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The Best MBA Programs in Singapore – Head to Head (2022)

The Ultimate Guide to Singapore's Top MBA Programs

Looking for the best full-time MBA programs in Singapore? Here’s your ultimate guide! 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. All on one page!

last updated November 2021

Why Singapore for your MBA?

Five reasons to get your MBA in Singapore:

1. Singapore is home to 7000+ MNCs, many of whom have chosen Singapore as their Asia Pacific headquarters. Singapore is perennially ranked as one of the world’s easiest places to conduct business.

2. A highly developed, modern, cosmopolitan city (35% of the population are non-residents), 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. Deloitte ranked Singapore as the world’s 2nd best wealth management centre (2021); Singapore is the 5th largest wealth management centre by international market volume.

4. Singapore has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the world (2.2%), and is one of the easier countries for foreigners to gain employment.

5. The downside of Singapore’s economic growth is that living costs have also risen, and it is now the 7th most expensive city in the world.

Top Full-Time MBA Programs in Singapore

Insead MBA 

  • Consistently ranked top 5 worldwide by the Financial Times, Insead has a reputation for being one of the best MBA programs outside the US (along with London Business School). Insead was established in 1957.
  • One of world’s most global MBA programs with over 100 nationalities; one of the few MBA programs to place a sizeable percentage of graduates in Western Europe (38%), Asia (25%), Middle East/Africa (10%), North America (7%) and South America (7%)
  • 10-month general management MBA program with 2 intakes (January, August), 3 campuses (France, Singapore, Abu Dhabi) and over 1,000 students/year
  • Sends over 45% of graduates into consulting industry & function; hundreds work for McKinsey, Bain and BCG
  • Insead’s MBA was ranked #1 worldwide by the Financial Times (2021)

NUS MBA

  • National University of Singapore (NUS) has the biggest brand for a local Singaporean university, ranking 11th internationally by QS (2022). It is Singapore’s oldest university and is considered one of the best universities in Asia
  • 17-month program with 100-120 students/intake
  • Specializations in Analytics & Operations, Consulting, Digital Business, Innovation & Entrepreneurship, Finance, Marketing, Real Estate, Strategy & Organization, Healthcare Management
  • Strong exchange possibilities with 60+ partners and numerous dual degree linkages with top universities in China, Asia, and France
  • Consistently ranked top 20 worldwide by Financial Times

Nanyang MBA 

  • Nanyang Technological University (NTU or Nanyang) was ranked 12th internationally by QS (2022), making NUS and NTU the top two ranked universities in Asia. NTU has a strong reputation for engineering and accounting, and also has an outstanding reputation in China
  • Recently changed to 12-month format with 6 specialization tracks in Banking & Finance, Strategy & Innovation, Marketing Management, Human Capital Management, Business Analytics, Sustainability and General Management
  • At 65,000 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 live consulting project
  • 80-100 students per year, and consistently ranked top 40 worldwide

SMU MBA 

  • Singapore Management University (SMU) is a business and management focused university modeled after Wharton that opened in 2000. Located in the city center, it’s known for producing competitive graduates with strong soft skills and has strong ties with Singapore’s business community.
  • 12-month general management MBA with 60 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
  • SMU’s MBA program is not even 15 years old, but has ranked as high as #43 in the Financial Times (2019), and the Lee Kong Chian School of Business has already been triple accredited by AACSB, EQUIS and AMBA

Insider Interviews with Singapore MBA Admissions Directors

Listen to our in-depth interviews about what makes each MBA program unique and what you can do to give yourself the best chance of getting in:

Touch MBA’s Admissions Advice

  • Singapore MBA programs are looking for diversity – applicants from South East Asia, Europe, the Americas, Africa & Middle East are highly sought
  • As NUS, Nanyang and SMU MBA programs have a Asian focus, demonstrating interest in region is key; experience with Singapore or other Asian countries a plus
  • Demonstrating international experience and cross-cultural adaptability is essential to gain a spot at Insead
  • Demonstrating well-researched and achievable post-MBA career plans is important as Singapore is one of the world’s most open labor markets

Get free school selection help and an expert profile review from Touch MBA

Plus, get feedback from from NUS MBA’s admissions team before you apply. Thank you NUS for supporting Touch MBA’s mission to make expert MBA guidance accessible to applicants worldwide.

