Konkuk University

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Konkuk University
KonKukUniv Logo1.jpg
Authority Mark of Konkuk University
Motto in English
Sincerity (성, 誠),
Fidelity (신, 信),
Righteousness (의, 義)[1]
ChairpersonJaeun Yoo[2]
PresidentSanggi Min[3]
Director8 members (including Chairperson)
Jin Minja,
Lee Juyoung,
Kim Hyungshik,
Choi Hongkon,
Lee Jeonghyub,
Yang Jaetaek,
Choi Gapshik,[4]
Academic staff
1,200 full-time faculty, 1,300 part-time faculty and international 70[5]
Administrative staff
Other students
2,500 international students[5]
37°32′31″N 127°04′35″E / 37.54194°N 127.07639°E / 37.54194; 127.07639Coordinates: 37°32′31″N 127°04′35″E / 37.54194°N 127.07639°E / 37.54194; 127.07639
NicknameKU, 건대(Geondae)
SportsFootball, Baseball, Basketball, Tennis, Golf
MascotKonWoo & KonHee (Bull)
Communication Mark of KonKuk University
Konkuk University
Revised RomanizationGeonguk Daehakgyo
McCune–ReischauerKŏn'guk Taehakkyo

Konkuk University (Korean: 건국대학교, Hanja: 建國大學校) is one of the leading private universities located in Seoul and Chungju. The Seoul campus is located in the southeastern part of Seoul, near the Han River, and is served by a metro station of the same name. The Seoul campus has 11 undergraduate colleges and 13 graduate schools, whereas the GLOCAL campus in Chungju is composed of four undergraduate colleges and four graduate schools.[6][7] As of 2018, 29,600 undergraduate and graduate students were enrolled in the university, which has more than 3,000 faculty and staff.[5]


In May 1946, Konkuk University was established as Chosun School of Politics (조선정치학관), a junior college for future political leaders, by Dr. Yoo Seok-chang. Thirteen years later, the school became a “comprehensive university” and changed its name to Konkuk (建國), which means “founding a nation.” As strong believers in the role of higher education in maintaining Korea's sovereignty, the founder and his supporters chose the name in the hopes that Konkuk graduates would build and serve the nation. As of 2016, Konkuk University has two campuses – the main campus in central Seoul and the Glocal campus in Chungju — with approximately 29,000 students enrolled.

Dr. Yoo, whose pen name was Sanghuh, was raised by a father who moved to Manchuria to join the Korean Independence Movement. Trained as a medical doctor during the Japanese occupation, Dr. Yoo initially had opened the People's Hospital in 1931 to provide medical care to less fortunate Koreans. Before long, he turned his attention to young leaders in rural areas since agriculture was the main pillar of the economy. Dr. Yoo and his supporters, who would later become benefactors of Konkuk University, aimed to open a higher education institution for leaders who would enlighten the rural population. Opposed by the Japanese, the reform-minded group managed a private organization and developed their ideas for a little more than a decade.

With years of experience in rural reforms and education as well as a short stint as a politician, Dr. Yoo became convinced that Konkuk University's must set its goals beyond academic excellence. During his tenure as the president of Konkuk University and the chairman of the Konkuk University Foundation, he emphasized three virtues—sincerity, fidelity, and righteousness—which continues to guide Konkuk to this day.

In addition, Dr. Yoo was aware that the limited space would not be sufficient to provide future agricultural leaders with ample hands-on experience. Despite the severe financial difficulties and skepticism after the Korean War, he boldly executed a move to the current location in Seoul. Thanks to Dr. Yoo's generous endowment and education philosophy, Konkuk University not only leads in agricultural and life science research, but also excels in many other areas today. Furthermore, Konkuk University has undergone major transformations in the past decade, earning the title of “the fastest growing university in Korea.”[8]

In 2016, Konkuk University celebrated its 70th anniversary. A new emblem with the Sanghuh Hall, the original building for the Chosun School of Politics, was released in December 2015. The university also unveiled a second ox statue and held a major academic symposium.[9][10] In 2017, Konkuk University was selected for the Leaders in Industry-University Cooperation (LINC+) project by the Ministry of Education and the National Research Foundation of Korea and has been accredited by the Korean University Accreditation Institute (KUAI), Korean Council for University Education, for two consecutive periods.

