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A-Z of NTU

From stunning architecture to a plethora of overseas opportunities for the ambitious and curious, here’s the A to Z of life on the NTU campus
by Chrystal Chan, Derek Rodriguez and Kayce Teo


Stefanie Sun in a grey dress with fur sleeves

Join the ranks of celebrities and industry bigwigs who are among the 200,000 that have gone through NTU's doors. Before making her name as a famous songstress, Nanyang Business School graduate Stefanie Sun (left) was belting out tunes with her hall band. Leading lady Joanne Peh got her communication degree here, as did 987FM deejay Kimberly Wang. In the world of technology, computer engineering alum Tan Chade-Meng was the first Singaporean to be hired by Google in Mountain View, California. In the business world, there’s also Lim Chow Kiat, the CEO of GIC, and Tan Chin Hwee, the CEO (Asia-Pacific) of Trafigura Group, one of the largest commodity traders in the world.

The grass roof of NTU’s School of Art, Design & Media building

Art, design, humanities and social sciences
Creativity is bred in every corner of the NTU campus. Within the distinctive grass-roofed building of the School of Art, Design & Media, where artistic talents find their niche, students realise their potential with the guidance of experienced mentors from the film, photography and fashion industries. Budding journalists at the Wee Kim Wee School of Communication & Information are fast-tracked into the exciting world of communications with overseas assignments as foreign correspondents and marketers for tourism boards.

At the School of Humanities & Social Sciences, which expands with new offerings into the School of Humanities and the School of Social Sciences in August, unique minors and opportunities for interdisciplinary studies allow hungry millennials to pursue their interests in global issues.


L’Oreal Brandstorm 2015 NTU winners

NTU’s Nanyang Business School has top students beating its doors down. Its most sought-after courses include Accountancy and Business, where the average starting salary for the top 10 percent of last year’s graduating class was $6,300. New this year is a unique cultural intelligence course offered to students heading for overseas exchange that helps them become masters of negotiation and conflict management in any cross-cultural environment. Everything about this school is in hot demand, even the school tee, which is so popular, there is a black market for it.


NTU student in a science laboratory

CN Yang Scholars Programme
Ever dreamt of finding a cure for cancer or unlocking the secrets of time travel? This research-centric programme, named after one of the greatest Nobel laureates of our time (who often visits NTU), might be for you.

Dabble in the different fields of science as a CN Yang Scholar, including those beyond your major. Work with top scientists and researchers in laboratories around the world, and start making a difference even as an undergrad before moving on seamlessly to PhD studies, if that’s your calling. Did we mention the fully sponsored eight-month, final-year project abroad?


Double degrees and majors
Spread your wings with double-degree and double-major programmes, including several new ones this year. For instance, read two majors, one from the College of Science and the other from the College of Humanities, Arts, & Social Sciences. Or pair a selected science or engineering major with a second major in data science and artificial intelligence, to become a front-runner in emerging sectors.

Having cross-disciplinary qualifications gives you an edge in exciting jobs that are emerging, which many may not even know exist. In 2016, fresh graduates from the Business and Computing double-degree programme saw the highest median starting salary of $4,600. Ka-ching!


NTU students in an engineering laboratory

NTU started with engineering as its foundation, and joining one of the six schools under the College of Engineering puts you at the forefront of technology. Top faculty and facilities, and a reputation for research excellence have made NTU’s engineering college one of the best and also the world’s largest.

The latest edition of US News & World Report ranks NTU second in the world for materials science, fourth for computer science and sixth for engineering, on par and even well ahead of some Ivy League institutions and top UK universities.


Windmill and tulips in the Netherlands

Food Science and Technology
Singapore is a food haven, and some say eating is a national pastime. What better way to marry your passion for food and social issues, like food security and innovations for better food safety and packaging, than with a second major in food science and technology? The course is jointly conducted with Wageningen University & Research, one of the world's foremost food science and technology institutions. As part of the programme, head to the Netherlands for exchange, study trips and industrial visits to food companies like Unilever, Heinz and Mars. Dutch Lady beckons...

