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Information on Application to Graduate Research Programmes

Important: The University has not engaged any external agencies to undertake graduate student recruitment on its behalf. Candidates interested in our graduate programmes are advised to apply directly to the University and not through any agents. Candidates who apply through agents will not have any added advantage in gaining admission and the University reserves the right to reject such applications without giving reasons.

1. APPLICATION

Applications for admission to graduate research programmes, are available online as well as via paper. You are strongly advised to apply online. The online application system is available HERE. Do note that even if you had submitted your application online, you are required to send in your application package via surface mail.

If you wish to apply for more than one research programme in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, please submit a separate application for each programme. Each application (completed online application form to be generated from the application system) must be accompanied by proof of payment or payment itself and supporting documents, and sent via surface mail to the appropriate mailing address as indicated below at Point 5 Submission of Application. However, should you be successful in more than one programme, you can register for only one programme of study. Unless granted approval by the University, no student may concurrently be a candidate for more than one degree or register as a candidate of NUS and of another university or institute.

2. PASSWORD (FOR ONLINE APPLICATION ONLY)

When submitting your application online, you will be asked to enter a password. Your password is important and can be used, together with your application number, to access the following online system related to your application:

*Note:
Please allow 4 weeks for postal delivery after you have sent your supporting documents and arranged for payment to check on your application status.

3. APPLICATION FEE

The following non-refundable application fee is payable for each programme you apply for:

Mode of Application Application Fee
Paper-based application S$40 per application (inclusive of prevailing GST)
*Online application S$20 per application (inclusive of prevailing GST)

* If you have submitted your application via the online portal here, it will be considered an online application.

Please note that an application without the application fee payment will not be accepted. Please send your proof of payment or the payment itself together with your application package. Please note that an application without the application fee payment or with insufficient application fee amount will not be processed.

The modes of payment are:

  1. Online Payment by any of the methods (available only for online application)
    • VISA, Mastercard or AMEX
    • Debit Card (applicants must have an online banking account with either of the following banks - POSB/DBS, UOB or Citibank).

OR

  1. Complete the Application Fee Form and send it together with a cheque or bank draft made out to "National University of Singapore". Please write your name, mailing address, e-mail address, programme applying for, and contact telephone numbers (home & office) on the reverse of the cheque/bank draft. Personal cheques, crossed, are accepted only from candidates in Singapore. International applicants are requested to send only bank drafts and not personal cheques for the application fee. If you are unable to obtain a bank draft in Singapore dollar, you may submit a bank draft in US dollar of USD18.50 (for S$20 fee) or USD37 (for S$40 fee) respectively. The amounts in USD include bank charges which will be incurred by the University to process the bank draft;

OR

  1. Complete the relevant Application Fee Form and make payment by NETS at the Student Service Centre (located at Level 1, Yusof Ishak House) during operating hours.

4. SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS

Applicants should ensure that all supporting documents are:

  1. In English or accompanied by an official translation in English. Translated copies of the documents must be certified true copies. In particular, translated copies of the transcript(s) and degree scroll(s) must be certified by the issuing institution(s).

  2. "CERTIFIED TRUE COPY" of documents photocopied from the originals. Copies of your supporting documents must be certified as true copies of the originals by a person authorised to do so. Certification, not notarisation of the supporting documents may be made by a responsible person e.g., school principal, commanding officer, personnel manager, etc.

The following documents are required to be submitted by post by the prescribed deadlines for each programme that you apply:

  • A set of 'certified true copy' of the following supporting documents:
    • The page of your passport bearing the passport number and your particulars; if you do not have a passport, please enclose citizenship certification/birth certificate (for citizens of other countries).
    • Singapore NRIC or citizenship certificate (for Singaporeans).
    • Re-entry permit (for Singapore permanent residents).
    • Bachelors and/or Masters degree scroll(s)/certificate(s).
    • Degree certificates and other diplomas or certificates used in support of application.

  • The following supporting documents should be submitted in the prescribed manner as indicated below:
    1. Transcripts of academic records from each university or college attended
      Applicants who are graduates from this University can submit photocopies of their result slips or official transcripts of their academic records together with their applications. Applicants who are graduates of other universities will have to request official transcripts from their university/universities.

      Only transcripts received in the following prescribed manner will be accepted:

      1. Applicants who are graduates of other universities will have to request official transcripts from their university/universities.

