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FAQ for Future Students

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Basics about Bachelor of Science (Information Systems)

Here at the School of Information Systems, our core curriculum emphasises the critical thinking and technology skills to create Information Systems for business. We are about:

Identifying opportunities to create value by addressing business and user needs.
Building applications through harnessing computing and information technologies to effect innovation.
Innovating to create value by going beyond current industry practices, to exploiting the possibilities offered by emerging technology and market trends, and synthesizing knowledge across domains.

Computer Science is usually more focused on theory of computer applications, for example the basic foundations of computer, software and computational principles (e.g. algorithms, optimisation, and mathematics).

Computer Engineering is about the interaction between software and hardware.

We (Information Systems) are more focused on (1) designing and applying software technologies to solve problems and develop solutions in business settings and organisations and (2) using these solutions to improve and innovate the business.

With effect AY 2017-2018, SIS will be offering BSc(IS) with 2 majors:

  • REVAMPED Information Systems (IS) major;
  • NEW Smart-City Management and Technology (SMT) major.

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

A major is an entire programme including a set of core courses and other specialisation-related and elective requirements. Our two majors (i.e., IS major and SMT major) have different sets of core courses. A track (applies to IS major only) is a selection of a specialization within a major. All tracks have the same set of core modules.

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


Future Career Prospects

Our graduates have many career paths ahead of them. The foundation you'll acquire through the BSc (Information Systems) programme 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.

Find out more about our Alumni Job Stories.


Curriculum Matters

The revamped Information Systems Major will take effect from AY 2017-2018. The revamped 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. We have designed the new curriculum in order to provide every student with a worthwhile learning experience that is aligned with their strengths, interests and career aspirations.
The new Smart-City Management and Technology Major will allow you to gain interdisciplinary skills across Technology, Social Sciences and Management disciplines and also gain depth in domain knowledge through specialisation and experiential learning in the following 5 key smart city application domains: Business & Economy, Health & Enabled Ageing, Home & Environment, Mobility, Public Service. We have designed the new curriculum to prepare you for career opportunities arising from the global trend towards smart cities.
You need to complete 36 courses (including exemptions)+ internship (10 weeks continuous, full-time) that is IS-related+ community service (80 hours). The internship is compulsory for all SIS students and you can do it in Singapore or overseas.
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. Though we encourage all SIS students to do a second major which will help you 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 can pursue — either within SIS or in a non-IS concentration with one of the other schools in SMU.

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.
We focus on underlying concepts and techniques in our courses. Appropriate tools will be introduced where appropriate, to enhance these concepts as well as to give students the hands-on experience in the application of the concepts and techniques covered in the courses. As examples, we have used enterprise tools from SAP, Microsoft and Tibco and analytics tools from SAS and Tableau in some of our courses.
Any course will be tough if you do not have the passion and the perseverance for it. The revamped IS major and the new SMT major provide multiple paths and you will be able to choose the path that is aligned with your strengths, passion and career goals.

Yes. If you have excellent academic results you can choose to fast track to the following Masters Scholarship Programmes offered at SIS:

  • Master of IT in Business (MITB) (Analytics, Financial Services Analytics or Financial Technology Tracks)
    (5 MITB scholarships available when applying for each admissions window)

  • Master of Applied Information Systems (MAIS)
    (5 MAIS scholarships available when applying for each admissions window)

  • SMU - Carnegie Mellon (Pittsburgh, USA)
    (Apply directly to Infocomm Media Development Authority via the National Infocomm Scholarship (NIS))

Click here for detailed information

Concerns about Educational Background & Knowledge

JC students may have an advantage in core courses like Introductory Statistics, Programme in Writing and Reasoning, while poly students may have the initial advantage in IS-related courses if they have a prior background in studying IT. However, the courses covered here have greater depth than what would have been covered 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 willing to work hard. We have enrichment classes for students to help those students without an IT background or who feel they need refresher courses.

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.

That is true; We do not require prior IT background, we offer courses that will provide you with the foundation skills you’ll need for your journey through SIS.

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. You'll be surrounded by caring, passionate people who'll be willing to help you as long as you are willing to try.

If you need it, 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'll be required to think up a solution to a business problem — and then to develop a prototype of the solution to the problem. But don't worry even if you don't have much experience programming yet: the foundation courses will equip you with the critical thinking and technology skills you'll need to create these IS prototypes of business solutions.

You will have a chance to improve your English when you take 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.


Last updated on 06 Mar 2017 .