Applying to Singapore universities (Undergraduate)

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There are 6 autonomous universities in Singapore offering a variety of disciplines and degrees. Besides the standard Singapore qualifications, many other equivalent foreign qualifications are also accepted by these schools. This article will focus on the undergraduate programmes offered by the 3 main public universities in Singapore, namely the National University of Singapore (NUS), Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and Singapore Management University (SMU).


For the above-mentioned universities, the Academic Year (AY) begins in August and ends the following April/ May. Each academic year is divided into 2 semesters - August to December and January to April/ May. Details on Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) (official website), Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT) (official website) and Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS) (official website) can be found on their respective websites.

Application dates

Singapore-Cambridge GCE 'A Levels'

For Junior College students, applications for Singapore universities begin as early as 5 months before the release of 'A level' results. Based on previous years, results are released on the last Friday of the month of February.

Opening Date Closing Date
NUS 27 February 2019 19 March 2019
NTU 22 February 2019 19 March 2019
SMU 16 October 2018 19 March 2019, 11.59pm Singapore Standard Time.

JC2 students with stellar Preliminary results will be notified by the various universities through email if they are eligible for early application. Otherwise, students with good academic results can also opt for early application through the universities’ websites. It is important to note that admissions for Yale-NUS college (official website) are done through early applications only.

Polytechnic diploma (Singapore)

Both Polytechnic results and GCE 'O level' results/or equivalent will be taken into consideration.

Opening Date Closing Date
NUS 1 February 2019 21 February 2019
NTU 1 February 2019 21 February 2019
SMU 16 October 2018 19 March 2019, 11.59pm Singapore Standard Time.

International Baccalaureate (IB) diploma

Opening Date Closing Date
NUS 15 October 2018 21 February 2019
NTU 15 October 2018 19 March 2019
SMU 16 October 2018 19 March 2019, 11.59pm Singapore Standard Time.

NUS High School Diploma

NUS High School diploma holders commence their application for local universities at an earlier time period.[1]

Opening Date Closing Date
NUS NA Closed (AY2019/2020)
NTU 1 December 2018 15 January 2019
SMU 16 October 2018 19 March 2019, 11.59pm Singapore Standard Time.

Eligibility

The admission prerequisites vary across different courses and schools, so prospective students are reminded to check their eligibility before submitting their applications. The following tables show the Indicative Grade Profile of the popular majors in NUS, NTU and SMU. Interviews and written tests will be administered for courses like Medicine, Law, Dentistry and Nursing. The latest academic prerequisites are accurate as of the 2018/2019 university intake in Singapore.

NUS (AY2018/2019)[2]

10th percentile for A-level (3H2/1H1) 90th percentile for A-level (3H2/1H1) 10th percentile for Poly GPA[3] 90th percentile for Poly GPA NUS High School Diploma International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma
Law AAA/A AAA/A 3.77 3.94 A minimum of B+ grade for English modules, EL5101 ANDEL6103 or SAT Test Critical Reading/Evidence-Based Reading and Writing score of 700 with at least C grade for EL5101 AND EL6103 At least a grading of 5 points in SL English or SL Literature & Performance or SAT Critical Reading/Evidence-Based Reading and Writing score of 700 accompanied by a minimum grading of 4 points for SL English or SL Literature & Performance.
Medicine AAA/A AAA/A - - A good major CAP in Chemistry and either Biology or Physics Pass in HL Chemistry and HL Biology/Physics
Dentistry AAA/A AAA/A - - A good major CAP in Chemistry and either Biology or Physics Pass in HL Chemistry and HL Biology/Physics
Nursing CCC/C AAA/B 3.37 3.84 A good major CAP in any two of the following: Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics and Physics Pass in any 2 of these HL subjects: Biology, Computing, Chemistry, Physics and Mathematics
Pharmacy AAA/A AAA/A - - Very good Major CAP in Chemistry and in Biology/Physics/Mathematics Very Good Pass in HL Chemistry and

