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Study in Singapore For Indian Students

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Singapore, a country of merely 275 sq. miles, excels in most of the crucial aspects of quality education. Be it research, pedagogy, infrastructure, or faculty, the southeast Asian island leads in all facets. To take advantage of this education ecosystem, you should explore study and work opportunities in Singapore. This study in Singapore guide will walk you through all things to know for the same.

Why Study in Singapore?

Singapore's high-ranking institutions vouch for its academic excellence. Additionally, the island country ranks seven in the INSEAD Global Innovation Index, and Singapore city ranks #17 on the QS Best Student Cities list. 

Strategically, the economy of Singapore is well-managed due to its geographical location of being the largest port in southeast Asia. Thus, trading and shipping activities promote employment and fruitful global connectivity.

Apart from the above facts, here are some other reasons to study in Singapore:

  • Comparatively affordable courses
  • Diversity and inclusiveness
  • Degrees with international recognition
  • The primary language of education is English
  • Extensive study courses

Admission requirements to study abroad in Singapore

You can explore courses ranging from Bachelor’s to Ph.D. levels in Singapore universities. Hence, the criteria for admission vary as per the level of the program.

The essential requirement to study in Singapore for Indian students remains constant. For instance, to pursue a Bachelor’s level course, you need to provide the following details:

  • Standard XII results from a recognized board
  • English language proficiency proof

On the contrary, if you wish to pursue a Master’s degree program, here are the basic requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree from a recognized university
  • English language proficiency proof

Similarly, you need a Master’s degree to gain admission to a Ph.D. program and also have proof of English proficiency for which you can provide IELTS or TOEFL scores for most academic programs to study in Singapore. In addition, most Singapore universities accept PTE Academic, ACT, AST, or SAT scores.  

Generally, the minimum IELTS score to establish proficiency in English is 6.5. However, different educational institutes can accept lower scores of 6.0 too. You can also expect the same criteria for other exams.

Overall, be ready you should be ready with the following documents to study in Singapore institutes:

  • Passport or birth certificate
  • Recognized final exam result slip
  • Test scores (IELTS, TOEFL, SAT, ACT, others (if any)
  • Academic transcripts
  • Medical report
  • Portfolio (If required)
  • Statement of Purpose (If required)
  • Letters of recommendation (If required)
  • Funding proof 

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Right Institutions to Study in Singapore

Now that you know the main requirements to gain admission, the next step is to know which are the top universities you should target. 

National University of Singapore (NUS)

The National University of Singapore is a premium institute with 17 schools. These schools offer a wide array of courses across disciplines.

NUS is positioned at #11 globally as per the renowned QS rankings. Also, it ranks #1 for providing education in the Petroleum Engineering stream. Moreover, with over 7,550 international students, this institute is undoubtedly a hub of culture and diversity.

Nanyang Technological University (NTU)

If you are an aspiring engineer, NTU can be the perfect destination. With a QS world university ranking of #12, Nanyang has excellent programs.

Additionally, the institute has collaborated with the prestigious Imperial College London. Hence, you have a remarkable opportunity to benefit from an international atmosphere at NTU.  

Singapore Management University (SMU)

SMU offers a wide range of courses to students. You can explore programs that cover various fields like Accounting, Computer Science, Law, and Management.

Notably, the university ranks in the range of #511-520 globally and has over 120 student clubs, making it ideal for well-rounded student development. 

Singapore University of Technology and Design

As the name suggests, SUTD focuses on technical and innovative courses. It ranks globally at #847 as per Webometrics Rankings.

Additionally, the institute has designated ‘pillars’ for its programs. These pillars focus on specialization in particular modules. Thus, you can streamline your career in Architecture and Sustainable Design, Engineering, Product Development, Humanities, Arts, Social Sciences, among other disciplines.

Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT)

Established in 2009, SIT is a comparatively new educational institute. It has undergraduate, post-graduate, applied learning, and short courses. Also, you can explore new-age research activities at SIT. So, to study in Singapore, this institute can be definitely worth exploring.

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Singapore Institute of Management (SIM)

SIM offers diverse categories of educational courses. At this time, you can explore several programs in domains like Arts, Business, IT, Nursing, among others. Additionally, SIM partners with universities based in the UK, USA, Australia, and Europe.

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James Cook University Singapore

The James Cook University operates in two countries— Singapore and Australia. Hence, you can benefit from its internationalised policies. It enables you to gain internationally recognized degrees. Also, the trimester system can prove beneficial for many international students.

NGEE ANN Polytechnic (NP)

You can study in Singapore at specialized institutes like the NGEE ANN Polytechnic. This polytechnic offers 39 full-time programs, 52 part-time programs and 200 short courses under the aegis of its 9 academic schools. At NP, you can also pursue full-time diploma courses in Applied Science, Engineering, Humanities, and more.

Nanyang Polytechnic

This polytechnic college has six specialized schools, a general studies center, and a foundation program. Importantly, this institute also offers an excellent exposure to indulge in academic and co-curricular activities. 

NTU’s National Institute of Education

This institute is a subsidiary of the prestigious NTU. It has dedicated research activities and graduate and undergraduate programs. You can explore unique NIE Singapore undergraduate online courses at this institute. Notably, this establishment is known for various academic and extra-curricular initiatives.

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Education System

The country has a well-defined education system in this island nation. In a nutshell, here’s what you need to know:

  • Singapore secondary education has three pathways– express, normal, and technical
  • International students can explore universities or polytechnics to pursue higher education
  • The courses fall predominantly under the management of the Ministry of Education

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Academic Cycle

Generally, universities in Singapore operate in two semesters. There is also a special term for some programs. You must also note that the admission deadlines for different universities vary as per the type of program.

