Tracking and College Major Choices in Academic High Schools in South Korea

Sunhee Paik, Woo jeong Shim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In South Korea, academic high school students are placed in either the Munka track or the Yika track. Both the tracks diverge greatly in their mathematics and science curricula. Advanced math and science subjects are only taught in Yika. For this reason, track placement determines students' college majors and career choices. As little is known about how students choose their high school tracks and college majors, this study explores how academic high school students made these choices. Factors influencing students' choice of high school tracks and college majors were also examined. The results indicate that students generally chose college majors relevant to their track placement. Students' gender, parental education, subject matter preferences, and school size were significant factors affecting students' track placement and decision on college majors. Implications for educational policy and practice are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)389-397
Number of pages9
JournalAsia-Pacific Education Researcher
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Academic high school tracking
  • College major choice
  • Curriculum differentiation
  • Individually constructed curriculum

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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