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Degree: BA

Campus: Columbus

College: Arts and Sciences

The Korean major is offered by the Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures and includes courses in the language, culture, literature, drama and linguistics of Korea.

Students studying Korean progress from an elementary working knowledge of the language to oral and written fluency. From the very beginning, students familiarize themselves with Korean phonology and orthography, thereby getting a firm understanding of how the writing system decodes the sound of Korean.

The rich body of Korean literature and performance tradition is first studied in English translation; as students progress in the major and develop their language skills, they perform readings and workshops in Korean.

Upon admission to the university, students can declare a major in Korean within the College of Arts and Sciences. Interested students should contact the undergraduate advisor in the Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures and in Arts and Sciences Advising. 

Korean majors are required to design their programs from courses in language, culture, literature and linguistics. Majors must complete at least 33 credit hours in Korean and Korea-related work. Programs should be planned in consultation with an advisor. 

Prerequisite courses include Korean 1101 through 1103 and Korean 2231. These courses do not apply toward the major. 

Additional electives and general education requirements totaling 121 hours are required by the College of Arts and Sciences for graduation. 

Students may consider and plan for a study abroad program as soon as they have decided to major in Korean. There are fellowships and study abroad opportunities available for students majoring in Korean. Ohio State has established student exchange programs with Yonsei University, Sogang University and Ewha Womans University in Seoul and Soonchunhyang University in Asan. Students can also take courses at Korea University or Konkuk University via a third-party program run by International Study Abroad. Many major Korean universities, including most of those mentioned above, also offer summer intensive programs to international students.

Students can join several Korea-related student organizations, such as the Korean Student Association (KSA), the Korean International Student Organization (KISO), and the Korean Language and Involvement Club (KLIC). KSA and KISO jointly host the annual Korean Culture Show, and KLIC holds various events that promote Korean culture and language learning.

Korean is applicable to a variety of settings in the United States and abroad. Mastery of Korean allows students to consider careers in such fields as education, translation and interpretation; government; international trade; banking; print or electronic media; social work; diplomatic services; broadcasting and popular entertainment; tourism; or art.

Korean majors may also continue into graduate/professional school in Korean, East Asian, Asian-American studies and related fields. Many employers are eager to hire graduates who are fluent in Korean because their businesses interact with Korean speakers. 

Careers in which Korean is the primary emphasis include teaching Korean at all levels; interpreting and translating for the United Nations, government, or for private and public organizations; and a variety of positions in the travel and hospitality industries at home or abroad, such as flight attendant, travel agent, tour guide or hotel management personnel.

Careers in which proficiency in Korean is a good secondary tool include banking and finance, business, sales, export purchasing, foreign market analysis, journalism, foreign correspondence, science and research, library science, hotel management, publishing, radio and television broadcasting, and teaching English in universities and private institutions in Korea and to employees in corporations abroad.

Possible jobs suitable for Ohio State graduates with Korean language majors include trade specialist for the Ohio Department of Development, consultant for the Ohio Chamber of Commerce, translation and interpretation services catering to the business and government sectors, and employment overseas and/or with corporations based in the Republic of Korea. Fluency in Korean language and culture prepares students for careers in international/global contexts. 

Students can explore career options by utilizing Career Connection as well as the Arts and Sciences Career Services Office. Career Connection focuses on helping students establish a career direction while the Arts and Sciences Career Services Office assists students with finding internships—experiences that are essential to testing out the suitability of career fields under consideration.