Service Obligation Scheme

International Students reading certain government-subsidised programmes can apply for the Service Obligation (SO) Scheme to pay reduced, subsidised tuition fees.

International Students who have applied successfully for the Scheme will be required to undertake a service bond under the terms of the Service Obligation to work for a Singapore-based company for three years upon completion of their degrees (i.e. the employment secured after the date of degree conferment) so as to discharge some of their obligations to the Singapore public for the high subsidy to their graduate education. Singapore-based companies refer to local and international companies that have a base in Singapore that is registered with the Accounting & Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) as well as companies of such local and international companies registered with ACRA that are based overseas. Please refer to MOE's website for more details.


  1. Student must be eligible for MOE Subsidy, i.e.:
    • Student has not already attained a graduate degree that is of the same or higher level than the one s/he is intending to pursue through MOE subsidies or sponsorship by the Singapore Government agency (such as scholarships offered by the Ministries, Public Service Commission and Statutory Boards).
    • Student who has received MOE subsidies or sponsorship by the Singapore Government at the Autonomous Universities for the previous programme(s) at the graduate level for which s/he did not complete will be eligible for MOE subsidy up to the maximum course duration for the new programme less the equivalent number of semesters of government subsidy/sponsorship received for the previous programme(s) of the same level. 

  2. Students in self-funded graduate programmes are not eligible for the SO Scheme. The list of self-funded graduate coursework programmes is set out here.

  3. All MOE-subsidised graduate research programmes are eligible for the SO scheme, except for the following programmes:
    • Doctor of Philosophy (Duke-NUS Medical School)
    • Doctor of Philosophy (Public Policy)
    • Master's / PhD by Research (Law)

  4. From AY2019 onwards, all graduate coursework programmes are not eligible for the SO Scheme with exception of following programmes which are not eligible for the SO scheme only from AY2020 onwards:
    • Master of Arts (Chinese Studies)
    • Master of Science (Offshore Technology)
    • Master of Science (Chemical Engineering)
    • Master of Science (Environmental Engineering)
    • Master of Science (Management of Technology)
    • Master of Science (Civil Engineering)
    • Master of Science (Mechanical Engineering)
    • Master of Science (Supply Chain Management)
    • Master of Science (Industrial & Systems Engineering)
    • Master of Science (Electrical Engineering)
    • Graduate Diploma (Systems Analysis)
    • Master of Computing
    • Master of Science (Chemistry)
    • Master of Science (Statistics)

  5. The SO Scheme is not applicable to students on:
    • Foreign government scholarships
    • MOE-funded scholarships which comes with Graduate Assistantship Programme (GAP) requirement - NUS Graduate School for Integrative Sciences & Engineering Scholarship (NGSS), President's Graduate Fellowship (PGF), NUS Research Scholarship (RS), Tuition Fee Allowance (TFA) and Singapore International Graduate Award (SINGA)

  6. The terms and conditions for students on NUS RS, PGF and TFA who have already signed Service Obligation Agreement in previous semesters remain unchanged.

Fee Payment

As the first semester's tuition fee will be billed before the Service Obligation Agreement is executed, students are to ensure that they have sufficient funds to pay the tuition fee amount chargeable before Service Obligation subsidy. After successful execution of the Service Obligation Agreement, the tuition fee will be adjusted accordingly. The difference in tuition fee paid will be credited to the students' Student Account in myEduRec and used to offset the next semester's tuition fees.

For students who wish to have a refund of the Credit Balance (arising from the Service Obligation Agreement executed) in their Student Account, please write-in directly to the Office of Financial Services (Attention: Ms Tay Hui Koon at

Application Process

Step 1:
Service Obligation application process is held biannually in August and January. For upcoming SO application exercise, eligible International Students can apply for the SO Scheme through MOE TGOnline System and complete the online application during the stipulated period as indicated below:

Online Application Period via MOE TGOnline System (

For Newly Admitted Students
To activate your TGOnline account, you will need the following details:
(b) Matriculation/Student ID no
(c) Date of Birth

(Note: After accepting the admission offer, newly admitted students are required to complete Registration Processes and apply Student’s Pass to obtain Student ID and FIN respectively in order to submit their SO applications.)

