The Singapore LGBT encyclopaedia Wiki
File:SMU Admin Building.jpg

The Administration Block of the City Campus

File:SMU Campus Green.jpg

SMU Campus Green with a sculpture, “97.5° Arc x 8” by artist Bernar Venet.

Singapore Management University (SMU) is the third autonomous university in Singapore. The university provides broad-based business programmes modelled after the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

SMU was established on 29 July 2000[1] and is located in the Downtown area of Singapore. It has a city campus with a total enrolment of about 10,000 undergraduate and postgraduate students and comprises six schools offering undergraduate, graduate and PhD programmes in business administration, business analytics, financial services, accountancy, economics, information systems management, law and the social sciences. The university has over 30 research institutes and centres of excellence, and customised corporate training and lifelong learning for individuals are available through the university's professional and executive development programmes. SMU is accredited by the AACSB International, EQUIS, and AMBA.


File:Eu Tong Sen Building, Block B and Upper Quadrangle, Faculty of Law, National University of Singapore.jpg

The former Raffles College, the site of SMU's first campus

In 1997, the Singaporean government began considering setting up a third university in Singapore. Ho Kwon Ping, a Singaporean business entrepreneur, was appointed to chair the task-force which determined that the new institution would follow the American university system featuring a more flexible broad-based education. Following a review of undergraduate business schools to serve as a model for SMU, the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania emerged as the best candidate. The Wharton-SMU agreement was signed in February 1999 followed in June by the Wharton-SMU Research Center collaboration.

In July 1999, Janice Bellace, then Deputy Dean of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, commenced a two-year term as SMU's first president alongside founding provost, Tan Chin Tiong.[2]

In 2000, SMU made its first home at the former Raffles College (now the National University of Singapore's Bukit Timah campus) on Evans Road near Hwa Chong Institution. The campus, first opened in 1929, had already been home to several institutions before SMU. In 2001, SMU upgraded and occupied the main campus facilities, balancing the need to refit and refurbish it with facilities while preserving the heritage of colonial architecture. From 2001 to 2004, Ronald Frank served as SMU's second president and was succeeded by Howard Hunter.[2]

Between 2000 and 2005, SMU saw the formation of four schools, its library and three centres of excellence as well as the graduation of the first batch of its students. After that, SMU moved from its Bukit Timah campus to its current campus in the Bugis-Bras Basah district.

Since then, SMU has expanded, with the establishment of its School of Law in 2007 and the restructuring of its School of Economics and Social Sciences into two separate schools: the School of Economics and the School of Social Sciences.[3]

In 2010, Yong Pung How and Arnoud De Meyer took over the positions of SMU Chancellor and President from Richard Hu and Howard Hunter respectively.[4] and President[5] In 2015, J. Y. Pillay replaced Yong as SMU's Chancellor while Lily Kong succeeded De Meyer as SMU's President in January 2019.


SMU has a 350-member faculty that includes industry experts and trainers.[6]


SMU follows a course credit system similar to that used in most American universities. Each individual course within the university is assigned a certain credit weightage and students are usually required to take a specified number of units to fulfil requirements for graduation. Courses are typically conducted as small group seminars of under 50 students so as to allow for a high degree of interactive discourse between students and instructors.


SMU admits students from a list of pre-university or high school qualifications that includes the Singapore-Cambridge GCE Advanced Level, diplomas from the five polytechnics or two arts institutions[7] and International Baccalaureate diploma once a year.[8] For entry to graduate or master programmes, SMU requires GMAT and TOEFL or IELTS for most of the majors. Some majors also require submission of essays, recommendation letters, and a minimum of two years' work experience.[7]

Second Majors[]

SMU offers 43 second majors to undergraduates. Upon completion, they receive one degree certificate and a second major will be indicated in the result transcript.[9]

Double Degree[]

Undergraduates who are offered a double degree programme have 20 combinations to choose from. They can combine any of two disciplines: Accountancy, Business Management, Economics, Law, Information Systems Management or Social Sciences. Graduates will receive two degree certificates upon successful completion of the programme.[10]

Schools and programmes[]

File:School of Accountancy.jpg

School of Accountancy

File:Lee Kong Chian School of Business.jpg

Lee Kong Chian School of Business

School of Accountancy[]

The School of Accountancy (SOA)[11] was launched in 2001 with the Bachelor of Accountancy (BAcc) undergraduate degree as its sole offering.

