■ Division of Political Science and Economics (Political Science and Economics Building Room # 107; Tel 02-3290-1284)
The Division of Political Science and Economics forms an academic system in which first-year students of the College of Political Science and Economics take ‘major exploration courses’ and other courses before they choose their undergraduate major. Each department within the Division of Political Science and Economics holds an annual orientation meeting for first-year students in order to help them make an informed decision in selecting their undergraduate major.
Until 2001, students had to study under a two-year division system before advancing to the third year where they could choose their major. However, the system was reformed in 2002 to allow students to advance to major courses after the first year of admission. In order to advance to the second year of the four-year undergraduate course, students are required to take more than 34 credits. Any student who has taken the two first year semesters should determine their major regardless of the total number of credits obtained.
The College of Political Science and Economics is comprised of four Departments: Political Science and International Relations, Economics, Statistics and Public Administration. (The former Department of Journalism and Mass Communications was reformed into the Division of Journalism and Mass Communications in 2002.) The total number of students in each department is decided as follows based on the student quota established in 1998: Department of Political Science and International Relations (60), Department of Economics (140), Department of Statistics (80) and Department of Public Administration (90). These numbers are subject to readjustment within ±30% of the quota.
Department of Political Science and International Relations (Political Science and Economics Building Room # 102; Tel 02-3290-2180)
The Department of Political Science and International Relations inherited the law and politics majors from Bosung College when Bosung College was transformed into 4-year Korea University on August 15, 1946. At that time, however, only a few courses concerning political science were offered. The real inception of the Department of Political Science and International Relations began in 1949 when it was established as an independent department. The department was transformed into the Department of Political Science under the Division of Political Science and International Relations in 1955 and then to the current Department of Political Science and International Relations in 1959 when the Division of Political Science and International Relations was promoted into the College of Political Science and International Relations.
The Department of Political Science and International Relations largely consists of political ideologies, comparative politics, and international politics. Courses in political ideologies include Ancient and Medieval Political Thought, Modern Political Thought in the Western World, Oriental Political Thought and Contemporary Political Philosophy. Political ideology courses are taught by professors Kim Byoung-gon, Park Hong-gyu, and Gwak Joon-hyuk. Courses in comparative politics include Chinese Politics, Japanese Politics, Korean Politics, Theory of Democracy, Political Parties, Election and Parliament, and Research on Comparative Politics; main professors in this subject include Cho Jeong-nam, Kim Byoung-guk, Lim Hyuk-baek, Lee Nae-young, and Gwon Hyuk-yong. Courses in international politics are taught by professors Gang Sung-hak, Hyun In-taek, Lee Sin-wha, and Lee Dong-sun; and include Theories of International Relations, Europe and the European Union, Foreign Policy of South Korea, American Foreign Policy, International Relations in Northeast Asia, International Organizations, and History of 20th Century International Relations. For first-year students who have yet to determine their majors, major exploration courses are offered. Since the introduction of the division system in undergraduate programs in 1999, around 70 students have enrolled annually in the Department of Political Science and International Relations. In 2006, the total number of undergraduate students in the department was 259.
Every year around 40 students advance to graduate programs; as of 2006, around 80 students are enrolled in master and PhD courses in political science and economics majors. Graduate students can choose their major from political ideologies, comparative politics, and international politics. Major-related courses in political ideologies include Confusion Political Philosophies, Political Thought of Korea, Nationalism, Marxism, Contemporary Critical Theory, Contemporary Political Thought of Korea, Modern Chinese Political Thought, Studies on Political Thinkers, and Research on Political Thought. Courses in comparative politics include Comparative Political Cultures, Comparative Political Processes, Comparative Research on Communist Political Systems, Theory of the State, Comparative Studies on Political Parties, Public Policies, Political Economy, Contemporary Japanese Politics, Contemporary Chinese Politics, Contemporary American Politics and Contemporary Russian Politics. Courses in international politics include Contemporary Theories of International Organizations, Contemporary Theories of Korea’s Foreign Policy, North Korean Foreign Policy, Foreign Policy Making Processes, Nuclear Weapons and Foreign Policy, International Political Economy, American Foreign Policy, Russian Foreign Policy, and Japanese Foreign Policy. Apart from these major courses, graduate students are also required to take common introductory courses designed to help them obtain a broader range of knowledge: all graduate students should take History of Political Thought, Comparative Political Theories, and Approaches to International Politics. Depending on majors, Contemporary Political Theories, Korean Political Processes, and Research Methods in Political Science are available.
