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EstablishedFebruary 16, 1971
PresidentNam-Pyo Suh
Academic staff526[1] (as of September, 2009)
Admin. staff322[1] (as of January, 2008)
Students8,929[1] (as of September, 2009)
Undergraduates3,839[1] (as of September, 2009)
Postgraduates2,213[1] (as of September, 2009)
Doctoral students2,877[1] (as of September, 2009)
LocationYuseong, Daejeon, South Korea South Korea
1,432,882m² (Daedeok Campus)[1]
413,346 m² (Seoul Campus)
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EstablishedFebruary 16, 1971
PresidentNam-Pyo Suh
Academic staff526[1] (as of September, 2009)
Admin. staff322[1] (as of January, 2008)
Students8,929[1] (as of September, 2009)
Undergraduates3,839[1] (as of September, 2009)
Postgraduates2,213[1] (as of September, 2009)
Doctoral students2,877[1] (as of September, 2009)
LocationYuseong, Daejeon, South Korea South Korea
1,432,882m² (Daedeok Campus)[1]
413,346 m² (Seoul Campus)
Hangul한국과학기술원 (Full Name No Longer In Use) / 카이스트
Hanja韓國科學技術院 / 카이스트
Revised RomanizationHanguk Gwahak Gisurwon / Kaiseuteu
McCune–ReischauerHan'guk Kwahak Kisurwŏn / Kaisŭt'ŭ

KAIST (formally the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology), is located in Daedeok Innopolis, Daejeon, South Korea. KAIST was established by the Korean government in 1971 as the nation's first research oriented science and engineering institution. The QS-The Times World University Rankings in the year of 2009 placed KAIST 69th overall and 21st in technology. The most recent 2011 QS World University Rankings[2] however, ranked KAIST as 90th overall, and 27th in Engineering and IT.



KAIST was founded with government funding and was initially staffed with a number of Korean engineering and science talents educated in the United States. From the onset, the emphasis has been in theoretical as well as applied research. KAIST continues to be Korea's foremost center of strategic research and development projects. The University helped pioneer the establishment of competitive research oriented graduate school programs in Korea.

The University's some 540 faculty conducts research in cooperation with academies and industries all over the world. KAIST offers grants and fellowships to international students.

The present KAIST president is Nam Pyo Suh. Soon-Heung Chang, a nuclear scientist, serves as provost and Ji-won Yang, a chemical engineer, as vice president for external affairs.

The University has for many decades recruited faculty from overseas. Current president Nam Pyo Suh taught for many years at MIT. His predecessor, Robert Laughlin, a Nobel laureate and a physics professor at Stanford University, was the first non-Korean to head a Korean university.

The vast majority of professors come from US higher education institutions.[citation needed] The school engages in many international programs with leading European and Asian universities. The university is a member of LAOTSE, an international network of universities in Europe and Asia. It is also a member of the Association of East Asian Research Universities.[citation needed]


KAIST was established under the name of Korea Advanced Institute of Science (KAIS) under a special law on February 16, 1971, as the first research oriented graduate school in science and engineering in Korea. In 1989, KAIST established the education/research system of special talents in science and engineering fields in bachelor, master and doctoral degrees. Students accepted into the extraordinarily competitive program, were exempt from military duty, but required to remain in Korea for 5 years following graduation, to prevent brain drain. All other Koreans, of college age, are required to do military duty, unless they are in college, then they must report for military duty soon afterward.

A statue of Jang Young Sil, a Korean Scientist, in front of science library, Daejeon campus

KAIST has led other colleges and research institutions in Korea and was verified by the ABET assessment (graduate course is within 10% of top US college level) in 1992, evaluation of nationwide colleges by Joongang Ilbo (1995, 1998–2001, 2006, 2008-2010: number one in overall rank, and evaluation of Asian colleges by Asiaweek (1999~2000: Number one in science and technology), Chosun Ilbo evaluation of Asian colleges(2009,overall rank number one in the nation, 7th in Asia, world university ranking of The Times newspaper(2008: 34th of Top 100 world university in Technology) and others.[citation needed]

Over the past 30 years, KAIST has produced 8,453 bachelors, 17,762 masters, 6,726 doctorate holders (doctors under 30 years of age were 2,920, 43.4%) giving a total of 32,941 alumni. The thesis published in SCI (US, Science and Technology Quotation Thesis Search) journals reached approximately 4 articles per each faculty member, and the commissioned research grant was approximately 200 million won per each facility, which is world-class level.[citation needed]

It founded the National Nano Lab in 2002 and established the KAIST Institute in 2006.

