University and College Admission Procedure in Singapore

Education has always been pivotal in the growth and advancement of Singapore. Singapore known for its vibrancy and quality of life, has some of the best universities of the globe. Huge amount of money is spent on the education by the Singaporean government. Singapore’s higher education aspires to educate students for today, tomorrow and the hereafter.  

Eligibility Criteria for Admissions in Singapore

The eligibility criteria may differ from university to university. According to the Singapore educational system, you need to complete a secondary education in order to get in a bachelor degree course and a three year bachelor’s degree to apply for a post-graduate course. Along with completing academic essentialities, English is also an essential criterion for admissions. 

Academic Requirements

The academic requirements including evidence of English language skills will vary depending on the level of education in Singapore. Institutions can have different entry requirements, so read the course information on their website carefully and contact them.

Entry Requirement at Different Stages of Higher Education Studies

Pre-University Education Level

Junior Colleges/Centralised Institutes

To gain admittance to a JC/ CI, you can take part in the Joint Admissions Exercise (JAE) conducted annually after the release of the GCE O-level examination results.
  • Entry to: University or a Specialised institute of higher learning, locally or abroad.

Post-Secondary Education Level


To gain admission to a polytechnic, you can take part in the Joint Admissions Exercise (JAE) conducted annually after the release of the GCE O-level examination results. An alternative admission path is the Direct Polytechnic Admission (DPA) Exercise.
  • Minimum Pre-requisites: For GCE O-level holders, the requirements vary from course to course.
  • Entry to: Workforce or University or other institutions of higher learning to further their studies.

Institute of Technical Education (ITE)

To gain admission to Nitec courses, you can take part in the Joint Intake Exercise (JIE) conducted by the ITE after the release of the GCE N- and GCE-O level examination results. To gain admission to Higher Nitec courses, you can sit for the Joint Admissions Exercise (JAE) conducted annually after the release of the GCE O-level examination results.
  • Minimum Pre-requisites: An aptitude for hands-on learning, for Nitec courses - GCE N- or O-level graduates who meet course-specific entry requirements and for Higher Nitec courses – selected Secondary 4N(A), GCE O-level and Nitec graduates who meet course-specific entry requirements.
  •  Entry to: Workforce

Specialised Arts Schools

You can apply directly to NAFA and LASALLE. Check their respective websites for the enrolment details and deadlines.
  • Minimum requirements: A flair and passion for the arts, 5 GCE O-level passed along with English or a Nitec/ Higher Nitec certificate. You also need to clear an entrance exam or audition, which may include portfolio or performance.
  • Entry to: Workforce


The admission requirement varies from institution to institution and from program to program.

Entry Requirements for the Different Levels of Study

  • Diploma/Certificate: To get into Diploma, Advance diploma or Certificate courses, you need to hold minimum higher secondary education. However, some courses may have specific pre-requisites.
  • Higher Education Undergraduate: To gain entry into a Singaporean undergraduate course you will need to complete a secondary school program or the overseas equivalent. Some undergraduate programs may also have specific pre-requisites.
  • Higher Education Postgraduate:  The minimum entry qualification for a Master's by coursework and dissertation is a Bachelor's degree or its equivalent.
  • Higher Education Doctoral:  You need a master’s degree to get into doctoral program.

Academic Calendar

The academic calendar for the universities and polytechnics generally comprises of two semesters.
  • Government University: August and few courses have Feb intake.
  • Polytechnics:  April / September intake
  • Private Education Organizations -Jan / Feb / July / Aug / Sep / Oct intake

Application Procedure 

If you are planning to apply to Singapore Universities, then you must start at least few months in advance. Any queries regarding the details of the course must be put forth during the early stages of applying procedure. You can avail application forms by downloading it from the university website. Once you've decided on a course and an institution, it's time to apply for admittance.

Download and Fill the Application Form

A student must choose the institution or university and download their application form. Fill out the form and sent it to the institute along with testimonials of earlier education completed.


You will need to prepare supporting documentation to send with your application. The documents vary depending on the course of study, institute and qualification you're studying for. The most significant documents include:
  • Academic Records: This includes scores, GPA and official certificates and transcripts.
  • Bachelors or Master's Degree certificates/Provisional certificates.
  • Work history (for postgraduate and doctorate programs)
  •  Letters of Recommendation and Statement of Purpose.
  • Certificates or documents which verify previous study or work experience if you are seeking course credits. 

Certificate Accepted

GCSE- General Certificate of Secondary Education

GCSE are available in a wide range of subjects. Their results are graded from A to G and can be used for entrance into higher degree studies. 

Receiving your Acceptance Letter

If the application is successful, you will receive an ‘Acceptance Letter. During enrollment, you must carry copies of the acceptance letter, study or work permit and any other details that are mandatory for admission. 

Education Cost

 The cost of study in Singapore varies according to the institute, course of study and the time span of the course.  On average, you can anticipate to pay around US$10,000 per year for tuition fees, although it depends on the course of study and institution. 

Financial Aid

The Ministry of Education and some Universities provides financial assistance. The Singapore Ministry of Education provides tuition grants to Singaporean students who are admitted to the local universities and polytechnics. In addition to these, there are assistance schemes from either the government or welfare organizations to help students cope with finances during their studies.

For International Students

International Students who want to pursue higher education in Singapore should be above 17 years of age as per the Ministry of Education.They should comply with the basic academic eligibility standards and must submit the scores of GMAT,GRE, TOEFL/IELTS as and where needed. International Students need to demonstrate their English Language Proficiency as well via the following two test scores:

TOEFL: Test of English as a foreign language

  • For undergraduate: Score must be 80
  • For postgraduate: Score must be 90

IELTS: International English Language Testing System

  • For undergraduate: Score must be 6.5
  • For postgraduate: Score must be 7.5

If the student meets all the standards and criteria set, they will receive the acceptance letter from the institution. After getting the "letter of acceptance", they must apply for student visa or pass.
For more details see International Tests

Visa Application

All international students are required to get Student Authorization i.e. Student Visa before leaving for Singapore for studies.  In order to get a student visa, you need to submit a completed application form. You should make your application for a Student’s Pass to the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority  ICA. You can do this online using the Student's Pass Online Application & Registration (SOLAR) system. A Student's Pass is valid for the entire duration of your course. There are certain documents that you may need to submit along with your Student Visa application.

Student Visa Requirements -Documentation

  • Completed student visa application form
  • Acceptance letter from the Singapore University 
  • Birth Certificate
  • Certified copies of highest educational certificates and results
  • TOEFL/IELTS scores
  • A Valid passport and two passport sized photographs.
  • Bank Draft for visa processing fees
  • Proof of funds
  • Receipt of the insurance premium which you will need to submit to the visa authorities.
  • Medical Reports 
The international students should make sure that their visa application reaches the ICA at least 2 months before the date of commencement of the course.
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