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The Best MBA Programs in Singapore

The Ultimate Guide to Singapore's Top MBA Programs

Looking for the best full-time MBA programs in Singapore? Here’s your ultimate guide! Now you can compare the city-state’s best MBA programs head-to-head and get the inside scoop from Admissions Directors, MBA alumni and more from Singapore’s best MBA programs.

 

5 Reasons to Get Your MBA in Singapore

1. One of the best places in the world to do business – home to 7000+ MNCs, many of whom have chosen Singapore for their Asia Pacific headquarters. Perennially ranked as one of the easiest places in the world to conduct business.

2. A highly developed, modern, cosmopolitan city (40% of the population are foreigners), and long-time conduit between East and West, the island city-state benefits from a multi-cultural society of Chinese, Malays, Indians, Eurasians and expatriates. The national language is English, making it a convenient place for foreigners to get situated in Asia.

3. Singapore is a rapidly growing wealth management center, ranking 6th largest in the world by a 2015 ranking from Deloitte.

4. Singapore has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the world – and is one of the easier countries for foreigners to gain employment. Non-residents are taxed a flat rate of 15%.

5. The downside of Singapore’s economic growth is that living costs have also risen, and it is now one of the world’s top 5 most expensive cities.

Working in Singapore and Post-MBA Career Opportunities

  • Visa – from NUS: “The duration for students to remain in Singapore to continue their job search is at the discretion of the Singapore Immigration Authority. The duration may range from a few months, up to a maximum of one year.”
  • Taxes – Low income taxes at 15% for non-residents. The highest tax bracket for residents is capped at 20%.
  • School reputations
    • Insead is the highest ranked MBA program in Singapore and has a reputation for being one of the top non-US MBA programs (along with London Business School). Insead was established in 1957.
    • National University of Singapore (NUS) has the biggest brand for a local Singaporean university, ranking 12th internationally by QS (for 2015/16). It is Singapore’s oldest university and is considered one of the best universities in Asia.
    • Nanyang Technological University (NTU) was ranked 13th internationally (2015/16) by QS. NTU has a strong reputation for engineering and accounting, and also has an outstanding reputation in China.
    • Singapore Management University (SMU) is a business and management focused university modeled after Wharton that opened in 2000. It’s known for producing competitive graduates with strong soft skills and has strong ties with Singapore’s business community. Unlike Insead, NUS, and NTU, SMU has yet to be ranked by the Financial Times or Economist, but is well-known in Singapore.
  • Geography – Insead places many grads in Europe and Asia Pacific but also in 55+ countries worldwide; Singapore schools (NUS, Nanyang, SMU) have the strongest reputation in Singapore, SouthEast Asia, China and India
  • Industry – while Insead sends over 40% of graduates into consulting industry, the Singapore schools place most grads into financial services, consulting and technology industries
  • Return on Investment – Insead, NUS and Nanyang rank 10, 38, and 39 respectively in Financial Times’ value for money rank

MBA Application Tips for Top Singapore Business Schools

  • Singapore MBA programs are looking for diversity – applicants from Asia, Europe, the Americas, Africa & Middle East are highly sought
  • As all programs have a Asian focus, demonstrating interest in region is key; experience with Singapore or other Asian countries a plus
  • Demonstrating well-researched and achievable post-MBA career plans is important as Singapore is one of the world’s most open labor markets.

Top Full-Time MBA Programs in Singapore 

Insead, NUS and Nanyang’s MBA programs are the top-ranked MBA programs in Singapore, consistently placing in the top 40 in the Financial Times Global MBA Ranking. SMU’s MBA program started in 2008 and has yet to be ranked by the Financial Times.

Insead MBA 

  • One of world’s most global MBA programs with over 90 nationalities; one of the few MBA programs to place a sizeable percentage of graduates in Western Europe (34%), Asia (28%), North America (12%) and Middle East/Africa (10%)
  • 10-month general management MBA program with 2 intakes (Jan, Sep), 3 campuses (France, Singapore, Abu Dhabi) and over 1,000 students/year
  • Sends over 40% of graduates into consulting industry & function; hundreds work for McKinsey, Bain and BCG
  • Consistently ranked top 5 worldwide by Financial Times – was ranked #1 for first time in Financial Times 2016 ranking

NUS MBA

  • 12 or 17-month options with 100 students/intake
  • Specializations in Finance, Marketing, Strategy, Real Estate, Healthcare Management
  • Strong exchange possibilities with 60+ partners and numerous dual degree linkages with top universities in China, Asia, and France
  • Consistently ranked top 35 worldwide by Financial Times
  • Singapore’s oldest and most well-known university

