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As a leading research university, Students have the opportunity to engage in research activities at NUS’ Schools and Faculties, as well as its 30 university-level research institutes and centers. Research will be conducted under the guidance of a NUS Faculty Member.

Which category should I apply for?


Please check with your home university if there is a provision for the exchange of research students between them and NUS. Exchange students attend NUS on a fee waiver basis and are only liable to pay miscellaneous student fees.

Fee-paying (Non-Exchange)

If your home university does not have a research exchange agreement with NUS, you may apply as a fee-paying Non-Exchange student.

Non-Exchange students are liable to pay both the semester-based research fee and miscellaneous student fee to the University.

General Criteria

  1. You must be a current student registered at another University and have completed at least two semesters (one full year) at the college/university level.
  2. You must continue to assume this status throughout your intended duration of study at NUS under the non-graduating programme.
  3. The intended research must be part of your degree requirements and must be endorsed by your home university.
  4. The intended research period is at least 1 month and cannot exceed 2 years.

Obtain a Faculty Thesis Advisor at NUS

Students pursuing research need to obtain formal approval from a research advisor at NUS before applying for admission to NUS. You may search to learn more about our research expertise by using names and disciplines to identify matching interests here.

Note: Students must hold a valid Students' Pass (STP) for the entire duration of research. The STP does not permit students to work.

All applicants are required to upload the documents as part of their online application to the Non-Graduating Programme. As English is the main language used at the University (except for Asian/European studies), your supporting documents must be translated to English, if they are from non-English medium universities. Refer to the following checklist for the documents required.

If you are an Exchange student, your research fees are generally waived. However, you are still required to pay for the Miscellaneous Student Fees.

If you are a Non-Exchange student, you are required to pay research fees as well as the Miscellaneous Student Fees.

  • Miscellaneous Student Fees

    All non-graduating students enrolled at NUS are liable to pay Miscellaneous Student Fees (MSFs) to the University as part of their stay.

    The MSF consists of two components: the Student Service Fee and the Health Service Fee.

    Why pay?

    Miscellaneous student fees help meet part of the costs incurred by the University in providing services to the student community.

    These services include healthcare for students; facilitating student cultural, social and recreational programmes; and maintaining the internal shuttle bus service, IT network and other campus-wide services.

  • Research Fees (for Non-exchange students)

    Non-exchange students are liable to pay research fees in addition to Miscellaneous Student Fees. Fees payable are assessed based on the number of academic semesters that the applicant plans to spend at NUS.

    Applicants are reminded to consult the NUS academic calendar to determine the research fees incurred for the entirety of their candidature prior to application.

    Should an applicant’s candidature end at any point during either Semester 1 or 2, he or she is still liable to pay fees for that semester should their stay exceed the second instructional week of that semester.

  • Other Costs (campus housing)

    All non-graduating students are eligible to apply for on-campus housing, although not guaranteed placement given the limited supply of accommodation at NUS. Primary consideration will be given to exchange students reading undergraduate courses in NUS. Please refer to the Office of Student Affairs for more information on eligibility and application.

    Non-graduating research students should consider staying off campus in view of the limited supply of on-campus housing. Please refer to the Office of Student Affairs for more information on private and off-campus accommodation.

    Please refer to the following for a list of updated fees.

Application to the NG Programme (Research)

Research applications are accepted as long as they are received 3 months prior to the commencement of the proposed research period at NUS. We regret to inform you that we are unable to entertain late applications.

NUS Semester 1
(August - early November)
21 March to 30 August 1 month before the proposed start of research
NUS Semester 2
(January - early April)
1 September to 31 January (of the following year)
NUS Special Term 1
(May - 2nd week of June)
1 February to 31 March
NUS Special Term 2
(3rd week of June – 1st week of July)
1 February to 30 April

Includes an overview of the application process, procedures, timelines and fees.

Prior to application, all interested students should check the NUS Academic Calendar to ensure that their research period starts within Semester 1, Semester 2 or NUS Special Term 1 & 2

Application to take place via the NUS Online Application Portal (OAP). You may wish to check out this video that outlines the application process.

Additionally, please refer to the OAP user guide for detailed application information and step-by-step instructions.