KAIST Scholarships for International Students

The KAIST is an elite private institution of higher education based in the city of Daejeon, South Korea. The university was initially founded in 1971 as one of the first institutions that provided technical education with a research-oriented and engineering perspective. It was one of the first universities of its kind to be established in the country. Currently, the university provides degrees and courses of study to more than 10,400 students of undergraduate and postgraduate level.

Despite its recent establishment, the university has partnerships with different elite institutions across the world such as Carnegie Mellon University (The United States) and the Technical University of Berlin (Germany). With an endowment of nearly $ 1 Billion USD, the university has numerous scholarship and funding opportunities for prospective students. This article presents some of the many KAIST scholarship programs, which are one of the top Korean scholarships for international students.

Students should also refer to the undergraduate and postgraduate admissions guides in order to understand the application process and gain admission into the university before applying for scholarships.

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KAIST Scholarships

Undergraduate Scholarships

  • KAIST Undergraduate Scholarship Page
  • Types of Scholarships: Registration scholarships, academic promotion scholarships, labor scholarships, other miscellaneous scholarships, financial aid

Prospective undergraduate students have access to multiple kinds of KAIST scholarships, depending on the stage of their application as well as their requirements. For example, the university offers registration scholarships prior to admission into the university program. Academic promotion scholarships exist as an award type mostly based on academic merit and achieve a valedictorian status during the course. Other award types are based on financial aid of the students.


1. KAIST Undergraduate Scholarship

This scholarship program is offered by the KAIST specifically for prospective students who show promise in the progress of research, globalization, entrepreneurship as well as education. The benefit of this program is the possibility of international students being eligible to apply for the scholarship as well.

Scholarship value:

Selected applicants receive a full tuition fee waiver for a period of up to 8 semesters in total. Students will also receive a stipend for living expenses amounting up to KRW 350,000/month as well as medical health insurance for the duration of the course.

Eligibility criteria:

The program is available for all international students (and not dual citizen applicants) who have graduated from high school and shown a high academic track record as well (with a minimum of 2.8 out of 4.0 GPA).

Application process:

After applying for admission to study at the KAIST, students are required to submit an online application for the scholarship on the relevant website along with the required documents as well.


2. Department Development Scholarship

This funding program is a type of KAIST scholarships based primarily on academic achievement and is awarded by the university foundation. Comprised of the Department Valedictorian and Department Salutatorian awards, the scholarship requires a certain number of credits as well as strong academic potential shown by the applicants.

Scholarship value:

The Department Valedictorian award provides up to KRW 250,000/month while the Department Salutatorian award provides up to KRW 200,000/month which are aimed towards tuition fees.

Eligibility criteria:

Students are required to acquire a minimum of 15 credits during their academic course and modules. Academic valedictorian or salutatorian status is required to be achieved (based on the type of the scholarship) and therefore, only academic honour roll students can apply.

Application process:

Students are required to refer to the undergraduate admissions website or directly contact their prospective department of study for further information regarding this scholarship program. The application process may defer from department to department as well.


3. Study Grant Awards

Study grants an alternative type of scholarship or financial aid package that is awarded by the departments of study based on the academic potential and requirements of enrolled students at the KAIST.

Scholarship value:

The grant value can go up to KRW 500,000 depending on the requirements of the student.

Eligibility criteria:

Students should have received a GPA of at least 3.0/4.3 in their previous semester. Students may have also received an external scholarship or an educational expense scholarship. The amount provided by the grant will depend on this and is likely to be around KRW 500,000 depending on if the scholarship exceeds school support fees.

Application process:

Similar to the department development scholarships, students are encouraged to directly contact the university or their department if they have queries. Further information regarding this funding can be received on this page.

Postgraduate Scholarships

As opposed to undergraduate scholarships, postgraduate students have fewer options when it comes to applying for scholarship and funding programs which is interesting considering the majority of students studying at the KAIST are postgraduates (approximately 7000 in total). Nevertheless, students have access to several types of KAIST scholarships as well, which shall be detailed before.


1. KAIST International Graduate Students Scholarship

This funding program is specifically created for international students who wish to pursue a Masters or PhD program at the KAIST. The aim of the program is to attract the brightest graduate students who are able to contribute to research activities at the university.

Scholarship value:

Selected applicants benefit from a full tuition exemption with a stipend for living expenses of around KRW 350,000 per month (for Masters students) or KRW 400,000 per month (for PhD students). Students receive a medical insurance as well as additional stipends for research activities.

Eligible degree:

The KAIST scholarships is suitable for both Masters and PhD degree students.

Eligibility criteria:

In order to apply for the scholarship, applicants should hold or expect to a Bachelor’s degree prior to enrolment in the case of Masters and an additional Master’s degree for prospective PhD students. The program is only open to non-Korean citizens/any international students and should additionally meet suitable English proficiency.

Application process:

There is no specific application for this program. When applying for admission to the university, students should check the ‘KAIST Scholarship’ on the Statement of Financial Resources section.


2. T/A Master’s Scholarships

This program is exclusively offered to prospective Masters students and is classified under the labor scholarships offered to students. Masters students are required to work as teaching assistants to receive funding for their studies.

Scholarship value:

Students can receive up to KRW 335,000 per month depending on their duties.

Eligible degree:

Prospective Masters students are eligible for this program.

Eligibility criteria:

Masters students receive up to 10 hours per week based on their T/A duties, which can be flexible. This can also differ and be limited based on the T/A guidelines.

Application process:

After gaining admission into the university, students should contact their prospective department to directly receive information regarding T/A positions and this relevant scholarship opportunity.


I hope that this article was helpful. If you are interested, visit the Korea Scholarships Page!