Description of GE Pillars

Human Cultures

Cultures are sets of shared attitudes, values, goals, and practices that are associated with a field, an activity, or a societal characteristic. This pillar cultivates an understanding of how differing cultural understandings have shaped human societies and the human condition, knowledge, beliefs, behaviour, scientific and technological innovations. 

  • Presented from a disciplinary or multidisciplinary perspective
  • Consists of elements that promote intercultural understanding
  • Introduces global awareness

Students will learn how various disciplines inform our knowledge of civilizations and cultures, as well as scientific/technological realms.

Educational Philosophy: nurturing understanding and sensitivity to diverse perspectives and cultures.

Thinking and Expression

This pillar seeks to develop critical thinking (challenging of assumptions, offering of varied or multiple perspectives) through the analysis, formulation, and articulation of ideas and arguments.

  • Develops dimensions of critical thinking and expression, with activities allowing for rigorous debates and active development of viewpoints
  • Promotes reflexivity, meta-awareness, and thoughtful critique
  • Offers opportunities for expression of viewpoints through various mediums of communication (digital, oral, written, art, performance, etc.)

Students will acquire the requisite critical thinking, oral and written and communication competencies that mark an effective communicator.  Students will also learn to frame and articulate specific positions through various means of communication (oral, written, digital, etc.), striving for clarity of thought.

Educational Philosophy: nurturing thoughtful and able communicators.

Singapore Studies

This pillar addresses the issues and challenges confronting Singapore society.  Apart from aspects drawn from Singapore’s history, politics and economy, other topics/themes could include: medicine (healthcare, aging); the environment (biodiversity and sustainability); infrastructure, transportation and resource management; technology (data analytics, digital economy, AI, Smart Nation); the future economy and industry.

  • Develops insights about the Singapore context and/or how Singapore relates to the region and the world
  • Positions Singapore as the primary focus and point of departure
  • Situates a Singapore issue in the Asian/ASEAN context
  • Relates Singapore to the global

Students will demonstrate a critical awareness of contemporary and/or future issues that impact Singapore society.

Educational Philosophy: nurturing responsible and informed citizenship, and intercultural awareness.

Asking Questions

This pillar aims to provide students with an opportunity to be immersed in a significant topic so as to develop broader insights and perspectives. The focus is on engaging in a rigorous dialogue so as to learn to pose good questions about the issue that is discussed.

Students will demonstrate an ability to ask insightful questions and to engage holistically and actively with the selected topic. Students will also learn to identify thoughtful questions and develop critiques and reflections. Find out more details here.


  • Students admitted in AY2015/16 and beyond, and who are residents of RVRC are allowed to read GEQ1917 Understanding and Critiquing Sustainability as fulfilment of the "Asking Questions" pillar.
  • Students admitted in AY2015/16 (except those from the Ridge View Residential College (RVRC)) will be required to read one module each from the four pillars (Human Cultures (GEH), Quantitative Reasoning (GER), Singapore Studies (GES), and Thinking and Expression (GET)). Students are also required to take an additional module from one of these pillars: GEH, GES or GET, or a module from the “Asking Questions” pillar to fulfil the GE requirements.

  • With the launch of the "Asking Questions" pillar in Semester 2, AY2016/17, all students admitted in AY2016/17 and beyond (except those from RVRC, and those taking the full USP/UTCP) will be required to read a module from the "Asking Questions" pillar to fulfil the GE requirements.

Quantitative Reasoning

This pillar teaches different models of reasoning, how to organise data and information, analyse, make inferences and construct and/or refute arguments that contribute to our knowledge about the disciplines and the world.

Students will acquire skills to make sense of, model, generate, synthesise, evaluate and make inferences from available data and knowledge.  Find out more details here.





Information Accurate as of 30 August 2018