (KI)
  25. ^ "Korean electric vehicle solution". www.gizmag.com.
  26. ^ 'Killer robots': AI experts call for boycott over lab at South Korea university The Guardian, 2018
  27. ^ "QS University Rankings 2023". Top Universities. 2023. Retrieved September 6, 2022.
  28. ^ World University Rankings - 2019 (2019). "South Korea Universities in Top 500 universities". Academic Ranking of World Universities. Retrieved August 16, 2019.
  29. ^ U.S.News & World Report (2019). "Search Best Global Universities - US News Education". U.S. News & World Report LP. Retrieved July 20, 2019.
  30. ^ "QS Asian University Rankings". QS Quacquarelli Symonds Limited. 2019. Retrieved August 16, 2019.
  31. ^ "Times Higher Education Asia University Rankings". Times Higher Education. 2019. Retrieved August 16, 2019.
  32. ^ U.S.News & World Report (2019). "Best Global Universities in Asia - US News Education". U.S. News & World Report LP. Retrieved July 20, 2019.
  33. ^ "THE World University Rankings". Times Higher Education. 2020. Retrieved October 19, 2019.
  34. ^ "QS World University Rankings". QS Quacquarelli Symonds Limited. 2020. Retrieved August 16, 2019.
  35. ^ U.S.News & World Report (2019). "Best Global Universities - US News". U.S. News & World Report LP. Retrieved July 20, 2019.
  36. ^ "Academic Ranking of World Universities". Institute of Higher Education, Shanghai Jiao Tong University. 2019. Retrieved August 16, 2019.
  37. ^ "Young University Rankings 2019". Times Higher Education (THE). 2019. Retrieved July 21, 2019.
  38. ^ "QS Top 50 Under 50 2020". QS Quacquarelli Symonds Limited. 2020. Retrieved July 21, 2019.
  39. ^ "The World's Most Innovative Universities 2019". October 23, 2019 – via www.reuters.com.
  40. ^ Ewalt, David (2019). "Asia Pacific's Most Innovative Universities 2019". reuters.com. Reuters. Retrieved December 18, 2021.
  41. ^ "KAIST - Korea Advanced Institute of Science & Technology". Top Universities.
  42. ^ "The Times - QS World University Rankings 2007 - Technology". Archived from the original on 2008-01-26. Retrieved 2008-02-01.
  43. ^ "The Times-QS World University Rankings 2008". Retrieved 2008-10-19.
  44. ^ "D-Schools: The Global List". Archived from the original on 2009-04-29. Retrieved 2008-12-13.
  45. ^ In the Top 100 Asian Universities List, HKU won the first, KAIST 7th, SNU 8th(2009 아시아 대학평가 홍콩대 1위, 카이스트 7위, 서울대 8위) Archived 2009-05-15 at the Wayback Machine Chosun Ilbo 2009.5.12. (조선일보 5월 12일)
  46. ^ "QS World University Rankings: KAIST Rankings". QS World University Rankings. Retrieved 28 May 2017.
  47. ^ "Times Higher Education 100 Under 50 2015". timeshighereducation.co.uk. Thomson Reuters. 2015. Retrieved 29 November 2015.
  48. ^ "Nam, Chang Hee". Archived from the original on 2013-12-20. Retrieved 2013-12-20.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

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