Graduate Continuation and Graduation Requirements

The majority of the programme 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.


CAP for Continuation and Graduation

Research-based Programmes

To graduate, a student pursuing a Master's degree by research must achieve a minimum CAP of 3.00 for all required modules, and have passed the Master's thesis. Similarly, to obtain a PhD degree, the minimum CAP required for graduation is 3.50. In addition, the candidate must have passed the PhD qualifying examination, the PhD thesis, and the oral examination. Students are required to submit their final approved theses electronically.

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.

For any semester in which the student's CAP falls below 3.00 (but ≥ 2.50), that student will be issued an academic warning. If, in the following semester, the student's CAP again falls below 3.00, s/he will be placed on probation. If the student's CAP remains below 3.00 for the third consecutive semester, the student will be issued a letter of dismissal by the Registrar and denied re-admission.

For students whose CAP falls below 2.50 for two consecutive semesters, they will be placed on probation for the first semester, followed by dismissal in the second semester.

Such a student may appeal 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 only one such appeal per candidature. If the appeal is rejected, the student will not be readmitted. If the outcome of the appeal is positive, the student will be given one semester in which to achieve the minimum CAP required for continuation and graduation.

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.

For any semester in which the student's CAP falls below 3.50 (but ≥ 3.00), that student will be issued an academic warning. If, in the following semester, the student's CAP again falls below 3.50, s/he will be placed on probation. If the student's CAP remains below 3.50 for the third consecutive semester, the student will be issued a letter of dismissal by the Registrar and denied re-admission.

For students whose CAP falls below 3.00 for two consecutive semesters, they will be placed on probation for the first semester, followed by dismissal in the second semester.

A student may also be issued a warning or placed on probation or be issued a letter of termination for poor performance in the PhD qualifying examination, research thesis, or other programme requirements.

Such a student may appeal 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 only one such appeal per candidature. If the appeal is rejected, the student will not be readmitted. If the outcome of the appeal is positive, the student will be given one semester in which to achieve the minimum CAP required for continuation and graduation.


Coursework-based Programmes

The minimum CAP for fulfilment of the Graduate Diploma requirement is 2.25.

A student pursuing a Master's degree by coursework must achieve a minimum CAP of 3.00 to be eligible for graduation.

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.

For any semester in which the student's CAP falls below 3.00 (but ≥ 2.50), that student will be issued an academic warning. If, in the following semester, the student's CAP again falls below 3.00, s/he will be placed on probation. If the student's CAP remains below 3.00 for the third consecutive semester, the student will be issued a letter of dismissal by the Registrar and denied re-admission.

For students whose CAP falls below 2.50 for two consecutive semesters, they will be placed on probation for the first semester, followed by dismissal in the second semester.

Such a student may appeal 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 only one such appeal per candidature. If the appeal is rejected, the student will not be readmitted. If the outcome of the appeal is positive, the student will be given one semester in which to achieve the minimum CAP required for continuation and graduation.


Research Progress Reports for Research-based Programmes

You are required to submit a bi-annual research progress report via NUS Student Information System (Self Service > Research Progress > My Progress Report) for your candidature renewal. You need to provide a summary of the work you did in the previous semester (this can include modules taken, doctoral seminars attended, development/review of work plan, PhD qualifying exam, etc.), your self-assessment and comments (e.g. achievements and problems encountered).

The Research Progress Report submission periods are September (for assessment of research progress in Semester 2 of the previous Academic Year) and in February (for assessment of research progress in Semester 1 of the current Academic Year).

You will be notified via email of the submission period. Upon receiving the email, you should complete the submission online promptly to allow sufficient time for your supervisor(s), Head of Department/Programme and Faculty to complete their assessments and recommendations for continuation of candidature.

For scholars, your scholarship renewal will be tied in with the semestral progress report. Please note that your scholarship will be suspended if you do not complete the research progress report by the deadline. For scholars who are required to fulfil the requirements of the Graduate Assistantship Programme (GAP), you will also be required to report on the number of hours you have completed during the reporting semester. You will have to attach a completed and endorsed Summary Sheet for Graduate Assistantship Programme in your submission. Nevertheless, you may use an alternative template/version if provided so by your Faculty/Department.

For non-scholars, you are also required to submit the progress report by the stipulated deadline, otherwise the status of your research progress will be reflected as "Deemed Unsatisfactory".

Students who are in their first term (semester) of study are not required to submit the Research Progress Report.

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

Workload for Master's Coursework Programmes

The following are guidelines for Master's coursework programmes:

Type of Programme

Workload per semester

Part-Time

Full-Time

Master's degree by coursework

Maximum load: 12 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.

Graduate Programmes Residency Requirement and Maximum Candidature

(1) The University has established a minimum residency requirement and maximum candidature for all NUS degrees, including joint and double degrees with foreign universities. Faculties 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 departmental requirements such as teaching assistance.

(2) Students must meet the minimum residency requirements as follows:

Type of Programme

Minimum Residency

Graduate programmes by coursework

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.

Master's degree by research

6 months of residence in NUS(i), (ii)

Doctoral degrees 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.

(3) For students undertaking research degree programmes: 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.

The maximum candidature for the various types of graduate programmes are:

Type of Programme

Maximum Candidature

Master's degree by coursework

24 – 48 months(i)

Master's degree by research

36 months(ii)

PhD degree

60 months(ii)

  1. The maximum candidature for coursework programmes depends on, among other things, whether the programme is on a full-time or part-time basis.
  2. 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.