It’s indisputable that Singapore currently serves as an international business hub, and an important one at that. An interesting report published by PricewaterhouseCoopers in 2016, Cities of Opportunity 7, ranked Singapore 2nd overall— and the top in the ease of doing business.
It should come to no surprise, then, that our country has no shortage of quality business schools, both local and international. For those looking to study the art of commercial activity, we’ve put together a list of business schools that you can consider.
1. NUS Business School
We’d be remiss not to include NUS Business School! Founded in 1965, NUS Business School has made a name for itself on the world map. It ranks amongst the top 50 schools globally for MBAs (18th in the latest Financial Times Annual Global Rankings), with NUS coming in first in the 2019 QS World University Ranking (Asia). The school is also the first school in the ASEAN region to have received accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). It has also received accreditation from the European Quality Improvement System (EQUIS).
A peek into NUS life and NUS Business School from the eyes of an exchange student
NUS Business School offers undergraduates a Bachelors of Business Administration with a blend of learning styles: they adopt the U.S style for curricular structure and assessment rubric, the U.K focus toward teaching specialised subjects with focused intent, as well as the Singaporean dedication and care towards education.
Students can choose to read a single major or do double majors (choices of second major include Comms and New Media, Economics, Law, Engineering as well as Economics). There is also the option of studying for a concurrent degree (BA(Hons) / BBA Acc(Hons) + Master of Public Policy).
Getting in (undergrad): NUS Business School accepts around 700+ undergrad students yearly for its Business and accoutancy degrees (the number might differ every intake). The IGP (Singapore) for NUS Business School for the Academic Year of 2017/18 is as follows:
- A-Level applicants
- Business Admin: 10th percentile = AAB/C, 90th percentile = AAA/A
- Business Admin (Accountancy): 10th percentile = AAA/C, 90th percentile = AAA/A
- Polytechnic applicants:
- Business Admin: 10th percentile = 3.81, 90th percentile = 3.97
- Business Admin (Accountancy): 82, 90th percentile = 3.96
2. Nanyang Business School
A glimpse into NBS life
We’re on to Nanyang Business School next! Better known by Nanyang Technological University’s students as NBS, the school can be traced back to 1991 when it was formerly the School of Accountancy and Business. Like NUS Business School, NBS has received accreditation from EQUIS and AACSB, with their MBA receiving recognition (Financial Times, The Economist). NTU is also ranked 2nd in Asia on the 2019 QS World University Ranking.
NBS offers programmes from undergrad to PhD level. At the undergrad level, students can choose to study single or double majors (choices of second major include Predictive and Forensic Analytics for Accountancy and Computer Engineering/Science). NBS also offers local students a unique programme where they can first take a Bachelor of Accountancy/Business during their first three years and undertake the Master of Science in Financial Engineering in the fourth.
Getting in (undergrad): Nanyang Business School accepts around 1000+ undergrad students yearly for its Business and accoutancy degrees (the number might differ every intake). The IGP (Singapore) for NBS for the Academic Year of 2017/18 is as follows:
- A-Level applicants
- Business: 10th percentile = AAB/C, 90th percentile = AAA/A
- Business (Accountancy): 10th percentile = AAB/B, 90th percentile = AAA/A
- Polytechnic applicants:
- Business: 10th percentile = 3.75, 90th percentile = 3.96
- Business (Accountancy): 73, 90th percentile = 3.96
3. Lee Kong Chian School of Business
The oldest of Singapore Management University’s (SMU) six schools, the Lee Kong Chian School of Business was established in 2000. It is one of the youngest Business Schools in the world to be accredited by EQUIS and AACSB. The business school is also the youngest business school to be featured in the Financial Times Global Top 50 to date.
SMU is well-known within the country for their seminar-style classes set in “MBA-style lecture rooms”[i], which produce many confident and poised students. The Lee Kong Chian School of Business offers both undergraduate and postgraduate programmes. Prospective undergrads can choose to do single majors (Bachelor of Business Management) or pursue double degrees/second majors (options for second majors include Legal Studies, Marketing, Economics, Entrepreneurship and so on). They can also try for the SUTD-SMU Dual Degree Programme, a 4.5 year programme where students take classes at both campuses.
For more interesting info about SMU, sneak a peek at their inaugural yearbook!
Getting in (undergrad): SMU’s Lee Kong Chian School of Business accepts around 700+ undergrad students yearly for its Business degrees (the number might differ every intake). The IGP (Singapore) for the Academic Year of 2017/18 is as follows:
- A-Level applicants
- Business: 10th percentile = ABB/C, 90th percentile = AAA/A
- Polytechnic applicants:
- Business: 10th percentile = 3.70, 90th percentile = 3.92
4. INSEAD (Asia Campus)
A renowned graduate business school, INSEAD was founded in 1957 in Paris, France. Today it has 3 campuses, with one in Abu Dhabi and the other right here in Singapore. As a result, the school’s cohort is very international. (INSEAD has a reputation for being a ‘party school’, so do see if a culture like this is right for you.)