In 2005, the school launched the Master of Professional Accounting (MPA) programme for professionals without undergraduate accounting qualifications.[12]

Both the SMU MPA and BAcc are accredited with the Institute of Singapore Chartered Accountants (ISCA), Chartered Accountant of Singapore, the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA), CPA Australia, the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia (ICAA) and the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW).[13][14]

Lee Kong Chian School of Business[]

Main article: Lee Kong Chian School of Business

The Lee Kong Chian School of Business (LKCSB)[15] holds the status of being SMU's founding school, opening its doors to its pioneer batch of Bachelor of Business Management (BBM) students in August 2000.[16] The school was named after the philanthropist Lee Kong Chian.

The school offers the Master of Science in Applied Finance (China) programme, a collaborative effort between SMU and Wang Yanan Institute for the Study of Economics (WISE) at Xiamen University, and the Master of Science in Communication Management (MCM) in partnership with Università della Svizzera italiana (USI) and with 10 days spent at the UCLA Anderson School of Management. The newest programme offering the Master of Human Capital Leadership (MHCL) has been accredited by Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development and the students visit the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania for their overseas segment.

The School also offers a PhD in Business Programme with concentration in Finance,[17] Organisational Behaviour and Human Resources (OBHR), Marketing[18], Strategy & Organisation, Operations Management, or General Management,[19].

School of Economics[]

The School of Economics (SOE)[20] was established in July 2002 as part of the then School of Economics and Social Sciences (SESS). Following restructuring, the university's economics faculty was separated from the social sciences to form a school of its own. This restructuring was largely accepted as a sound decision in view of the fact that SOE's curriculum had been modelled on that of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania instead of following the traditional social science-type economics curriculum found at most other institutions.[21]

As of now, the SOE offers the Bachelor of Science (Economics) as well as Master of Science programmes in Economics and Applied Economics. In 2007, the School also introduced a PhD in Economics programme.[22]

School of Information Systems[]

File:School of Information Systems.jpg

School of Information Systems

The School of Information Systems (SIS)[23] was formed with the aid of Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) when SMU and CMU forged a four-year strategic partnership intended to use the expertise of the CMU faculty in the school's initial establishment. Through this partnership, CMU aided SIS in establishing and developing the Bachelor of Science in Information Systems Management undergraduate programme, including the establishment of the flagship SMU-CMU Fast-Track programme, which enables SIS students to graduate within four-and-a-half years with both a bachelor's degree from SMU and a master's degree from CMU. In 2007, both universities agreed upon a four-year extension with CMU now providing support in the establishment and growth of SIS's postgraduate education offerings. Under this agreement, the two universities also increased their focus on collaborative research efforts leading to joint faculty research outputs, funded projects and graduate student interaction.[24]

SIS offers the Master of Science in Information Systems, Master of IT in Business (MITB),[25] as well as the PhD in Information Systems programmes, in addition to its Bachelor of Science undergraduate offering.[26] The Master of IT in Business (MITB) augments its Analytics and Financial Services Analytics Tracks' offering with Harvard Business School's HBX Credential of Readiness (CORe) online programme. SMU is the first educational institution in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to incorporate HBX (CORe) into its master's programme.

School of Law[]

File:School of Law (Night).jpg

School of Law

Main article: SMU School of Law

The School of Law (SOL) is SMU's smallest school with an annual intake of around 180 students.[27] The establishment of the SOL was announced in August 2007.[28] Previously, the SOL existed as the Department of Law under SMU's Lee Kong Chian School of Business, where it was chaired by Andrew Phang. Its current Dean is Goh Yihan, who succeeded Yeo Tiong Min in July 2017.

The SOL offers the Bachelor of Laws (LLB) undergraduate programme, as well as an American-style Juris Doctor (JD) programme. The school also offers a Master of Laws (LLM) programme, with the option of a dual LLM with Queen Mary University of London.[29]

School of Social Sciences[]

File:School of Economics, School of Social Sciences.jpg

School of Economics and School of Social Sciences

Main article: SMU School of Social Sciences

The School of Social Sciences (SOSS)[30] was established in July 2002 as part of the then School of Economics and Social Sciences (SESS). Through a restructuring exercise in 2007, the School of Economics and School of Social Sciences were separated to form independent schools within SMU. The SOSS's primary offering is the Bachelor of Social Science, a multi-disciplinary undergraduate programme. Within this programme, three main majors are offered, namely political science, psychology and sociology.[3] In addition, the SOSS offers a PhD in Psychology.[31]

File:1 aerial panorama singapore management university and surrounding skyline.jpg

A 2014 aerial panorama of the university (from left to right): School of Economics / School of Social Sciences, School of Information Systems, Li Ka Shing Library, School of Accountancy / School of Law, and Lee Kong Chian School of Business.

