How to apply

apply-nowApplications for our programmes are currently closed.

The Master programmes applications are open from 01 August 2016 until 31 December 2016 for those seeking financial support from the LKY School; and until 15 January 2017 for those not seeking financial aid.

The PhD programmes applications are open from 01 August 2016 until 15 December 2016.

Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit an online application. Shortlisted candidates will be invited for an interview. All shortlisted applicants will be informed of the outcome of their application in writing, via email and post. Priority will be given to those who are offered admission.

The final outcome of the applications for our programmes will be announced around May 2017.

Before you proceed

To access the online system, you will be required to enter your email address and a 6-character password. You will not be able to change this e-mail address once you have registered. You can however, access your application to make any additions or edits before submission.

To be considered for the 2016 intake, the application and all supporting documents must be completed and submitted by 11:59pm (Singapore time, GMT+8) on the day of the deadline.

It is recommended that you have soft copies of the required documents before you commence. It will take you about 30 minutes or more to complete your application.

Documents needed

Below are the list of documents needed to complete your application. You do not need to submit the physical copies of the documents if you have uploaded them via our online system.

1. Official Transcripts and Certificates

You can upload copies of your transcripts of academic work and degrees/diplomas/certificates from each college or university you have attended under the “Documents Upload” section. Candidates offered admission must produce the originals of these documents during student registration.

You need to request original transcripts from your college or university. If your institution does not provide official transcripts, please provide a certified copy of your credentials and a list of courses taken and the grades/marks received. These documents should be signed by an official of the institution or notarised. If the credentials are not in English, they must be accompanied by English translations that have been notarised.

Please note that any candidate found to have given inaccurate or false information will be required to withdraw from the programme, and for those on financial aid, to refund all moneys, received by them or expended on their behalf. The final offer of admission will be contingent upon the presentation of original documents to the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the time of registration.

2. Standardised Test Scores

TOEFL /IELTS is mandatory for all applicants except those with Bachelor’s degree conducted entirely in English.

While the Admissions Committee does not set minimum scores for admissibility, experience suggests that successful applicants usually achieve or exceed the following scores:

  • 600 on the TOEFL paper-based test
  • 100 on the TOEFL internet-based test
  • 7.0 on the IELTS academic test

Please note that the tests are conducted only at specific times. Please register with the test centres early to allow sufficient time for the School to receive the results before the deadline.

For TOEFL, please have ETS submit your test scores to the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy via institution code B013.

There is no need for institution or subject codes for the IELTS. A copy of your score report (to be uploaded as a supporting document) is sufficient for us to start reviewing your application. Your original test score report will only be required later on during the evaluation process.

For more information about the TOEFL or IELTS, and for instructions on registering, please visit their respective websites: TOEFL and IELTS. Scores for the TOEFL and IELTS are valid for two years.

3. GRE and GMAT

Applicants of Master’s programmes who have taken the GRE (Graduate Record Examination) are encouraged to submit their scores via the institution code 7541.

In such cases where the applicants have taken the GRE or GMAT, they can submit their scores in lieu of TOEFL or IELTS to demonstrate their proficiency in English language. GRE and GMAT scores are valid for five years.

Please note that GRE score is compulsory for Master in International Affairs and PhD applicants. All applicants must submit their GRE score via the institution code 7541.

If you are submitting your GMAT scores, please do so using the following codes:

  • For application to MPP programmes, please use DRT-SF-36
  • For application to MPA programmes, please use DRT-SF-30
  • For application to MPM programmes, please use DRT-SF-41

4. Curriculum vitae or Resume

Applicants are required to upload a copy of their curriculum vitae (CV) listing their academic, professional and personal achievements, including significant appointments held. Each appointment must include:

  • Organisation
  • The period (include month and year) of time the position was held for
  • Major responsibilities
  • Name and title of the supervisor.

Any gaps in employment history should be explained.

5. Essays

You will need to answer 2 essay questions if you are applying for any of the programmes below. Essays are not necessary for applications to MPAM (Master in Public Administration and Management) and PhD in Public Policy.

Master in Public Policy (MPP)

Essay 1 (600 words)
a) What is the most urgent policy challenge facing the world today? Explain your answer.
b) Tell us about a book, article, or report that you think can offer a solution to this urgent policy challenge. What are the main strengths and weaknesses of its central arguments?

Essay 2 (400 words)
What are the top 3 things that you would like to achieve at the end of the two-year MPP programme? Specifically, how do you think the programme will help you achieve these goals?

Master in Public Administration (MPA)

Essay 1 (600 words)
a) What is the most urgent challenge facing your organization or community today? Explain your answer.
b) Tell us about your efforts to address this urgent challenge and what you have learnt from the experience. Or, tell us what you would like to be able to do in order to address this challenge.

Essay 2 (400 words)
What are the top 3 things that you would like to achieve after at the end of the one-year MPA programme? Specifically, how do you think the programme will help you achieve these goals?

Master in Public Management (MPM)

Essay 1 (400 words)
Why have you decided to apply to the LKY School’s MPM programme at this point in your career? What specific knowledge and skills do you need in order to be a more effective manager or leader?

Essay 2 (600 words)
a) What are your organization’s strengths and weaknesses? What are the main opportunities and challenges that your organization will face in the coming years?
b) Based on what you say in Question 2a, please suggest a strategy that your organization should adopt in order to stay relevant and effective.

6. References

Two professional references, written in English, are required from individuals who are able to comment on your abilities in a professional setting. You will be required to name two referees, complete with their email addresses and telephone numbers (in specified format) in your online application under the heading “Referee Associations”.

Please note that your referees will only be prompted to submit the Reference Form and letters of recommendation once you have submitted your application. As such, we encourage you to submit your application before the deadline and to alert your referees to look out for an email titled “Invitation to submit referee report(s)” from

Additional documents required

Additional documents are needed for applications to our Master in Public Management and PhD in Public Policy programmes. Please see below for details.

1. Current position and career trajectory (for MPM applicants only)

Please describe your current position and major responsibilities, and the size and relevance of your unit / organisation. Illustrate the level of your current position and your career trajectory with an organisation chart including two levels above and two levels below your current position. Please also indicate the number of staff members who report to you. Please upload this as a Word or PDF file in the section,“Documents”.

2. Research Proposal (for PhD in Public Policy applicants only)

The proposal must be approximately 2,000 words in length, excluding bibliography. It must include the following:

  • The key research question(s) to be addressed (What do you want to study?)
  • Significance of the proposed topic (Why do you want to study it?)
  • Literature Survey (What have others said on the subject? Detailed referencing not required)
  • Research Method (How will you study it?)

Please note that the actual research topic may change after enrolment.

3. Statement of Intent (for PhD in Public Policy applicants only)

This statement should be approximately 500 words and you should clearly explain why you want to pursue a PhD programme at NUS and your long-term professional goals.

4. Sample of writings (for PhD in Public Policy applicants only)

Please provide 2 samples of writings, be it published or unpublished.

Application Fee

The application fee for all programmes has been waived.

Step-by-step guide for online applications

To help you with your online application, please see our guide below. Alternatively, you can download it as a pdf here.



For a list of FAQs, please click here


Aside from the comprehensive information on our admissions page, if you have any other queries or would like to receive a copy of our programme brochure, please submit your request via our query form. Alternatively, you may also speak to our admissions officers at +65 65168004.

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