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Articles / Applying to College / Is 3-Year Singapore Bachelor's Degree Accepted by U.S. Grad Schools?

Oct. 14, 2011

Is 3-Year Singapore Bachelor's Degree Accepted by U.S. Grad Schools?

Question: I'm an international student from Vietnam. I got my 3-year Bachelor's degree in computer science from James Cook University in Singapore. Is it possible to use my degree for my higher education Master's degree in the US?

Many U.S. universities will honor your three-year Bachelor's degree from Singapore but some will not. Unfortunately, you'll need to identify the institutions that interest you the most and then inquire at each one. Some will accept only foreign candidates with three-year degrees who have already earned a Master's degree, too.


You might assume that it is just the less-selective institutions that will honor the three-year degree, but that's actually not true. This is why you have to ask each school on your list individually or check Web sites, where this information is often included. (Try the FAQ section if you don't spot it elsewhere.) Moreover, you may find that the answer will depend on not only the university you select but also on the specific graduate program within it.

If you haven't done so already, I suggest that you post this query on the College Confidential International Student forumhttp://talk.collegeconfidential.com/international-students/ and ask if other CC members can recommend specific colleges that will accept your degree. Be sure to include the degree you earned, the name of your university, the type of Master's degree you are seeking, and any other preferences you might have (location, etc.) Note, too, that there is a dedicated forum for students from Singapore, so you may want to try that one first. See:http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/singapore/ (Even though you are Vietnamese, the key here is that you were educated in Singapore.)

You will, of course, be expected to complete all standardized testing that each US university requires, so read instructions carefully.

Happy hunting!

(posted 10/14/2011)

Written by

Sally Rubenstone

Sally Rubenstone

Sally Rubenstone knows the competitive and often convoluted college admission process inside out: From the first time the topic of college comes up at the dinner table until the last duffel bag is unloaded on a dorm room floor. She is the co-author of Panicked Parents' Guide to College Admissions; The Transfer Student's Guide to Changing Colleges and The International Student's Guide to Going to College in America. Sally has appeared on NBC's Today program and has been quoted in countless publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Weekend, USA Today, U.S. News & World Report, Newsweek, People and Seventeen. Sally has viewed the admissions world from many angles: As a Smith College admission counselor for 15 years, an independent college counselor serving students from a wide range of backgrounds and the author of College Confidential's "Ask the Dean" column. She also taught language arts, social studies, study skills and test preparation in 10 schools, including American international schools in London, Paris, Geneva, Athens and Tel Aviv. As senior advisor to College Confidential since 2002, Sally has helped hundreds of students and parents navigate the college admissions maze. In 2008, she co-founded College Karma, a private college consulting firm, with her College Confidential colleague Dave Berry, and she continues to serve as a College Confidential advisor. Sally and her husband, Chris Petrides, became first-time parents in 1997 at the ripe-old age of 45. So Sally was nearly an official senior citizen when her son Jack began the college selection process, and when she was finally able to practice what she had preached for more than three decades.

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