FAQs

Courses

1. Will the courses that are absolutely required (Research Seminar and either Biology Lab or Field Research) be offered every semester?

Unfortunately, no. Currently, research Seminar (semester 1), Biology Laboratory and Field Research (both semester 2) are currently only offered once a year. Students intending to major in Life Sciences will need to plan ahead and think about when they wish to take these courses, especially if you are planning on studying abroad at some point.

2. How often will you offer each of the Foundations for Advanced Biology (FAB) courses?

FAB courses offerings will vary depending on course demand and the availability of faculty. At the very least, each FAB course, once offered for the first time, should be offered at least every other year; some will be offered every year. Current and past FAB courses offered are: Human Biology, Evolutionary Biology, Foundations of Neuroscience, Genetics, Biochemistry, Molecular Cell Biology, Animal Behaviour, Introduction to Computational and System Biology, Ecology and Ecosystems, and Developmental Biology.

3. Must the required or Life Sciences core courses be taken before elective courses?

There is no fixed sequence of courses within the Life Sciences major. Some courses will be easier or will make more sense if preceded by other courses (for example, students may find Biochemistry easier if they have taken Organic Chemistry previously) but there are no strict requirements. Students who are unsure of the order they should take certain courses should talk to the professors teaching those courses, their academic or major advisor, or the Head of Studies.

4. Can courses outside the Life Sciences be counted towards the Life Sciences major?

Yes. Physical Sciences or MCS courses can be counted towards the major subjected to approval by the head of studies. However, no “double-counting” is allowed, meaning that once a course is counted towards a student’s Life Sciences major, it cannot be counted towards their minor or electives. 

For class of 2019, one of the non-FAB courses that counts towards the major must be in the areas of mathematics, statistics or computing. 

5. If I am interested in taking elective courses offered by a faculty outside of Yale-NUS College, for example at NUS or during semester abroad, can I count this course towards the requirements of the Life Sciences major?

Yes, but you need to check with the Head of Studies, as he or she is required to approve the external course in advance. In general, approval will not be given for courses taken at NUS that have equivalent courses at Yale-NUS, but will be given for specialized courses at NUS that are not offered at Yale-NUS. Many students have also obtained credit for courses equivalent to FAB courses during their study abroad semesters.

Advising

6. How do I find out who my Life Sciences advisor is?

If you are a declared Life Science major, talk to the Head of Studies. He or she will be able to inform you who your advisor is – otherwise, your advisor is the Head of Studies.  

7. What are my options for completing my Life Sciences capstone? Where do I get an idea for my Life Sciences capstone?

All capstone projects in the Life Sciences involve original research, either in the laboratory, in the field or in silico (via computer simulations or similar). The Life Sciences faculty are always happy to talk to discuss about their own research and to bounce ideas around.

Minoring

8. I am interested in Life Sciences, but I think I want to major in another subject. Can I also minor in Life Sciences?

Of course!  You just need to take 5 courses (25MCs) from the Foundations for Advanced Biology (FAB) suite of designated courses. Visit the Programme Description page to find out more!