Nus Singapore Essays

Application for Academic Year 2018-2019 will commence on 13 October 2017.

Application Process Flowchart

Please note the application closing dates for the various qualifications as follows:

Qualification TypeAY2018 Application Closing DatesAY2018 Documents Submission DeadlineEstimated Application Outcome by:Appeal Window
Indonesian Ujian Nasional (UN)[1]25 December 2017, Monday28 December 2017, ThursdayMid-MayInformation will be available from February 2018 onwards[2]
Vietnam National High School Graduation Examination[1]

Unified Examination Certificate (UEC)[1]

1 January 2018, Monday4 January 2018, ThursdayMid-May
All qualifications except:
  • Indian Standard 12 (CBSE, ISC and Stateboards)
28 February 2018, Wednesday3 March 2018, SaturdayMid-May to end July
Indian Standard 12 (CBSE, ISC and Stateboards)31 March 2018, Saturday3 April 2018, TuesdayMid-July


[1] International applicants presenting qualifications which meet the stipulations indicated below will be required to take the University Entrance Examinations (UEE).

  1. Year 12 Indonesian Ujian Nasional (UN) Examination but have yet to receive their actual examination results when applying for admission.
  2. Year 12 Vietnamese High School Graduation Examination (VHSGE) but have yet to receive their actual examination results when applying for admission
  3. Year 12 Unified Examination Certificate (UEC) and are applying for Law, Medicine, Dentistry, Nursing and / or Pharmacy.
The University will shortlist and invite students to take the UEE based on academic results submitted in their applications. For more information on UEE, please visit

[2] Applicants who receive their application outcome beyond the appeal window may submit an appeal email to

You would be considered an international applicant if you are neither a Singapore Citizen nor Singapore Permanent Resident (SPR) and not presenting the qualifications listed below:

  • Singapore-Cambridge GCE A level
  • Diploma from a Polytechnic in Singapore
  • International Baccalaureate
  • NUS High School Diploma

Admission requirements and closing dates

If you are an international applicant seeking admission to NUS, you should have completed or are completing high school, that is, at least twelve years of general education by July of the year of application. You may view the list of acceptable high school qualifications and applicant group types below.

Please ensure that you select the correct qualification and applicant group type before submitting an online application.

Applicant Group type to choose:

  1. If you have completed high school final examination, please select ‘I have completed the high school final examination’ in section 3 ‘High School Education’ of the application form.
  2. If you are sitting for the high school final examination and results will be available after application closing date, please select ‘I will be completing the high school final examination after application closing date’ in section 3 ‘High School Education’ of the application form.

Application closing dates apply according to your high school qualification. Unless otherwise specified, your complete application with all supporting documents must reach the Office of Admissions by the application closing date.

  1. 'A' Level (AQA, Cambridge, Edexcel, London, OCR, Oxford International AQA)
  2. American High School Diploma
  3. Australian High School
  4. Brunei 'A' Level
  5. Canadian High School Diploma
  6. Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE)
  7. Danish Studentereksamen (Upper Secondary Leaving Examination)
  8. European Baccalaureate Diploma
  9. French Baccalaureate Diploma
  10. Gao Kao or PRC National College Entrance Examination
  11. German Abitur
  12. Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education (HKDSE)/ Hong Kong 'A' Level
  13. Indian Standard 12 (Central and ISC Boards)
  14. Indian Standard 12 (State and other Boards)
  15. Indonesian Ujian Nasional (UN)
  16. Italian Diploma di Esame di Stato
  17. Mauritius High School Certificate
  18. New Zealand National Certificate of Education Achievement (NCEA) Level 3
  19. Oman Thanawiya Amma (Secondary School Leaving Certificate)
  20. Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia (STPM)
  21. Sri Lanka 'A' Level
  22. Swiss Matura/ Swiss Federal Maturity Certificate
  23. Taiwan Senior High School
  24. Turkish High School
  25. Unified Examination Certificate (UEC)
  26. Vietnam National High School Graduation Examination
  27. Other High School Qualifications

Students, including home study students, may submit the following scores to compete for undergraduate admissions:

i. ACT with Writing and SAT Subject Tests, or
ii. SAT and SAT Subject Tests, or
iii. Advanced Placement score report

For more information, click here.

Applicants presenting accredited Diplomas obtained from a Polytechnic in Singapore should apply under Polytechnic Diplomas from Singapore in February 2018.

Students presenting the Foundation, Matriculation or Twinning qualifications with appropriate university exam results may also apply and compete for admission to NUS.

Application outcomes are released in batches. The final batch of application outcomes will be released around mid-July 2018.

