Study PhD in NTU, Singapore: Admission, Application Process, Requirements

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phd ntu singapore

Nanyang Technological University was established in 1991 when it merged with the National Institute of Education. It has since grown to become one of the largest and most prestigious universities in Asia. The university’s main campus, spanning over 200 hectares, is situated in the western part of Singapore. It earns recognition for its modern and sustainable architecture, including the iconic Hive building. Global rankings consistently place NTU among the top universities. It is particularly well-regarded for its strengths in engineering, business, computer science, and other STEM courses. (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) In this blog, we will talk about the admission process, scholarships and requirements to study PhD at NTU Singapore. 


Must Read: Singapore Visa for Indians

Why to Study at NTU Singapore?

Here are some of the reasons why to study at NTU, Singapore: 

  • Programs and Schools: NTU offers a wide range of undergraduate and postgraduate programs across various disciplines. The university organizes several schools, including the Nanyang Business School, School of Computer Science and Engineering, College of Engineering, and College of Science, among others.
  • Research Excellence: NTU has earned recognition for its research contributions and has established research centres focusing on areas such as sustainability, advanced materials, and artificial intelligence. The university actively engages in collaborative research projects with global partners.
  • International Collaboration: NTU has established partnerships with numerous universities and research institutions worldwide. It encourages international collaboration in research, student exchange programs, and joint academic initiatives.
  • Student Life: NTU provides a vibrant campus life with a variety of student organizations, clubs, and activities. The university places importance on holistic development and offers opportunities for students to engage in sports, arts, and cultural activities.
  • Global Recognition: NTU consistently ranks among the top universities globally in various university rankings. It has gained recognition for its commitment to excellence in education, research, and innovation.

About PhD at NTU Singapore 

  • The NTU PhD program has a duration of four years. Starting from the Academic Year 2020, Semester 1 intake onward, the university mandates that students fulfil 18 Academic Units (AUs) of classes throughout their PhD journey, equivalent to approximately six courses.
  • Following a qualifying examination in the third semester, students concentrate on their doctoral project, collaborating closely with a faculty advisor.
  • Those holding a Master’s degree in related fields have the option to request course exemption for up to one course (3 AUs) based on similar courses completed during their MSc studies at their respective universities.

Admission Requirements to Study PhD at NTU Singapore 

Individuals considering the possibility of being a suitable fit for the program should take their initial step by familiarizing themselves with the ongoing research at the institution. Prospective applicants should peruse the faculty research webpages and identify faculty members whose research interests align with their own.

The first stage of the application process includes reaching out to potential faculty mentors to learn more about their research programs and to assess potential compatibility. Once a potential faculty mentor is identified, applicants can collaborate with them, along with the graduate services officer, to complete and submit their application.

Here is the application process in detail: 

  • The minimum admission requirement is a Bachelor’s degree with 2nd Class Honors Upper (or an equivalent, e.g., CGPA >3.2). The degree does not necessarily have to be in Geo Science/Earth Science, and a Master’s degree is not a prerequisite for pursuing a PhD.
  • All applicants are obligated to submit their GRE test scores for the general test (GATE is accepted instead of GRE for applicants from India) in support of their applications. The test dates must fall within 5 years or less from the date of the application. Selected applicants may, in certain cases, be allowed to take the Technical Proficiency Test (TPT) instead of the GRE.
  • International applicants, for whom English is not their first language, must submit their TOEFL/IELTS test scores. The test dates must be within 2 years or less from the application date. Selected applicants may be permitted to take NTU’s English Proficiency Test (EPT) instead of TOEFL/IELTS.
  • The program considers only full-time candidates, and students are expected to complete it within 5 years. Extensions of up to 2 years may be granted in special circumstances, pending the recommendation of the Academic Committee and the approval of the Division Head.

Intakes to Study PhD at NTU Singapore 

The program has two intakes of graduate students each year, in January and August. The application deadline is January 31st for the August intake and July 31st for the following January intake. All applications must be submitted through the online system of the Office of Admission.

Applicants should select “Asian School of the Environment: Programme code [221] Doctor of Philosophy (ASoE)” under Program Applied For > Program Applied. For the Interdisciplinary Graduate Programme, they should select IGPA.

Prospective applicants are strongly encouraged to visit the project site of the ASE and contact faculty members to discuss potential PhD topics.

Application Process

Prospective candidates are strongly advised to explore the project site of the Asian School of the Environment (ASE) and initiate contact with faculty members to discuss potential PhD topics. Failure to engage with faculty before applying may reduce the likelihood of acceptance into the program.

Applicants have the option to apply to both the Asian School of the Environment and the Interdisciplinary Graduate Programme. Collaboration exists between EOS and both schools, and the scholarships offered by these institutions are identical. To submit an online application for research-based graduate programs:

For the PhD program under the Asian School of the Environment:

  1. Access the Graduate Research Admission System.
  2. Under “Program Applied For,” select “[221] Doctor of Philosophy (ASoE).”
  3. In the ‘proposed supervisor’ section, you can specify the name of the professor whose research group you are interested in joining. However, the assignment of your application materials to a specific professor is at the discretion of the Selection Committee.

For the PhD program under the Interdisciplinary Graduate School (IGS):

  1. All IGS students must have main and co-supervisors from different schools.
  2. Navigate to the Graduate Research Admission System.
  3. Under “Program Applied For,” select “[IGPA] Doctor of Philosophy IGPA – Earth Observatory of Singapore (EOS).”
  4. In the ‘proposed supervisor’ section, indicate the name of the professor whose research group you wish to join. However, the assignment of your application materials to a specific professor is subject to the discretion of the Selection Committee.
  5. Please specify “Earth Observatory of Singapore (EOS)” under ‘proposed field of research’ on the online application form.


Q1. What is the process for obtaining a PhD at NTU Singapore?

Ans: A Master’s degree is not a prerequisite for pursuing a PhD at NTU Singapore. All applicants must provide their GRE test scores for the general test (applicants from India may submit GATE scores instead of GRE). These test scores should be from a test date within the past 5 years as of the application date.

Q2. What is the duration of a PhD program at NTU?

Ans: The PhD program at NTU typically spans four years. In the initial two years, students engage in coursework, undertake an exploratory research project in collaboration with their faculty advisor, and develop a research proposal for their doctoral research.

Q3. What is the cost of living in Singapore for PhD students?

Ans: Prospective students considering a move to Singapore should anticipate an average monthly living cost ranging from S$750 to S$2,000 (equivalent to INR 45,848 to INR 1,22,261)*. *Based on the current conversion rate as of December 13, 2022.

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