The incidence of renal cell carcinoma (RCC) in South Korea is steadily becoming similar to that in Western countries. This study summarizes the results of a 3-year multicenter survey of RCC in South Korea, conducted by the Korean Genitourinary Pathology Study Group. A total of 795 cases of RCC were collected from 20 institutes between 1995 and 1997, including 686 clear cell RCCs (86.3%), 58 papillary RCCS (7.30%), 49 chromphobe RCCs (6.16%), and 2 collecting duct RCCs (0.25%). At least 5 years of follow-up was available for 627 clear cell, 54 papillary, and 49 chromophobe RCCs. All subtypes presented most frequently with stage T3aN0M0 at the time of operation, and papillary RCCs demonstrated more frequent lymph node metastasis. Overall survival was not significantly related to the histological subtype (clear cell vs papillary, P = 0.8651; clear cell vs chromophobe, P = 0.0584; papillary vs chromophobe, P = 0.0743). For clear cell RCCs, statistically significant associations were found between overall survival and sex (P = 0.0153), multiplicity (P = 0.0461), necrosis (P = 0.0191), age, sarcomatoid change, TNM stage, nuclear grade, and modality of treatment (all P <0.0001). Overall survival was significantly associated with tumor size (P = 0.0307), nuclear grade (P = 0.0235), multiplicity, sarcomatoid change, and TNM stage (all P <0.0001) for papillary RCCs and with the presence of sarcomatoid change (P = 0.0281), nuclear grade (P = 0.0015), treatment modality (P = 0.0328), and TNM stage (P <0.0001) for chromophobe RCCs. Age (P = 0.0125), nodal stage (P = 0.0010), and treatment modality (P = 0.0001) were significant independent prognostic indicators for clear cell RCC on multivariate analysis. This is the first multicenter study of RCC in South Korea, demonstrating the general patterns and prognostic factors of Korean RCCs.