One of the main contributions to the development of the Department of Political Science and International Relations is its renowned faculty. The department has started attracting renowned scholars in earnest since the nation’s liberation from Japanese occupation. Professor Kim Sang-rae came to our department in 1946; and Professor Seo Im-soo, who had served as the President of Sungkyunkwan University and Sookmyung Women’s University, also came to Korea University in the same year. The year 1949 witnessed the arrival of Professor Yoon Chun-joo and Shin Gi-seok, who later became the President of Seoul National University and Culture and Education minister, and the President of Pusan National University, respectively.
After the end of the Korean War, Professor Kim Young-doo was hired in 1953 and later served as Dean of the College of Political Science and Economics; Professor Min Myoung-gi in 1956 who later was appointed South Korean ambassador to France; Professor Oh Byung-hun and Cho Soon-seung in 1958 both of whom later became lawmakers; Professor Kim Ha-ryong and Han Ki-sik in 1964 and 1967, respectively, both of whom served as Dean of the College of Political Science and Economics; Professor Han Bae-ho in 1971 who later served as Dean of the Graduate School of Political Science and Economics and Director of the Sejong Research Center; Professor Kim Gyeong-won in 1991 who later became South Korean ambassador to the United Nations and Director of the Korean Sociological Association; Professor Lee Ho-jae in 1971 who was later elected President of the Korean Association of International Studies and Dean of the College of Political Science and Economics; and Professor Kim Yong-gi in 1991 who later served as President of the Korean Association of Middle Eastern Studies.
Professor Han Seung-joo arrived in 1978, who later served as vice-president of the Korean Association of International Studies and South Korean ambassador to the United States. Two years later came Professor Seo Jin-young, who became Dean of the Office of Student Affairs and the President of the 21st Century Commission. In 1981 came Professor Gang Sung-hak, who subsequently was appointed South Korean representative to the Special Committee of the UN Peace-Keeping Operations and Dean of the Office of Academic Affairs; in 1982 Professor Choi Sang-ryong who became President of the Korean Political Science Association and South Korean ambassador to Japan; in 1982 Professor Cho Jeong-nam who became Director of the Institute for Peace Studies and President of the Institute of Korean Culture; in 1983 Professor Choi Jang-gyp who later served as President of the Center for Korean Political Science, President of the Presidential Commission on Policy Planning and Director of Asiatic Research Center; in 1994 Professor Kim Byoung-guk who later became editing director of the Korean Political Science Association and member of the Presidential Commission on Policy Planning; and in 1995 Professor Hyun In-taek, who is currently serving as Director of the Ilmin International Relations Institute. In 1998, Professor Lim Hyuk-baek, a former professor at Ewha Womans University, moved to our program; he later became the Chair of the Korean Social Science Research Council and a member of the Presidential Commission on Policy Planning. Professor Kim Byung-gon came in 1998 and subsequently served in the Office of Education at the KU Graduate School and the director of the Korean Society for Political Thought. Professor Lee Nae-young, a former professor at the Graduate School of Pan-Pacific International Studies at Kyung Hee University, came in 2001 and Professor Lee Shin-wha and Park Hong-gyu were appointed in 2003 and 2004, respectively.
Major courses in international politics are taught by Kang Seong-hak, Hyun In-taek, Lee Shin-wha, Lee Dong-sun and Lee Yong-wook; comparative politics by Cho Jeong-nam, Kim Byoung-guk, Lim Hyuk-baek, Lee Nae-young and Gwon Hyuk-yong; and political thought by Kim Byong-gonk, Park Hong-gyu and Gwak Joon-hyuk.
