Singapore is considered one of the gateways between the East and West. Bringing together the melting pot of cultures across Asia with cutting-edge teaching, research, and technologies of the West, this small island state truly takes the best of both worlds.
Managed by the Ministry of Education, The Singaporean Government deems education a key priority to turn the country into a “global schoolhouse”. Singapore’s local universities are world-class, with Nanyang Technological University and the National University of Singapore part of the top 15 universities in the Times Higher Education’s World University Rankings 2022. The country is also a known destination for satellite campuses of the world’s top universities such as MIT and Yale, among others.
In line with its thrust towards internationalization, more than 86,000 international students are taken into Singapore each year. The country takes pride in its broad-based curriculum specializing in the Sciences, Business, and Management, which make for excellent scholastic foundations. With a mix of Chinese, Malay, and Indian cultures, the city is an inclusive society known for providing students with a safe and encouraging space to learn and grow. Its strong diplomatic partnerships with neighboring countries allow for wider practical applications for scholars, and it serves as a prime location to launch new startups and careers with a global perspective.
Despite being a small city-state, it is clear that Singapore has a lot to offer for any student looking for an international experience. Find out how to apply for a bachelor’s in Singapore below:
- Singapore Government Scholarships
- National University of Singapore Scholarships
- Nanyang Technical University Scholarships
Application Requirements for Applying for Bachelors in Singapore
To study for an undergraduate degree in Singapore, a key requirement is a High School Diploma or equivalent which shows 12 years of formal education. This includes A-Level qualifications, the International Baccalaureate Diploma, or Graduation Examination scores, as applicable.
International students must also submit standardized test results from the SATs or ACTs. These two tests objectively measure a student’s Reading, Writing, and Mathematics skills with further subject tests and an optional essay component.
Lastly, once students have received their acceptance from a university, they must secure a Student Visa, also known locally as a Student’s Pass. Note that only full-time university students are eligible to apply for a Student Pass. Moreover, the institution of their Bachelor’s course must fall under the following categories: Approved Private Education Institutions, Foreign System Schools, Government-Aided or Independent Schools, Institutes of Technical Education, or Institutes of Higher Learning.
Bachelor’s Degree Language Requirements for Singapore
Because Singapore is home to a melting pot of cultures, English remains the standard medium of instruction in educational institutions. Depending on their familiarity with the English language, some international students who wish to study for a bachelor’s degree in Singapore may be required to furnish proof of English proficiency through standardized tests such as IELTS or TOEFL. Top university Nanyang Technological University requires an IELTS score of at least 6 and a TOEFL score of at least 90, while other high-ranking universities such as the National University of Singapore and Singapore Management University will only entertain IELTS scores of 6.5 and above and TOEFL scores of at least 100.
PTE Academic scores are a lesser-known metric but are also accepted by select Singaporean universities. Applicants who wish to study for a bachelor’s degree in Singapore would need a minimum score of 68 to be considered.
How to Apply for Bachelor’s Programs in Singapore
The specific application process will vary per school, but the general steps consist of:
1. Apply online and present supporting documents
Most, if not all of the Singaporean universities can be applied for online. Students may simply visit the official websites of these universities and create a profile should they be eligible for admission:
- National University of Singapore (NUS)
- Nanyang Technological University (NTU)
- Singapore Management University (SMU)
The most common requirements include proof of high school diploma or internationally accepted equivalent, SAT or ACT scores and English Proficiency test scores. While scanned copies of these documents are sufficient for online application, the universities will expect to view or receive original copies via post, or upon the students’ arrival in Singapore.
2. Pay the Application fee
A non-refundable admission fee will be charged by some universities upon application. Nanyang Technological University charges 30 USD, while Singapore Management University charges 15 USD.
3. Wait for Results
For some courses in NTU, students may be shortlisted for an entrance examination. Otherwise, results will be relayed to the students in due time. Note that the letter of acceptance is a pre-requisite for the application of the Student Pass.
4. Apply for Student Pass
To apply, students wishing to apply for a bachelor’s in Singapore must submit relevant personal data and travel documents via the Singapore Immigration & Checkpoints Authority e-Service website. This will also include a non-refundable processing fee of 30 SGD. Most passes will only take five working days to process, but it would be best for students to apply for the Student Pass at least two months before their courses start in the country to account for possible delays.
The application process is uniform for international students studying in any university in Singapore. The only difference lies in the security deposit for students enrolling under Approved Private Education Institutions. Depending on their country of origin, these students will have to pay a security bond of 1,000 – 5,000 SGD, except for citizens of Malaysia and Brunei where this deposit is waived. The deposit is refundable once the student has left Singapore without any violations in the conditions of the security bond.
I hope this article on how to study for a bachelor’s degree in Singapore was helpful for you. Do visit the Asia Scholarships Page to find out more about universities and scholarships in Asia!