      2. The transcript(s) must be enclosed in an official sealed envelope with its flap bearing the security seal of the university and the signature of the Registrar or his/her representative (with the designation indicated on the envelope).

      3. The envelope(s) containing the transcript(s) must be submitted, unopened, together with the Transcript Request Form directly to the appropriate mailing address as indicated below at Point 5 Submission of Application from the issuing university. If you have attended more than one university, you should make photocopies of the Transcript Request Form as required. Download the Transcript Request Form HERE.

    2. Recommendation from two referees

      Your recommendations from the two academic referees are to be submitted via the online admission system. You should check with your referees and obtain their institutional e-mail address. E-mail addresses from domains other than ".edu" may be subject to additional screening and filtering. After your online application is submitted, an automated e-mail will be sent to your referees inviting them to complete their recommendations online.  Your referee reports will be sent to us directly via the online application system so there is no need for you to send separate recommendations to us.

      Only if your referees are unable to access the online system should you ask them to complete the paper-based report. The referees' report must be forwarded to you in sealed envelopes with the flap of each envelop bearing the signature of the respective referees. These envelopes must be forwarded, unopened, with the other application materials, to the appropriate mailing address as indicated below at Point 5 Submission of Application. Download the Referee Report Form HERE

      If either one of your academic referees is your potential supervisor, you are strongly encouraged to submit a third referee’s report.

    3. Research Proposal
      One set of research proposal at least two pages long on A4-size paper is required. Candidates are to visit the respective department website for the appropriate format required. Some departments may instead require a statement of purpose. If you are applying for admission to the Department of Chinese Studies please submit your proposal in both English and Chinese.

      In order to facilitate easier access of faculty members’ research expertise for potential applicants to our research programmes, candidates are encouraged to make use of the Directory of Research which can be accessed here.

    4. TOEFL or IELTS Score Report
      Applicants whose native tongue and medium of university instruction is not English should submit TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or IELTS (International English Language Testing System) scores as evidence of their proficiency in the English language.

      The minimum TOEFL score required as as follows:

      • Internet-based test (iBT): Minimum score of 85 (with minimum of 22 for the writing section)
      • Paper-based test (PBT): Minimum score of 580
      • Computer-based test (CBT): Minimum score of 237
      • A minimum IELTS score of 6.0 is required.

      You are strongly encouraged to send an electronic copy of your TOEFL/ IELTS score report instead of a hardcopy.  Please arrange to have your report sent to us at the appropriate address indicated at the testing organisation’s website.

      Notes:

      Please note that some Departments/Programmes may set higher requirements than those stated above.

      TOEFL/IELTS score are only valid for two years after the test and the validity should not expire before the beginning of the application period for coursework programme.

      Some successful candidates may still be required to take the Diagnostic English Test at our University and, where necessary, attend the Graduate English Course. The Educational Testing Service (ETS) has indicated that score reports are valid only if our University receives them directly from ETS. The Faculty's TOEFL Institution code is 9081. The Department Code that you use will not affect the delivery of your report to our Faculty.

      Other English language 'proficiency tests' will not be accepted for this purpose;

      Tests that claim to be predictions, estimations, simulations, equivalents, practices, etc, of the TOEFL or IELTS are invalid;

      The ETS has stated that their Institutional Testing Program cannot be used for admission.

    5. GRE
      Applicants (except NUS/NTU/SMU graduates) applying to the following departments are required to submit GRE score reports:
      • Department of Political Science
      • Department of Psychology
      • Department of Social Work
      • Cultural Studies in Asia Programme

      The departments/programme have not instituted any minimum requirements but the General Test has to be taken. Applicants to the Department of Psychology will also have to take the Psychology Subject Test.

      Please note that the GRE scores are valid for five (5) years from the test date.

      Please quote our University's code (0677) and the specific Department codes.

      For more details, please visit http://www.ets.org/gre/revised_general_institutions/score_use.

