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FAQ for Future Students

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Basics about SIS Undergraduate Programmes

In AY 2018-2019, SIS will be offering BSc (Information Systems) with 2 majors:

  • Information Systems (IS) major
  • Smart-City Management and Technology (SMT) major

With effect AY 2019-2020, SIS will also be offering BSc (Computer Science) degree [ this degree is pending approval from MOE  ]:

  • with major in IT Solution Development
  • and with two 2nd major options – in either IT Solution Management or Advanced Technology

A major is an entire programme including a set of core courses and other specialisation-related and elective requirements. All our majors have different sets of core courses.

This major equips you with capabilities to develop innovative and value-adding solutions for businesses and society. The curriculum offers multiple tracks which enhances the flexibility to create your learning journey.

This major gives greater flexibility for you to prepare for your career choice, through the building of core IT skills and knowledge in the first 2 years, and deepening your Consultant & Business Analyst and/or Advance Technical skill sets in the later 2 years of study.

The 6 tracks offered in the BSc (IS) : IS Major are:

Consultant & Business Analyst Skills focused:

  • Business Analytics
  • Financial Technology
  • Digital Business Solutioning

Advanced Technical Skills focused:

  • Software Development
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Cybersecurity

Note: A track is a selection of a specialization within a major. All tracks have the same set of core modules.

This major equips you with interdisciplinary skills across Technology, Social Sciences and Management disciplines to seize career opportunities arising from the global trend towards smart cities.

The 5 key smart city applications domains that help students gain knowledge depth and career ready specialisations:

  • Business and Economy
  • Health and Enabled Ageing
  • Home and Environment
  • Mobility
  • Public Services

Note: The students in SMT major specialize by taking more courses in a desired discipline or by completing a second major.

This degree equips students with technical skills to build computing products and solutions to thrive in the marketplaces and society. This requires an understanding of the interplay between computing theory and practice and the essential links between them, as well as fundamental business innovation and IT solution development and management skills.

Tracks available to students in the BSc (CS) : IT Solution Development Major are:

Technology and Development Tracks

(also available to BSc (IS) : IS Major students who satisfies the pre-requisites for the selected track):

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Cybersecurity
  • Cyber-Physical Systems

*** All prevailing BSc (IS) : Information Systems Major Tracks (AY 2019/20) will also be available to BSc (CS) students

Second majors on offer are:

  • IT Solution Management (Business Innovation and Solution Management)
  • Advanced Technology (Technical Expertise in Computing Topics)
SIS’s Computer Science graduate:
    1. Will study a curriculum with 70% technology, 30% non-technology courses
    2. Has solid grounding on the technical foundations of computing
    3. Recognises the context in which a computer system may function including its interactions with people and the physical world
    4. Applies computing knowledge to solve real problems; Designs and improves systems based on quantitative and qualitative assessment of its functionality, usability and performance
    5. Aligns computing system development with business priorities
SIS’s Information Systems graduate:
  1. Will study a curriculum with 56% technology courses, 44% non-technology courses
  2. Bridges technology and business communities in businesses through curriculum that combines business and technology courses
  3. Leverages on computing libraries and components as building blocks for designing and customising information systems solutions
  4. Designs and develops innovative and value-adding solutions for business and society
  5. Has exposure to some industry domains, the business processes, common challenges and business improvement frameworks using Information Systems

Given the fast-changing nature of computing and how dynamically it impacts business and society, IT professionals of the future need to be technically proficient, industry-ready, and business savvy.

SIS's BSc (Computer Science) degree follows the recommendations of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) computing curricula which are adopted by universities worldwide and yet is progressively designed from the ground up to prepare students for the marketplace. The courses are built on modern technologies (e.g., operating systems principles are taught based on mobile devices) using current business scenarios as examples. Students can specialise in advanced technology tracks such as AI, Cybersecurity, and Cyber-Physical Systems, allowing them to capitalise on upcoming technology trends.

Students learn both in and out of the classroom too, through industry-sponsored projects, internships or apprenticeships up to a year long, and the iconic SMU-X courses emphasising real-world experiences.

As an organic part of the SMU ecosystem, SIS is especially well-positioned to deliver a CS degree programme that is holistically oriented towards both technically sound solution development, as well as business-relevant solution management. SMU’s unrivalled interactive pedagogy also provides a conducive environment to nurture students to communicate strategically and present ideas convincingly, traits highly valued by employers.

Curriculum Matters

You need to complete 36 courses (including exemptions). In addition, you must also have completed the following:

  • An internship (10 weeks continuous, full-time) that is IS-related, which is compulsory and you can do it in Singapore or overseas
  • Community service (80 hours)
Second major is an additional major/area you do in addition to the basic degree. You can do it concurrently along with your other courses in SIS. Typically, it will require an additional 2 to 4 courses on average to complete the second major. Your degree scroll will reflect your Degree ‘with a second major in Marketing’ for example.
It is not mandatory for you to do a second major. Although we encourage all BSc (IS) students to do a second major which will help you to be better prepared for your long-term career goal.
It depends on your interests, passion and career goals. We have more than 40 majors that you either can pursue — within SIS or in a non-IS concentration with one of the other schools in SMU.

