KAIST confers two fundamentally different kinds of degree:
The undergraduate degree is the next step after high school, and is intended to educate a student broadly. KAIST degrees emphasize science and technology, but are also strong in the other key components of liberal education: language, arts, humanities and business. The holder of a KAIST undergraduate degree is expected to be a well-rounded individual with a technical mind capable of moving in a variety of career directions.
The course requirements for undergraduates are of two kinds: (1) those required generally of all students, and (2) those specific to the academic department that the student joins upon declaring a major. The degree certificate is thus effectively granted jointly by KAIST and one of its academic departments, and is worded accordingly. Students wishing to do extra work and satisfy requirements of more than one major will have this indicated on the certificate. A less arduous alternative is a major from one department and a minor (a simplified version of the major) from one or more others.
KAIST prepares students for later specialization, and keeps undergraduate placement statistics to monitor how effectively it accomplishes this. However, KAIST students are expected to complete a foundation education in science and engineering and specialize only at the graduate level.
Graduate degrees are taken after the undergraduate degree, and focus on acquiring specific technical expertise through research experience. There are two general kinds of graduate degree: the master, designed to prepare an individual for productive work in the industrial economy, and the doctorate, designed to prepare an individual to teach in university or do industrial research.
Research, the core of a graduate degree, is a fundamentally different concept from classroom learning. Rather than trying to internalize more of what is known, you are trying to apply knowledge you already have to the solution of a problem that never existed before, and for which no one knows the answer. The research experience is a work relationship between the student apprentice and the thesis advisor, and so often succeeds or fails on the basis of personal chemistry between them. It also depends heavily on healthy financial relationships between the thesis advisor and sponsors in government and industry, personal commitment of the student and advisor, and serendipitous events in the laboratory. For these reasons and others, the meaning of a graduate degree is often contained more in the quality of the ideas and discoveries the program produces than in the program's curriculum.
As with undergraduate work at KAIST, graduate requirements are of two kinds: (1) those required generally of all students, and (2) those specific to the academic program that the student joins in order to do research. In contrast to the undergraduate case, however, the student must be selected into the program and, more importantly, by a thesis advisor willing to work with the student and provide financial support.
Graduate programs are inherently more fluid and complex than their undergraduate counterparts on account of being professional and responsive to the economy. Thus, for example, the Graduate School of Management, the Graduate School of Finance, and the Graduate School of Information and Media Management, all of which reside on the Seoul campus of KAIST, are autonomous bodies with admissions, financial, and research policies fully independent from those of the engineering programs on the Daejeon campus. The School of Automobile Technology and the School of Culture Technology on the Daejeon campus likewise have independent admissions, financial and research policies. There are also several degree-granting programs in the School of Interdisciplinary Studies on the Daejeon campus, which are similarly autonomous but involve faculty and students in regular departments. The purpose of graduate programs is professional training, so KAIST tracks its graduate degree holders and keeps careful graduate placement statistics.
Each course is assigned a certain number of credits according to the difficulty of the course, time investment required, and so forth. (The credit values of courses are specified in the course listings.) A total of at least 130 credits is required to graduate.
All KAIST undergraduates must either pass HS101 (English I) and HS102 (English II) or subsitute an equivalent grade for these courses determined by the best of their entrance examination scores according to the table below. All undergraduates must have minimum scores on either TOEFL or TEPS to graduate.
|Purpose||Equivalent Grade||PBT TOEFL Score||CBT TOEFL Score||TEPS Score|
|Passing English I||B0||560-564||220-223||670-695|
|A+||580 or more||236 or more||747 or more|
|Passing English II||B0||585-589||240-242||765-780|
|A+||605 or more||253 or more||835 or more|
|Required to Graduate||560 or more||229 or more||670 or more|
All students are required to pass HS103 (Basic Korean writing).
All students must pass at least two courses from among HS180 - HS89.
Students are required to pass at least one course from each of the following categories: Science Technology, Literature and Art, History and Philosophy, Social Science, a second Foreign Language. They must then take other courses Humanities and Social Sciences to bring the total number of credits in this category up to 21.
Students are required to pass one course from each of the nine categories on the right side of the following table:
|Physics||PH121, PH141, PH161|
|PH122, PH142, PH162|
|Chemistry||CH100, CH101, CH105|
|Computer Science||CS101, CS102|
Each KAIST undergraduate must join an academic department by declaring at least one major by the end of the second year. This is done by registering at the department office. Students may enroll for more than one major, or for major in one subject and a minor (a less rigorous version of the major) in another. Each major (minor) has its own set of additional degree requirements.
|Major or Minor||Minor Only|
Every student must pass HS200.
Each course is assigned a certain number of credits according to the difficulty of the course, time investment required, and so forth. (The credit values of courses are specified in the course listings.) A total of at least 36 credits is required to graduate with a Master's Degree. A total of 72 is required for a Doctoral degree.
Graduate students entering KAIST are admitted directly into specific academic departments or cross-departmental programs. Each of these has additional degree requirements, and is also responsible for overseeing the student's research.
|Natural Science||Engineering||Interdisciplinary||Seoul Campus|
All graduate students must submit an acceptable thesis to graduate. The thesis content requirements vary by academic discipline and are different for Masters and Doctoral degrees. However, all students must (1) submit their theses in both English and Korean, (2) conform to KAIST style and electronic format guidelines, and (3) release the copyright of the work to KAIST for publication.
|Unpublished Prototype - Archived 1 Aug 08|