Guidelines for Student Exchange Programmes (SEP)

(1) For GEMs Only (Not For Breadth/UEs)

  • Students^ going on Student Exchange Programmes (SEP) may apply to have modules taken from their host institutions* satisfy/partially satisfy their General Education (GE) requirement of 8 MCs.
  • Students should approach the General Education Committee (GEC) for approval of modules (in the manner described below) only for satisfying the requirements of General Education. If they wish to use the SEP module/s to fulfil the Breadth requirement or as UE modules, they should 'map' these modules in the way they would for their other (non-GE) modules, by approaching their home faculties' Dean's Offices for assistance.
  • Students are reminded that modules taken during SEP that have been approved as GEMs can only be used to fulfil the GE requirement. They cannot be used as Breadth or UE modules.

^ In view that students admitted from AY2015/16 onwards will experience a new General Education (GE) curriculum introduced by the GE Reform, they will not be allowed to read modules from host institutions* while on SEP to use them as GEMs to fulfil the GE requirement.

* Including modules from NTU and SMU under the Singapore Universities Student Exchange Programme (SUSEP)

(2) When To Apply

Students are expected to look at the offerings on the website of their host university, and obtain approval before leaving for SEP. Applications submitted after the students reach the host university will be accepted only under exceptional circumstances. Students are to note that even when late applications are allowed, there is always a possibility that a given SEP module that a student applies for will not be approved as a GE module.

(3) Where To Send

  1. For Student Exchange programmes only: These modules have to be approved by the General Education Committee (GEC). Please apply via NUS Student Integrated Information System. Please refer to the user guide for students which is available at the Student Portal (under user guides for myISIS). For mapping to General Education module (or Singapore Studies module), please select the NUS module 'GDM9999'.
  2. For Summer/Winter and other programmes: These modules have to be approved by the General Education Committee (GEC). Please complete this form (.docs) in soft copy and email it to

(4) A Note On Incomplete myISIS Submissions/ Forms

Incomplete submissions via myISIS/ Incomplete forms will not be processed. Students should be proactive in obtaining all the required information by referring to the relevant website(s) of the host institution, or if necessary, by contacting the respective host university course lecturers.

(5) In English, please

Submissions via myISIS/ Forms should be completed in English. Where necessary, please provide a translation if the original information from the partner university is not in English.

(6) Direct Mapping To A NUS Module - NOT Necessary 

Students should note that there is no need to map a SEP module to a GE module existing at NUS (in fact, they are discouraged from doing so as there is no value-add if a student goes all the way to a partner university only to read a module that is similar to one available at NUS). If they are able to find a SEP module that satisfies the criteria of GE, they can submit the details of that module for approval, even if an NUS counterpart does not exist.

Modules suitable to be read in lieu of GEMs include:

  • modules which aim at those aspects of knowledge and abilities we expect of educated individuals in general, not the knowledge and abilities that are required in the specialization in a particular discipline or profession and
  • modules which aim at education in the sense that they seek to inculcate higher order qualities of the mind and intellect that make a person educated, as opposed to the practical know-how and abilities that might be useful in one's daily life or contribute to success in career.

Modules that have to do with learning specific languages (e.g., Swedish, Italian, etc.), acquiring practical skills (e.g. in photography or in the use of certain computer software) or fine arts (in the sense of doing practical artwork like painting or watching operas/movies, developing musical appreciation/skills, singing, acting, dancing, learning an instrument etc.) are especially not suitable as GEMs.

(7) Check Your Grouping Requirement

Students should ensure that the SEP module also fulfils the 'grouping' requirement for GE at NUS (for example, FASS students must read at least one Group A (Science & Technology) GEM).

(8) Modular Credits

The number of MCs granted for a SEP module will depend upon the workload of that module. The minimum MCs granted is 2 MCs and the maximum, 4 MCs (even though the workload of that module may exceed 4 MCs). Please refer to this website to get an idea of the 'exchange rate' between certain partner universities and NUS:
(For example, since 6 ECTS = 4 NUS MCs, you should select modules carrying at least 6 ECTS from partner universities using the ECTS).

(9) Level Of Module 

All SEP modules submitted to be read in lieu of GEMs will be granted approval as Level 1000 GE modules, unless otherwise specified. Students who wish to have the module approved as a higher level GE module (e.g., Level 2000) must provide official evidence from the relevant host institution that the module is taught at a higher (i.e., not freshman) level. This can be done via a link to the relevant website(s) of the host institution that indicates the module is of a higher level, or an email from the respective host university course lecturers.

(10) Notification Of Outcome 

The outcome of the application will be made known to students normally within 3 to 5 days, via an email to the student.