Frequently asked questions

General FAQs

Undergraduate Admissions

What are the admission requirements for SoH Undergraduate degree programmes?

This is only applicable to applicants holding Singapore-Cambridge GCE 'A' level qualification or Local Polytechnic Diploma from one of the five local polytechnics in Singapore.

Click here for more information on the Indicative Grade Profile.

Please note the following:

  • The grade profiles, GPAs and programme places vary from year to year, depending on the number and performance of applicants, and the number of places available.
  • Meeting the previous year's grade/GPA scores of a programme does not guarantee admission to that programme for the current year.
  • Certain programmes may have specific subject requirements. The programmes marked with asterisk (*) are those where additional assessments such as interviews, selection tests, and/or portfolios are required. Please click here for more details.
  • NTU is increasingly admitting students based on holistic practices including written exams and interviews. For this reason we encourage all interested parties to apply.

How do I know whether my on-line application has been received by NTU?

Application for admission is done electronically. Before applying, please determine your application group. The application group you apply under corresponds to the qualifications you hold.

You are required to submit only one (1) electronic application form. There is no hard-copy application form.

Your online application has been submitted successfully if

  1. an Application Status Menu showing your application number and a summary of application items required to be completed by you is generated;
  2. an acknowledgment of your application is forwarded to the email address(es) you have provided in the online application form.
Take note of the unique application number assigned to you.

May I enquire that if I took the GCE A levels examinations as a school candidate and did not do well for a certain subject, and I decided to retake the particular subject only in the following year, would I be able to use the best grade for that subject for admissions, or I could only use the grade I had as a school candidate?

Combination of GCE 'A' results are only allowed for Mother Tongue Language, Project Work and H1 subjects. GP and the remaining H2 subjects have to be taken in one/same sitting.

If I am offered a programme but I wish to appeal to change programme, is it possible?

If your application is successful, you may submit your appeal online during the appeal period if you wish to change your offered programme.

However, you are advised to confirm your offered programme online by the stipulated deadline as stated in the notification letter so that in the event that your appeal is unsuccessful, your originally offered course will still be valid.

Please refer to your respective application group for the online appeal period.

Can outstanding students graduate earlier in a shorter duration?

Outstanding students can be put on the fast track. For a course with 4-year duration, instead of completing the normal four-year undergraduate programme, it is possible to do it in three and a half years.

Furthermore, those who are able and diligent can take on additional subjects in excess of the required number for their own enrichment.

What is the difference between minor/ second major/ double major?


​Besides offering a variety of Major programmes, the College encourages students to pursue a Minor in any of the Major disciplinary areas, as well as subjects that are not offered as a Major, or even one of our exciting Interdisciplinary Minors.

To do a Minor, students are required to complete at least five core courses. These five courses will be counted under the elective requirements of their undergraduate programme.

Here are the list of Minors offered by College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences.

Second Major

Students can choose to pursue a second Major in another discipline offered either by:

- their home School, or

​- by another School within the College.

The second major provides students with breadth of exposure and is also designed to provide greater depth of study in an additional discipline. Students will graduate with a degree in their First Major upon satisfying the academic requirements of the School. The Second Major will be shown on the final transcript, and students will receive an additional certificate.

Students will need to obtain a minimum cumulative grade point average of 4.0 in their first year at university to be eligible to take up a second major.

Available Second Major programmes include:

  • Art History
  • Chinese
  • Communication Studies
  • Economics
  • English
  • History
  • Linguistics and Multilingual Studies
  • Philosophy
  • Psychology
  • Public Policy and Global Affairs
  • Sociology

Double major

The Double Major Programme is a four-year direct honours degree programme. Undergraduate students will read two majors chosen from among the disciplinary strengths of the four schools in the College, namely, the School of Art, Design and Media (ADM), the School of Humanities (SoH), the School of Social Sciences (SSS), and the Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information (WKWSCI). Unlike the existing single discipline-based degrees, this degree will feature two distinct majors within an innovative new structure. As such this is a fully conceived double-disciplinary degree. Each major will represent approximately 42% of the overall degree, with the remaining 16% reserved for General Education courses. Students will be admitted into this Double Major degree programme at the point of entry to NTU, and declare their two majors at this point. In keeping with the prevailing practice with HASS’s current single degree programmes, students may apply for a transfer of major after the first year if they wish.

