PhD (Research)

Admission & Application

Admission Requirements

Candidates seeking admission to the programme leading to the Doctor of Philosophy degree by research should have:

  • A good Honours and Masters degree in relevant disciplines such as the humanities, social sciences, area studies, and other inter-disciplinary studies with evidence of having read subjects related to Southeast Asia or Asia; and

  • the ability to pursue research in the candidate’s proposed field of advanced study.

English Language Proficiency

As the medium of instruction at NUS is English, applicants whose native tongue and medium of undergraduate 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 are as follows:

1. Internet-based test (iBT)

Minimum score of 85 (with a minimum score of 22 for the writing section)

2. Paper-based test (PBT)

Minimum score of 580

3. Computer-based test (CBT)

Minimum score of 237

A minimum IELTS score of 6.0 in all sections and overall score is required.

TOEFL or IELTS are only valid for two (2) years after the test and the validity should not expire before the beginning of the application period.

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.

Meeting the above requirements does not imply automatic acceptance into the programme.


Application for Admission

The University has not engaged any external agencies to undertake graduate student recruitment on its behalf. Candidates interested in our graduate programme 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.

Application Period 16 May to 1 November
Start of Programme August
How to Apply Step 1:
Identify a research topic and consult with your proposed supervisor.

Step 2:
Complete and submit the online application form via the Graduate Admission System during application period. You may refer to the online application system user guide.

Step 3:
Pay the application fee online via the Graduate Admission System. Applications without application fee will not be processed.

Step 4:
Print out the online application form and application fee receipt as proof of payment. Remember to sign on the application form and attach one recent passport-sized photograph.

Step 5:
Submit the printed copy of your online application form, application fee receipt and required supporting documents by post.

  • Write the programme name 'Doctor of Philosophy' on the top left hand corner of the envelope.

  • All the documents must reach the Department of Southeast Asian Studies at the following address by 1 November:

The Administrator (Graduate RSH Studies)
Department of Southeast Asian Studies
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
National University of Singapore
Block AS8, #06-01
10 Kent Ridge Crescent
Singapore 119260

  • All documents (including the original transcript) submitted in support of your application will not be returned to you.

  • Incomplete applications with missing supporting documents will not be considered.
Application Fee S$50.00 (inclusive of GST) for online application. Application fee is not refundable.
Outcome of Application
  • Applicants will be notified via e-mail by end of May.

  • Requests for early notification of outcome of application will not be entertained.
Communication with Applicants
  • The University will correspond with you via e-mail during application process to convey messages such as requesting for outstanding documents, interview notification etc.

  • It is very important that you provide a valid and correct e-mail address in your application form and check the e-mail account regularly.

  • The University will not be responsible for undelivered e-mails and their consequences.

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

Due to the large number of applications received each year, we regret that 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, please send them via registered mail or courier.

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.