Explore this article if you're thinking about enrolling yourself in a PhD program in Singapore. Get all the information you need regarding the course!

PhD in Singapore

Singapore is one of the well developed and competitive economies, not only in Asia but in the world. Whether it’s shopping or dining, investment on a global scale, world-class infrastructure and ease of accessibility, a culturally vibrant society, or educational excellence; Singapore has it all and fulfills the primary academic needs as well as secondary past time joys of the students from world over with ease. Moreover, the fees at which the higher education courses are made available to students is very much on affordable terms when compared to say UK, US, or Australia. Among the many courses, the PhD in particular, is unique with its approach as it combines coursework with research work; instilling the theoretical concepts as well skills to apply them in practicality. However, traditional research PhD degrees are also offered by the universities and institutions in Singapore. Both these types end with students having to successfully present their dissertation at the end of the course. The further part of the article will provide relevant information if you’re looking to take up a PhD degree course in Singapore.
Degree Recognition
The doctoral degrees acquired in Singapore have strong research focus and are globally accepted and respected by the employers’ base, including international research universities and lab-based organizations or companies.
Degree Structure
The PhD degree program is the highest level of educational qualification offered by the universities and institutes of Singapore. Generally, these PhD programs are of 4-5 years of duration for full time and 6-7 years for part time. The students of the PhD degree programs are required to conduct strenuous and detailed research work that will contribute to the field of study they’ve chosen in a distinct way. During the duration of the course, the students are also required to prepare a dissertation of 100,000 to 120,000 words that will undergo both, internal and external examination. At the end of the course students will have to present and defend their research work in front of the judging panel, upon successful completion of which, they’ll be awarded with the Doctorate of Philosophy degree. After completion of the course, the doors to global job opportunities will open for the students in various research organizations and universities. Talking about the types of PhD programs that are offered; there are two: one that consists of coursework and dissertation, and the other, which entirely consists of research work. These PhD degree programs are offered by both government funded and private universities in Singapore, along with some foreign universities that have their base in Singapore.
Subjects of PhD Degree
Accounting; Anatomy; Architecture; Arts; Biochemistry; Building; Business & Management; Chemistry;  Communications & News Media; Cultural Studies; Economics; Energy; English & English Literature; Engineering (Bioengineering, Chemical, Computer etc); Electrical,  Finance; Geography; History; Industrial Design; Information Systems; Management & Organization; Marketing & International Business; Mathematics; Medicine; Microbiology; Operations Management; Pathology; Pharmacology; Pharmacy; Philosophy; Psychology; Science; Social Work; Sociology; Statistics & Applied Probability; Strategy, Management & Organization; Surgery; and many more.
Academic Calendar
The academic year in Singapore universities generally start in the month of of August, either in the beginning or end, and ends in July next year.
Admission Requirements
  • The certified copies of the original transcripts/mark sheets/certificates related to successful passing of bachelors honors education or masters education need to be sent to the university. The documents should be certified by a person or agency recognized by the law or government of student’s home country.
  • The marks/grades that students scored in bachelors/masters examinations should be converted in accordance with the grading system that is followed in Singapore university system. The students can consult their respective university/institution authorities for the same. If they are in any language other than English, students should get the documents translated into English from a recognized translator or authority.
  • Admission to some of the programs is subject to students submitting their preliminary research proposal of at least 2 pages long to the respective university. If the student has a publication to his/her name; a copy of it needs to be submitted.
  • Since English is the medium of education in Singapore, being proficient in English language is a mandatory requisite for admittance in Singapore universities. For evidence in support of the same, the scorecard of IELTS or TOEFL should be submitted to the respective university for assessment. The minimum score required can be inquired from the university while preparing for the exam.
  • Students may also ask the university to waive IELTS or TOEFL exam requirement by providing evidence in support of the fact that English has been their medium of education throughout the schooling and university years. If the university is convinced, it may waiver this admission requirement.
  • Scores of common placement examinations like GRE or GMAT to test the students’ understanding of the relevant field, may be followed by an interview. GMAT exam is essential for students applying in business or management related fields.
  • If the university/institution demands students to hold relevant work experience, a detailed CV with details like position(s) held and the area of work should be mailed to the university.
  • Two letters of recommendations from the professors with their contact information mentioned on them and a statement of purpose mentioning the reasons as to why the student wants to pursue the particular field of study in doctoral degree is desired.
  • Apart from the above requirements, the students are also required to submit certified copies of their birth certificates or identity proofs and medical reports if they have or have had any illnesses or disabilities.
Application Procedure
  • Student can check out for the list of courses, structure, and eligibility either through requesting a brochure from the university or by going through a particular university’s website.
  • After selecting a particular course, the student can apply directly to the chosen university accompanied by all the relevant documents (transcripts, mark sheets, certificates, letter of recommendation etc).
  • The application form can either be filled and submitted online, can be downloaded from the university’s website, or can be requested to be mailed from the university.
  • The local universities of Singapore accept online applications and the supported documents can be airmailed to them. Admission to some courses and institutions may require a student to go through an interview or placement test.
  • After the application has been received and scrutinized by the university and the student has successfully cleared the test or interview or both, he/she will be sent the Letter of Offer or Acceptance Letter either through airmail or email. Student who has applied online can check his/her application status online.
  • The student is required to sign the Acceptance Letter or Letter of Offer and return it to the university before the closing date. The student will then be sent a package by the university after which he/she should proceed with acquiring the Student’s Pass to Singapore.
  • It’s recommended by the universities that the student should be in Singapore a good two weeks before the semester starts.
Cost of PhD Education
Tuition Fees

The course fee for doctorate degree in Singapore varies from university to university and is subject to change every year. Students looking to take up a doctorate course can refer to each university’s official website for any enquiries regarding the latest fee structure. The Ministry of Education in Singapore also provides tuition grants to students who get admission in the local universities and polytechnics. International students are also eligible for the grants, subject to signing of a deed with the Singapore government to work in Singapore for a period of 3 years (5 years in case of those studying medical and dentistry) upon completion of the program.

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