Graduate Admissions

The majority of graduate programmes in the University admit students twice a year, in August and January. Prospective students seeking for specific application information/instructions for a particular programme are advised to refer to the graduate studies website of the respective Faculty/School/Institute offering the programme.

Decisions on admission are made by the Faculty/School/Institute after careful evaluation of all applications. Evaluation is carried out based on a combination of factors such as academic degree and record, letters of recommendation, standardised test scores and relevant work experience. Other considerations may include the potential for future contributions to the academic or professional fields, research interest of the professors involved in each degree programme and the relevance of the academic preparation for the chosen course of study.

As English is the medium of instruction of the University, applicants may be required to demonstrate proficiency in English in the form of TOEFL/IELTS as part of the admission criteria.

The minimum set of admission requirements as well as information on credit transfer and exemption policy for research-based and coursework-based programmes are given below. Individual programmes may have their own additional requirements and applicants should refer to the respective Faculty/School/Institute’s graduate studies website for a more accurate information.

Minimum Requirements for Admission

Candidates must demonstrate readiness for graduate study through some specific standard of achievement in a common entry examination (e.g. the subject GRE, GMAT), and/or an admissions test/interview.

  • Admission to a research Master’s programme - a Second Class Upper Honours/ Honours (Distinction) degree or equivalent, in a relevant discipline. Departments may also admit students with a good Bachelor’s degree with relevant research or working experience on a case-by-case basis, subject to approval by the Board of Graduate Studies (BGS).
  • Admission into a PhD programme - a good Master’s degree in a relevant discipline, or at least a Second Class Upper Honours / Honours (Distinction) degree or equivalent in a relevant discipline.

Credit Transfer/Exemption Policy

Credit transfer and exemption for the coursework component of the graduate research programme may be granted for:

  • NUS modules taken and passed prior to admission to the programme; or
  • modules completed at another tertiary institution recognised by the University.

Only modules relevant to the degree programme to which the candidate seeks admission, with comparable content and level of sophistication, and read not more than ten (10) years before the date of admission may be considered for credit transfer / exemption.  

There is no limit to the transfer of credit for relevant modules that have not been used towards another degree (i.e. Bachelor's, Master's, PhD, Doctorate; excludes Graduate Diploma) at NUS or elsewhere.

For relevant modules that have been credited towards another degree elsewhere, up to 50% of the MCs required in the coursework component of the NUS graduate research programme into which the candidate seeks admission may be exempted.

For relevant NUS modules that have been credited towards another degree at NUS, on a case-by-case basis and subject to approval, more than 50% of the MCs required in the coursework component of the NUS graduate research programme may be allowed credit and grade transfer. These modules must be of level 5000 and above.

Students seeking credit transfer and exemption should apply to the relevant programme office within the first month of candidature.

Minimum Requirements for Admission

Admission to a Graduate Diploma would require a Bachelor’s degree in a relevant discipline; or a Bachelor’s degree with a relevant Graduate Certificate with a minimum CAP of 3.00.

Admission to a Master’s coursework programme would require a Bachelor’s degree with honours or equivalent, in a relevant discipline; or a Bachelor’s degree with a relevant Graduate Diploma/Graduate Certificate with a minimum CAP of 3.00. In addition, programmes may require candidates to demonstrate readiness for graduate study through a specific standard of achievement in:

  • Common placement examination (e.g., the subject GRE, GMAT); or
  • Programme-administered placement test in the relevant field (which may also consist of a structured interview to test the candidate’s understanding of the field); or
  • Completion of 40 MCs of preparatory modules.

Exceptionally, candidates with other qualifications and experience may be considered on a case-by-case basis, subject to approval by the BGS.

With the approval of the Senate, programmes may specify relevant work experience as an additional admission requirement.

Credit Transfer/Exemption Policy

Credit transfer and exemption for the graduate coursework-based programme may be granted for:

  • NUS modules taken and passed prior to admission to the programme; or
  • Modules completed at another tertiary institution recognised by the University.

Only modules relevant to the degree programme to which the candidate seeks admission, have comparable content and level of sophistication, and read not more than ten (10) years before the date of admission, may be considered for credit transfer/ exemption.

Generally, only modules that have not been used towards another degree (i.e. Bachelor's, Master's, PhD, Doctorate; excludes Graduate Diploma) at NUS or elsewhere may be considered for credit and grade transfers (NUS modules) / exemption (non-NUS modules). For such non-NUS modules, only up to 50% of the total coursework requirements may be exempted.

There is no limit on the credit and grade transfers of NUS modules that have not been used towards another degree at NUS. In addition, for coursework-based Master’s programmes which require more than the usual 40 MCs, NUS modules that have been used towards another degree at NUS can be considered for credit and grade transfer provided the resultant total coursework requirement does not fall below 40 MCs. These modules must be of level 5000 and above.

Stacking of graduate modules towards fulfilling the requirements of a Graduate Diploma/Master’s coursework degree would require the reading of additional modules and/or completing a capstone project, and/or an internship/practicum. The additional components/modules should form at least 10% of the Graduate Diploma/Master’s coursework degree requirements and should not be offered as standalone modules nor be part of a Graduate Certificate/Graduate Diploma.

Students seeking credit transfer and exemption should apply to the relevant programme office within the first month of candidature.

Unless granted approval by our University, candidate should not be a concurrent student for more than one degree or register as an NUS candidate and of another university/institute.

It should be noted that satisfying minimal standards is not a guarantee of admission, since the number of qualified applicants usually exceeds the number of places available. As a result, many well-qualified applicants cannot be accommodated.

For FAQs on Graduate Admissions, please refer to this link.

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