Frequently Asked Questions for Students Admitted From AY2015/16


1. Students from Cohort AY2014/15 and before read GEMs from Group A or Group B, but I understand the GE curriculum is different for me. Please advise me about the five pillars.

Students admitted from AY2015/16 onwards (except students from Law, Medicine, Dentistry) will experience a new curriculum introduced by the GE Reform. The curriculum has the following five pillars:

  • Human Cultures
  • Asking Questions
  • Quantitative Reasoning
  • Singapore Studies
  • Thinking and Expression

Students are required to read one module from each pillar, to fulfil their GE requirements (please also see FAQ 3(iii) and (iv) below).

2. I'm a first-year student. My questions are:

(a) Must I take my GEMs in the first semester?
Students are strongly encouraged to complete their GE requirements within the first two years of their candidature, as GE is meant to be foundational.

(b) Do I need to read 20 MCs of GEMs every year, or is the 20 MCs requirement for the entire course of study?
You need to read 20 MCs of GEMs throughout your entire course of study.

(c) I notice that all the GEH/GEQ/GER/GES/GET modules are Level-1000 – does that mean that I must complete all five modules in Year 1?

Students are strongly encouraged to complete all five modules within the first two years of their candidature.


3. I am confused by the different module prefixes: GEM, GEK, SS, GEH, GEQ, GER, GES and GET.  What are the differences?

(i)  GEM/GEK/SS modules are read by students admitted before AY2015/16 to fulfil GE/Singapore Studies requirements. Students admitted from AY2015/16 cannot read these modules.

(ii) To fulfil GE requirements, you need to read a module each with the following prefixes:

  • GEH – to fulfil the Human Cultures pillar
  • GEQ – to fulfil the Asking Questions pillar
  • GER – to fulfil the Quantitative Reasoning pillar
  • GES – to fulfil the Singapore Studies pillar
  • GET – to fulfil the Thinking and Expression pillar

(iii) To fulfil the GE requirements, 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.

(iv) 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.


4. I have been pre-allocated GER1000 Quantitative Reasoning/ GEQ1000 Asking Questions, but I prefer to read it in another semester. What should I do?

Students will not be able to choose the semester to read GER1000/ GEQ1000. The pre-allocation guidelines for GER1000/ GEQ1000 can be found here.

5. Please advise where I can find a list of Quantitative Reasoning (GER) and Asking Questions modules.

GER1000 Quantitative Reasoning is the only module offered under the Quantitative Reasoning pillar. Similarly, GEQ1000 Asking Questions is the only module offered under the Asking Questions pillar.

6. Is it compulsory for FASS and Bachelor of Environmental Studies (BES) students to take GET1031A to fulfill the Thinking and Expression pillar?

Yes, it is compulsory for FASS and BES students from Cohort AY2017/18 onwards to take GET1031A Computational Thinking to fulfil the Thinking and Expression pillar.

FASS and BES students from Cohort AY2017/18 onwards, and who are enrolled in the University Scholars Programme (USP) or University Town College Programme (UTCP) will still be required to read GET1031A. GET1031A will count towards these students’ Unrestricted Elective (UE) requirement.

The only exception is for FASS & BES students from Cohort AY2017/18 onwards that took UTC1702% coded module(s) offered by RC4.

Fulfilment of GE Requirements

7. I am an English Literature major – can I read a GEM in English Literature to satisfy my Major requirement?

Only a small number of GEMs have been specially approved for inclusion in some FASS Major/Second Major/Minor requirements, students reading such GEMs can only count them to either the General Education requirements or the Major/Second Major/Minor requirements, but not both (i.e., no double counting is allowed).

If the GEH module in English Literature has been specially approved for inclusion in your Major requirement, you can read that module to fulfil your Major requirement. You will have to take another GEH module to fulfil the Human Cultures pillar of the GE requirement.

8. May I read two GEMs from one pillar, and use one of them to replace a module from another pillar?

No, students are required to read a module from each pillar, in order to fulfil their GE requirements.

The only exception is for students admitted in AY2015/16, and who are not from RVRC. These students read one module each from the four pillars (Human Cultures (GEH), Quantitative Reasoning (GER), Singapore Studies (GES), and Thinking and Expression (GET). Their fifth GEM can be from the GEH, GES or GET pillar, or the Asking Questions (GEQ) pillar.

9. I am a polytechnic diploma holder – which GEM am I granted Advanced Placement Credits (APCs) for?

Polytechnic Diploma holders admitted from AY2015/16 onwards are not allowed to be granted APCs for a GEM. All students admitted from AY2015/16 onwards are required to read five GEMs.

10. I am going for a Student Exchange Programme/Summer Programme/Winter Programme/Study Abroad Programme. Can I take modules from the overseas/Partner University, and have them counted as GEMs? What is the procedure for doing so?

Students admitted from AY2015/16 onwards are not allowed to read modules from the overseas/Partner University while on the above Programmes, and use them as GEMs to fulfil the GE requirement.

Registering for GEMs

11. How do I register for GEMs?

You can register for GEMs via Module Registration at Education Records System (ModReg@EduRec) (Navigation: Academics > Module Registration). Students should not register for GEMs that they are not eligible to read (e.g., modules coded with GEM/GEK/SS prefixes).

Students should also ensure that they have not exceeded the limit of Level-1000 modules. (Note: The limit on the number of Level-1000 modules to be counted towards fulfilment of graduation requirements is 60 MCs for both 120 MCs- and 160 MCs-programmes, for students admitted from AY2007/08 onwards. Faculties could set more stringent requirements.)

When registering for GEMs, it is the responsibility of students to check the class and examination timetable, and ensure that there are no timetable clashes.

12. I did not manage to get the GEM I wanted to read this semester. Are all GEMs offered every semester?

Not necessarily. Some GEMs are offered only in Semester 1, while others may be offered only in Semester 2.

13. Where can I find the timetables for the GEMs?

Please refer to NUSMods for all class schedules.

14. I understand that we are not allowed to exceed a certain number of MCs per semester. What is the maximum number of MCs I can take?

Please contact your Faculty Dean's Office for clarification.

15. How do I know if my GEM has tutorials?

Please refer to NUSMods.

16. Can I read excess GEMs, after completing 20MC of the General Education requirements?

Yes, excess GEMs can be counted towards your Unrestricted Elective requirements.






Information Accurate as of 14 May 2019