Students using iPads in a flipped classroom in NTU

Flipped classroom
In this digital age, you want to study at your own pace and through interactive materials. In the flipped classroom, you learn your course content online through specially designed digital modules and come to class to apply your knowledge and share ideas. Students in the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine and the Renaissance Engineering Programme were among the first to get an iPad to access course materials online. At the Nanyang Business School, the marketing strategy course features documentary-style video lectures, complete with animation and interviews with industry folks.


NTU student holding a drone in an innovation garage

Make your big ideas a reality at the innovation garages on campus, and at the new design studios at the Banyan, Binjai and Tanjong halls. If you have a sound idea, you’ll even receive seed money to develop your prototype and test it out. One innovation that rolled out of the School of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering is Singapore’s first 3D-printed solar car, which has picked up a slew of international awards and has been showcased in exhibitions around the region.


Wedding couple at NTU’s The Hive

The Hive
The building students affectionately liken to dim sum baskets has captured the attention of people not just in NTU and in Singapore, but around the world. It has even become a destination for wedding photography! You’ll want this centrepiece of flipped classroom learning on your social media feeds too.

HEY! magazine in a gift box

Look out for this free bimonthly glossy that you’re holding in your hands on the magazine stands around campus. Through inspiring stories and fun videos in its digital editions, you can learn about the latest news and deals on campus, even as you go: “Hey, I didn’t know that!” The award-winning magazine has picked up 11 international honours since it was launched in 2011.


NTU students at the Rolls-Royce factory in Derby, United Kingdom.

Land that plum job while you’re a student. Local attachments and overseas internship stints get you real-life experience and possibly, the attention of your future boss. Each year, over 4,700 NTU students learn their trade at more than 1,600 companies in Singapore and abroad, with close to one-third receiving job offers at the end of their internships, even before they graduate. NTU students have interned at top employers like Google, Twitter, Singapore Airlines, JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs, Rolls-Royce, GSK, DLR (the NASA of Germany) and exciting tech start-ups. Completing one or more internships has given many go-getters a sharper edge in the job market.


NTU graduates celebrating

Dream career? Check that off your list, with help in career planning from your first day in NTU. Nine in 10 NTU graduates clinch jobs within four months of graduation, even during recessions, and many land jobs in coveted multinationals such as Citibank, Procter & Gamble and ExxonMobil.

Sage advice on how to land that job (and keep it) is well within reach, thanks to career coaches and career guidance classes from the Margaret Lien Centre for Professional Success that all students undergo from their freshmen year. More proof that employers want NTU graduates – a record number of 4,400 jobs were up for grabs at the recent career fair on campus.


Café at the North Spine Plaza in NTU

Kopi talk
The mall the merrier when it comes to grabbing a bite between classes, and where better to grab a cup of joe or a frosted donut than the North Spine Plaza? Be dazzled by options such as Soup Spoon, Dunkin’ Donuts, Starbucks, Pizza Hut and Subway, or be swept up in a buzz of activity in the open area at the Canopy Stage. You could even do a spot of shopping or two, be it for groceries, flowers, quirky goods or clothing, or even book a vacation. One thing’s certain, you’ll never run out of ways to get a caffeine or carb fix at “the foodiest university in the world”.


Dal Shabet with NTU’s mascot, Lyon

No prizes for guessing what animal Lyon is. The adorable lion was the winning entry by then final-year NTU computer science student, Chia Yan An, in a mascot design competition and is now a regular, well-loved presence at official NTU events.


Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine students in scrubs

Three reasons to pick NTU’s Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine: Study to be a doctor in the real world with crucial clinical exposure from your first month; learn from global experts who are top scientists, clinicians and health professionals; and get overseas exposure at partner university Imperial College London, which runs the medical school with NTU. Bonus: With a dual campus, students can live and study on the main NTU campus and also take classes at the downtown Novena campus complete with spanking-new facilities, right beside Tan Tock Seng Hospital.