The Department of Political Science and International Relations is actively engaged in research activities in cooperation with the Anam Association of Political Science, BK 21 East Asian New Governance Education and Research Team, and Institute of Peace Studies. Republic of Anam, a mock congressional session, is an annual event hosted by undergraduate students.
1) The Anam Association of Political Science
The Anam Association of Political Science is a research group organized by political science alumni with a current membership of around 100 regular and 50 associate members; among them, 60-odd regular members are employed as professors in other universities across the country. A number of political science seminars and conferences are held every year.
2) BK 21 East Asian New Governance Education and Research Team
This team was launched through funding by the Ministry of Education in December 1999 as part of the government’s Brain Korea 21 project (BK 21), which was designed to produce highly skilled talent able to meet the challenges of a knowledge-based society. The goal of our department’s BK21 project is to improve the quality of education and establish systematic, focused research on East Asia. It also offers research grants to emerging researchers and graduate students and publishes the academic journals Journal of East Asian Studies (English) and East Asian Research (Korean). Internationally renowned scholars and government officials are invited to colloquiums to help students further nurture their academic and international expertise.
3) Institute of Peace Studies
Since its inception, the Institute of Peace Studies has been conducting research related to the reunification of the two Koreas as well as peace and security in Northeast Asia. It is designated as a vital research institute by the Korea Research Foundation.
Graduates of the Department of Political Science and International Relations serve as highly-skilled, specialized talent for the nation and world at large in academic, political, media and economic spheres.
In the political arena, the KU Department of Political Science and International Relations has produced one the largest number of lawmakers among Korean universities: a total of 78 alumni entered the National Assembly between the 10th and 16th National Assembly; 11 alumni of our department are currently serving in the 16th assembly.
Meanwhile, a total of 179 alumni are serving in governmental agencies, including the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Unification, Public Administration and Security, Labor, Justice, and Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs, National Intelligence Service, and National Tax Service: 83 of them are level 2 or higher officials such as ministers, vice-ministers, ambassadors and heads of divisions and bureaus.
As for the media community, around 211 alumni are working in a number of broadcast and newspaper agencies, including KBS, MBC, SBS, YTN, iTV, Yonhap News Agency, Chosun Ilbo, Donga Ilbo, Joongang Ilbo, Hankyoreh, Moonwha Ilbo, Kyunghyang Sinmoon, Hankook Ilbo, Kookmin Ilbo, Maeil Business and Hankyung.
Graduates of our department are also actively engaged in academic circles as well: over the past ten years, five out of every 100 alumni have become professors in domestic and international universities, including Korea University, Sookmyung Women’s University, Catholic University of Korea, Nagoya University in Japan, and UCLA and other American universities in the United States. In total, 235 alumni are employed as professors or researchers in major research institutes.
The outstanding performance of our alumni is also proven by the passage rate on civil service exams: since 1996, 19 graduates have passed the state exam for administrative officials, 13 have passed the senior Foreign Service exam and likewise 6 for the national bar exam. As for the senior Foreign Service exam, 3.8 out of every 100 alumni passed the exam as of 2001.
Department of Economics (Political Science and Economics Building Room # 103; Tel 02-3290-2200)
The Department of Economics started in 1905 as the Department of Finance. In 1959, the department was reorganized as the Department of Economics under the College of Political Science and Economics. The Department received the state-funded BK 21 project in 1999; it also ranked top in the 2005 and 2007 evaluations of Korean university departments of economics conducted by the Joongang Ilbo.
The Department of Economics has shared the good and bad times of the past 100 years with Korea University. KU Economics was inspired by the late 19th century movement of innovators intent on instilling modern economic and finance education in Korea. The 90-year history of KU Economics (40 years of the Bosung College era and 50 years of the KU era) has been a process of constant innovation and progress producing a number of pioneers in the country's modernization process. The Economics department received official BK21 Project designation in 1999. This government support has greatly helped KU Economics in the process of reinventing itself as a research-centered program. Through the commitment of its professors and students, KU Economics is now competing with the world's most prominent universities.
