A student in the Scholars Programme must read and pass:

  • 3 compulsory foundation modules worth 12 MCs
  • 8 Inquiry modules worth 32 MCs
  • 1 senior seminar 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 module, Quantitative Reasoning, is a parallel module which uses seminar-style discussion in applying quantitative methodologies to a central problem such as climate change or epidemics. The third foundation module is the University Scholars Seminar, which runs for a full academic year, has students interact with experts and public figures, and promotes a less formal learning environment in which cross-disciplinary questions are explored.  The goal of the module is to get students to engage with a topic of broad interest, and to identify an important set of questions or issues that are unresolved and worthy of further research.  Response papers and term papers are assigned towards this end. Students who complete the first tier will have a solid series of skills that will equip them for the interdisciplinary work of the second tier. 

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 at least one ISM and not 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 modules across the three tiers.

Reflection Tier -- Level 4000 -- consists of one module, the senior seminar. The seminar addresses a suitable general topic, such as “Symmetry,” “Evidence” or “On Being Human”, using these topics as a platform to develop intellectual capacity at the meta-analytical level.  In each module, the issues in the topic are developed, through seminar discussions, readings, and paper assignments, in such a way as to allow students to reflect on the conditions of their own disciplinary knowledge, the assumptions fostered in disciplinary training, and to develop their own theoretical framework the nature of intellectual discourse in general rather than just within their own disciplines. The third tier thus builds both on the broadening of inquiry in the second tier, and upon the disciplinary knowledge that students have gained within their major.

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.

Human Resource Module Requirement

School of Design & Environment SDE students must fulfill a HRM requirement in their faculty curriculum as follows, refer here
Faculty of Engineering FOE students must fulfill a HRM requirement in their faculty curriculum as follows, refer here
Note: FASS, BIZ, SOC and FOS curriculums do not have HRM requirements.