PhD Programme

The PhD in Mathematical Sciences programme is a four-year programme that provides graduate students with a stimulating environment for conducting original research in the mathematical sciences. Graduate students take advanced courses focusing on active research topics, and perform research under the supervision of a faculty member. Our students receive intensive support in their theoretical work, as well as in practical and computational aspects (where appropriate), including access to state-of-the-art computational resources. The programme culminates in writing and defending a doctoral research thesis before a panel of experts.

Admission Requirements

Applicants must satisfy the following criteria:

  • BSc in Mathematics, Mathematical Sciences, or a very closely related discipline (for those with degrees in other fields, see below). If the university has an honours system, at least second-upper class honours, or the equivalent, is required.
  • For the PhD programme, applicants may optionally have a MSc degree in Mathematics or a related discipline, but this is not mandatory. If the university has an honours system, at least second-upper class honours in the MSc degree, or the equivalent, is required.
  • International applicants must have GRE General Test scores or GATE scores. A GRE subject score in mathematics is welcome but not required.
  • International applicants who are not native English speakers must have TOEFL scores or IETLS scores.

There are two application periods each year: October to January (for admission in August), and June to July (for admission in January). Most students are admitted during the first period.

For more information about admission procedures (including the list of required supporting documents and application fees), please visit NTU Graduate Admissions page.

Applicants with Bachelor Degrees in Other Fields

Applicants without a Bachelor degree in Mathematics may be considered for admission if they have a Bachelor degree (or equivalent) in a related area, such as Computer Engineering or Natural Sciences, and have sufficient mathematical background. In addition to the other requirements, such students must submit the following documents together with their application:

  1. A complete list of courses taken in Mathematics and related areas, with detailed description of the course contents.
  2. A list of any further material relevant for the mathematical background, e.g. an annotated list of mathematics textbooks used for self-study.
  3. An informal essay describing their motivation to enter graduate studies in the Mathematical Sciences.

Nanyang President's Graduate Scholarship

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Applicants who are Singaporeans, Singapore Permanent Residents (PRs), and/or graduates from Singaporean universities are strongly encouraged to consider applying for the Nanyang President's Graduate Scholarship (NPGS). The application period is usually October – November.

Graduation Requirements

The PhD programme has a minimum candidature period of 2 years, and a maximum of 5 years. Most students complete the programme in 4 years.

Graduate-level Coursework

Students must complete a total of 16 Academic Units (AU) of graduate-level coursework, consisting of:

  • At least two MAS71X modules, 4 AU each
  • At least one MAS79X (Graduate Seminar) module, 4 AU
  • One additional MAS7XX module (apart from MAS79X), 4 AU
    Alternatively, the student may take one or two courses offered by other Schools/Divisions, counting for at least 4 AU, subject to approval from the Division and the other Schools/Divisions.

Students are expected to maintain a minimum CGPA of 3.5. We recommend finishing the coursework by the end of the first year, in order to sit for the Qualifying Examination on time.

Communication Courses

Students are also required to complete the following courses on communication and related topics. These courses do not carry any AU.

  • Courses from the Transferable Skills Programme:
    • Residential Programme (during first 12 months)
    • Scholarly Communication and Impact (during first 12 months)
    • Any 3 elective modules
    • Career Preparation Workshop (during 3rd or 4th year)
    • Three Minute Thesis Presentation Symposium (for students admitted from Academic Year 2019/2020 onwards)
  • HWG703 - Graduate English (during first 18 months; must be taken before HWG702; part-time students and students who qualify as native English speakers are exempted)
  • HWG702 - University Teaching for Teaching Assistants (during first 18 months; part-time students are exempted)
  • HWG704 - Research Communication for Graduate Studies (during first 24 months)

Research Integrity

Research integrity is of the utmost importance to the university. As such, during the first year of the PhD programme, students are required to complete:

  • SPMS Research Integrity Course 
  • Online NTU Epigeum Research Integrity Course (during 1st semester)

Qualifying Examination

Students must pass the Qualifying Examination (QE) within their first 18 months.

Other Requirements

  • Seminar attendance of at least 5 seminars per semester.
  • Completion of Graduate Assistantship Programme (GAP), if applicable
  • Annual meeting with Thesis Advisory Committee (TAC) members
  • Submission of regular progress reports, including list of publications, TAC reports, and degree audit

PhD Thesis

Student must write a research thesis. Once the student and supervisor have agreed that the thesis is ready, it should be submitted online (via GSLink → Academic → Thesis → Thesis Submission). After being endorsed by the supervisor, the thesis is sent to three independent examiners for evaluation. After this evaluation, the student must defend the thesis in an oral examination scheduled by the school.

Completed theses must be posted to the NTU Digital Repository.