Yonsei University has its roots in the work of a Christian missionary – Horace G. Underwood. Underwood’s activities, together with his Christian principles, eventually resulted in the creation of the first Christian university in Korea, Yonsei University, which is celebrating its 120th anniversary this year.
Underwood International College (UIC) is a highly selective, English-language, four-year liberal arts institution within Yonsei University. It admitted its first class of students in the spring of 2006, and today, spans two campuses, three divisions, sixteen majors, 1,500 students including over 300 international students from more than 50 countries around the world), and nearly 57 faculty members.
UIC aims to ensure that its graduates have the intellectual foundation to become capable global leaders and responsible democratic citizens.
UIC’s faculty is not divided into separate departments, but are instead broadly categorised into a single program in the hope of “encouraging vibrant intellectual exchange by bringing scholars and students from different fields together”. In the Common Curriculum, faculty members offer courses in Critical Reasoning, Eastern and Western Civilization, World Literature, History, Philosophy, Quantitative Methods and Research Design, as well as writing-intensive Freshman seminars and upper-division UIC seminars. The Common Curriculum aims to ensure all UIC students, whatever their chosen field of study, will graduate with the ability to reason critically, communicate effectively, and navigate the complex intellectual landscape of the modern world.
In addition, there are three fields at Yonsei University Underwood International College – the Underwood Field, Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences Field and Integrated Science and Engineering Field. Founded in 2005, the Underwood Field is Underwood International College’s (UIC) oldest division, and the only division based in the Sinchon campus in central Seoul. Majors offered include Comparative Literature and Culture, Economics, International Studies, Political Science and International Relations and Life Science and Biotechnology.
During their first year of study, there is also a residential component. All Underwood Field students live in a residential college where they take common curriculum courses with other UIC students, introductory classes, and electives. From the second year onwards, UF students are based in Sinchon, where they will take courses in their major, electives, UIC seminars and other common curriculum courses. UF students are encouraged to take advantage of the wide range of Yonsei-wide and UIC-exclusive exchange programs, and will also have the option, in their senior year, of completing a senior thesis project under the direction of a faculty advisor.