Administration and organization[edit]

Founder Dr. Seok-chang Yoo served as the first president of Konkuk University from 1959 to 1961,[11] and Dr. Sanggi Min became the university's 20th president in September 2016.[12] In addition to the president, Konkuk University has four executive vice presidents—provost and executive vice president for academic affairs, executive vice president for public affairs, executive vice president for research, and executive vice president for medicine.[13] The board of Konkuk University Foundation, which includes Chairperson Ja-eun Yoo and eleven board members serving 4-year terms, govern the university.[14]


Undergraduate and graduate programs[edit]

The Seoul campus has 11 undergraduate colleges and 13 graduate schools, whereas the GLOCAL campus in Chungju is composed of 6 undergraduate colleges and 4 graduate schools.

College of Art and Design
Seoul campus

11 Undergraduate Colleges

  • College of Liberal Arts
  • College of Sciences
  • College of Architecture
  • College of Engineering
  • College of Social Science
  • College of Business Administration
  • Sanghuh College of Life Science
  • College of Veterinary Medicine
  • College of Art & Design
  • College of Education
  • Konkuk Institute of Technology

13 Graduate Schools

  • The Graduate School
  • Graduate School of Architecture
  • Konkuk University Law School
  • Konkuk Business School (MBA Program)
  • Graduate School of Public Administration
  • Graduate School of Education
  • Graduate School of Engineering
  • Graduate School of Business Administration
  • Graduate School of Agriculture & Animal Science
  • Graduate School of Mass Communication & Public Relations
  • Graduate School of Information and Telecommunications
  • Graduate School of Art & Design
  • Graduate School of Real Estate Studies
GLOCAL campus

6 Undergraduate Colleges

  • College of Art and Design
  • College of Biomedical and Health Sciences
  • College of International Business
  • College of Media and Communication
  • College of Public Service and Education
  • College of Science and Technology

4 Graduate Schools

  • The Graduate School
  • Graduate School of Architecture
  • Graduate School of Law
  • Graduate School of Medicine

Research institutes[edit]

Konkuk University has 58 affiliated and special research institutes in the areas of humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences.