Nanyang MBA 

  • Recently changed to 12-month format with tracks in Banking & Finance, Strategy & Innovation, General Management
  • At 55,000 SGD and with a 1-year program, it’s the most affordable top MBA in Singapore and focused on graduate ROI
  • More project focused: students required to take less courses (9 core, 4 electives) but must complete 1 leadership module, 1 business study mission and 1 strategy project
  • Strongest reputation in Singapore, China, and India, and for accounting and finance
  • Nanyang Business School was the first business school in Singapore to attain accreditations from EQUIS and AACSB, and has been the top-ranked Singapore MBA program (Economist) since 2004

SMU MBA 

  • Singapore’s national university focused on business & management; modeled after Wharton, it’s located in the city center and has established strong relationships with Singapore’s business community
  • 12-month general management MBA with 60 Full-time students per year
  • An up & coming university – SMU undergrads are among Singapore’s highest paid, and the university has opened a dazzling amount of business related Masters programs the last few years
  • MBA program started in 2008 and has yet to be ranked by Financial Times or Economist

Application Tips from Singapore B-School Admissions Directors 

"We are looking for candidates with good career trajectory; so at least two years of work experience even though the average would be five years of work experience. If you come in with two or three years of work experience, it’s best that there is a strong case supporting you. Either you’re a young team leader or you’re a young entrepreneur or you have an extremely high GMAT score with good academic qualifications."

Chua Nan Sze, Marie Antonie, Director of Graduate Studies, NUS Business School

"Round 1 is "batch" mode which means we look at all the applications we receive then make a decision about who we're going to interview. We'll rank them accordingly and shortlist them for interviews. Round 2 is also "batch" but with a rolling twist. When we are doing Round 1 admissions we are selecting people we are able to make offers to. So in a sense we are building the class around Round 1 admits. When you apply in Round 2 we more or less know the people we need. For Round 2 applicants you need to be at the same or better caliber than Round 1 applicants. Round 2 becomes faster because we are benchmarking you already. That's why if you apply in Round 2 you'll get an earlier interview."

Nick Soriano, Former Director of MBA Marketing & Admissions, Nanyang Technological University

"We’d like to find people who have a good work profile, that have shown a good solid career progression that they’re starting to manage people or they’re managing people and they’re responsible for significant decisions within their firm. The reason that you want those type of people is they add a great deal to your discussion. They’re people that once they start managing people their career is going to go in a direction in which they're going to have great impact. So, we’re looking for people that have shown that early ability to manage and to lead and to handle bigger decision within organizations."

Dr. Philip Zerrillo, Dean of Postgraduate Professional Programs, Singapore Management University

The school is looking at the quality of your work experience and looking to understand if you’re someone who is a high performer. The best predictor of future performance is past performance. They are not just looking at have you managed teams or have you had some fantastic leadership achievement. They are looking at have you delivered really good results? Have you delivered something that was beyond what was expected? Have you taken initiative? How well are you regarded by your colleagues? This will come through in the recommendations."

Caroline Diarte Edwards, Director, Fortuna Admissions & Former Director of Admissions for INSEAD


What’s It Really Like At Top Singapore MBA Programs?

(click to get in-depth interviews with each school’s MBA Ambassador)

Join our Ambassador’s Forum to get the inside scoop from Singapore MBA students and recent alumni.

"NUS is very strong in finance, technology and consulting. There are more opportunities of course but I see a lot of companies from these industries in our job portal. If you are interested in entrepreneurship you will find a good chance to develop your idea in the university lab that functions like an accelerator. NUS is focused in Singapore and many opportunities are here. Nevertheless, it is well known in all Asia and with student initiative shouldn't be hard to find opportunities overseas. I am not very sure about opportunities in US and Europe because I haven't look there much, but having an exchange program in those continents will definitely be helpful for that end."
Francisco Bonomi, NUS MBA 2016

“There’s a lot more than classwork. We work a lot in groups and we do assignments together, we help each other out. That’s something very significant about the program.”

Laura Melina Loeven, Nanyang MBA 2016

"Career switchers should target the January intake, unless they're looking to get into consulting. Then both intakes are fine."

