The Department of Political Science at Yonsei University opened its doors in October 6th 1945, shortly after Korean independence. At that time, the department was divided into the Department of Political Science and the Department of Diplomacy which were located within the Yeonhui Technical School. When the Yeonhui Technical School became Yonsei University in August of 1946, the Department of Political Science and International Studies was newly established within the College of Liberal Arts. The Department of Political Science & International Studies went through much reorganization and is currently positioned as one of the central majors within the College of Social Science.
The department aims to educate students in the basic theories and practices of politics, both domestic and international, so as to prepare them to take on leading positions and roles in the public sector. As such the curriculum focuses on teaching the students analytical tools and skills which will enable them to understand and analyze politics and political behavior as well as the institutions and processes through which public policy is formed in different political systems. In order to effectively implement the aforementioned goals the department is focusing on searching and introducing political theories as well as critically revising political theories. The curriculum is divided into four subfields: political theory and ideology, comparative politics, international relations, and Korean politics.
After Korea’s independence, this department began its first classes on November 26, 1945 with 47 students, and in 1950, 44 students graduated. From then on, an estimated 3,600 students graduated from this department. The vast majority of graduates enter public service upon graduation, including Foreign Service, political parties, law, and the media, while a large number also join the private sector. Currently, the department is made up of 14 faculty members, 400 undergraduate students, and 150 graduate and doctorate candidates. The department runs a special program for those students preparing for the national Foreign Service examination. The program has been exceedingly successful, making the department a nationwide leader in producing professional diplomats. The department also organizes the annual Yonsei Political Science Community Training Program which brings the faculty members and the students together to encourage the community spirit among its members. Moreover, there is a variety of student activities such as the student council and diverse clubs and study groups where students can actively participate.
Students completing the requirements of the department will receive a degree in Political Science & International Studies. The graduates will be able to enter in diverse realms of society including Foreign Service, political parties, law, and the media, just to mention a few.