In 2013, approximately 23.5 percent of students from Korea University (KU) had moved on to graduate school to have their Master’s Degree. As such a figure rises continuously, KU has recently announced their new integrated curriculum which would help those who want to enroll in graduate school.
▲ The building of the KU Graduate School where students study to get their Master’s Degrees. Photographed by Kim Na Young
On December 2013, KU announced that they would accept applicants for the new Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree Integrated Program for the first time. It is a new program planned to be established starting from this March that was designed to help students to gain as much benefit as possible.
The most significant aspect of it is that the students can get both their Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in ten semesters, instead of twelve of them. Thus, such a program minimizes the time that students have to spend in school, as it cuts two semesters back—one from undergraduate studies and another from graduate studies.
It also helps KU students to minimize their spending as it obviously allows the students to save some money that they would have had to pay for the additional two semesters. It has also been known that the students will not be charged an entrance fee if they enroll in graduate school through such a curriculum. Moreover, they do not
have to take a separate entrance exam.
In general, students need to have a Grade Point Average (GPA) of over 3.5 in order to apply. The students also need to have more than 45 credits in total, and have registered in KU for more than four semesters. However, such qualification may differ according to their majors. In addition, students from College of Medicine, College of Nursing and College of Informational Security are not able to apply to the program.
Regarding the program, KU expresses its great anticipation. “The greatest aspect about this new program is that it lessens the burden of time and cost,” says Kim Sang Yong, the vice-president of the KU Business School (KUBS), while giving a presentation in January. He also adds that the curriculum would definitely help the students to thoroughly study the field they have always dreamed to become an expert in.
Yet, some students have concerns over the new educational program. One of them deals with the fact that the program was recently formed. Thus, some students fear that it might not have a core curriculum yet. “Although I meet the qualifications for applying to the integrated program, I must say that I am hesitant about whether I should apply or not,” says Kim Ji Sun (’12, Business).
Even though there are some concerns about the program, it appears that the new curriculum was something that KU had undoubtedly needed, as a growing number of students choose to attend graduate school. However, students should pay closer attention to how the program runs as, at this early stage, it is not possible to know whether or not it would work out effectively as planned.