Korea university Division of International Studies, Graduate School of International Studies

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Korea University


Doctoral Degree


Doctor of Philosophy in International Commerce | 국제통상학 박사 (국제통상 전공)
The doctoral program in international commerce combines economic and business theories with quantitative and econometric methods to address real-world challenges. This holistic approach provides students with a deep understanding of international economics, business, and finance. The research topics are not limited to traditional international economics and business subjects such as Free Trade Agreements (FTA), World Trade Organization (WTO) structures, trade conflict resolutions, the international economic aspects of climate change, foreign aids, Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), and international portfolio investment. They also encompass the impact of emerging technologies (AI, robotics, e-commerce), international marketing, e-business, international labor markets, as well as open macroeconomics. The doctoral graduates will be equipped with empirical analysis capabilities and posited to pursue careers as international commerce issue experts and data analysis specialists in various fields, including academia, economic and business research institutes, international organizations, and private sectors.
Doctor of Philosophy in International Relations | 국제관계학 박사 (국제관계 전공)

Situated in the heart of the Asia-Pacific region, the Republic of Korea has long played a pivotal role in shaping and responding to significant developments in international relations. The Doctoral Program in International Relations at KU GSIS is designed for aspiring students with a keen interest in the broadly defined field of International Relations. Our program offers a broad spectrum of themes and methodological approaches, spanning from theoretical exploration of macro-level structural issues to the meticulous crafting of micro-level empirical research. We also pursue teaching and research with strong policy relevance. Potential research topics encompass, but are not limited to, international peace and security, international political economy, foreign policy, international law, and global governance, particularly within the context of human rights and sustainable development.



Doctor of Philosophy in International Development | 국제개발학 박사 (국제개발 전공)

As a prime example of rapid economic growth and development and the world’s first aid-recipient-turned-donor country, the Republic of Korea is a leader in development studies in Asia. And KU GSIS is at the forefront. Our doctoral program in international development targets young scholars interested in cutting-edge research and practice. From global macro issues to carefully-crafted micro research, KU GSIS offers specializations across a range of development research, including sustainable development, international trade and economic development, multilateral and regional cooperation, international organizations, human rights, water, poverty, inequality, social justice, urban development, climate change, energy security, gender, education, and migration.



Doctor of Philosophy in Korean Studies | 한국학 박사 (한국학 전공)

Korean society today is marked by astonishing economic growth, successful democratization and globally consumed “K-culture,” offering a unique site to explore the historical impact and social dynamics of colonialism, the Korean War, the Cold War and globalization. The Doctoral Program of Korean Studies at KU GSIS offers opportunities for students interested in the transformation of Korea with multidisciplinary approaches from sociology, political science, economics, history and cultural studies. With an emphasis on cutting-edge research themes, comparative perspectives and innovative methodologies, the program provides a platform to research contemporary issues in Korea, including political transitions, industrial innovations, and social transformations within the context of shifting global challenges. The courses in the program are offered in English with opportunities for high-level Korean language and reading classes for students who prefer intensive language training. Our students work closely with their advisor to develop original, future-oriented research programs that leverage students’ skills, interests, experience, and knowledge.



Curriculum Structure and Course Offerings

Curriculum Structure
Curriculum Structure
Type of Course Required Credits
Core Courses 9
Major Required Courses 9
Major Elective Courses 12
General Elective Courses 6
Total 36

PhD students at GSIS have to complete their course work and submit and defend a PhD thesis. Students have access to a wide range of GSIS courses:

  1. The following Core Courses are designed particularly for PhD students, and are usually taught as evening classes
    • Advanced Seminar in International Development & Cooperation
    • Advanced Seminar in International Commerce
    • Advanced Seminar in International Peace and Security
    • Advanced Seminar in East Asian Studies
    • Advanced Seminar on Globalization and Global Problems
    • Advanced Seminar in European Studies
    • Advanced Research Methods
  2. For a detailed list of courses that have been offered each semester, click HERE and go on to “Graduate School Courses” under the English menu, then select “Graduate School of International Studies” in both large selection bars. This will also allow you to download the syllabus of each course.
  3. Many M.A. courses are available to fulfill the requirements for Elective Courses. 
  4. KU GSIS students further have the possibility to attend courses from other GSIS departments in Seoul (SNU, Yonsei, Ewha, Sogang, Chung-ang, HUFS, Hanyang).