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Singapore Management University

School Overview

    • Founded:
    • 2000
    • Size:
    • Medium (5000~15,000 students)
    • Type:
    • Public
    • Category:
    • Universities, colleges
    • Specialization:
    • N/A
    • Climate:
    • Tropical
    • Location:
    • 81 Victoria Street, Singapore, 188065
    • Phone:
    • +6568280100
    • Setting:
    • Urban

The History of Singapore Management University

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. 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. 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.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 and President In 2015, J. Y. Pillay replaced Yong as SMU's Chancellor while Lily Kong succeeded De Meyer as SMU's President in January 2019. Lim Chee Onn succeeded J. Y. Pillay as Chancellor in August 2019.

Academic Highlights

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.

Life in Singapore Management University

The SMU Libraries consists of the Li Ka Shing Library and the Kwa Geok Choo Law Library.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.The University has campus-wide wireless LAN networks.

School Ranking

SMU is ranked 1st accredited Singapore University to achieve AAHRPP, 1st in Accounting Research in Asia and 3rd Worldwide in the Brigham Young University Accounting Research Rankings, 4th in Economics in Asia and Top 100 Worldwide in the Tilburg University Economics Schools Research Ranking, 1st Accredited Business School in Singapore (AACSB, AMBA, EQUIS) 6th Business School in Asia in the Financial Times Asia-Pacific School Ranking 2018, 1st in Asia for Masters in Business Analytics and 14th worldwide in the QS Master in Business Analytics Rankings 2020.


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 and International Baccalaureate diploma once a year. 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.

Notable Alumni

Discover the notable alumni of SMU. The list includes people like 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. 

Acceptance Rate

SMU's acceptance rate is estimated to be 66%.

AACSB accredited; EQUIS accredited

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