Student Experience

The academic experience at Yale-NUS brings sciences, humanities, and social sciences together, to create an East-meets-West liberal arts education. Whether you are in your first two years, exploring our global Common Curriculum, or going deep into your chosen major, you will acquire the intellectual expertise and critical knowledge to become a leader in any field you choose.

Sample Student Experience at Yale-NUS

This diagram illustrates a typical learning journey here at Yale-NUS. This is a sample and individual student experiences will vary.

Year 1

Year 2

Year 3

Year 4

Literature & the Humanities 1Modern Social ThoughtHistorical Immersion (anytime in year 3 or 4)Capstone Project in Major
Philosophy & Political Thought 1Scientific Inquiry 2MajorMajor
Quantitative ReasoningElectiveMajorMajor
Comparative Social InquiryElectiveElectiveElective
*Students are required to participate in the Week 7 programme during Semester 1
Literature & the Humanities 2ElectiveMajorCapstone Project in Major
Philosophy & Political Thought 2ElectiveMajorMajor
Scientific Inquiry 1ElectiveMajorMajor
Curriculum as of June 2018 Common Curriculum Major Elective

Common Curriculum

More than simply laying the foundation for your major, the Common Curriculum is a unique cornerstone of the Yale-NUS College experience. Students will explore a range of subjects, with the goal of developing interdisciplinary perspectives and problem solving. Through Common Curriculum courses, students are encouraged to actively engage in seminar discussions to enhance their critical thinking and communication skills.

Comparative Social Inquiry

Humans are social beings, and the ways in which we co-exist play an important role in shaping our individual thoughts, feelings and actions. In this course, students engage with this social world by investigating central questions about society, social change and the human condition.

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Historical Immersion

These courses are designed to help students acquire a deep knowledge of a particular time and place, such as the age of the emperor Nero in ancient Rome or the emergence of Tokyo as a modern city. Students consider each topic in its historical context and learn to use evidence to construct their own understanding of the past.

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Literature and Humanities

Explore myth-making and storytelling from a variety of traditions, in order to understand how poets, historians and visual artists represent their own worlds and times. Through analysis and discussion, students will cultivate aesthetic, rhetorical and cultural literacy. These skills will help them become cosmopolitan readers of the human experience.

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Modern Social Thought

This course introduces students to foundational figures of modern social thought. It also explores the ways in which their writings have been used in recent social analysis and political practice.

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Philosophy and Political Thought

Is the world that we inhabit a product of our imaginations? Does history bring progress? In order to tackle these questions, and more, students will learn to read texts from a number of traditions. They will then dissect arguments and understand them in their broader contexts.

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Quantitative Reasoning

Students will think deeply about how to address real-world problems through quantitative analysis. They will explore different ways of representing the world in numbers. This includes assembling quantitative evidence to demonstrate the truth or plausibility of a proposition.

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Scientific Inquiry

The focal point of Scientific Inquiry is a single, broad question that begins with: How do we know that? This course aims to bring a fresh perspective to the nature of knowledge, and the importance of scientific investigation in attaining that knowledge.

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After experiencing the Common Curriculum, each student will select one of our 14 different majors. We offer a diverse variety of majors, and provide students with the opportunity to delve into their individual passions through their self-directed research Capstone in Year 4.

Arts and Humanities

Study the core elements of human expression from historical, critical, comparative and practice-based perspectives.


Students will have the opportunity to explore the complex relationship between our understanding of the past and our experience of the present.

Life Sciences

Life Sciences seeks answers to questions about how life works. Students will also explore Biology's relevance to issues of human health, the environment and sustainability.


This major refines students’ capacities to interpret human experiences represented in the written word. Explore Anglophone literature, Chinese languages, ancient Greek and Latin.

Mathematical, Computational and Statistical Sciences (MCS)

MCS will encourage active participation in flourishing developments within Mathematical Sciences, Statistics and Computational Science.


Philosophy investigates the nature of the good life and of reality, knowledge, truth & beauty. It teaches us lead rewarding & productive lives informed by philosophical reflection.

Physical Sciences

Explore some of the fundamental processes in matter, energy, space and time. You'll also gain the ability to understand physical concepts, and to solve real world scientific problems.


All 14 majors offered by Yale-NUS are also available as minors. Students now have two additional “independent” minors. A minor in Chinese Studies offers a range of coursework in both the Humanities and Social Sciences, while a minor in Global Antiquity will complement majors in related fields such as Arts and Humanities, History, Literature and Philosophy.


All 14 majors offered by Yale-NUS are also available as minors.

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Chinese Studies

This minor explores China as both a historical tradition and as a modern nation with a wide-ranging sphere of influence.

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Global Antiquity

Students will have the opportunity to craft an individualised course of study on ancient societies, the development of "Classical" traditions and their continuing cultural significance.

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Electives are classes which students can select, based upon their own individual academic interests, from any of our 14 different majors. They provide students with an opportunity to explore content beyond their chosen majors and the Common Curriculum. This allows for a well-rounded and diversified learning experience. Students begin by selecting one elective in their second semester. Elective classes often change each year, providing students with updated and diverse courses to choose from. Students can also elect to sign up for language courses through NUS, or other NUS courses, depending on availability and scheduling considerations. The list below provides a sample of electives offered by Yale-NUS College.

Dante and the European Middle Ages

For anyone interested in imaginative literature, journey with Dante through Hell, Purgatory and Paradise in a philological reading of his classic, Divine Comedy.

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Learn the basic principles of genetics. This course emphasises classical genetic techniques and how genetics is used to gain understanding of whole organisms.

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Integrative Music Theory 1

This comprehensive introduction to musicianship and musical understanding allows students to develop their abilities to play, read and understand music.

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Introduction to Urban Studies

Study the evolution of cities - why do they form? What functions do they serve? How does this change from one time to another and from one context to another?

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Principles and Tools of Software Development

Apart from the basic principles of software development, students will also learn the principles and tools of what makes a good software developer.

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Move on to:

Application Tips Session
Application Tips Session
Yale-NUS College
Come to an application tips session where a member of our Admissions team will walk you through the Yale-NUS application process. This 45-minute workshop is for everyone interested in applying for Yale-NUS College, and it doesn’t matter what stage of the application process you’re in. We will offer insights on what we look for in an application, and tips on perfecting that application essay. All sessions are identical to each other. A Yale-NUS campus tour follows the workshop, and this is typically led by a current student from our Admissions & Financial Aid Student Associates team.
All sessions (except on 15 March 2019) are held on Saturdays from 10am-12pm. On March 15 (Friday), the session will run from 3-5pm. On 23 February 2019, the session will be led by the Dean of Admissions & Financial Aid.  
Locations and Dates
Application Tips Session
Feb 09
Dean of Admissions & Financial Aid's Application Tips Session
Feb 23
Application Tips Session
Mar 15