Program Overview

The Korean Flagship Program is an innovative undergraduate program for highly-motivated students of any major to reach a professional level of competence in Korean by graduation. The goal of the program is to graduate students who will take their place among the next generation of global professionals, commanding a professional level of competence in Korean. The program welcomes applications from students of all majors and at any level of prior experience in Korean.

The UW-Madison Korean Flagship Program is funded by The Language Flagship, a major component of the National Security Education Program in the U.S. Department of Defense.

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Who enrolls in this program?

The ideal student is motivated, hard-working, and eager to join the next generation of global professionals. Anyone with an interest in Korean language or culture, representing any academic major or career path, should consider this unique and competitive program for UW-Madison undergraduates.

What is professional-level proficiency?

Students in the Korean Flagship Program work toward a Superior level of proficiency in Korean, a specific measurement of language competence based on guidelines established by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL). (Superior proficiency is equivalent to Level 3 on the Interagency Language Roundtable scale used by the federal government.) Individuals at this proficiency level are able to speak, read, listen, and write at length and in detail on a wide variety of topics and in various settings, both informal and formal, concrete and abstract; to state and support opinions and to hypothesize, advise, persuade, negotiate, and interpret subtleties of meaning; and to reword or “circumlocute” when the precise word needed is lacking. Those with Superior-level proficiency can deal with linguistically unfamiliar situations and are able to communicate with native speakers unaccustomed to speaking with foreigners. Individuals with a Superior-level command of the language are able to function productively in a wide variety of professional settings.

Where, when, and how does the program happen?

The UW-Madison Korean Flagship is one of just two Korean Flagships in the nation. The other domestic Korean Flagship is at the University of Hawai’i.

The UW-Madison Korean Flagship Program is comprised of both domestic and overseas study. At UW-Madison, students take Korean language and culture courses during both the academic year and for at least one summer, and participate in dedicated tutoring and in a wide array of co-curricular programming. Students study abroad on the capstone Korean Flagship Overseas Program at Korea University in Seoul, South Korea, where they take intensive advanced language and culture courses, and enroll in other courses taught in Korean at Korea University, and complete a professional internship. Together, the domestic and overseas programs offer a sequence of articulated domestic and overseas study to enable undergraduate students of all majors to reach a professional level of Korean language proficiency by graduation.

How can I get started?

Your next steps will be determined by a variety of factors, including your current student status (e.g. UW-Madison sophomore vs. high school senior), your prior experience studying Korean (if any), and your academic interests or professional goals. Please contact us for a personalized recommendation. In the meantime, we encourage you to explore the program’s admissions procedures.