Korea University School of Life Science and Biotechnology Division of Life Sciences

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Regulations on Major

Master of Science (MS)

  1. MS students must earn 24 course credits and 8 research guide credits.
  2. Among the 24 course credits, 6 credits from required courses should be earned from the program they belong. In addition, 2 credits (2 semesters) should be earned from Seminar in Life Science.
  3. Students cannot earn more than 2, 4, 3 and 2 credits of seminar, special topics, research courses, and life science internship, respectively.
  4. Courses from the other departments can be acquired if it is approved by the thesis advisor and program director.
  5. Students must either present at least one poster as the first author in domestic or international conferences or publish a paper as the first author or co-author in a scientific journal. The student in the poster or paper should be affiliated with Korea University. Reprint(s) or acceptance letter(s) for the paper(s) has to be submitted to the office when MS candidates apply for a MS degree. The papers should have a supervisor as a corresponding author in the case of full-time MS candidate, or have the first supervisor as a collaborating author in the case of part-time MS candidates who are registered in cooperative courses of University, Research Institute, and/or Industry.

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

  1. PhD students must earn 36 course credits and 8 research guide credits. In addition, 2 credits (2 semesters) should be earned from Seminar in Life Science.
  2. PhD students cannot earn more than 2, 4, 3, and 2 credits of seminar, special topics, research courses, and life science internship, respectively. Moreover, students cannot earn more than 6 credits of life science internship during master and PhD courses.
  3. Courses from the other departments can be acquired if it is approved by the thesis advisor and program director.
  4. For obtaining PhD degree, students must either publish SCI(E) papers with the sum of impact factor greater than 5.0 or publish at least 2 papers as the first author in SCI journals.
    • ① Journal impact factor is based on 5-year Impact factor.
    • ② The papers should have a supervisor as a corresponding author in the case of full-time PhD candidate, or have the first supervisor as a collaborating author in the case of part-time PhD candidates who are registered in cooperative courses of University, Research Institute, and/or Industry.
    • ③ In the case of co-first-authored papers, the impact factor or the number of paper is calculated as 1/n, where n is the number of co-first authors.
    • ④ The applicant should be affiliated with Korea University.
    • ⑤ Reprint(s) or acceptance letter(s) for the paper(s) has to be submitted to the office when PhD candidates apply for a doctoral academic degree.

Integrated MS-PhD

  1. Students must earn 54 course credits and 16 research guide credits. In addition, 4credits(4 semesters) should be earned from Seminar in Life Science.
  2. Among the 54 course credits, 6 credits from MS-required courses should be earned from the program they belong.
  3. Taking MS courses, students cannot earn more than 2, 4, 3, and 2 credits of seminar, special topics, research courses, and life science internship, respectively. In addition, 2 credits (2 semesters) should be earned from seminar in Life Science.
  4. Taking PhD courses, students cannot earn more than 4, 6, 3, and 2 credits (including the credits earned from MS courses) of seminar, special topics, research courses, and life science internship, respectively.
  5. Courses from the other departments can be acquired if it is approved by the thesis advisor and program director.
  6. For obtaining PhD degree, students must either publish SCI(E) papers with the sum of impact factor greater than 5.0 or publish at least 2 papers as the first author in SCI journals.
    • ① Journal impact factor is based on 5-year Impact factor.
    • ② The papers should have a supervisor as a corresponding author in the case of full-time PhD candidate, or have the first supervisor as a collaborating author in the case of part-time PhD candidates who are registered in cooperative courses of University, Research Institute, and/or Industry.
    • ③ In the case of co-first-authored papers, the impact factor or the number of paper is calculated as 1/n, where n is the number of co-first authors.
    • ④ The applicant should be affiliated with Korea University.
    • ⑤ Reprint(s) or acceptance letter(s) for the paper(s) has to be submitted to the office when PhD candidates apply for a doctoral academic degree.
  7. Students who acquired 54 course credits and 12 research guide credits within 4 years can be exempted  from the remaining research guide credits.
  8. In case the Integrated MS-PhD students do not want to finish the Doctoral degree, but still want to achieve the Master's degree, they should fulfill requirements for the course credits and dissertation for the Master's degree.

