TAEJAE University’s Humanities and Social Sciences program is dedicated to cultivating forward-thinking leaders with a comprehensive and sophisticated understanding of human nature, culture, and society.


We firmly believe that a solid education in the humanities and social sciences is essential for developing creative and critical thinking, effective communication and collaboration, and an appreciation for diversity, empathy, and sustainability—all of which are indispensable human skills and values in the era of artificial intelligence and automation.


Through our rigorous program, students will also develop the ability to create innovative solutions to local and global challenges. We aim to help students find their passions and prepare them for a wide range of careers and opportunities in both the public and private sectors, including public policy, law, journalism, business, academia, NGOs and international organizations.


Upon completion of our program, students should be able to:

1. Develop their own critical perspectives and understanding of human beings and society.

2. Think creatively about key concepts and theories in their chosen areas of interest and use these skills and knowledge to solve real-world problems in innovative ways.

3. Improve their communication and collaboration skills through open discussion and respect and empathy for others.

4. Gain a greater awareness of diversity, empathy, and sustainability and be able to positively affect domestic and global affairs based on these values.

5. Discover their vocational interests and career options through practical experience gained from capstone courses.


Our interdisciplinary curriculum provides students with a rich and diverse educational experience covering a broad range of intellectual fields in the humanities and social sciences. In addition to major foundations and other electives, we offer students the opportunity to choose a thematic track to explore their specific areas of interest. We also encourage students from other majors to take our courses to gain new inspiration and ideas.


Every Humanities and Social Sciences student is required to take the following four major foundation courses, which are designed to develop a foundational understanding of human beings, society, and history.

What does it mean to be a human? What is the meaning and purpose of life? How do our identities, emotions, and relationships define us? Do we have intrinsic dignity as humans? What are our moral obligations to others and to the world around us? This seminar explores these and other fundamental questions about being human by drawing on various disciplines such as philosophy, psychology, literature, and arts. Throughout the course, students will develop their own ideas about what it means to be human by examining diverse philosophical, scientific, and cultural perspectives on key concepts such as human nature, identity, emotions, dignity, sociality, and morality.

What would an ideal society look like, and how can we build it? Who should govern the state, and how? What is the best way to organize the economy? This seminar explores how great minds from antiquity to the present day have addressed these and other “big” questions about society, politics, and economics. Throughout the course, students will develop the ability to think in critical and sophisticated ways about important concepts such as freedom, justice, equality, democracy, and economic development. They will also learn how to apply them to understand and address contemporary issues and challenges.

This course provides a comprehensive survey of global history from the origins of human civilization to the beginning of the modern era. Through an exploration of social, economic, political, cultural, ideological, and technological forces that shaped human interactions across time and space, students will be able to trace the evolution of ideas, institutions, and systems that laid the foundations of the modern world. They will also be exposed to diverse (i.e., non-Eurocentric) historical narratives and perspectives, which will help them to develop a greater awareness and appreciation of the complexity and diversity of human experience.

This course surveys the history of the world from the beginning of the modern era to the present day. Through a comparative and interdisciplinary approach, students will examine the social, economic, political, cultural, ideological, and technological changes at regional and global levels that have shaped today’s world. By engaging with diverse primary and secondary sources, they will attain a thorough and nuanced understanding of the complex and interconnected history of the modern world. They will also gain historical insight to make sense of contemporary political, economic, and social issues.


The Humanities and Cultural Studies (HCS) track is for students who want to fulfill their creative potential in fields such as media/cultural industries, PR/marketing, arts, academia, education, and beyond. The courses are designed to empower them with a solid humanistic foundation, global awareness and cutting-edge technological skills.


The Social Innovation and Governance (SIG) track is designed to guide students who aspire to become innovative problem-solvers equipped with a passion for a better world and practical tools to address real-world problems. The courses will help the students to make a real social impact in a broad range of fields, including public policy, law, journalism, non-governmental organizations, and international organizations.


The Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (PPE) track develops future leaders armed with a thorough understanding of the philosophical, economic, and political dimensions of society. Students who opt for this track will develop competencies applicable in various fields such as public policy, law, journalism, finance, and business.


Along with the common core courses and required courses for their chosen track, students may take other tracks’ mandatory courses as electives. We also provide additional electives focused on more specific and advanced topics in the form of special seminars. The special seminars are updated annually based on students’ needs and faculty expertise, which may include various topics such as foundational readings of philosophy, global inequality and development, international trade and finance, politics of climate change, and US-China relations.


Students begin working on their own projects with capstone seminars in their third year. Working closely with a faculty advisor, each student chooses a topic of interest and gains relevant skills, knowledge and experience through independent research, fieldwork, and consultation with experts. Students carry out their capstone projects in their fourth year on an individual or team basis, developing creative and critical thinking, problem-solving, project management, teamwork, and leadership skills. Overall, our capstone program offers students a unique and valuable opportunity to pursue their interests, gain practical skills, and develop as competent professionals for their future careers.

Humanities & Social Sciences

Jeongseok Lee, Ph.D.

Jeongseok Lee is a highly dedicated educator with teaching and mentoring experience at Princeton University, Texas A&M University, and the Republic of Korea Air Force Academy. He holds a Ph.D. from Princeton University, and his research interests include international security, US foreign policy, and Asia-Pacific international relations. Previously, he was a postdoctoral fellow at the Albritton Center for Grand Strategy at Texas A&M University, a visiting research fellow at the Reischauer Center for East Asian Studies at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), and a visiting scholar in the Department of Political Science at James Madison University. With his expertise, experience, and passion, Professor Lee strives to help his students become informed, active, and responsible global leaders.

Ph.D. in Public and International Affairs, Princeton University 

M.A. in International Relations, Seoul National University

B.A. in Political Science, Seoul National University (summa cum laude)


•  “South Korea’s Aircraft Carrier Debate,” Survival 64 no. 2 (2022).

•  (Co-authored) “절제 전략의 전도사들 : 정책 주창자 이론을 통해 본 미국 외교정책 ‘절제(restraint)’ 담론의 생산 및 확산 연구 [Advocates of Restraint: How Policy Entrepreneurs Promote Ideas of Restraint in US Foreign Policy],” Segye Jiyeok Yeongu 26 no. 3 (2022) [in Korean]

•  (Co-authored) 국가안보의 이론과 실제 (서울: 오름, 2021) [in Korean]

•  “미 트럼프 행정부와 바이든 행정부의 동북아 정책 비교 분석 및 전망 [After Trump: Continuity and Change in US Northeast Asia Policy in the Era of Biden[,” Euijeong Yeongu 27 no. 2 (2021) [in Korean]

•  “China and the Korean Peninsula: Kim Holds the Cards Now,” East Asia Forum (May 30, 2018).

•  “Back to Normal? The End of the THAAD Dispute between China and South Korea,” China Brief 17, no. 15 (November 2017).

•  “반접근/영역거부 전략을 위한 중국의 항공력 이용과 그 해양전략적 함의 [The PLA’s Use of Aerospace Power for Anti-Access/Area Denial Strategy and Its Implications],” Strategy 21 14, no. 2 (2011). [in Korean]


Perspectives on Society, Economy, and Politics

Social Science Special Seminar: Great Power Politics and US-China Relations

Capstone Seminar