Very Good Pass in HL Biology, Physics or Mathematics

Architecture ABB/C AAA/A 3.76 3.96 A good major CAP in either Mathematics, Physics or Chemistry Pass in SL Chemistry/Mathematics/Physics
Engineering BCC/C AAA/A - - A good major CAP in Mathematics and either Physics or Chemistry Pass in HL Mathematics and HL Physics/Chemistry
Chemical Engineering BBC/B AAA/A 3.66 3.97 A good major CAP in Mathematics, Chemistry and Physics Pass in HL Mathematics, Chemistry and Physics
Computer Engineering AAB/C AAA/A 3.74 4 A good major CAP in Mathematics and either Physics or Chemistry Pass in HL Mathematics and HL Physics/Chemistry
Accountancy AAB/C AAA/A 3.73 3.97 A good major CAP in Mathematics Pass in SL Mathematics
Business ABB/B AAA/A 3.71 3.95 A good major CAP in Mathematics Pass in SL Mathematics
Arts & Social Sciences BBC/B AAA/A 3.74 3.93 - -

NTU (AY2018/2019)[4]

10th percentile for A-level (3H2/1H1) 90th percentile for A-level (3H2/1H1) 10th percentile for Poly GPA 90th percentile for Poly GPA NUS High School Diploma International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma
Medicine AAA/A and good BMAT results AAA/A and good BMAT results - - Major CAP of 2.0 in Chemistry, Physics/Biology, CAP of 1.0 in one other major and in English language and good BMAT results. HL Chemistry, HL Biology/Physics and good BMAT results
Renaissance Engineering AAA/A AAA/A - - Major CAP of 2.0 in Mathematics and Major CAP of 2.0 in Physics/Chemistry/Biology and Overall CAP of 2.0 in Physics/equivalent. HL Mathematics and HL Physics/Chemistry/Biology/Computer Science and SL Physics/equivalent
Computer Science AAB/C AAA/A 3.68 3.97 Major CAP of 2.0 in Mathematics and Major CAP of 2.0 in Physics/Chemistry/Biology HL Mathematics and HL Physics/Chemistry/Biology/Computer Science
Engineering BCC/D AAB/C - - Major CAP of 2.0 in Mathematics and Major CAP of 2.0 in Physics/Chemistry/Biology and Overall CAP of 2.0 in Physics/equivalent. HL Mathematics and HL Physics/Biology/Computer Science and SL Physics/equivalent
Accountancy AAC/B AAA/A 3.71 3.96 Major CAP of 2.0 in Mathematics SL Mathematics
Business AAC/C AAA/A 3.73 3.96 Major CAP of 2.0 in Mathematics SL Mathematics
Communication Studies (WKW) AAB/B AAA/A - - Major CAP of 2.0 in Mathematics and Good Overall CAP in English Language. SL Mathematics and a good grade in SL English
Psychology AAC/C AAA/A 3.68 3.93 Major CAP of 2.0 in Mathematics and Good Overall CAP in English Language. SL Mathematics and a good grade in SL English
Economics ABC/C AAA/A 3.57 3.87 Major CAP of 2.0 in Mathematics and Good Overall CAP in English Language. SL Mathematics and a good grade in SL English
Art, Design & Media CCD/C AAA/A 3.26 3.85 Major CAP of 2.0 in Mathematics and Good Overall CAP in English Language. Submission of portfolio is also required. SL Mathematics and a good grade in SL English. Submission of portfolio is also required.

SMU (AY2018/2019)[5]

10th percentile for A-level (3H2/1H1) 90th percentile for A-level (3H2/1H1) 10th percentile for Poly GPA 90th percentile for Poly GPA NUS High School Diploma International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma
Law AAA/A AAA/A - - A good NUS High School Diploma. Interview for shortlisted applicants. Law shortlisted applicants must also take a written test. A good IB Diploma. Interview for shortlisted applicants. Law shortlisted applicants must also take a written test.
Accountancy AAB/B AAA/A 3.7 3.93 As above As above
Business Management ABB/C AAA/A 3.7 3.94 As above As above
Science (Economics) BBC/B AAA/A 3.7 3.91 As above As above
Science (Information Systems) BBC/B AAA/A 3.52 3.92 As above As above
Social Science BBC/B AAA/A 3.7 3.9 As above As above

Fees

Singapore citizens automatically receive an MOE Tuition Grant once they commence their undergraduate studies and will hence enjoy a subsidised tuition rate. Singapore PRs and International students will need to apply for a Tuition Grant as part of their online admission application procedure. Those who are not eligible/did not opt for the Tuition Grant will have to pay the full non-subsidised amount. The annual tuition fees vary for different courses in different schools.

