Grad FAQs

What graduate programmes does the School of Physical and Mathematical Sciences offer?

We offer three PhD programmes, one for each of the core disciplines in our school: PhD in Chemistry and Biological Chemistry, PhD in Mathematical Sciences, and PhD in Physics.

We also offer the following programmes conferring MSc by research: MSc in Chemistry and Biological Chemistry, MSc in Mathematical Sciences, and MSc in Physics. Admission to these programmes is very low, and usually offered on an ad hoc basis.

Finally, we offer several programmes conferring MSc by coursework: MSc in Chemical Sciences and Instrumentation, MSc in Analytics, MSc in Financial Technology, and MSc in Precision Scientific Instrumentation.

Please refer to the individual programme pages for the admission requirements, graduation requirements, and other information.

Is it possible to do a PhD by coursework?

No.

What should I do before applying for a graduate programme?

First of all, decide on the programme (PhD, MSc by research, or MSc by coursework), and the admission intake (August or January). Check that you meet the admission requirements.

For PhD and MSc by research, contact the faculty member(s) you are interested in working with, and ask if they are interested in supervising you. If a faculty member is interested, he or she will be able to advise you about the availability of scholarships, and other issues such as service obligations.

You can then start to prepare the materials needed for the application, including the names of your academic referees.

What will happen after I submit my application for a graduate programme?

NTU will email your academic referees for their recommendations. Upon the receipt of online recommendations by your referees, your admission package will be sent to the School. You will be sent a URL allowing you to check the status of your application and application fee payment.

The application process may take up to 4 months or more, depending on the completeness of the application package, and the pace of evaluation and approval by the School and other university bodies.


What are the required test scores for international applicants?

A Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) test score of 319 (Verbal and Quantitative Reasoning) + 3.5 (Analytical Writing) and above is required. The GRE test score must be valid within 5 years from the date of application. Applicants from India may use a Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE) score of 90% percentile or higher in place of GRE.

For applicants whose native language is not English, a good TOEFL or IELTS score is also required. The minimum score for TOEFL is approximately 600 (100 for iBT) and 6.5 for IELTS (Academic).

How long do my GRE/TOEFL/IELTS test scores remain valid?

The university treats GRE scores as valid for 5 years, and TOEFL/IELTS scores as valid for 2 years.

Is there a minimum/maximum candidature period?

For the PhD programmes, the minimum candidature period is 2 years and the maximum is 5 years. For the MSc by research programmes, the minimum candidature period is 1 year and the maximum is 3 years. The maximum candidature is the same for part-time and full-time students.

For the MSc by coursework programmes, the minimum candidature period is 1 year and the maximum is 2 years for full-time students; the minimum candidature period is 2 years and the maximum is 4 years for part-time students.

What are the tuition fees?

The fees are revised by the university each year. Click here for the latest fee schedule. Note that the tuition fees do not include the cost of recommended textbooks and other course materials, or the costs of travel, accommodation and miscellaneo​us expenses.

Is financial aid available?

Most PhD students are supported by scholarships that cover tuition fees as well as living allowances. Click here for a partial list.

For the MSc programmes, the costs must be borned by the participant. There is currently no scholarship, government service agreement, grant, or service obligation scheme available. The tuition fees are also not eligible for government subsidies.

How do I apply for the NTU Research Scholarship?

You can apply for the NTU Research Scholarship in tandem with your PhD (or MSc) programme application. It is in the same application form, under the section “Application for Scholarship”.

What are the medical requirements?

All full-time international students, students awarded scholarships, and students in the MSc by coursework programmes must undergo and pass a medical examination prior to admission. The medical examination is done at the on-campus Medical Centre. International students who fail the medical examination cannot be admitted.

What are the insurance schemes provided by NTU?

All full-time students will be subscribed to the University's insurance schemes to ensure that they are provided with basic medical and personal accident insurance coverage.

Under the Group Travel Insurance scheme, all full-time students will also enjoy insurance coverage for official overseas travel sanctioned by School/NTU.

Is it possible to join a graduate programme as a part-time student?

Yes. Please be sure to specify in your application if you wish to join as part-time student.

For PhD and MSc by research programmes, the part-time status must be agreed to by the research supervisor prior to admission.

Can I join NTU as a visiting graduate student?

A "non-graduating student" is a current postgraduate student from another educational institution who joins NTU on a temporary basis, usually to complete a short-term research project.

Eligibility and Conditions

  • You must be a full-time matriculated postgraduate student in other tertiary institution at the point of application and throughout the enrolment period.
  • You must have been approved by your home institution for the research activities that you intend to pursue in NTU. Research activities must be part of the graduation requirements for your PhD/MSc programme in home institution.
  • You must have sought agreement from a full-time regular faculty member to supervise your short term research project in SPMS. 
  • You could apply for a minimum duration of 3 months, up to a maximum duration of 1 year. You must commit for the whole duration if your application is approved.
  • If your application is approved, you will be enrolled as a fee-paying non-graduating research student and are liable to pay Registration Fee, Miscellaneous Fees and Research Fee to NTU. You must obtain own funding to cover all expenses. NG research students, who are Student Pass (STP) holders, are not allowed to engage in any form of employment and/or receive stipend/allowance from NTU throughout their enrolment period. 

NG research students are typically admitted on an ad hoc basis, at the invitation of a faculty member. Please contact the SPMS Graduate Studies team for details about how to apply, how to obtain a STP, and other details.