NTU students by lockers at School of Art, Design & Media

Nanyang Scholarship
Besides the prestige of being a Nanyang Scholar, the bond-free scholarship covers tuition fees and offers a living allowance of $6,000 per year and a $2,000 hostel subsidy, in addition to other allowances for books, computers and travel.

Consider also the College Scholarship or scholarships attached to premier NTU programmes like the University Scholars Programme and the Renaissance Engineering Programme, which are all bond-free. There are also short-term scholarships backed by endowment funds from donors as well as company scholarships.


NTU students on exchange in Norway

Overseas opportunities
Eight in 10 NTU undergrads go overseas at least once during their time here. Pick from internships, attachments, exchange programmes or field trips, community involvement projects, competitions and conferences – there are enough opportunities to go around the world. Starting this year, you can head to new destinations in South America, South Africa, Russia, Israel or the Middle East, all in the name of school. And with financial aid available, who’s too cool for school now?


BMW i8 and i3 at NTU’s The Hive

The who’s who of industry, BMW and Rolls-Royce, are among NTU’s illustrious corporate partners, together with others like Lockheed Martin and ST Engineering. Their presence extends to labs on the campus, so you’ll be cheek by jowl with the best crowd of industry practitioners.

NTU’s slew of partnerships also means you could be taught by the best professors from the world’s innovation centres, plus you’ll get to rub shoulders with top thinkers, management gurus and Nobel laureates.

NTU professors on the world’s “hottest researchers” list

Professors of every kind abound here, ranging from cool profs who have changed the world through their inventions and made global headlines, to multi-talented profs with accolades beyond academics. Sizzling in the world of research, NTU professors David Lou and Zhang Hua (left) were the only two from Asia to be listed among the world’s “hottest researchers” last year, while Prof Stephan Schuster, who sequenced the mammoth’s genome, was in TIME magazine’s pick of the 100 most influential people in 2009. The inventor of the invisibility cloak, Asst Prof Zhang Baile, is also here at NTU, as well as the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Business Professor of the Year in 2013, Prof Vijay Sethi.


NTU graduating students throwing mortarboards into the air

Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) rankings
Ranked 13th globally in the QS World University Rankings for two consecutive years, NTU was also named the fastest-rising young university in the world by Times Higher Education in 2015. The value of your degree can’t get any better than this, which is why there has been a jump in the number of top A-level students enrolling in NTU each year since 2011, with a record spike of 110 percent last year.


NTU Renaissance Engineering Programme students in London

Renaissance Engineering Programme
This is the number one engineering programme in Singapore among top A-level students. Get both a Bachelor of Engineering Science and a Master of Science in Technology Management in four-and-a-half years. There are about 10 students to a professor and 365 days’ worth of overseas learning, at Imperial College London, University of California, Berkeley, Northwestern University or University of British Columbia, plus internships in the US and UK. Team-based learning is a mainstay, so be prepared to swap your textbooks for iPads and traditional front-facing lectures for dynamic group discussions.


NTU Prof Daniela Rhodes in the CryoEM laboratory

Aspiring scientists and environmentalists will find their place at one of the College of Science’s three multidisciplinary schools, where you might bump into the leading lights of science like biologist Prof Daniela Rhodes (right), who has a planet named after her (“80008DanielaRhodes”), “rock star” Prof Kerry Sieh, who leads Southeast Asia’s first earth observatory at NTU, and Prof Rudolph Marcus, a chemist who won the Nobel Prize in 1992.

NTU is ranked third in the world for chemistry, after University of California, Berkeley, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), according to the latest US News & World Report. The Nature Publishing Group placed NTU eighth worldwide in chemistry research, ahead of Stanford and Oxford Universities.

Sought-after employers of NTU’s science grads include Bloomberg, Citibank, Ernst & Young, GlaxoSmithKline, Caltech and MIT, and many of the school’s alum move on to top institutions like Cambridge and Harvard Universities for further studies.