What’s it Really Like at Top Singapore MBA Programs?

MBA students & alumni share their experience:

Post-MBA Careers in Singapore

  • Visas – from NUS: “The duration for international 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 – Non-resident individuals are taxed at a flat rate of 22%, except that Singapore employment income is taxed at a flat rate of 15% or at resident rates with personal reliefs, whichever yields a higher tax.
  • Industry – while Insead sends over 40% of graduates into consulting, the Singapore schools place most grads into financial services, consulting and technology industries
  • Geography – Insead places many grads in Europe and Asia Pacific but also in 60 countries worldwide; Singapore schools (NUS, Nanyang, SMU) have the strongest reputation and placements in Singapore, SouthEast Asia, China and India
  • Return on Investment – Insead, NUS, Nanyang and SMU rank 7, 23, 27 and 31, respectively in Financial Times’ value for money rank (2021), reflecting Singapore MBA programs’ great ROI.

Head-to-Head: Insead vs NUS vs Nanyang vs SMU

Comparison table best viewed on desktop or laptop. Last updated November 2021.

 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.)

NUS MBA-LKY MPP (24 mo.)

NUS MBA - Yale SOM (24 mo.)
The Nanyang MBA (12 or 18 mo.)

Nanyang–Essec MBA (24 mo.)

Nanyang–St. Gallen MBA (24 mo.)

Nanyang–Waseda (14 mo.)
The SMU MBA (10 or 15 mo.)
Class Size1,000100-12080-10060-80
GMAT (avg)701670670640
Age (avg)29 292829
Work Exp (avg)6 665-6
Class Makeup (no. nationalities)85241515
Start DateJanuary; AugustJuly/AugustEnd JulyJanuary
Length10 months17 months

(with option to fast-track 12 mo.)
12 months

(with option to extend to 18 mo.)
12 months
RANKINGS
Financial Times 2021 (2020, 2019)1 (4, 3)14 (15, 17)37 (35, 30)58 (63, 43)
Economist 2021 (2019, 2018)NR (22, 19)43 (60, 73)38 (73, 68)NR (NR, NR)
Bloomberg Businessweek 2021-224 in Europe3 in Asia-PacificNRNR
ADMISSIONS
RequirementsBachelor’s degree

GMAT (above 70-75th percentile in verbal & quant rec’d, IR 6 or above rec'd) or GRE (above 80th percentile in verbal & quant rec’d)

Fluent English and Practical knowledge of 1 other language

Rec’d min 2 years workexp

TOEFL (105), IELTS (7.5), PTS (72)
Bachelor’s Degree

GMAT or GRE

Min 2 years workexp

TOEFL (100), IELTS (6.5)
Bachelor’s Degree

Competitive GMAT or GRE

Min 2 years workexp

TOEFL (100), IELTS (6.5)
Bachelor’s Degree

GMAT or GRE

Min 2 years workexp

TOEFL, IELTS
DeadlinesFor Jan Intake
Rd 1: Mar 1
Rd 2: Apr 19
Rd 3: Jun 14
Rd 4: Jul 26

For Aug Intake
Rd 1: Sep 7
Rd 2: Nov 2
Rd 3: Jan 6
Rd 4: Feb 22
NUS MBA
Rd 1: Oct 28
Rd 2: Jan 17
Rd 3: Mar 31

NUS – LKY
December 31

NUS – HEC
March 31

NUS – Peking
March 31

NUS - Yale SOM
Coming Soon
Rd 1: Nov 1
Rd 2: Jan 15
Rd 3: Mar 31
Rd 1: Mar 15
Rd 2: Jul 15
Rd 3: Oct 30
Application Fee250€100 SGD100 SGD100 SGD
Tuition91,225 - 92,575€76,000 SGD (excludes 7% GST)65,000 SGD (excludes 7% GST)67,410 SGD (includes GST)
Est Living Costs  2,800€/month (France)

2,777€/month (Singapore)
Not available1200-1500 SGD/monthNot available
Application MaterialsOnline application

Resume

4 essays

2 recommendations

Academic transcripts

GMAT or GRE

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

Resume

2 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 countriesExchange, whether in the form of a full-term exchange or a summer programme, is possible only after completing the 12-month programme. Nanyang is a member of PIM, comprised of 65 partner schools worldwide5 partner schools in 5 countries
Scholarship30% receive scholarships; average scholarship amount is 19,700€

