A student in the Scholars Programme must read and pass:

  • 3 compulsory foundation-tier modules worth 12 MCs
  • 8 Inquiry-tier modules worth 32 MCs
  • 1 reflection-tier module worth 4 MCs

Foundation Tier -- Level 2000 -- contains three modules. The first of these, Writing and Critical Thinking, has long been a mainstay of the USP curriculum, encouraging students to engage in a complex and sophisticated way with the texts that they read, and to produce complex and inflected texts of their own. While the module has relevance to all students, its focus on the academic essay means that it develops verbal reasoning skills most often associated with the humanities and social sciences but nonetheless of broad relevance and importance. The second foundation module, Quantitative Reasoning Foundation (QRF), introduces students to the basics of quantitative reasoning, defined broadly as "the way in which we can use numbers to provide evidence for our arguments." It does so by examining a specific substantive topic whose claims can be assessed quantitatively. Such substantive topics include: evaluating our individual eco-footprint (UQF2101E), quantifying nuclear risk (UQF2101G) or environmental quality (UQF2101I), and assessing the relationship between democracy and war (UQF2101H). The third foundation module is the University Scholars Seminar. Organized as a two semester lecture series, students will be introduced to key ideas, thinkers, and paradigm shifts over the course of five intellectual periods: Pre-Enlightenment, the Enlightenment, Post-Enlightenment, Modernity, and Post-modernity. Each period maps the shifting social, political, and material contexts in which these questions have been raised, challenged, and raised again. The aim is to introduce students to a history of intellectual enquiry that is neither singular nor complete but contesting and contestable.

Inquiry Tier -- Level 2000 & 3000 -- consists of eight modules. Students take interdisciplinary modules, with a small class size, in two domains, Humanities & Social Sciences (H&SS), and Sciences & Technologies (S&T). The overall goal of the second tier, as its name suggests, is to promote interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary inquiry, so that students can make intellectual connections outside of their majors. The curriculum is thus designed to encourage students in broad intellectual inquiry beyond their chosen majors, and incorporates the requirement to take at least one (and maximum of three) independent study modules on topics of their choice. This part of the curriculum comprises most of our existing modules, and preserves something of the progressive movement towards the Major which has always characterised our structure. While modules are categorised into domains, and indeed into sub-categories within the domains, they differ from the kinds of module that students might take in their major by being based around a concept or an issue, rather than aiming to cover content. Each module will be taken by students from a variety of faculties, and thus will inevitably acquire an interdisciplinary perspective through interactive pedagogy.

All USP students will take four modules in the H&SS and four modules in the S&T domains, including one ISM but no more than three.

We encourage students to have international experience, and indeed we aim to have all of our students undergo some form of study, whether formal or informal, outside Singapore. We thus allow the substitution of modules in a number of cases. Students going on USP and their faculties’ Student Exchange Programmes, subject to approval, can substitute two modules per semester. Those on a Double Degree Programme, our own Cultural Immersion Programmes in Japan, China, and India, and on NOC or iLEAD, can gain exemptions up to four modules in total. In each case, we consider that the intellectual experiences the students undergo, whether broadening across disciplines, cultural facility in a new academic environment entrepreneurship, partially fulfil the goals of the second tier of modules in stimulating broad-based inquiry. In order to preserve the sense of the Scholars Programme as a learning community, however, we impose an overall requirement of eight USP modules across the three tiers.

Reflection Tier -- Level 4000 -- consists of one module, the senior seminar. It is designed to bring students together towards the end of their degree to reflect on the conditions of their own disciplinary knowledge and the assumptions developed in disciplinary framework to approach discourse and ideas with. Taught by a multidisciplinary faculty of three to four, this senior class examines a theme from several disciplinary perspectives. Students are challenged to critically read and productively respond to assumptions, evidence and methods from sciences, social sciences and humanities. Themes on “Future Times” and “Violence” have been examined. Assignments include weekly blog, ePortfolio, and eMagazine contribution.

Singapore Studies Requirement

Students in the Scholars Programme must also fulfill one Singapore Studies (SS) requirement during his/her duration in the Programme. This requirement may be satisfied by a choice of modules designated as fulfilling the Singapore Studies requirement in the Inquiry Tier. Students are advised to plan ahead the SS module to read, and to ensure that they fulfil the SS requirement at an early stage of their studies in NUS. You may refer here for this list of designated modules.

S/U Options

Students may exercise the S/U option for up to 32MCs towards their degree requirements.The S/U option will apply to Level 1000 modules and Level 2000 modules offered without other NUS modules as pre-requisites, unless otherwise stipulated by the Faculties/Departments.

USP modules (Level 2000, with the exception of WCT and QRF modules) will be eligible for S/U for USP students matriculated in AY2014/15 and onwards. USP students enrolled in either the writing and critical thinking (WCT) or the quantitative reasoning foundation (QRF) module will not be allowed to exercise their S/U options.

The University Scholars Seminar (USS) is read on a Completed Satisfactory/Completed Unsatisfactory (CS/CU) basis, and does not count towards the MCs limit of S/U options.

Wef AY2017/18, USS2105 University Scholars Seminar will be read on a graded basis, and will be eligible for S/U option.

For more details, please visit the S/U option home page in the Student Portal by clicking here.

Continuation Requirements

All USP students (except Law students) are required to complete at least 6 USP modules by the end of Year 2. Those who have not will be asked to produce justification, and a study plan on how they aim to complete the programme.

Law students are required to complete 5 USP modules (including 3 Foundation modules) by the end of Year 3.

Graduation Requirement

A student in the Scholars Programme must read and pass:

  • 3 compulsory foundation-tier modules worth 12 MCs
  • 8 Inquiry-tier modules worth 32 MCs
  • 1 reflection-tier module worth 4 MCs

Of the twelve USP modules, USP students must read a minimum of eight USP modules (the 8 USP modules exclude substituted modules and directly recognised non-USP modules). They must also ensure that they have at least six USP modules which are letter-graded, and obtained at least an Honours (Merit) degree.

GE Pillar: GER1000 Quantitative Reasoning

With effect from AY2016/2017 onwards, all NUS students (including USP students) on the modular system are required to read GER1000 to fulfil the GE Quantitative Reasoning Pillar.

For USP students admitted in AY2016/2017 onwards, the USP modules will be read in place of GE pillars (4 out of 5 pillars), faculty/major and/or unrestricted electives requirements. USP students do not have to read four GE pillars, namely Thinking and Expression, Singapore Studies, Human Cultures and Asking Questions.

USP Dismissal Policy

To graduate with a USP certificate, an undergraduate student must achieve at least an Honours (Merit) degree, i.e. have a minimum CAP of 3.5. USP students should note the following:

  • should a student’s CAP fall below 3.0 (but ≥ 2.5) for three consecutive semesters, the student will be dismissed from USP in the next semester of study; and
  • should a student’s CAP fall below 2.5 for two consecutive semesters, the student will be dismissed from USP in the next semester of study.