Revised Coursework Requirements and QE for MAE PhD Students who joined from the Aug 12
intake onwards
The following guidelines will apply to all PhD students joining the School of MAE with effect
from Aug 12 intake onwards:-
A) Coursework Requirements
1. PhD students shall meet the academic unit (AU) and CGPA requirements in their course
of study as follows:-
Min 12 AUs shall
be GPA graded
Max 6 AUs shall‘pass/fail’
18 AUs are required
with CGPA ≥ 3.5
GPA - grade point average
In addition, out of these 18 AUs, a min 6 AUs shall be 7XXX series and/or
advanced graduate level courses, and shall comprise a graded course with
min 3 AUs and the remaining AUs can be ‘pass/fail’ course(s).
As an example, assuming all courses have 3 AUs each, the minimum requirement can
be satisfied by taking 4 GPA graded courses (comprising 3 courses coded 6xxx and 1
course coded 7xxx/9xxx) and 2 ‘pass/fail’ courses (comprising 1 course coded 6xxx and
1 course coded 7xxx/9xxx). The minimum CGPA required is 3.5.
2. Students are to complete at least 6 AUs courses coded 7xxx/9xxx, out of which 1 course
(3 AUs) shall be graded with GPA, and 1 course (3AU) shall be ‘pass/fail’. Alternatively,
you may take 2 or more graded 7xxx/9xxx series courses if you wish to, but you are not
allowed to take 2 ‘pass/fail’ 7xxx/9xxx courses without any GPA graded 7xxx/9xxx
courses to fulfill the required min 6 AUs.
3. Subject to approval, a maximum 9 AUs of credit transfer/exemption/’pass/fail’ may be
granted (min 3 AUs with CGPA, and max 6 AUs of ‘pass/fail’), i.e. after credit
transfer/exemption/’pass/fail’, courses with a minimum of 9 AUs graded with GPA must
be taken. The GPA of all graded courses taken will be computed.
4. The timeframe for completing the coursework requirement is within the first 18 months of
the candidature.
B) Qualifying Examination (QE)
oral presentation
examination (QE)
1. PhD students with less than 6 AUs of credit transfer/exemption are eligible for the
Qualifying Examination (QE) if they complete 12 AUs of NTU coursework with CGPA ≥
3.5 and pass the oral presentation. On the other hand, students with 6 to 9 AUs of credit
transfer/exemption are eligible for the QE, after they complete the remaining AUs of NTU
coursework with CGPA ≥ 3.5 and pass the oral presentation.
2. The timeframe for completing the qualifying examination is within 24 months. However,
students are strongly encouraged to complete the coursework requirement and QE
within the first 18 months.
Students are advised to plan their courses very carefully and consult their supervisors if in
doubt. The onus and responsibility are on the PhD students to ensure compliance of the above
Please take note of the following implications on the above coursework requirements:
(a) Although the minimum requirement is 12 AUs (4 courses) with GPA, the requirement
of CGPA ≥ 3.5 remains. If the first 12 AUs courses do not meet this CGPA requirement,
then more courses with GPA will have to be taken.
(b) Thus, it might be prudent to first take courses with GPA before taking ‘pass/fail’ courses.
(c) However, in a scenario that after taking 12 AUs of graded courses with CGPA ≥ 3.5,
and more courses with GPA are taken, there are implications to be considered as the
GPA of all subsequent courses taken will also be computed. For example, a candidate
has taken 12 AUs with CGPA of 3.5, and then he/she takes another 3AUs course with
GPA = 2.5. Thus, after taking 15 AUs, the OVERALL CGPA = 2.97, which is below
3.5. In this case, the minimum requirement is not satisfied, and more GPA courses have
to be taken. However, if the fifth course taken is ‘pass/fail’, this will not happen as
'pass/fail’ courses are not used for the computation of CGPA.
(d) Currently, MAE offers no ‘pass/fail’ courses. Candidates are allowed to apply to other
schools to take courses which are graded ’pass/fail’. Steps are taken by the school to
consider offering courses to be graded ‘pass/fail’, but this will take time.
PS The above does not apply to candidate admitted prior to Aug 2012 intake.