SMU (AY2018/2019)[6]

Degree Annual subsidised fees (Singapore Citizens) Annual subsidised fees (PR) Annual subsidised fees (International Students) Annual non-subsidised fees
Bachelor of Laws S$12,650 S$17,700 S$27,050 S$45,590
All others S$11,450 S$16,000 S$24,500 S$45,590

NTU (AY2018/2019)[7]

Degree Annual subsidised fees (Singapore Citizens) Annual subsidised fees (PR) Annual subsidised fees (International Students) Annual non-subsidised fees
Accountancy and Business related S$9,400 S$13,200 S$20,100 S$36,830
Medicine S$34,200 S$47,900 S$73,200 NA
Renaissance Engineering Programme S$17,900 S$25,050 S$38,300 NA
All others S$8,200 S$11,500 S$17,550 S$31,970

NUS (AY2018/2019)[8]

Degree Annual subsidised fees (Singapore Citizens) Annual subsidised fees (PR) Annual subsidised fees (International Students) Annual non-subsidised fees
Architecture S$8,850 S$12,400 S$18,950 S$39,050
Arts and Social Sciences S$S8,200 S$11,500 S$17,550 S$29,850
Business S$9,600 S$13,450 S$20,550 S$32,250
Computing S$8,200 S$11,500 S$17,550 S$38,200
Dentistry S$28,400 S$39,750 S$60,800 S$152,000
Design and Environment (Building, Real estate) S$8,200 S$11,500 S$17,550 S$29,850
Design and Environment (Industrial Design) S$8,200 S$11,500 S$17,550 S$38,200
Engineering S$8,200 S$11,500 S$17,550 S$38,200
Law S$12,650 S$17,700 S$27,050 S$38,300
Medicine (Nursing) S$8,950 S$12,550 S$19,150 S$37,250
Medicine (except nursing) S$28,400 S$39,750 S$60,800 S$152,100
Music S$13,450 S$18,850 S$28,800 S$113,150
Science (Pharmacy) S$9,050 S$12,700 S$19,350 S$38,100
Science (except pharmacy) S$8,200 S$11,500 S$17,550 S$38,200

Financial aid

While students are ultimately responsible for their own tuition fees, there are a variety of external and in-house financial aid schemes that can help to lighten the burden of financially-needy students during their course of studies. However, it should be noted that PRs and International students who are paying non-subsidised tuition fees are not eligible to apply for any form of financial aid schemes.

Tuition Fee Loan Scheme

All applicants pursuing their undergraduate degree are eligible for the loan, regardless of their nationality and family income. This excludes NTU students who are reading Biomedical Sciences & Traditional Chinese Medicine programmes as they will only be covered under this scheme for the first 3 years of the programme.[9] The Tuition Fee Loan covers up to 90% of the subsidised tuition fee payable by Singaporean students for the same course. For example, an international student applying for an Architecture degree in NUS will have to pay S$10,965 instead of S$18,950. A Singapore citizen applying for the same degree will have to pay S$885 instead of S$8,850.


This loan does not cover compulsory miscellaneous fees and hostel fee. The banks offering the Tuition Fee Loan are Development Bank of Singapore (DBS) and Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation (OCBC). The interest rate of the loan is in accordance with the average prime rate of 3 local banks (DBS, OCBC, UOB), which is at 4.75% per annum, as of February 2019.[10] Students who wish to apply for the loan are required to visit the bank of choice with a guarantor (adult between the age of 21 to 60)  during the designated application period for each semester.

Repayment

The computation of interest will only begin upon graduation. Repayment of loan can be in one lump sum or by monthly installments of minimum $100 per month, commencing not later than 2 years after graduation or on securing employment, whichever is earlier. All outstanding loans must be cleared within 20 years and a penalty interest of 1% per month will be levied for any late payments.