- Produce professional economists equipped with both practical and theoretical expertise required to meet the needs of rapidly-changing economic conditions
- Produce economic experts equipped with an analytical mind capable of competing on the international stage
- Produce business professionals able to contribute to society through academic and theoretical economic research and education
Between 1907 and 2007, the department produced a total of 8,212 graduates, who were subsequently engaged in a variety of areas, including finance, business, the public sector, and academia.
Department of Statistics (Political Science and Economics Building Room # 104; Tel 02-3290-2230)
The Department of Statistics, established in December 1962, started its first semester in 1964 with one assistant professor and a student quota of 40 (reduced to 35 in 1965). The Institute of Statistics was established in October 1975 to promote a research-oriented educational environment. The student quota increased from 35 to 40 in 1977 and again then to 80 in 1982. During November 1-9, 1995, all undergraduates participated in a nationwide census in order to experience a large-scale statistics survey. With the introduction of the university-wide division system in 1998, the department was reformed into a major track within the Division of Political Science and Economics. Since then, 50-60 students choose to come to the Department of Statistics annually.
The Department of Statistics has led South Korea's statistics community since its inception in 1962 as the first Statistics program in the country.
The theory and application of statistics have been significantly advanced not only in the social sciences but in natural sciences. With the advancement of the information era, the demand for statistical experts is increasing.
The KU Department of Statistics has ten renowned professors as of 2008. Debates are encouraged in class to maximize student problem-solving ability and a printed version of the debates is published every semester.
A Unix-based Workstation installed in the department and computer applications incorporated in all courses help students more effectively acquire the skills required in the information era. Furthermore, industrial-academic cooperation is actively pursued to combine theory and practice. A number of elective courses and second major options are available to enable students to customize their own studies in accordance with their needs and goals.
Graduates of the Department of Statistics are playing a pivotal role in a diverse range of areas, including the public sector, large companies, banking and survey organizations, among others. A significant number of students also advance to graduate programs to deepen their knowledge in business management, economics, sociology, engineering, etc.
1) Educational Goals
The Department of Statistics aims to nurture the following:
1. Experts who will play a pivotal role in public and private sector decision-making through information management
2. Data experts able to compile, process, and analyze data, especially in IT and banking industries
3. Computer experts in database management systems (DBMS), networks, and multimedia as well as statistical software such as SAS and SPSS
The first goal of the Department of Statistics is to train decision-making experts. Statistics is considered critically important in producing optimal results in a number of applied studies and fields. An objective analysis of data is the foundation of valid decisions, for example, government policy planning, corporate prediction of business trends and direction or research institution recommendations based on research data. In order to nurture such statistics experts, closely-linked interdisciplinary undergraduate education is critical. The KU Department of Statistics program offers courses interlinked with other relevant areas from the beginning and then advances into deeper, more specialized studies, enabling students to work as statistics experts immediately upon graduation.
Major-related courses offered to the 300-odd enrolled undergraduate students are as follows: Statistical Exploration, Elementary Statistics and Statistics Workshop in the first year; Mathematics for Statistics, Matrix Theory, Introduction to Probability Theory, Mathematical Statistics, Regression Analysis and Exploratory Data Analysis in the second year; and Sample Theory, Introduction to Data Mining, Experiment al Design Method, Computational Statistics, Time Series Analysis, Nonparametric Statistics, Multivariate Statistical Statistics, Economic Analysis, Statistical Database, and Bio-Statistics in the third and fourth years.
The Department of Statistics has around 40 enrolled graduate students and offers MSc, PhD, and combined MSc/PhD programs. Applied Statistics and Mathematical Statistics are offered as major courses and students in the first year of the master’s program take basic courses before deciding supervisors. After the first semester, students who pass a qualification exam are eligible to select their majors and supervisors. Research in the graduate programs is conducted around each class and laboratory.
