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Korean & Korean Studies

Korean & Korean Studies Program

Korean is the official language of both South Korea (The Republic of Korea) and North Korea (The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea). It is spoken by 72 million people on the Korean peninsula, and another 3 million around the world. Korean is listed as a Critical Language by the US government.

Some scholars classify Korean as one of the few “language isolates” in the world—a language that has no clear connection to any other language. Others link it to Japanese and to the Altaic languages, which include Turkish and Mongolian. Korean has a unique alphabet that was invented in the fifteenth century and is still used today.

The structure of Korean is complex but logical, and the formality levels that contribute to this complexity create a type of linguistic and social richness unique to languages like Korean and Japanese. The alphabet is easy to learn—within a matter of hours you can be writing and sounding out Korean words. The rewards of learning Korean are great. Knowledge of Korean will not only enhance your career options and your access to a dynamic part of the cultural, economic, and political landscape of Asia, but being able to express yourself in this unique language will let you discover new modes of thought, communication, and culture to enrich who you are.

 

Korean & Korean Studies Minor

To graduate with a Korean & Korean Studies minor at the University of Utah, you must complete fifteen credits in a combination of required and elective courses. Third- and/or Fourth-year Korean and a Korean culture and literature course are required, for a total of nine credits. Two electives of three credits each complete the required fifteen credits. The required courses are currently:

  • Third-Year Korean (1st Semester): KOREA 3060 (With instructor approval, KOREA 3070 may replace this.)
  • Advanced Korean Reading and Composition: KOREA 4060 (KOREA 3070 may replace this.)
  • Korean Culture through Literature and Film: KOREA 3100 (taught in English)

Note: If your proficiency allows you to skip Third-Year, or you take only KOREA 3070 from the first two bullet points above, you must still make up 3 credits of advanced language from any of the following options: KOREA 3200, 3700, and 4810.

Required Courses

15 Total Credits

Complete all of the following

KOREA3060 Third-Year Korean I (3)
KOREA3100 Korean Culture Through Literature & Film (3)
KOREA4060 Advanced Reading and Conversation (3)

Complete at least 6 credits from the following

KOREA3070 Third-Year Korean II (3)
KOREA3200 Korean for Professional and Formal Interactions (3)
KOREA3700 Situational Communication through K-Drama (3)
KOREA3903 Cultures & Languages Across the Curriculum: Korean (1)
KOREA4580 Japanese Empire to Korean Wave: Popular Culture in Motion (3)
KOREA4810 Korean Class Learning Assistantship (2 - 3)
KOREA4900 Special Topics (1 - 4)
ARTH3060 Arts of Buddhism (3)
COMM3775 Korean Media and Culture (1 - 4)
ETHNC3880 Asian Pacific American Women (3)
ETHNC4600 Asian Pacific American History (3)
HIST4510 Asia in the World (3)
HIST4560 Asian American History (3)
HIST4780 The Korean War (3)
HIST4865 Gender, Race, and Empire in Asia (3)
POLS3510 Politics of Asia (3)
POLS3530 Peace and Conflict in Asia (3)
POLS5480 International Relations of East Asia (3)
POLS5960 Special Topics: Politics of Asia (3)

Minimum Degree Hours

15 Total Credits

  • All courses must be passed with a C or better.
  • At least 6 credits of minor requirements must be taken in residence at the University of Utah

Non-language electives can include most courses that carry a 25% or more Korean component. Some of these are listed in the chart below. For certain courses, you will need the approval of program faculty. For questions about the eligibility of courses not listed below, or of courses taken outside the U, please consult with program faculty. 

 KOREAN MINOR REQUIREMENTS 

Students with advanced language skills (e.g., native speakers, heritage speakers, students who have lived for an extended period abroad) should not enroll in first, second, and some third-year courses. If you do not know what your language level is or if you think your situation justifies petitioning for an exception, contact the WLC advisors before enrolling in classes. For pedagogical reasons, the department reserves the right to remove advanced speakers who have not successfully petitioned from classes not appropriate for their language level. 

Courses

For placement in the right class, please contact the instructor of the course that seems closest to your proficiency level. Please note that FLATS results cannot be used for placement in Korean at U of U.

Restricted to students with no or minimal previous formal or informal training in Korean. Development of proficiency in receptive and productive skills, and beginning understanding of Korean culture. Comprehending and creating with the language at the sentence level and handling simple everyday-life situations.

Prerequisites: B- or better in KOREA 1010 OR instructor consent

This course builds on Beginning Korean I and offers further development of proficiency in receptive and productive skills, and beginning knowledge of Korean culture. Course work involves comprehending and creating with the language at the sentence level and handling simple everyday situations. Please note that KOREA 2600 (Beginning Conversation) is a co-requisite for this course.

Prerequisites: B- or better in KOREA 1020 or instructor consent

This course builds on Beginning Korean and offers continued development of skills in all areas. Course work involves moving into paragraph-level language, producing factual descriptions and narratives, and practicing skills for more complicated everyday-life situations. Please note that KOREA 3600 (Intermediate Conversation I) is a co-requisite for this course.

This course provides students the opportunity to improve their skills in speaking and listening, to expand their cultural awareness, and to increase their self-confidence in the language. This course is required for students enrolled in KOREA 1020 and must be completed to advance to KOREA 2010. This course is open to other beginning students by instructor consent.

This course provides students the opportunity to improve their skills in speaking and listening, to expand cultural awareness, and to increase their self-confidence in the language. This course is required for students enrolled in KOREA 2010 and must be completed to advance to KOREA 2020. The course is open to other students by instructor consent.

