Frequently Asked Questions

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We have collated all the questions that are usually posed to us. Some of the questions have been addressed at our EPD Live Talks which you can view at:

Click to jump to the respective topic:

I. Admission Process & Criteria (also Student Profile and Eligibility)
II. EPD as a Major
III. EPD Curriculum
IV. EPD Specialisation Tracks
V. Career Prospects
VI. Others – Research, Innovation & Enterprise

We have collated all the questions that are usually posed to us. Some of the questions have been addressed at our EPD Live Talks which you can view at:

Click to jump to the respective topic:

I. Admission Process & Criteria (also Student Profile and Eligibility)
II. EPD as a Major
III. EPD Curriculum
IV. EPD Specialisation Tracks
V. Career Prospects
VI. Others – Research, Innovation & Enterprise

I. Admission Process & Criteria (also Student Profile and Eligibility)

  1. What type of students are you looking out for?
  2. Must I be good at Physics to do well in EPD?
  3. I did not do well in my Mathematics subject. Does it affect my eligibility entering SUTD?
  4. If I enter with a relevant diploma (Diploma in Nanotechnology and Materials Science), do I stand a higher chance of enrolling into EPD?

For Questions 1 to 4:
These questions were addressed during the SUTD Virtual Open House Live Talk Q+A segment:

  1. I come from a business course in Polytechnic, will that affect my ability to enter SUTD?
  2. Am I eligible to apply EPD if I don’t have a computer Science background?
  3. What advice do you have for students interested in EPD? What grades or portfolio should I have to get admitted?
  4. Will prior experience and achievements be taken into consideration to accelerate the completion of the degree? (E.g. I have professional experience in UIUX, design, 3D)
  5. What was the minimum GCE A-Level score admitted in EPD in 2019?
  6. I did not perform well for my GCE A-Level H2 Mathematics Subject, but I still managed to get a pass. How important is your Mathematics grade and will it negatively affect my chances of entering SUTD EPD?

For Questions 5 to 10:
Parts of these questions were addressed during the live talk Q+A segment that can be viewed at this site:

Regarding questions pertaining the admission process and criteria for Bachelor Degree programs, SUTD adopts a comprehensive and holistic evaluation of all potential candidates. Besides assessing the grade performance to assess the candidate’s suitability, evaluations will also be made via an interview for shortlisted candidates. During the interview, other aspects such as personal drive and ambition, intrinsic motivation and excellence in other pursuits that are not captured by the customary assessment modes (i.e., beyond the GCE A-level, polytechnic diploma or IB curricula) would be considered.

Successful applicants to SUTD would take common first year classes (i.e. first 3 terms). During these 3 terms, all students are equipped with a strong foundation that allows them to make an educated choice of pillar. The following provides some reasons why a common first year is important for SUTD students:

  • Having a common foundation opens more opportunities to students, as their prior background (i.e., subject taken or diploma specialization) will not limit their eventual choice of pillars. This also allows students to strengthen their knowledge with subjects that they were weaker at. However, the specialization or prior relevant experience may be an advantage to students in the pillar years, if they choose to continue in the same education or career pathway.
  • With a common foundation and better understanding of the scopes of the different pillars, it facilitates the essential teamwork required for the unique final year Capstone project at SUTD which requires a collaborative effort from teams of at least 2 different pillars.
  • SUTD’s common foundational year also offers students more options for subjects that can be taken during overseas exchange programs since these are also classes that are usually the pre-requisites of many reputable overseas colleges.
Generally, no exemptions are given for any course subjects for diploma holders.
Parts of these questions were addressed during the Virtual Open House Live Talk Q+A segment that can be viewed at this site: (see Q1). Self-motivated students who have a keen interest in learning, making and creating next generation products that address societal needs should apply to EPD. A portfolio that can demonstrate these aspects would certainly be beneficial. Generally, our educational philosophy is to embrace and enrich individuals with different talents, since every individual can offer a unique contribution.

II. EPD as a Major

  1. How is EPD different from Electrical Enginering or Mechanical Enginering from NUS and NTU?
  2. How does your course compare to NTU’s Renaissance Engineering Programme?
  3. Is there a limit to the student intake for EPD? If so, what is the limit?
  4. Is there any criteria needed to go in for this course ?

For Questions 14 to 17:
These were addressed during the SUTD Virtual Open House Live Talk Q+A segment:

Broadly, EPD is about designing and developing products. ASD is about architectural design. One is an engineering-based degree, the other is an architectural-based degree. Considering the SUTD admission philosophy where one makes a pillar selection at the end of the first year (i.e., end of Term 3), one should also use the first year to better understand the differences between each pillar to make an educated choice. Pillar Information Sessions are also held regularly to address queries and clarify doubts.

EPD prepares students for the conception, design, implementation, and operation of technology-intensive products, with an emphasis on products whose development cuts across traditional disciplinary boundaries. ESD is focused on analyzing, understanding and optimizing large scale systems.

To find out more, please visit the websites of the various pillars:

III. EPD Curriculum

  1. How are lectures being taught?
  2. The curriculum seems to heavily emphasize collaborative (hands-on) work. Will students be lacking in theory behind the subjects?
  3. Will there be enough depth in EPD since we have to do a common first year?

