Department of Economics

Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences


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The NUS Department of Economics has an established reputation as one of the largest and leading economics departments in Asia. With more than 50 faculty members, our research contributions span all the major fields of economics and have an international impact on the discipline. We also aim to contribute to public policy discussion in Singapore through our research in applied fields and through our outreach activities.

Around 300 undergraduates each year choose Economics as their major and it is the Department’s role to provide them with an intellectually stimulating introduction to the discipline. We also run a popular one-year applied masters course that admits around 100 students. We maintain a doctoral program that produces close to 10 PhDs each year; upon graduation, many of them take up attractive positions in academia and industry throughout the Asia-Pacific region. The size and research diversity of our faculty members enables a wide range of curricular offerings, so that our students at any level can specialize in almost any area of economics that interests them.  

Our Department can trace its origin to 1934 and our graduates have made important contributions to this nation. Goh Keng Swee, one of modern Singapore’s founding fathers, is a graduate of the Department. And so is Goh Chok Tong, the second prime minister of Singapore. In the current Cabinet, Josephine Teo, the Minister of Manpower and Second Minister of Home Affairs is an alumnus. Other prominent figures in public service who studied economics with us include Ngiam Tong Dow (former head of the Civil Service and chairman of the Housing Development Board) and Ravi Menon, the current Managing Director of the Monetary Authority of Singapore.

Still other alumni have distinguished themselves in other ways. After an eventful stint as a journalist, Ho Kwon Ping decided to enter business. He is now the executive chairman of Banyan Tree Holdings, which manages and develops resort destinations around the world. A more recent graduate, Janice Wong, found her true vocation in baking, and is now one of Singapore’s finest pastry chefs.

Whatever our students may choose to pursue eventually, we see our role as the same: to encourage their intellectual development by exposing them to the analytical framework and insights of economics.

October 2019