100+ scholarships available
13 categories of scholarships availableMerit-based scholarships available, ranging from 10-20% of tuition, awarded for gender, industry and geographic diversity8 categories of scholarships; award amounts range from 5,000-25,000 SGD
LocationTime to City Centre: 15 min (taxi) 30 min (subway)Time to City Centre: 20 min (taxi), 40 min (subway/bus)Time to City Centre: 25 min (taxi), 60 min (subway/bus)Time to City Centre: 0-5 min
PROGRAM
Core CurriculumCORE (14)

Financial Accounting

Financial Markets & Valuation

Organizational Behavior I

Prices & Markets

Uncertainty, Data & Judgement

Introduction to Strategy

Corporate Financial Policy

Managing Customer Value

Organizational Behavior II

Managerial Accounting

Process & Operations Management

Leadership Communication Foundations

Business and Society

Macroeconomics in the Global Economy
CORE (9)

Corporate Strategy

Financial Management

Financial Accounting

Managerial Economics

Marketing Management

Managerial Operations & Analytics

Leading with Impact

EXPERIENTIAL CORE (3):

Launch Your Transformation

MBA Survival Kit

MBA Consulting Project
CORE (9)

Accounting

Finance

Marketing

Operations

Strategic Management

Technology & E-business

Economics & Markets

Analytics for Decision Making

Corporate Governance & Ethics

EXPERIENTIAL CORE (3):

1 leadership module

1 business study mission

1 strategy project
CORE (8)

Corporate Finance

Strategic Management

Leading Digital Transformation

Financial Accounting

Managerial Economics

Marketing

Operations Management

Organizational Behavior and Leadership
ElectivesChoose 11 electives from more than 75 coursesChoose 9 electives from 50 academic and experiential electives Choose 4 electives from 40Choose 10 electives from 30
Concentrations Analytics & Operations

Consulting

Digital Business

Finance

Real Estate

Marketing

Strategy & Organization

Healthcare Management
Banking & Finance

Strategy & Innovation

General Management

Marketing Management

Human Capital Management
Sector Focuses in:

Family Business and Entrepreneurship

Finance

Energy

Technology
CAREERSClass of 2020Class of 2019Class of 2019Class of 2019
Placement w/in 3 months89%not available

94% received at least one job offer
98%not available

80% accepted a job within 6 months
Average Salary (sign on bonus) 103,800 USD (25,000)

188,000 USD, 3 years after graduation
74,000 USD

161,000 USD, 3 years after graduation
Not available

134,000 USD, 3 years after graduation
Not available

121,000 USD, 3 years after graduation
Salary Increase, 3 years after graduation96%138%,
126%115%
Top Geographies57 countries of employment

38% Northern/Western Europe
25% Asia Pacific
10% Africa/Middle East
10% Southern Europe
7% North America
7% South America
Not available53% Singapore
20% East Asia
12% South East Asia
6% India
5% Europe
67% Singapore
8% Japan
5% China
5% Taiwan
5% India
5% South East Asia
Top Industries48% Consulting
23% Technology & Media
15% Corporate Services
14% Financial Services
Not available
27% Technology
20% Consulting
16% Financial Services
10% Manufacturing
7% Consumer Products / Retail
6% Healthcare / Pharma
21% Financial Services
19% Technology
10% Consulting
10% Manufacturing
10% Healthcare
5% Real Estate
5% Accounting
Top FunctionsNot availableNot availableNot available26% Marketing & Sales
20% Finance & Accounting
18% Consulting
13% Operations / Supply Chain
10% General Management
Alumni30,000+ MBA alumni with 47 national chapters (173 countries); 63,000 Insead alumni40,000 NUS Business School Alumni50,000 Nanyang Business School Alumni in 90+ countriesRoughly 1,000 MBA alumni and 20,000 SMU alumni worldwide

Need More Help with Singapore MBA Programs?

Get free school selection help and an expert profile review from Touch MBA

Plus, get feedback from from NUS MBA before you apply. Thank you NUS for supporting Touch MBA’s mission to make expert MBA guidance accessible to applicants worldwide.

Get admissions consulting help from Darren, who specializes in MBA programs based in Singapore and Asia

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