  • Architectural Barrier-free Institute
  • Artificial Muscle Research Center
  • Asia Infrastructure Research Center
  • Bio Food & Drug Research Center
  • Bio/Molecular Informatics Center
  • Cancer and Metabolism Institute
  • Center for Animal Resources
  • Center for Eco-Informatics
  • Center for Emerging Market Global Companies
  • Center for IT Enabled Outsourcing
  • Center for SMART Space Technology Research
  • Center for Story & Image Telling Studies
  • Center for Wireless Transmission Technology
  • Climate Research Institute
  • Eco-Food Supply Institute
  • Eco-friendly Agriculture Products Certification Center
  • Epic and Literary Therapy Research Institute
  • Fairy Tales & Translation
  • Flexible Display Roll To Roll Research Center
  • Food Safety & Animal Health Research Center at Konkuk University, FSRCKU
  • Functional Glycoside Conjugater Research Center
  • Future Energy Research Center
  • Global & Local Research Institute
  • Glocal Institute for SMART Communication and Consilience
  • Glocal Institute of Disease Control
  • Humanities Research Institute
  • i-Fashion Technology Center
  • Institute for Advanced Physics
  • Institute for Comparative History of Korea and Taiwan
  • Institute for Conservation of Art
  • Institute for Smart Green Architecture and Urbanism
  • Institute for Ubiquitous Information Technology and Applications
  • Institute of Biomedical and Health Science
  • Institute of Body & Culture
  • Institute of Functional Genomics
  • Institute of Glocal Disease Control
  • Institute of Inflammatory Diseases
  • Institute of Intelligent Vehicle and System Technology
  • Institute of Korean Politics and Society
  • Institute of Livestock Business Management
  • Institute of Public Affairs
  • Institute of Real Estate & Urban Studies
  • Institute of SMART Biotechnology
  • Institute of Technology Innovation
  • Institutional Animal Care and Use committee
  • Institutional Biosafety committee
  • International Climate and Environmental Research Center
  • Knowledge Contents Research Institute
  • Konkuk International Healthcare Institute
  • Konkuk SMART FTA Institute
  • Konkuk Social Policy Research Institute
  • Konkuk Trade & Tariff Institute
  • Konkuk University Public Design Research Center
  • Korea Aerospace Design·Air Worthiness Institute
  • Korea Hemp Institute
  • Korea Nokyong Research Center
  • Korea Sports Turfgrass Research Center
  • KU Institute of Communication Studies
  • KU Language and Cognition Research Center
  • Laboratory Animal Research Center
  • Life Resource Cooperative Research Institute
  • Liquid Crystals Research Center
  • Mathematical Science Research Center
  • Music Education Research Center
  • Nano Technology Research Center
  • New Media Art Laboratory
  • Physical Activity & Performance Institute
  • Quantum Institute for Emerging Technologies
  • Regional Development Design Center
  • Research Center for Innovative Electricity Market Technology
  • Research Center for Livestock Industry of North Korea
  • Research Center for Network and Energy Industries
  • Research Institute for Eco-based Society
  • Research Institute of animal models for diseases & stem cell
  • Research Institute of Art Culture
  • Research Institute of Basic Sciences
  • Research institute of Biomedical engineering
  • Research Institute of Economics & Management
  • Research Institute of Education
  • Research Institute of Food Biotechnology
  • Research Institute of Glocal Culture strategy
  • Research Institute of Industrial Technology
  • Research Institute of Inflammatory Diseases
  • Research Institute of Law
  • Research Institute of Life & Environment
  • Research Institute of Meat Science and Culture
  • Research Institute of Neurobiology
  • Research Institute of Social Sciences
  • Research Institute of Urban Administration
  • SK chemicals - KU Biomaterials Institute
  • SMART Institute of Advanced Biomedical Science
  • SMART SANGHUH Bio Research Institute
  • Social Eco-Tech Institute
  • Software Research Center
  • The Academy of Korea Horse Industry
  • The Center for Asia and Diaspora
  • The Center for Middle Eastern Studies
  • The Institute for the 3Rs
  • The Research Center for the Korean History of Technology
  • The Research Institute for Global Management of Technology for Catching Up
  • The Research Institute of Art and Design
  • The Research Institute of Medical Sciences
  • The Research Institute of Natural Science
  • The Study for Body Culture Institute
  • Veterinary Science Research Institute

Distinguished professors[edit]

Four renowned scholars held the position of distinguished professor as of the Spring semester of 2018.

Konkuk Language Institute[edit]

Konkuk University Language Institute opened in 1990 to provide English and other foreign language classes. Chinese, English, French, Japanese, Spanish, and Vietnamese courses are available to Konkuk University students as well as the general public. In 1998, the institute introduced Korean language programs for foreigners. Short-term courses for 1–2 weeks and 3-month long regular courses are available. The institute also provides training for Korean language teachers.[15]

Reputation and rankings[edit]

Konkuk University was ranked 13th among Korean universities by JoongAng Ilbo in 2014.[16] According to a survey by Realmeter, which surveys “Korea’s Top 10 Brands,” the university was ranked 7th when the public was asked to identify a university for recommendation in 2015.[17] During the same year, Konkuk University ranked 8th when college applicants were asked by daehac.com which school they wanted to attend regardless of their current academic performance.[18] In August 2016, Konkuk University was ranked 59th in Asia's most innovative universities by Reuters.[19]

In 2014, the Korea Economic Daily ranked Konkuk University's business school as 13th in Korea and 9th in terms of potential.[20] In 2017, Konkuk University ranked 68th among the most innovative universities in Asia by Reuters and 501st in the world and 12th in Korea in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings. Moreover, Konkuk University placed 15th in the JoongAng Ilbo's comprehensive university rankings for 2017. In 2018, Konkuk University named 14th best university in Korea and 95th in Asia in the Times Higher Education (THE)'s rankings.

