Continuation and Graduation Requirements

The majority of the programmes of study in NUS uses the Cumulative Average Point (CAP) as a criterion for continuation and graduation. For these programmes, the University sets the minimum standards and specific programmes may implement stricter or additional requirements. Students should refer to their specific programme guidelines for their programmes' requirements.

Students who have fulfilled their degree requirements will be required to proceed with graduation and will not be allowed to stay on for an additional semester or more.

  1. CAP for Continuation and Graduation  
  2. Master’s degree by research PhD degree
    Continuation Requirements To continue in a Master’s programme, a student may not have:
    • CAP below 3.00 (but ≥2.50) for three consecutive semesters; or
    • CAP below 2.50 for two consecutive semesters.
    To continue in a PhD programme, a student may not have:
    • CAP below 3.50 (but ≥3.00) for three consecutive semesters; or
    • CAP below 3.00 for two consecutive semesters.
    Graduation Requirements Minimum CAP of 3.00 for all required modules. Pass the Master’s Thesis Final approved thesis must have been uploaded electronically Minimum CAP of 3.50 for all required modules. Pass the PhD qualifying examination, the PhD thesis and the oral examination Final approved thesis must have been uploaded electronically
    Examples of students with poor academic standing:
    First semester Second consecutive semester Third consecutive semester
    Master’s Student A CAP below 3.00 (but ≥2.50) Academic Warning CAP below 3.00 Academic Probation CAP below 3.00 Academic Dismissal
    Master’s Student B CAP below 2.50 Academic Probation CAP below 2.50 Academic Dismissal
    PhD Student C CAP below 3.50 (but ≥3.00) Academic Warning CAP below 3.50 Academic Probation CAP below 3.00 Academic Dismissal
    PhD Student D CAP below 3.00 Academic Probation CAP below 3.00 Academic Dismissal

    Such a student may appeal against the dismissal if there are extenuating circumstances. The appeal must be submitted to the relevant Faculty/Department within two calendar weeks of the last day of the release of each semester's examination results. Generally, a student is allowed to appeal only once per candidature. If the appeal is rejected, the student will not be readmitted, however, if it is approved, the student will be given one semester to achieve the minimum CAP required for continuation and graduation.

    Appeals that are submitted after the two calendar week period, due to extenuating reasons, will be considered on a case-by-case basis and is not guaranteed. In such cases an administrative fee of S$250 will be charged for each successful appeal for readmission.

    In addition to poor CAP, a research student may also be issued a warning, placed on probation or issued a letter of termination for poor performance in the PhD qualifying examination (PhD students), research progress, research thesis, or other programme requirements.

  3. Research Progress Reports
  4. Students in research-based graduate programmes are required to submit a research progress report bi-annually via the NUS Education Records System (Academics > Graduate Research > Submit Research Progress Report). The report should include a summary of the work done in the previous semester (e.g. modules taken, doctoral seminars attended, development/review of work plan, PhD qualifying exam, etc.), self-assessment and comments (e.g. achievements and problems encountered).

    The submission periods of the Research Progress Report are as follows:

    • In September – for assessment of research progress in Semester 2 of the previous Academic Year;
    • In February – for assessment of research progress in Semester 1 of the current Academic Year.

    Students will receive an email of the submission period and will need to complete the submission promptly to allow sufficient time for the supervisor(s), Head of Department/Programme and Faculty to complete their assessments and recommendations, for continuation of candidature.

    The Research Progress Report is not applicable to research students who are in their first term (semester) of study.

    It is important that students submit their research progress report by the stipulated deadline. The table below shows the implications of failure to submit the progress report within the deadline:

    For Scholars For Non-scholars
    Scholarship will be suspended as renewal of scholarship is tied in with the semestral progress report.
    Note:
    Scholars with Graduate Assistantship Programme (GAP):
    • Must report on the number of completed GAP hours during the reporting semester.
    • Attach a completed and endorsed Summary Sheet for GAP 
    Status of progress report will be reflected as “Deemed Unsatisfactory”

    Please refer to http://www.askstudentservice.nus.edu.sg for the FAQs on the Research Progress Report Workflow.

  5. Graduate Programmes Residency Requirement
  6. The University has established a minimum residency requirement and maximum candidature for all NUS degrees, including joint and double degrees with foreign universities. Facuties can set their own stricter requirements. Residency, implies the following:

    1. Payment of fees;
    2. Satisfaction of all curricular requirements of the programme of study; and
    3. Satisfaction of other department requirements such as teaching assistance.

    Students in research-based graduate programmes must meet the minimum residency requirements as follows:

    Type of Programme Minimum Residency
    Master's degree by research 6 months of residence in NUS(i), (ii)
    Doctoral degree by research 18 months of residence in NUS(i), (ii)

    (i) Refers to all local NUS campuses, as well as NUS entities overseas (e.g., NUS Research Institute (Suzhou)).
    (ii) Includes research carried out in the establishments of approved NUS industry partners.

