Xhyniie has been a K-pop fan since 2010 and a K-drama fan since 2000. She enjoys writing about the Korean entertainment industry.
K-Drama = Korean Drama
A K-drama doesn't always focus on melodrama, romance, history, comedy, or action. Many television series and movies that depict friendship, teenagers, and high school life can become the starting point of K-drama addiction.
In this article, I will be presenting the 34 best Korean high school dramas that will surely appeal to your taste. While watching these shows, you will undoubtedly recall your teenage years and your experiences as a high school student, with plenty of angst and drama thrown in!
I will be talking about some overlooked series that are worth checking out. These series span the course of the past ten years when audiences outside of Korea began to get into watching these types of shows.
The Top High School K-Dramas
- School 2013
- Reply 1997
- Master of Study
- White Christmas
- Hi! School: Love On
- Ma Boy
- Jungle Fish 2
- To the Beautiful You
- Adolescence Medley
- Mackerel Run
- Who Are You: School 2015
- Orange Marmalade
- Seonam Girls High School Detectives
- Secret Campus
- After School, Lucky or Not
- Sassy, Go Go
- The Heirs
- Class of Lies
- Moment at Eighteen
- Love Alarm
- Hip Hop King: Nassna Street
- Extraordinary You
- Sweet Revenge (Revenge Note) Season 1
- Extracurricular Korean Drama
- The Nurse School Files
- True Beauty 2020
- Go Back Couple
- At A Distance, Spring Is Green
- A Love So Beautiful
- Solomon's Perjury
- Live On 2020
- How To Buy A Friend 2020
- School 2021
34. School 2021 (2021)
This drama is the eight installment of KBS2’s School franchise. It follows the life and growth of 18 students, who chose a different path rather than an entrance examination. As time goes by, they’ve learn valuable lessons about life, love and friendship.
33. How To Buy A Friend (2020)
This drama tells the story of two students; Chan-hong who are bullied in school while Don-hyuk who is shocked and haunted by the suicide of his girlfriend. When the two of them meet at school, they both strike a deal to help each other.
32. Live On (2020)
This drama tells the story of a popular high school chick that joins a broadcasting club in school in order to track down an anonymous blackmailing about her past. From seeking the truth, he meets Euntaek and begins to fall in love.
31. Solomon’s Perjury (2016)
This is a murder mystery drama plot wherein students in an elite high school investigates the death of their classmate who fell to his death on Christmas Day. As their pleas and questions are ignored by the adults surrounding them, they decided to hold their own school trial, where every student at school has their own role to play.
30. A Love So Beautiful (2020)
This is a coming-of-age drama that tells about the life of three high school students and their friend from youth to adulthood.
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A saying goes that love is as tough as it is sweet for a love struck teenager, whose relationship with her next door neighbor transforms as they grow into adulthood. We will witness their first experience in love, struggles in school and life and about their individual careers.
29. At a Distance, Spring Is Green (2021)
This drama is about the realistic struggles of university students, a coming of age campus story. It pursues soul-searching of the youth on their 20s whose lives appear to be like a beauty of spring from afar but cold and harsh when viewed up close.
28. Go Back Couple (2017)
This drama that focus on the lives of a man and a woman who promised to love each other forever. But due to the obstacles they had during their married life, they started to think and desired to turn back the time. Wherein they can fix the regrettable moments of their lives. The same day when they met in college and got married.
27. True Beauty (2020)
This is a 2020 high school drama that tells the story of a girl who has an inferiority complex and experienced bullying at school. When she transfers to another school, she realizes that putting on make-up gives her so much confidence. At school, she meets two handsome guys who fall in love with her. Su-ho is the only guy at school who sees her bare face. And Seojun, who is related to Su-ho's past.
The three of them join in an adventure that unfolds their dark past and pain and seeks comfort from each other.
26. The School Nurse Files (2020)
This tells the story of two teachers who work together in order to protect their students. Eun Young is a new nurse teacher who has the special ability to see jelly like monsters. This creatures are made from human desires, feelings and spirits. While In Pyo, a Chinese language teacher has a special energy around him that helps himself protect from this harmful jellies.
25. Extracurricular (2020)
This drama tells the story of three high school students who begins to create crimes in order to earn money. They soon face dangers as the consequences of their wrongdoing.
Ji Soo is a model student who is now a criminal after committing an unthinkable act. Min Hee is a bully who gets caught up in Ji Soo's crime. And Gyu Ri is the partner in crime of Ji Soo on these dangerous activities.