International programs[edit]

Konkuk University's Seoul Campus

Konkuk University has entered into partnership agreements with 471 institutions in 59 countries. During the fall semester of 2015, a total of 984 students studied abroad through dual degree programs, exchange programs, language courses, and short-term programs, and 1,162 foreign students were registered at the university.[21]

Exchange student program[edit]

Foreign students enrolled in Konkuk University's partner universities, such as UC Berkeley, University of Edinburgh in the United Kingdom, Erasmus University Rotterdam in the Netherlands, and Osaka University in Japan, may pursue their studies at the main campus for a semester or two. Students are selected in accordance with the terms and conditions specified in the partnership agreements and only pay tuition for their home institutions.

International Summer Program and International Winter Program[edit]

The International Summer Program and International Winter Program are two-week-long programs that provide opportunities for foreign students wishing to learn about Korea and experience its culture. Students can take classes on Korean history, culture, and business practices and participate in field trips and cultural events.

Undergraduate degree-seeking program[edit]

In addition to short-term programs, foreign students may earn their bachelor's degree at Konkuk University. Applicants should meet certain Korean language proficiency requirements, and a 70% tuition waiver is provided to students obtaining TOPIK Level 6.


Ilgam Lake[edit]

Ilgam Lake

Ilgam Lake is located at the center of Konkuk University's Seoul campus. This swamp was converted to an artificial lake when the university moved the campus from Nagwon-dong to the current location in 1954. When indoor ice skating rinks were uncommon in the 1950s and 1960s, the lake was used for national competitions. Occupying 55,661㎡, the lake accounts for approximately one-ninth of the campus area. To maintain water quality, 650 tons of underground water is added daily and a motor boat is used to prevent algae blooms.[22]

Konkuk University Museum[edit]

Konkuk University Museum during the spring

Established in 1963, Konkuk University Museum features 4,532 historical artifacts, including Dongguk Jeongun, one of the National Treasures of South Korea. The museum is housed at the Sanghuh Memorial Hall, the building in which the Chosun School of Politics was founded. It began at Nagwon-dong in Jongno-gu, Sanghuh Memorial Hall, and moved to the current location in 1985, and continues to represent Konkuk University's roots and rich history. The museum is open to the public, and special lectures on Korean history and culture are given throughout the year.[23][24]

Sanghuh Memorial Library[edit]

Sanghuh Memorial Library

Sanghuh Memorial Library serves as Konkuk University's main library. Opened in 1989, it was the largest library in Asia at the time.[25] As of February 2014, the library had more than 900,000 Korean books and 200,000 foreign language books. Six reading rooms with about 2,200 seats are available,[26] and a reading room on the third floor of the library is opened 24 hours a day.[27] The library has interlibrary loan agreements with Korea University, Dongguk University, Sungkyunkwan University, Hanyang University, Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, and Chung-Ang University.[28]

Student life[edit]

Student clubs[edit]

Konkuk University has more than 70 student clubs based on social and professional interests. At the beginning of the academic year in March, the Student Club Association holds a fair on campus to recruit new members.

Konkuk University's Seoul Campus in the Fall

University events[edit]

Foundation Day

In commemoration of Dr. Seok-chang Yoo's founding of Konkuk University on May 15, 1946, a ceremony is held for students, faculty, staff, alumni, parents, and guests each year. Awards are presented to the faculty and staff who have contributed to the university.

Ilgam Lake Festival

Konkuk University's student association organizes a festival in mid-May every year to celebrate the university's foundation. This three-day long event features performances and exhibitions by college departments and student clubs. Famous K-pop celebrities are also invited to perform in a concert.

Fall Art Festival

In late October, colleges and student clubs stage a three-day long festival to showcase their academic achievements and artistic talent. This event is organized by the Student Club Association.[29]

Students are enjoying the farewell party

Recent developments[edit]

PRIME Project

On May 3, Konkuk University announced that it was selected by the government to participate in the Program for Industrial Needs-Matched Education, also known as the PRIME project. Higher education institutions receive incentives for restructuring and training students to meet the society's needs under the project. Of the 75 universities that applied, Konkuk University, Ewha Womans University, and Hanyang University's ERICA campus and 18 other universities were chosen. As a result, Konkuk University is expected to receive up to 450 billion won in government funding over three years until 2018. More than 15% will be allocated for scholarships, and a significant portion will be used to improve educational programs and build infrastructure.

