Back from the SMU Information Session about their PhD in Psychology program

I thought I better wrote this post in case I forget the information from the session earlier this evening. This session helped to clear some questions and doubts that I have about the courses and programs in SMU. Most of the relevant information you will need to know are from their webpage or the brochure as available on the webpage. If you have any further questions about the program, please DO NOT email me; rather send your enquiries to Ms Joyee Yan (

About this program:
This is a 4-year full-time program, which you will be able to drag it up to a maximum of 7 years (though not recommended). The curriculum is as stated on their webpage so I will skip that.
Things to note:
  1. If you managed to join the program next year, you will be the 2nd batch of student undertaking this program in SMU.
  2. The number of students that SMU would be taking for this program would range from 0 to a maximum of 6.
  3. You will be awarded 2 degrees upon graduation, a Masters and a Phd certificate.
  4. The ideal timeline is 4 years, but to finish the program in that timeline would be very hectic. Usually you will have to extend it for a couple months to a year. 
  5. Coursework are done in the 1st and 2nd year, with the focus to be diverted to the 2 theses from the 2nd to 4th year.
  6. You have to do 2 theses, a Masters thesis and a PhD thesis. They can be related or different from each other; however, you can not use the data you got from the Masters to be re-used again in the PhD.
  7. There is a Qualifying Exam to be done in Term 1 of Year 3. You may not be allowed to proceed in the program if you fail the exam, though you may have ONLY one (1) chance to redo the exam.
  8. If you fail the qualifying exam or did not managed to proceed to the 3rd year for whatever reason, you will not get any certificate at all (not even the masters), unless under special consideration for specific reasons. 
Specialisations for the thesis component: Experimental, Social, Personality, and Organizational psychology.

Fees: SGD$10,000 for local students and higher fees for foreign students. However full or partial scholarships are available for students. Also as a scholarship holder, you will also receive a monthly living stipend. Please refer to these admission and scholarship pages.

Application: Please refer to this general instruction page. The application is to be done online. Other than having a good bachelors degree, you will also require your GRE test scores (for the General test and the Psychology subject test - so you better prepare to do this first), your TOEFL/IELT scores (if your undergraduate studies are not taught in English), your 2 (or up to 3) referees' emails, and a personal statement for why you want to do this program, your specific research interests  and the faculty member(s) you are keen to work with. You have to do some research about the faculty members' research interest in the webpage so as to find the one that you will be interested to work with.

Please also refer to the FAQs page, as most of your questions may be answered there.

Additional note: You will not be eligible to be registered in the SRP, as there is no practicum component in this program. However probably you could find someone to supervise you for the 1000 hours of practical experience in order to be registered as a qualified practitioner in Singapore.