Executive Development[]

In addition to its traditional academic programmes, the University also runs executive education and development[32] programmes for leaders at four stages of their career: emerging leaders, general managers, senior executives and corporate directors. These courses include Executive Skills for Board Members in Challenging Times; SNEF-SMU CEO Seminars: The Art & Science of Productivity Leadership; and Johnson & Johnson-SMU Hospital Management.

SMU Academy[]

SMU Academy offers programmes for working professionals, to provide continuous lifelong education through diplomas and certificate programs. This includes a combination of practical industry knowledge and general management skills.[33]

University rankings and accreditations[]

  • SMU was the first university in Asia to be accredited by Ashoka, a global non-profit organisation supporting leading social entrepreneurs worldwide, as a Changemaker Campus.[34]
  • SMU was the first university in Singapore to be accredited as a research organisation by the Association for the Accreditation of Human Research Protection Programs, Inc. headquartered in Washington, D.C.[35]
  • SMU made its debut on the Quacquarelli Symonds World University Rankings in 2017. Compared to similar specialist universities worldwide, SMU is ranked #11 according to the Quacquarelli Symonds World University Rankings.[36]
  • SMU Lee Kong Chian School of Business was ranked #6 in the Financial Times Top 25 Business Schools: Asia-Pacific (based on Global 2018 Rankings).[37]
  • SMU Lee Kong Chian School of Business' Executive Master of Business Administration (EMBA) was ranked #22 worldwide by The Financial Times .[38]
  • SMU Lee Kong Chian School of Business' Master of Business Administration (MBA) made its debut in The Financial Times MBA Ranking 2018 as #49 worldwide, the highest new entrant in the ranking.[39]
  • SMU Lee Kong Chian School of Business’ Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Finance programme is ranked 30th globally and first in Singapore in the latest 2018 Top MBAs for Finance ranking by The Financial Times (FT).[40]
  • SMU Lee Kong Chian School of Business' Master of Science in Wealth Management was ranked #1 in Asia and #3 worldwide for The Financial Times Masters in Finance Post-experience 2016[41][42]
  • SMU Lee Kong Chian School of Business' Master of Science in Applied Finance was ranked #4 in Asia and #42 worldwide for The Financial Times Global Masters in Finance Pre-experience 2016
  • SMU Lee Kong Chian School of Business was rated as a 4 Palms business school and ranked first in the Far East Asia Zone among 200 business schools ‘with significant international influence’ in the ‘Best 1,000 Business Schools in 154 countries’ ranking compiled by Eduniversal for 2014[43]
  • SMU Lee Kong Chian School of Business' research productivity in top ranked journals across all fields of business in 2016-17 is #13 worldwide according to the University of Texas Dallas ranking.[44]
  • SMU Lee Kong Chian School of Business' research productivity in top ranked journals in management field in 2016-17 is #2 worldwide according to the University of Texas Dallas ranking [44]
  • SMU Master of IT in Business is ranked #1 in Asia and #11 in the world by QS Masters in Business Analytics Ranking for 2019[45]
  • SMU School of Accountancy was ranked #1 in Asia and #3 in the world for both Archival Research (All Topics) and Archival Research (Financial). It also ranks #1 in Asia for All Areas, All DIsciplines according to the Brigham Young University Accounting Research Rankings 2016 [46]
  • SMU was ranked #64 worldwide and #4 in Asia in the 2016 Tilburg University Top 100 Worldwide Economics Schools Research Ranking based on research contributions in leading international journals in the preceding five-year period[47]
  • USNEWS ranks SMU's Economics and Business faculty as 77 globally.[48]

SMU Libraries[]

The SMU Libraries[49] consists of the Li Ka Shing Library and the Kwa Geok Choo Law Library.

