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Degree Programs

The institute offers three degrees in Korean Studies: B.A., M.A. and PhD. Korean Studies as an academic discipline can treat all kinds of topics concerning Korean history, culture and society, making use of methodologies from both the humanities and the social sciences. The common basis of these diverging branches of Korean Studies is provided by philology, i.e. the ability to utilize and interpret sources in the languages of Korea present and past. These include not only the contemporary vernacular, but also pre-modern forms of Korean as well as Literary Chinese (hanmun), for centuries the lingua franca of East Asia.

Therefore, Bochum's Korean Studies curriculum is based on intensive language education, centering on Modern Korean, but including an introduction to Middle Korean and the fundamentals of Literary Chinese. In addition to the courses offered at the university, intensive courses in colloquial Korean can be booked at the Federal State's Language Center (Landesspracheninstitut, LSI) which has recently been integrated into Ruhr-University Bochum.

Besides intensive language education, the Department of Korean Studies offers a broad range of courses on Korean history, literature, religions, thought, contemporary culture, society and politics. A discernible accent lies on Korea's manifold historical and contemporary ties with other East Asian areas, and on the implications of Korea's rich cultural heritage for present-day phenomena.


The Korean Studies B.A. course is integrated into the 3-year double-major B.A. program for the humanities at Ruhr-University Bochum, in which two majors (65 credits for each major, according to the European Credit Transfer System) are complemented by a job skill oriented studium generale (30 credits). Generally, Korean Studies can be combined with any other B.A. major offered at this university. In special cases a combination with B.Sc. majors (natural sciences) is also possible. Combining Korean Studies with Chinese Studies or Japanese Studies is possible, but depending on interests and targeted profession, other choices may be advisable.

The curriculum of the Korean Studies B.A. program consists of a series of modules that convey solid knowledge on Korean language, history, culture and society. During the first two years of the B.A. program, priority is given to the acquisition of a high level of proficiency in the modern Korean language. To further enhance language study efforts, language exchanges with Korean students at Ruhr-University Bochum are organized by the institute. Beginning with the second year, essentials of pre-modern languages are taught as well. Simultaneously, students are trained step by step in academic work, leading to term papers based on original sources by the third year. The final B.A. thesis may thus include first attempts at original research.

For the ensuing two-year M.A. program, Korean Studies can again be combined with a second major, but also be taken as a single major. In the latter case, an additional East Asian language has to be acquired during the first year. Courses offered in the M.A. program are often related to ongoing research and are geared towards conveying techniques for independent academic work in Korean Studies.

For PhD students, (average time frame: three years) additional course work is optional unless stipulated by the supervisor.

A great asset in preparing term papers and graduate theses is our library, one of the largest and most up-to-date university collections of East Asia-related literature in Germany.

Academic Counseling

Departmental academic adviserChair
Dr. Martin Gehlmann Prof. Dr. Marion Eggert
Tel: +49 (0) 234 32-22919
Room: 2/08, Universitaetsstr. 134
Tel: +49 (0) 234 32-25572
Room: 2/07, Universitaetsstr. 134
Office hours: by agreementOffice hours: by agreement