How many days a week do we have instruction?

This varies across languages. Check this Yale-NUS Languages website and the NUS Centre for Language Studies (CLS) website for detailed information on the specific courses you are interested in.

Do IB language exams substitute placement tests?


Why is the number of modular credits (MCs) different between NUS CLS and Yale-NUS?

Most NUS CLS language courses count for 4MCs whereas all Yale-NUS language courses count for 5MCs. The allocation of MCs is based on each institution’s academic policies, expected workload and course requirements.

What is the average workload for a language course?

Language learning is an intensive endeavour. On average, you should expect to spend at least two to three hours outside of class for every class session. Keep in mind that a 5MC course should require 12.5 hours per week including class time.

What do the workload numbers mean for courses at NUS CLS, e.g., 2-2-0-3-3?

The following website and corresponding table below explain how the module workload components work: http://www.nus.edu.sg/registrar/edu/modular.html
Component Description Remarks
A No. of Lecture hours Actual contact hours per week
B No. of Tutorial hours Actual contact hours per week
C No. of Laboratory hours Actual contact hours per week
D No. of hours for projects, assignments, fieldwork, etc. This caters to assignments, independent studies, fieldwork, and other forms of continuous assessment that contribute towards the final grade of the module
E No. of hours for preparatory work This refers to the number of hours a student is expected to spend each week in preparing for lectures and tutorials
For example, if a French 1 module has a workload 4-2-0-0-4, this means 4 lecture hours, 2 tutorial hours, and 4 hours outside of class work.

Course Enrolment

I’m not sure what language level I should sign up for after having completed an intensive language programme during the summer.

You should discuss this with the particular course instructor but in most cases, you will have to take a language placement exam.

Can I study more than one language at a time?

Taking more than one language each semester is possible but not recommended, given the number of electives available and the time demands imposed by studying a foreign language. You should discuss this with your academic advisor and Vice Rector. If you want to audit one of them (i.e., take the course without being officially enrolled in it), you will need the course instructor’s approval.

Do I need to take a language placement exam?

If you have prior experience with the language that you want to study (e.g., you took it in high school or Junior College), you should discuss this with the course facilitator. In most cases, you will be asked to take a placement exam. For specific dates or ways to assess your proficiency level, please contact the NUS CLS office or the respective Yale-NUS language instructor.

To register for an NUS CLS module, do I need to indicate specific lecture and tutorial times for the language I want to study?

This is not necessary during Rounds 1 and 2 of the course enrolment process. However, once the final timetable from NUS CLS is out, you should indicate your preferred lecture and tutorial time. Our Registry Department will need that information to place you into the particular module and section that works with your schedule. If you are unsure as to when a particular language meets, please contact the NUS CLS office or the respective Yale-NUS language instructor.

Can I take a language course as an overload?

Yes, this is an option after your first semester at Yale-NUS. Please remember that overloads need to be discussed with your academic advisor and approved by your Vice Rector.

Can I take a language course at Yale-NUS or NUS CLS on a S/U basis?

Language courses are graded by default. However, you are given the option to S/U the final grade if you are not satisfied with your results. Please refer to the S/U description in the Undergraduate Regulations. Do note that S/U courses cannot be counted towards a major or minor.

What languages are available at Yale-NUS?

Yale-NUS currently offers the following languages on campus: Modern and Classical Chinese, Spanish, Ancient Greek, and Latin. Additionally, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, and Sanskrit are available via teleconference from Yale University.

What other languages are available beyond Yale-NUS?

You can take any of the languages offered at NUS CLS, however, do note that some of those languages may have limited availability. Yale-NUS works closely with the Centre for Language Studies at NUS to get you into the language course you want. Additionally, there are summer language study opportunities via CIPE.

What language courses are being offered each semester?

In general, our language courses follow the basic sequence below. However, based on demand and summer language study opportunities, this may be adjusted for particular languages. For current course listings, you should check the OurCORS site.

Basic Language Sequence for Classical Languages: Latin, Ancient Greek, and Sanskrit
Semester 1 Semester 2
  • Intermediate
  • Beginning
  • Advanced
Basic Language Sequence for Modern Languages: Chinese, Spanish, and DLS: Italian, Portuguese, and Russian
Semester 1 Semester 2
  • Beginning 2
  • Intermediate 2
  • Advanced 2
  • Beginning 1
  • Intermediate 1
  • Advanced 1

Modern Languages

Can I take French for Academic Purposes at NUS CLS (LAF3203) although I am not in the NUS Language Preparation Programme (LPP)?

Unfortunately, French for Academic Purposes is only open to LLP students. Non-LLP students are welcome to take French 4.

Classical Languages

Do I need to know Modern Chinese to enrol in Classical Chinese?

Yes. Classical Chinese is for students with at least two years of prior study of Modern Chinese or native equivalency.

Directed Language Study

What’s the difference between the Directed Language Study courses and other language courses at Yale-NUS?

The Directed Language Study courses are taught by Yale instructors via teleconference. They are usually taught in the evenings because of the time difference between Singapore and New Haven and enrollment in these courses is limited to 6 or 7 students per course. Otherwise, these are full 5MC courses with the same workload as other language courses.

Study Abroad

Can I take language courses during my semester abroad?

Yes, you can certainly enrol in language courses during your semester abroad. Contact the Centre for International & Professional Experience (CIPE) for information about study abroad opportunities and the application process. They will also help you with the credit transfer process.

When should I go abroad?

The timing of your Study Abroad programme is largely dependent on your personal schedule. We think Semester 2 of Year 2 or Year 3 would be a good time. In general, there is some flexibility. However, students are typically not permitted to go on study abroad programmes during their capstone year.

What if I am interested in taking elective courses while on a study abroad programme? Will they count towards my graduation?

Selected courses taken while on a summer or semester study abroad programme via CIPE will count towards your graduation MC requirement. However, this is contingent on CIPE’s approval of the credits.


Where can I find information on internships?

The Centre for International & Professional Experience (CIPE) at Yale-NUS offers internship opportunities for a wide range of prominent places, including intergovernmental organisations (IGOs), non-governmental organisations (NGOs), public sector, consulting firms, etc. You can find details on all these opportunities here.