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Programs : Brochure

  • Locations: Singapore, Singapore
  • Program Terms: Fall, Spring, Year
  • Homepage: Click to visit
  • Budget Sheets: Fall, Spring
Fact Sheet:
Language of Instruction: English Language Prerequisite: No previous study
Minimum Cumulative GPA: 3.0 Credit Available For: College
Other Eligibility Requirements: 1 Area Studies Course in Language or Culture (Recommended) Type of Program: Semester/Year Study Abroad
Housing Options: Apartment/Off-Campus, University Residence Hall/Apartment Application Deadline: Fall/Year: March 1, Spring: September 10
Program Description:

Program Snapshot

BSG LogoNational University of Singapore

Known widely by its abbreviation, NUS, the University is Singapore’s oldest and largest, both in terms of student enrollment and available courses. NUS is a multi-campus university of global standing, with distinctive strengths in education and research.  The student community comprises a cosmopolitan mix of over 24,000 undergraduates and 7,000 graduates from 100 countries.  The NUS mission comprises three mutually reinforcing concepts: quality education, high impact research, and service to country and society.  There are 14 faculties offering courses from architecture to medicine to music.

For additional information, visit the National University of Singapore website
The City of Singapore

The official languages of Singapore are English, Mandarin, Tamil, and Malay.  Its population of 5.3 million is comprised of 76.8% Chinese, 13.9 Malay, 7.9% Indian and 1.4% Eurasians and other ethnic groups.  Lying almost on the equator, Singapore is one main island (with a total land area of 682 square km) with 63 surrounding islets. Today, Singapore is rapidly taking its place among the world’s premier global cities, where talents from all around the world gather to share innovative ideas and start new businesses.

Did you know…?

The Bukit Timah Nature Reserve in Singapore contains more species of trees than the entire North American continent – and the highest natural point in Singapore is Bukit Timah Hill (only 538 feet high)!



The program at the National University of Singapore is for College credit only.

Minimum GPA Requirement: 3.0

Language Prerequisite: No previous study required
Additional Course Pre-requisite(s): Successful completion of 1 Area Studies course in language or culture by the end of the academic semester prior to departure recommended, but not required.  


Language of Instruction



A full course load at the National University of Singapore consists of approximately 20 Modular Credits per semester. This typically consists of 4-6 Arts and/or Sciences courses each semester at NUS.  Penn students must maintain a full course load while abroad and may only enroll in courses at the undergraduate level.

Due to possible differences in full-time course loads between NUS and Penn, it is important for students to discuss credit with their home school academic advisor for study abroad prior to finalizing their course schedule abroad. Students should use XCAT to identify the Penn course and credit equivalency for courses taken at NUS, in order to ensure they are taking a minimum of 4 Penn CUs while overseas. 

National University of Singapore Academic Calendar
National University of Singapore Course Catalog for Incoming Exchange Students
Grading Scale

As on all Penn Abroad programs, grades are recorded on the Penn transcript and are calculated in the cumulative grade point average.  The pass/fail option can be exercised according to the Penn on-campus policy. For more information on Penn Abroad’s academic policies, click here.

The methods of assessing work and the grading practices differ from those at Penn. Specific course requirements will vary, but on the whole, there is greater reliance on essays, oral presentations, and heavily weighted final exams. Final exam dates are set during the described time frames and may not be changed.

Special Features

BSG Special FeaturesOrientation Activities

All Penn students are required to attend the orientation activities organized by the National University of Singapore prior to the start of each semester.  More information on the National University of Singapore’s orientation activities can be found here.

Buddy Program

The Peer Advising Leaders (PALs) are a team of six NUS students who have all recently returned from their own exchange experiences. The PALs will help you ease into life in Singapore through a variety of events and activities they arrange during the semester. More information on the National University of Singapore’s PALs and other social activities can be found here


BSG CampusParticipants must be willing to live under local conditions for students.

While NUS does its best to place exchange students in its either on-campus or off-campus options, accommodation is not guaranteed.

The NUS Colleges and Halls of Residence provide excellent on-campus accommodation and study facilities, as well as tutorial assistance for residential students.  Six halls provide on-campus accommodation for nearly 3,000 students, and offer various amenities and services.  All on-campus Halls of Residence are located within walking distance of teaching venues, the library, computer rooms, student services, and sporting amenities.  Meal plans are compulsory for the majority of hall residents. The rooms are furnished with the basic necessities such as beds, mattresses, wardrobes, study tables, book shelves, and fans, while students need to provide their own pillow and bed linens. Access points for telephone and internet are available in each room, while laundry rooms with washing machines and dryers are conveniently located within the student accommodation.

Information regarding accommodation can be found here.

Cost and Finance

Penn Abroad Financial Policies

Students are charged Penn tuition and academic fees for all Penn Abroad programs.  Additional expenses will typically include items such as housing, visas, and airfare.  Please see the program budget sheets below for more information.  For more on Penn Abroad’s financial policies, click here.

Financial Aid and Study Abroad

In most cases, financial aid applies to Penn-approved programs.  Student Financial Services reviews program budget sheets each semester to determine how to appropriately adjust your aid package. For more information on how Financial Aid will work during your semester abroad, click here.

Budget Sheets

Academic Year

Scholarship Opportunities

Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program: Competition for awards for study abroad, for US citizen students who are receiving federal Pell Grant funding at a 2-year or 4-year college or university. 

Next Steps

For information on the Penn Abroad application process, click here.

To open an application or learn more about the program, please click here to schedule an appointment with a Penn Abroad Global Programs Manager.

For a student perspective on life and academics in Singapore, contact a Penn Abroad Past-Participant or Exchange Student.