The rise of K-Pop has sent shockwaves throughout the music industry, but it seems like the impact of the Korean genre didn’t stop there. Every day, more and more people become interested in how the K-Pop industry could achieve its incredible growth, as well as what are the characteristics that make it so unique.
This interest has resulted in multiple universities throughout the United States of America adding a variety of K-Pop-related classes to their vast curriculum. From dance to culture and language studies, as well as ones that study the business aspect of the industry, here are five K-Pop college classes you can sign up for.
1. Skidmore College
“K-POP: Unpacking Korean Popular Culture In A Global World” is one of the classes available at Skidmore College in New York. Instructor Joowon Park, an anthropology specialist, aims to navigate the social and political dynamics that have shaped Korean cultural production over the past decade.
The course, offered since the Fall of 2018, helps students explore the international power dynamics in the field of cultural industries, political economy, and nation-branding strategies.
2. San Diego State University
Moving away from the political economy of K-Pop and nearing its more dazzling components, San Diego State University will soon offer a K-Pop dance class. Professor Oh Chu Yun will teach the course starting this Fall and hopes to successfully convert the dance genre into an educational program as well.
Dance and music can fade away if they are not properly documented.
— Oh Chu Yun
Oh shared that she’s excited to teach a K-Pop course that, in contrast to the usual ethnic or area studies we often see K-Pop be discussed in, helps students get hands-on with the genre.
MIT‘s “Achieving the Unthinkable: K-Pop on the Global Stage” class aims to explore the impact K-Pop has had on a global scale. The class has no credits, but it will be entirely centered around guests who are part of the industry.
Artists, producers, songwriters, and other key positions in the industry will be invited to share their experiences and expertise with the students. Instructors Jeana Choi and Lisa Yoo will hold the course virtually and organize it in the Q&A format of an interactive discussion.
4. University of California Berkley
Another K-pop dance class will be available to US college students, this time from University of California Berkeley. The course is part of the university’s Physical Education curriculum and promises to teach students trendy choreography of currently popular K-Pop songs.
Lecturer Kyungmi Lucy Yoo started offering K-pop dance classes in 2021. It is one of the most popular courses in UC Berkeley’s program. Yoo started offering a Korean Traditional Dance course in 2021 as well.
5. Cornell University
“Korean Literature and Performance: From P’ansori to K-Pop” will help Cornell University students explore the Korean literature and performance traditions from the Joseon dynasty to the present phenomenon of K-Pop. The course will be organized through performance workshops and will examine epic lyric traditions, as well as how these traditions continue to thrive across various media.
Music, film, and written text are the main focus of the course that’s offered in Fall. The course description available on Cornell University’s website emphasizes that there is no previous knowledge of Korean culture or language necessary and that the course offers 4 credits to students.