8 Korean Stars Who Attended Prestigious American Universities

Korean stars are full of surprises with their many talents, but their plans for higher education also never cease to amaze the public. The stars on this list have left many in awe with their choices to attend well-known schools and pursue their dreams. Check out these eight celebrities who attended prestigious American universities!


The rapper majored in biology and graduated from Boston College. When pH-1 entered the workforce, he started out as a dental assistant, which is already quite impressive! However, a music career in South Korea felt more right for him, and in 2016, he released his debut single titled “Wavy.” pH-1 is unapologetically himself through his unique artistry, and it’s clear that many fans adore him for it.

Eric Nam

The singer and television personality decided to pursue a career in music after he finished studying at Boston College. Studying international studies and minoring in Asian studies, Eric Nam graduated in 2011 and was poised to start a job at a consulting firm when K-pop came calling. Fans can’t deny his intelligence with managing his own career through The Eric Nam Company and helping his family run the popular podcasting channel Dive Studios. Eric Nam is incomparable in entertainment!


After joining the girl group cignature in 2021, fans were surprised to learn that Chloe is a dedicated student at the University of Michigan. The data science major brought a new scientific energy to the group. Currently, Chloe is working hard as a member of cignature following their “Dear Diary Moment” EP release in 2021.  She may be just starting out in music, but the future is bright with her endless career opportunities.

AJ (Siyoon)

In 2012, AJ took a break from U-KISS to focus on his studies at Columbia University. AJ, who was a psychology major, graduated and rejoined the K-pop industry as a solo artist in 2017. He currently promotes under the stage name Siyoon, and he made his solo debut with a single titled “Nothing to you.” No matter the decade, it seems like music is still his biggest passion!


The legendary leader of Epik High was an intellectual wizard at Stanford University. In four short years, he earned his Bachelor’s Degree and Master’s Degree from the institution as a coterminal student by 2002. Tablo majored in English literature and creative writing, and it came in handy with his career in music that reaches an international audience. Tablo is a natural talent! Today, the former HIGHGRND label boss remains active as a musician and media personality. He is also a loving husband to actress Kang Hye Jung and a doting dad to his daughter Haru.


In the 1990s, the global star enrolled in Boston University to major in business administration. PSY even tried out Berklee College of Music to advance his music skills. He didn’t obtain degrees from either institution, but he was able to get a taste of the prestigious university life, which is impressive enough in itself. PSY did what was best for him, and after taking over the music world with his “Gangnam Style” single, he started his own Korean music label called P NATION. PSY is also a family man with a non-celebrity wife and two daughters.


Xdinary Heroes’ Gunil is known for his incredible drum skills, and he honed that talent at Berklee College of Music. He entered the school on a scholarship while majoring in music with a specialization in the drums category. Since graduating, Gunil is reaching a year as a member of the rock band Xdinary Heroes, and many are loving his music style. It’s thanks to Berklee College of Music for discovering this music prodigy!

Lee Seo Jin


Did you know that the famous actor attended New York University? He majored in business administration and obtained his degree from the Stern School of Business. While his prestigious education probably doesn’t come in handy in the day-to-day, it may have been helpful with his on-screen roles. Lee Seo Jin’s character Han Ji Hoon in “Marriage Contract” was a restaurant-running businessman who enters a marriage agreement with a dying woman. It’d be no surprise if his degree helped him excel in that role! This year, Lee Seo Jin headlined the K-drama “Behind Every Star” and the web series “Dr. Park’s Clinic” as well as the variety program “Unexpected Journey.”

Watch Lee Seo Jin in “Marriage Contract” here:

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Hey Soompiers, which Korean star is your intellectual role model? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

KMoody is a Soompi writer who is a longtime Korean drama fan. Her favorite dramas include “Boys Over Flowers,” “Dream High,” and “Love Alarm”! For more information about her personal and professional writing journey, follow her on Instagram at BTSCelebs.

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