For Existing NUS Students
Enter the following details in the Login page:
(a) User ID (UIN/FIN)
(b) Password

(Note: Existing NUS Students have to contact their Dean’s Office to inform their intention to sign SO. Otherwise they will not be able to access MOE TGOnline System to submit their SO applications.)

Reminder (for Newly Admitted and Existing NUS Students)
While submitting the online SO application, please ensure that Home Country and Singapore addresses are filled up completely under “Addresses” section for the applicant and both sureties as shown in page 7 of the MOE TGOnline System Guide.
(Note: Home Country address is your residential address from your home country where you resided before leaving to Singapore.)

Online application period:
21 January 2019 (Monday) to 01 February 2019 (Friday)

Step 2:
Students who have successfully submitted the online application will be required to attend a scheduled Service Obligation Signing Session as indicated below:





First Alphabet on Name

19 February 2019
Multi-Purpose Sports Hall 4 (MPSH4) 9.30am to 12.30pm Notary Public Option - Sureties that are overseas A - Z
1.30pm to 4.30pm Students with Sureties in Singapore A - K
20 February 2019
9.30am to 12.30pm Students with Sureties in Singapore L - S
1.30pm to 4.30pm Students with Sureties in Singapore T - Z
Closed for lunch break from 12.30pm to 1.30pm.


  • Students are strongly advised to attend abovementioned Signing Sessions to complete SO signing formalities.
  • For students with Sureties in Singapore, queue numbers will be only issued when both sureties are present at the venue. Any requests for advance queue number will not be entertained.
  • Queue numbers for the morning session will be given out from 9.30am to 11.00am and afternoon session from 1.30pm to 3.00pm.

Students with Sureties in Singapore

Student and his/her two sureties are required to be present to sign the Service Obligation Agreement (SOA) in the presence of MOE officer.

Documents required for SO signing session
For SO Applicant

  1. Student's Pass/Work Permit/Employment Pass/Long-Term Dependent's Pass
  2. Passport (original copy)
  3. NUS Student Card

For both Sureties

  1. Student's Pass/Work Permit/Employment Pass/Long-Term Dependent's Pass
  2. Passport or Singapore NRIC (original copy)

Students with Sureties who are overseas
(i.e. Notary Public Option)

  • Student is required to login to his/her account and download the Service Obligation Agreement (SOA) from the MOE TGOnline System (under the "Portfolio" tab).
  • Student will need to either email a softcopy of the SOA (sureties will need to print it) or courier the hardcopy SOA to his/her sureties who are overseas.
  • Sureties are required to sign on the SOA in the presence of the Notary Public, Commissioner of Oath or a practicing lawyer. The witnessing party is also required to sign on the SOA.
  • Student must bring the duly completed and endorsed original SOA to sign in the presence of MOE officer.

(Note: The SOA is to be printed on a single-sided A4 size plain white paper. For more information on this, please refer to MOE's Notary Public Guide)

Documents required for SO signing session
SO Applicant must bring

  1. Student's Pass/Work Permit/Employment Pass/Long-Term Dependent's Pass
  2. Passport (original copy)
  3. NUS Student Card
  4. Original Agreement endorsed and signed by the notary public and sureties who are overseas

Workflow of SO Application and Tuition Fees Adjustment

SO workflow


  1. Newly admitted and current International Students who meet SO eligibility criteria provided above.
  2. SO applicants who successfully submitted online SO application during the application period can attend SO Signing Session to complete SO signing formalities.
  3. Only SO applicants who completed the signing formalities can enjoy subsidised Tuition Fees from the current semester to the end of their candidature.


For further enquiries about the SO Scheme, please refer to MOE's website on Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) or contact the following: MOE:

MOE Tuition Grant Unit: (65) 6872 2220 / (65) 6879 7333 / (65) 6879 7334