Change in POSTECH’s 2018 Admission Application
Change in POSTECH’s 2018 Admission Application
  • Reporter Park Geun-woo
  • 승인 2016.06.01 12:27
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On Apr. 27, POSTECH undergraduate admissions officially announced general criteria for POSTECH’s undergraduate admission in 2018. The released document from the office highlighted two main modifications. First, there will be a slight change in equal chance selection admission for agricultural and fishing county residents, in that students’ residence status report in the claimed county is now a requirement. The second part acknowledges the most notable change in the application process, which is sure to affect virtually every regular admission applicants.
The main idea of the second section is to “recruit every regular admission type undergraduate students as unified major, with the exception of Creative IT Talented admission type applicants.” The document specifies the reason for the change as means to provide opportunities for multi-disciplinary academics and to extend one’s sight on his/her career paths. As a result, preselection of major in application process will no longer be available, and it is so for the regular, international and equal opportunity admissions.
Unified major in POSTECH is very similar to KAIST’s undeclared major and University of California Davis’s exploratory major. These admission types have one thing in common; students are capable of holding their major decision until the end of the first year. Some schools, such as Carnegie Mellon University and University of Virginia, let the decision held as late as 4th semester. In fact, it is easy to find such cases in many U.S. universities with undeclared major.
Nonetheless, none of Korea’s research-oriented university requires a major to be decided on application process. That is an exception for POSTECH. While POSTECH has been recruiting about 70 undergraduate students as unified major every year, the university has also been recruiting about 250 applicants with majors preselected. Selecting majors early gives students an edge in taking preparations for the future courses with more focus, and lets students to immerse in the major with at least a year ahead of undeclared students. In addition, many students who study in natural sciences and engineering have more certainty in what field they are going to follow. Since 100 percent of POSTECH’s applicants are to choose natural sciences or engineering majors now or later, this advantage has been, to some degrees, a unique factor of POSTECH that could have drew many students in. However, the very assumption lies on a flawed core. It is that if students are not 100 percent positive of their future path, preselection of majors could defeat its own purpose, which is to accelerate students in their acclaimed path.
Encouraging undeclared major stems from the state of today’s world. Rapid growth of technology has been disrupting the society for quite a long time. When students look at the growing number of possibilities and majors, they may falter. Major selection is surely the biggest milestone leading into the adulthood. Even with setbacks, many universities have already decided that giving students more time to experience more is going to be more promising. POSTECH’s choice on undeclared major might, in that sense, act as a solution to ease the overwhelming burden for the students.