Nevertheless, if you consider NUS’ academic cycle, here are the general start and end months are of:

  • Semester 1: August to December
  • Semester 2: January to May 

Application Process

To study in Singapore, you need to shortlist your preferred universities. Next, you should visit the respective official website of these institutes.

Here’s a generalized process for most applications:

  • Select the desired course on the website
  • Enter accurate details and upload required documents
  • Anticipate the university’s decision
  • Accept the formal offer letter
  • Apply for the student visa

Student Visa Requirements to Study Abroad in Singapore

There is only one student visa for any kind, of course, you want to pursue from Singapore. This visa is known as a ‘student pass’, which is based on the academic program's duration or type. So, to apply for the student visa, be sure to submit the following documents:

  • Current passport
  • Relevant visa application forms
  • Offer letter from the university
  • Proof of funding
  • Academic transcripts
  • English proficiency test scores

The processing fee for the application is SGD 30 (INR 1,675). Additionally, you need to pay a fee of SGD 60 (INR 3,350) after completing the visa formalities. 


Here’s a look at the study in Singapore scholarship list to provide helpful information for covering your expenses.



DST A*STAR Call for Singapore-India Joint Research GrantsIndian Government and A*STAR Singapore. The scholarship covers a maximum of Rs 60,00,000 per joint project to the Indian applicant and the SGD 3000,000 per joint project to the Singapore applicant.
Lee Kong Chian Graduate ScholarshipsBy National University of Singapore (NUS). Available for PhD applicants and provides a monthly stipend of approximately SDG 3,300 along with other expenses such as travel and books.
Science and Technology Undergraduate ScholarshipNational University of Singapore (NUS) offers this grant to undergraduate students pursuing courses in computers, engineering or science (excluding pharmacy). Awards tuition fee-waiver, accommodation and travel costs, and SDG 6,000 in annual living allowance.
Singapore Millennium Foundation ScholarshipAwarded to PhD candidates. Financial aid includes SDG 4,000 per month for up to 4 years for PhD candidates and SDG 6,000 per month for up to 2 years for Post-Doctoral candidates.
Commonwealth Scholarship for Integrated ScienceUK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO)


Living and Tuition Costs as Per University

Financial planning is an essential aspect to consider before moving to any foreign country. Generally, you should consider the cost of living and tuition expenses separately.

Additionally, note that there are two types of accommodations— on and off-campus. The NUS approximates annual on-campus accommodation cost from SGD 2,800 (INR 1.5 lakh) to SGD 5,500 (INR 3,06,900). You will also require an annual estimate of SGD 10,400 (INR 5.8 lakh) for all living expenses. 

On the other hand, you can choose off-campus accommodation, which might cost around SGD 3,180 (INR 1.7 lakh) per year. 

In terms of tuition costs, every institute charges variable fees. Still, considering NUS as the topmost Singapore university, the annual fees range as follows:

  • Undergraduate courses: SGD 17,650 (INR 9.8 lakh) to SGD 66,650 (INR 37 lakh)

Post-graduate courses: SGD 21,400 (INR 12 lakh) to SGD 31,850 (INR 18 lakh)

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Part-time Work Opportunities

To meet the living and tuition costs, you can benefit from specific rules. The Ministry of Manpower sets the following criteria for students to work during a course:

  • You are a registered student of a Singapore university
  • The ICA has issued you a student pass

If you fulfill these two conditions, the maximum working duration is 16 hours per week. However, you can only work under industrial attachment programs offered by your university. So, you can study in Singapore and gain invaluable experience simultaneously. 

Post-Study Opportunities 

Professionals from Singapore are in high demand for their skills.

Companies like Accenture, Microsoft, Deloitte, and Credit Suisse hire alumni from top Singapore institutes. Generally, you will find ample opportunities in Business Development, Engineering, Education, and Finance post your graduation.

This table will give you a decent idea of the average salary for trending job profiles in Singapore:

OccupationAverage Annual Salary
Data AnalystSGD 50,873 (INR 28 lakh)
AccountantSGD 49,507 (INR 27.6 lakh)
Software EngineerSGD 57,875 (INR 32.2 lakh)
Digital Marketing ManagerSGD 69,456 (INR 39 lakh)
Robotics EngineerSGD 50,286 (INR 28 lakh)


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For more guidance on choosing a suitable career stream and university in Singapore, you can contact upGrad Abroad. From customized consultation to assistance in the admission process, upGrad Abroad will accompany you in every step.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How to get permanent residency in Singapore after studying?

To apply for permanent residency in Singapore, you should have an employment pass. In addition, you will need to prove your proficiency in your occupation.

What are the requirements to study in Singapore for Indian students?

Indian students should have a passport, offer letter from the university, funding proof, and relevant documents to study in Singapore.

Why should one study in Singapore?

Singapore is a well desired study abroad location with ample employment opportunities. The economy is stable, and the culture of this nation is inclusive. Institutions are known for their academic excellence and graduate employability rates.

How to study in Singapore?

The first step is to secure admission to a Singapore university followed by acquiring a Student’s Pass that is vital to gain entry for pursuing education in the country. So, complete all the formalities on time to enter the country without hassle.

What exams are required to study in Singapore?

Apart from the minimum educational qualifications, you need to establish proof of English proficiency. Thus, exams like IELTSTOEFLSATACT, and PTE Academic are your options for the same. For some courses, you may also have to furnish SAT or PTE scores.

How to get a scholarship to study in Singapore?

To get educational scholarships for studying in Singapore, you must have a strong academic profile and meet the eligibility criteria of the grant you are applying for. If your profile is right, you can avail government or private scholarships from various organizations.

How much does it cost to study in Singapore?

In addition to your course fees, you need to pay SGD 10,400 (INR 5,80,400) annually for living expenses in Singapore. This value is an estimate and will vary as per your standard of living.