Central Provident Fund (CPF) Education Scheme

The CPF Education Scheme is for the payment of tuition fee for full-time undergraduate programmes. This does not cover compulsory miscellaneous fees and hostel fee. NTU students who are reading Biomedical Sciences & Traditional Chinese Medicine programmes will only be covered under this scheme for the first 3 years of the programme.[11] Applicants can use their own, their spouse’s or parents’ CPF savings to pay for the tuition fees. The CPF Board will consider the use of sibling’s or relative’s CPF savings only on a case-by-case basis. The withdrawal limit is 40% of the balance in the CPF Ordinary Account including amounts withdrawn for education and investments.  A student who is not a Singapore Citizen or PR is required to provide a guarantor. Interest is computed from the time the CPF savings are withdrawn, at the current CPF interest rate of 2.5% per annum. Students who wish to apply for the loan may log in to their Singpass account (official website) and submit the online application form on 'My Requests'.[12]

Repayment

The computation of interest begins from the date of withdrawal, as soon as school starts. Repayment of theloan can be in one lump sum or by monthly installments of minimum $100 per month (for outstanding amounts of up to $10,000), commencing no later than 1 year after graduation or 1 year after leaving the programme, whichever is earlier. All payments must be made in cash and the outstanding amount has to be cleared within 12 years.

Mendaki Tertiary Tuition Fee Subsidy (MTTFS)

The Mendaki Tertiary Tuition Fee Subsidy is an education subsidy for Malay students to cover their tuition fees at university level. All Singaporean and PR Malay students who are pursuing their first full-time degree under the MOE Tuition Grant with the monthly household Per Capita Income (PCI) of less than S$2,000 are eligible for this scheme. This subsidy covers 100% of the tuition fee if the student’s PCI does not exceed S$1,400, 75% for students with the PCI of between S$1,401 to S$1,700 and 50% for students with the PCI of between S$1,701 to S$2,000.[13] Students may apply for the tuition fee subsidy on the Mendaki website (official website).

Post Secondary Education Account (PSEA) and SkillsFuture Credit

The PSEA is administered by the Ministry of Education and is opened automatically for all eligible Singaporeans to help parents save for their children’s post-secondary education. Students can utilise their PSEA funds for payment of tuition fees and/or other mandatory miscellaneous fees. This scheme also allows students to utilise their sibling’s PSEA funds, at a maximum quota of 3 siblings' funds. Siblings above the age of 21 are required to give consent for the external use of their funds. Parents’ authorisation are required if the siblings are below 21 years old.

NTU/NUS/SMU Study Loan

This loan is available for all eligible local and international undergraduates, with the exception of NTU students reading Biomedical Sciences & Chinese Medicine programme, who will only be covered under this scheme during the first 3 years of their studies. The Study Loan must be held concurrently with one or a combination of the 4 above-mentioned financial assistance schemes. For Singapore Citizens/PRs and international students, the PCI of the applicant’s household must not exceed S$2,700 and S$1,200 respectively. Based on the PCI, the other financial scheme(s) must cover at least 80% or 90% of the subsidised tuition fees payable by Singaporeans for the same course before the Study Loan can be used. The Study Loan also covers up to S$3,600 living allowance per annum. A guarantor will be required for this application.[14] For recipients of scholarships or other schemes which covers 100% of their tuition fees without living expenses, they can still choose to apply for the school’s study loan to cover for their living expenses.

Repayment

For Singaporeans and PRs with the PCI of S$950 or less, the loan will remain interest-free for up to 5 years after graduation. For all other applicants, the computation of interest will begin upon graduation. The interest rate of the loan is in accordance with the average prime rate of 3 local banks (DBS, OCBC, UOB), which is currently at 4.75% per annum. Repayment of loan can be in one lump sum or by monthly installments of minimum S$100 per month, commencing not later than 6 months after graduation or on securing employment, whichever is earlier. The repayment period is up to 5 years if the loan is interest-waived and up to 20 years if the loan is interest-bearing.  

Student residences

Dormitories are available for both international and local students who wish to have an experience of communal living or for those who want to stay nearer to the campus during their course of studies.

