10 Basic Subjects In Korean For Quality Education

Want to feel the vibe of being a Korean student? Why not learn the subjects in Korean, or 과목 (gwamok), first? If you want to improve your vocabulary, this blog is definitely perfect for you!

Watching K-dramas that feature schools make us wanna go to South Korea and enroll in their schools. We can see how Koreans value education and learning from the cute uniforms and good times with teachers and classmates, down to parents’ hard work.

The Korean public education system is divided into primary school for six years, middle school for three years, and high school for three years. Only approximately 5% of Korea’s secondary schools were coeducational in 1996, and it only increased by 10%. Even is the schools are already coeducational, the high schools are still divided along gender lines. As we usually do in K-dramas set in the 80s, girls and boys are separated. Because the curriculum is now standardized, both boys and girls learn about domestic and technology science.

Now that you have a little bit of background about the educational system in South Korea, let’s learn the different subjects in Korean.


School Subjects In Korean

If you’re wondering what main subjects are taught in South Korean schools, then this blog is perfect for you. Moral education, Korean language, mathematics, science, social studies, physical education, music, fine arts, and practical arts are the primary school’s nine main disciplines or subjects.

For middle school, which is from grades 7 to 9, the curriculum comprises 12 required subjects, extracurricular activities, and electives. Academic and vocational high schools are the two types of high schools.

The South Korean educational system’s goal in education is pretty incredible. It says:

to foster each student’s personality and ability needed to preserve and strengthen the backbone of the nation; to develop students’ knowledge and skills to prepare them for jobs needed in society; to promote each student’s autonomy, emotional development, and critical thinking abilities to be brought to bear in and out of school; and to improve physical strength and foster a sound mind.”

With this, subjects are determined to achieve their goals at every level. Here are the basic subjects Korean students learn in school in South Korea.

An image of a Korean classroom

도덕 교육 (Dodeok gyoyuk) – Moral Education

Respect and values are fundamental in Korean culture. I am sure you have noticed that by just watching K-dramas or watching your K-pop idols’ interviews and concerts. These traits are just a few of the traits the Korean moral education teaches Korean students. Moral education in South Korea aims to assist students in developing etiquette and moral principles to live desirable lives as Koreans. It also seeks to develop the students’ patriotism and citizenship and desire to seek global peace and co-posterity.

국어교육학 (Gukeogyoyukhak) – Korean Language Education)

Learning how to write and read Korean usually starts at home with their parents, but it is being developed in school. The Korean language is one of the Koreans’ identities, so they make that students appreciate and preserve it by including it as a subject.

사회교육학 (Sahoegyoyukhak) – Social Studies Education

Social studies education is included in their curriculum to prepare students to become worthy citizens of society. Social studies cover Korean history, economy, politics, society and culture, international history, and world geography.

수학 (Suhak) – Math

Did you know that South Korea is one of the best-performing OECD countries in reading literacy, mathematics, and science? They have an average student score of 519, compared to the OECD average of 493, putting it in ninth place globally. Math is one of the main subjects taught in every school globally.

과학 (Gwahak)- Science

Science is also one of the main school subjects taught in schools worldwide. In South Korea, they have Seoul Science High School, an academy for gifted students with ages 15–to 18 interested in science.

컴퓨터 과학 (Keompyuteo gwahak) – Computer Science

Science and technology have been rapidly growing in South Korea. Being one of the world’s most technologically advanced and digitally connected countries, South Korea pays much attention to computer education. Some of the top-performing universities for computer science are the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, Yonsei University, and Sungkyunkwan University.

체육 (Cheyuk) – Physical Education

Physical education is a subject enjoyed especially in primary school and high school. PE classes are mandatory from first to tenth grades in South Korea and elective from eleventh to fourteenth.

음악 (Eumak) – Music

Music is really one of the school subjects taught in school. But because of the success of the K-pop industry, music education in South Korea is extra interesting.

미술 (Misul) – Arts/Art

Arts is also one of the important school subjects in Korean education because it helps unleash the creative side and potential of the students. It is also a subject that you can enjoy with your friends with the same interest.

영어 (Yeongeo) – English

Since English is a foreign language to them, Koreans who are fluent in speaking English are really admirable. English language education begins in the third grade to begin learning English in a comfortable environment by conversational exchange rather than rote memorization of grammatical rules, as is still the case in many middle and high schools.