    6. Documentary evidence of financial support

      International applicants who are not applying for our scholarship or who have indicated that you would still like to be considered for admission in the event that you are unsuccessful for our scholarship, must submit documentary evidence of the ability to support your study, e.g., a bank statement.  The financial statement should indicate a minimum sum as indicated in the table below:

      Programme

      Minimum sum required for fully self-financing candidates

      Master of Arts / Master of Social Sciences

      $30,000 (with service obligation)

      $40,000 (without service obligation)

      Doctor of Philosophy

      $60,000 (with service obligation)

      $80,000 (without service obligation)

    The minimum sum, which has been rounded off to the nearest ten thousand, takes into account the following, for 50% of the normal duration of the programme:

    1. Living expenses of S$18,000;
    2. Tuition fees; and
    3. Miscellaneous Student Fees

    Those who are recipients of the NUS Tuition Fee Waiver will be required to submit a financial statement which should reflect a minimum sum of S$18,000 (Masters programme) or $36,000 (PhD programme).

    Please note that the normal duration of the programme is two and four years respectively for the Masters and PhD programme.  Some candidates may and will take a longer time.  If you are granted admission on a self-financing basis, you will have to be prepared to finance yourself for the entire duration of the programme.  You can expect the total cost of the programme to be approximately S$60,000 (Masters) to S$120,000 (PhD) if you are on the service obligation scheme.  If you are not on the service obligation scheme, the total cost of the programme is approximately S$80,000 (Masters) to S$160,000 (PhD).   

    Those who are sponsored by an individual or organisation will need to submit a letter of confirmation from the sponsor and other documentary proof like a bank statement, evidence of scholarship or other award obtained. Those who are working in Singapore and applying for admission to our part-time programme may submit a copy of your recent payslip.

    1. Lee Kong Chian Graduate Scholarship applicants:
      Applicants for the Lee Kong Chian Graduate Scholarship must also submit the following documents:

      • A personal essay to describe an exceptional achievement that highlights your academic interests and intellectual capacity that would be of value to the NUS community; and
      • A record (with documentary evidence) of co-curricular activities or community service (e.g. committee served, community service, sports, etc), and a statement about how you have benefited from such participation, and hope to return something to society.
    2. Other documents like the application form for the Joint PhD programmes, HYI-NUS Joint Doctoral Scholarship, FASS Scholarship in Buddhist Studies, etc.

    3. All applicants should consult the website of relevant Departments/Programmes for specific departmental requirements.

Click here for the checklist of supporting documents.

5. SUBMISSION OF APPLICATION

The application forms / printed copy of your online application, application fee, supporting documents and all other application materials must reach the appropriate mailing address as indicated below, by the prescribed closing date. All documents (including the original transcript) submitted in support of your application will not be returned to you. Please state the programme applied for on the top left hand corner of the envelope.

Applicants to the Department of Economics should send their applications directly to the Department at the following postal address:

Department of Economics
National University of Singapore
Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences
AS2 Level 6, 1 Arts Link
Singapore 117570

Applicants to all other departments/programmes should send their applications to the Graduate Studies Division at the following postal address:

Vice-Dean (Graduate Studies)
Graduate Studies Division
Dean's Office, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
National University of Singapore
The Shaw Foundation Building
Block AS7, Level 6, 5 Arts Link
Singapore 117570

*Note: It is important that you inform us if there are any changes/updates to your application after your submission.

6. APPLICATION CLOSING DATES AND NOTIFICATION OF APPLICATION OUTCOME

The deadline for receipt of application packages is 1 November (in the year preceding the intake) for the August intake and 15 May (in the year preceding the intake) for the January intake.

Outcome of applications will be made known by late May (in the same year as the intake) for the August intake and late October (in the year preceding the intake) for the January intake. Applicants who had submitted their application online can check the status of their application HERE.

Notes:
Due to the large number of applicants seeking admission, we are sorry we will not be able to attend to enquiries on the status of applications or receipt of documents. If you are concerned about the delivery of your documents, you may wish to consider sending them via registered mail or courier.

Completed/Incomplete application received after the respective application deadline (i.e. received on 2 November/16 May) will be considered for the next available intake.

7. CORRESPONDENCES FROM THE UNIVERSITY

The respective department will correspond with you primarily using e-mail during the application process to convey messages such as requesting for outstanding documents, interview notification etc. Hence, it is very important that you provide a valid and correct e-mail address and maintain your e-mail account regularly. The University will not be responsible for undeliverable e-mails and their consequences.

8. REJECTION OF APPLICATION

Inaccurate or false information or omission of material information or no application fee payment will render your application invalid. The University has not engaged any external agencies to undertake graduate student recruitment on its behalf and it reserves the right to reject without giving reasons, applications submitted through any external agencies, and applications that are incomplete or inaccurate. Persons admitted on the basis of inaccurate or false information may be expelled.