Click here to find out more about the double major programme.

Exchange Programmes

What is GEM Explorer and how does it work?

GEM Explorer programme offers students opportunities to spend a semester abroad either to pursue courses or conduct research. About 95% of GEM Explorer participants embark on coursework and a minority of students pursue exchange via research.

NTU partners with more than 350 universities in over 40 countries around the world.

Here are some of the benefits of participating in an exchange programme:

  • Experience Diverse Academic Teaching
  • Experience a new culture or learn a new language
  • Build global networks and forge meaningful relationships across the world
  • Earn academic units (AUs)
  • Develop cultural intelligence

What is GEM Discoverer and how does it work?

GEM Discoverer offers a plethora of opportunities for NTU undergraduates to experience the world. There is a variety of study abroad options to suit your study plan and academic goals. They include Summer/ Winter studies at one of our partner institutions abroad, language immersion programmes, and thematic studies in ASEAN countries and key Asian markets. All programmes are credit-bearing and take place over the university's vacations. You will earn academic units towards your degree whilst immersed in a whole new landscape.

May I know how Singapore Universities Student Exchange Programme (SUSEP) works?

A reciprocal agreement has been made with NUS, SMU and SUTD to offer student exchange programme. Through this programme, students at the 4 institutions are able to study and experience student's life at a host institution while pursuing their degrees in their university.

In NTU, SUSEP is administered by the Office of Academic Services and supported by the Schools.

The following options are available for students (NUS or SMU or SUTD) participating in the programme:
Partial Exchange
Take a few approved courses in NTU and the remaining in your home university. Students are to ensure that the courses and examination timetables for the NUS/SMU courses they wish to take will not clash with those that they are taking in NTU.
Full Exchange
Do one semester of studies of approved courses entirely at NTU.


What is Chinese?

Chinese promotes the study and appreciation of Chinese language and culture. It provides multiple local and global perspectives, broadening students’ knowledge of the contemporary world, and making them adaptable and culturally attuned to regional and international environments.

What is the emphasis of the Chinese Major at NTU?

The Chinese programme at NTU will equip students with a strong foundation in the reading of classical and modern texts, a deeper understanding of the Chinese language, and a broad perspective on Chinese History and the Chinese Diaspora in Southeast Asia.

We offer four areas of specialization:

  1. Chinese literature and culture

  2. Chinese history and thought and China Studies

  3. Linguistics and Chinese linguistics

  4. Studies of Ethnic Chinese

How is Chinese at NTU different?

  • Chinese at NTU offers you a variety of courses. We not only teach subjects such as Chinese literature and thoughts that fit your interests in Chinese traditional culture, but also diverse courses on historical and contemporary issues, ethnic Chinese, and so on. Students in the Chinese programme are not only bilingual, but also bicultural;
  • Chinese provides two unique minors, namely creative writing in Chinese and translation; the two minors, highly attractive to students from both Chinese and other majors, broaden our students’ learning and career opportunities;
  • The faculty in the Chinese programme come with different backgrounds and research interests. They are established, friendly and dedicated to teaching and research.

I am interested in Chinese, but I have practical concerns/job prospects as well. What can I do with a Chinese degree?

Students in the Chinese programme at SoH NTU do not only focus on Chinese language and culture, but also contemporary China issues, involving interdisciplinary study – economics, politics, culture, history, philosophy, linguistics, etc, which are relevant in today’s world and fit the needs in job market. In addition to the Chinese major, students can also flexibly plan for a second major or a minor based on their interests and needs.

The employment rate of our Chinese graduates has remined high over years, and our alumni develop their career in a variety of industries, including public services, education, media, international business, advertising, public relations, journalism, publishing, translation, theatre and arts, consultant/Advisory Role, etc.