INSEAD’s MBAs, typically 10 months long, consistently rank amongst the top yearly (2nd in Financial Times Global MBA Ranking 2018 and 1st for 2 consecutive years prior). Offerings include MBAs, Executive MBAs/Masters, a PhD in Management as well as Executive Education programmes. The school has partnerships with Sorbonne University (Business Foundations Certificate Programme), TsingHua University (TsingHua-INSEAD Executive MBA) as well as an alliance with The Wharton School). For more information on INSEAD, their Annual Reports might be of interest.
Getting in: Business Because has an article featuring INSEAD’s Director of MBA Recruitment and Admissions on what they look out for in applicants. The admissions process is 10 weeks long and stringent: it comprises of 6 stages (Online application video, First Selection, Interview Decision, Interviews with Alumni, Admissions Committee and the Final Decision). Their 1-year MBA will set you back by approximately €84,000 (fees vary depending on intakes).
5. ESSEC Business School (Asia Pacific campus)
ESSEC Business School has a long history; it was established way back in 1907 in Paris, France. The school has 4 campuses, 2 in Paris, 1 in Morocco and the last here. The school ranks within the 101st-125th bracket for Business and Economics in the Times Higher Education Ranking by Subject 2018, as well as within the 51st -100th bracket in the QS World University Ranking by Subject (2018, Accounting & Finance, Business & Management Studies).
A student-produced video on the ESSEC Global BBA experience.
ESSEC Business School offers programmes from Bachelors to PhD level. Their global BBA is 4-years long and give the change of intercampus mobility. Students can choose to start their studies here or at the French Campus, before going into tracks of their choice in Year 3. No matter which track, a student exchange is guaranteed. There is also a special track called the International Business Education Alliance (IBEA) program, where students will get the chance to, in their 2nd year, spend a semester at each of ESSEC Business School’s partner schools (University of Mannheim in Germany, Fundacao Getulio Vargas in Brazil, University of South Carolina in USA).
Getting in (BBA): It costs €13,000 per academic year to study for a BBA with ESSEC Business School. There are 4 rounds of interviews yearly, check the schedule here.
6. Rutgers Business School (Asia-Pacific)
A subsidiary of Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey (USA), Rutgers Singapore offers an Executive Masters in Business Administration that takes 14.5 months to complete. Interestingly, the school has chosen to house its campus within a non-traditional campus venue—The Working Capital, a co-working space located at 1 Keong Saik Road. The EMBA here has courses built from scratch and are highly Singapore/Asia-centric, US-specific second.
Rutgers’ EMBA has received good rankings from various organizations (The Financial Times, The Economist, Ivy Exec Best Executive MBA Programs) and is taught by faculty based in New Jersey or internationally. Additionally, graduates of the EMBA are entitled to attend future lectures for free at both the Singapore and New Jersey campuses.
Getting in: It costs SGD 75,000 to study for a EMBA with Rutgers Asia Pacific. Criteria includes a minimum age of 28, a Bachelor’s Degree or equivalent from an accredited university, and 8-10 years of experience (preferred).
7. SP Jain School of Global Management (Singapore campus)
Established in 2004, the SP Jain School of Global Management is an Australian business school with campuses in Dubai, Mumbai, Sydney and Singapore. Their Global MBA Program has received accreditation from ABEST 21 (Japan), and has ranked within the Top 20 Global MBAs in The Forbes MBA Rankings 5 years in a row. Located within Hort Park, the seven-acre campus has accommodation for students.
The school offers programmes from undergraduate to PhD level. Degrees include the Bachelor of Business Administration, the Bachelor of Business Communication, as well as the Bachelor of Data Science and Bachelor of Economics. Teaching faculty come from all around the world and have received education in schools like Harvard and Duke, with teaching experience in institutions like NUS and INSEAD (mentioned above)!
Getting in (BBA): The 4-year programme will have students study in 3 campuses. The admissions process includes taking the SPJET test (SP Jain’s 1-hour long entrance test) or the SAT. Applicants must have obtained a minimum IB Score of 32 points (6 subjects, 3 higher-level) or BBB for A-levels. Tutition fees are approximately USD 23,500 per year.
Any other business schools you know of that you’d like to recommend? Do drop us a comment or email and we’ll add it in! If you’re a graduate with any reviews to share about these schools, please don’t be shy! Help us help our juniors better.
[i] https://admissions.smu.edu.sg/why-smu/interactive-pedagogyDo you know Digital Senior has just set up a new Facebook group ? Join UniKakis Facebook group to ask questions and engage in discussion!