SMU Prinsep Street Residences (PSR)

PSR is located near Bugis MRT (DT14) and it is an 8-minute walk away from SMU’s City Campus. The PSR underwent a major refurbishment and reconfiguration in early 2018 and it now houses 23 fully-furnished apartments that can accommodate up to 255 students.[15] A more detailed introduction of the amenities in PSR can be found on SMU’s website (official website). The cost per academic year (SGD) is as such:

Room type Rate per bed Utility Charges Deposit Registration fee Total
Single $7,645 $1,188 $650 $18 $9,501
Twin-Sharing $5,841 $1,100 $650 $18 $7,609

NTU Halls of Residences

NTU has 24 Halls of Residences with an average of 600 residents per hall. The halls are all co-ed, with some offering single sex wings or floors. These halls offer both single and double occupancy rooms. Air-conditioners are installed in selected rooms and are charged at a pay-for-use basis. Room fee ranges from $355 to $590 per month for single rooms and $255 to $330 per month for double rooms.[16] A more detailed table of the costs and amenities can be found on NTU’s website (official website).

NUS student accommodation

Cinnamon and Tembusu Residential Colleges in University Town, NUS. Photo credit to DP Architects.

NUS offers 3 different types of residential options for full-time NUS students - the Halls of Residences, Residential Colleges and UTown student residences.[17] The application period for freshmen in AY2019/2020 is from 7 May 2019 to 5 June 2019.[18] Students who wish to apply for any of the NUS options may do so on the UHMS Hostel Application portal (official website).[19] Many of these of residences organise their own guided tours and open houses to facilitate better decision making among prospective students.


The Halls of Residences are known for their co-curricular activities and experiential learning beyond the classrooms.[20] Living in the halls will give students the chance to read modules such as 'Exploration in Musical Production' and 'Understanding Body, Mind and Culture through Sport'. There are a total of 7 halls on Kent Ridge Campus, namely the Eusoff Hall (official website), Kent Ridge Hall (official website), King Edward VII Hall (official website), Raffles Hall (official website), Sheares Hall (official website), Temasek Hall (official website), and Prince George's Park Residences (official website).


The Residential Colleges offer a residential living experience intertwined with unique academic programmes. There are 3 types of programmes available, namely the University Town College Programme, Ridge View Residential College Programme and University Scholars Programme.[21] The University Town College Programme is a 2-year residential programme offered at College of Alice & Peter Tan (official website), Residential College 4 (official website) and Tembusu College (official website). Students from different disciplines, cultures and nationalities are put together in each class and practice multidisciplinary and active small-group learning.


The University Scholars Programme (official website) is an undergraduate academic programme that admits around 200 students each year. This programme offers a rigorous curriculum that encourages students to develop core academic and professional skills that are related to their majors and also multidisciplinary in nature. The college itself is more affectionately known as Cinnamon college. The Ridge View Residential College (official website) programme is a 2-year residential experience with an integrated interdisciplinary approach sustainability, workplace readiness and communication.


The two student residences in NUS are UTown Residence and Prince George's Park House. The former mainly targets graduate students in NUS and is independent of any academic programme.[22] Prince George's Park House (official website) is a 1-year residential programme that is known for their 'Peer Mentorship Programme'.[23] Prince George's Park House is located one shuttle bus stop away from Kent Ridge MRT station.

