Seoul National University Acceptance Rate

Located in Seoul, South Korea, the Seoul National University has long served as the industry leader in providing higher education in Korea. As one of the leading public universities in Korea, Times Higher Education placed the Seoul National University at 54th position in World University Ranking 2022. 

Acceptance Rate 

Securing admission to Seoul National University is considered more challenging than some of the top universities in the US. 

The Seoul National University opens its doors to over 27,000 students every year for its undergraduate and postgraduate programs. However, the number of international exchange students is only in the 200s. The SNU acceptance rate is around 15%.

Because getting admission into the University is challenging and competitive, applicants often have several questions on how to get admission to Seoul National University. 

Eligibility criteria 

The Seoul National University admission criteria for undergraduate and postgraduate courses vary based on which Class the international applicant falls into. There are two classes under which an applicant may apply – International Admissions I and International Admissions II. 

The admission requirements for International Admissions I undergraduate applicants are –

  • Neither the applicant nor their parents should be Korean citizens.
  • The applicant must have completed their High school graduation or an equivalent degree. 

The admission requirements for applicants that fall under International Admissions II for undergraduate courses are –

  • The applicant holds Korean or any other foreign citizenship.
  • The applicant completed their entire education outside of Korea (from elementary to high school). 

The Seoul National University admission requirements for postgraduate applicants under International Admissions I include –

  • The applicant must have completed their graduation under a reputed institution. 
  • Both the applicant and their parents must not have Korean citizenship. 

 

The admission criteria for postgraduate applicants under International Admissions II include –

  • Applicants must hold a Bachelor’s or higher educational degree from a reputed institution. 
  • Applicants (despite having Korean or foreign citizenship) must have completed their education outside of Korea from elementary school to high school. 

Documents required 

The Seoul National University admission requirements include the submission of various documents by both undergraduate and postgraduate international students. For each category, the documentation requirements are further split into two categories based on –

  • Whether the applicant has completed their high school education in Korea as of February 28th, 2023 
  • Whether the applicant has completed their entire education before graduation outside of Korea 

The following are the required documents for students who meet the criteria for International Admissions I to the Seoul National University –

  • Application Form 
  • Personal Statement and Study Plan 
  • Letter of Recommendation 
  • Letter of Recommendation from Counsellor 
  • Proof of Language Proficiency 
  • Official Certificate of Enrolment for High School 
  • Official Transcript for High School 
  • Certificate of Nationality of the applicant 
  • Certificate of Nationality of the applicant’s parents 
  • Certificate of Parent-Child Relationship 
  • Some optional documents may also be submitted, including Standardised Test Scores, Explanatory Statement, School Profile, Proof of Proficiency in a language other than English/Korean, and Supplementary Material 
  • Applicants seeking admission to the College of Music or Fine Arts also need to submit their portfolio and a pledge 

The list of mandatory documents required of students who meet the International Admissions II criteria includes –

  • Application Form 
  • Personal Statement and Study Plan 
  • Letter of Recommendation 
  • Letter of Recommendation from Counsellor 
  • Proof of Language Proficiency 
  • Official Certificate of Enrolment for elementary, middle school, and high school 
  • Official Transcript for elementary, middle school, and high school 
  • Official High School Graduation Certificate 
  • Certificate of Nationality of the applicant 
  • Certificate of Fact on Entry and Exit along with its Power of Attorney 
  • Some optional documents can also be scanned and uploaded, such as Standardised Test Scores, Explanatory Statements, School Profile, Supplementary Material, and Proof of Language Proficiency other than Korean/English 
  • Applicants applying to the College of Music or Fine Arts also need to submit their portfolio and a pledge 

The Seoul National University admission requirements for postgraduate applicants also involve similar categorical criteria. For postgraduate applicants that meet the criteria for International Admissions I, the following are the mandatory documents required –

  • Application Form 
  • Personal Statement and Study Plan 
  • Two Letters of Recommendation 
  • Proof of Language Proficiency in English or Korean 
  • Certificate of Graduation, even if expected 
  • Academic Transcript for Bachelor’s Program 
  • Certificate of Applicant’s Nationality 
  • Certificate of Parents’ Nationality 
  • Certificate of Parent-Child Relationship 
  • Some optional documents may also be uploaded, such as Explanatory Statement, Language Proficiency Certificate for languages other than Korean or English, Supplementary Material, and Thesis 
  • Department-specific documents may also be required, such as a pledge and portfolio for Music and Fine Arts, a portfolio and writing sample for Architectural Engineering, and an academic writing sample for College of Human Ecology 

