Study Medicine in Korea: 7 Things to Know

Having a professional occupation is a very long and tedious process especially if you are just taking your first step – studying. Hours, months, years are spent in before someone achieve their dreams and be professional in their fields. They will need to have the dedication and a strong commitment because many have given up in the middle of this process.

One of the most sought out professions around the world is the profession of being a doctor and studying medicine. Doctors are one of the most important jobs and one of the most honorable because they save lives and people from their illnesses. However, since they are dealing with something that needs to be delicately taken care of, doctors need to diligently study to avoid mistakes that will endanger the life of their patients.

With this said, as much as possible, if you want to become a doctor, you need to get your education from a place or country that offers an international education and has advanced and modern facilities to help you become a good doctor. And you could get these qualities if you would go to Korea and pursue your medical degree there. South Korea, specifically, offers a wide variety of degrees and among those degrees, the fields of medicine are what they specialize at. So, if you are an aspiring student who wants to study medicine in Korea, here are some tips and pointers that you will be needing.

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1. In what language do you study medicine in Korea?

Studying medicine in a different country is difficult but so is teaching, too. This is the reason why Korean universities teach medicine in their native language so that they can completely and clearly explain their materials that will be taught to future doctors.

The foreign students who wish to study in Korea need to take a Korean language proficiency test as soon as they got admitted to the university like what they require at Seoul National University. Moreover, if you are still struggling in the Korean language, there are supplementary language courses that are also offered in the university so take a look at them.

2. What are the requirements to study medicine in Korea?

There are several things to consider if you want to pursue a medical degree in Korea, it takes at least 6 years for a student to get their medical degrees and then pursue their specializations. If you are just starting to get an undergraduate degree, you need to process all the basic requirements as an international or foreign student.

These include your report card in high school, previous educational background, passport, application forms for the university you will be enrolling in, a Korean language proficiency test, and a student visa. Sometimes, especially if you went to a Non-English school, you are required to take an IELTS or a TOEFL to test your English Proficiency.

3. Can you study medicine in Korea as an international student?

Yes, you can study medicine in Korea as an international student especially if you have the necessary forms and requirements, also, as long as you can speak Korean. There are many medical universities in Korea that are accepting international students to their programs. In fact, on their official websites, there are international offices for students whose prospective studies lie in the field of medicine. Some of these are Seoul National University, Sungkyunkwan University, and many more.

4. What are the components of the medical curriculum in Korea?

The medical curriculum in Korea is almost the same as the usual curriculum of medical degrees globally yet it slightly differs from other universities in terms of the time of their study. To get a degree in medicine, a student must study medicine in Korea and complete a 6- or 8-year curriculum which does not include a field specialization.

The first two to four years of the curriculum will focus on the undergraduate studies of the students which are also known as the pre-medical period. This period will include examinations every semester. The next two years of the curriculum will solely be for pre-clinical basic science which includes hospital visits and other activities related to that matter.

Lastly, the last two years of their curriculum will be for clinical rotations which are, in a sense, the same as an internship but are completely different. Students will have shifts in doing tasks that are assigned to them by their professional colleagues.

5. How many medical schools are in Korea?

Currently, 36 universities in Korea offer degrees in the field of medicine. Some universities are solely offering this course and specialize in them while other universities have different schools or faculty for other branches of study. However, more medical schools are being established and more state universities are still trying to offer medical degrees so it is expected that the number of medical schools will rise in the future.

There are many prestigious medical schools in Korea. If you are interested, visit the 10 Best Medical Schools in Korea.

6. How difficult is it to study medicine in Korea?

It is very difficult to study medicine in Korea especially if you are an international student. Entrance exams for medical degrees are very competitive in Korea because only a few are admitted and the exams are relatively hard compared to other programs.

Moreover, even though the dropout rate of students in medical schools in Korea is low having at most 5% dropouts every year, students who get the degree within the 6-year curriculum are also few. So, it can be said that the difficulty to study medicine in Korea is relatively high but it is not impossible.

7. What do you need to become a doctor after you study medicine in Korea?

After getting your Bachelor’s degree after studying medicine in Korea for 6 years, you will be required to get an additional 4-year medical post-graduate degree and a foreign accredited medical school certificate. These are the conditions that you are needed to meet before you are allowed to take the Korean Medical Licensing Examination (KMLE). Passing this licensure exam will grant you the title of being a doctor. This will be not a difficult pass because of the years that you have been studying are enough.


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