Candidature Matters

Extension of Candidature

Students who are unable to submit their thesis for examination or complete their degree requirements by the maximum period of their candidature will have to apply for an extension of their candidature. This should be done at least three months before the expiry of the maximum candidature. Faculties may approve extension of candidature not exceeding two years on a cumulative basis. Beyond the two-year limit, the approval of the Board of Graduate Studies is required.

Students are to apply for extension using the prescribed application form at https://myportal.nus.edu.sg/studentportal/eservices/gd through supervisor(s), Head of Department, to Vice Dean of Faculty.

A candidature would be considered lapsed (candidature terminated) once the maximum candidature period of the degree is reached unless an extension was previously approved.


Transfer of Candidature

Tuition fees payable for the semester of transfer will depend on the effective date of transfer. If the transfer is effective within the first two instructional weeks of the semester, fees for the new programme is payable. If the effective date of transfer is after the first two instructional weeks, fees for the former programme will be payable.

Students who have previously enjoyed government subsidy/sponsorship in a graduate programme should refer to the eligibility guidelines on fee subsidy. Students who are ineligible for fee subsidy are also not eligible for some scholarships.

International students who have signed the Service Obligation (SO) agreements with the Ministry of Education (MOE) and are transferring/admitting to a programme of a different level (e.g. from a PhD to a Master's or vice versa), will have to apply and sign a new SO agreement if they wish to pay the SO fee rate for the new programme. Please refer to the SO Scheme for eligibility and other information. The student can serve both SO bonds concurrently, i.e. the bond length will still be three years upon graduation from the last programme. If a student has signed SO agreement for the former programme, s/he should consult his/her Department on the fee payable for the new programme. The timing for such transfers/admits should be aligned to the signing of SO agreement for the semester because if a student misses the scheduled SO online application period for the semester, s/he will have to pay unsubsidised tuition fee for the semester and apply for SO Scheme in the following semester. Upon approval, the subsidy will start from the semester for which approval is given.

  1. For transfer of candidature from Master's or Graduate Programme by research to PhD, the student has to pass the PhD Qualifying Examination (QE) and meet any other criteria set forth by the Faculty before the candidature can be upgraded. Please refer to the Faculty's guidelines in this aspect. Application to upgrade the candidature should be made using the prescribed application form at https://myportal.nus.edu.sg/studentportal/eservices/gd/, through supervisor(s), Head of Department and Vice Dean of Faculty.

    As a result of the upgrading, the maximum candidature will be five years from the original date of registration. Credit will be given for the work done towards the Master's degree. Nevertheless, if there is no credit transfer to the new programme, the student will be considered to be withdrawing from the previous programme and admitting afresh to the new programme. The student will have a new admit term (fees payable and degree requirement as per new cohort) and a new candidature period.

    For research scholarship holders, the scholarship period will generally be extended to correspond to the period given to PhD students in the respective Faculty. The terms and conditions of the research scholarship award remain unchanged. In addition to the scholarship stipend, an additional stipend of S$500 may be given from the QE pass date up to such date as decided by the Faculty.

  1. For transfer of candidature from PhD to Master's by research, student should complete and submit the prescribed application form at https://myportal.nus.edu.sg/studentportal/eservices/gd/, through supervisor(s), Head of Department and Vice Dean of Faculty. A student may also be advised to transfer if s/he has not been performing satisfactorily in his/her PhD. The student is advised to similarly complete and submit the prescribed application form.

    As a result of the transfer, the maximum period of candidature will be reduced to three years from the original date of registration. The student will have to apply for extension of candidature, if necessary. Nevertheless, if there is no credit transfer to the new programme, the student will be considered to be withdrawing from the previous programme and admitting afresh to the new programme. The student will have a new admit term (fees payable and degree requirement as per new cohort) and a new candidature period.

    For research scholarship/fellowship/award recipients, the scholarship/fellowship/award may be terminated with the transfer. If the scholarship/fellowship/award is terminated before the end of the first two instructional weeks, the tuition fee for the semester will not be covered by the scholarship/fellowship/award. If excess payment has already been made, the student will be informed to make the necessary refund. If there is an over-consumption of leave, the appropriate amount arising from that will be added to the refund. In addition, for full-time international students whose spouse/children are here on a social visit pass sponsored by the University, the pass may also be cancelled once the application for conversion to part-time candidature has been approved.