Postgraduate applicants applying under International Admissions II need to submit the following necessary documents –

  • Application Form 
  • Personal Statement and Study Plan 
  • Two Letters of Recommendation 
  • Proof of Language Proficiency in Korean or English 
  • Certificate of Graduation (expected) 
  • Applicant’s Certificate of Nationality 
  • Certificate of Entry and Exit 
  • Some optional documents may include an Explanatory Statement, Proof of Language Proficiency other than English or Korean, Thesis, and Supplementary Material 
  • Department-specific documents may include a portfolio and pledge for Fine Arts and Music, an academic writing sample for Child Development and Family Studies, and a portfolio and academic writing sample for Architectural Engineering 

Tests required and average scores

The Seoul National University admission criteria include basic proficiency tests for Korean and English. The proficiency test for Korean is TOPIK and applicants must pass at least Level 3 or 4 from university language centres across Korea. 

As for English-speaking applicants, they must pass TOEFL iBT Home Edition, TOEFL MyBest, IELTS Academic English Language proficiency tests with a minimum score of 80 for TOEFL iBT, 269 for TEPS, and overall 6.0 for IELTS. 

Note that the University does not consider results for TOEFL ITP tests. 

On average, the total student enrollment for Seoul National University is 27,000+. The University offers 85 undergraduate courses through 15 colleges and 106 postgraduate courses across five distinguished fields of study. Some of the most popular undergraduate courses offered by the University include –

  • Food and Animal Biotechnology 
  • Applied Biology and Chemistry 
  • Business Administration 
  • Civil and Environmental Engineering 
  • Oriental Painting 
  • Food and Nutrition 
  • Liberal Studies 
  • Preliminary Medicine 

The top postgraduate courses of Seoul National University, renowned worldwide, include –

  • Anthropology
  • Archaeology and Art History 
  • Political Science and International Relations 
  • Agricultural Economics and Rural Development 
  • Consumer Science 
  • Social Studies Education 

How Seoul National University evaluates applicants 

When deciding whom to admit, Seoul National University considers a number of factors such as the Grade Point Average or GPA, letters of recommendation, personal statements, and personal achievement records. 

While reviewing applications, the admissions committee looks into the –

  • Features of the attended institutions 
  • Quality of achievements 
  • Suitability of goals with the chosen subject 
  • Proficiency in Korean and other languages 

Other than these, assessment tests and interviews may also be conducted depending upon the policy of the department or college. 

Tips for applying to the Seoul National University 

According to the QS Rankings 2023, Seoul National University ranks 29th among the best global universities. Given its track record for excellence and high performance, the Seoul National University acceptance rate is significantly low. 

Compared to other Universities, the Seoul National University places greater importance on academic brilliance than non-academic qualities and achievements of the applicants. However, the application process offers numerous opportunities for applicants to shine before the reviewers. 

Given below are some valuable tips to help students secure a seat at the Seoul National University –

  • Study hard and take up standardised tests. Usually, the combined scores of high school or undergraduate grades and standardised tests are considered to understand how successful a student can be. 
  • A personal statement is the way to make a great impression on the reviewer. So, students shouldn’t forget to include why they love the subject they are applying for and the important moments that deepened their love for it. 
  • Reach out to relevant teachers in advance for their letters of recommendation. Students should ensure the teachers or counsellors chosen know them well as a person. 
  • Never shift the reviewer’s focus from what’s important to the trivial. Meaning, highlight important milestones and achievements while keeping the content to the point and crisp. 
  • Finally, proofread applications thoroughly, perhaps even from a friend or family member, before submitting it. 

Application deadlines 

The Seoul National University online application process for international admissions in undergraduate and postgraduate courses for Spring 2023 began on July 4th, 2022. The online application window was between July 4th and July 7th, 2022. 

As for submitting portfolios and recommendation letters, applicants got a window of an additional day – July 4th to July 8th, 2022. 

All submission deadlines were as per Korean Standard Time. 

The table below makes it easier to understand the various submission deadlines –

Last Date for Application Submission – July 7th, 2022

Last Date for Portfolio Submission – July 8th, 2022

Last Date for Recommendation Letters Submission – July 8th, 2022

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