Steps of How to Apply to Universities In Singapore

Steps of How to Apply to Universities In Singapore

Studying at a university in Singapore will be one of the most memorable experiences of your life. There are several steps of how to apply to universities in Singapore successful. This article can assist you in preparing for your visit to Singapore to study.

Education System

Singapore is a country that offers high-quality education, and is considered one of the best education destinations in Asia. Two of the best Singaporean universities – the National University of Singapore and Nanyang Technological University – are among Times Higher Education’s World University Rankings Top 100.

Singapore has four national universities. Then there are polytechnics which offer tertiary education through diploma courses, which are practical courses with plenty of group work. Diplomas are offered in Tourism, Biotechnology, Digital Media, Engineering, Business Studies, Mass Communications, Accountancy, and Hospitality Management. The five polytechnics of Singapore are Nanyang Polytechnic, Republic Polytechnic, Temasek Polytechnic, Singapore Polytechnic, and Ngee Ann Polytechnic.

For international students, admissions are based on academic merit as well as competition among all eligible applicants.

Lifestyle tips

Singapore is a multi-cultural society where Malay, Chinese and Indian traditions coexist along with the western cosmopolitan outlook. According to the Asian cultural norms, older people are treated with respect. However, nowadays wealth and status are considered more important than age distinctions.

A social superior or an authority is treated with formality and respect. Singaporeans claim they are an egalitarian society like the western countries, yet they have strong hierarchical relationships like those between parents and children, teachers and students, and employers and employees.


You need to decide whether you want to live in university managed accommodation, or with a private landlord. Choosing a university managed accommodation can also give you a catered or self-catered option. A catered accommodation offers the benefits of your meals being cooked for you and a degree of certainty with meal costs.

If you have an idea about what you prefer, the accommodation office at your university will be able to tell you what accommodation they have available – so that’s the place to start.

If you are thinking of renting from a private landlord or if your chosen university can’t offer you anything in its own residential facility, the accommodation office should be able to provide you with a list of private properties and landlords in the area.

Wherever you choose to live, you should make sure that you know your contractual rights and responsibilities. In most cases, you will be asked to enter into a tenancy agreement, which you should read thoroughly before you sign.

Documents required to apply to Singaporean Universities:

It is essential that you double-check the required documents when you are applying at an international University. The documents that you will submit include-

  • Personal contact information
  • Academic qualifications reports
  • Certificates showing your extracurricular and co-curricular achievements

You may submit other documents like-

  • Identification documents
  • Academic transcripts/statement of learning/record of achievement. Acquiring the latter often takes time, especially if the office of your institution is not open. Be sure to possess them—duly stamped by your previous University on their letterhead—well within time.
  • Statement of Purpose
  • Letter of Recommendation

How to Apply for Admission to Singapore Universities?

Admission to universities in Singapore must be through the individual universities’ websites; there is no centralized admission portal. Most public universities in Singapore have two intakes, that is one around August and the other in January. Private universities, on the other hand, have numerous intakes throughout the year.

Start your application process by searching which course you want to study in Singapore. With a variety of courses available at your discretion, it is very important to choose the right type. Your choice, of course, would depend upon the following factors:

  1. You want to do Diploma, Undergraduate, Post Graduate or Ph.D.
  2. Future employment opportunities for the course you want to choose
  3. University Ranking, etc

Zero-in on the course you want to study and start by filling the application form.

Step by Step Application Process

Candidates first have to decide which course and university they want to apply to, then find out the specific requirements from the university’s page. Undergraduate applicants to Singapore universities are broadly divided into six categories based on their previous educational qualifications:

  • Singapore-Cambridge GCE ‘A’ Level’
  • Polytechnic Diploma from Singapore
  • NUS High School Diploma
  • International Baccalaureate Diploma
  • Singapore Citizens
  • International Qualifications

The application process and requirements explained here would be pertaining to international students in Singapore.

After identifying which criteria are applicable to you,

  1. Submit an online application (or a postal application, in some cases) to the particular university. You have to fill the form that is specific to international students, which is available on the university website.
  2. Pay the application fee, the amount varying according to university.
  3. Upload/send the required documents before deadline.

Most universities provide an Application Checklist that you can refer and submit.

They will notify the Students well in advance if they receive an admission offer, so they will have ample time to make other arrangements before the semester begins.

Admission to PG Courses in Singapore Universities

In order to join a graduate program,

  • You must have a Bachelor’s degree or an equivalent from a recognized university.
  • You must have proof of aptitude to certain courses, which may include exams like GMAT and GRE.
  • University Entrance Examination (UEE) for eg. NTU conducts NTU Entrance Test
  • Course-specific entrance tests
  • Interview (in selective universities)

Some courses require that candidates have a few years of work experience before starting the academic year. This is especially important if you plan on doing an MBA in Singapore.

English Language Proficiency in Singapore

Since most university programs are conducted with English as the medium of instruction, students need to show that they have sufficient proficiency in the language at the time of application. If you have completed 12 years of school education in English-medium, you are exempted from taking any other English language tests. If not, you will need to sit one of the English exams required to study in Singapore.

The minimum score required for getting admissions with Singapore Universities are:

  • IELTS- 6.5 average
  • TOEFL results- 85-100 overall.
  • Malaysian University English Test (MUET)- Band 3, and the score is valid for up to five years.
  • PTE – 56-66.

Study in Singapore Without IELTS

It is understandable if students do not want to take IELTS or other similar exams, as they can be expensive. An alternative to this would be doing an English proficiency course in Singapore prior to your actual degree course. This can come in the form of:

  • Foundation / Preparatory programs
  • English certificate programs

In most cases, this means an additional 6 months or 1 year of study in Singapore, and the programs are usually offered by the university you are enrolling in.

There is also yet another option to study without IELTS, which is opting for a course/university that does not require IELTS. Fortunately, most popular universities do not make IELTS a mandatory qualification, so you can find plenty of opportunities.

Entrance Tests for Admission to Singapore Universities

Different programs require students to submit aptitude test scores, along with their academic transcripts, to show their ability in the particular field of study.

The tests and score requirements based on the course you pursue are:

  • SAT is optional in Singapore universities, the minimum requirements vary.
  • Scores of ACT are also optional to get into universities. You can submit the same if the admissions committee asks for one.
  • GMAT: 650 for top business schools in Singapore
  • Universities ask for GRE scores of around 300 in the verbal and quantitative sections.

Visa Requirements to Singapore

Once you have received an offer to a university, you can apply for a student visa to Singapore. You will need the following documents for this purpose:

  • Passport
  • Student visa application form, filled
  • Financial statements
  • English language test scores
  • Transcripts from your previous institutions
  • Offer letter from the Singapore university

You will also need to present passport-size photographs and a medical certificate.

Reasons for Rejection of Application to Singapore Universities

They can reject your applications if the following documents, which you are to submit to study in Singapore, are not up to mark:

  • Relevant academic transcripts
  • Statement of Purpose (SOP)
  • Letter of Recommendation
  • Passport validity
  • Medical insurance
  • Test scores
  • Detailed plan of finances

At some universities, the interview plays a huge role in the selection process. A candidate’s conduct and social behaviour in the past is also examined, and those who have poor certificates of conduct, or have been subject to criminal conviction, are less likely to be accepted in case of both academic institutions and immigration services.

Read also: Columbia University 2022 ISHR Human Rights Advocates Program (HRAP) Fellowship

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