Will I be in a disadvantageous position after learning Chinese for four years, while the working language in Singapore is English?

NTU adopts broad-based undergraduate education. That is, approximately one third of your curriculum is devoted to Broadening subjects, General Electives and Minor subjects, which are mainly conducted in English language. In addition, our Chinese programme offers Minor in Translation, where you can develop skills and knowledge in both Chinese and English. As the market demand for Chinese remains high, being a Chinese major who is bilingually and biculturally equipped, you will actually be in an advantageous position.

Will I have the opportunity to study abroad?

Yes. Many of our students apply for exchange in top universities in Mainland China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. Our students can also broaden their experiences if they are interested in other countries or regions, such as Korea, Japan, Europe, and US.

I am reading Chinese/Higher Chinese at A level. Do I have an advantage in doing the Chinese Major?

A background in Chinese/Higher Chinese at A level is certainly helpful to a certain extent. However, the Chinese Major at NTU requires more critical thinking and analytical skills in your approach. You will gain a wider range of knowledge including literature, linguistics, history, philosophy, and regional studies, and develop critical thinking and analytical skills.

Does the Chinese Major accept international students?

Yes, we do. In general, around 20% of NTU’s intake is made up of international students.

Can I complete the programme in less than 4 years?

Yes you can.



1. 文学与文化
2. 中国历史、思想与中国研究
3. 语言学与汉语言学
4. 海外华人研究




















English (Literature)

What is English?

The world of literary studies is broad and diverse. We do not engage in rote memorization but train you in creative and critical thinking. We believe that the most valuable aspect of literature is found in your interpretation of the text and we will provide you with the training required to express your views with confidence and skill.

We study literature from around the world and engage with a range of cutting-edge themes and issues such as gender, postcolonialism, and eco-criticism, across a range of forms including novels, films, theatre, and poetry. Literature helps to stimulate our imagination and see the world in a new way!

What does the English Programme offer?

We have complete coverage of the traditional areas of literary study ranging from Medieval literature and Renaissance literature through to Victorian literature and Contemporary Literature. Alongside the core modules, we offer modules dedicated to literature from around the world including Singaporean literature, Latino literature, Irish literature, European literature, and Southeast Asian literature. We also offer specialist modules on a range of subject matter including Science and Literature, History of the Book, Literature and Medicine, Children’s Literature, Shakespeare, Science Fiction, and beyond!

How is English at NTU different?

  • Our department includes some of the most talented scholars from Singapore and the rest of the world. We are bright, energetic, and diverse department with faculty who engage in cutting edge research at the forefront of the discipline.
  • We are a warm and welcoming department and support our students throughout their degree. We know that you have an enquiring mind and we are keen to help you develop your own creative and critical voice.
  • We are the only university in Singapore to offer complete coverage of literary history from Medieval Literature and Renaissance Literature through to Victorian Literature and Contemporary Literature.
  • We deliver innovative teaching styles that emphasize individual voices and equip you with the skills that you need to succeed in the workplace.
  • You can go directly into English from your first year (direct honors programme)
  • You can undertake a second major in other divisions within SoH and the College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences.
  • Internship opportunities are available in the third year

What are the assessments like?

We offer a varied and comprehensive range of assessments. Of course, the essay remains the primary assessment method because it is the best way to develop your writing skills, critical thinking, and provides the perfect platform for engaging in deep, complex thought. By the end of the programme, you will become a master of writing and even enjoy it! But we also offer assessments such as performances, creative projects, graphics, concept mapping, online quiz, debates, and so on. These assessments bring out the best in our students and some of their work has been displayed arts festivals and public locations around Singapore.

We have a friendly, engaging and relatable faculty who are always keen to help you. You are encouraged to explore lots of interesting subject matter but over time, you will start to specialize. At this point, some of you will have the opportunity to work with professors on a research project of your own design.

