FAQs

  • RESEARCH PROGRAMME

  • APPLYING FOR A RESEARCH PROGRAMME

    • What are the admission requirements?

      For the Masters research programme they are as follows:

      • Normally an NUS Honours degree (Merit/Second Class and above) or equivalent (eg, a four-year Bachelors degree with at least an average grade of B) in a relevant discipline; or
      • In exceptional cases, a Bachelors degree in a relevant discipline with at least two years of relevant work experience, subject to approval by the Faculty and Board of Graduate Studies, on a case-by-case basis;
      • TOEFL/IELTS/GRE, where applicable; and
      • Additional departmental requirements, where applicable, eg, GRE and interview. (Please consult departmental websites).

      For the PhD programme they are as follows:

      • Normally a good Masters degree in a relevant discipline; or
      • An NUS Honours degree (at least Distinction/Second Class Upper Division) or equivalent (eg, a four-year Bachelors degree with an average grade above B) in a relevant discipline, subject to approval by the Faculty, on a case-by-case basis;
      • TOEFL/IELTS/GRE, where applicable; and
      • Additional departmental requirements, where applicable, eg, GRE and interview. (Please consult departmental websites).
    • Is there any age limit?

      No, there is no age limit.

    • Is TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or IELTS (International English Language Testing System) a pre-requisite for admission?

      Applicants whose native tongue and medium of university instruction is not in English should submit the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or IELTS (International English Language Testing System) score as evidence of their proficiency in the English language. As such, only if the applicant meets both criteria, i.e. native tongue is not in English AND medium of university instruction is not in English, must they submit the TOEFL/IELTS. However, as some Departments/Programmes may be more stringent in their requirement, please check the website of the respective Department(s)/Programme(s) you are applying to or contact them directly if you are unsure.

      Successful candidates may be required to take the Diagnostic English Test at our University and, where necessary, attend the Graduate English Course.

    • What is the minimum TOEFL/IELTS score required?

      A minimum TOEFL score of 85 (with a minimum of 22 for the writing section) is required for the internet-based test, or 580 for the paper-based test, or 237 for the computer-based test; while a minimum IELTS score of 6.0 is required. Some Departments/Programmes may set higher limits.

    • What is the validity period of TOEFL/IELTS score reports?

      TOEFL/IELTS score reports are only valid for two years after the test and the validity period should not expire before the beginning of the application period for the relevant intake for which you are applying.

      If you are applying for the August intake, your TOEFL/IELTS score report should not expire before 16th May of the year preceding the intake. Similarly, for the January intake, your report should not expire before 2nd November of the year before the intake.

    • How do I register for TOEFL/IELTS?

      You may communicate with the organisations conducting the respective tests. Their website addresses and telephone numbers are indicated below:

      TOEFL: Educational Testing Service (ETS), USA Tel: 1-609-771-7100 or 1-877-863-3546 Website: http://www.ets.org

      or contact your local United States Information Service. The Faculty's TOEFL Institution Code is 9081.

      IELTS: University of Cambridge Local Examination Syndicate (UCLES), United Kingdom Tel: (01223) 55-3311 Website: http://www.ielts.org

      or contact your local British Council.

    • Is GRE (Graduate Record Examination) a pre-requisite for admission?

      All applicants (except graduates from the National University of Singapore Nanyang Technological University and Singapore Management University) to the following Departments/Programme must submit the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) report:

      • Cultural Studies in Asia
      • Political Science
      • Psychology
      • Social Work

      The Departments/Programme have not instituted any minimum requirements but the General Test has to be taken. The GRE Board policy states that scores are reportable for five years and score reports are valid only if our University receives them directly from Educational Testing Service. The University Code is 0677.

    • How many intakes are there per year?

      There are two intakes per academic year - one in Semester I (August) and the other in Semester II (January). All the departments/programmes offer a Semester I (August) intake. Some departments/programmes also offer a Semester II (January) intake as indicated here:

      • Chinese Studies
      • Geography
      • Japanese Studies
    • When are the deadlines for submission of application?

      • 15th May - for the January intake
      • 1st November - for the August intake
    • Can I apply for admission online?

    • How can I get a set of the application materials?

      You are advised to apply online via https://inetapps.nus.edu.sg/GDA2/Home.aspx. However, if you are unable to do so, you may write toThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for a set of the application materials.

    • When will I know the outcome of my application?

      All applicants will be informed by 31st May (for the August intake) or 31st October (for the January intake).

    • Can I apply for more than one programme at the same time?

      Yes, you can. However, you must use separate application forms and attach separate sets of supporting documents for each Department/Programme/degree for which you are applying. The application fee must also be paid for each application submitted. If you are successful in more than one application, you can choose only one programme.

    • If I intend to pursue my studies on a self-financing basis, what type of financial statement should I submit?

