Penn State Penn State: College of the Liberal Arts

Korean

What is Korean?

Studying Korean provides students with an opportunity to grow skills in the modern Korean language and its culture. The program will strengthen your overall knowledge in internationalism and provide a focus on one of the world’s most important nations.

Why should I major in Korean?

Korea is a country with a rich history, culture, and language. The programs aim to create global intellectual exchanges, support research on Korean history, culture, and language, promote cultural activities and events, and provide resources to enrich the study of Korea across the Penn State commonwealth.

What careers can I have with a major in Korean?

Because the Korean program provides you with a strong working knowledge of both the language and culture in Korea, students can take part in:

  • Graduate-level study in Korea-related fields
  • Life in Korea (Students are often equipped with intercultural and language skills)
  • Work where knowledge of Korean language and culture is important

Employment after obtaining the Korean minor is typically in import and export trade, international banking, and sectors of U.S. companies stationed in Korea. An increasing number of domestic and multinational companies are looking for employees with the language and cultural background the Korean minor provides. Additionally, many students who minor in Korean go on to teach English in Korea.

Requirements for the Major

The Korean major requires 35 credits of study (this includes 0-9 credits of General Education GA, GH, or GS courses). At least 22 credits must be at the 400 level. Students are strongly encouraged to take at least 12 of their credits as part of a study abroad program in a Korean speaking location. For curricular sequencing, the program encourages students to pursue this Education Abroad experience following the completion of KOR 401. Students must earn a C or better in all courses applied to their major.

Suggested Academic Plan for Korean: TBA

3 Credits from (Semesters 1-6):

  • KOR 120 – Introduction to Korean Culture
  • KOR 121 – Korean Popular Culture

3 Credits from:

  • KOR 422 – Introduction to Korean Linguistics
  • KOR 423 – Korean Media and Communication
  • KOR 424 – Transnational Korean Literature
  • KOR 425 – Global Korean Cinema
  • KOR 498 – Special Topics 

3 Credits from (Semesters 7-8):

  • KOR 450 – Korean Cultures in a Global Context 
  • KOR 451 – Food and Foodways in Korea 
  • KOR 452 – Korean Language and Culture

Select 6 credits pertaining to Korea, such as courses in Korean, Asian Studies, Art History, Comparative Literature, Economics, Geography, History, Philosophy, Political Science, Religious Studies, Theatre Arts, or other fields. (Sem: 1-8)

Courses in related fields not on this list may count with the approval from the Director of Undergraduate Studies and Korean adviser. This approval process is not complex and can be done via e-mail.

  • KOR 110 – Level Two Korean B
  • KOR 120 – Introduction to Korean Culture
  • KOR 121 – Korean Popular Culture
  • KOR 296 – Independent Study
  • KOR 299 – Foreign Study 
  • KOR 401 – Level Three Korean A 
  • KOR 402 – Level Three Korean B
  • KOR 424 – Transnational Korean Literature
  • KOR 425 – Global Korean Cinema
  • KOR 496 – Independent Study 
  • KOR 498 – Special Topics 
  • KOR 499 – Foreign Study 
  • KOR 450 – Korean Cultures in a Global Context 
  • KOR 451 – Food and Foodways in Korea 
  • KOR 452 – Korean Language and Culture
  • KOR 422 – Introduction to Korean Linguistics

Requirements for the Minor

The Korean minor requires 18 credits of study. Students must earn a C or better in all courses applied to their minor.

You can declare the minor by selecting the “Update Academics” option on Lionpath.

Required Courses

4 Credits from:

6 Credits from:

  • KOR 401 – Level Three Korean A 
  • KOR 402 – Level Three Korean B
  • KOR 424 – Transnational Korean Literature
  • KOR 425 – Global Korean Cinema
  • KOR 496 – Independent Study 
  • KOR 498 – Special Topics 
  • KOR 499 – Foreign Study 
  • KOR 450 – Korean Cultures in a Global Context 
  • KOR 451 – Food and Foodways in Korea 
  • KOR 452 – Korean Language and Culture
  • KOR 422 – Introduction to Korean Linguistics

For more information on the Korean minor, courses in Korean, and extracurriculars for Korean minors, please visit the Institute for Korean Studies undergraduate page.  

Advising

Tom Spencer is the undergraduate adviser for the major and minor in Asian Studies, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean. To make an appointment, visit Starfish and hit ‘Log Into Starfish.’ Select “Appointments” and click the “Advisers” link at the top of the page to view Tom Spencer’s hours for the week. Please make an appointment if you need help with:

  • Your next semester schedule (language pre-majors and majors)
  • Concurrent major planning (feasibility, courses needed)
  • Academic difficulty
  • Faculty Senate petitions (retroactive withdrawal or registration, etc.)
  • Course selection

For other information on the Korean program, please contact Lan Kim