By the end of the programme, you will be a professionally trained writer, able to adapt to a wide-range of styles and forms.

Our students possess a love of literature and learning. They have enquiring minds and are curious about the world outside the classroom. Often literary texts help us to understand why the world works in a certain way and challenges us to ask difficult questions. Through such questioning, we learn to change the world!

If I attended a Polytechnic rather than a JC, will I have difficulty with the coursework?

Every year we accepted numerous students from Polytechnics, some of whom are amongst our best and brightest! Our first-year modules are carefully calibrated for a diverse intake and we don’t assume any knowledge in advance. We know, for instance, that NS men have had limited time for reading for two years. We make sure that everyone is trained in the basics while making sure there are opportunities for the strongest students to demonstrate what they are capable of achieving.

What type of employment is available to someone with an English Literature degree?

  • Many fields such as Publishing, Publicity, Human Resource, Arts Administration and Management, Advertising/Marketing, Journalism/Media, and Education/Training, particularly where excellent verbal and written communication is instrumental. Please visit our website where our alumni describe the diverse and exciting opportunities for graduates in English.
  • This programme equips students with outstanding communication and analytical abilities. Together with their extensive knowledge of international arts and humanities, English Literature graduates are highly valued by employers.
  • We also encourage our students to pursue internships during their studies where they have the opportunity to see how the transferable skills—creativity, communication, civic-mindedness, critical thinking—developed on the degree programme are used in to today’s workplace.
  • In addition, many of our students continue their studies at some of the top international universities such as the University of Oxford, King’s College London, Ohio State University, the University of Leeds, Durham University, and the University of Cambridge.


What is History?

  • The history we teach at NTU is unlike the history you have likely learned in JC or secondary school. We are not just interested in having you memorize dates or places or people. Rather, we are interested in exploring history from a variety of different perspectives, including the perspectives of ordinary people.
  • We believe everything has a history, not just nations or countries. Land has history, religions have history, food has history, movies have a history, animals have history, and so on.

What does the History Programme offer?

Our programme is divided into four broad areas of study:

  • Global asia, covering Asian history within a global context
  • World history
  • Interdisciplinary history – history as it relates to other subjects such as history of science, technology, medicine, business, and environment;
  • Applied history – specialized courses that develop practical skills such as mapping, programming, film-making, and so-on.

How is History at NTU different?

  • We are a very young history programme with talented scholars at the cutting edge of research, so we are pushing the frontiers of history in both our research and teaching;
  • Our “global” or transnational focus sets us apart from many other places; we are not historians who specialize in “Japan” or “USA” or other specific nations; rather most of us look at connections across the globe – flows of ideas, people, objects through migration and trade;
  • Our “interdisciplinary” focus also sets us apart – we aim to engage deeply with other disciplines and other parts of the University; we are not just interested in history for history’s sake but rather in how it can impact our understanding of other fields;
  • Our “applied” history is also something unique within Singapore, specialized courses for developing skills that will be relevant in your workplace;
  • You can go directly into history from your first year (direct honors programme)
  • You can undertake a second major in other divisions within SoH and the College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences
  • Internship opportunities in the third year

What are the readings and writing assignments like?

  • They are very varied and range from traditional essay assignments to final project assignments which may comprise a report and/or presentation; poster presentation, websites, podcasts, exhibitions, creative projects from blogs to scrapbook to newsletter and audio recordings, etc.
  • Students are encouraged to meet with their professors for consultation regarding assignments
  • Writing assignments is to allow students to practise and hone their analysis and arguments, while developing critical readings of the text
  • The quantity of texts varies with each class
  • Texts include textbooks, books, book chapters, journal articles, web resources, reports, etc.

What can I do with a degree in History?