National University of Singapore offers a 17-month MBA program offering specializations in 4 distinct areas (Finance, Marketing, Healthcare Management, or Strategy & Organization). If you are looking for an Asian-focused program with strong placement in the Consulting (21%), Finance (23%), or Technology (29%) industries in Singapore (50%), China (13%) or other Asia-Pacific countries, then NUS may be a great program for you. This is a small program of less than 100 students, but 93% of those students hail from over 30 countries outside of Singapore. My tips for completing the NUS MBA application are below in blue.

NUS has some short questions in its application form, including a 500-character question “Why is it important for you to embark on your MBA now?”

Five hundred characters are only around 5 lines of text, so this is not a long essay. However, this space is a great opportunity to add some immediacy to your MBA needs. You can talk about what is happening in your industry that requires greater business or leadership insight, or you may find it helpful to share aspects of your personal life that make now the right time to pursue your MBA.


1. Tell us about your intermediate (5 yrs) post-MBA career goal, describing your industry, function and country of choice and a plan on how you would achieve this goal. (300 words)

All MBA programs want their students to be pleased with the employment they find and the career trajectory ahead of them after graduation. Applicants must demonstrate in this essay that they know what they can expect to achieve within 5 years of graduating so that the Admissions office will believe you are realistically driven.

LinkedIn searches for NUS alumni can be very useful to see what a wide range of MBA alumni have succeeded in doing within around 5 years of graduating. Go to NUS’s LinkedIn page and then use the Search Alumni button, and you can restrict your search to graduates around 2010-2012 to get a sense of their 5-year progress. This isn’t foolproof: you must check that you are looking at MBA graduates (and not undergraduate degree holders or exchange students), but this will offer you wider insight than your own small circle of acquaintances. Go ahead and reach out to alumni through LinkedIn and through your personal network to discuss how they reached the advancement that they did to add depth to your own plans for this essay.

2. Optional Essay: If there is anything else you would like to share with the Admissions Committee that was not covered in your application, please include here (eg. unexplained gaps in work, choice of recommenders, inconsistent or questionable academic performance). (150 words)

I personally find the placement of this question second a bit awkward, since at this point in the application you still have essay space to “cover” things about yourself. I recommend writing the remaining two essay questions first and then examining what areas of your background you may not have explained completely.

This optional space may certainly be used to explain poor academic performance, but if possible I highly recommend shining the spotlight on an area of strength in the process: poor grades do not have to stand on their own when you can demonstrate that you spent your undergraduate education in significant extracurricular leadership roles, for example.

3. Please answer ONE of the following short essay prompts. (300 words)

1. I am passionate about…
2. My greatest challenge has been…
3. My biggest failure was….

All three of these questions are opportunities to share an interesting experience from your life. Passion comes through with differentiating details (did you compete in 10Ks every weekend? Did you turn $500 in high school summer earnings into an investment portfolio worth thousands?). Challenges are overcome with drive, tenacity, and commitment. Failures are learning experiences and launch pads for subsequent successes. Share an example here that will help the Admission committee see your exceptionality come alive.

4. Please introduce yourself to your NUS MBA classmates. (300 words)

This essay can be about anything in your background. The easiest way to tackle a question like this is to identify 3 attributes that describe you and spend around 100 words sharing an example of each. Keep in mind that NUS is seeking students from diverse professional and national backgrounds with evidence of strong leadership abilities and positive impact on business and society. Essays emphasizing and sharing evidence of these attributes will demonstrate fit with NUS well.

***Disclaimer: Information is subject to change. Please check with individual programs to verify the essay questions, instructions and deadlines.***

If you would like professional guidance with your NUS MBA application, check out Accepted’s MBAessay editing and consultingor ourMBA Application Packages, which include advising, editing, and interview coaching for the NUS application.

Full-Time NUS MBA Application Dates:

The application window is from October 1, 2016 through March 31, 2017.

Admissions is rolling: applicants will be notified of their admissions decision within between 6 and 10 weeks of submitting the completed application.

Scholarships are only available for applicants who submit by January 31st, 2017.

Jennifer Bloom has been a consultant with Accepted for 17 years and is a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW). She is an expert at crafting application materials that truly differentiate you from the rest of the driven applicant pool. If you would like help with your Foster application, Jennifer can suggest a number of options that work with any budget. Want Jennifer to help you get accepted? Click here!

Related Resources:

• Why MBA?, free guide
• Stand Out! A Critical Goal for Your Application [Episode 181]
• How to Stay Within Essay Word Limits by Reducing Verbal Verbosity

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Applying to a top b-school? The talented folks at Accepted have helped hundreds of applicants get accepted to their dream programs. Whether you are figuring out where to apply, writing your application essays, or prepping for your interviews, we are just a call (or click) away.

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