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10 Korean Idols Who Had Surprising Majors At University, Featuring Kim Hee-chul, 2NE1’s Minzy & More

Korean idols with unusual university majors

When in search of higher education, Korean idols tend enrol into university majors such as theatre, applied music, film and broadcasting, and other majors relevant to their careers. But these 10 Korean idols are different – you wouldn’t have expected them to major in these while they were still in university!

1. Super Junior’s Hee-chul – Computer Data Information

korean idol university majors - hee chul
Image credit: @kimheenim

Aside from being a member of Super Junior, one of the most iconic second-generation K-pop groups, Hee-chul is famous for his variety show skills on TV programs. You might recognise him from Knowing Brothers – he’s been one of the cast members since it first aired in 2015.

Hee-chul studied at Sangji University, a private university in Wonju, and graduated in 2008. Sangji University was established in 1955, and the campus houses seven colleges and six graduate schools.

Hee-chul majored in computer data information (IT통계학과) at Sangji University. In his major, he learnt how to translate the data acquired using computer knowledge. The data collected will be analysed, and students are to forecast the potential things that might happen to the environment and the people living in it. From there, students will then come up with actionable steps to tackle the situation. 

2. Girls’ Day Sojin – Mechanical Engineering

korean idol university majors - sojin
Image credit: @ssozi_sojin

Sojin debuted as the leader of Girls’ Day in 2010. She’s currently promoting as an actress and starred in various dramas such as Hot Stove League and The King: Eternal Monarch

Video credit: SBS Drama

Sojin studied at Yeungnam University, and her major will surprise you – she majored in mechanical engineering!

As a mechanical engineering major, Sojin learnt about the principles, design, production, and performance of various devices based on their physical concepts and made them useful and applicable to all fields of engineering.

3. 2PM’s Taecyeon – Business Administration

korean idol university majors - taecyeon
Image adapted from: @51k_official

Taecyeon is part of the Korean idol group 2PM, they’re known as beastly idols thanks to their muscular physique. He has delved into acting too, and he’s currently known for his role as the villain in Vincenzo.

Taecyeon studied at Dankook University, a private university with two campuses – one in Yongin city, and the other in Cheonan city. He graduated from Dankook University in 2012.

Taecyeon majored in business administration. His curriculum consisted of modules such as human resource management, financial management, and consumer psychology and behaviour.

4. 2NE1’s Minzy – Theology

korean idol university majors - minzy
Image credit: @_minzy_mz

Minzy is known for being the youngest of the Korean idol group 2NE1. After she left YG Entertainment, she joined Music Works. In 2020, she set up her own company, MZ Entertainment. She has been actively promoting as a solo artist, and recently made a comeback with her third single, TEAMO.

Video credit: MINZY TV

Minzy studied at Baekseok University, a Christian private institution of higher education established in 1994. The school initially started as a Bible college, before expanding to become a university with 12 undergraduate divisions and graduate education two years later. 

korean idol university majors - Minzy at her graduation ceremony in 2018
Minzy at her graduation ceremony in 2018
Image credit: @_minzy_mz

Minzy was a theology major, and as a theology student, she went through modules to expand her Bible knowledge, along with other modules that include learning about the history of the Christian church and how to practice theology.

Fun fact: Minzy is a Presbyterian, one of the Christian denominations part of the Protestant church. 

5. Wonder Girls’ Hyerim – Interpretation

korean idol university majors - Hyerim
Image credit: @wg_lim

Hyerim was part of Wonder Girls, who released the legendary song Nobody. Although she only joined the group in 2010, she played a significant part in their US promotions in 2012. 

She left JYP in 2020 and signed with her fellow member Yubin’s agency, RRR Entertainment, where she currently promotes as an actress.

Hyerim lived abroad in Hong Kong for 14 years, and she picked up English, Cantonese, and Mandarin there. Her interest in languages led her to pursue further studies at Hankook University of Foreign Studies, where she majored in interpretation

Hyerim’s major is under the Department of English for International Conferences and Communication (EICC). During her course of study, she went through a curriculum that touched on modules such as interpretation for official events by the United Nations and the World Health Organisation, global communication for the 21st century, and cross-cultural interpretation.