Comprehensive Examinations

Master Course
1) Students have to pass a comprehensive qualifying examination as the followings.
  • Written Exam : Only allowed for students who have higher than 3.0 grade point average and earned more than 18 credits for the MS course.
  • Exam Subjects : Three subjects can be chosen among all subjects that students have taken during the course.
  • Passing criteria : Students have to earn more than 70 among 100 points as a perfect score in each subject. Students can have chances for the failed subjects.
  • Question selection : At least two professors participate in making questions for each subject. Examination committee has to do prior approval if only a professor has to make questions.
2) The following rule is applied on the students who enter his or her MS course before March 2013.
  • Application for the exemption of comprehensive qualifying examination: Students who complete more than two semesters and have more than 3.75 grade point average have to submit an application form for the exemption of comprehensive qualifying examination and are exempted from the qualifying examination under Dean's approval.
  • Students who are excluded for the exemption of comprehensive qualifying examination must pass written examinations in two subjects that students select among the following 14 subjects.
  • Examination courses: Taxonomy, Ecology, Biochemistry, Structural Biology, Molecular Genetics, Microbiology, Medical and Pharmaceutical Biotechnology, Fundamental Pathology, Bioregulatory Sciences, Current Good Manufacturing Practice, Molecular Biology, Cell Signalling, Developmental Biology, and Cell Biology
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)/Integrated MS-PhD
1) Students have to pass a comprehensive qualifying examination as the followings.
  • Written Exam : Only allowed for students who have higher than 3.0 grade point average and earned more than 45 credits for the Integrated MS-PhD and 27 credits for the PhD course.
  • Exam Subjects : Four subjects can be chosen among all subjects that students have taken during the course.
  • Passing criteria : Students have to earn more than 70 among 100 points as a perfect score in each subject. Students can have chances for the failed subjects.
  • Question selection : At least two professors participate in making questions for each subject. Examination committee has to do prior approval if only a professor has to make questions.
  • Exam Exemption : Oral qualifying exam
    • Each student presents his/her research to be a theme for his/her PhD dissertation and is tested his/her basic knowledge in the field of his/her research area.
    • Exam committee members : In principle, more than two members test whether students have intelligent maturity and logic thinking ability. The presentation in English is highly recommended. Three professors in the Department of Life Sciences, Korea University are designated as committee members and a supervisor of students is excluded in the committee members.
    • If he/she does not pass the oral qualifying exam, he/she is allowed to have only another one chance. (If he/she does not pass the re-exam, he/she is disqualified for the Doctoral degree.)
    • At least one semester has to be passed for students to submit his or her doctoral dissertation after students pass the oral examination.
2) The following rule is applied on the students who enter his or her PhD course between March 2007 and March 2013.
  • Students in PhD or integrated MS-PhD course have to take and pass a comprehensive oral qualifying examination.
  • For oral examination, students have to present his/her research to be a theme for his/her PhD thesis to examination committee members. The committee members test the whether students have intelligent maturity and logic thinking ability as well as basic and integrated knowledge in the field of his/her research area.
  • Organization of examination committee members; the committee members are composed of three including a chairman. A supervisor of students is excluded in the committee members, and recommends three members from professors in the Department of Life Sciences, Korea University. The three examination committee members are not necessarily to be final committee members for final doctoral dissertation.
  • Students can pass the oral examination by the approval of at least two committee members. The students have another one chance to take the oral examination if he/she does not pass the exam.
  • At least one semester has to be passed for students to submit his or her doctoral dissertation after students pass the oral examination.
  • A chairman of the committee must submit the oral examination report to the Dean of College of Life Sciences and Biotechnology until the last day of oral examination.