BACKGROUND: It is a well known fact that students majoring in medicine and engineering suffer from higher stress level and depression than students in other majors. This study was done to assess the prevalence of depression and the infl uencing factors among the university students majoring in either medicine or engineering and to compare the depression prevalence between the two groups. METHODS: The study randomly selected 640 students either majoring in medicine or engineering from two universities in Kyung-Gi province, Korea. Each of 320 students majoring in either of the two majors from each university was recruited. Among 640 students, 360 students, who were composed of 172 medical students and 188 engineering students was finally chosen for the analysis. The Zung Self-Rating Depression Scale was used to measure the depression state. RESULTS: The average Zung depression score of university students was 49.2 alpha 9.8. Medical students had a higher score of 52.4 alpha 9.3 as compared to engineering students, who scored 46.3 +/- 9.4. Overall depression rate was 42.8%. Medical students had a higher depression rate (52.3%) than engineering students (34.0%). The logistic analysis showed that infl uencing factors on depression state were sex, grade, major, stress and satisfactory sleep. The main source of stress for medical students was the grades from classes whereas job search was for engineering students. There were differences between the two groups in managing the stress. Medical students chose alcohol drinking or smoking for stress management whereas engineering students playing selected video games as their outlet. CONCLUSION: Medical students from urban areas seemed to be depressed more than engineering students. Their stress management methods among the subjects were drinking, smoking, and playing video games which may cause further physical and psychological problems in the future.