24. Sweet Revenge (aka Revenge Note) – Season 1 (2017)
This is a school drama that tells the story of a high schooler Ho Goo-hee, a self-proclaimed pushover. She discovers an app on her phone that will help her take revenge on anyone whose name she writes in it. The drama tackles bullying and the reality of student life at school with a bit of puppy love between the two lead characters.
23. Extraordinary You (2019)
This is a high-school romance fantasy drama based on the webtoon "July Found By Chance". It is comic, fun with heart-fluttering scenes from its hilarious fun-loving female lead and handsome manga alike male lead.
The story follows the life of a teen girl who discovers that she lived in a fantasy world of comics. Because she's not satisfied with her fate, she decided to change its plot and find her true love.
22. Hip Hop King: Nassna Street (2019)
Hip Hop King: Nassna Street surrounds the story of four youth who are influenced by the culture of hip hop music.
An 18-year-old highschool student Young Baek dreams of becoming a rapper. He decided to study and live in Seoul to pursue his love for music. He meets Ha-Jin an aspiring musical writer. Later on, he develops a special feeling for Ha-jin.
He also meet rapper Tae-Hwang and it's friend Ki-Ha who goes with the same school. Ki-ha and Young Baek become friends.
21. Love Alarm (2019)
In a world wherein technology plays a big factor in human lives, will a love alarm guide you to your destined love? This Korean drama revolves to the story of a love triangle between two boys and a hardworking girl who are always notified by a phone app every time the person who likes them is within 10 meters.
20. Moment at Eighteen (2019)
This is a 2019 youth oriented drama that portrays moments in the lives of eighteen-year-olds characters as they come across whirlwind of emotions. It follows the story of a transfer student who is not interested in school, as this brings him trauma from being expelled from bullying. The story narrates the life of the characters beautifully. This drama contains awareness that each one of us faced when growing up. Expect different twist from each episode.
19. Class of Lies (2019)
Also known as Mr. Temporary. This is a 2019 drama that stars Yoon Gyun-sang in the lead role. He plays the character of a lawyer with a high winning rate on court. He is known to only cares about money, but everything changes when he deals with a high school murder case. His reputation hits at the rock button. He then decided to become a temporary teacher into the high school so that he will regain his good name as a lawyer. He then discovers each student worst secret. This is a school drama with a touch of suspense, crime and mystery. It is extremely well written that you cannot guess what will happens next.
18. Heartstrings (2011)
This is a 2011 Korean musical drama that stars Park Shin Hye and Jung Yong Hwa in the lead roles and it's set in a performing arts university. It is a story about friendship and love that involves students from the Western music department and the traditional Korean music department.
Yong-hwa is the vocalist and guitarist of the famous band Stupid. He's in love with a professor at his school. He meets Shin Hye, who is from the traditional Korean music department and plays gayageum. In a world where two people have different views on life, will love find a way to bring them together?
17. The Heirs (2013)
The Heirs is a 2013 drama starring Lee Min Ho, Park Shin Hye, and Kim Wo Bin in the lead roles. The story depicts the lives of elite students who have struggles in their teenage life such as falling in love, school problems, family-related problems, and being trained to inherit their families’ businesses. It is set in a school with characters that have different personalities. Unlike other school-related dramas that focus on bullying, this drama tackles not just their lives inside the school but also teen romance. Both Lee and Kim play rich students and former friends. On the other hand, Park plays the love interest of the two actors.
16. Sassy, Go Go (2015)
Sassy, Go Go is a 12-episode K-drama broadcasted by KBS2 in 2015. This stars Jung Eun-ji, Lee Won-keun, Cha Hak-yeon, Ji-soo, and Chae Soo-bin.
Sassy, Go Go depicts the lives of students who experience the harsh environment of school. Just like other school dramas, it deals with the real experiences that each student typically goes through. It also shows the importance of friendship and the love of teens.
15. After School: Lucky or Not (2013)
This is one of shortest K-dramas, and it is fun to watch with 12 episodes. It stars Kim So Eun, Seo Kang Joon, Kang Tae Oh, Hong Myung, Yoo Il, and Lee Tae Hwan.
The story is about a student named Kim So Eun who is known for having a timid personality and being an unadventurous girl. One day, she receives a note from an unknown person inviting her to the after school Lucky or Not Club. In the club, she meets five flower boys that choose her to be their leader. Every day, they draw a random slip of paper that contains a fantastical and extraordinary mission that the group must complete. This activity draws out Kim So Eun’s adventurous and bold side.
