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Singapore Management University : Career, Admission, Fees & Acceptance Rate

Updated on 05 April, 2024

upGrad Abroad Team

upGrad Abroad Team

upGrad abroad Editorial Team

The Singapore Management University (SMU) is among Asia's most prestigious institutes. Established in 2000 in Victoria Street, Singapore, the institute is the country's first public-funded private university. It has earned AACSB and EQUIS accreditation. 

The Singapore Management University secured the 545th spot in the QS World University Rankings 2024. It also earned 43rd position in the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2023: Business and Management studies for its high-quality management programs. 


Singapore Management University has six specialized schools. These schools provide courses in Accountancy, Business, Economics, Computing and Information Systems, Law, and Social Sciences. 

The university has an advanced infrastructure and provides several facilities to international students.

  • Educational Institutes: Business Families Institute, Institute of Service Excellence, UOB-SMU Asian Enterprise Institute, International Trading Institute, etc.
  • Academic Centers: AI & Data Governance, Computational Law, Marketing Excellence, Secure Mobile Centre, Social Innovation, Singapore Resolution Dispute Resolution Academy, etc.
  • Lab Infrastructure: Networks and Society Groups, Intelligent Software Engineering Research Lab, Urban Computing and Engineering Lab, Pro Bono Centre
  • Libraries: Kwa Geok Choo Law Library, Li Ka Shing Library, SMU Connexion
  • Amenities: Arts and Culture Centre, Basement Studio, Sports Hall, Swimming Pool, Gymnasium, Fitness Centre 

The Singapore Management University focuses on three key research areas:

  • Digital Transformation
  • Sustainable Living
  • Growth in Asia

As a result, you can explore research opportunities and work in centres like Intelligent Software Engineering, AI-based Decision Making, Living Analytics, and many more. Each school has several core research subdomains.

For instance, the School of Accountancy allows students to conduct studies on  Financial Performance Analysis and  Accounting Information Systems. On the other hand, the School of Social Sciences focuses on areas like Sociology, Humanities, and Political Science.  

Hence, there are ample research opportunities at SMU. Moreover, to accommodate a diverse international student population, the medium of instruction is English. 

The Singapore Management University also offers residential options like Prinsep Street Residences and HA Hostel at Pearl’s Hill for students.


One academic year at the Singapore Management University is divided into three terms. However, the third term is optional for students.

The dates for each term keep changing every year. You can find a quick breakdown of the tentative months for the academic session 2024-25 as follows.

  • Term 1: August to November
  • Term 2: January to April
  • Term 3 (Optional): May to July

After knowing the term periods, the admission procedure is vital. Take a look at the Singapore Management University admission process:  

  • All applications are to be made online. 
  • You can enter and submit all the details on the official online portal.
  • Upload the necessary documents. These include passport, secondary school or university results, English proficiency exam scores, school testimonials, and medical reports (for students with disabilities).
  • After this step, you have to pay SGD 15 as the application fee online. 
  • The university will then communicate for an admission interview. In case you aspire to pursue a Law course, a writing test is mandatory. 

The Singapore Management University admission requirements are as follows:

  • Applicants must have completed 12 years of formal education with at least 90% marks in 5 subjects, including English in high school.  
  • A post-graduate program will demand a Bachelor’s degree from recognized universities
  • Students also need to portray proficiency in English. SMU accepts SAT, ACT, IELTS, TOEFL, C1, and PTE exam scores for considering applications.
  • If you want to pursue Law programs, the minimum scores for SAT, ACT, IELTS, TOEFL (iBT), C1, and PTE are 1350, 29, 7.5, 100, 191, and 76, respectively. For all other programs, the minimum scores for SAT, ACT, IELTS, TOEFL (iBT), C1, and PTE are 1350, 29, 7.0, 93, 185, and 66, respectively
  • You can also appear for the paper-based TOEFL. In such a case, you need to score at least 600 for Law admission and 583 for entry to other programs

The Singapore Management University acceptance rate is 45%. This statistic proves the competitive admission process. Hence, you will need a good mixture of academic scores and interview preparation to enter SMU.


The programs at SMU are divided into three types- undergraduate, post-graduate, and professional. Hence, you should choose the type of course based on your current academic requirement.

Take a look at some popular undergraduate courses at the Singapore Management University: 

  • Bachelor of Accountancy
  • Bachelor of Laws
  • Bachelor of Social Science
  • BSc Computing and Law
  • BSc Computer Science
  • BSc Economics
  • BSc Information Systems

Here are the famous master’s level programs that you can study at SMU:

  • Master of Laws (LLM)
  • Juris Doctor Program
  • Executive MBA
  • MSc Management
  • MSc Innovation
  • MSc Accounting
  • Master of Professional Accountancy
  • Master of IT in Business

SMU also offers a Master of Philosophy in Economics research program. This course spans two years and includes a thesis as a chance to contribute to the field of Economics. 

You can also explore 800 professional courses at the Singapore Management University such as: 

  • Advanced Diploma in Data Analytics and Machine Learning
  • Advanced Certificate in Data Protection Operational Excellence
  • Executive Certificate in Law Firm Management
  • Lean Six Sigma Black Belt Certification
  • Graduate Certificate in Digital Finance
  • Graduate Certificate in Strategic Digital Transformation in Finance
  • Advanced Certificate in Data Protection Principles


For each course, you need to enroll for two SMU credit semesters. However, you can take a maximum workload of five SMU credits per semester. The programs at SMU follow a Grade Point Average (GPA) scoring system. So, you can achieve the highest cumulative GPA of 4.0 studying at the Singapore Management University. 

