Discover what makes us outstanding

Why Study at KAIST?

KAIST has made distinguished impacts on academia and industries for the last half-century. KAIST was founded in 1971 and has been a unique cradle for fostering outstanding scientists and engineers. They have contributed to advanced science and technology, innovation, and entrepreneurship and facilitated the Korean economic miracle with a strong foundation in science and technology. Looking ahead to the next half-centrury, KAIST combines excellence in science and research and innovtive history to create value for the world.

A Global Value-Creative Leading University

Our history of innovation and audacious challenge has been marked by intrernational league tables. They are the marks of our collective advancement. Not to mention, our graduate students are at the heart of the excellence.

  • Reuters Asia’s Most Innovative Universities 2016 - 2018: 1st
  • QS University Rankings by Location 2020: 1st
  • QS Top 50 Under 50 Rankings: 2013-2021: 3rd
  • QS World University Rankings 2023: 42nd
  • QS World University Rankings by Subject 2022
    • Materials Science and Engineering: 20th
    • Mechanical Engineering: 22nd
    • Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering: 23rd
    • Electrical Engineering: 23rd
    • Chemistry: 26th
    • Civil and Environmental Engineering: 47th
    • Biological Sciences: 51st
  • THE World University Rankings - Industry Income: 1st

Research Infrastructure

KAIST Learns and Creates through Research

KAIST learns and creates through research. In 2020, KAIST conducted 646 R&D projects from industries and 1,914 from the Korean government. The overall R&D funds in 2020 reached around USD 365 million. This outstanding achievement came from our active engagements in a wide range of science and technology R&D projects and the strategic support of the Korean government that has spent the highest rate of GDP on R&D in the world in 2021 (statista)



KAIST has also ranked #1 in Industry Income Indicator of THE World University Rankings 2022. KAIST published 3,534 articles internationally and domestically in 2020, and 3,128 of them were published in SCI journals. But, the journals are not enough to be the best

Domestic Patent Applications and Registration 2013-2022
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Overseas Patent Applications and Registration 2013-2022



English as the Official Language of Communication

The primary medium of communication on our campus is research. KAISTians gather around the research of interest, learn, challenge, and create through it. However, when it comes to verbal and written communication, English is the official language of communication. Therefore, comprehension of written and spoken English is essential for admission.

KAISTians enrolled in graduate programs don’t need to learn the Korean language to fulfill their graduation requirements. However, you’ll have opportunities to learn the Korean language by taking courses at KAIST language center or through the language exchange programs at KI House. Your Korean language acquisition will make your life at KAIST more colorful and exciting.

Recognized Gateway into the Korean Society

  On-Campus Visa Center and various visa options


KAISTians are acknowledged as the best scientists, and many of them are international scholars. The Korean government supports them in seeking jobs and settlement into Korean society.  Therefore, the Ministry of Justice has established the Global Talent Visa Center on our main campus for easier access and convenience in addressing immigration affairs.  The center is available to KAISTians and those scientists and engineers who work in R&D institutes within Daedeok Innopolis. The center provides KAISTians with the easiest access and best support to handle their immigration affairs.


The Ministry of Justice also expanded settlement opportunities for those who earned graduate degrees at research-oriented universities or research institutes designated by the ministry. Accordingly, those who have earned or expect to earn graduate degrees from KAIST and who pass the special internal selection procedures at KAIST have expanded opportunities to obtain a long-term residency visa (F-2-7S). Starting in early 2023, the Ministry of Justice introduced a new system where foreign nationals who received graduate degrees from KAIST will be offered faster and simpler internal selection procedures. This new system will also shorten the period by up to three years, which normally takes six or more years.


The ministry will also offer new F-5-16S permanent resident visas for talented foreign professionals in science and technology fields. Through this system, one can apply without the income requirement. In addition, if F-2-7S or F-5-16S holders produce outstanding research achievements, they can be immediately eligible for special naturalization which would allow them to hold dual citizenship.


The ministry's move is part of their effort to support talented and promising individulas like KAIST graduate degree holders to settle into Korean society smoothly.