NUS-TU/e Joint Ph.D.

NUS-TU/e Joint Ph.D.

About TU/e


  • Ranked by independent sources of one of the top Dutch/European Universities, ahead of universities like London University and Cambridge University :

    1998 – “Der Spiegel”, a German weekly magazine
    Ranking of European Universities : Engineering
    Ranked 1st, based on interviews with more than 1,000 professors and
    7,400 students from 15 countries.

    1997 – Forum Survey of Large Dutch Companies (July 1997)
    Ranked 5th based on a survey of employers

  • Winter, Spring and Fall are the main terms. Summer is the additional term.

  • Courses are conducted in English at TU/e.

Degree Requirements

Students are to satisfy the prevailing degree coursework requirements of their home university. At NUS Engineering, the coursework/education requirements are:

Coursework element

Research degree programme includes an element of coursework in the same or related fields. This provides a graduate-level foundation and prepares the student for research. The doctoral coursework component comprises not less than 24 MCs (typically 6 graduate modules). Students of some departments may be required to read additional modules.

Doctoral students are expected to achieve a CAP of at least 3.50 in the best 6 modules (equivalent of 24 MCs), inclusive of core modules (if any).

English language requirements (for international students) include having to take and obtain at least a Grade C) in the Graduate English Course (Advanced level).

Doctoral Seminar

To cultivate a strong research culture among graduate students, the required coursework includes a “doctoral seminar”.

A doctoral student is required to attend seminars and also deliver presentations of his/her research work.  Please check with your Department for the detailed requirements.  Participation in seminars is an integral part of graduate study as it helps to enhance knowledge, broaden research outlook, sharpens thinking and improves communication skills.

A ‘Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory’ grade is awarded on the basis of attendance, presentation and document submission. All research students are also expected to obtain a satisfactory grade for the seminar module.

Ph.D. Qualifying Examination

A doctoral candidate must complete a prescribed set of modules before proceeding to the Ph.D. Qualifying Examination (QE). The QE comprises a comprehensive written examination and an oral defence of the Ph.D. thesis proposal. The written comprehensive examination tests the general competence of the candidate in his/her discipline(s), while the oral defence ensures that the candidate is prepared to embark on his/her thesis research. The QE should usually be taken 12 to 24 months from the start of the Ph.D. candidature.

Doctoral students are expected to pass both the written comprehensive examination and the oral defence.

Thesis component

The Ph.D. requires an 80,000-word thesis that is not measured by MCs. The thesis will be examined by internal/external examiners from NUS Engineering, TU/e and other universities.

Oral Defence Examination

For the Joint Programme, each candidate shall undergo two oral defences, one at each university (via video conferencing, if necessary).

Each candidate will first present his/her oral defence at NUS Engineering to an Oral Defence panel. The Oral Defence panel shall comprise of the two examiners of the thesis from NUS Engineering and TU/e, with the Head of the applicable academic department at NUS Engineering or his nominee as the Chair. When the candidate’s presentation to the Oral Defence panel is approved, the candidate is admitted to the public defence in TU/e.

At TU/e, the student will undergo TU/e’s usual practice of a public defence (i.e. open for general audience) with elaborate procedure in terms of conduct of the defence, as well as composition of the examination panel.


Candidates would spend at least two semesters of their candidature each at NUS Engineering and TU/e, either reading modules and/or undertaken research. The cost of travel, accommodation between home and partner universities, and any living expenses will be incurred by the students.

Candidates would spend their final semester of study at their home university.

Research Scholarships

Full-time candidates may be awarded with a research scholarship from his/her home university and is bound by the terms and conditions of the research scholarship. Research Scholarship would be applied together with the admission of the joint Ph.D. programme.

Conferment of Joint Degree

Conferment of the joint degree will be by the candidate’s home university. Only one certificate is awarded jointly by both universities.

Successful TU/e candidates will be awarded with their degrees at the end of the public defence session as currently practiced at TU/e.

Successful NUS Engineering candidates will be awarded with a certificate stating that they have completed all requirements for the degree at the end of the public defence session at TU/e. They shall receive their respective degrees during the next available commencement ceremony in Singapore, as currently practised. 

The degree awarded to all successful candidates is identical except that a candidate may use the title of either Ph.D. (NUS-TU/e) or Ph.D. (TU/e-NUS) with his/her home university mentioned first.

Each university shall issue a transcript for their respective courses, with a remark indicating that the candidate has taken certain modules at the other university, where applicable.


Applications for the Joint Ph.D. programme should be submitted to the university which the candidate wish to be registered with as their home university.

The minimum admission criteria is at least a relevant Bachelor’s degree with Honours (at least Second Class Upper) or its equivalent.

Application Forms