How to Study in Singapore for International Students (4 Steps)

University education in the Republic of Singapore follows the highest standards, despite the country’s small size. International students who enjoy a cosmopolitan lifestyle and would like to get a prestigious diploma will certainly find Singapore the perfect destination.

In this article, we will be looking at how international students can study in Singapore!

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Study in Singapore for International Students

International students can study in Singapore by following the following steps:

  • Plan on how you are going to finance your education in Singapore. Studying in Singapore can be expensive, but it can be lowered by attending affordable universities in Singapore, working while studying, and getting scholarships.
  • Then, you will need to prepare to meet the application requirements in Singapore. We will discuss what are the requirements of universities in Singapore for international students later.
  • After that, you will need to apply
  • Then, you need to get a student visa.


1. Financing your studies in Singapore

Education in Singapore appears to be rather pricy: undergraduate programs cost 22000 – 44000 USD yearly, while tuition fees for Master’s vary between 22,000 – 36 000 USD. The price that medical students have to pay for a Master’s degree is, however, even more excessive: 36000 – 65000 USD.

Singapore is also on the top of the list in terms of living costs, which range between 900 and 7000 USD monthly. Naturally, these numbers are greatly determined by housing choices, daily routines, recreational and dietary needs.

As stated before, you can attend affordable universities in Singapore, get great scholarships, and work while studying to lower your cost.


2. Meeting the application requirements in Singapore

Both undergraduate and graduate students have to meet certain criteria to get admitted to university courses in Singapore, but these requirements might be slightly different according to university and program.

Excellent command of English is a prerequisite in any case. The most often recognized exams in Singapore are IELTS, TOEFL, and SAT, but lots of universities take plenty of other exam types, such as SAT, PTE Academic, and C1 advanced.

International students will need to meet these requirements to be able to study in Singapore.

General English requirements for undergraduate students

As for undergraduate programs, most institutions do not prescribe a specific score requirement. Yet, the higher your overall score is, the greater your chances are.

To illustrate all these, it is useful to have a look at some institutions. To start with, the Singapore University of Technology and Design requires either TOEFL or IELTS, SAT, PTE Academic, ACT, E1119 or C1 Advanced / Cambridge English, without giving any minimum score.

Similarly, at Singapore Management University, possessing one of the following exams is compulsory: SAT, or ACT, IELTS, TOEFL, or C1 Advanced.

On the other hand, applicants aiming to enter the National University of Singapore for the Economics and Law program face more specific requirements. They need to reach at least band 7 in IELTS, 100 points in TOEFL iBT, 700 points in SAT, or Grade 4 in AP English Language.

Although certain exam types seem to be accepted everywhere, you should always check the admission criteria of the university program you are targeting.

General English requirements for graduate students

Language requirements for graduate students are similar to the ones that apply to undergraduate applicants. Minimum scores are not set in most cases either.

For instance, the National University of Singapore advises applicants to hold a TOEFL/IELTS certificate. No minimum score is mentioned, though.

As highlighted in the MSC in Engineering Programme details uploaded by Singapore University of Technology and Design, they also require a TOELF or IELTS exam (with no score specified), unless the language of instruction in BA/BSC studies was English. In that case, no proof is needed.

Nanyang Technological University is more specific with regards to language certificates. Applicants’ TOEFL iBT must reach at least 250 points, PBT at least 600 points, or they need band 7 in IELTS. Certifications are unnecessary if the applicant took part in English-based Bachelor training.

To sum up, a high level of English is crucial for Master’s programs as well. Even if minimum scores are not prescribed in most cases, better exam results enhance your chances of admission.

Application requirements for undergraduate students

Each tertiary institution has established a certain application process, but there are no major differences. For instance, students applying to the Singapore Management University need to collect the following documents:

  • proof of at least 12 years of formal education
  • national/ international high school examination certificate (with good grades).
  • one of the listed certificates needs to be provided: SAT, ACT, IELTS, TOEFL, or C1 Advanced
  • for certain programs, sitting a written test or taking part in an interview might be necessary

Application requirements for graduate students

For the Master’s In Architecture at Singapore University of Technology and Design, the following documents are inevitable to facilitate the application:

  • a Statement of Objectives (1,000 words)
  • transcript and certificate of previous Bachelor or Master’s degrees (official English translation required)
  • TOEFL or IELTS results
  • if possible, Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) score report
  • the name of 2 reference people with contact information
  • other documents that might be relevant (such as portfolio, publications, awards)
  • Identity Card or Passport

In Singapore, the competition for university placement is rather strong, which makes it possible for institutions to set specific and high criteria, so always check the homepage of your chosen subject for exact details. Most universities also charge an application fee between 7 and 44 USD.

3. Apply

The next step of studying in Singapore for international students is to apply. You should meet the minimum general requirements stated above to do this step.

As far as undergraduate students are concerned, the application period for universities in Singapore in most cases starts in the middle of October and the final deadline the middle of March, but some schools differ in this respect. There is no exact pattern concerning graduate admissions, however, so please find more information on the selected university’s website.

The application process itself is similar for both undergraduate and graduate candidates. The Singapore University of Technology and Design guides us through the steps as follows:

  • Submit an online application.
    • check if you meet the requirements for the selected subject
    • be aware of the deadlines
  • If shortlisted, take part in the interview.
  • Notification of admission arrives 3 weeks after the interview the latest. (Those not admitted will also be informed. Appeals are taken within 2 weeks after receiving the decision)
  • To accept the offer, follow the instructions in your Letter of Acceptance.
  • After accepting the offer, you will be given information on university matriculation.

4. Apply for a Student Visa

Foreign students admitted to educational institutions in Singapore are obliged to apply for a Student’s Pass, which is practically the visa for students. The only exceptions are individuals who possess an Immigration Exemption Order. The application must be submitted no more than two months before the start of the program (but at least one month before it).

Getting a student visa for Singapore is the easiest step in this whole process of studying in Singapore for international students since you have all the requirements ready already, and you can ask the university that you were admitted to if you need help.

In order to register for the pass, the following documents are needed:

  • Letter of Acceptance from University
  • personal information:
    • countries you previously stayed at
    • educational background
    • financial background
    • employment history
    • information on your parents
    • travel document’s biodata page
    • temporary address and contact information in Singapore
    • email address
  • a passport-sized, digital, color photograph (not older than 3 months)

The cost of the process is exactly S$30 (approximately 22 USD), which can be paid online.

Issuing the Student’s Pass usually takes five to ten working days, but in certain periods of the year, it might take longer. For Student Pass Application and further details, please visit the website of the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority of Singapore.


Once you have mastered these instructions and completed your application successfully, you are already one step closer to achieving your future goals. Make the most of your experience in Singapore, since it is certainly a great investment of your time, skills, and money.


I hope that this article was helpful. If you are interested, visit the Scholarships Page.