31 things you’ve always wanted to know about SG unis – in collaboration with Google (…search engine)

Every internet user has been exposed to the search suggestion function available in internet browsers. Sometimes we type in the beginnings of a search, only to be met with interesting suggestions. (Like “what is the meaning of life”. Deep, much?)

With the understanding that all search suggestions are based on real user activity (popularity being just one factor), Digital Senior decided to see what everyone has been searching regarding uni and answer them – if we can!

We pulled out an incognito window (so our own browsing history won’t affect the results) and started searching “what is __”, “does __” and “how does __”.

The end product is 31 questions*, which we’ve answered right below!


*Featuring our local universities. Because SUSS and SIT are relatively new, little to no questions show up on autocomplete – but we’re sure this will change in upcoming years (;

If you have anything to share, please do reach out to us so we can provide better answers! Names can be removed upon request.



(photo credit: SUTD)
(photo credit: SUTD)

1. When does SUTD start school?

SUTD’s system is slightly different from NTU/SMU/the other local universities, so we understand the confusion. A quick look at SUTD’s site says school starts officially in Mid-May for freshmores (orientation is in early may). Subsequently, school reopens during Jan and Sept.

2. What does SUTD stand for?

Singapore University of Technology and Design

3. What courses does SUTD offer?

Currently, SUTD offers 4 pillars (or specializations) to its students at undergrad level, decided upon after freshmore year (the first 3 terms or trimesters). They are Architecture and Sustainable Design (ASD), Engineering Product Development (EPD), Engineering Systems and Design (ESD) and Information Systems and Design (ISTD).

Students keen on entrepreneurship can consider the SUTD Technology Entrepreneurship Programme (STEP), an integrated programme that will result in a Bachelor of Engineering/Science and a Master of Science in Technology Entrepreneurship.

There are also special degrees offered in conjunction with SMU and NUS: the SUTD-SMU Dual Degree Programme in Technology and Management, and the SUTD-Duke-NUS Special Track.

4. How does SUTD work?

Unlike NTU, SMU, or NUS, all SUTD students have to undergo a standardized general curriculum before they declare their pillar (aka specialization/major). This is 3 terms long, and these students are known as freshmores.

(credits: SUTD’s website)
(credits: SUTD’s website)

Internships are a must in SUTD.

The degree culminates in a capstone project, an industry-based project where juniors work in teams consisting of different pillars to solve real-world problems.


5. What is SUSS/What is SUSS short for/ What is SUSS Singapore?

Singapore University of Social Sciences, Singapore’s 6th autonomous university. SUSS was formerly known as UniSIM.


(photo credit: SMU)
(photo credit: SMU)

6. What is SMU known for?

Its seminar style teaching and high focus on class participation, a vibrant and active social life, and frequently overdressed students

Often stereotyped to produce students who are all talk, no substance.

7. What is SMU’s patron day?

SMU patron’s day is a yearly event, during which SMU’s birthday is celebrated! The event is open to the public.

8. What is SMU like?

This question demands subjective answers, but a quick poll reveals that it’s competitive (across a spectrum). We welcome any SMUdents to share with us their experiences so we can share them here as well!

9. Does SMU require interview?

Yes. Check out our guide.

10. Does SMU accept private diplomas?

We can’t answer this, sorry! You never know till you try, though.

11. Does SMU require SAT essay?

Only if you’re an international student. If yes, submit SAT, or ACT/IELTS/TOEFL scores for consideration. This is not compulsory for IB Diploma applicants.

12. How does SMU notify you of acceptance?

By letter. Results will also be reflected in the online portal.

13. How does SMU calculate GPA?

SMU’s GPA is based on a 4.0 system, unlike the other universities. It also uses latin awards, so think cum laudes instead of class honours. If you need some help, here is a GPA calculator!

14. How does SMU rank?

SMU’s Master of Business Administration (offered by the Lee Kong Chian School of Business) ranks 49th in the Financial Times (FT) Global MBA Rankings 2018. Other notable rankings include taking 9th place for best young university in the world (QS World University Rankings 2018). For more, see here.

15. What does SMU cost per year?

Depends on your course, see here.

16. How much does SMU law sch cost?

For AY 2017-18, Singaporean citizens have to pay SGD12,600 yearly for a Bachelor of Laws.  Permanent residents and international students pay SGD 17,650 and SGD 26,950 respectively.

17. How much does SMU grad sch cost?

For AY 2017-18, SMU PhD students are required to pay SGD 5,100 per academic term. PRs pay SGD 7,140. These fees do not apply for the Doctor of Business AdministrationDoctor of Innovation and the PhD in Business (General Management).


(photo credit: NUS)
(photo credit: NUS)

18. What is NUS known for?

Topping rankings all day errday, law/medicine, competitive culture

Stereotype: NUS students are only good in theories

19. What is NUS in Chinese?


20. What is NUS usp?

USP is short for University Scholars’ Programme. About 200 NUS students are admitted into the USP yearly, with their 30% of their academic credits earned through this programme. USP students are required to stay on campus (Cinnamon College) for at least 2 years.

For more details on the programme’s structure and requirements, see here.

21. What is NUSnet id?

It’s the ID you use to access NUS campus administrative and academic computing resources, as well as your NUS email.

22. What is NUS ranking in the world?

You can refer to our ranking compilations for more information!


(Photo credit: NTU)
(Photo credit: NTU)

23. What is NTU known/good for?

Pulau NTU Nanyang Business School (NBS), the hive (the building with no corners), their bell curve god

Stereotype: being NUS rejects

24. What is NTU special term?

Special terms are located in between the academic semesters (during the school vacations) and are entirely optional. You can read up to 2 courses per special term, and only selected courses are available.

25. How does NTU bell curve work?

We really wish we knew this one, too. If we ever get hold of someone willing to share this secret, we’ll be sure to tell all.

26. Does NTU offer law?

Not at the moment.

27. Does NTU need personal statement?

Most courses do not ask for personal statements at the undergrad level. Known exceptions, however, include Medicine as well as Art, Design and Media (ADM).

28. Does NTU send rejection letters?

As of now, yes.

29. Does NTU have a gym?

Yes, more than one, in fact! There is the North Hill Gym (open 7am-10pm, membership required) and the Athletes’ Gym (registration required).

30. Does NTU accept IELTs?

Yes, but NTU only asks for IELTs results IF English is your second language or you did not take it in junior and senior high (or equivalent). Applicants with PRC Gao Kao qualifications need to submit IELTs or an alternative as well. Results must be within two years of the application deadline.

31. Does NTU require SAT/GRE revised general test?

For SATs, see 33. You only need to submit the GRE revised general test score if you’re applying for a PhD or Masters by Research.

Any other questions or have better answers? Drop us a message below so we can add on!

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