  1. For transfer of research candidature from one Faculty / Department to another; or from one Master's by coursework programme to another, the student should consult the Faculty/Department(s) hosting the programmes on the possibility and procedure. There is no change to the admit term and candidature period (in general) if there is credit to be transferred from the previous programme to the new programme.

    If there is no credit transfer to the new programme, the student will be considered as withdrawing from the previous programme and admitting afresh to the new programme. The student will have a new admit term (fees payable and degree requirement as per new cohort) and a new candidature period.

    An administrative fee of $40 for the request will be charged.

  2. There is no direct transfer of candidature from PhD/Master's by Research to Master's by coursework or vice versa. The student will be considered as withdrawing from the previous programme and admitting afresh to the new programme. The student should consult the Faculty/Department(s) hosting the programmes for advice on the possibility and procedure. The student will have a new admit term (fees payable and degree requirement as per new cohort) and a new candidature period.

    If a student transfers from a research to a coursework programme and the student is/was in receipt of research scholarship/fellowship/tuition fee allowance, s/he will be charged administrative fees for the transfer of modules depending on the number of modules to be transferred to, the total number of modules required for, and the prevailing tuition fees of the new coursework programme. The student can consult his/her Department for more details.

    An administrative fee of $40 for the request will be charged.


Conversion of Candidature (between Full-time and Part-time)

Coursework students are to apply using the prescribed application form (if available for the Faculty) or consult their Faculty for the procedure.

Research students are to apply using the prescribed application form at https://myportal.nus.edu.sg/studentportal/eservices/gd through supervisor(s), Head of Department, to Vice Dean of Faculty.

Generally, research students should have already submitted a satisfactory first draft of the thesis to the supervisor before the request for conversion from full-time to part-time candidature can be approved. For students who are or who have been on research scholarship/fellowship/award, under no circumstances should they start work before they obtain approval from the University. Otherwise, their candidature may be terminated immediately.

Fees are still payable until such time the thesis has been submitted for examination. For full-time international students, the University will inform the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) of the conversion to part-time candidature. The student's pass must be cancelled/surrendered to ICA, using a prescribed "Cancellation/Surrender of Student's Pass/Long-Term Visit Pass" form, which is downloadable from the ICA website. Any spouse/child social visit pass sponsored by the University will also have to be cancelled accordingly.

For research scholarship/fellowship/award recipients, the scholarship/fellowship/award will be terminated with the conversion to part-time. If the scholarship/fellowship/award is terminated before the end of the first two instructional weeks, the tuition fee for the semester will not be covered by the scholarship/fellowship/award. If excess payment has already been made, the student will be informed to make the necessary refund. If there is an over-consumption of leave, the appropriate amount arising from that will be added to the refund.

Please refer to fees payable arising from change in academic load.


Concurrent Enrolment in Another Course

Graduate students who wish to enrol concurrently in another course offered by NUS or another University have to seek approval in writing from the Vice Dean of Faculty through the supervisor(s) (for research students) and the Head of Department. Research students can only enrol in another course if they have submitted the thesis for examination.

Research students who are doing a research degree and a coursework graduate degree concurrently are advised to file for graduation from the coursework degree first as they can then seek credit and grade transfer for the coursework component of the research programme (subject to the approval of the Department/Faculty). If students are to file for graduation for the research degree first, they generally cannot use any of the modules for the coursework degree.

Students who have enjoyed government subsidy / scholarship in a graduate programme will not be eligible for government subsidy in another graduate programme at the same or lower level. Instead, such students will be liable to pay “Full Fees” for the graduate programme that they now wish to undertake.


Withdrawal of Candidature

Graduate research students who wish to withdraw from their course should submit the prescribed application form at https://myportal.nus.edu.sg/studentportal/eservices/gd with their student card through their supervisor(s), Head of Department, to Vice Dean of Faculty. A letter confirming the withdrawal from the University will be sent to student within three weeks after submission of the form.

Graduate coursework students should check with their respective Faculty for information on the withdrawal procedure.

