The Department of Aesthetics seeks to educate its student majors in the theories of beauty and art so as to prepare them for professional training in the field of aesthetics and more generally for dealing with issues of art and culture in Korean society. The department engages in inquiries into the essential features of art, the nature of the aesthetic experience, and the characteristics of the different genres of art. Such inquiries yield an opportunity to examine human values from diverse perspectives. In order to carry out research into diverse cultures necessary for the study of aesthetics, students need to train themselves rigorously in language skills and to hone their analytic ability. The study of aesthetics also calls for a comprehensive understanding of philosophical issues. Recognizing this link, the department allows students to fulfill part of their major requirement through courses offered by the philosophy department, and other humanities and art-related courses.
There are now three academic societies linked to the department of aesthetics whose members conduct seminars and organize study sessions. The oldest such society is the society for the study of history and philosophy, "Inshik gwa silcheon (Consciousness and Praxis)." The second is the literary society "Postif," which succeeded the film club "if" and whose interest is not limited to specific areas of culture and art or to particular theories of culture. There is also the "Question Mark Society" whose members admit that they are social misfits but engage in the active questioning of political, economic, social and cultural issues.
Graduate are active as scholars of theories of art and culture. Many graduates play key roles as cultural experts responsible for devising cultural policies designed to foster research into Korean aesthetic thought and to promote the development of Korean culture in general. Many others may be found serving in critical capacities at institutions and firms dealing with culture and art.