Over the years, Singapore has become a globally acclaimed destination for pursuing higher studies. Making its mark on the frontlines of the global economy, its impressive business and management programs compare with the top universities globally. Touted as one of the most lucrative educational destinations to pursue management programs, Singapore has provided a gateway into the Asia-Pacific markets; prompting top business schools to widen their overseas presence.

With scores of international students vying for an admission in Singaporean universities, the competition is tough, thereby allowing only the best and most eligible to be selected for the programs. The following pointers highlight the process of applying to a Singaporean university:

1. Selecting the course and university

Once you have made up your mind about pursuing higher studies from Singapore, select your preferred course; and, accordingly, look up the universities that offer the particular program. For instance, those interested in pursuing MBA can opt for universities including Singapore Management University, Nanyang Business School, NUS Business School and James Cook University, Singapore.

2. Research the admission criteria

Singaporean universities are on the lookout for candidates having a consistent and sound academic profile. While this is a primary consideration, you will need to check if your profile fulfils the pre-requisites of the program that you desire to pursue. This step will allow you to narrow down your universities to the ones that will be ideal for your candidature. Every university evaluates its prospective students individually. For MBA, a key requirement that universities look for in prospective students is relevant work experience. However, there are universities that do not have work experience as a criterion – these include James Cook University, East Asia Institute of Management (EASB), Dimensions International College, Management Development Institute of Singapore (MDIS) and Kaplan International College.

3. Application forms

Forms of many universities can be simply downloaded from their respective websites. You can also request for a form by sending a query letter to the university.

4. Documentations required

Universities will ask for additional documentation along with the application form. These documents will allow the admissions committee to evaluate your candidature and help them determine if you are an ideal applicant.

The following is the list of documents universities will ask for:

  • Application form
  • Resume
  • School/college transcripts
  • Score cards of GMAT/IELTS/TOEFL
  • Letters of reference/recommendation
  • Statements of purpose
  • Financial Documents

Students applying for an MBA will need a GPA of 3.3 and a minimum score of 600 in their GMAT exams. While it is not a criterion, those who have authored research/academic papers and hold relevant experience in research will have added advantage. Furthermore, to prove their proficiency in the English language, a minimum score of 550 for paper-based TOEFL, 90 for the Internet-based TOEFL or a band score of 6.5 in IELTS is required.

For technical programs, Singaporean universities accept a GRE minimum score of 320 (verbal and quantitative).

The universities will charge a processing fee of SGD15 to SGD20 for each application.

5. Application procedure

Most Singaporean universities allow students to upload their applications directly on their respective websites.

6. Admission offer

Once the university has evaluated your candidature and ensured that your profile fits the requirements of the university, they will send you an offer letter. Once you accept the offer, the university will release the official letter of admission.

7. Scholarships

For pursuing the MBA program, students can apply for two scholarships:

  • INSEAD-Syngenta MBA Scholarships for Developing Country Leaders:

INSEAD offers two business management scholarships for students who have exhibited outstanding performance in their academic endeavours. Additionally, the university also looks for characteristics like leadership potential, business and financial acumen, and commitment to contribute towards the development of one’s native country. The scholarships, which span the entire duration of the program, amount to Euro 22,500 a year.

  • NGS Scholarship

Offered by the National University of Singapore, students who have performed exceptionally well in their academics and possess an aptitude for research can apply for this scholarship. As part of the scholarship, those selected will be paid a monthly allowance of SGD3,000 for four years of PhD studies and subsidy for the complete tuition fee.

8. Student Pass

On receiving the offer letter from the university, you are required to apply for a Student Pass to be able to pursue studies in Singapore. The process takes about 10 days (with the volume of applications increasing between the months of July and August) and involves submitting the application to the Student’s Pass On-Line Application and Registration (SOLAR) system, which is the official registration system. For this, the university, which has offered you admission, should register with SOLAR; subsequently, you will need to submit eForm 16. Upon submission, you will submit a printout copy of the form to Student Pass unit – Immigration and Checkpoints Authority. Health insurance is mandatory for students pursuing studies in Singapore.

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