University-Based Higher Education on Nonprofit and Nongovernmental Organizations in South Korea: Comparative Analysis between South Korea and the United States


  • Sung-Ju Kim North Carolina State University
  • Bok Gyo Jeong Kean University



Nonprofit education, higher education, curriculum, NPO/NGO, South Korea



 From the early 1990s to the present, the nonprofit sector in South Korea has grown exponentially in size and scope, resulting in increased calls for the development of nonprofit education programs to educate future leaders of the nonprofit sector in South Korea. This article reports on a study undertaking to determine the scope and dimensions of the nonprofit and non-governmental organization (NPO/NGO) education in South Korea, identifying university-based nonprofit education programs in South Korea and analyze curricular content employing Wish and Mirabella’s seven-category model for evaluating curricular content in nonprofit programs. At present, South Korea offers 23 NPO/NGO degree programs at 16 universities with a combined total of 634 courses being offered as part of these degree programs. In addition, there are 45 universities offering three or more NPO/NGO related courses outside of the identified 23 NPO/NGO degree programs among the top 50 South Korean Universities, including the aforementioned 16 universities. Our findings show that South Korean NPO/NGO degree programs are more focused on advocacy and public policy related topics than on other categories of curriculum content, and with very little focus on financial management related topics in particular. The paper concludes with a discussion of the unique structure of NPO/NGO degree programs compared with programs in the United States, highlighting the proportional difference between the internal and external functions.

Subscribe to JNEL

Author Biographies

Sung-Ju Kim, North Carolina State University

Sung-Ju Kim, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, North Carolina State University School of Social Work, Raleigh, NC 27695. E-mail:

Bok Gyo Jeong, Kean University

Bok Gyo Jeong, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Kean University Union, NJ 07083. E-mail: