Frequently Asked Questions

1. My seniors 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 will experience the 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 2(iii) and (iv) below).

2. I am confused by the different prefixes of the modules: 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) As the "Asking Questions" pillar is not ready to be launched, 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 plus an additional module from either the Human Cultures, Singapore Studies or Thinking and Expression pillar to fulfil the GE requirements.

(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.

3. I am a Literature major – can I read a Human Cultures (GEH) module offered by my Department, to fulfil my GE requirements?

You may do so as long as you meet the requirements of the module.

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

If you read modules coded as GEH/GEQ/GER/GES/GET to fulfil requirements for your Major/Minor programmes, you are not allowed to count these modules towards fulfilling both the GE and the Major/Minor requirements, i.e., no double counting is allowed.  So if you had taken a GEH module for your Major/Minor programme, you have to take another GEH module to fulfil the Human Cultures pillar of the GE requirement.

5. May I read two Thinking and Expression (GET) modules and use one of them to replace a Human Cultures (GEH) module?

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 are required to read one module each from the four pillars plus an additional module from either the Human Cultures, Singapore Studies or Thinking and Expression pillar, as the "Asking Questions" pillar is not ready to be launched.

6. 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 only 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?

It would be good if you can manage to read all five modules by the end of your first year of studies, as students are strongly encouraged to complete all five modules within the first two years of their candidature.

7. I am pre-allocated to read GER1000 Quantitative Reasoning in Semester 1 Year 1 but I would prefer to read it in Semester 2. What should I do?

Please approach your Faculty Dean's Office for advice.

8. Please advise where I can find a list of Quantitative Reasoning (GER) modules to read.

The Quantitative Reasoning module is a centralised module and students are pre-allocated to read that module either in Semester 1 or Semester 2 of Year 1.

9. I am a diploma holder – which GEM can I exercise my Advanced Placement Credits (APCs) on?

Diploma holders admitted from AY2015/16 are not allowed to use their APCs to replace a GEM. All students admitted from AY2015/16 are required to read five GEMs.

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

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

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

Please refer to the timetable builder ( for all class schedules.

12. I understand that we are not allowed to exceed a certain number of MCs per semester. If this is true, what is the maximum number of MCs I can take?

Please contact your Faculty Dean's Office for clarification.

13. I intend to take a total of 5 modules this semester, but as there are no vacancies in the GEM I wish to take, I am left with only 4 modules. Am I left with no choice but to take 4 modules and maybe have heavier workloads in future semesters?

Please seek advice from your Faculty Dean's Office.

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

Please check the Faculty websites for indications as to whether or not there are tutorials for the GEM you have chosen. Alternatively, contact the Department offering the GEM to find out.

15. 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 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.

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

Yes, excess GEMs can be counted towards your Unrestricted Elective (outside major) requirements.