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SIS Abroad

Grad Dual Degree Programs: Sookmyung Women's University

Photo of old building in Seoul, Korea

With the motto, “Gentle Power to Change the World,” the Graduate School of Professional Studies (GSPS) at Sookmyung Women’s University (SMU) has joined SIS to offer a Dual Degree program aimed at cultivating leadership skills in international affairs. Although Sookmyung Women’s University was the first women’s university in Korea, the Dual Degree Program is open to both men and women from AU. Gain leadership skills and understand the Korean perspective on international service.


Graduate students study in the Graduate School of International Service (GSIS), a school within the GSPS. Students spend their first year as full-time students in SIS studying in virtually any of the SIS major fields, and then spend their second year studying as full-time students at SWU. Up to fifteen (15) of the course credits taken at SMU in this second year can be applied toward the SIS degree. Research requirements for both degrees must be done separately and cannot be used toward the completion of both degrees. The major fields of study include the following:

  • International Public Relations – This program explores the world of cross-cultural and cross-border public relations. Students focus on communications and public relations from an international perspective.
  • International Organizations and Human Security - This program examines the institutional structures, political processes and impact of international organizations within the larger context of world politics. Students study both the traditional problems - international security, the global distribution of wealth, and threats to social welfare – as well as international ecological problems

All students, regardless of major field of study, are required to take classes in International Relations Theory, Understanding Contemporary Culture, PR for Government and International Organizations, Politics and Government in the Age of Information, U.S.-Korea relations, and Special Lectures on International Affairs.
AU students take 18 credits hours over the course of their two semesters at SMU, 9 credit hours each semester. In the first semesters, students take three lecture courses. In the second semester, they take one lecture course and write a thesis.

Academic Calendar

Fall semester: September-January

Spring semester: February-June

Although the academic calendar in Korea begins in March, DMDP students will enroll at SMU after a full year in SIS.


  1. Students are registered through the SIS Office of International Program Development for nine (9) AU-SWU exchange credits in the fall and six (6) AU-SMU exchange credits in the Spring.
  2. Students are required to meet with their AU academic advisor and obtain formal pre-approval before enrolling at SMU. This ensures that all credits earned on the Program can be applied toward the student’s AU degree. 
  3. Students register for classes with the Program Manager at SMU once they arrive on campus for orientation.
Credit articulation:

The credit and examination system at SMU follows the traditional Korean model at an institution of higher education. Students earn credit according to grades, and credits earned at SMU are articulated through the SIS Office of International Program Development upon receipt of transcript from SMU. For conversion purposes, students should expect 1 SMU credit to equal 1 AU credit.

Tuition and Fees

While at AU, students will be billed according to the tuition and fee schedule published by the University.
While at SMU, students pay regular tuition, emergency international health insurance, and technology fees to AU. Students do not pay the student activity fee, sports center fee, or SIS fee. Students also pay the application fee and graduate student registration fee to SMU.
Students are responsible for any incidental costs, such as library fines and lab fees, incurred during the program. Students are responsible for all personal expenses including housing and transportation. Students will pay SWU for the Academic Association of International Relations fee and the Autonomous Association of the Graduate Students fee.


Twin room accommodations are available in the university’s International Guest House for a nominal monthly fee.

Immigration and Visa Requirements

Once admitted into the Program, students are issued a Certificate of Eligibility. Students take this document to the closest Korean Embassy to apply for a student visa. Students need to take the Certificate of Eligibility, passport, bank statement, visa application, and application fee to the Embassy.
Students are responsible for researching the most up-to-date immigration requirements and arranging all immigration documents.

Student Orientation

During the semester prior to the start of the program, the SIS Office of International Program Development conducts a mandatory pre-departure meeting. Topics covered include administrative, logistical, security, health, and cross-cultural issues. SMU will hold an orientation for all international students upon arrival in Korea.

How to Apply

Application deadline for study in AY 2013-2014: TBA

Complete and submit the program application to the SIS Office of International Program Development by the application deadline. Applications are available in SIS 115.

  1. After applications are processed and reviewed, student applications are forwarded to SWU. SWU makes the final admission decision.





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Information Session


Application Deadline for study in AY 2013-2014


Additional Information

Study Korean in DC

Travel information about Seoul from Wikitravel and Lonely Planet

Embassy of Korea

Korea consular information sheet from the U.S. Department of State