This course provides students the opportunity to improve their skills in speaking and listening, to expand cultural awareness, and to increase their self-confidence in the language. This course is required for students enrolled in KOREA 2020 and it must be completed to advance to KOREA 3060. The course is open to other students by instructor consent.

Prerequisites: B- or better in KOREA 2020 or instructor consent

This course is designed for students who have completed 1010 to 2020, and as the first course for students who learned the language during residence in Korea. The aim is increased proficiency in reading, composition, and speaking in different levels of formality and with greater cultural nuance.

Prerequisites: B- or better in KOREA 3060 or instructor consent

This course continues from KOREA 3060, with the additional goal of beginning proficiency in Chinese characters used in Korean (Hanja, Hanmun). Pending instructor approval, students who have not taken 3060 may register for this course.

Prerequisites: B- or better in KOREA 3060 or instructor consent

This course is designed to help the intermediate or advanced speaker of Korean speak with more polish and confidence in professional or formal situations. The course will introduce vocabulary and conversation particular to the typical workplace and to other situations of formal interaction, with special emphasis on using formal and deferential speech. Relevant non-linguistic etiquette and cultural protocol will also be addressed. Heritage speakers welcome.

Prerequisites: B- or better in KOREA 3060 or 3070 or instructor consent

 Fourth-year Korean language course aimed at reinforcing and advancing language skills through the use of readings and discussion, with written assignments linked to course content.

Taught in English, this course offers an exploration of Korean culture through close readings of literature from the late 18th century to the contemporary period, accompanied by the viewing of films from recent decades.

Prerequisites: Students must be native speakers of Korean, or non-native speakers with Intermediate-Mid proficiency or higher in Korean.

This course consists of assisting instructors and students in and outside class for first- to fourth-year Korean language courses. Work includes assisting with activities in class, providing tutoring hours outside class, preparing materials, and assisting with homework evaluation. Interested students must submit an application to the instructor of the class in which they wish to assist. An application consists of a short letter of interest in both English and Korean, and a resume. Applicants who pass the first screening will be interviewed for a final decision, and successful applicants will be given an add code to register for the course.

Students with advanced language skills (e.g., native speakers, heritage speakers, students who have lived for an extended period abroad) should not enroll in first, second, and some third-year courses. If you do not know what your language level is or if you think your situation justifies petitioning for an exception, contact the WLC advisors before enrolling in classes. For pedagogical reasons, the department reserves the right to remove advanced speakers who have not successfully petitioned from classes not appropriate for their language level. 

Learning Abroad

Learning abroad is the opportunity to live, study and intern abroad while completing your degree here at the University of Utah. Learning Abroad helps connect you to over 500+ program options in over 50 countries, many of which are great for improving your proficiency in another language. Learn more about Learning Abroad by visiting learningabroad.utah.edu and completing Learning Abroad 101

To get started, see below for program options for Korean. 

For questions, email Learning Abroad at learningabroad@utah.edu, call them at 801-581-5849, or visit in person at Union 159.


Utah Asia Campus

The Utah Asia Campus, about an hour west of Seoul, South Korea, allows you to earn U of U credit and take coursework in English while learning abroad. The Utah Asia Campus is one of four institutions at the Incheon Global Campus (IGC)—a dynamic education model that brings prestigious universities from around the world to one location. At the Utah Asia Campus, you can fulfill general education requirements, and take courses for a range of majors. You can also take courses at other IGC institutions, including Korean language, to supplement your coursework at the UAC.


Exchanges

The U partners with universities around the world to offer you the opportunity to complete coursework in an immersive university environment alongside local students. Coursework can be quite flexible with students oftentimes completing major, minor, and general education requirements. Additionally, the cost of an exchange program is the same as paying U of U resident tuition, which makes exchanges one of our most affordable options!

  • Seoul National University
  • Sogang University
    • Korean Government Scholarship Program and Benefits for Exchange Students - The winners of this scholarship will receive a monthly stipend of around USD $500, as well as reimbursement of round-trip airfare. The nominees for this scholarship will be chosen by Sogang OIA and will be contacted individually. Approximately 8 students are chosen nationally. This is a highly competitive scholarship.
    • Sogang Global Scholarship - Students who have applied and been nominated for the Sogang University exchange will have the option to apply for this award that provides a housing fee discount for the on-campus dormitory. Students with financial need are encouraged to apply!
    • Sogang KLEC Special Scholarship - The Korean Language Education Center (KLEC) at Sogang University offers a scholarship that provides a 10% discount on tuition to students with a letter of recommendation from a director of Korean language department or his/her Korean language instructor. The application is typically due in early May.

Affiliate Programs

The U partners with external organizations (Affiliates) to expand where you can go and what you can study on a learning abroad program. Affiliates offer programs at study centers, local institutions, or a combination of both in the host country. Programs are commonly structured around a particular theme or topic, such as "Language, Culture, and Society". Program options can also include internships, service learning & community engagement opportunities.

FLAS Scholarships in Korean

The Foreign Language and Area Studies Scholarship (FLAS) is provided by the Asia Center. For FAQs, application, and other information on the FLAS scholarship, click the button below.

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE FLAS SCHOLARSHIP

Faculty

Tenure-Line Faculty

 

Career-Line Faculty

Hyesun Kim

Assistant Professor (Lecturer)
LNCO 12230
(801) 585-3012
aruwa97@gmail.com
 

Associate Instructor

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Last Updated: 5/24/22