    The periods of study leave and overseas fieldwork do not count toward residency. In addition, students must be resident in Singapore during the semester in which they submit their thesis for examination, as well as throughout the tenure of the NUS research scholarship, if awarded, unless approval is granted otherwise.

  7. Graduate Programmes Maximum Candidature
  8. The maximum candidature for the various types of graduate programmes are:
    Type of Programme Maximum Candidature
    Master's degree by research 36 months*
    Doctoral degree by research 60 months*

    * The maximum candidature for research programmes is the same for full-time and part-time programmes

    Students are required to submit their thesis (approved by supervisor(s)) for examination by the maximum period of their candidature; failing which, their candidature will lapse automatically.

  1. CAP for Continuation and Graduation
    Graduate Diploma Master's Degree by Coursework
    Continuation Requirements   To continue in a Master's programme, a student may not have:
    • CAP below 3.00 (but ≥2.50) for three consecutive semesters; or
    • CAP below 2.50 for two consecutive semesters.
    Graduation Requirements  Minimum CAP of 2.50  Minimum CAP of 3.00

    Examples of students with poor academic standing:

       First semester  Second consecutive semester   Third consecutive semester 
    Master's Student A

    CAP below 3.00 (but ≥2.50)

    Academic Warning

    CAP below 3.00 

    Academic Probation

    CAP below 3.00 

    Academic Dismissal

    Master's Student B

    CAP below 2.50

    Academic Probation

     CAP below 2.50

    Academic Dismissal

    Such a student may appeal against the dismissal if there are extenuating circumstances. The appeal must be submitted to the relevant Faculty/Department within two calendar weeks of the last day of the release of each semester's examination results. Generally, a student is allowed to appeal only once per candidature. If the appeal is rejected, the student will not be readmitted, however, if it is approved, the student will be given one semester to achieve the minimum CAP required for continuation and graduation.

    Appeals that are submitted after the two calendar week period, due to extenuating reasons, will be considered on a case-by-case basis and are not guaranteed. In such cases an administrative fee of S$250 will be charged for each successful appeal for readmission.

  2. Workload for Graduate Diploma/Master’s Coursework Programmes

    The following are guidelines for Graduate Diploma and Master's coursework programmes:

     Type of Programmes  Workload per semester
     Part-Time  Full-Time
     Graduate Diploma/Master's degree by coursework  Maximum load: 13 MCs  Maximum load: 20-24* MCs
     Normal load: 8 MCs  Normal load: 16-20* MCs
     Minimum load: 4 MCs  Minimum load: 12 MCs
     

    *The maximum and normal load for full-time students is 20 MCs and 16 MCs respectively for majority of the programmes. Please refer to your Faculty/Department for guidelines on workload specific to your programme.

    Exceptions:

    • Programmes with specific semester-by-semester schedule;
    • Instances of certain essential modules not being available every semester;
    • The semester in which the students are undergoing internship/industrial attachment/clinical placement or doing their project/dissertation;
    • The final semester before completion of all graduation requirements for the degree; and
    • Other exceptions which may be approved by Vice Deans or their designate for individual students on a case-by-case basis.
  3. Graduate Programmes Residency Requirement

    The University has established a minimum residency requirement and maximum candidature for all NUS degrees, including joint and double degrees with foreign universities. Facuties can set their own stricter requirements. Residency, implies the following:

    1. Payment of fees;
    2. Satisfaction of all curricular requirements of the programme of study; and
    3. Satisfaction of other department requirements such as teaching assistance.

    Students in coursework-based graduate programmes must meet the minimum residency requirements as follows:

    Type of Programme
    Minimum Residency
     Graduate Diploma/ Graduate Coursework Programmes  50% of required MCs. These must consist of NUS Modules which are defined as all modules taught, co-taught, supervised or co-supervised by one or more NUS faculty members.
  4. Graduate Programmes Normal Candidature

    The normal candidature period refers to the normal duration that students are expected to take to complete a programme of study, excluding all approved Leave of Absence (LOA) periods. The range of normal candidature periods for the various types of graduate coursework degree programmes are indicated in the table below:

    Type of Programme  Normal Candidature
    Graduate Diploma  12 months 
    Master's degree by coursework  12 - 36 months* 
     

    *The maximum and normal load for full-time students is 20 MCs and 16 MCs respectively for majority of the programmes. Please refer to your Faculty/Department for guidelines on workload specific to your programme.

  5. Graduate Programmes Maximum Candidature

    The maximum candidature period refers to the maximum duration that students can be given to complete a programme of study, excluding approved Leave of Absence (LOA) period. The range of maximum candidature periods for the various types of graduate programmes are indicated in the table below:

    Type of Programme Maximum Candidature
    Graduate Diploma 36 months
    Master's degree by coursework 24 – 48 months*

    *The maximum candidature for coursework programmes depends on, among other things, whether the programme is on a full-time or part-time basis.