Dutch Students participated the Living Lab Project


Konkuk Institute of Technology

In 2017, Konkuk University introduced the "Konkuk Institute of Technology" to train and prepare students for industries with significant growth potential. The institute includes eight departments in energy engineering, smart vehicle engineering, smart ICT engineering, cosmetics engineering, stem cell and regenerative biology, systems biotechnology, integrative bioscience and biotechnology, and biomedical science and engineering with 333 students. Konkuk University plans to offer a 5-year BS/MS program, through which all students will receive a scholarship for their graduate education as well as a stipend of 300,000 won per month for book purchases and research, at the institute. The registration fee for all incoming students will be waived.[30][31]

Plus Semester System

As an alternative to the prevalent 2-semester, 4-year undergraduate programs, Konkuk University introduced the Plus Semester System which will allow students to take initiative in designing their own curriculum. The innovative system is part of an effort to make university education more student-focused and tailored to meet changing industry demands. Konkuk students will be able to choose from a variety of options, including the 2+One-Semester On-The-Job Training program, 3+1 Employment program, 7+1 Self-Designed Semester program, and 4+1 Bachelor's and master's degree program. The 2+One-Semester program allows students to gain work experience during the semester and take classes to fulfill course requirements for their majors during the vacation. For the 7+1 program, students will design their plans for external activities prior to the beginning of the semester. The activities are to develop expertise in areas of interest rather than being limited to opening a new business or finding employment. Once the plans are approved, students receive up to 15 credits once they submit completion reports. The Center for Integrated Science and Technology, which will include four departments in biotechnology and another four in engineering, will offer the 4+1 Bachelor's and master's degree program.[32]


Konkuk University Station

The Seoul campus is adjacent to the Konkuk University Station, which is serviced by Seoul Subway Line 2 and Line 7. The circular Line 2 offers easy access to downtown Seoul all within one hour. Line 7 links the northern part of the city to the popular Gangnam District.

Seoul buses #240, #302, #721, #2222, #2223, #2224, #3216, #3220, and #4212 can be taken nearby the campus to different places in the city.[33] From Incheon International Airport, Limousine Bus #6013 is available every 30–40 minutes from 6:15 a.m. to 10:55 p.m for ₩10,000.[34]

Notable alumni[edit]


Arts and literature[edit]


Civil service, law, and politics[edit]


Popular culture[edit]

Konkuk University has been a popular film location for Korean dramas. Twenty Again, a 2015 Korean television series starring Choi Ji-woo and Lee Sang-yoon was filmed at the main campus in Seoul.[36] Konkuk University Medical Center was also the background for Family's Honor, Loving You a Thousand Times, My Too Perfect Sons, and Surgeon Bong Dal-hee.

Cheese in the Trap, a popular ”webtoon” published on Naver since 2010 with more than 1 million viewers, was written by Konkuk University alumnus Soonkki. Many illustrations were based on Konkuk University buildings, including the museum and library.[37]

Heart Signal, a Korean reality dating show, featured two alumni of Konkuk University in season 1. The campus was featured in a date between them during episode 12 of that season.


