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Seoul National University College of Medicine



Seoul National University College of Medicine (SNU Medicine) was established in 1899 as the first accredited medical school in Korea. SNU Medicine consists of about 520 dedicated professors, over 2,000 students enrolled in undergraduate and graduate programs, and about 300 staff members. SNU Medicine has 20 research facilities and 4 core laboratories. For the past 120 years, we have strived to be the best in diverse fields, including education, research, and patient care, and have been leading medical advancement in Korea and East Asia. 


The ultimate goal of research at SNU Medicine is to develop innovative, fundamental technology and treatment techniques and apply them to clinical practice. The number of papers published in world-renowned academic journals has increased dramatically. In 2018, investigators at SNU Medicine published 5,678 SCI-level research papers. SNU Medicine conducts more than 870 major clinical trials, and receives research grants worth 2008 billion KRW (as of 2019) annually. According to the Nature Index 2020, SNU Medicine ranked 1st in Life Sciences and Cancer Research within Korea. Based on Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings 2021, SNU Medicine ranked 28th world wide and 2nd in Medicine within Asia. In Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings 2021, it ranked 37th globally in Medicine and Dentistry.


Core educational principles of SNU Medicine are built upon a foundation of respect for humanity. SNU Medicine is dedicated to training medical students to encompass both clinical and translational research skills as well as a scope to become leaders in healthcare and society. In effect, students are trained to well adapt and respond to future Biohealth industry and the Digital Transformation of Healthcare. Alumni of SNU Medicine includes Jong-Wook Lee, the former Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), Young-Soo Shin, the former WHO Regional Director for the Western Pacific (WHO/WPRO), Ho-Wang Lee who discovered the ‘Hantan Virus’ and ‘Seoul Virus’ and Chung Yong Kim who isolated hepatitis B virus from serum in 1973 and developed the first vaccine against hepatitis B, among others. 


There is ongoing collaboration between SNU Medicine and its 95 overseas partner universities and institutions in 32 countries. Also, SNU Medicine provides opportunities for international students through the international student exchange program. Throughout 2012-2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic, close to 1000 foreign exchange students visited our college. In addition, in order to pay forward the service our college received through the Minnesota Project[i] (1954-1961) and to engage in promoting global health, the Lee Jong-Wook Global Medical Center was established in 2012, endeavoring to support the training of medical professionals in developing countries. At present, SNU Medicine desires to share medical knowledge and skills we have acquired throughout the past 120 years, with the rest of the world.



[i] The Minnesota Project was a 1950s aid program through which the University of Minnesota invited 77 faculty members in agricultural sciences, engineering, and midicine at Seoul National University. This Project, which laid the foundation for modern Korean medical development, sparked the spirit of international cooperation.

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