Please note that students who leave the University after the second instructional week of a semester are liable to pay fees for the whole semester. Not having attended any class or not having utilised university's resources are invalid reasons for exemption from fee payment.

For students who have modules registered for the semester, depending on when during the semester they notify the University of the intention to withdraw, their module(s) and candidature withdrawal status will be recorded as follows:

Notification of withdrawal

Module(s) registered for the semester

Withdrawal status

By end of Instructional Week 2*

Remove from record completely.

Take effect from the date of application.

First day of Instructional Week 3* through to last day of Reading Week*

Record with a “WU” grade representing “withdrawal from university”.

First day of Examination Period* through to last day of Vacation*

Record with final grade(s) awarded by the University.

Withdrawal will not be processed until after result release - Withdrawal will only take effect from the following semester.

* Please refer to Academic Calendar for the actual date.

Students who withdraw after registering for modules during Special Term Part 1 and 2 will have their module(s) and candidature withdrawal status recorded as follows:

Notification of withdrawal

Module(s) registered for the semester

Withdrawal status

By end of Week 1*

Remove from record completely.

Take effect from the date of application.

First day of Week 2* through to the day before start of Examination*

Record with a “WU” grade representing “withdrawal from university”.

First day of Examination Period* through to last day of Vacation*

Record with final grade(s) awarded by the University.

Withdrawal will not be processed until fter result release. Withdrawal will only take effect from the following semester.

* Please refer to Academic Calendar for the actual date.

The student card has to be returned to the Department/Programme Office/Student Service Centre/Student Services@BTC.

For international students holding a student's pass, the University will inform the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) of the withdrawal. The student's pass must be cancelled/surrendered to ICA, using a prescribed "Cancellation/Surrender of Student's Pass/Long-Term Visit Pass" form, which is downloadable from the ICA website. Any spouse/child social visit pass sponsored by the University will also have to be cancelled accordingly.

Students who have withdrawn from the University and subsequently intend to return to the same programme of study will have to apply for readmission and be subjected to the prevailing tuition fee rate and policy. Nevertheless, students may appeal to return within 12 months from date of withdrawal, by submitting a request with justifications for reinstatement of candidature to their Faculty for consideration. Reinstatement of candidature will be considered on a case-by-case basis and is not guaranteed. An administrative fee of S$250 is payable for approved reinstatement of candidature. For those on MOE-subsidised programmes and are successful in gaining readmission, they will be subjected to the eligibility guidelines for MOE subsidy.


Termination of Candidature

The candidature of a student can be terminated when:

  • performance in coursework and/or research is unsatisfactory;
  • student is the subject of a disciplinary case brought before the Board of Discipline;
  • student is missing in action (without approved leave);
  • student did not register for module(s) when s/he is expected to (without approved leave or other approval); or
  • student has exceeded the maximum candidature (candidature has lapsed)
  • student has overdue fees

The student will be notified officially in writing if the candidature is terminated.

Please note that students who leave the University after the second instructional week of a semester are liable to pay fees for the whole semester.

The student card has to be returned to the Department/Programme Office/Student Service Centre/Student Services@BTC.

For international students holding a student’s pass, the University will inform the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) of the termination. The student’s pass must be cancelled/surrendered to ICA, using a prescribed “Cancellation/Surrender of Student’s Pass/Long-Term Visit Pass” form, which is downloadable from the ICA website. Any spouse/child social visit pass sponsored by the University will also have to be cancelled accordingly.

Students who have been dismissed due to poor Cumulative Average Point (CAP) can refer to http://www.nus.edu.sg/registrar/edu/gd-contgrad.html regarding appeal for reinstatement.

Students who have been dismissed and would like to return to the same programme of study generally will have to apply for readmission and be subjected to the prevailing tuition fee rate and policy. Nevertheless, students may appeal to return within 12 months from date of termination, by submitting a request with justifications for reinstatement of candidature to their Faculty for consideration. Reinstatement of candidature will be considered on a case-by-case basis and is not guaranteed. An administrative fee of S$250 is payable for approved reinstatement of candidature.

For those on MOE-subsidised programmes and are successful in gaining readmission, they will be subjected to the eligibility guidelines for MOE subsidy.