Every university has different strategic focuses, as well as varying requirement expectations for their students. It is important to know these requirements beforehand to determine if a university is suitable for you. So, let’s touch on SUSS’s graduation requirements.
As a full-time undergraduate, the following are some requirements you need to meet:
a) Complete 200 credit units (CU) of modules which is broken down into
i) 40 CU of SUSS Core
ii) 105 CU of Major Core: 80 CU compulsory modules + 25 CU Elective modules
iii) 40 CU of Minor Course
iv) 5 CU of Integrative Course (Previously was worth 10 CU)
v) 10 CU of Applied Project.
b) Overseas Experience
c) Community Engagement
d) Complete a 6-month Work Attachment.
e) A fully furnished e-portfolio in Portfolium.
The graduation requirements might seem like a handful. Let’s break it down and talk about the academic modules requirements to fulfil first.
You might become confused with the many technical terms you see on the SUSS curriculum page. Some might ask what’s the difference between “SUSS CORE COMPULSORY” and “SUSS CORE RESTRICTED AND UNRESTRICTED”. To simplify these terms, I have divided modules into ‘Compulsory” and ‘Electives’ for easier reference.
- SUSS Core Compulsory + Core Restricted (20 CUs)
- Compulsory (80 CUs)
Modules in these categories are a requirement. Upon matriculation, all new undergraduates will be provided with a recommended study plan tailored to the Major they are undertaking. It will also recommend the availability of compulsory modules. The study plan acts as a reference that you can use to pace your academic journey.
It is your choice is to either follow it or make some changes, by adding or removing the modules during the modules selection period that happens at the end of term 2 each semester.
(Note: I’ll be using the programme structure from B.Sc Supply Chain Management with Procurement Minor as an example in the following)
- SUSS Core Unrestricted (20 CUs)
- (Major) Elective (25 CUs)
Condition 1: Complete at least 10 CU of Level 3 or higher Modules under this category.
Condition 2: Must take a minimum of 5 CU under this category
- (Minor) Elective: (Accumulate 40 CUs).
Each Minor has modules segmented into “Minor Core” and “Minor Elective”. As their names suggest, the former is compulsory modules that you must take while the latter refers to a list of modules which you can choose depending on your interests.
The following are “Minor Cores” under the Procurement Minor
The following are “Minor Electives” under the Procurement Minor
You are free to pick and choose elective modules that your interests lie in. You’ll also get to choose your Minor but, in each minor, there will be a set of compulsory modules.
(At least you get to pick up something you are interested in learning…)
So, what are the hacks?
Although you cannot change any of the compulsory modules, the trick is to maximise your time by taking modules that do not affect CGPA. You can also apply for an Overseas Experience that helps clear CUs under the unrestricted category (these may be limited or temporarily unavailable due to the current situation).
Hack #1: Pick a new language
Modules with Course Codes starting with OGP are usually language modules. Each of these modules generally gives 5 CUs, and the assignments are quite manageable. For instance, I previously took Business Chinese I which focuses on the vocabulary used in business environment or industry. The graded assignments include a written Chinese resume and Oral conversation.
As ASEAN is rapidly becoming the spotlight for start-ups and expanding business, acquiring a new language or improving proficiency will put you in an advantageous position compared to fellow peers.
Hack #2: Go For Double-Wins
As an FT student, you have to join a Community Engagement Project and go on an Overseas trip at least once. Why not make the best of both worlds? Take on an overseas community engagement project where you provide assistance to overseas good causes.
Alternatively, you can opt for a Work Attachment stint with a Community Partner to clear both your Community Engagement and Work Attachment requirements.
Another option is to opt for an overseas experience that is credit-bearing (those that starts with OELs). These modules are usually conducted over the holidays, reducing your workload during the academic semester.
Hack #3: Go for ‘Pass/Fail’ Modules
These modules (starts with CDO) are graded ‘Pass/Fail’ and will not impact your CGPA. Most of them have manageable assignments that either assist you in positioning yourself positively in the industry or challenge your critical thinking skills. For CDO 303, they are overseas modules that can help clear your OE requirements. However, do check with the module coordinator whether it is Pass/Fail.
- Take CDO 152 (Job Search Skills) to update your resume writing and interview skills. This module is conducted by the Career Mentor that overlooks your Work Attachment Progress. Each Major (SCM, Finance, Marketing etc) has their own respective Mentor. If you manage to secure a class that is conducted by your Mentor, the completed assignments can be submitted to the SUSS Job Portal. (Which, by the way, have to be approved by your Mentor).
- CDO 351 (Business Acumen) is similar to a trial version for BUS 356 (Business Negotiation). There are similarities in the main concepts taught. My takeaway from CDO 351 was how to analyse public corporate news to find out how well the company is doing.
*The modules recommended are Pass/Fail.
Hack #4: Clear your Overseas Experience (OE) and Community Engagement (CE) ASAP.
These two are time-consuming requirements that eat up either your holidays or your spare time. Get them done and over with before Year 2.1. You have more things to worry about when you are approaching Year 3.
I cleared both unexpectedly in Year 1 by volunteering for an Overseas CE in Nepal. At Shree Tauthali Basic School, we conducted art classes and exposed the students to Singaporean games and food such as Capteh and Kaya. At the end of each day, we’d hike to nearby hills to capture natural scenery.
Reminder: Jot down some highlights as you go through your OE/ CE. This will help you in your reflection journaling which you have to submit during the end of the program.
Hack #5: Always try to be productive.
The easiest way to have a smoother academic life is to be productive. Just like how NUS/NTU students have to take up to secure dorms, an SUSS student has a bunch of things to do secure WA and other requirements. (Or you can forget about graduating….)
Some tasks that take extra time are:
- getting your CV + Resume approved by respective Mentor.
- Doing up OE/CE reflection and submitting in two different places to clear requirements.
- Manoeuvring around many duplicate links that are not obvious on the main page. (Portfolium/ inplace.Suss)
Things to Note:
Here are some unspoken matters that students might find confusing or are unaware of.
- No two modules can be repeated.
Some of you might be smart alecks that choose Minors with modules you’ve already taken. You might be thinking that you can take fewer modules this way. Unfortunately for you (the seniors learnt this the hard way), you will have to pick alternative modules to accumulate the total CU.
For example, ANL 303 is a compulsory module for an SCM student. The same module appears under Procurement Minor Electives. You cannot use the Credits from ANL303 interchangeably. You will have to pick other modules under the Elective List to meet your credit requirements. (200 to clear means 200, no discount.)
2. Do not take things for granted.
There are some general rules/patterns for the modules. The general rule is 2.5 CU takes three weeks, while five CU takes six weeks. However, not all is true. Recall CDO 351? That is a 2.5 CU module that takes six weeks. A little advice: do not take things for granted and find out the duration and CUs.
Lastly, go and make friends lots and lots of friends. There are approximately 100 students in each major/cohort, so you are either in this or that class. You will find it easier to form a team for your group assignment, and having support from friends really eases individual assignment and exams anxiety.
You will also meet peers from other Majors through your CE/OE. Build friendships and stay in touch. You never know if you’ll see them again in your Minor classes.