UPIP Frequently Asked Questions


1. What are the modules offered under UPIP?

  1. XX3310 Undergraduate Professional Internship -- students perform at least 10 weeks internship during Special Term, with the module allocated in Special Term.
  2. XX3311 Undergraduate Professional Internship -- students perform at least 10 weeks internship during Special Term, with the module allocated in Special Term.
  3. XX3312 Enhanced Undergraduate Progessional Internship -- student perform at least 18 weeks internship during Semester 1 or Semester 2.

2. Which XX module can I register for under UPIP?

You must have declared a Science subject as your first major and completed a minimum of 32 MCs in this major at time of application:

  • For majors in Chemistry -- CM3310, CM3311 and CM3312
  • For majors in Computational Biology -- ZB3310, ZB3311 and ZB3312
  • For majors in Life Sciences -- LSM3310,LSM3311 and LSM3312
  • For majors in Mathematics or Applied Mathematics -- MA3310, MA3311 and MA3312
  • For majors in Quantitative Finance -- QF3310, QF3311 and QF3312
  • For majors in Physics -- PC3310, PC3311 and PC3312
  • For majors in Statistics -- ST3310, ST3311 and ST3312
  • For majors in Data Science -- DSA3310, DSA3311 and DSA3312

You are allowed to do XX3310, XX3311 and XX3312 once each during your candidature

3. How should I register for UPIP module XX3310, XX3311 or XX3312?

You do not bid for XX3310, XX3311 or XX3312 modules through CORS. You will be assigned the module once your internship has been confirmed and approved. Science Dean's Office will invite students via emails to pre-register for UPIP internship. More details on the various deadlines can be found here.

4. What are the current requirements for XX3310, XX3311 and XX3312?

Students have to be of a Science major, have cleared a minimum of 32 major related MCs (excluding SU or F modules) and students should not be doing UPIP in their graduating semester. Students may only read 1 module to be taken after 6pm while doing UPIP.

5. Will the Faculty/Department find an internship position for me?

No. The Faculty/Department does not assign you an internship, but assists to source for internships through our partnership with companies. You will be able to view a list of preapproved internship positions through the Science Internship Management System (SIMS) during the application phase. You need to make your own applications via the company contact provided and go through the company’s selection process (UPIP Phase 2).

6. Can I source for my own UPIP internship locally or overseas?

Yes. You are allowed to source for your own internship. All internships under UPIP, nevertheless, must be approved by the department hosting your major. Thus, you are advised to discuss this intention early with your department UPIP Coordinator or Academic Advisor.

7. When can I participate in UPIP internship?

You must have completed at least three regular semesters upon application and your UPIP internship semester cannot be your graduating semester. Students cannot read UPIP concurrently with their Honours Year Project. In other words, you may participate in UPIP as early as semester 4 of Year 2 and before your Honours year.

If you wish to take XX3312 internship during the semester, you are strongly encouraged to discuss with your Academic Mentor or UPIP Academic Advisor (AA), and plan out your studies properly. Students on full scholarship need to be especially aware that, should total candidature exceed 8 semesters, your scholarship will expire and you may have to pay fees. There will be no waiver of fees for the extension.

8. Can I still take other modules when I am doing UPIP internship during the semester?

Students participating in XX3312 during semester are not subjected to the requirement of minimum workload of 18MCs. Indeed, you are not encouraged to take any module if possible so as to focus on the internship, which is a full-time job. If you have to, you are allowed to register for only ONE lecture module, provided the lectures and tutorials of this module are scheduled after 6pm on weekdays, or on Saturday/Sunday. You must have the written approval and understanding from your department programme coordinator and your internship company before you can register for the module.

9. I am going for exchange overseas and that is starting late in the semester, may I participate in UPIP internship before I leave?

Students going for SEP are not allowed to sign up for XX3312 in the same semester.

10. I have signed up for UROPS and not taking any other modules, may I participate in UPIP internship at the same time?

Students in UROPS are not allowed to take part in UPIP internship at the same time.

11. What is the role of my UPIP Academic Advisor?

In order for students to benefit most from a structured internship under UPIP, advice and guidance from a faculty member acting as Academic Advisor (AA) is central. Specific responsibilities of AA include:

  • Advise or discuss your interest and plan.
  • Evaluate and approve your "Plan of Work", weekly journals and the final "UPIP Report".
  • Establish contact with your company’s Internship Supervisor, if needed.