  • History does not lead to a specific job or profession; we have had students enter a variety of professions in the public and private sector; these include education, foreign service, public relations, publishing, news and other interactive and innovative media including games content development, museum curating, tourism and heritage consultancy, and the service industry
  • We believe history creates an ability to gather information, synthesize information, analyze information, and report on one’s findings; these are skills, if you think about it, that are useful almost anywhere; it teaches you to reason with large bodies of data and to communicate that information effectively;
  • Such skills as being able to evaluate good and bad information, decide what is important or relevant, formulate a coherent and reasoned argument are vital for careers and professions in today’s globalised world and knowledge-based economies

I am applying for a Major in SoH or College, but I am interested in History, and would like to do a Second Major in History. What are the requirements for a Second Major in History?

  • Minimum 4.0 GPA after first year

Is it an advantage to have studied History at A-Level?

  • Courses are structured and taught in such a manner that A-Level History students can build on their foundation, but it is unlikely they will have a special advantage.
  • The programme also offers a wide array of subjects which do not constitute part of pre-University History curriculum.

If I attended a Polytechnic rather than a JC, will I have difficulty with the coursework?

We have students from the polytechnics taking History, and some of them are our better students. Our first year compulsory subjects are all introductory in nature, and are designed specifically to prepare all students for the more advanced subjects in their later years. What matters too is that you are interested in the subject matter and motivated to learn.

Linguistics and Multilingual Studies

What is Linguistics?

  • Linguistics and Multilingual Studies allows students to explore how language works – from the properties of speech sounds to word and sentence structure, from children's language development to communication in bilingual and multilingual societies
  • Interdisciplinary in nature, involving other fields such as psychology, computer science, cultural studies, sociology, history, etc.

What is Linguistics and Multilingual Studies (LMS) about?

  • This programme involves study of the languages of multilingual individuals and of multilingual societies. This is particularly relevant to Singapore and the region, which is characterised by the widespread practice of bilingualism and multilingualism
  • This programme will also focus on the study of language issues in countries that are of special relevance to Singapore such as China, India, Indonesia and Vietnam, amongst others

How is LMS at NTU different?

We are the only institution in Singapore (and the region) to offer such a degree programme.

What is the emphasis of the LMS Major at NTU?

Our graduates will have a concrete foundation in the theories of linguistics across the many different subfields. We offer courses in five areas:

  1. Language and Technology
  2. Multilingual Societies And Multiculturalism
  3. Language, Mind and Multilingualism
  4. Language Structure
  5. Special Topics in Linguistics

What can I do with a degree in LMS?

  • LMS takes an analytical approach to the study of language, and LMS graduates will have acquired skills in critical thinking, data analysis, problem solving, and logical thinking that can be applied to many fields
  • Provides students with a global perspective, allowing LMS graduates to be culturally and socially attuned and aware, making them good communicators with an international worldview
  • Interdiscipinary nature and global perspective of LMS allows graduates to take on jobs that are not restricted by disciplinary boundaries
  • Areas as the publishing and communication industries, translating and interpreting, computational fields, foreign language teaching, and the teaching of English as a second language

Possible Careers:

  • Computer industry
  • Education
  • Teach languages
  • Translator or interpreter
  • Work on language documentation or do fieldwork
  • Writer/editor
  • Work with dictionaries (lexicography)
  • Become a consultant on language in professions such as law or medicine
  • Marketing and advertising

I am reading Mother Tongue/Foreign Language. Do I have an advantage in doing the LMS Major?

Yes indeed. These are helpful as an entry point. It also helps you understand the intricacies of multilingualism in your course of study.

If I attended a Polytechnic rather than a JC, will I have difficulty with the coursework?

We have accepted numerous students from Polytechnics, some of whom are among our best students. Our first year compulsory subjects are all introductory in nature, and are designed specifically to prepare all students for the more advanced subjects of their later years.


What is Philosophy?

The word “philosophy” originates from the Greek word φιλοσοφία (philosophia). “Philo” means to love and “sophia” means wisdom. Literally, philosophy means love of wisdom. When considered as an academic discipline, philosophy is concerned with the study of fundamental problems such as those connected to the nature of knowledge, reality, existence, mind, language, science, and morality. It involves a broad and systematic critical examination of questions that underlie the foundations of other disciplines.

