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!

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%
Gangneung-Wonju National University 1,744,000 KRW - 2,721,000 KRW 77%
Mokpo National Maritime University 2,364,000 KRW 69%
Kangwon National University 2,942,000 KRW - 4,620,000 KRW 61%
U1 University 3,140,000 KRW - 3,940,000 KRW 59%
Kyungwoon University 3,170,000 KRW - 4,320,000 KRW 58%
Chuncheon National University of Education 3,200,000 KRW 58%
Korea National University of Education 3,200,000 KRW - 4,348,000 KRW 58%
Cheongju National University of Education 3,263,000 KRW - 4,130,000 KRW 57%
Mokpo National University 3,322,000 KRW - 4,244,000 KRW 56%
Changwon National University 3,371,000 KRW - 4,329,000 KRW 56%
Pukyong National University 3,406,000 KRW - 4,747,000 KRW 55%
Sunchon National University 3,564,000 KRW - 4,836,000 KRW 53%
Namseoul University 3,568,000 KRW - 4,469,000 KRW 53%
Korea Maritime and Ocean University 3,584,000 KRW - 4,496,000 KRW 53%

* Average Bachelor’s International Tuition is 7,522,100 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. Gangneung-Wonju National University

Gangneung-Wonju National University, often called GWNU, is a renowned educational institution in the Gangwon province of South Korea. GWNU’s mission is to provide quality education, conduct impactful research, and contribute to regional and national development. Additionally, GWNU is known for its beautiful campuses, strong focus on applied research, and close ties with industry and local communities.

3. 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.

4. 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.

5. 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.

6. Kyungwoon University

Kyungwoon University is proud of its aeronautical engineering and aviation service programs developed through meticulously curated partnerships with industry experts. It is a university that emphasizes university-industry relationships. Focusing on providing practical training, the university cooperates with relevant sectors to provide students with in-demand skills to thrive in a highly-competitive job market.

7. 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.

 

8. 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.

9. 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.

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. 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.

12. 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.

13. 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.

14. Namseoul University

Namseoul University is among the newer private universities in Korea, but it has developed rapidly into a large and influential university with over 10,000 students. The university is recognized in Cheonan for its insistence on providing students with a broad and rich educational and social experience. Students at Namseoul will get the opportunity to go on field trips to various countries and participate in international programs, benefiting from Namseoul’s partnership with over 21 different countries.

15. 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.

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 81%
Mokpo National Maritime University 1,662,000 KRW 81%
Gangneung-Wonju National University 2,018,000 KRW - 2,913,000 KRW 77%
Gyeongsang National University 2,080,000 KRW - 2,828,000 KRW 76%
Kangwon National University 2,261,000 KRW - 3,139,000 KRW 74%
Sun Moon University 2,908,000 KRW - 5,391,000 KRW 66%
Uiduk University 3,108,000 KRW - 4,214,000 KRW 64%
Chuncheon National University of Education 3,650,000 KRW 57%
Geumgang University 3,700,000 KRW 57%
Pukyong National University 3,810,000 KRW - 4,873,000 KRW 55%
Cheongju National University of Education 3,843,000 KRW - 4,827,000 KRW 55%
Changwon National University 3,850,000 KRW - 5,022,000 KRW 55%
Keimyung University 3,976,000 KRW - 7,162,000 KRW 53%
Sunchon National University 4,006,000 KRW - 5,490,000 KRW 53%
Mokpo National University 4,012,000 KRW - 5,964,000 KRW 53%

* Average Master’s International Tuition is 8,423,800 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. Gangneung-Wonju National University

Gangneung-Wonju National University, often called GWNU, is a renowned educational institution in the Gangwon province of South Korea. GWNU’s mission is to provide quality education, conduct impactful research, and contribute to regional and national development. Additionally, GWNU is known for its beautiful campuses, strong focus on applied research, and close ties with industry and local communities.

The tuition fee at Gangneung-Wonju National University for incoming international master’s students is 2,018,000 KRW to 2,913,000 KRW. With its cheap rates, you can guarantee you’ll get a quality education without breaking the bank!

4. Gyeongsang National University

Another affordable university to consider in South Korea is 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 in Gyeongsang National University for master’s program for foreign students starts from 2,080,000 KRW.

5. Kangwon National University

Aside from its outstanding quality of education, Kangwon National University 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 2,261,000 KRW yearly.

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.

6. Sun Moon University

Sun Moon University, also recognized as SMU, is a prestigious institution of higher learning in South Korea. With a mission to foster creative individuals and contribute to society, SMU envisions itself as a global center of knowledge and innovation. Notably, the university has established collaborations with leading industries, providing students with valuable internship and job placement opportunities. Moreover, SMU’s commitment to academic excellence, industry relevance, and global outlook sets it apart as a preferred destination for students seeking a well-rounded education.

7. Uiduk University

Located in Gyeongju, South Korea, Uiduk University is a private educational institution that has been operating since 1981. Research and innovation are valued at Uiduk University, and faculty and students are encouraged to actively participate in research projects, publish their findings, and contribute to advancing knowledge in their respective disciplines. Moreover, Uiduk University strives to drive innovation and address real-world challenges through collaborations with industry and other academic institutions.

8. 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.

 

9. Geumgang University

Geumgang University is a private university located in Nonsan, South Korea. Established in 2002, it is one of the region’s leading higher education institutions. The university campus provides a conducive learning environment with modern facilities, libraries, research centers, and laboratories. It also has student dormitories, sports facilities, and extracurricular clubs and organizations to promote well-rounded student life.

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. 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.

12. 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.

13. Keimyung University

Keimyung University, also known as KU, is a prestigious institution of higher education located in Daegu, South Korea. Established in 1954, KU has gained a reputation for its academic excellence and commitment to fostering global leaders. The university’s KU acronym reflects its dedication to “Knowledge” and “Unity.” The university aims to provide a comprehensive education that nurtures creative thinking, ethical values, and a global perspective.

14. 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.

15. 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.


Frequently Asked Questions

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

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!

2. 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.


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!