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UNC-NUS Joint Degree Program

What is the Joint Degree Program?

The joint degree program is a collaborative effort between UNC-Chapel Hill and National University of Singapore, and the only one of its kind at UNC. It is currently available in six majors and the curriculum is designed to allow students from both institutions to spend a minimum of two semesters and up to four total at the other university and still graduate on time with the required courses. Upon completion of the program, students will receive a diploma jointly issued by UNC-Chapel Hill and National University of Singapore, two world-class institutions.

Available majors:

  • Economics
  • English Literature
  • Geography
  • Global Studies (in development, pending approval)
  • History
  • Political Science

Why the Joint Degree Program?

  • Explore two contrasting cities/countries: Divide your time between charming Chapel Hill and metropolitan Singapore.
  • Expand your network: Meet students, faculty, and professionals from both institutions and cultures. The increased number of contacts will help you during your undergraduate degree and beyond.
  • Differentiate yourself: The JDP is a unique opportunity and the only undergraduate one of its kind in NC. Go a step beyond the double major and highlight the cross-cultural experience.
  • Increase access to resources: NUS is the leading institution of higher education in Asia (#1 in Times Higher Education) and has a wealth of resources. Take courses from renowned professors, conduct research in world-class labs, participate in student organizations, etc.
  • Gain cultural awareness: Spend a year or two in the vibrant and safe city of Singapore interacting with people from diverse cultures and backgrounds. Singapore has four official languages, English, Tamil, Mandarin Chinese, Malay.
  • Leverage name recognition: NUS is the leading university in Asia and has an exceptionally positive reputation globally. The QS World University Rankings place NUS at #1 in Asia and #15 Worldwide.
  • Establish footprint in Asia: While the JDP is not restricted to students with an interest in Asia, it is especially beneficial for people who might be interested in pursuing a career relevant to Asia or at a multinational entity.
  • Maximize cost: Experience two cultures and continents and receive a jointly issued diploma for the same price as a traditional UNC degree.
  • Increased employability: Companies value employees with cross-cultural competency and other soft skills gained through an immersive international experience.


Where is Singapore and NUS?

Singapore may be small in size, but it’s a powerful player in the Asian and global arena. The city-state is located on the southern tip of the Malay peninsula and just one degree north of the equator. Its residents, comprised of local citizens and a substantial expat population, enjoy one of the highest standards of living. The country claims top spot on many ranking, such as the third highest GDP per capita, fifth highest on the UN Human Development Index, third largest financial center, and the world’s safest country. It is a truly diverse and multi-ethnic environment with multiple religions, cuisines, and four official languages: English, Mandarin, Malay and Tamil.

National University of Singapore

One of many modern and innovative buildings at the National University of Singapore campus.

National University of Singapore is the oldest institution of higher learning in Singapore and also its largest university. Its campus is located in southwest Singapore, about a 15 minute drive to the downtown core or approximately a 40 minute commute via the MRT, mass rapid transit. A free shuttle bus transports students throughout its half square mile campus. Students enjoy the compact nature of the city and the ease of public transportation and communication. The university and the city is also a terrific base for explore other regions in southeast Asia.

How do I apply?

This program is tentatively scheduled to resume during the 2025-26 academic year. Applications will be available in November 2024.

Due to the unique nature and commitment of this program, students are encouraged to speak to their academic and departmental advisor, as well as the study abroad advisor.

Questions? Please contact Ken Nesbett, our Asia Program Program Director.

Student Feedback

“I had always dreamed about living abroad. However never had I dreamed an experience as fulfilling as the UNC-NUS joint degree program. My understanding of Singapore and Southeast Asia has grown immensely and still has far to go. I am truly fortunate to be part of such a ground-breaking and inspiring program with both outstanding universities.”
David Crawford
UNC-NUS Joint Degree in Geography

“The class sizes are small and the students are interested. This makes the higher level literature seminars more interesting, especially given that the professors are all highly knowledgeable and excellent at leading discussions without dominating them. I would highly recommend choosing a Hall as your place of residence because you will have much more opportunities to interact with locals through various Hall activities and sports. Make the effort to join in on these activities and your experiences will be of a whole different kind than if you just travel. Ultimately, I enjoyed my time at NUS and KEVII, my Hall, so much that I chose to finish my university years there. I will be completing my Honors Thesis at NUS with joint supervision from NUS and UNC. I have also strongly considered applying for a teaching position in Singapore after graduation.”
Jennifer Yeh
UNC-NUS Joint Degree in English

“Overall it was a great experience. I was able to get a lot of my joint degree completed in a department that nicely complements UNC and enjoyed my coursework, my professors, and fellow students. It is a great addition to my undergraduate experience and was influential in shaping my future research and career interests. It encouraged me to be more open with others and I created some life-long friendships.”
Joe Daniels
UNC-NUS Joint Degree in Geography