Graduate Certificate Program

Instructional Goals and Objectives:

The purpose of the Certificate in Korea Studies is to provide a vehicle through which UW graduate students, visiting graduate students, and recent PhDs in the social sciences and humanities with an interest in Korea can acquire a firm foundation in Korea Studies, and be able to document their acquisition of this foundation. The program is designed to make use of the University of Washington’s concentration of scholars specializing on Korea to provide systematic instruction in Korean history, Korean culture and institutions, and Korean political organization and foreign relations.

Who is Eligible:

  • Matriculated Graduate Students
  • Matriculated Professional Students
  • International Scholars & Fellows engaged in research & funded training programs at UW (including Sochon Fellows).

Note: Students are not required to have previous regional language experience, however language experience will strengthen their application.

Required Courses:

Students would be required to take three five -credit courses of which two must be at the 500 level. Successful students must receive at least a 3.0 in all required courses. Courses would normally be selected from the following:

JSIS A 439 Politics of Divided Korea (5)
Governments, politics, and economy of South and North Korea, the inter-Korea relations, and the two Koreas’ relationship with the major powers — especially the United States — with emphasis on the post-cold war period. Offered: jointly with POL S 439.

HSTAS 581: Modern Korean History (3-6)

History of Korea from earliest times to the late 19th century.

HSTAS 582 Seminar in Korean History (3-6)

The political, economic, social, and cultural history of Korea from the late 19th century to the present.

JSIS A 552 Industrialization and International Relations (5)
Examines internal-external linkage with a focus on industrialization and international relations. Comparative perspective on the question of how industrialization shapes distinctive international perspectives in terms of perception, strategies, and foreign policy behaviors. Countries covered: South Korea, Japan, Prussia, the Soviet Union, and China.

JSIS A 566 Comparative Politics and Korea Studies (5)
Approaches Korean politics, political economy, and society from a comparative perspective. Examples of major comparative questions based on Korean case include democratization, strong state dynamics, civil society, and impact of globalization.

JSIS A 584 Survey of Korean Society (5
Introduction to the social and political institutions of North and South Korea with an opportunity to master the most important literature on modern Korea. Focuses on the twentieth century, with the major emphasis on the post-1945 period.

JSIS A 585: Seminar on Korea (6)

Intensive paper writing course in which students work closely with the instructor to write an Essay of Distinction on Korea.

JSIS A 590: Special Topics (5)

From time to time Korea Program faculty or visitors will offer courses on specialized topics that are not part of the regular curriculum. In the past the faculty have offered courses such as North Korean Society, Religion in Korea, or Problems of Divided Korea. 

Capstone Experience: Completion of the program will require writing an Essay of Distinction quality on a topic involving Korea. This essay must be read and passed by at least one Korea Program faculty. Normally this essay would be produced in JSIS A 585 in close consultation with the supervising faculty. This course is taught each Winter. For the Certificate Program it is hoped that the essay will be of enough quality to merit publication in a vetted journal.


For more information, please contact Center for Korea Studies Director Professor Yong-Chool Ha (

To apply to the Korea Studies Graduate Certificate:

To apply for the Korea Studies Certificate Program, please forward the following to Center for Korea Studies Interim Associate Director, Ian Oates (

  • Your resume
  • Unofficial UW transcript
  • 1-2 page personal statement explaining the reasons for your interest in Korean Studies, your reasons for applying to this certificate program, your career goals, and how the Graduate Certificate might further your career goals.