Viet Le Quoc, Insead MBA 2013

Next Steps

Get an Early Indication of Fit from NUS MBA and/or SMU MBA

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Head to Head – Insead MBA vs. NUS MBA vs. Nanyang MBA vs. SMU MBA

last updated June 1, 2016

 InseadNUSNanyangSMU
Degrees OfferedMBA

MBA+John Hopkins SAIS MA Int’l Affairs

MBA+Columbia MA Education Leadership

MBA+Yale MA in Advanced Management
The NUS MBA (12 or 17 mo.)

NUS-Peking MBA (24 mo.)

NUS-HEC MBA (24 mo.)

S3 MBA (20 mo.)

NUS MBA-LKY MPP (24 mo.)
The Nanyang MBA (12 mo.)

Nanyang–Essec MBA (24 mo.)

Nanyang–St. Gallen MBA (24 mo.)

Nanyang–Waseda (14 mo.)
The SMU MBA (12 mo.)
Class Size1,0001007060
GMAT (avg)701656670660 (Full-time & part-time(
Age (avg)29302730 (Full-time & part-time
Work Exp (avg)6655-7 years (Full-time & part-time
Class Makeup (no. nationalities)90302015
Start DateJanuary; SeptemberAugustEnd JulyJanuary
Length10 months12 or 17 months12 months12 months
RANKINGS
Financial Times 2016 (2015, 2014)1 (4, 5)32 (31, 32)29 (40, 38)Not Ranked
Economist 2015 (2014)8 (18)87 (95)59 (66)Not Ranked
Bloomberg Businessweek 2015 (2014)3 (5)22 (22)Not RankedNot Ranked
Notable RankingsRanked #1 by Forbes for International 1-year programs (ROI)Ranked #7 by Forbes for ROI for Int’l 2 Year programs – graduates reported a 5 year gain of $63K USDTop-ranked MBA in Singapore by Economist since 2004
ADMISSIONS
RequirementsBachelor’s degree

GMAT (above 70 th percentile in verbal & quant rec’d) or GRE (above 80 th percentile in verbal & quant rec’d)

Fluent English and Practical knowledge of 1 other language

Rec’d min 2 years workexp

Bachelor’s Degree

GMAT or GRE

Min 2 years workexp

TOEFL (260 CBT, 620 PBT) /IELTS (6.5)
Bachelor’s Degree

GMAT or GRE (min 600 GMAT or equivalent)

Min 2 years workexp

TOEFL (100 IBT, 600 PBT), IELTS (6.5)
Bachelor’s Degree

GMAT or GRE

Min 2 years workexp

TOEFL, IELTS
DeadlinesFor Jan 2017 Intake
Mar 2, 2016
Apr 20, 2016
Jun 15, 2016
Jul 27, 2016

For Sep 2017 Intake
Sep 21, 2016
Nov 30, 2016
Jan 25, 2017
Mar 1, 2017

For Jan 2018 Intake
Mar 15, 2017
May 3, 2017
Jun 14, 2017
Jul 26, 2017
(rolling admissions)

NUS MBA
Rd 1: Oct 1 2015 – Jan 31 2016
Rd 2: Feb 1 2016 – Mar 31 2016

NUS – LKY, NUS – HEC, S3
Oct 1 2015 – Apr 30 2016

NUS – Peking
Oct 1 2015 – Feb 28 2016
To be announcedFeb 28, 2016
July 18, 2016
Oct 15, 2016
Application Fee250€No application fee100 SGD100 SGD
Tuition65,800€62,000 SGD55,000 SGD (excludes GST)62,209 SGD (includes GST)
Est Living Costs  23,000€42,500 SGD (for 17 months)36,000 SGD36,000 SGD
Application MaterialsOnline application

Resume

4 essays

2 recommendations

Academic transcripts

GMAT or GRE

TOEFL/IELTS/TOEIC/PTE score report (if applicable)
Online application

Resume

3 essays

2 recommendations

Academic transcripts

GMAT or GRE

TOEFL/ IELTS score report (if applicable)

Financial Support Documents
Online application

Resume

4 essays

2 recommendations

Academic transcripts

GMAT or GRE

TOEFL/ IELTS score report (if applicable)

Financial Support Documents
Online Application

Resume

2 essays

2 recommendations

Academic transcripts

GMAT or GRE

TOEFL/IELTS score report (if applicable)
ExchangeWharton, Kellogg, CEIBS60 partner schools worldwide in 26 countries60 partner schools worldwide in 26 co5 partner schools in 5 countries
Scholarship20% receive scholarships; average amount was 12,500 € 40% receive scholarships; minimum scholarships are 12% of tuition20% receive scholarships; ranging from 20-50% of tuition Award amounts range from 5,000-25,000 SGD
Location1 Ayer Rajah Avenue

Closest subway (MRT): One North & Buona Vista

Time to City Centre: 15 min (taxi) 30 min (subway)
15 Kent Ridge Drive

Closest subway (MRT): Kent Ridge, Dover

Time to City Centre: 20 min (taxi), 40 min (subway/bus)
Block S3, Level B3A, Nanyang Ave.

