story | Dion Ho,  Contributing Reporter

photo | Dion Ho, Contributing Reporter

Yale-NUS College plans to introduce its fourth concurrent degree programme next year, this time with the NUS School of Computing (SoC). The newest programme will be added alongside the present concurrent degree programmes with the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, the Yale School of Public Health, and the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.

Like the other three concurrent degree programmes, the programme with SoC is an accelerated Master’s programme. Students in the programme will study SoC modules in their fourth year alongside their usual Yale-NUS modules. They will complete their degree in Yale-NUS identically to their peers, and proceed to SoC for one more year of study before graduating with an additional Master of Science degree.

In an interview with President of Yale-NUS College Tan Tai Yong, he stated that the concurrent degree programme with SoC will tentatively be introduced in Academic Year 2018/2019, and the class of 2022 will have a chance to apply for it. Mr. Tan said that the classes of 2020 and 2021 should also be able to apply, though the requirements for them to do so are still under negotiation.

“SoC must be satisfied that [applicants] have done enough of the right kind of modules”, said Mr. Tan.

Details of the application process have not been fully fleshed out. Nevertheless, it is expected that applications must be approved by both Yale-NUS and the School of Computing in order to be successful. Moreover, there will likely be pre-requisite modules one must complete to be eligible for the programme. There will be about 3 to 5 places offered in the programme, and successful applicants will also be eligible for SoC Scholarships.

According to Mr. Tan, the programme with SoC was introduced to “[provide] the best of both worlds” to students who are torn between their interest in Liberal Arts and Computing. Mr. Tan noted the recent surge in popularity of NUS School of Computing. According to an article by The Straits Times, NUS and Singapore Management University saw an increase of 35% and 12%, respectively, in students who listed Computing-related courses as their first choice as compared to last year, AY2016/2017.

Within Yale-NUS, statistics obtained by The Octant showed that Mathematical, Computational and Statistical Sciences (MCS) is the most subscribed major for the class of 2019. MCS major declarations have steadily increased from 12 to 14 to 22 since the class of 2017.

For Ng Yi Ming ’21, the programme with SoC represents a great opportunity. He has been eagerly awaiting news on concurrent degree programmes in computing in Yale-NUS after choosing Yale-NUS over the faculty of Data Science and Analytics in NUS, and the Singapore University of Technology and Design.

“The combination of skills acquired from a Liberal Arts education and from Computer Science is befitting of a 21st century education”, said Ng.

On the other hand, Aaron Ong ’18, who is an MCS major with an emphasis on Computer Science, questioned the advantages of the programme. “The SoC’s standalone master’s program is already just one year long […] Why would I take up more workload in senior year?” he asked. Nevertheless, Ong stated that a master’s course in SoC can be highly beneficial for Yale-NUS students who have interest in that area due to SoC’s vast scope and greater number of faculty members, especially in contrast to Yale-NUS.

Further details of the programme with SoC are scarce as negotiations are still ongoing. Interested students can expect to hear more details next year,  before or during the first application cycle.

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