15 Cheapest Universities in South Korea for International Students

In South Korea, there are a lot of affordable universities that you can find. Enrolling in these schools will help you fulfill your dream of studying in South Korea without paying a lot. These institutions also provide well-rounded academic programs and curriculums, allowing students to earn a degree with less burden on their pockets.

Now, if you’re planning to study in South Korea, you’ll have a lot of school options, as they are home to 183 universities. But if you’re looking for cheap universities in South Korea, make sure to read more!

How do I get admission to affordable universities in South Korea?

South Korea is home to 106,900 international students, and a lot of them enjoy quality education without paying high costs!

Applying to cheap universities in South Korea requires you to complete different requirements depending on your degree and chosen university. These usually include admission forms, language proficiency scores, and a visa. Check out our full guide to studying in South Korea for a more comprehensive guide!

What can I study at Best affordable universities in South Korea?

International students can study a variety of programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels in South Korea. For example, one of the best affordable schools in South Korea is the Changwon National University, which offers Korean Language and Literature, Business Administration, and International Relations to students seeking a bachelor’s degree. At the master’s level, the Changwon National University offers Public Administration, Clothing and Textile, and Taxation Science.

Cheap Bachelor's Colleges and Universities in South Korea for International Students

Here is the list of affordable institutions in South Korea ordered by their tuition fee for international bachelor's students.

University Annual Bachelor’s International Tuition % Cheaper than Average*
Gyeongsang National University 1,633,000 KRW - 2,208,000 KRW 79%
Mokpo National Maritime University 2,364,000 KRW 70%
Kangwon National University 2,942,000 KRW - 4,620,000 KRW 62%
U1 University 3,140,000 KRW - 3,940,000 KRW 59%
Korea National University of Education 3,200,000 KRW - 4,348,000 KRW 59%
Chuncheon National University of Education 3,200,000 KRW 59%
Cheongju National University of Education 3,263,000 KRW - 4,130,000 KRW 58%
Mokpo National University 3,322,000 KRW - 4,244,000 KRW 57%
Changwon National University 3,371,000 KRW - 4,329,000 KRW 56%
Pukyong National University 3,406,000 KRW - 4,747,000 KRW 56%
Sunchon National University 3,564,000 KRW - 4,836,000 KRW 54%
Korea Maritime and Ocean University 3,584,000 KRW - 4,496,000 KRW 54%
Chungnam National University 3,615,000 KRW - 5,158,000 KRW 53%
Kumoh National University of Technology 3,622,000 KRW - 4,042,000 KRW 53%
Kongju National University 3,640,000 KRW - 4,418,000 KRW 53%

* Average Bachelor’s International Tuition is 7,657,000 KRW for universities in South Korea.

1. Gyeongsang National University

Gyeongsang National University (GNU) is a prestigious educational institution in Jinju, South Korea. Established in 1948, GNU has a long and distinguished history as one of the leading universities in the country. One of the notable aspects of GNU is its strong focus on practical education and industry collaboration. GNU also maintains a global outlook, promoting international exchanges and collaboration with universities and institutions worldwide. This international exposure enhances students’ cultural understanding, language skills, and global perspectives.

2. Mokpo National Maritime University

Mokpo National Maritime University (MMU), located in Mokpo, South Korea, is a specialized higher education institution focusing on maritime studies and marine-related fields. As a maritime university, MMU strongly emphasizes hands-on training and practical experience. The university has well-equipped training facilities, including ship simulators, navigation laboratories, and engine rooms, allowing students to gain real-world experience in a controlled environment. The university collaborates with leading maritime organizations, shipping companies, and research institutions to provide students with internship and job placement opportunities.

3. Kangwon National University

Kangwon National University (KNU) was first established as an agricultural college in 1947. The institute’s vision is informed by its founding spirit of Sil-Sa-Gu-Si, a proverb translating to ‘seeking truth from reality.’ Since its inception, the institute has expanded and grown into a comprehensive university, offering training and research in multiple disciplines at its three campuses in Chuncheon, Samcheok, and Dogye.

4. U1 University

Formerly Youngdong Engineering College, U1 University has evolved from an institution focused on engineering to a university offering programs in diverse fields of study. It is the most influential university in Yeongdong-gun, South Korea, helping to transform higher education in the region. U1 University is known in Korea for its competitive spirit and ambition. The university has won numerous awards and gained both local and international programs. Among U1’s numerous awards, it won the first position in the 43rd National Student Kendo Competition and the 6th Korea Green Growth Student Invention Contest.

