Liberal arts education emphasizes broad-based, multidisciplinary learning as well as depth of study. It builds a common foundation among all students in the arts, humanities, social sciences, natural and physical sciences, and mathematics, while developing expertise in a student's chosen 'major'. The Yale-NUS program encompasses a four-year, fully residential undergraduate experience in which students are immersed in a stimulating intellectual setting characterized by small classes and close interaction among students and with faculty. At Yale-NUS College, a strong co-curricular and extracurricular program complements the core liberal arts experience to develop critical inquiry as well as effective communication and leadership skills.
If you are looking for an undergraduate education that offers you breadth of knowledge and depth of understanding, encompasses a sense of community among students and faculty, builds leadership and communication skills, and promotes creativity and critical thinking, then the liberal arts are for you.You will grow personally and intellectually in a stimulating environment that will challenge your thinking and ignite new personal and professional passions. You will develop the habits of mind necessary to identify and solve complex problems, thrive in diverse environments, and use your experiences and perspectives for leadership in your professional and personal life. If you seek an education that will prepare you to meet the global challenges of the 21st century, then a liberal arts education is for you.
Liberal arts graduates go on to successful careers in every profession and industry. In the business world, opportunities range from banking and finance to media and communications to oil and gas. Many liberal arts graduates have gone on to head governments and government agencies, found or head NGOs and impactful community organizations, or find success in education or international development. Many have influenced society from policy positions or academic posts in all disciplines, and many others have excelled as performers, artists, or writers. Examples of leaders who have had the benefit of a liberal arts education include the founders of Apple, FedEx, and IBM; the last four Presidents of the United States and scores of their cabinet members; the President of the World Bank and the CEO of Goldman Sachs; hundreds of Nobel Laureates and Pulitzer Prize winners, and leading performers, artists, and media personalities including Natalie Portman, Anderson Cooper, Yo-Yo Ma, and many others.
Like liberal arts colleges in the U.S., Yale-NUS College requires students to pursue a major, which will comprise approximately one-third of a student's course load. Yale-NUS's common curriculum comprises another third of the course load, providing students a shared intellectual background with which to approach their major; the final third is electives, which will broaden students' academic reach and help in the selection of a major.
The common curriculum will incorporate the fundamental texts and ideas from the humanities, social sciences, and natural/physical sciences, and from the Asian and Western intellectual traditions. This approach will allow the Yale-NUS College faculty to create a truly global and interdisciplinary common curriculum and to reinvigorate the liberal arts for the 21st century.
The liberal arts are not just about breadth. Depth of knowledge in a single discipline or set of ideas is vital. Students will select one of fourteen majors (see below for the preliminary list), some single-discipline and some multi-disciplinary, for their third and fourth years. A capstone project, equivalent to an honors thesis, will conclude all majors and provide students the opportunity to synthesize their knowledge into a substantial paper or research project paper or research project.
Overall, independent research projects will play an important part in the learning process, and students will engage in research of increasing complexity as they progress through Yale-NUS College. You can find more information on Yale-NUS College's curriculum here.
Three varieties of courses/modules will be offered: common curriculum, electives, and major courses. Modules in 'Great Works', 'Individual & Society', and 'Science' will make up the common curriculum that all Yale-NUS College students take in their first three semesters.
Elective courses will give students the freedom to explore any subject or field offered at Yale-NUS College. As students will not select their major until the end of their second year, elective courses allow students to explore the Yale-NUS College curriculum before committing to a major.
Students will take ten modules in their major in years three and four. A crucial component of every major will be a "capstone" research project, akin to an honours thesis, conducted in close collaboration with a faculty member. You can learn more about Yale-NUS College's common curriculum here.
The preliminary list of majors includes:
- Arts & Humanities
- Environmental Studies
- Global Affairs
- Life Sciences
- Mathematical and Computational Sciences
- Philosophy, Politics, and Economics
- Physical Sciences
- Urban Studies
Some majors, such as Urban Studies, Global Affairs, and Philosophy, Politics, and Economics, combine ideas and methods from a range of disciplines to create an interdisciplinary course of study. Disciplinary majors such as History, Literature, Psychology, and Economics will offer students an opportunity to study some of these fundamental disciplines.
Most students will likely decide on their major somewhere between the end of the first and second years. You need not decide on a major until the end of your second year.
8. Will I be able to focus on an area within my intended major, for example, Chemistry within the Physical Sciences?
Yes. The typical Yale-NUS student will take 32 courses over a 4 year period. Of these, 10 courses will comprise those courses leading to your major and another 10, electives and perquisites for you major. Also, each major is broadly conceived and students will be able to choose to focus in an area of their interest. For example, International Relations, under the Global Affairs major.
9. What if the major that I intend to study is undersubscribed/ oversubscribed, will I be prevented from taking it?
No. Yale-NUS guarantees to offer classes in all of the majors listed. Whether a class proceeds is not contingent on the number of students who do or do not elect to take it.
Every student will graduate with a Bachelor of Arts degree with Honours or a Bachelor of Science degree with Honours from Yale-NUS College, awarded by NUS.
Yale-NUS faculty, experienced academics hired from all over the world, will be uniquely committed to teaching and dedicated to the Yale-NUS College curriculum and student body. Complementing the permanent faculty, top Yale and NUS professors will serve as visiting professors. The student-to-faculty ratio will be 5:1 in the first year, and eventually grow to only 10:1.
