Sam Chung was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in 1970. His parents had immigrated to the United States from South Korea in 1967. Education was very important to the Chungs, and Sam knew early on that he wanted to be a ceramist. He did his undergraduate work at St. Olaf College, where he majored in studio art with a concentration in ceramics. After graduation he studied at the University of Minnesota in order to prepare a portfolio of work for graduate studies at Arizona State University (ASU) in Tempe, where he received his MFA in 1997. Following graduation, Chung has worked at Anderson Ranch Arts Center in Snowmass Village, Colorado; Mesa Arts Center in Mesa, Arizona; and Northern Michigan University in Marquette. He accepted a position at ASU in 2007, where he is currently professor of art.