Since its inception in 1963, the Department of Statistics has produced a number of graduates who are playing a pivotal role in social and economic sectors, particularly in large enterprises and banking institutions. The employment rate of our graduates is around 90% each year. With more companies paying attention to scientific decision-making processes based on data analysis since the 1997 Asian financial crisis, there has been an increasing demand for statisticians. Many KU graduates, serving the needs of changing society, are working in the finance sector for commercial banks, insurance companies, credit card companies, etc.
■ Department of Public Administration (Political Science and Economics Building Room # 106; Tel 02-3290-2270)
The Department of Public Administration, since its establishment in 1955, has served as a much-needed pool of talent for governmental, political, and legal sectors. The department was also ranked number one in the evaluations of the departments of public administration of South Korean universities in 1994 by the news magazine The Sisa Journal and in 2005 by The Joongang Ilbo. In 2006, it was awarded the 2nd stage Brain Korea 21 grant offered by the Ministry of Education. The department is also seeking strategic advancement of the study of public administration through the introduction of Law and Public Administration-associated programs in 2007. As of 2008, there are a total of 14 professors and 250 enrolled students.
2007 Law and Public Administration-associated programs introduced
2006 Department awarded the 2nd stage Brain Korea 21 grant as the Education and Research Team for the Asian Public Administration Hub
2005 50th anniversary of the establishment of the department
1999 Division system (Division of Political Science and Economics) introduced; Survey Research Center in the Institute of Governmental Studies established; Title of the Journal changed to The Journal of Governmental Studies
1998 Institute of Public Affairs renamed Institute of Governmental Studies
1997 Graduate program in Public Security Administration installed in the Graduate School of Policy Studies
1993 The Journal of Public Administration and Policy launched
1991 KUPA Newsletter launched
1988 Department-affiliated Institute of Public Affairs established
1986 Graduate programs in Municipal and Local Administration as well as Public Audit and Inspection Administration launched in the Graduate School of Policy Studies
1984 Political Science and Economics building completed
1981 Department’ academic affiliation changed from the College of Law to the College of Political Science and Economics
1970 Institute of Public Affairs restructured as Institute of Law and Public Administration
1960 Institute of Public Affairs installed
1955 Department of Public Administration established in the College of Law along with the Department of Law
Although the exact date when the studies of public administration started in earnest in South Korea is somewhat controversial, many propose the year 1955 when a textbook on public administration written by a Korean scholar was first published and the Department of Public Administration was launched at Korea University as the first of its kind among private universities. The nascent studies of public administration in South Korea featured the strong influence of legal studies; accordingly, it was first installed within the College of Law. However, its focus has gradually shifted toward public sector management and policy issues. Reflecting this change, the department was restructured into the College of Political Science and Economics in 1982.
The Department of Public Administration has demonstrated excellence and leadership in the areas of education and research in public administration studies. Graduates of our program are actively engaged in various fields. Its Faculty and curricula standards provide a benchmark for other universities and italso maintains its number one position in nation-wide rankings of Public Administration programs.
In 2005, the department celebrated its 50th anniversary. In 2006, it was awarded the 2nd stage Brain Korea 21 grant as the Education and Research Team for the Asian Public Administration Hub.
The academic goal of the Department of Public Administration is to further advance theories of public administration and policies as well as their applications and produce experts and researchers in the public administration sector.
◈ Next-generation leaders in public administration
◈ Governmental administrators
◈ Administrators in international organizations
◈ Next-generation researchers in public administration
The study of public administration is about governments and the public sector. In order to learn diverse aspects of government, students take Organizational Theory and Public Policy Making as mandatory courses. These courses offer an understanding of how the government operates and how governmental policies are decided and implemented. Management Science in the Public Sector, Public Management Information System, Policy Evaluation, Policy Analysis, Public Budgeting and Financial Management, Administrative Behavior, and Innovation in Government offer further understanding of the operation of governmental organizations and ways to improve their democracy and efficiency. Personnel Management, Administrative Leadership and Ethics, Philosophy and Ethics in Public Administration, and Theories of Public Administration offer philosophical basis and theoretical organization of public administration.
