The University Scholars Programme (USP) at the National University of Singapore (NUS) is an interdisciplinary academic programme for NUS undergraduates. Involving students from six different faculties and schools at NUS - Arts and Social Sciences, Business, Computing, Design and Environment, Engineering, and Science, USP students are concurrently enrolled in one of these faculties or schools (their home faculty) and at the USP. They earn 30% of their academic credits in the USP, and 70% in their home faculty or school. Upon successful completion of USP requirements and an honours programme, USP students graduate with an honours degree from their faculty or school, and a certificate that recognises them as University Scholars.
The USP admits about 180 students each year on the basis of academic potential and co-curriculum achievements, intellectual curiosity and drive, and a motivation to do things that can lead to meaningful change. Anyone can apply to join the USP. Applicants apply to the USP at the same time they apply to NUS; they submit a separate USP online application from their NUS application. USP application is by transcript, essay, and interview. There is no monetary scholarship associated with admission to USP. USP students may or may not be recipients of any scholarships. They may apply for NUS or other scholarships and bursaries.
What does the USP offer?
An honours programme, the USP offers the freedom to explore across disciplines, a wide range of extracurricular and overseas opportunities, and a community of exceptionally motivated students. Come July 2011, every USP student will have a chance to live in the new USP Residential College.
• Rigorous Interdisciplinary Academic Curriculum
USP students can choose from a wide range of USP interdisciplinary modules, on topics as diverse as The Mind, Human Relations, Simplicity, and Sonic Arts. USP students take a unique USP writing module in year one, which provides a foundation in writing and thinking critically. USP modules are taught seminar-style with class sizes ranging from 12 to 35 students. This facilitates interactions amongst professor and students. Beyond year one, additional for-credit options available to USP students include individual research with a faculty mentor, and overseas academic exchanges and entrepreneurial internships.
• Diverse Beyond-the-Classroom Learning Experiences
Along with opportunities to explore across disciplines, USP students also participate in a wide range of extracurricular activities and programmes, both local and overseas. The USP Global Programme provides resources and plans for activities that help USP students gain a global outlook, apply their interdisciplinary learning, and develop leadership capabilities. Such activities include seminars, symposia, overseas study programmes, and youth expeditions. USP students also have a plethora of study abroad opportunities through exchange programmes and tailored joint degree programmes with prestigious overseas universities such as Harvard, Yale, Stanford, Princeton, Peking University, Waseda University, and the Australian National University. Students also travel to countries like Japan, India, and Cambodia on field trips organised under their USP curriculum.
USP students are often invited to participate in many career and post-graduate opportunities, created through USP’s industry and alumni networks. These include internships and research/work attachments, career and personal development workshops, and recruitment, networking, and scholarships sessions. USP also works closely with industry partners like BrightSparks to keep students across Singapore informed of news and opportunities in higher education.
• USP Residential College
In July 2011, USP will move to its new home in the USP Residential College at the NUS University Town located across the NUS Kent Ridge Campus. The USP experience for students will be intensely reinforced through the integration of curriculum, learning-beyond-the-classroom activities, and residential programmes. Envisaged to be ‘pretty serious but not solemn, with lots of learning taking place’, the USP Residential College will have a good social and recreational mixing of students with lively discussions, fun, and food.
To learn more about USP, visit www.usp.nus.edu.sg, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 65164425.
IMO, you need to show that u are interested in multidisciplinary study - since that is what USP is meant for. an example would be engaging with the concept of postmodernism in both sociological and scientific studies. i.e. quantum mechanics as a postmodern form of scientific knowledge. Or something along the lines of the debate that linguistics is a language for thought. this spans the realms of linguistics studies and psychology. such an approach will showcase your immense interest in relating different disciplines of academia with each other, effectively showing that you are a critical thinker. another possible one would be to study the history/philosophy of science and concentrate on a topic like paradigm shift (kuhn) or the hypothetico-deductive (popper)
rmb, USP want students who are 1. multidisciplinary, 2. global citizens, 3. critical thinkers.
also, if u find this essay tough, you may wanna reconsider entry to USP. cos most of the modules and classroom discussions revolve around such fundamental philosophical arguments. unless u find this fun, it may make u hate the programme.
Last edited by lapucelle; 27-12-2009 at 10:44 AM..