Graduate (by Research)


Application Period


The School of Social Sciences has a regular intake in August.


Applications are open for


​​​ M.A.​ Ph.D.
Economics -​ Yes​
Public Policy & Global Affairs -​ Yes​
Psychology​ Yes​ Yes​
Sociology​ Yes​ Yes​
Candidates may start applying online from 1 October for consideration to the following August intake. The application portal closes on 15th November for the Nanyang Research Scholarship (RSS) (same portal for self-financing students), and 30th November for the Nanyang President's Graduate Scholarship (NPGS)​. All applications received after 30 November will be processed for the January intake instead.


Candidates who would like to be considered for Scholarship should meet the stipulated deadlines. Candidates applying for the Nanyang President's Graduate Scholarship (NPGS), need not submit an additional application for the Nanyang Research Scholarship (RSS). However, RSS candidates will not be considered for the NPGS unless application has been made directly for the NPGS.


Applications for the January intake will begin in June and end in July prior to the admission period. The application portal closes on 31 July for the Nanyang Research Scholarship (same portal for self-financing students).


Candidates shortlisted for admission will be notified of the outcome anytime between March to May for the August intake and November to December for the January intake (if applicable).


All graduate research applicants will have to pay an application fee of S$53.50 per program. The system only allows internet payment via VISA or MASTER. 


Incomplete applications will not be processed by the School. Applications will only be considered complete upon the submission of the online Referee Reports.


Only the first choice of the application will be processed. Candidates who wish to be considered to more than one subject area will have to make separate applications. 


Applicants have to ensure the accuracy of all data before submission is made as no amendments are permitted once the application is submitted. 


Admission depends on the quality of the application as a whole, including the academic record, relevant experience, and research proposal​


Decisions on admission to the University are made on academic merit, the availability of an appropriate supervisor and/or availability of scholarship. Shortlisted applicants will be interviewed to ascertain their holistic suitability for graduate studies. The School considers every application carefully before making recommendations for admission. Successful candidates will receive the offer from the University’s Office of Admissions. 

​The Research Programmes in the School of Social Sciences are MOE-subsidised​.

For more information please access the web links below:


Before Applying ​How to Apply​ Supporting Documents Status of Application
​Financial Assistance Scholarships​ Service Obligation​ Fees​
​Accommodation​     Research Proposal​​

Enquiries can be sent to



Other Application Requirements


  1. Research Proposal

    The research proposal is the essence of the application. Applicants need to design their proposal with clarity and sound judgement on the scope of the research in the subject area that they want to undertake. Please refer to the guide​ for more details and use this template​​ here. 

  2. English Proficiency Test

    For applicants whose mother tongue is not English, the IELTS or TOEFL has to be submitted. The IELTS/TOEFL score must have been attained within 2 years prior to application.

    Those who hold a degree from universities (must be at least 3 years of study) where English is the medium of instruction are exempted from the IELTS/TOEFL requirement.

    The minimum score requirements for the tests are:
    -  ​​IELTS (IELTS is preferred over TOEFL): 7.0 (on all subtests)
    -  TOEFL (Internet-Based Test - IBT): 105 out of 120
    -  TOEFL (Paper-Based Test - PBT): 580 out of 677

    Note that the above scores are a guide only and may vary slightly according to the number and quality of applicants in each admission exercise. Meeting the above scores does not guarantee admission.

    If you are in the process of waiting for the original official test score sheet to be mailed to you by the Test Centre, you can submit a scanned copy of the online test score during the application stage. Original test score sheets should be retained for verification purposes.

  3. Graduate Record Examination (GRE)

    The GRE is required for admission to Economics and Psychology. The GRE must have been attained within 5 years prior to the date of application. If you are in the process of waiting for the original official test score sheet to be mailed to you by the Test Centre, you can submit a scanned copy of the online test score during the application stage. Original test score sheets should be retained for verification purposes.



     -  Applicants without prior training in Psychology but applying for admission to the Ph.D. program​ in
        Psychology will have to submit the GRE in Psychology Test Results.

      -  An excellent GRE score is expected for every application, especially in the quantitative section 

        (minimum 319 for the verbal and quantitative sections, 3.5 for the analytical section). Under exceptional
        circumstances, an applicant may raise the possibility of waiving the GRE score as part of the requirement.
        However, the applicant must provide a strong justification in his or her application, to be evaluated by the
        committee on a case-by-case basis. GRE is not required from NTU or NUS graduates.

      -  An excellent GRE score, especially in the quantitative section (minimum requirement: Verbal & Quantitative
         Reasoning 319 out of 340 and Analytical Writing 3.5 out of 6.0). GRE is not required from NTU, NUS or SMU

 4. Other Supporting Documents
     Applicants should also prepare diligently the following set of documents, if available, and upload them as
     supporting documents when applying online:
     -  Resume 
     -  Research Publications
     -  Professional qualifications/membership certificates




The newly launched TOEFL ITP PLUS (offered by ETS) and online IELTS Indicator (offered by British Council) can be accepted  in place of the usual IELTS Academic or TOEFL iBT test scores. The TOEFL ITP PLUS and IELTS Indicator are launched due to test center suspensions in current COVID-19 situation.

For GRE, ETS is temporarily offering a GRE General Test at home option. The test is identical in content, format and on-screen experience to the GRE General Test taken at a test centre. It is taken at home and is monitored by a human proctor online through ProctorU®​. At home administrations are currently available around the clock Friday through Monday until June 30, 2020, and seven days a week from July 1 through September 30, 2020. Appointments may be available as early as 24 hours.​