The first act of President Suh upon his inauguration in July 2006 was to lay out the KAIST Development Plan. The ‘KAIST Development Five-Year Plan’ was finalized on February 5, 2007 by KAIST Steering Committee after a thorough examination. The goals of KAIST set by Suh are to become one of the best science and technology universities in the world, and to become one of the top-10 universities by 2011. In January 2008, the university dropped its full name, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, and changed its official name to only KAIST.[3]


February 16, 1971Establishment of Korea Advanced Institute of Science (KAIS), Hongneung Campus, Seoul
March 5, 1973First entrance ceremony for the master’s program
August 20, 1975First graduation ceremony for the master’s program
September 12, 1975First entrance ceremony for the doctoral program
August 19, 1978First graduation ceremony for the doctoral program
December 31, 1980Establishment of Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) united with KIST
December 31, 1984Establishment of Korea Institute of Technology, newly added bachelor degree course
March 3, 1986First entrance ceremony for Korea Institute of Technology
June 12, 1989KIST separated from KAIST
July 4, 1989United with Korea Institute of Technology (move to Daedeok Campus)
December 17, 1990First graduation ceremony for bachelor’s program
October 1, 1996Establishment of Korea Institute of Advanced Study (KIAS)
May 4, 2004Foundation of the National Nanofab Center (NNFC)
January 1, 2008Name change to only KAIST, replacing the spelled-out name
March 1, 2009Information and Communications University (ICU) was merged into KAIST as KAIST Information Technology Convergence Campus


KAIST is organized in 6 colleges, 2 Schools, 21 departments, 3 divisions, 6 professional graduate schools and 10 interdisciplinary programs.

Governed by a special law, the university has an autonomous and flexible academic system. Other South Korean colleges and universities are required to abide by the government-directed admissions and curriculum requirements. Undergraduate students can join the school through an “open major system” that allows students to take classes for three terms and choose a discipline that suits their aptitude. In addition, undergraduate students are free to change their major anytime.

With Korea’s first test-free admissions system, the overall grades, the math and science grades, recommendation letters from the teachers, study plan, personal statements, and other data that show the excellence of potential students are evaluated for admission.

KAIST has produced many doctorates through the integrated master’s and doctoral program and early-completion system. Students must publish their papers in internationally renowned academic journals.

Scholarships are given to all students in the bachelor, master and doctorate courses, and doctoral students are given military-exemption benefits. On campus dormitories are provided to all those who wish to use them.


College of Natural Science

The College of Natural Sciences consists of three departments and one professional graduate school: Physics, Mathematical Sciences, Chemistry and Graduate School of Nanoscience and Technology. Each department is in charge of not only the education of each subject but also the education of elementary science subjects for all undergraduate students. Furthermore, it maintains a wide and systematic relationship with each other department, maintaining a close, cooperative system.

The College of Natural Sciences also holds the Natural Science Research Institute as an annexed research institute. The college has greatly contributed to academic-research-business exchange through cooperative studies with governmental research institutes and companies.[citation needed] In addition, it actively operates international cooperative projects through academic exchanges.

College of Life Science and Bioengineering

Founded on June 1, 2008, the College of Life Science and Bioengineering pursues multidisciplinary education and research in the field of bioscience, biotechnology, and bioengineering. Its goal is to support the nation’s endeavor to develop bioscience and technology by fostering new areas of science through convergence with IT and NT. The college consists of the Department of Bio and Brain Engineering, the Department of Biological Science, and the Graduate School of Medical Science and Engineering.