Other School Subjects In Korean

  1. 회계학 (hoegyehak) – Accounting
  2. 농학 (nonghak) – Agricultural science
  3. 대수학 (daesuhak) – Anarchy
  4. 해부학 (haebuhak) – Anatomy
  5. 인류학 (inryuhak) – Anthropology
  6. 고고학 (gogohak) – Archaeology
  7. 건축공학 (geonchukgonghak) – Architectural engineering
  8. 건축학 (geonchukhak) – Architecture
  9. 동양사학 (dongyangsahak)– Asian history
  10. 천문학 (cheonmunhak) – Astronomy
  11. 생화학 (saenghwahak) – Biochemistry
  12. 생체공학 (saengchegonghak) – Bioengineering
  13. 생물학 (saengmulhak) – Biology
  14. 생명공학 (saengmyeonggonghak) – Biotechnology
  15. 식물학 (sikmulhak) – Botany
  16. 신문방송학 (sinmunbangsonghak) – Broadcasting
  17. 경영학 (gyeongyeonghak) – Business administration
  18. 화학공학 (hwahakgonghak) – Chemistry
  19. 중국 문학 (jungguk munhak) – Chinese literature
  20. 토목공학 (tomokgonghak) – Civil engineering
  21. 컴퓨터공학 (keompyuteogonghak) – Computer engineering
  22. 디자인학 (dijainhak) – Crafts and design
  23. 범죄학 (beomjoehak) – Criminology
  24. 세포학 (sepohak) – Cytology
  25. 무용학 (muyonghak) – Dance
  26. 가정학 (gajeonghak) – Domestic science
  27. 연극영화학 (yeongeugyeonghwahak) – Drama
  28. 역학 (yeokhak) -Dynamics
  29. 지구과학 (jigugwahak) – Earth science
  30. 생태학 (saengtaehak) – Ecology
  31. 경제학 (gyeongjehak) – Economics
  32. 교육학 (gyoyukhak) – Education
  33. 공학 (gonghak) – Engineering
  34. 영어교육학 (yeongeogyoyukhak) – English education
  35. 영문학 (yeongmunhak) – English literature
  36. 윤리학 (yunrihak) – Ethics
  37. 우생학 (usaenghak) – Eugenics
  38. 의류학 (uiryuhak) – Fashion
  39. 미술 (misul ) – Fine arts
  40. 수산학 (susanhak) – Fisheries science
  41. 민속 (minsok) – Folklore
  42. 식품영양학 (sikpumyeongyanghak) – Food and nutrition
  43. 법의학 (beobuihak) – Forensic medicine
  44. 미래학 (miraehak) – Futurology
  45. 유전학 (yujeonhak) – Genetics
  46. 지리학 (jirihak) – Geography
  47. 지질학 (jijilhak) – Geology
  48. 기하학 (gihahak) – Geometry
  49. 문법 (munbeop) – Grammar
  50. 역사학 (yeoksahak) – Historical science
  51. 가정학 (gajeonghak) – Home economics
  52. 인문학 (inmunhak) – Humanities
  53. 위생 (wisaeng) – Hygiene
  54. 산업공학 (saneopgonghak) – Industrial engineering
  55. 정보통신학 (jeongbotongsinhak) – Information and telecommunication engineering
  56. 국사학 (guksahak) – Korean history
  57. 한국학 (hangukhak) – Korean studies
  58. 국문학 (gukmunhak) – Korean literature
  59. 법학 (beophak) – Law
  60. 법학 (beophak) – Legal science
  61. 생명과학 (saengmyeonggwahak) – Life science
  62. 언어학 (eoneohak) – Linguistics
  63. 문학 (munhak) – Literature
  64. 논리 (nonri) – Logic
  65. 관리 (gwanri) – Management
  66. 수학교육학 (suhakgyoyukhak) – Mathematics education
  67. 기계공학 (gigyegonghak) – Mechanical engineering
  68. 의학 (uihak) -Medical science
  69. 기상학 (gisanghak) – Meteorology
  70. 미생물학 (misaengmulhak) – Microbiology
  71. 군사학 (gunsahak) – Military science
  72. 자연학 (jayeonhak) – Neo-Confucianism
  73. 신문공부 (sinmungongbu) – Newspaper studies
  74. 간호학 (ganhohak) – Nursing science
  75. 해양학 (haeyanghak) – Oceanography
  76. 동양학 (dongyanghak) – Oriental studies
  77. 병리학 (byeongrihak) – Pathology
  78. 교육학 (gyoyukhak) – Pedagogy
  79. 약학 (yakhak) –Pharmacy
  80. 철학 (cheolhak) – Philosophy
  81. 물리학 (mullihak) – Physics
  82. 생리학 (saengrihak) –Physiology
  83. 경찰학 (gyeongchalhak) – Police science
  84. 정치 (jeongchi) – Politics
  85. 정치학 (jeongchihak) – Political science
  86. 정치외교학 (jeongchioegyohak) – Political science and diplomacy
  87. 심리학 (simrihak ) – Religious studies
  88. 수사학 (susahak) – Rhetoric
  89. 지진학 (jijinhak ) – Seismology
  90. 기호학 (gihohak) – Semiotics
  91. 사회교육학 (sahoegyoyukhak) – Social studies education
  92. 사회복지학 (sahoebokjihak) – Social welfare
  93. 사회학 (sahoehak) – Sociology
  94. 체육학 (cheyukhak) – Sports education
  95. 통계학 (tonggyehak ) – Statistics
  96. 신학 (sinhak) – Theology
  97. 관광학 (gwangwanghak) – Tourism
  98. 수의학 (suuihak) – Veterinary medicine
  99. 서양사학 (seoyangsahak) – Western history
  100. 여성학 (yeoseonghak) – Women’s studies
  101. 세계사 (segyesa) – World history
  102. 동물학 (dongmulhak) – Zoology