Institutional Knowledge (InK)[]

InK,[50] Institutional Knowledge at SMU is the institutional repository and archives of the Singapore Management University. It acquires, organises and provides access to the research and scholarly works of SMU faculty. Collections in InK include journal articles, working papers, conference proceedings, books, book chapters, reports and other research works including the dissertations and theses of postgraduate students and a collection of print and video teaching cases. In addition, there are also the heritage and research data collections.

Campus and facilities[]

File:Singapore Management University - Li Ka Shing Library.jpg

Li Ka Shing Library

The campus has seven blocks:

  • Lee Kong Chian School of Business
  • School of Accountancy
  • Li Ka Shing Library
  • School of Information Systems
  • School of Economics / School of Social Sciences
  • School of Law & Kwa Geok Choo Law Library
  • Administration Building

Six of the seven buildings are connected by an underground walkway known as the Concourse, which is open to the public and lined with shops. The campus was designed by two teams of architects, with Cox Architects and Planners and DEG Architects in charge of the Administrative Building, and Edward Cullinan Architects and KNTA Architects designing the rest.[51]

Teaching facilities include seminar rooms, classrooms, computer labs and group study rooms used by students for project discussions. There are research facilities scattered throughout the university. Sports facilities are limited on campus because of space constraints; however, the university has a swimming pool, gymnasium and a multi-purpose sports hall which is equipped with a rock wall.[52] The University has campus-wide wireless LAN networks.

The most recent building on campus is the School of Law, which officially opened in March 2017. A key feature integrated into the new building is the Kwa Geok Choo Law Library, named in memory of lawyer Kwa Geok Choo, who was also the wife of Singapore's first Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew. The 2,600 square-metre Kwa Geok Choo Law Library takes on a distinct architectural form that is reminiscent of a pearl. It seats more than 500 people and is fully equipped with modern technology. Within the School of Law building, there is the David Marshall Moot Court, the SMU Pro Bono Centre and other research centres.[53]

The university also leases a building on Stamford Road which houses SMU Labs, which provides collaborative learning spaces for the university's latest learning experiment, known as SMU-X, in which lessons are centred on solving real-world problems through projects.[54]


The SMU Hostel, known as SMU Residences @ Prinsep, is located on Prinsep Street. The hostel was created by refurbishing three Housing Development Board blocks donated by the government. The hostel welcomed its first residents in December 2006 and was officially opened in February 2007. The hostel buildings can accommodate about 250 residents. Priority is given to international students, most of whom live in various private hostels around the island.

In addition, the university leases rooms from a student hostel at Commonwealth Drive and these are open to 212 full-time SMU students (2nd year and above), exchange students and full-time postgraduate students who plan to study full-time at SMU for the forthcoming academic year. The hostel is located near Holland Village, which is known for its cosmopolitan array of restaurants and cafes. [55]

SMU also has 20 units in the Mount Sophia development which are available for rent and intended for faculty and staff and their family members, especially those relocating to Singapore from overseas or on visits of several months or more.

Student life[]

Students can take part in the school clubs and events, as well as organise school events.

The academic year commences in late August. Each term is 15 weeks long, including a week-long mid-term break and another week of revision and exams. Term 1 generally runs from late August to early December, while Term 2 begins in January and ends in mid-April. In most courses, students are assessed on the level of their class participation, a group project, a midterm test, and possibly, an exam at the end of the term. Students are generally required to give a presentation on a project topic for every course they read. Attending a half-unit course, called Finishing Touch, which advises students on career skills is also mandatory.[56]

It is part of each student's curriculum to spend at least 10 weeks on an internship at an approved organisation, and 80 hours of community service. These occupy the summer holidays of most students. Students are also encouraged to go an international exchange term with partner universities to experience different cultures. SMU has around 220 agreements with partner universities from 48 countries.[57]

Notable alumni and students[]

  • Jason Goh Koon-Jong - Chess player
  • Rebecca Lim - Actress
  • Russell Ong - Swimmer
  • Poh Seng Song - Athlete
  • Adithya Srinivasan - Singer
  • Pornsak Prajakwit - Television Personality
  • Pritam Singh - Member of Parliament
  • Jade Seah - Actress
  • Liyann Seet - Artist
  • Yip Pin Xiu - Swimmer

See also[]


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  21. The University of Pennsylvania offers two economics bachelor degrees. The BSc Economics is designed as a business-focused programme and is offered by the university's Wharton School while the University of Pennsylvania College of Arts and Sciences offers the more traditional social science-focused economics programme.
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External links[]