Financial support


Financial Support

Full tuition fee
  • Tuition exemption for 4 semesters (MS) / 10 semesters (MS-PhD Integrated) / 8 semesters (PhD)

  • Note that the application fee will be compensated for all admitted PhD (and integrated MS/PhD) students upon registration.

Stipend (monthly financial support for a Ph.D student)
    • Scholarships are typically available in the form of research assistantships from individual professors (academic advisors). In addition to tuition waivers, each admitted student will receive monthly stipends to cover living costs, including housing, food, and personal expenses. The monthly stipend varies across individual programs/departments and professors, with a CoE-wide average exceeding 1,700,000 KRW. For more detailed stipend information for specific departments/programs, see below:


  • Mechanical Engineering
    • In the Department of Mechanical Engineering, more than 80% of the labs provide monthly salaries above 1.3 million Korean won (KRW), with an average being 1.77 million KRW.

  • Aerospace Engineering
    • In the Department of Aerospace Engineering, individual labs provided monthly stipends of more than 2.0 million KRW (before tax deduction) on average in the year 2022, with exact figures depending on project circumstances.

  • School of Electrical Engineering
    • In the School of Electrical Engineering, more than 80% of the labs provide monthly financial support above 1.5 million KRW, with an average of 1.9 million KRW.

  • School of Computing
    • In the School of Computing, most labs pay more than 1.6 million KRW in salary, with an average exceeding 1.9 million KRW.

  • Civil and Environmental Engineering
    • In the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, more than 80% of the labs provide monthly salaries above 1.3 million KRW, with an average of more than 1.66 million KRW.

  • Bio and Brain Engineering
    • In the Department of Bio and Brain Engineering, international students get at least 1.1 million KRW as a monthly stipend.

  • Industrial Design
    • In the Department of Industrial Design, 100% of the labs provide monthly salaries above 1.1 million KRW.

  • Industrial & System Engineering
    • In the Department of Industrial & Systems Engineering (ISE) and the Graduate School of Data Science (GSDS), the guaranteed minimum monthly income (including stipends and scholarships from all sources) is 1.1 million KRW for a Ph.D. student and 0.8 million for an MS student. It is important to note that the actual income often significantly exceeds the guaranteed minimum, although the exact amount can fluctuate depending on the funding situation. For instance, in the 2023 Spring semester, the actual minimum income for a Ph.D. student was 1.5 million KRW (before tax).

  • Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
    • In the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, more than 80% of the labs provide monthly salaries above 1.4 million KRW.

  • Materials Science & Engineering
    • In the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, more than 87.5% of the labs provide monthly salaries above 1.1 million KRW, with an average exceeding 1.4 million KRW.

  • Nuclear & Quantum Engineering
    • In the Department of Nuclear & Quantum Engineering, individual labs provide an average monthly salary of 2 million KRW.

  • Cho Chun Shik Graduate School of Mobility
    • In the Cho Chun Shick Graduate School of Mobility, Ph.D. students currently receive monthly stipends in the range of 1,200,000 KRW to 1,622,000 KRW (with an average of 1,429,000 KRW).

  • Kim Jaechul Graduate School of AI
    • In the Kim Jaechul Graduate School of AI, Ph.D. students are paid an average monthly salary of 2.3 million KRW.

KAIST CoE PhD Fellowship
    • KAIST CoE PhD Fellowships are also available beginning with applicants for the 2024 academic term. Highly qualified candidates with exceptional GPAs will automatically be considered for these CoE PhD Fellowship positions. Only those applying for integrated MS/Ph.D. or Ph.D. studies are qualified for KAIST CoE PhD Fellowships. The fellowship pays a monthly fellowship of 2,500,000 KRW (with 50% from CoE and 50% from individual departments/professors) and is awarded for the duration of 4 years, conditioned on satisfactory progress toward degree requirements. This benefit is in addition to the tuition waivers. If the fellowship holder takes more than 4 years to complete the degree requirements and is still making satisfactory academic progress, then his/her Ph.D. advisor will take responsibility for financial support for the remaining terms.

Monthly living expenses (estimated cost)
The following table contains the monthly expenses of KAIST students.
Location On-Campus Off-campus
Health Insurance SHIA: 40,000 KRW / semester (optional) NHI: 143,000 KRW / month (mandatory)
Lodging 120,000 KRW~320,000 KRW /month 350,000~500,000 / month
Food 6,000 KRW~8,000 KRW / meal 10,000 KRW~15,000 KRW / meal
Coffee 3,000~6,000 KRW / drink
Phone bill 30,000~50,000 KRW / month
Total Expense 973,000 KRW 1,353,000 KRW

Please note that the table does not include other miscellaneous expenses such as transportation, groceries, toiletries, personal shopping, etc.
  • National Health Insurance (NHI)
    • NHI stands for National Health Insurance and is mandatory for everyone staying in Korea. It is extremely useful; it helps to cover a major portion of your medical bills, thus making your life easier.
  • Student Health Insurance Association (SHIA)
    • SHIA is medical insurance covered by KAIST for both on-campus and off-campus hospitals. It also covers a decent amount of the cost after NHI has been applied. Students with SHIA also get free health check-ups from the KAIST clinic once a year. Also, if you take the free health check-up in a semester, you will get the free chest x-ray once in the following semester (required to apply in the dormitory).
  • Dormitory
    • KAIST dorm fees are generously low compared to other universities in Korea. Dorm fees will depend on whether you are assigned to a two ~ three person room or single room. All dorm rooms are equipped with desks, chairs, closets, and bed.
Tax information
    • As for tax information, the Korean tax office deducts 8.8% of the salary every month, but at the end of the year, the Tax Office keeps only up to 300,000 KRW and returns the rest of the amount. As an example, if a student gets 1.5 million KRW a month, 132,000 KRW of this gets deducted every month. At the end of the year, out of the total 1,584,000 KRW (=12*132,000) kept at the Tax Office, 1,284,000 KRW (=1,584,000-300,000) is returned to the student. So, in effect, the student ends up paying only 25,000 KRW a month.