Korean Vocabulary Related To School

An image of a Korean girl studying

Here are some Korean words and phrases related to the school:

RomanizationEnglish Translation
반 친구들ban chingudeulclassmates
교사gyosaschool teacher
초등학교 선생님chodeunghakgyo seonsaengnimprimary school teacher
초등학교 교사chodeunghakgyo gyosaprimary school teacher
중학생junghaksaengmiddle school students
고등학생godeunghaksaenghigh school students
초등학교chodeunghakgyoelementary school
중학교junghakgyomiddle school
고등학교godeunghakgyohigh school
대학원daehagwongraduate school
학원hagwoncram school, a private academy
기숙 학교gisuk hakgyoboarding school
어학원eohagwonlanguage school
어학당eohakdanglanguage school
강당gangdangauditorium, assembly hall
학교식당hakgyosikdangschool cafeteria
공부하다gongbuhadato study
배우다baeudato learn
연습하다yeonseupadato practice
가르치다gareuchidato teach
교육하다gyoyukadato educate


Try These School-Related Korean Sentences

RomanizationEnglish Translation
공부하고 있어요Gongbuhago isseoyo I am studying
공부했어요?Gongbuhaesseoyo?Did you study?
공부해야돼GongbuhaeyadwaeI have to study.
도서관에서 공부했어요Doseogwaneseo gongbuhaesseoyoI studied at the library.
제가 제일 좋은 수업은 영어에요.Jega jeil joeun sueobeun yeongeoeyo.My favorite school subject is English.
학교에서 내가 가장 좋아하는 과목은 수학이에요.Hakgyoeseo naega gajang johahaneun gwamogeun suhagieyo.My favorite subject in school is math.
지금 한국어학원을 다니고 있어요.Jigeum hangugeohagwoneul danigo isseoyo.I am currently attending Korean language school.
좋은 대학교에 입학하게 되기 위해서 열심히 공부해요.Joeun daehakgyoe ipakage doegi wihaeseo yeolsimhi gongbuhaeyo.I study hard because I want to get into a good university.
생물학은 살아있는 유기체에 대한 연구입니다.Saengmurageun sarainneun yugichee daehan yeonguimnida.Biology is the study of living organisms.

No Korean Subject In Your School? Learn Korean With Ling App!

With the influence of K-dramas and K-pop, many people want to learn Korean. But the problem is how will you do it? Thankfully, Ling App can provide you with a language learning experience to develop your language skills such as reading, writing, speaking, and even understanding grammar structure. Go to the website or download the app and start your free lesson now!

Updated by: Gwyn

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.