  • Konkuk University Middle School[38]
  • Konkuk University High School[39]
  • Konkuk University Medical Center (KUMC): Located on the west side of the Seoul campus, the current state-of-the-art facility was opened in August 2005 with 875 beds. In 2011, the World Health Organization certified KUMC as a Health promoting hospital and the Korean government also designated KUMC as a “senior medical center” specializing in cancer and cardiovascular diseases. An international clinic for foreign patients has been operating since 2010.[40][41]
  • Konkuk Dairy & Ham[42]
  • Konkuk Asset Management Corporation[43]
  • The Classic 500[44]
  • Smart KU Golf Pavilion[45]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Konkuk University – Educational Philosophy & Goals". Retrieved February 2, 2016.
  2. ^ "Konkuk University – Chairperson". Retrieved May 23, 2017.
  3. ^ "Konkuk University – President". Retrieved September 29, 2016.
  4. ^ "Introduction of Konkuk University Foundation" (in Korean). Retrieved May 23, 2017.
  5. ^ a b c d e "Konkuk University – Facts & Figures". Retrieved September 29, 2016.
  6. ^ "KU College" (in Korean). Retrieved September 29, 2016.
  7. ^ "KU Graduate School" (in Korean). Retrieved September 29, 2016.
  8. ^ "Konkuk University – History". Retrieved February 2, 2016.
  9. ^ "KU Releases New Emblem for its 70th Anniversary". Retrieved February 2, 2016.
  10. ^ "KU Bio International Symposium Held on May 10". Retrieved May 25, 2016.
  11. ^ "Konkuk University – President". Retrieved February 2, 2016.
  12. ^ "Konkuk University – President". Retrieved September 7, 2016.
  13. ^ "Konkuk University – Organization". Retrieved October 13, 2016.
  14. ^ "Introduction to the Foundation" (in Korean). Retrieved February 2, 2016.
  15. ^ "Introduction to the Konkuk University Language Institute" (in Korean). Konkuk University Language Institute. Retrieved February 11, 2016.
  16. ^ "Yearly Report" (in Korean). JoongAng Ilbo. Retrieved February 5, 2016.
  17. ^ "Is the "Only SKY" Rule Breaking?" (in Korean). Realmeter. Retrieved February 5, 2016.
  18. ^ "Yonsei Ranks #1 in Student Preference" (in Korean). Chosun Education. Retrieved February 5, 2016.
  19. ^ "The Reuters Top 75: A list of Asia's most innovative universities". Reuters. Retrieved September 7, 2016.
  20. ^ "2015 Survey Results on Nationwide Business Schools" (in Korean). Korea Economic Daily. Retrieved February 3, 2016.
  21. ^ "A Total of 984 KU Students Studied Abroad in 2015". Konkuk University. Retrieved February 2, 2016.
  22. ^ "Ilgam Lake, A Major Attraction of Our University" (in Korean). Popkon. Retrieved February 3, 2016.
  23. ^ "Introduction to the Museum" (in Korean). Konkuk University Museum. Retrieved February 3, 2016.
  24. ^ "Chronology" (in Korean). Konkuk University Museum. Retrieved February 3, 2016.
  25. ^ "70 Years of Never-ending Innovation in Education" (in Korean). Chosun. Retrieved February 4, 2016.
  26. ^ "Current Status/Statistics Summary". Retrieved February 3, 2016.
  27. ^ "User Hour". Retrieved February 3, 2016.
  28. ^ "Chronology and Previous Chief Librarians". Retrieved February 3, 2016.
  29. ^ "Activities: KU Events". Konkuk University. Retrieved October 12, 2016.
  30. ^ a b "KU Chosen for the PRIME Project by the National Government". Retrieved October 12, 2016.
  31. ^ "Konkuk Institute of Technology Recognized as Korea's Grande École". Retrieved January 19, 2017.
  32. ^ ""Plus Semester" System Introduced at KU". Retrieved October 12, 2016.
  33. ^ "Main Campus (Seoul)". Konkuk University. Retrieved February 2, 2016.
  34. ^ "Limousine Bus Routes" (in Korean). Airport Limousine co., Ltd. Retrieved February 3, 2016.
  35. ^ "미주총련 남문기 회장 건국대서 명예박사". The Hankyoreh. 2009-08-24. Retrieved 2012-07-27.
  36. ^ "Konkuk University, Background of Choi-Ji woo's Campus Life in "Twenty Again"" (in Korean). Retrieved February 2, 2016.
  37. ^ "Cheese in Konkuk University, Background for Webtoon "Cheese in the Trap"" (in Korean). Retrieved February 15, 2016.
  38. ^ "Konkuk University Middle School" (in Korean). Retrieved February 2, 2016.
  39. ^ "Konkuk University High School" (in Korean). Archived from the original on 2016-01-30. Retrieved February 2, 2016.
  40. ^ "Konkuk University Medical Center". Retrieved February 2, 2016.
  41. ^ "Konkuk University Medical Center (KUMC)". Konkuk University. Retrieved February 2, 2016.
  42. ^ "Konkuk Dairy & Ham". Retrieved February 2, 2016.
  43. ^ "Konkuk Asset Management Corporation" (in Korean). Archived from the original on 2009-05-02. Retrieved February 2, 2016.
  44. ^ "The Classic 500" (in Korean). Retrieved February 2, 2016.
  45. ^ "Smart KU Golf Pavilion" (in Korean). Retrieved February 2, 2016.

External links[edit]