Thesis Submission and Examination

1. Submission of Thesis for Examination/Re-examination

a. General Guidelines on Format of Thesis

Candidates to access the paper, General Guidelines on Format of Research Thesis Submitted For Examination, for general guidelines on format of thesis. Candidates who wish to apply for an extension of the word limit for their theses will have to seek approval from their supervisor(s) and Head of Department.

b. Deadline for Submission

Candidates have to submit their theses for examination (after being approved by their supervisor(s) and Head of Department) by the maximum period of candidature or such date as stipulated by the supervisors or the University, whichever date is earlier. A grace period of up to two weeks can be given by the Registrar's Office without the need for candidate to apply for extension of his/her candidature. The request must be supported by the main supervisor; except for students from the Faculty of Engineering, whose requests must be supported by the main supervisor and the Department. The grace period is not applicable for students who have been granted prior candidature extension(s). It is also not applicable for the submission of revised/final approved thesis. The request for grace period must be submitted before the expiry of the candidature, as candidature will be considered as lapsed once maximum candidature has reached. Late requests would be considered as reinstatement of candidature requests with an administrative fee of S$250 payable for successful reinstatements.

Candidates who are unable to submit their theses even within the two weeks grace period should consult their supervisors first before applying for extension of their candidature by completing the “Application for Extension of Candidature for Graduate Research Students Form” downloadable at

Application for extension of candidature must be submitted through the supervisor(s), Head of Department and the Faculty's Vice Dean (Graduate Studies), preferably three months before the expiry date of the candidature.

Candidates who wish to submit their theses before the minimum residency period must submit a written request to the Vice Dean (Graduate Studies), through the supervisor(s) and Head of Department for approval before submission.

c. Thesis Submission Date & Fees Payable

Tuition and miscellaneous fees are payable until the thesis is submitted for examination. However, the insurance premium will continue to be payable for full-time students unless the candidate converts his/her candidature to part-time. A candidate who converts his/her candidature to part-time after Instructional Week 2 is liable to pay the insurance premium for that semester.

The tuition fees payable for the semester in which the thesis is submitted for examination depends on the thesis submission date (i.e. the date of receipt of the Thesis Submission Form by the Student Service Centre / Student Services@Bukit Timah Campus).

Exemption of fees will take effect from the semester after the thesis is submitted for examination, except if the thesis is submitted within Instructional Week 2 of the semester.

For current research scholars, the last day of award will be the date of receipt of the Thesis Submission Form by the Student Service Centre / Student Services@Bukit Timah Campus. If the research scholar did not collect the Thesis Submission Form from the Department or submit the Form to SSC/SS@BTC as soon as s/he could have, the Faculty can terminate the scholarship earlier than the date the Form is received by SSC/SS@BTC.

d. Procedures for First Submission of Thesis for Examination

i. Candidate to submit the following to the Department once the thesis is ready for submission:

Note: Students of the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine are required to submit a copy of the Turnitin report endorsed by their supervisor to the Department. PhD students from NUS Medicine are also required to submit a copy of the Thesis Advisory Committee (TAC) report for the final semester to their Department.

ii. After the necessary requirement checks, completing the Form and forwarding the thesis to the internal examiner(s), Department to:

  • Inform candidate to collect the completed Thesis Submission Form
  • Inform candidate of the pre-scheduled oral exam date
  • Return the Thesis Submission Form, any balance thesis, and the CD-ROM to candidate

iii. Candidate to submit the following at the Student Service Centre (Level 1, Yusof Ishak House, Kent Ridge Campus) or Student Services@Bukit Timah Campus (Block B, Bukit Timah Campus) during office hours (as soon as possible):

  • Completed Thesis Submission Form
  • Number of copies of soft-bound thesis received from Department
  • Softcopy (pdf) of the thesis in CD-ROM
  • Payment receipt of thesis examination fee and outstanding fees (if any)*

iv. For students who are in receipt of the Lee Kong Chian Graduate Scholarship, the Singapore ETH Centre (SEC) - NUS Scholarship or are on the AUN/SEED-Net programme, please submit the items mentioned above to the Registrar's Office (Level 4, Lee Kong Chian Wing, University Hall).

* Note for Payment:

Please print a copy of your latest Student Bill and complete the Thesis Examination Fee Payment Form downloadable at Payment details are in the form. Thesis Examination Fee is not applicable for students with Admit Term from Semester 1, AY2013/2014.