For comparative studies of different governmental systems, Korean Public Administration, Comparative Government, Japanese Administration and Public Policy and American Administration and Public Policy are provided. International Public Administration helps students understand the interrelated nature of administration and policies between countries. Economics of Organization and Public Economics concern the impact of public administration on economy and society.
Students also take a number of courses to deepen their knowledge about the relationship between public administration and other parts of society; Public Choice, NGO and Citizen Participation, and Bureaucracy and Emerging Governance for the connection between governments and the civic society and between the public and private sectors; Presidential Leadership and Public Policy as well as Public Management and Leadership for the perceptions and behaviors of top decision-makers; Local Government, Metropolitan Government, and Urban and Regional Planning for the characteristics of regional and urban governments as well as the interactions between the central government and local autonomous bodies; Science and Technology Policy, Policies for Trade and Industry, Welfare and Quality of Life, and Cultural Policy for individual policies; and Public Financial Management Seminar, Special Topics in Public Administration (I) and (II), and Public Administration (I) and (II) Seminars for a deeper understanding of administrative issues.
Students are also encouraged to take Research Methods, Quantitative Interpretation of Public Policy, and Statistical Analysis in order to lay the foundation for the approach to public administration from the perspective of social sciences; and law courses such as Constitution and Administration Law for the legal basis of public administration. A wide range of knowledge in economics, philosophy, sociology, politics, and business administration will also be very helpful in studying public administration.
The study of public administration examines the interactions between the government and the people as well as between the public and private sectors from a macroscopic point of view, and determining the appropriate role of governments. It also analyzes the work of governments in order to help governments better perform their roles. To these ends, the Department of Public Administration constantly interacts with other study areas to enhance interdisciplinary collaboration.
The Department of Public Administration promotes research activities primarily around the following research institutions:
1) BK21 Education and Research Team for the Asian Public Administration Hub
The BK21 Education and Research Team for the Asian Public Administration Hub strives to establish an Asian hub for public administration studies that will help further develop and promote theories of Korean public administration.
To this goal, the team seeks to create theories of public administration based on the Asian experience in order to serve the needs of the region, provide prominent scholars and public administration experts to the Asian region, and attract talented students to our program.
2) Institute of Governmental Studies
The Institute of Governmental Studies, founded as the Institute of Public Administration in the 1960s, studies a number of issues related to the public sector as well as administrative issues.
During the 70s and 80s when the range and role of the public sector was expanding, the research institute provided realistic answers to the issues of overexpansion and inefficiency of governmental functions. Entering the 21st century, it has been playing a critical role in directing strategic development of the government to meet the emerging needs of the information and globalization era.
The Institute of Governmental Studies has carried out a wide range of projects to identify problems in Korea’s public administration and develop new policies in cooperation with a number of public and private organizations, including the Ministry of Information and Communication, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Science and Technology, Civil Service Commission, Korea Water Resources Corporation, Korea Electric Power Corporation, Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute, National Information Society Agency, The Donga Ilbo, Sungkok Foundation and Asan Foundation. Furthermore, our affiliated research centers -Center for Regulation Studies, Survey Research Center and Center for Regional Development Studies- are playing a key role in further improving the quality of research.
The biannual Journal of Governmental Studies, published by the Institute of Governmental Studies, has gained credibility based on its strict evaluation process and high-quality papers and enjoys a high subscription rate among Korean public administration researchers.
- Support for Applicants for High Civil Service Examinations
The KU Department of Public Administration has produced a large pool of highly skilled talent for the public sector over the past 50 years, with our graduates amounting to around 10% of high-level (level 5 or higher) civil servants employed by the government every year.
The State Exam Committee of the department, as part of its effort to provide with the nation a pool of skilled talent who can lead a “knowledge-based government,” offers special lectures, mock interviews and other programs designed to help applicants for high civil service exams.