Closest subway (MRT): Pioneer

Time to City Centre: 25 min (taxi), 60 min (subway/bus)
15 Stamford Road
Closest subway (MRT): Bras Basah, City Hall, Dhoby Ghaut, Bugis

Time to City Centre: 0 min
PROGRAM
Core Curriculum13 required

Financial Accounting

Financial Markets & Valuation

Organizational Behavior I

Prices & Markets

Uncertainty, Data & Judgement

Corporate Financial Policy

Marketing Management

Organizational Behavior II

Managerial Accounting

Process & Operations Management

Principles of Strategy Analysis

Int’l Political Analysis

Macroeconomics in the Global Economy
10 required (4 which are ½ modules) 1 management practicum

Analytics for Managers

Macroeconomics in the Global Economy

Management Communication

Corporate Strategy

Financial Management

Financial Accounting

Managerial Economics

Marketing Management

Leadership in Organisations (1/2 module)

Management and Organisations (1/2 module)

Managing Operations (1/2 module)

Management Accounting (1/2 module)

Management Practicum
9 required
1 leadership module
1 business study mission
1 strategy project

Accounting

Finance

Marketing

Operations

Strategic Management

Technology & E-business

Economics & Markets

Analytics for Decision Making

Corporate Governance & Ethics
8 required

Corporate Finance

Corporate Strategy

Decision Analysis

Financial Accounting

Managerial Economics

Marketing

Operations Management

Organizational Behavior and Leadership
ElectivesChoose 11 electives from more than 75 coursesChoose 9 electives from 45Choose 4 electives from 40Choose 10 electives from 30
ConcentrationsFinance

Marketing

Strategy

Real Estate

Healthcare Management
Banking & Finance

Strategy & Innovation

General Management
CAREERSClass of 2015Class of 2014Class of 2015Class of 2014
Placement w/in 3 months90%98%92%90% (w/in 6 months)
Average Salary (sign on bonus)105,700 USD
(Not available)

119,593 USD
(Economist 2015)
85,321 SGD
(9,113 SGD)

77,012 USD (Economist 2015)
Not available

74,402 USD (Economist 2015)
Not available
Salary Increase65.1%
(Economist 2015)
67%
(Economist 2015)
60% (Economist 2015)Not available
Top Geographies57 countries of employment

34% Western Europe
28% Asia Pacific
12% North America
10% Africa/Middle East
6% Southern Europe
5% Latin America
Not availableNot availableNot available
Top Industries43% Consulting
15% Financial Services Technology & Media
12% E-Commerce/Internet
7% IT/Telecom
5% Retail/Consumer/Luxury
5% Manufacturing
34% Financial Services
19% Technology
12% Consulting
8% Consumer Products
5% Manufacturing
5% Petroleum/Energy
22% Consulting
19% Telecom/IT/Tech
14% Financial Services
14% Consumer Goods
11% Medical/Pharma
32% Financial Services
20% Consulting
15% Technology
8% Healthcare
5% FMCG
5% Telecom
Top Functions44% Consulting
15% Finance
11% General Management
8% Corporate Planning/Biz Dev
7% Marketing/Sales
7% Leadership Dev’t Programs
24% Finance/Accounting
22% Consulting
22% Marketing/Sales
14% General Management
9% Operations & Logistics
22% Consulting
22% Business Development
17% General Management
14% Finance
11% Medical/Pharma
Not available
Company Score
(How many Top 10 Most Desired MBA Employers Recruit from School - McKinsey, Bain, BCG, Google, Facebook, Amazon, Goldman Sachs, Nike, Deloitte, Disney)

(How many Top 50 Most Desired Employers for Business Grads Recruit from School)
(7/10)
(18/50)
Not available“companies which regularly recruit Nanyang MBAs”

(6/10)
(25/50)
“some companies that have recruited SMU MBA graduates”

2/10)
(15/50)
Alumni24,000 with 47 national chapters (173 countries)40,000 NUS Business School Alumni38,000 Nanyang Business School Alumni in 127 countriesRoughly 500 MBA alumni and 17,000 SMU alumni worldwide

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