Singapore, one of the top destinations for Study Abroad among Asian Students, continue to attract a large number of students for a variety of courses. Truly world class universities, excellent infrastructure, and relative tuition costs and distances add to the many reasons that make Singapore a favored study abroad destination. So, if you are aspiring to study in Singapore, we can say outright that it’s a good choice. But how do you go about it?
The first thing to understand is the course structure of UG and PG Courses in Singapore. Once we understand the various institutions we can apply to, we must also keep in mind that like any study abroad destination, Universities in Singapore too require a minimum eligibility criterion. Here’s a step by step guide to the Application Process of Singapore Universities. It is important to note that this is for the public and private universities of Singapore and do not refer to the application process of International Universities with campuses in Singapore. The latter may or may not follow their own admission process, cycle and requirements.
Pre-application Checklist for Singapore Universities
- Eligibility for the courses – Required percentage, certificate, etc.
Singapore Universities, especially the 6 National Universities feature amongst the top universities of the world. It's top two universities – Nanyang Technological University and the National University of Singapore, attracts thousands of applications from across the world. With the basic education system based on the UK Education structure, there are many similarities between Singapore and India’s education sectors.
For UG courses – both degree and diploma courses from the universities and polytechnics, the student ought to have completed the Class 12 or equivalent exam. The top universities of Singapore have a high cut off percentage requirement and give preference to some boards – like CBSE and ISE as compared to many state boards. This varies from university to university and it would be wise to check the minimum eligibility percentage before you start the process.
For PG courses, a bachelor’s degree or equivalent is required. Depending on the course applied to, the university might also require you to have a work experience of 2 years & upwards.
- Writing the Language and any other Exams required by the programs
This is a basic step for applying to any study abroad destination. Hence, before you start the application process, check the exams required by universities in Singapore for UG and PG courses. Accordingly, write the exams in time so that when the time comes, you are ready with all the required scores. Again, it is important to check the exams required as per your university and your present qualifications. For instance, for a bachelors program, if you have completed your class 12 from a CBSE board, you can be exempt from writing the SAT and even the IELTS/ TOEFL for English proficiency.
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- Keep your academic transcripts ready along with its certified English translations (if required)
The official medium of instruction in Singapore is English. Hence, while you prepare your documents and collect the necessary transcripts, in case the same are not in English, get a certified translated copy of the transcripts as they would be required. Ideally, for bachelors, you would require your 10th, 11th and 12th score cards and for masters, you would require your bachelor degree and necessary school level certificates.
- Ensure you have a Valid Passport
You have a passport…great…is it valid? You should have a valid passport with no less than 6 months of validity when you apply to a university in Singapore. So, before you start filling the forms, pick up your passport and check the column where it says Valid till…
Applying to an Undergraduate or Postgraduate Program in Singapore
- Select the course/ college/ program you are interested in.
- Understand the program requirement and eligibility criterion from the respective university website. You can also reach out to the Admissions Office for International Students.
- Enroll with the University for the Application. Note, there is no centralized agency for admission to higher education in Singapore and a student needs to apply directly to the university he/she is interested in.
- Fill out the application form and submit the essays and letters of recommendations as required; again, the course determines the kind of essays required but this would be mandatory for both bachelor level as well as master programs.
- Provide Letters of Recommendation and proof of funds.
- Apply for Scholarship and provide the scholarship essays. Singapore offers a variety of Scholarships for International Students and as such every student is eligible to apply for one. So if you are planning to, you would be required to submit an additional essay for scholarship purposes.
Your application process completes and the only thing left now is to wait. The university would individually process the application. Once you receive an approval (called the In-Principal Approval), you can start applying for a Student Visa for Singapore.
Sessions in Singapore usually start in the month of August and the applications open as early as October of the previous year or by January. The last date usually for undergraduate degrees is around mid of June. For postgraduate courses, like the undergraduate courses, the admissions open in October of the previous years and go on till about April or May of the same year for admission in the August/ September intake.
So, whether you are an undergrad or a graduate, whichever be your program of choice, understand how to go about it and start.
All the best!
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