6. Ex-Nine Muses’ LeeSem – Global Public Administration

korean idol university majors - LeeSem
Image credit: @leehyunju5x5

LeeSem is known for being part of the Korean idol group Nine Muses. After she graduated from the group in 2014, she left the entertainment industry as well. 

Video credit: 법규

LeeSem later pursued university education at Yonsei University’s Mirae Campus, one of the top three universities in Korea, where she majored in global public administration.

korean idol university majors - LeeSem
Image credit: @leehyunju5x5

Her major offers students the choice to go into one of two tracks – the international development track or the general administration track. In the international development track, students get to go for international development site visits, attend various lectures about development overseas, and receive mentoring from alumni.

If students pick the general administration track, they’ll receive intensive guidance to advance in the public service sector, go for internships, and they will be mentored by their seniors in the same track.

7. SF9’s Inseong – Communications

korean idol university majors - SF9's Inseong
Image credit: @SF9official

SF9’s Inseong is one of the oldest members in the group, and he’s known for his vocal skills. His group made a comeback recently with Tear Drop, and if you liked Good Guy, their previous release, you’ll like their new song too.

Video credit: FNCEnt

Inseong is known for being the brain of SF9 – he even scored 935/990 for the TOEIC test. Before debuting in SF9, he completed his Bachelor’s degree at Kyunghee University.

korean idol university majors - SF9's Inseong
Image credit: TOPSTARNEWS

At Kyunghee University, Inseong majored in communications. Students in the major are free to choose between two specialisations – journalism & communication, or visual communication & information studies. 

In the journalism & mass communication track, students focus on print and broadcast journalism, advertising, and public relations.

Those who choose to specialise in visual communication & information studies will focus on visual and interpersonal communication, as well as new media and digital production with the use of the latest communication technologies.

8. Day6’s Young K – Business Administration

korean idol university majors - Day6's Young K
Image credit: @from_youngk

Young K is a singer-songwriter from the band Day6. He has over 100 songs credited under his name, which is a testament to his music production and songwriting skills.

Back in 2018, Young K graduated from Dongguk University, where he majored in business administration.

korean idol university majors - Young K on the day of his graduation
Young K on the day of his graduation
Image credit: @day6kilogram

Despite Young K’s busy schedule, he never failed to show up for classes and sit for tests and examinations for the various modules required to graduate.

Similar to 2PM’s Taecyeon, Young K learned all about human resource management, financial management, principles of accounting, business statistics, and consumer psychology and behaviour.

9. Rainbow’s Jae-kyung – Fashion Design

korean idol university majors - Rainbow's Jae-kyung
Image credit: @_kimjaekyung_

Jae-kyung was the leader of the Korean idol group Rainbow, and she’s currently promoting as an actress. Currently, Jae-kyung is starring in The Devil Judge as Oh Jin-joo, one of the judges at the courtroom live show.

Jae-kyung studied at Dongduk Women’s University and majored in fashion design. Dongduk Women’s University is one of the nine women’s universities in Korea.  Other women’s universities include Ewha Women’s University and Sungshin Women’s University.

As a fashion design major, Jae-kyung went through modules such as fashion collection research, pattern making, and fashion marketing.

10. Brown Eyed Girls’ Miryo – Advertising

korean idol university majors - Brown Eyed Girls’ Miryo
Image adapted from: @browneyedgirls_official 

Miryo is the rapper of the Korean idol group Brown Eyed Girls, who sang the iconic Abracadabra

korean idol university majors - Narsha, Jea, Gain, and Miryo
(From left to right) Narsha, Jea, Gain, and Miryo.
Image credit: @browneyedgirls_official

Miryo studied at Chung-Ang University, a university that has educated renowned actors and actresses. Notable alumni include Kim Bum, Park Shin-hye, and Kim Rae-won.

Miryo was an advertising major at Chung-Ang University. She studied various modules such as methods to promote advertisements, marketing communications, and how to do up brand communication campaigns.

Korean idols with surprising university majors

These Korean idols enrolled in university majors that are unusual for their career path – some more so than others – and hats off to them for pushing through their busy schedules to pursue higher education.

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Cover images adapted from: @day6kilogram and @_minzy_mz