Citations / References

  1. "UNIVERSITY ADMISSIONS AND CAREER GUIDANCE". NUS High School of Math and Science. Retrieved from: https://www.nushigh.edu.sg/student-development/university-admissions-and-career-guidance
  2. “Indicative Grade Profile (IGP) of 3 Local Universities for A-Level 3H2/1H1 AY18-19”. Digital Senior. Accessed on 8 February 2019. Retrieved from: https://digitalsenior.sg/indicative-grade-profile-igp-3-local-universities-level-3h21h1/
  3. “Indicative Grade Profile (IGP) Table of 3 Local Universities for Poly GPA AY18-19”. Digital Senior. Accessed on 8 February 2019. Retrieved from: https://digitalsenior.sg/indicative-grade-profile-igp-3-local-universities-poly-gpas/
  4. Ibid. Retrieved from: https://digitalsenior.sg/indicative-grade-profile-igp-3-local-universities-level-3h21h1/
  5. Ibid. Retrieved from: https://digitalsenior.sg/indicative-grade-profile-igp-3-local-universities-level-3h21h1/
  6. “Tuition Fees”. Singapore Management University. Accessed on 8 February 2019. Retrieved from: https://www.smu.edu.sg/campus-life/financial-matters/tuition-fees
  7. “Tuition Fees - Full Time Programme”. Nanyang Technological University. July 22, 2018. Accessed on 8 February 2019. Retrieved from: http://www.ntu.edu.sg/NSS/NSSFinance/FeesTuitionGrant/Pages/tf_18.aspx
  8. “Tuition fees per annum”. National University of Singapore. April 27, 2018. Accessed on 8 February 2019. Retrieved from: http://www.nus.edu.sg/registrar/info/ug/UGTuitionCurrent.pdf
  9. “Tuition Fee Loan”. Nanyang Technological University. December 19, 2018. Accessed on 8 February 2019. Retrieved from: https://www.ntu.edu.sg/NSS/NSSFinance/FinancialAssistance/TuitionFeeLoan/Pages/ForFullTimeProgramme.aspx
  10. “Tuition Fee Financing Loan Schemes”. Singapore Management University. Accessed on 8 February 2019. Retrieved from: https://www.smu.edu.sg/campus-life/financial-matters/tuition-fee-financing-loan-schemes
  11. "CPF Education Scheme". Nanyang Technological University of Singapore. Accessed on 9 February 2019. Retrieved from: http://www.ntu.edu.sg/NSS/NSSFinance/FinancialAssistance/Pages/CPFEducationScheme.aspx
  12. "CPF Education Scheme". Central Provident Fund Board Singapore. Accessed on 25 February 2019. Retrieved from: https://www.cpf.gov.sg/Members/Schemes/schemes/other-matters/cpf-education-scheme
  13. “Financial Assistance”. Nanyang Technological University. March 13, 2018. Accessed on 8 February 2019. Retrieved from: https://www.ntu.edu.sg/NSS/NSSFinance/FinancialAssistance/Pages/MendakiTertiary.aspx
  14. “NTU Study Loan”. Nanyang Technological University. January 18, 2019. Accessed on 8 February 2019. Retrieved from: https://www.ntu.edu.sg/NSS/NSSFinance/FinancialAssistance/NTUStudyLoan/Pages/ForFullTimeProgramme.aspx
  15. “Co-living”. Singapore Management University. Accessed on 11 February 2019. Retrieved from: https://www.smu.edu.sg/campus-life/prinsep/coliving
  16. “Rental Fees”. Nanyang Technological University. October 17, 2018. Accessed on 11 February 2019. Retrieved from: https://www.ntu.edu.sg/has/Undergraduate/HallsofResidence/Pages/UG_SummaryOfRates.aspx
  17. “Residential Options”. National University of Singapore. Accessed on 11 February 2019. Retrieved from: http://nus.edu.sg/osa/campus-living/residential-options
  18. "Application Dates". Office of Student Affairs NUS. Accessed on 25 February 2019. Retrieved from: http://nus.edu.sg/osa/student-services/hostel-admission/undergraduate/application-dates
  19. "Application process". Office of Student Affairs NUS. Accessed on 25 February 2019. Retrieved from: http://nus.edu.sg/osa/student-services/hostel-admission/undergraduate/application-process
  20. "Halls of Residence". Office of Student Affairs NUS. Accessed on 25 February 2019. Retrieved from: http://nus.edu.sg/osa/campus-living/residential-options/halls-of-residence
  21. "Residential Colleges". Office of Student Affairs NUS. Accessed on 25 February 2019. Retrieved from: http://nus.edu.sg/osa/campus-living/residential-options/residential-colleges
  22. "Utown Residence". University Town NUS. Accessed on 25 February 2019. Retrieved from: http://utown.nus.edu.sg/about-university-town/utown-residence/
  23. "Overview". PGP House NUS. Accessed on 25 February 2019.Retrieved from: http://nus.edu.sg/osa/pgphouse/about-us/overview