For Questions 20 to 22:
These were addressed during the Live Talk Q+A segment:

Check out the following video links where some examples of the EPD projects are showcased:

IV. EPD Specialisation

  1. Is it a must to choose one of the specialisation tracks (mech eng, robotics, healthcare eng design)? Or you can choose to learn a bit of mech eng, a bit or robotics, etc.?
  2. I am very interested in the SUTD philosophy and how it caters to its students. I am a prospective chemical engineer and was wondering how much autonomy the self-directed program would allow and what exactly it could entail.

For Questions 25 to 26:
These were addressed during the Live Talk Q+A segment:

SUTD students choose their pillars at the end of their Freshmore year (Term 3). During the second term, students would indicate their preferred tracks within the pillars. Options are available to students to either change their tracks or pillars. There have been instances where these changes were made without impacting the expected graduation dates. There have also been cases, where graduation dates have been delayed by ~3 to 6 months.

Faculty academic mentors are assigned to you in EPD and they will guide you through the process for specialization. To be able to specialize in all our tracks including computer engineering, one needs to take specific classes. These classes are listed on our EPD website and are frequently updated according to the availability of courses. More information about these tracks and the relevant subjects that must be taken with it can be found at this site:

Generally, Mechanical, Electrical and Self-Directed are the 3 more popular tracks. Recently, Healthcare Engineering Design and Robotics are also gaining popularity. It is difficult to point to any one specific reason, since there are various reasons for the popularity (student’s choices, preferences, market forces etc.).
Biomedical Engineering, which usually deals directly with the biological element of the body, is one aspect of Healthcare. Healthcare engineering is much broader in scope and can also include other aspects such as the environment, physiological and psychological aspects, etc.

The Healthcare Engineering Design specialisation track in EPD is one of 7 tracks in EPD. The SUTD-DUKE-NUS is a SUTD special program (typical intake of 10), where one can opt to be in any pillar.

In the Robotics specialisation track, students will gain knowledge of robotics fundamentals, skills in the modelling, design and development of robotic platforms, insights into their theoretical essentials and the expertise to apply these methods to real world problems.

We do not have a chemical engineering degree. However, it is possible to take classes that focuses on certain Chemical Engineering aspects (e.g., sustainability or sustainable engineering) via the self-directed track. We encourage students to consult and speak your faculty mentors or pillar administrators about the classes one should take to pursue their interest on a given area.

Although we do not have a material science and nanotechnology track, it is possible to take classes that focus on these areas via the self-directed track. Currently, there are several related subjects that are currently offered in EPD for every pillar term. We would encourage students to consult and speak with the faculty mentors or pillar administrators on the classes one should take to pursue their interest in a given area.
The self-directed track offers students the option to design a personalized study plan that will arm you with the necessary knowledge (e.g. Sustainability, Materials Science) and skills to pursue unique or non-traditional careers centered around your personal interests.

V. Career Prospects

  1. With the growing demand of software, how is EPD that is focused mainly on hardware going to prepare the students for the industry?
  2. What are the possible careers for an EPD graduate? Looking at how EPD is about making products, is there actually a market for this in Singapore?

For Questions 36 to 37:
These were addressed during the Live Talk Q+A segment:

SUTD itself does not have a satellites or space industry degrees. The satellites or space industry itself is really huge and would generally need graduates from a multitude of domains and disciplines. To answer this question on the possibility of pursuing a career in this industry, additional information on which segment of this industry that excites the individual is needed. Our advice is that students should consult and speak with your faculty mentors on the classes one should take to pursue their interest in the given area.

EPD graduates are prepared for a wide range of engineering, design and management careers. Your skills and capabilities for leading the development of new products, systems, processes or methodologies prepare you for both the private and public sectors, including healthcare, consumer goods, robotics, finance, defence, and energy and power.

Our EPD graduates have gone on to pursue a career in a range of different fields and companies (i.e., private, MNCs, government) or have founded start-ups that were instrumental in addressing societal needs (for e.g. (these)abilities). Some have also chosen to pursue further studies (PhD and Masters) at SUTD or in top tiered overseas colleges (e.g., MIT, Berkley, Stanford, ETH
Zurich, EPFL).

This was also addressed the during live talk Q+A segment; In short the answer is that Singapore will always have a market for product engineers and designers.

VI. Others – Research, Innovation & Enterprise

Undergraduate research opportunity (UROP) starts in Term-1, and can be done through the official UROP platform or through informal discussions with faculty members. Alternatively, apply for the STEP program which is an integrated Bachelor and Master degree.
The first thing to do if you are interested in research is to get to know the various research areas pursued by EPD professors, and find out what topic interests you. Discuss with the professor to find out what is required to participate in research in that topic. Every UG student is assigned a faculty mentor, which is also a great source of information on research topics.
There is no single method to teach ‘innovation’. Innovation is a culture and pedagogy in our teaching, which is embedded in many courses that EPD offers as well as 5th row activities (e.g., entrepreneurship competitions or entrepreneurship capstone projects).

Real world problems are complex, vague and multi-facetted; thus, requiring skilled people from different domains and disciplines to work together to create functional and effective solutions. Our broad-based education at SUTD equips students with a wide scope of understanding of different disciplines that will allow them to serve as an effective bridge between fields. Our rigorous academic EPD curriculum grounds them with the required fundamental theories that students can subsequently build on and expand. Through design projects, EPD students learn to work in cross-functional and multidisciplinary teams and apply their expertise whilst actively contributing towards designing and developing effective engineering solutions.