      You should submit one of the following documents:

      • A bank statement of your finance; or
      • A letter of confirmation from a sponsor and the sponsor's bank statement; or
      • Documentary evidence of scholarship or other award that you have obtained.

      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

      S$40,000

      Doctor of Philosophy

      S$90,000

    • How do I pay for the application fee?

      Local applicants should make the payment by cheque or by NETS at the Student Service Centre (located at Level 1, Yusof Ishak House) between 8.30am and 5.00pm from Monday to Friday. The cheque drawn on a bank in Singapore, should be crossed and made payable to the "National University of Singapore". Please write your name, postal address and programme applied for on the reverse of the cheque.

      International applicants should make the payment by bank draft. The bank draft should be made payable to the "National University of Singapore". The payment must be made in Singapore currency or the equivalent in US dollars. Please write your name, postal address and programme applied for on the reverse of the bank draft.

      All the payments must be accompanied by the Application Fee Payment Form.

      Alternatively, payment can also be made online via any of the methods below:

      • Credit Card (AMEX, VISA or MasterCard)
      • Debit Card (applicants must have a online banking account with either of the following banks - POSB/DBS, UOB or Citibank).
    • How do I work out a research proposal?

      The following link http://www.fas.nus.edu.sg/prospective/grad/research.html provides you with links to the websites of the various Departments/Programmes. It is best to communicate directly with the Department/Programme through the contacts indicated in their websites to find out their expectations for applicant research proposals.

    • If I am successful in my application, can I defer admission?

      Deferment of admission is not encouraged. You are advised to apply only when you are ready. Should an unforeseen situation arise that requires you to defer your admission, you may forward your request, with reasons, to the Head of Department/Programme through the supervisor/graduate coordinator.

    • Do I need to purchase a medical insurance policy?

      All full-time graduate students, including research scholars (local and international) and international self-financing students, must subscribe to a medical insurance policy which helps you to pay (in part or full) medical expenses incurred as a result of hospitalisation/accident/mental health treatment. For research scholars, we will deduct the premium from the stipend on a semestral basis.

      Details on the insurance scheme are available at the website here.

  • SCHOLARSHIPS, FEES & COST OF LIVING

    • How do I apply for scholarship?

      You should indicate on the application form for research programmes, the scholarship(s) for which you would like to be considered.

    • Who is eligible to apply for a Research Scholarship?

      The University offers Research Scholarships to outstanding PhD candidates to pursue a full-time PhD degree at NUS.  A limited number of scholarships is available each academic year.  They are therefore awarded on a very competitive basis.

      Applicants must be university graduates with at least second class honours (upper division) degree or equivalent and, at the time of the award of the Research Scholarship, must have been offered admission as a PhD candidate for the PhD programme at this University.  The bond-free Scholarships are open to candidates of all nationalities.

      The Research Scholarship is initially awarded for one year.  It may be renewed, subject to the scholar’s satisfactory progress, each semester at the University’s discretion. The maximum period of a scholarship is normally four years for PhD candidates. 

    • What is the emolument of the Research Scholarship?

      The Research Scholarship will carry a monthly stipend plus tuition fee subsidy, ie, the scholar's tuition fee will be paid for by the University. No travel or other allowances are provided.

      The stipend is as follows:

      • Singapore citizen*: S$2,700
      • Singapore Permanent Resident: S$2,200
      • International student: S$2,000

        * With effect from 1 August 2015, Central Provident Fund (CPF) contributions shall be provided at a rate pegged to the prevailing employer's contribution rate set by CPF, on top of the monthly stipend received.

      PhD candidates who have passed their PhD Qualifying Examination are eligible for a PhD top-up of S$500 per month.

    • What is the tenure of the Research Scholarship?

      The Research Scholarship is initially awarded for one year.  It may be renewed, subject to the scholar’s satisfactory progress, each semester at the University’s discretion. The maximum period of a scholarship is normally four years for PhD candidates. 

    • What is the tenure of the PhD top-up?

      The PhD top-up will expire at whichever of the following dates is earliest:

      • Two years from the date of award of the top-up; or
      • At the end of the fourth year of the graduate candidature; or
      • At the expiry of the Research Scholarship.
    • Are there other sources of scholarships or funding?

      Yes. There are other scholarships for PhD students as well as Masters students. Depending on the type of scholarships, a number of them even include other components such as payment of approved fees, annual book allowance, laptop allowance, air travel allowance, settling-in allowance, conference/fieldwork grant. Please refer to the website http://www.fas.nus.edu.sg/research/scholarship.html  for a list of the scholarships, the criteria and components of scholarship value.

      Suitable graduate students will be offered opportunities to undertake paid part-work in the form of Graduate Teaching/Research/Assistant Fellowships.

    • What are the tuition fees for part-time and full-time students?

