Graduate Admissions

Thank you for your interest in NUS. 

The majority of graduate programmes in the University admit students twice a year, in August and January. Prospective students are advised to refer to the respective graduate studies website of the Faculty/School offering the programme with regards to the specific application information/instructions for the programme of their interest. 

Decisions on admission are made by the Faculty/School after careful evaluation of all applications. Evaluation is carried out based on a combination of factors such as academic degree and record, letters of recommendation, standardized test scores and relevant work experience. Other considerations may include the potential for future contributions to the academic or professional fields, research interest of the professors involved in each degree programme and the relevance of the academic preparation for the chosen course of study. As English is the medium of instruction of the University, applicants may be required to demonstrate proficiency in English in the form of TOEFL/IELTS as part of the admission criteria. 

The minimum set of admission requirements are given below and individual programmes may have their own additional requirements. Applicants should refer to the respective Faculty/School's graduate studies website for more information. 

Unless granted approval by our University (Faculty/School/Vice-Provost(Education)), no candidate may concurrently be a student for more than one degree or register as an NUS candidate and of another university/institute. 

It should be noted that satisfying minimal standards is not a guarantee of admission, since the number of qualified applicants far exceeds the number of places available. As a result, many well-qualified applicants cannot be accommodated. 

Minimum Requirements for Research-based Programmes

Candidates must demonstrate readiness for graduate study through some specific standard of achievement in a common entry examination (e.g., the subject GRE, GMAT), and/or an admissions test or an interview. 

Admission to a research Master’s programme normally requires a good Honours degree or equivalent. Departments may also admit students with a good Bachelor’s degree with relevant research or working experience on a case-by-case basis, subject to approval by the Board of Graduate Studies (BGS). 

Admission into a Ph.D. programme requires a good Master’s degree in a relevant discipline, or at least a Second Class Upper Honours degree or equivalent in a relevant discipline. 

Credit transfer and exemption for the coursework component of the graduate research programme may be granted for NUS modules taken and passed prior to admission to the programme or for modules completed at another tertiary institution recognised by the University. Only modules relevant to the degree programme to which the candidate seeks admission, with comparable content and level of sophistication, and read less than five (5) years before the date of admission may be considered for credit transfer / exemption. 

There is no limit to the transfer of credit for relevant modules that have not been used towards another degree at NUS or elsewhere. For relevant modules that have been credited towards another degree elsewhere, up to 50% of the MCs required in the coursework component of the NUS graduate research programme into which the candidate seeks admission may be exempted. For relevant NUS modules that have been credited towards another degree at NUS, on a case-by-case basis and subject to approval, more than 50% of the MCs required in the coursework component of the NUS graduate research programme may be allowed credit and grade transfer. 

Students seeking credit transfer and exemption should apply to the relevant programme office within the first semester of study. 

Minimum Requirements for Coursework-based Programmes

Admission to a coursework-based graduate programme requires at least a Bachelor’s degree, or equivalent, in the subject or related discipline. In addition, programmes may require candidates to demonstrate readiness for graduate study through a specific standard of achievement in:

  • Common placement examination (e.g., the subject GRE, GMAT); or
  • Programme-administered placement test in the relevant field (which may also consist of a structured interview to test the candidate’s understanding of the field); or
  • Completion of 40 MCs of preparatory modules.

Exceptionally, candidates with other qualifications and experience may be considered on a case-by-case basis, subject to approval by the BGS. 

With the approval of the Senate, programmes may specify relevant work experience as an additional admission requirement. 

Credit transfer and exemption for the graduate coursework-based programme may be granted for NUS modules taken and passed prior to admission to the programme or for modules completed at another tertiary institution recognised by the University. Generally, only modules that have not been used towards another degree at NUS or elsewhere may be considered for credit and grade transfers (NUS modules) / exemption (non-NUS modules). For such non-NUS modules, only up to 50% of the total coursework requirements may be exempted. There is no limit on the credit and grade transfers of NUS modules that have not been used towards another degree at NUS. In addition, for coursework-based programmes which require more than the usual 40 MCs, NUS modules that have been used towards another degree at NUS can be considered for credit and grade transfer provided the resultant total coursework requirement does not fall below 40 MCs. All modules for credit transfer and exemption must be relevant to the degree programme to which the candidate seeks admission, have comparable content and level of sophistication, and be read less than five (5) years before the date of admission. 

Students seeking credit transfer and exemption should apply to the relevant programme office within the first semester of study.