5. Korea National University of Education

Korea National University of Education (KNUE) is an institution of higher learning specialising in teacher training and educational research. Regarded as Korea’s central authority for teacher education, the institution dedicates its resources to providing South Korea with competent teachers. The university prepares teachers for all levels of education, including kindergarten, primary and secondary education. Furthermore, KNUE is responsible for the highest levels of educational research available in Korea.

6. Chuncheon National University of Education

Chuncheon National University of Education (CNUE) is a relatively small public institution focused on education programs. It is among the national universities established by the South Korean government to improve elementary education in the country. CNUE specialises in training elementary school teachers and administrators. The university aims to provide aspiring and experienced educators with the skills and knowledge to tutor children effectively.

 

7. Cheongju National University of Education

Cheongju National University of Education (CNUE) is an esteemed educational institution in Cheongju, South Korea. Since its establishment in 1941, CNUE has focused on teacher education and research to train future educators. As a national university of education, CNUE offers specialized undergraduate and graduate programs tailored specifically for students aspiring to become teachers. Research forms a fundamental aspect of CNUE’s mission. The university actively encourages faculty and students to participate in research projects and scholarly activities across various educational fields.

8. Mokpo National University

Mokpo National University (MNU) is a university initially established to provide higher education for students living in the southwest coastal region of South Korea. Since its establishment, it has grown into a student-oriented university with a focus on globalization and the integration of technology in education. Presently, it is a place where students worldwide can enjoy high-quality education and a rich cultural experience. To further provide an engaging educational experience, the university operates two campuses, one in Muan and the other in Mokpo.

9. Changwon National University

Changwon National University’s history began with the establishment of Masan Junior College of Education in 1969. Since then, it has expanded to become a full-fledged national university offering programs across different disciplines at its campus in Changwon. One of its key focus areas is industry-academia cooperation. Through its proximity to industrial complexes and partnerships with government bodies, local communities, and businesses, the university hopes to contribute to regional growth and innovation. Changwon National University has a bold and inclusive vision to earn significant global importance and grow with the region. It continues to be guided by its founding philosophy of faithfulness, truth, freedom, and creation.

10. Pukyong National University

Pukyong National University (PKNU), also known as Pukyong or PKNU, is a prestigious national university in Busan, South Korea. Since its inception, PKNU has been driven by a strong mission to cultivate talented individuals with knowledge, skills, and ethical values to contribute to society. The university excels in marine and maritime studies, boasting state-of-the-art research facilities and collaborations with industry partners. Moreover, it takes pride in its commitment to fostering innovation and global engagement, making it a premier institution for higher education in South Korea.

11. Sunchon National University

Sunchon National University (SCNU), or SNU, is a prestigious institution of higher learning in South Korea. Established in 1948, SCNU is dedicated to promoting academic excellence, fostering innovation, and contributing to societal development. The university aims to cultivate talented individuals with specialized knowledge and skills, critical thinking abilities, and a strong sense of social responsibility. SCNU is known for its strong agriculture, life sciences, and engineering programs and has established collaborations with various industries to provide practical training opportunities for students.

12. Korea Maritime and Ocean University

Korea Maritime and Ocean University (KMOU), also known as Mokpo National Maritime University, is a leading institution dedicated to maritime and ocean studies in South Korea. With its commitment to maritime education and its significant contributions to the industry, it has gained popularity as an institution that prepares students for successful careers in the maritime field. It aims to foster global leaders in maritime industries through specialized education, research, and training.

13. Chungnam National University

Chungnam National University (CNU), or Chungnam or CNNU, is a prestigious educational institution in Daejeon, South Korea. Established in 1952, CNU has evolved into a leading research-oriented university known for its commitment to excellence and innovation. CNU stands out because of its distinguished faculty, extensive research programs, and global collaborations. Moreover, CNU’s commitment to innovation has earned it recognition as one of the top universities in South Korea, attracting students from across the nation and around the world.

14. Kumoh National University of Technology

Gumi is the industrial center of Korea and is home to tech giants like Samsung and LG. The Kumoh National Institute of Technology (KIT), colloquially called Kumoh, has harnessed the industrial strength of Gumi by developing strong ties with leading industry experts to create a dynamic educational system.

It is a public university primarily focused on engineering, and so graduates of the university are well-equipped with the skills and competencies to survive in the global technology industry. Furthermore, graduates of the university also enjoy high employment rates as they are easily absorbed into Gumi’s robust science and technology industry.

15. Kongju National University

Kongju National University, also called KNU, is a prominent educational institution in Gongju, South Korea. Established in 1947, KNU is renowned for its commitment to academic excellence and fostering future leaders. KNU’s mission is to provide quality education, conduct impactful research, and contribute to the region’s socio-economic development. KNU offers diverse academic programs, modern facilities, and a supportive learning environment. Moreover, it takes pride in its strong industry partnerships and commitment to community engagement.