      The tuition fees are the same for both part-time and full-time research students. Please refer to http://www.fas.nus.edu.sg/research/fees.html for more details on the tuition fees.

      Students who previously enjoyed subsidised fees in a graduate programme will not be eligible for government subsidy in another graduate programme at the same or lower level. For example, a student with a Masters degree who wishes to upgrade in another discipline area where the programme has a combination of Masters and PhD studies, he/she will not be eligible to enjoy government subsidies during the Masters candidature and will be liable to pay full fees (amount not available at the time of printing).

      *In some programmes, the University may deem it feasible, based on industry demand, to implement a service obligation whereby the international student is required to work in Singapore-based companies for 3 years upon graduation. Singapore-based companies refer to local and international companies that have a base in Singapore that is registered with the Accounting & Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) as well as companies of such local and international companies registered with ACRA that are based overseas. The determination of this feasibility is at the sole discretion of the University.

      In such programmes, the international student may be offered the option of signing the service obligation agreement in exchange for reduced tuition fees.

    • Can the Post-Secondary Education Account (PSEA) be used for enrichment*/preparatory programmes?

      Students should take note of the following conditions before submitting the Ad Hoc PSEA Fund Withdrawal form for enrichment*/preparatory programmes:

      *Enrichment programmes need to satisfy conditions (i), (ii) and (iv) only.

      (i) Programmes (except for Student Exchange Programmes and NOC Overseas College Programmes) must be endorsed by your home faculty Dean’s Office to be relevant to the course you are pursuing. Please click here to download the Endorsement Form for PSEA Application which has to be submitted together with the Ad Hoc Withdrawal form.

      (ii) The application form must be submitted together with supporting documents as evidence of the cost for participating in the programme.

      (iii) Student club activities that are student-led will not be eligible for PSEA claims. Activities should be organised by NUS.

      (iv) One application form must be submitted for each specific withdrawal. Please indicate in the application form the usage category and exact amount to be withdrawn. The application form with any supporting documents must be submitted to the Registrar’s Office within two months from the completion of the programme.

      The student should submit the PSEA ad hoc withdrawal form, endorsement form and with supporting documents as evidence within two months from the completion of the programme.

      For more information, please visit http://www.nus.edu.sg/admissions/graduate-studies/psea-scheme-for-graduate-students.php.

    • What is the estimated cost of living in Singapore?

      Depending on whether the single international graduate student is staying on-campus or off-campus, the monthly living expenses for him / her is estimated to be between S$1,100 and S$3,000.

    • In addition to the tuition fees, do I need to make other payments?

      The other fees that are payable are the Miscellaneous Student Fees (MSF):

      Please refer to the website http://www.nus.edu.sg/registrar/edu/gd-fees.html for more details on the MSF.

  • IMMIGRATION MATTERS

    • How do I apply for entry visa?

      For international students who require an entry visa {please refer to the website of the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) at http://www.ica.gov.sg for the list of countries}, our Registrar's Office will help to apply for a single-journey visa cum in-principle student's pass approval on your behalf. The original approval letter issued by the ICA and your valid passport must be presented to the Duty Officer at the Immigration checkpoint upon arrival in Singapore. No deposit is required by the Immigration Office.

    • How do I apply for a Student's Pass?

      Upon offer of admission by our Faculty to our graduate programme, the Registrar's Office (RO) will initiate an online application for you with the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA). At the appropriate time, RO will send you some information for you to submit an application online. ICA will then process the application. Upon approval, RO will then send you an in-principle approval letter for you to enter Singapore if an entry visa is required.

      On your arrival in Singapore, you will be given a Social Visit Pass valid for two weeks to a month. During this period, you must go to RO to register your candidature. You will then be advised by RO about your application for your Student's Pass. All international students applying for a Student's Pass of six months or more will have to undergo a medical examination. Issuance of the Student's Pass will be subject to the outcome of your medical report.

    • Is a medical check-up required before I go to Singapore?

      All international students applying for a Student's Pass of six months or more will have to undergo a medical examination. Issuance of the Student's Pass will be subject to the outcome of the medical report. Those who are found to have active Tuberculosis or HIV infection will not be granted the Student's Pass, and as such, will have to return to their country at their own expense. In view of this, international students may wish to undergo a similar health examination before coming to Singapore.

  • CONTACT PERSONS

    • Whom can I contact if I would like to find out more about the applicaton procedure for admission to research programmes?

      You may email such enquiries to the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

    • Whom can I contact if I would like to find out more about the research programmes of the individual Departments/Programmes?

      The relevant email addresses are indicated below:

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Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences

Dean's Office, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences National University of Singapore

  • Add: The Shaw Foundation Building, Block AS7, Level 5
  • 5 Arts Link, Singapore 117570
  • Tel: +65 6516 6133
  • Email: fashelp@nus.edu.sg
  • Fax: +65 6777 0751
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