Please refer to fees for graduate programmes for implications of outstanding fees.

For research scholars who have received excess Research Scholarship stipend and have yet to refund the excess, the University reserves the right to withhold student status letters, results slips or transcripts, thesis examination and the confirmation of the award of the degree.

2. Process of Thesis Examination

Important: Candidate should not, under any circumstances, communicate with any examiner on matters related to the thesis examination, unless specifically allowed by the University.

a. Nomination of Thesis Examiners

Faculty/Department will also be monitoring that candidates by the end of the 46th month (Doctoral) and 22nd (Master's) month of their candidature respectively, should have examiners identified.

Candidates should maintain close contact with their supervisors, especially their main supervisors, so that the main supervisors will be aware of their progress and be able to initiate the nomination of examiners process one month before the thesis is expected to be submitted for examination. This is to allow sufficient time for the approval of the proposed examiners, so that the thesis can be sent for examination upon submission. A Master's thesis will be examined by two examiners (one of whom may be an external examiner, as decided by the Head of Department and the Vice Dean) while a doctoral thesis will be examined by three examiners (at least one external examiner).

External examiners who have to submit a thesis with patentable/confidential materials will need to read and agree to the Terms & Conditions on the Non-Disclosure Agreement before the thesis is sent to him/her. (Candidates and supervisors are reminded that proprietary/confidential information which is not critical to the thesis for which consent has not been granted should be excluded from the thesis.)

b. Period of Thesis Examination

The Department will send the thesis to internal examiners while Registrar's Office will send the thesis to external examiners.

Examiners are given seven weeks from the date thesis is sent to them, to complete the examination of the thesis and submit an evaluation report. Reminders will be sent by the Registrar's Office to examiners before the deadline and to those who fail to submit their evaluation reports by the deadline. Students are encouraged to track their Thesis Examination Status via NUS Student Information System > Self Service > Student Center > Academics Section > View My Milestone.

Doctoral candidates must be present in person for the oral thesis examination which will be held after the theses have been examined. Candidates are to bring a copy of their thesis for the oral examination.

c. Outcome of Thesis Examination 

i. After all the examiners' reports are received:

Master's thesis

  • Candidate will be asked to collect thesis (if any) and to consult supervisor(s) on the amendments, if any. Depending on the outcome of the examination, the revised thesis may be sent for further examination.

PhD thesis

  • If there are no/minor amendments, candidate will be notified of the confirmed oral examination date. A copy of the Faculty's guideline on the oral presentation will also be given to the candidate.
  • However, if major revision is recommended by the examiner(s), the candidate may be asked to revise and resubmit the thesis for further examination before the oral examination is scheduled. After the oral examination, the candidate will be informed by the Oral Panel of the outcome, on the amendments to the thesis and the person(s) to advise the candidate on the amendments, if applicable.

Please note that if major revisions to the thesis are required, the candidate may have to pay fees for one semester, even if the period granted to do the revision is less than six months.If the candidate is unable to complete the revisions in six months, s/he will be required to pay another semester's fees. The total revision period generally cannot exceed 12 months.

After examination/re-examination, if no or only minor amendments are required, the final approved thesis must be uploaded electronically. Candidate will be notified via email when the system opens for a week for candidate to upload the thesis. Candidate is required to check and ensure that the uploaded thesis is the final, complete and correct version. The uploaded electronic thesis will be accepted without any further verification from either the Department or supervisor(s).  Therefore, candidate must be responsible in ensuring that the correct version is uploaded onto the system.

One copy (in any form agreed with the supervisors) of the final approved thesis should be submitted to the supervisors.

Candidate must also complete and submit the Feedback Form on Research Guidance (obtain from the respective Department or Faculty/School).

3. Award of Degree

Candidate will be considered for award of degree by the Board of Graduate Studies:

  • when all minor/major revisions are incorporated in the thesis to the satisfaction of the supervisor(s) and the Oral Panel member (if applicable); and
  • the thesis has been uploaded accordingly.

After the degree has been awarded by the Board of Graduate Studies, the Chancellor's approval will be sought for the degree to be conferred in writing. The approximate timeframe for approval by Board of Graduate Studies and Chancellor is about two months after the thesis has been uploaded onto the system.


Candidates are reminded to inform the Registrar's Office of any change in their mailing address by updating it via NUS Student Information System so that the outcome of the thesis examination can be communicated to them promptly.