Cheap Master's Colleges and Universities in South Korea for International Students

Here is the list of affordable institutions in South Korea ordered by their tuition fee for international master's students.

University Annual Master’s International Tuition % Cheaper than Average*
Korea Baptist Theological University 1,610,000 KRW - 10,858,000 KRW 82%
Mokpo National Maritime University 1,662,000 KRW 81%
Gyeongsang National University 2,080,000 KRW - 2,828,000 KRW 76%
Kangwon National University 2,261,000 KRW - 3,139,000 KRW 74%
Chuncheon National University of Education 3,650,000 KRW 58%
Pukyong National University 3,810,000 KRW - 4,873,000 KRW 56%
Cheongju National University of Education 3,843,000 KRW - 4,827,000 KRW 56%
Changwon National University 3,850,000 KRW - 5,022,000 KRW 56%
Sunchon National University 4,006,000 KRW - 5,490,000 KRW 54%
Mokpo National University 4,012,000 KRW - 5,964,000 KRW 54%
Korea Maritime and Ocean University 4,099,000 KRW - 5,181,000 KRW 53%
Kyungnam University 4,112,000 KRW - 5,398,000 KRW 53%
Sangmyung University 4,170,000 KRW - 5,840,000 KRW 52%
Chungnam National University 4,175,000 KRW - 6,116,000 KRW 52%
Hanbat National University 4,190,000 KRW - 5,588,000 KRW 52%

* Average Master’s International Tuition is 8,616,900 KRW for universities in south korea.

1. Korea Baptist Theological University

Korea Baptist Theological University, commonly known as KBTU, is a renowned institution dedicated to theological education in South Korea. KBTU’s mission is to equip students with a comprehensive understanding of Christian theology and train them to be faithful and impactful leaders in their communities. The university envisions itself as a center of academic excellence, fostering spiritual growth and promoting the values of the Christian faith. The university offers diverse theological programs and is committed to nurturing a supportive learning environment for students to thrive in their spiritual and intellectual pursuits.

If you're looking to save the most on your graduate studies abroad, Korea Baptist Theological University should be at the top of your list. International students here pay only 1,610,000 KRW to 10,858,000 KRW annually for their master's degree.

2. Mokpo National Maritime University

One of the universities you should definitely check out for practical reasons is Mokpo National Maritime University. Here, you can finish your master's degree with minimal stress on your finances. After all, the tuition rate for graduate studies at Mokpo National Maritime University is 1,662,000 KRW.

Mokpo National Maritime University (MMU), located in Mokpo, South Korea, is a specialized higher education institution focusing on maritime studies and marine-related fields. As a maritime university, MMU strongly emphasizes hands-on training and practical experience. The university has well-equipped training facilities, including ship simulators, navigation laboratories, and engine rooms, allowing students to gain real-world experience in a controlled environment. The university collaborates with leading maritime organizations, shipping companies, and research institutions to provide students with internship and job placement opportunities.

3. Gyeongsang National University

Gyeongsang National University (GNU) is a prestigious educational institution in Jinju, South Korea. Established in 1948, GNU has a long and distinguished history as one of the leading universities in the country. One of the notable aspects of GNU is its strong focus on practical education and industry collaboration. GNU also maintains a global outlook, promoting international exchanges and collaboration with universities and institutions worldwide. This international exposure enhances students’ cultural understanding, language skills, and global perspectives.

The tuition fee at Gyeongsang National University for incoming international master’s students is 2,080,000 KRW to 2,828,000 KRW. With its cheap rates, you can guarantee you’ll get a quality education without breaking the bank!

4. Kangwon National University

Another affordable university to consider in South Korea is Kangwon National University.

Kangwon National University (KNU) was first established as an agricultural college in 1947. The institute’s vision is informed by its founding spirit of Sil-Sa-Gu-Si, a proverb translating to ‘seeking truth from reality.’ Since its inception, the institute has expanded and grown into a comprehensive university, offering training and research in multiple disciplines at its three campuses in Chuncheon, Samcheok, and Dogye.

The tuition fee in Kangwon National University for master’s program for foreign students starts from 2,261,000 KRW.

5. Chuncheon National University of Education

Aside from its outstanding quality of education, Chuncheon National University of Education has some of the lowest tuition fee prices for foreign students who are planning to take a master's degree here. International master's students only pay as low as 3,650,000 KRW yearly.

Chuncheon National University of Education (CNUE) is a relatively small public institution focused on education programs. It is among the national universities established by the South Korean government to improve elementary education in the country. CNUE specialises in training elementary school teachers and administrators. The university aims to provide aspiring and experienced educators with the skills and knowledge to tutor children effectively.