View of NTU Singapore from a drone

Top 15 most beautiful campus
Named by American Express’ Travel + Leisure magazine and Business Insider as among the world’s 15 most beautiful campuses, NTU’s sprawling garden campus is the largest in Singapore, at about the size of 240 football fields. A hot spot for Instagram and wedding shoots, the university’s iconic Art, Design & Media building and The Hive are highly sought-after backdrops. Snap away and you can bet your #campuslife shots will turn your social media followers green – like the campus – with envy.

Get on a shuttle bus at Ang Mo Kio, Choa Chu Kang, Marine Parade, Pasir Ris, Punggol, Sengkang or Tampines, and the next stop is – NTU. Yes, it’s a direct shuttle that could take you just 50 minutes to get from, say, Tampines to NTU. If you prefer to take a train, you can also hop on the Campus Rider from Pioneer MRT station that brings you straight to NTU. Within campus, the red line shuttle runs anti-clockwise and the blue line clockwise. You don’t need to buy a ticket or tap your ez-link card to board any of the shuttle buses. Just flash your matriculation card.


Love sculpture at University of Pennsylvania

University Scholars Programme
Spend a fully-sponsored semester overseas under this coveted programme, a perfect match for the intellectually inquisitive who can appreciate the arts and culture as much as science and social-scientific systems. Choose from the University of Pennsylvania and Bryn Mawr College in the US, and the Australian National University. Worldly-wise freshmen kick off their USP course work with a week-long immersion trip that includes research and field work in places like Hong Kong or Perth.


Singapore’s first 3D-printed car at NTU

Don’t worry if you see a roadster parking itself. Get a ringside view of the next-gen vehicles here at NTU – Singapore’s and possibly Asia’s first 3D-printed car that’s won awards overseas, the world’s first electric taxi designed for the tropics, BMW’s all-electric i3 and plug-in hybrid sports car i8 making its e-mobility research runs, and driverless buggies and buses. Get a chance to ride them on NTU’s roads, which are a living testbed for these sustainable technologies.


NTU’s new sports hall, The Wave

The Wave
This building will prepare you for the champion’s wave. Surfing up Olympic-quality facilities like non-slip flooring, a draft-free hall and comfortable retractable seats, the new sports hall also sports a 70m-long wooden curved roof that provides five times better insulation against the heat. Aptly dubbed The Wave, it’s the first large-scale building in the region to use engineered wood from sustainable forests, and its good wind flow and motion sensor lighting sit squarely with NTU’s vision to be an eco-campus.

NTU students with their welfare packs

Welfare packs
No one looks forward to exams – but the free welfare packs from the various NTU clubs and residential halls before exams are a different story. They’re events all unto themselves, with photo booths, roving photographers, music blasting from speakers, and of course, snaking queues of students. In the bags, you’ll find study essentials – like writing pads, notebooks, snacks and cup noodles – to energise your study sessions and keep the exam blues at bay. Goody goodies!


Big Ben, the London eye and a red double-decker bus

Going on a semester’s exchange will change your life forever, as they say. Whether summer or winter programmes, or for language immersion, these exchange opportunities are open to all NTU students. With an expanded list of more than 400 partner universities, NTU offers a plethora of overseas possibilities and the best of many worlds, for those keen to venture abroad more than once.


NTU ranked world’s top young university

Young university
NTU scored a hat trick by topping QS’ Best Young University league for three years running. NTU is one of the youngest among the young universities, which means there are many more good years that we could remain the top dog. For young Singaporeans, you can have a top-notch education right here without leaving home for a costly degree overseas. For students and alumni, the improved value of their NTU degree is a definite plus in today’s globalised workplace.


NTU students in their hall room

Your hall away from home is more than just a place to catch forty winks – it presents a not-to-be-missed opportunity to bond with fellow students, gain leadership skills by organising and participating in events like inter-hall games and cheerleading competitions, and learn to live independently. With three new halls ready by July, about 14,000 students will be living on this cosmopolitan campus. Freshmen are guaranteed a place in a hall in their first year. Once you get your own pad on campus, you probably want that space for the rest of your time here!