College of Engineering

Humanoid Robot, Hubo walks 1.2 km/h by itself, and has 10 fingers and 41 joints

The College of Engineering consists of 1 school, 4 departments, 3 divisions and 1 professional graduate school.

College of Information Science and Technology

In an endeavor to take the initiative in developing information technology (IT) for the 21st century, KAIST launched the new College of Information Science and Technology in 2008 by relocating the Departments of Electrical Engineering, Computer Science and Industrial and Systems Engineering from the College of Engineering and establishing the Department of Knowledge Service Engineering. When ICU merged into KAIST in 2009, the Department of Information and Communications Engineering at ICU came into the College of Information Science and Technology.

College of Cultural Science

The College of Culture and Science is composed of two departments: School of Humanities and Social Sciences and Graduate School of Culture and Technology.

The School of Humanities and Social Sciences offers students an undergraduate education in a range of courses in the humanities and social sciences. The Graduate School of Culture and Technology also provides master and doctoral degree programs for the purpose of producing manpower of the nation’s cultural industry with support of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism.

The School of Humanities and Social Sciences has about 75 faculty members (3 professor emeritus, 18 full-time faculties, 13 visiting professors, 1 research professor, 40 lecturers), the Graduate School of Culture and Technology also has 4 full-time faculties, 5 visiting professors, 7 adjunct professors, and 89 master students and 36 doctoral students. The Graduate School established the Humanities and Social Science Research Center and the Culture and Technology Research Center, and has carried out various research projects.

College of Interdisciplinary Studies

The interdisciplinary major program at KAIST was founded on September 1, 2003. With the subsequent establishment of auxiliary organizations, the program was launched in earnest in April 2004.

College of Business

KAIST Business School (also known as KAIST College of Business) is a graduate school for research and teaching in science and technology.

In 2006, the 3 graduate schools of KAIST were combined under the single name of KAIST Business School. Whilst still maintaining a degree of autonomy, this move has allowed for increased cooperation between the schools in working towards the common goal of developing a world renowned technology-based management school.[citation needed] The 3 separate schools are the KAIST Graduate School of Management, KAIST Graduate School of Finance, and the KAIST Graduate School of Information & Media Management.

KAIST Business School provides general MBA programs (Techno-MBA, IMBA, Executive MBA), specialized MBA programs (Finance MBA, Information & Media MBA) and MS/Ph.D.


East Dormitory
KAIST Digital Science Library

KAIST has two campuses in Daejeon and one campus in Seoul. The university is mainly located in the Daedeok Research Complex in the city of Daejeon, 150 kilometers south of the capital Seoul. Daedeok is also home to some 50 public and private research institutes, universities and high-tech venture capital companies.

The Daejeon campus (besides Daejeon Expo Park) plays main roles including lectures, research activities, housing services. It has a total of 29 dormitories where all students wishing to reside can stay. Twenty-three dormitories for male students and four dormitories for female students are located on the outskirts of the campus, and two apartments for married students are located outside the campus.

KAIST Seoul Campus is the home of the Business Faculty of the university. Graduate school of finance, management and information & media management is located there. The total area of Seoul Campus is 413,346 m2 (4,449,220 sq ft). Its primary goal is to achieve an optimal combination of engineering and business studies which will make engineers more effective at their craft.

The Munji campus, previously ICU (Information and Communication University) campus, KAIST Information Technology Convergence Campus near main campus, has a total of two dormitories, one for undergraduate students and the other for graduate students.

Digital Science Library

KAIST digital science library was established in 1971 as KAIS library, and it went through a merge and separation process with KIST library. It merged with KIT in March 1990. A contemporary 5 story building was constructed as the main library, and it is being operated with an annex library. The library uses the American LC Classification Schedule.

Daedeok Innopolis

Daedeok Innopolis, formally known as the Daedeok Science Park, is a cluster of institutions in research and development of technology located in Daedeok Valley in northern Daejeon, Korea. The cluster is built around KAIST, Chungnam National University, a group of government research institutes in applied technologies, corporate research centers and more than 900 venture companies[citation needed].