Some of the typical questions philosophers ask are:

  • What kind of world do we live in?
  • Is there a God?
  • Is there an external world?
  • What kind of life should we live?
  • Do human beings act freely?
  • Where do moral obligations come from?
  • How do we construct a just society?
  • Where does knowledge come from and what are the limitations of our knowledge?

Philosophers are also concerned with specific questions that have direct applications in other fields:

  • Do the results of quantum mechanics force us to view our relations to objects differently?
  • Do animals have rights?
  • What is the moral justification for using military force?
  • What kind of research ethics should medical professionals observe in their research?

The study of philosophy requires a mode of inquiry that questions fundamental assumptions, argues logically, and thinks through things as comprehensively as possible. In this sense, philosophy shapes the way we think and act. It also heightens our sensitivity towards the nuances of life and at the same time enhances our ability to engage with them. When properly done, philosophy students can take on an encompassing perspective of things that makes them potentially fit for any profession.

While Western philosophers are in general characterised by their analytic ability, Asian thinkers are characterised by their emphasis on self-transformation and their practical concerns for the world they live in. This is particularly the case in Chinese philosophy. Due to the comprehensive concerns of Chinese thinkers, the study of Chinese philosophy is intimately linked with the studies of Chinese literature and Chinese history.

What do I study in the Philosophy programme?

  • Introductory courses on Philosophy
  • Chinese Philosophy
  • Ethics and political philosophy
  • Philosophy of Science

How is the Philosophy programme at NTU different?

  • Established, well-rounded faculty with a strong focus on Eastern philosophy
  • Interdisciplinary in nature
  • A vast range of choices

Some examples of courses available are:

  • Perennial Questions of Philosophy: East and West
  • Logic and Critical Thinking
  • Introduction to Philosophy
  • Symbolic Logic
  • Moral Philosophy
  • Chinese Philosophy
  • Philosophy of Science
  • Philosophy of Mind
  • Environmental Philosophy

What skills will I have with a degree in Philosophy?

Students will develop critical thinking, reflective consciousness, and other transferable skills, which can strengthen their disciplinary studies and enable them to better adapt to changing circumstances of the world. The study of philosophy also typically cultivates the following abilities:

  • Communicate complex ideas clearly and effectively
  • Ask good questions, think independently, critically, and clearly
  • Uncover and examine hidden assumptions
  • Analyse and critically assess arguments
  • Formulate consistent, coherent, and complex arguments
  • Conceptualise and articulate difficult issues or abstract ideas
  • Apply abstract ideas to particular situations and cases
  • Examine and justify what we believe in or/and what we do

What will my career prospects be when I graduate with a Philosophy degree?

Philosophical training develops skills highly sought after by employers, such as analytical and critical thinking, the ability to quickly identify issues and to construct a coherent argument and defend it. Philosophy equips students with the ability to adapt quickly to fast-evolving circumstances and embrace change and challenges. Philosophy graduates have gone on to a range of careers including private sector management, finance, the charity sector, IT management, government, and the media.

How will studying Philosophy benefit me?

Among employers, the skills that philosophy teaches particularly well are in high demand.

  • In a 2009 survey on employers’ views of higher education conducted by the American Association of Colleges and Universities, 89% of over 300 employers surveyed said that colleges and universities should place more emphasis on “the ability to effectively communicate orally and in writing.”
  • In the same survey, 81% of employers surveyed said that colleges and universities should place more emphasis on “critical thinking and analytical skills.”

Here are some interesting statistics

Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) scores from 2015 to 2018 reflected that philosophy majors:

  • had the highest average number of standard deviations above the mean score for the entire exam
  • had the highest average score on the verbal and writing sections of the exam
  • had the highest average quantitative reasoning score of all humanities majors

If I attended a Polytechnic rather than a JC, will I have difficulty with the coursework?

No, you will not. Some of our best students are from polytechnics. Our first year courses are mostly introductory in nature, and are tailored to prepare students for more challenging and advanced courses in the later part of their degree programme.