To help you get a basic idea of the university schedule, the details of the Singapore Management University academic calendar 2024-25 are as follows.

  • Term 1: 19 Aug 2024 to 24 Nov 2024
  • Term 1 Exam: 25 Nov 2024 to 08 Dec 2024 
  • Vacation: 09 Dec 2024 to 12 Jan 2025
  • Term 2: 13 Jan 2025 to 20 Apr 2025
  • Term 2 Exam: 21 Apr 2025 to 4 May 2025
  • Term 3A:  5 May 2025 to 08 Jun 2025
  • Term 3B: 23 Jun 2025 to 27 Jul 2025

You can expect the dates to lie around the same range for different academic years. Still, the official university calendar has updated dates for new academic semesters. 

Extra-curriculars and Diversity 

SMU has four dedicated student organizations that indulge in co-curricular activities: 

  • Arts and Cultural Fraternity (ACF)
  • SMU Sports Union (SSU)
  • SMU Xploration Crew (SMUX)
  • Special Interest & Community Services Sodality (SICS)

Each organization specializes in its respective field. For instance, you can explore Latin ballroom dance, visual arts, media centre, and more with the ACF. On the other hand,  you can play sports like basketball, badminton, handball, soccer, and much more under the SSU.

Also, you will be amazed to know that SMU has unique International Student Clubs. Thirteen clubs at the Singapore Management University fall under International Connections (ICON). Finally, the student leadership groups and functional bodies contribute to the extracurricular facet of this institute.

The Singapore Management University believes in global diversity. Almost 62% of post-graduate students come from 51 countries around the globe. So, you can collaborate and build fruitful relations with a diverse group of like-minded individuals.

In terms of diversity beyond the student population, SMU encourages an inclusive environment as 38% of its faculty is international. This implies that SMU welcomes foreign professors and provides excellent opportunities for global talent.  

This educational institute also celebrates cultural diversity through interactive workshops. The Diverse-City celebration is the institute's annual fiesta that celebrates such international variety and allows you to learn about various cultures. 

Career Placements 

The Singapore Management University has a vast network of academic, research, and industrial connections. Interestingly, SMU has partnered with prestigious universities like the University College London and Carnegie Mellon University. Moreover, the university also collaborates with several companies in public or private sector. Some of the significant employers of SMU alumni include: 

  • Accenture
  • Amazon Web Services Singapore
  • Google Asia Pacific Pvt. Ltd.
  • Dell Technologies Inc.
  • Citibank Singapore Ltd.
  • Salesforce.com
  • Kaspersky Lab
  • Datacamp
  • Tibco Inc.
  • KPMG Services Pvt. Ltd. 

The institute also provides a Work-Study Elective Program (WSEP) where students can study and work in a long-duration internship at a specific organization. With over 200 career development workshops and more than 240 employers participating in career fairs, job opportunities are plenty at SMU.

In addition, the career coach and services team supports students with adequate work opportunities during and after course completion.

SMU alumni work predominantly in streams like Business Development, Finance, Education, and Engineering. Hence, if you aspire to make a career in one of these fields, Singapore Management University can prove a perfect choice.   

Successful alumni of any institute are a testament to the level of education and career guidance. SMU has some well-known professionals working in different sectors. Here’s a list of some notable alumni:

  • Pritam Singh: Politician, Lawyer, and Author, Singapore
  • Rebecca Lim: Actress, The Ultimate Winner
  • Nirvana Chaudhary: Managing Director, CG Corp Global
  • Alvin Poh: Co-founder, Vodien Internet Solutions
  • Jasmine Sim: Actress and Model, Singapore
  • Pauline Ng: Founder, Porcelain Pvt. Ltd.
  • Ben Boesch: Chief Digital Officer, VFS Global
  • Dr. Fermin Diez: Author, Fundamentals of HR Analytics
  • Karl Mak: Co-founder, Chief Executive, Hepmil Media Group

Overall, this list of some successful alumni can help you get an idea about the career success possible after studying at SMU.  

Tuition Fees

The Singapore Management University fees vary as per your selected course. In addition, if you receive a tuition grant, the annual fee for a program will reduce considerably. However, this section will include non-subsidized fees to give you a general idea. 

For courses such as the Bachelor of Laws, the annual tuition fees is SGD50,412. For other undergraduate courses in Accountancy, Business Management and Computer Science, the fees are SGD46,022 per year. 

If you opt for additional courses in Term 3, the annual tuition cost will be SGD4,602. In the case of the Bachelor of Laws program, this particular term fee is around SGD5,041. The master’s program’s tuition fees hover around SGD48,150. 

You can apply for tuition grants during the application process. However, upon availing the tuition grant, you need to work in a Singapore entity for three years upon graduation. 

Besides the tuition fees, you also need to consider the cost of living. This will always vary depending on your lifestyle. Still, you can expect the average expenses to be SGD2,000 per month. This includes your accommodation, utilities, food, travel, and personal expenses. 


In conclusion, if you wish to study at the Singapore Management University, get started on your application early and prepare well. 

upGrad Abroad Team

upGrad abroad Editorial Team

We are a dedicated team of study-abroad experts, ensuring intensive research and comprehensive information in each of our blogs. With every piece written, we aim at simplifying the overseas education process for all. Our diverse experience as journalists, content writers, editors, content strategists, and marketers helps create the most relevant and authentic blogs for our readers.

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