Switching is only allowed as an exception not a rule. On a case-by-case basis, we will allow switching.

If it is before Term 2 (Year 1) then there is no implication. However, in Term 2 if you are still undecided, you may be asked to do certain courses so that you can transfer at the end of Year 1 before start of Year 2.

You need to complete 36 courses that includes:

  • Exemptions
  • A 2nd major in either IT Solution Management or Advanced Technology
  • either an internship (6-8 months continuous, full-time) OR an apprenticeship (1 year, part-time); The internship or apprenticeship is compulsory for all SIS students and you can do it in Singapore or overseas
  • Community service
Students are NOT allowed to switch from BSc (Information Systems) degree to BSc (Computer Science) degree once the academic year has started.
Students must have valid reason for deferring their studies. It will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

Yes. You can choose a secondary degree under Accountancy, Business Management, Economics, Law ^ or Social Sciences. You will receive two degree certificates upon successful completion of the double-degree programme. Expected duration is 4 years.

If you have excellent academic results, you may be offered direct entry into the double degree programme and will be provisionally enrolled in the secondary degree. You will be required to fulfil the stipulated double degree requirements by the end of your Year 2, failing which, you will be asked to withdraw from the double degree and pursue a single degree.

If you are not offered direct entry into the double degree programme, you may enroll as a single degree student first and apply for the double degree programme at the end of your Year 2 if you meet certain criteria (e.g. Cum GPA and specific grade for stipulated courses).

^ If you’re aspiring to do a double degree programme with Law, you must first be offered admission into the School of Law.

Yes, SIS has obtained large R&D grants from government and industry that fund research centres and labs in SMU, led by world-class faculty. These research centres and labs provide many opportunities for our students to participate in research projects that create impact and value for business and society. As part of the curriculum, you may choose to do the elective course “Undergraduate Research Experience”, where you will be working with a faculty on a research project.
Any course will be tough if you do not have the passion and the perseverance for it. The BSc (IS) and BSc (CS) programmes provide multiple path options for you and you will be able to choose the path that is best aligned with your strengths, passion and career goals.

Yes. If you have excellent academic results, you can choose the following Fast Track programmes offered at SIS allowing promising SIS undergraduates to pursue a Bachelor and Master degrees within a shorter period of time:

  • SMU BSc (Information Systems) & Master of IT in Business (MITB) Fast Track

    In addition to the BSc (IS), selected SIS undergraduates can obtain either the:

    • Master of IT in Business (Analytics)
    • Master of IT in Business (Financial Technology & Analytics)
    • Master of IT in Business (Artificial Intelligence Tracks)


    Visit here to learn more.

    Estimated time of completion is 4.5 years

    5 MITB scholarships are available when applying for each admissions window

  • SMU BSc (Information Systems) & Master of Applied Information Systems (MAIS) Fast Track

    In addition to the BSc (Information Systems), selected SIS undergraduates can obtain the Master of Applied Information Systems.

    Visit here to learn more.

    Estimated time of completion is 4.5 years

    5 MAIS scholarships available when applying for each admissions window

  • SMU - Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) Fast Track (Pittsburgh, USA)

    A fast-track programme under the National Infocomm Scholarship (NIS) which allows BSc (IS) : Information Systems Major undergraduate students to graduate within four to four and half years with both a BSc (Information Systems) degree from SMU and a Master's degree in IT from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, USA.

    Visit here to learn more.

    • For BSc (IS) : Information Systems Major currently only

      Apply directly to Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) via the National Infocomm Scholarship (NIS)

    • For BSc (IS) : Smart-City Management & Technology (SMT) Major

      We are in the process of making BSc (IS) : SMT Major students eligible for the SMU-CMU Fast Track Programme, pending final agreement. We are also in the midst of getting our fast track integrated with other top universities in Europe and US which offer related smart cities or urban studies master degrees.

    • For BSc (Computer Science) Degree

      We are in the process of making BSc (CS) students eligible for the SMU-CMU Fast Track Programme, pending final agreement.

In order to be eligible for a local Fast Track Programme scholarship, you must:

  • be a full-time SMU undergraduate student pursuing the SMU Bachelor of Science (Information Systems) programme
  • have obtained outstanding A-level, IB or polytechnic results
  • have strong interest in pursuing a local Fast Track programme scholarship in the School of Information Systems
  • be analytical and mathematically inclined (especially if they wish to take the Master of IT in Business (Analytics track))
  • demonstrate leadership and communication skills
  • have good record of co-curricular activity and/or community service involvement
  • be of good character

This scholarship will fully cover tuition fees for the local Fast Track Programme, when the scholar commences his or her Master courses.