Seven KAIST Institutes (KIs) have been set up: the KI for the BioCentury, the KI for Information Technology Convergence, the KI for the Design of Complex Systems, the KI for Entertainment Engineering, the KI for the NanoCentury, the KI for Eco-Energy, and the KI for Urban Space and Systems. Each KI is operated as an independent research center at the level of a college, receiving support in terms of finance and facilities. KAIST is currently conducting research planned by the government and private businesses that are worth mounts as much as 100 billion won. In terms of ownership of intellectual property rights, KAIST holds 2,694 domestic patents and 723 international patents so far.[4]

Unusually for a mainstream scientific institute, KAIST has an active Creation Science presence: it has had a creation science display on campus since 1993, and has a creationist group, the Research Association for Creation Science;[5] see creationism in South Korea for context and details.

Electric vehicles

Researchers at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) have developed an electric transport system (called Online Electric Vehicle, OLEV) where the vehicles get their power needs from cables underneath the surface of the road via non-contact magnetic charging, (where a power source is placed underneath the road surface and power is wirelessly picked up on the vehicle itself. As a possible solution to traffic congestion and to improve overall efficiency by minimizing air resistance and so reduce energy consumption, the test vehicles followed the power track in a convoy. In July 2009 the researchers successfully supplied up to 60% power to a bus over a gap of 12 cm (4.7 in) from a power line embedded in the ground using power supply and pick up technology developed in-house.[6]

Academic rankings

In 2011 QS World University Rankings[7] ranked KAIST 90th overall in the world, coming 27th in Engineering & IT. In the 2009 THE-QS World University Rankings (in 2010 Times Higher Education World University Rankings and QS World University Rankings parted ways to produce separate rankings) for Engineering & IT, the University was placed 21st in the world and 1st in Korea[8] and was placed 69th overall.[9] KAIST was again recognized as a number one University in Korea by Joong Angh Ill Bo Review. In the year of 2009, KAIST's department of industrial design has also been listed in the top 30 Design Schools by Business Week.[10] KAIST ranked the best university in Republic of Korea and the 7th university in Asia in the Top 100 Asian Universities list, the first regional ranking issued by THE-QS World Unkings.[11][verification needed]

Notable Alumni


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "KAIST General Information". KAIST Official Website. KAIST. http://www.kaist.ac.kr/english/01_about/sub_03_01.php. Retrieved January 22, 2008. 
  2. ^ http://www.topuniversities.com/university-rankings/world-university-rankings/2011?page=1
  3. ^ 'KAIST' Decides Not to Use Original Full Name, KAIST announcement, January 10, 2008.
  4. ^ KAIST Institute (KI)
  5. ^ Park, Soo Bin (2012-06-05). "South Korea surrenders to creationist demands". Nature 486 (7401): 14. doi:10.1038/486014a. PMID 22678257. http://www.nature.com/news/south-korea-surrenders-to-creationist-demands-1.10773. Retrieved 2012-06-19.  edit
  6. ^ Gizmag.com
  7. ^ http://www.topuniversities.com/university-rankings/world-university-rankings/2011?page=1
  8. ^ "The Times - QS World University Rankings 2007 - Technology". Archived from the original on 2008-01-26. http://web.archive.org/web/20080126224303/http://www.topuniversities.com/worlduniversityrankings/results/2007/subject_rankings/technology/. Retrieved 2008-02-01. 
  9. ^ "The Times-QS World University Rankings 2008". http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/hybrid.asp?typeCode=243&pubCode=1&navcode=137. Retrieved 2008-10-19. 
  10. ^ "D-Schools: The Global List". http://bwnt.businessweek.com/interactive_reports/talenthunt/. Retrieved 2008-12-13. 
  11. ^ In the Top 100 Asian Universities List, HKU won the first, KAIST 7th, SNU 8th(2009 아시아 대학평가 홍콩대 1위, 카이스트 7위, 서울대 8위) Chosun Ilbo 2009.5.12. (조선일보 5월 12일)

See also

External links

Coordinates: 36°22′19″N 127°21′47″E / 36.372°N 127.363°E / 36.372; 127.363