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International Exchange - Academic Information

Venue & Semester Dates
Academic Calendar 2012 - 2013 [PDF Format]
Academic Calendar 2013 - 2014 [PDF Format]

Programme Schedule
Please go to Undergraduate Student Information -> Class Timetable and Examination Timetable to view class and examination timetables respectively.

The Office Global Learning (OGL) runs a compulsory orientation programme for incoming exchange students before the start of each semester. The orientation includes important briefing on student services at SMU, academic matter as well as the upcoming social events for incoming exchange students. The orientation not only helps incoming exchange students in their stay with Singapore and SMU, it also helps them to interact with other incoming exchange students and SMU students.

In addition, OGL organizes a buddy system during your stay. "Buddies" are SMU students who have volunteered to assist one or more of our international exchange students. Your buddy will get in touch with you before the start of the semester. Your buddy will try his her best to make your first few weeks in Singapore and SMU as stress-free as possible.

The orientation is normally scheduled prior to the start of each semester; and this date will be conveyed to you in your acceptance package.

SMU Courses
Our seminar-style approach keeps classes small and stimulates interaction and critical thinking. IT is central in SMU classroom and beyond, simulating real life where IT steers and drives all applications for business management in today's age.

Academic Terms
Courses Available to Exchange Students
Course Weighting & Course Load
Applying for Courses
Course Enrolment
Changes to Your Choice of Courses
Transcripts & Credit Transfer


All full-credit courses at SMU last for an entire term, with the rest (half-credit courses) being held over a period of half a term (approximately 6 weeks).

Fall Term/Term 1 = late August to early December

Spring Term/Term 2 = early January to late April

Summer Term/Term 3A & 3B = Late April to Mid July



A list of courses open to exchange students will be sent via email 6-8 weeks before the start of the semester. Exchange students should also note that certain elective courses have pre-requisites for enrolment.

You may view the list of prerequisites for each course in Undergraduate Student Information - Other relevant information such as the student handbook, academic calendar, class and exam timetable, are also provided in this website.

The course catalogue for a selected semester will only be available six to eight weeks before the semester start. The catalogue will then be updated periodically until the start of the semester.

You may read courses offered in any of the schools as per indicated in the course list sent to exchange students ( from the undergraduate level and limited to course codes that are between 0xx and 4xx) except Business Study Mission (offered by Lee Kong Chian School of Business). However, any available seats will be released to incoming exchange students for course bidding after term starts. Students must make sure they have the prerequisites the course requires.

To view the course catalogue and course descriptions for a specific semester, please go to Undergraduate Student Information - Course Catalogue Class Search -> select the term searching for and Courses with sections offered -> select the corresponding letter of the course name -> view class section -> course description.


With effect from Spring 2007, exchange students are strongly encouraged to enroll for a maximum course load of 4 SMU credits per semester. The minimum course load of 2 SMU credits per semester remains unchanged. The maximum (non-negotiable) workload per semester is 5 SMU credits.

Each full-credit course at SMU carries a weightage of 1 credit. It consists of 3 contact hours per week over a period of 13 teaching weeks (i.e. 39 contact hours). A half-credit course has a total of 21 contact hours per term.


Course Registration Period
Please register for your SMU courses via using your username and password (the set you received after you had submitted the SMU Online Application Form). Registration dates will be emailed to all accepted incoming exchange student closer to the start of the registration date.

All successful registrations are based on class availability and clash-free schedules (both in classroom and examinations) on a first-come-first-serve basis.

All registrations take place via the course registration portal only � SMU administrators are not able to register for courses on the behalf of exchange students.

In most instances, you will not get all or some of the courses you wish to register for at this stage as demand always exceeds supply.

BOSS (Online course bidding system)
When term starts, you will bid for courses using BOSS and with virtual dollars. All exchange students are given e$100 to bid for the classes. The seats available during this round are all that were not taken up by the full-time students during an earlier exercise.

Again, all students will only be able to bid for classes where there are NO clashes in both classroom and exam schedules. The success of the bids will be based on the amount placed.

If the first round of bids were to be unsuccessful, there are a couple of other rounds. Each round lasts for a week. The only drawback is that the available seats may be reduced with each passing rounds; and you would have missed quite a bit of the class if you were to get it later. Lessons often start by the first week.

Please ensure your desired courses are appropriate for your programme of study at your home university before registering for them.


You may make changes to your choice of courses upon the beginning of term via BOSS (intranet online course bidding system). Deadlines and policies for changing your courses are as follow:

To drop a course -
During the 1st two weeks of the term, there's no penalty.
Between weeks 3 and 7, a 'W' appears next to the course in the exchange transcript; and it does not affect your overall SMU term GPA and credits. 'W' means Withdrawn.
After the start of week 8, an 'F' appears next to the course in the exchange transcript; and it affects your overall SMU term GPA and credits. 'F' means Fail.

Courses may only be added during the 1st two weeks of the term.

It is YOUR responsibility to check that the courses which you have selected do NOT have class and examination scheduling clashes with the rest of your courses.

SMU does NOT cater for alternate or early examination. All exam schedules are made available in the course catalogue. Should an exam date not be suitable for you (eg you are flying off early), you must not select that course during your course registration or via BOSS.

The final exam is an official assessment component, which follows strict administrative guidelines of the University. Students are not allowed to make special arrangements with their instructors, with a view to having ad hoc/early/late final exam. If they do so, even with the instructor's consent, the University will invalidate all such exams and grading; ie the final exam component will be accorded zero marks. The University will get to know and follow up accordingly, because on the day of the scheduled University Final Exam, you would have been absent. Under the circumstances, the Final Exam would be given zero marks and the remaining assessment components of the course will not be re-weighted to 100%.

Two copies of your transcripts will be sent directly to the International Relations Office of your home university approximately two months after the official release of the exam results. SMU does not provide an unofficial transcript.

Transfer of credit is entirely at the discretion of your home institution. It is strongly recommended that you check with your home institution with regards to credit transferability of your courses before you apply to SMU via the exchange programme.


Last updated on 3 Jan 2013.