Students enjoy a Korean meal at a local restaurantThe Korean Language and Culture Program serves undergraduates and graduates at the University of Pittsburgh. In order to respond to the diverse needs of its students and to equip them with the practical language skills, the Korean Language and Culture Program offers various courses on Korean language, linguistics, culture and film. Korean language is offered at three proficiency levels (first year, second year, third year) emphasizing all the four language modalities of speaking, reading, writing, and listening.

The East Asian Languages and Literatures Department offers a minor degree in Korean. The Korean minor is designed to recognize a serious commitment to the study of Korean language and culture. It is especially suited for undergraduate students who wish to augment their major program with a knowledge of the Korean language.  

Contact the Korean Program Coordinator Dr. Mi-Hyun Kim or call 412-624-5562 for more information.

About the Korean Language

Korean is a language spoken natively by the 74 million Korean people living in the Korean peninsula, including 26 million North Koreans and 48 million South Koreans. It is spoken as a heritage language by 5.3 million people in the United States, 0.7 million in Japan, and 0.5 million in the former Soviet Union. A large number of people study Korean as a foreign language worldwide because of Korea's continuing economic success since the 1970s. In terms of the number of speakers, Korean ranks eleventh among over 6,000 languages that exist on the globe.

Course Structure

I- Language Courses

The Korean language curriculum operates on a three-year sequence of courses (first year, second year, and third year). Each level is offered as a sequence of two courses in the fall and spring semesters. Students who have no prior knowledge of Korean must register for the First Year Korean 1 course in the fall semester. Students with prior knowledge of Korean will be required to take a placement exam with the Korean Program Coordinator Dr. Mi-Hyun Kim (412-624-5562). The determination of which level an individual student should take is made based on the individual student's needs, background, and the results of the placement test.

Each Korean language course is associated with two course numbers that starts with either zero or one (e.g., KOREAN 0001 and KOREAN 1001). The course number starting with a zero is intended for undergraduate students, and the one with a one may be taken by graduate students to satisfy graduate requirements. All Korean courses are 4 credits and meet four times a week (250 minutes). Courses are divided into lecture and recitation classes and students must register for both of them.

Below is the list of Korean language courses offered in fall and spring semesters.

Fall Semester

Course Description
KOREAN 0001/1001 First Year Korean 1
KOREAN 0003/1003 Second Year Korean 1
KOREAN 0005/1005 Third Year Korean 1

Spring Semester

Course Description
KOREAN 0002/1002 First Year Korean 2
KOREAN 0004/1004 Second Year Korean 2
KOREAN 0006/1006 Third Year Korean 2

II- Non-Language Courses

The Korean Language and Culture Program offers four courses on Korean linguistics, culture, and film. At least one course is offered each semester. All courses are conducted in English but knowledge of Korean language may be required for some of them.

Course Description
KOREAN 0070 World of Korea
KOREAN 0075 Instruction to Korea through Films
KOREAN 1060 Language and Society in Korea
KOREAN 1023 Aspects of the Korean Language

Scholarship for Korean Studies

Both undergraduate and graduate students can apply for scholarship during their Korean language study. Scholarship and funding information can be obtained from the Asian Studies Center.

Study Abroad Program

The University of Pittsburgh honors an undergraduate exchange program with Korea University. Students can study at Korea University either one or two semesters and transfer their credits upon their return. For more information about program and how to apply, contact the Study Abroad Office.

Visit Us

We welcome prospective students/parents to meet our faculty and learn more about our program. Contact: Dr. Mi-Hyun Kim for the Korean Program. During summer months, not every faculty member is available for meeting new students. We will try to make arrangements so that you can meet our faculty face to face, though, so give us a call.