14. Secret Campus (2006)
If you are searching for a drama with Lee Min Ho before he gained stardom, then I recommend you watch Secret Campus. It was released in 2006 and was broadcast on EBS. Honestly, I only know Lee and Park Bo Young in this drama.
Secret Campus is about modern students who experience different problems and stress in school. It tells the story of the lives and the relationships of six students who have different dreams in life. This drama mainly focuses on the lives of teenagers who struggle to achieve their goals with their trials and tribulations.
13. Seonam Girls High School Detectives (2014)
This drama is not your typical high school or teenage drama that we have seen on television. It still involves students and the issues they face at home and at school. The plot is cliché, but it will surely attract viewers who love crime dramas. Also, the problems that are tackled here are not just about bullying. It features different issues which people might consider to be very sensitive.
The story of this drama revolves around five girls who are known as private high school detectives. They face problems such as school bullying, but together they help solve these problems one by one. I would highly recommend this drama not just to teenagers/students but also to parents and teachers so that they can understand the issues teens often deal with.
12. Orange Marmalade (2015)
Unlike other teen/high school dramas that are known for projecting issues that students face (such as bullying), Orange Marmalade is about the life of a student who is a vampire. So while this is another vampire drama, it mostly targets teen audiences.
The series is set in a world where humans and vampires co-exist. Vampires have evolved and no longer rely on human blood. However, humans are still afraid of them, and sometimes vampires feel discriminated by society. Baek Ma-ri transferred to another school where students have no idea that she is a vampire. But everything changed when she accidentally bites the neck of a popular boy named Jung Jae-min.
Baek Ma-ri becomes caught in a love triangle between another vampire student and Jae-min. Who will Ma-ri choose at the end? Human or vampire?
11. Who Are You: School 2015 (2015)
Who Are You: School 2015 might sound familiar to you if you have watched its previous series. It is the sixth installment of KBS School series, which started to air from 1999 to 2002, then again in 2013. Basically, it features a familiar plot and characters, but it still depicts the life of every student in Korea. It might be cliché to some of you, but for those who want to understand more about the life of teenagers, this is a must-watch.
The story revolves around the life of two identical twins, Go Eun-Byul and Lee Eun-Bi (both played by actress Kim So Hyun), that were separated after one of them was adopted. Eun-bi lives at an orphanage, yet she still manages to focus on her studies. However, she is bullied in school. On the other hand, Eun-byul is the opposite. She is studying in a prestigious school in South Korea and is known for her mean personality.
A tragedy will change their lives. Lee Eun-Bi will end up pretending to be her sister. But what happens to Go Eun-Byul? How will Eun-Bi manage the fame of her sister? What if Eun-Bi meets the girl who bullies her? Will she act as Lee Eun-Bi or the mean Go Eun-Byul?
10. Mackerel Run (2007)
We have Mackerel Run starring Lee Min-Ho and Moon Chae-won. It was a year ago when I started to watch Lee Min-ho's dramas, and one of those dramas was MR. Though he is known for Boys Over Flowers, I highly recommend this teen drama to his fans.
Mackerel Run is a fun-filled high school series packed with irritating instructors, sappy affection stories, sports rivalries, passionate dismissals, schoolyard tormenting, and a great deal more. It was really a disgrace that the show finished so early and unexpectedly as the ending appeared to be hastily put together.
9. Adolescence Medley (2013)
This drama will bring back some of your high school memories. It is a very short drama with just four episodes yet it's so touching. I missed my high school life after watching this drama. Indeed, high school life is the most enjoyable and unforgettable stage in a person's life.
This show about students at a village high school was adapted from the webtoon of the same title written by Kwak In-geun, which was distributed on Daum WebToon from November 9, 2011 to February 29, 2012.
8. To the Beautiful You (2012)
It is a Korean version of the Taiwanese drama Hana Kimi. I know you are familiar with the cast, especially Sulli and Choi Min Ho, but I have to say that Sulli is very handsome in this drama. I am a super fan of the Taiwanese version which is why I watched this drama. There is no doubt Sulli can act well in different roles, especially acting like a boy.
I completed watching this series a year ago and have been watching K-dramas for some time now, and I have to say that this is one of the best ones I've seen. It's silly, decently scripted, and coordinated with awesome acting from its cast.
7. Jungle Fish 2 (2010)
This is one drama I cherished watching. The se