These are terms and conditions for eligibility:

  • The scholarship will NOT cover the annual tuition fees & compulsory miscellaneous fees for the BSc (IS) degree (The recipient is required to take advantage of the Tuition Grant Scheme(TGS) provided by the Singapore Government for subsidised education for undergraduates. Under the TGS, non-Singaporeans (including Singapore PRs) will be contractually obliged to work for Singapore-based companies for 3 years upon graduation)
  • The scholarship award is to be confirmed at the end of the second year of study, on the condition that the cumulative GPA for BSc (IS) is > = 3.4 and with exemplary conduct
  • The scholarship holder is NOT required to serve any bond
  • Scholars may not concurrently hold any other scholarship, fellowship, bursary, grant, award or allowance without prior approval from SMU
  • SMU does not guarantee and/or provide scholars with employment upon graduation
  • If the scholar decides to withdraw from the University and/or terminate the scholarship prematurely, the University reserves the right to impose repayment of all scholarship monies disbursed to the scholar.

If you wish to be considered for the scholarship, please email us at stating your name/application number and the Masters programme that you are keen on.

Education background/knowledge & Exemptions

JC students may have an advantage in core courses like Introductory Statistics, Programme in Writing and Reasoning, while poly students may have an initial advantage in IS-related courses if they have a prior background in studying IT. However, the computing courses covered here assume no initial computing knowledge. The courses also have greater depth than what is taught in the polytechnics.

There's no need to worry about your background or lack thereof: you will be able to get up to speed as long as you are passionate and willing to put in the effort. We have enrichment classes for students to help those students without an IT background or who feel they need refresher courses. See the questions below for further details.

No, we provide all the background needed. This is a first-degree programme, hence we do not expect students to have any IT or programming background, we do however, expect you to be passionate and willing to put in the effort into your learning.

Our SIS Instructors conduct short, intensive courses every year during the term breaks. They are useful for current students who would like to widen the scope of their abilities. They aim to:

  • Expand the knowledge base of students
  • Equip students with marketable and industry-relevant job skills
  • Prepare students for professional certifications

Most students find the additional practical knowledge and the skills they gain through these courses are extremely helpful, for their internships as well as for the implementation phase of the Project Experience Course.

Not to worry: our Professors and Instructors are available to help you. We also have Teaching Assistants in each class to help clarify your doubts. If you have a passion for IT and are willing to work hard for it, the school will provide you with all the help/coaching you need.

If you need it or wish to learn more, non-compulsory enrichment courses will be available during the term breaks, to help you catch up or refresh on your skills.

Yes. Many SIS courses will have a project component in which you will be required to think up a solution to a business problem — and then to develop a prototype of the solution to the problem. Nevertheless, do not worry even if you don't have much experience in programming yet: the foundation courses will equip you with the critical thinking and technology skills you will need to create these IS prototypes of business solutions.

Depending on the type of diploma and your results obtained in the related courses, you may be granted (on average) between 3 to 5 exemptions from the SMU core and SIS core courses. Top polytechnic students with excellent results in related courses can obtain up to 9 exemptions.

Please refer to SIS Exemptions Calculator for an indication of the courses that you may be granted exemptions for.

Depending on your results obtained in the courses, you may be granted (on average) between 3 to 5 exemptions from the SMU core courses.

Please refer to Admissions Website FAQ for more information.

You will have a chance to improve your English when you take the Programme in Writing & Reasoning Course (SMU Foundation) and Management Communication (SMU Core). Proficiency in English is critical during the course of your study and more so after graduation, as it is the global language of business. It's worth putting in the extra effort to excel in it. After all, an idea is only as successful as your ability to communicate it to others.

Future Career Prospects

Our graduates have many career paths ahead of them. The foundation you'll acquire through the BSc (Information Systems) or the BSc (Computer Science) programmes will allow you to grasp different opportunities as you grow in your career.You'll have the flexibility to work in many different roles in any sector of the economy. Some of our graduates have gone on to further their studies.

Find out more about our Alumni Job Stories .

According to the Graduate Employment Survey 2017, our graduates are in high demand in industry, with a gross average starting salary of $4, 014.

Furthermore, 69% of SIS graduates received job offers before they graduate, with 52% of SIS graduates being offered between 2 to 6 job opportunities.

Find out more about our Alumni Job Stories.

Admissions Related Matters

As a reference based on last year’s cut offs:

  • For A levels: BBC and above
  • For Poly: 3.57 and above
  • For IB Diploma: 37 points and above

There may be some of you who have put in exceptional effort into doing interesting and substantial things with information systems, and as a result, your regular school grades suffered. For such exceptional cases, in addition to your prior school grades, you can provide us with tangible evidence of your abilities, motivation and passion for doing creative and interesting things with IT. We are open to take in account such evidence to determine if you would be a desirable candidate for SIS.

Last updated on 02 May 2018 .


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