Approximately 150 students will matriculate in August of 2013. Over several years, the number will grow to 250 per year, bringing the total steady state student population to 1000.
The College will open in August 2013, although the entire inaugural cohort will have spent most of July 2013 at Yale in a specially designed summer program. The application for the Special Inaugural Round will be made available online on February 1, 2012.
Before arriving at Yale-NUS College, all students will be allocated to one of three residential colleges (at steady state), each of which will mirror the diversity of the College as a whole. Except for time spent abroad, students will live in their residential college all four years. Each college will have its own physical space and student facilities, as well as its own athletic, dramatic, intellectual, and social traditions – in essence, the colleges will serve as intimate communities within the larger College. A Rector and Vice Rector, both faculty members, will live alongside students in each college and serve as the colleges' administrative heads and students' principal advisors. The Rector will organize and host Rector's Teas, and informal afternoon gatherings with interesting and significant guests from outside the College community. The Rector will embody the spirit of the college. More than anything, the Rector and Vice Rector will mentor students in their residential colleges. Most Yale-NUS College classrooms will be built into the residential colleges, ensuring that the Yale-NUS College campus integrates living and learning in an unprecedented way. All faculty offices will be built into the residential colleges as well, ensuring virtually constant contact between professors and students and thereby deepening the intellectual experience at Yale-NUS College. The dining halls, one in each college, will anchor the social experience of the colleges and encourage students to linger over meals as one might at home.
You can learn more about Yale-NUS College's residential colleges here.
Extra-curricular activity will be central to the Yale-NUS College experience. Unlike Yale and NUS, where many decades of activity have built a vast array of student clubs and organizations, Yale-NUS College will start with a clean extra-curricular slate. This offers Yale-NUS College students a remarkable opportunity: whatever you want to do outside of class, you must found and build an organization to do it. Like martial arts and debate? Start your own martial arts club and debating society. Interested in drama? Build your own dramatic society.
In other words, while many extra-curricular opportunities will be available at Yale-NUS College, the first few batches of pioneering Yale-NUS College students will, with the support of the College, initiate and develop their own organizations to explore extra-curricular interests.
Extracurricular, co-curricular, and residential life at Yale-NUS will actively link living and learning,
cultivate leadership and promote active service, encourage student creativity, initiative, and innovation, and foster among both faculty and students a rich community sensibility. To achieve these goals, co-curricular programs will involve: Overseas experiences, such as a semester or year in residence at one of Yale or NUS' hundreds of partner universities, a summer program with one of Yale-NUS's founding internship partners, or an international research attachment. Through such international opportunities, as well as through Yale-NUS's uniquely global curriculum, students will develop a strong global orientation.
Internships with leading companies, government agencies, or NGOs in Singapore or abroad.
Personalized career counselling, including job application and interview preparation, with our Career Services (CAS).
A leadership development program in which students learn the structural, technical, and human dimensions of management and leadership.
Research presentations and other public speaking opportunities that reinforce the importance of effective communication.
You can learn more about Yale-NUS College's co-curricular programs here.
Yes. Every member of the inaugural class will travel to Yale in July 2013 for a program of classes, discussions, and team-building activities. The class will then travel together to Singapore to open the College in August 2013. After this initial experience, Yale-NUS students can look forward to further opportunities at Yale. Some may study at Yale during the fall or spring semester, or over the summer.
18. Will all undergraduates at Yale-NUS, apart from the inaugural cohort, be able to have international experiences in Yale-NUS College?
Yale-NUS has an ever-growing host of partnerships and internship opportunities exclusive to Yale and Yale-NUS. These opportunities are open to all Yale-NUS students and are located in over 80 countries in the world. This, in addition to the fact that Yale-NUS is itself located in a cross-cultural and global city, will give our students a diverse and unique experience.
Like liberal arts colleges in the U.S., Yale-NUS College requires students to pursue a major, which typically comprises up to a third of the curriculum. In comparison, the four-year NUS University Scholars' Programme has a different emphasis, with the major comprising two-thirds or more of the course of study. The Yale-NUS College is a fully residential program spanning four years of college life. The residential commitment for USP students is two years.
Yale-NUS College students will be those who possess:a strong record of academic achievement
- demonstrated leadership potential
- an appetite to become critical thinkers capable of rigorous and insightful analysis
- the skills to communicate effectively and engage meaningfully with fellow students
- the motivation to stretch their capacities and make the best use of the College's extraordinary resources, both academic and non-academic
- genuine appreciation for different perspectives and individuals with different backgrounds, interests, and ambitions
- consideration for others and an interest to serve broader society
- the resilience, flexibility, and leadership skills to solve problems and function as high-performing change agents in a variety of demanding careers.
The tuition fees for Yale-NUS College for 2013-2014 may be found here.
The Honours in Law for students in the Double Degree Program will be computed using only the classes taken at NUS Law. This is the same formula that is used by the NUS School of Law to calculate Honours for all students undertaking any double degree program. In this way, there is consistency in how students' results are computed.
23. If I am enrolled in the Double Degree Program in Law and choose to pursue only one degree midway through Yale-NUS, will I graduate with a degree in Law or a degree from Yale-NUS?
Yes, it is for you to choose to focus on pursuing one course of study. However, since students on the Double Degree Program in Law will spend the majority of their first 2 years fulfilling Yale-NUS College class requirements, we expect that students who choose to focus on one degree would choose the Yale-NUS College degree.
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