 

6. Pukyong National University

Pukyong National University (PKNU), also known as Pukyong or PKNU, is a prestigious national university in Busan, South Korea. Since its inception, PKNU has been driven by a strong mission to cultivate talented individuals with knowledge, skills, and ethical values to contribute to society. The university excels in marine and maritime studies, boasting state-of-the-art research facilities and collaborations with industry partners. Moreover, it takes pride in its commitment to fostering innovation and global engagement, making it a premier institution for higher education in South Korea.

7. Cheongju National University of Education

Cheongju National University of Education (CNUE) is an esteemed educational institution in Cheongju, South Korea. Since its establishment in 1941, CNUE has focused on teacher education and research to train future educators. As a national university of education, CNUE offers specialized undergraduate and graduate programs tailored specifically for students aspiring to become teachers. Research forms a fundamental aspect of CNUE’s mission. The university actively encourages faculty and students to participate in research projects and scholarly activities across various educational fields.

8. Changwon National University

Changwon National University’s history began with the establishment of Masan Junior College of Education in 1969. Since then, it has expanded to become a full-fledged national university offering programs across different disciplines at its campus in Changwon. One of its key focus areas is industry-academia cooperation. Through its proximity to industrial complexes and partnerships with government bodies, local communities, and businesses, the university hopes to contribute to regional growth and innovation. Changwon National University has a bold and inclusive vision to earn significant global importance and grow with the region. It continues to be guided by its founding philosophy of faithfulness, truth, freedom, and creation.

9. Sunchon National University

Sunchon National University (SCNU), or SNU, is a prestigious institution of higher learning in South Korea. Established in 1948, SCNU is dedicated to promoting academic excellence, fostering innovation, and contributing to societal development. The university aims to cultivate talented individuals with specialized knowledge and skills, critical thinking abilities, and a strong sense of social responsibility. SCNU is known for its strong agriculture, life sciences, and engineering programs and has established collaborations with various industries to provide practical training opportunities for students.

10. Mokpo National University

Mokpo National University (MNU) is a university initially established to provide higher education for students living in the southwest coastal region of South Korea. Since its establishment, it has grown into a student-oriented university with a focus on globalization and the integration of technology in education. Presently, it is a place where students worldwide can enjoy high-quality education and a rich cultural experience. To further provide an engaging educational experience, the university operates two campuses, one in Muan and the other in Mokpo.

11. Korea Maritime and Ocean University

Korea Maritime and Ocean University (KMOU), also known as Mokpo National Maritime University, is a leading institution dedicated to maritime and ocean studies in South Korea. With its commitment to maritime education and its significant contributions to the industry, it has gained popularity as an institution that prepares students for successful careers in the maritime field. It aims to foster global leaders in maritime industries through specialized education, research, and training.

12. Kyungnam University

Founded as Kookmin College in 1946, Kyungnam University (KU) underwent many name changes and expansions before it got its current name and status. The university is dedicated to training students into independent global citizens, well-rounded experts, and community leaders, guided by its motto of “Truth, Freedom, Creation.” KU has earned recognition for being a top domestic university, particularly for its research related to inter-Korean peace and unification, led by the work at its Institute for Far Eastern Studies.

13. Sangmyung University

Sangmyung University, renowned as SMU, is an esteemed institution of higher education in South Korea. With its establishment in 1937, SMU is passionately committed to nurturing individuals with well-rounded capabilities, including creative thinking, global perspectives, and ethical values. The university’s unwavering mission is to deliver exceptional education, foster groundbreaking research, and make meaningful societal contributions. Additionally, the university actively promotes community engagement and offers various extracurricular activities to ensure students’ holistic development.

14. Chungnam National University

Chungnam National University (CNU), or Chungnam or CNNU, is a prestigious educational institution in Daejeon, South Korea. Established in 1952, CNU has evolved into a leading research-oriented university known for its commitment to excellence and innovation. CNU stands out because of its distinguished faculty, extensive research programs, and global collaborations. Moreover, CNU’s commitment to innovation has earned it recognition as one of the top universities in South Korea, attracting students from across the nation and around the world.

15. Hanbat National University

Located in Daejeon Metropolitan City, the Hanbat National University is a public research with nearly a century’s experience training technically gifted individuals. The university believes global dominance is achievable when local initiatives and partnerships are adequately supported. It terms this unique view of development as ‘glocalization’ and hopes its students can make a positive impact in both Korea and on the global stage.


It's important to take a look at all your options when selecting where to attend post-secondary school. With so many different types of schools, degrees, and universities in South Korea, it can be tough to know where to start looking.

So, make sure to explore the best public universities in South Korea as well if you're looking for affordable education!

We hope that this article on affordable institutions in South Korea for international students was helpful!