12. Who can I approach to be my Academic Advisor?

In principle, any faculty member in the department hosting your UPIP module may act as your AA. You should approach the Academic Mentor assigned to you by the department or any lecturer/professor who knows you well. You are advised to talk to him/her and obtain consent to be your AA. Through this arrangement, we hope that you get to associate more closely with a faculty member who can later act as your reference for future job applications.

13. What is the role of the company’s Internship Supervisor?

We request that the company appoints an Internship Supervisor to guide and review your internship progress. He/she will discuss with you the specifics of the internship and plan, endorse your report before submission, and also provide feedback on your performance once the internship is completed.

14. Do I need to pay tuition fee during the UPIP semester?

Yes, for UPIP XX3312 read in semester 1 and Semester 2. You need to be registered with the University and pay tuition fees for the modular credits to be formally recognised. As a registered student, you retain access to NUS facilities e.g. medical, library, computer and sports facilities during your internship semester. Students taking XX3311 in Special Term need not pay of module fee.

15. Will I be insured during UPIP internship?

Tuition fees paid by students include University Health Scheme as well as Personal Accident Insurance. A brief summary of the coverage for the personal accident insurance coverage include:

  • 24-hour worldwide coverage
  • Death benefit: $30,000
  • Permanent Disability: up to 150%, depending on the disability
  • Medical expenses relating to accidents: $5,000 per accident

For details, please refer to http://www.nus.edu.sg/uhc/healthservice/insurance-schemes/undergraduate-scheme.html

Companies are recommended to purchase additional insurance with a higher coverage. It is compulsory for students going for overseas UPIP internship to purchase additional insurance with a more comprehensive coverage.

16. Can I apply for leave during the internship?

Yes, in principle. However, leave is granted at the discretion of the company. Please seek approval from the company in advance. You are, however, responsible for the entire period of UPIP, i.e. 10 weeks for XX3311 or 18 weeks for XX3312.

17. Can I request the Faculty/company to write a deferment letter if I am recalled by MINDEF for ICT during the course of UPIP?

No. You must go for ICT when required by MINDEF. The company must release you on unpaid leave for ICT. However, you must be responsible to the company for the entire period of UPIP, i.e. 10 weeks for XX3311 or 18 weeks for XX3312.

18. Am I exempted from CPF contributions for UPIP internship?

Yes. According to the Central Provident Fund (CPF) policy, registered students from tertiary institutions undergoing training programmes at companies are exempted from CPF contributions (please refer to http://mycpf.cpf.gov.sg/employers/gen-info/hb-faq/employer.htm#annexa).

19. I am an international student. Must I apply for work permit for UPIP internship?

No. You are exempted from work permit for UPIP internship. According to the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) advisory note, work pass is exempted for foreign students if the internship:

  • gains modular credit and contributes towards graduation requirements; or
  • is conducted during the stipulated school vacation.

Guidelines can be found on MoM website: http://www.mom.gov.sg/foreign-manpower/working-in-singapore/Pages/employment-of-foreign-students.aspx

More information can be found on NUS Centre for Future Ready Graduate's webpage for International Students.

20. I am an international student, do I have to pay income tax?

The Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore has advised that foreign students who are participating in an internship:

  • May be taxed as a non-resident

Foreign students will be regarded as a tax resident for the calendar year(s) concerned if they stay or work in Singapore:

  • for at least 183 days in a calendar year; or
  • continuously for 3 consecutive years; or
  • for at least 183 days for a continuous period over two years (from 1/1/2007)
  • However if the foreign students worked between 61 to 182 days with a company, they will be treated as a “Non-resident”. They can submit the “REQUEST FOR TAX REASSESSMENT FROM ‘NON-RESIDENT’ TO ‘RESIDENT’ STATUS” application form for IRAS to review to be treated as a tax resident once they have attained the minimum physical presence of 183 days in a year Please see this link for more details.

21. What should I do if a dispute arises between me and the company?

You should immediately seek assistance and advice from your Academic Advisor or Department UPIP Coordinator. If there is a need, they may visit the company as a mediator to resolve the situation. At all times, you should not confront the company and take matters into your own hands.

22. Will there be a situation that I receive an "Unsatisfactory" grade for UPIP internship?

Yes. There is a possibility that a student will received an “Unsatisfactory” grade for UPIP internship should any of the scenarios listed below happen:

  • Unsatisfactory performance feedback by the company, e.g. student is always late for work or is absent without official leave.
  • Student withdraws from the company without the consent of the AA and the Faculty.
  • Student fails to submit all the documents and report within the stipulated timeframe.
  • Student has serious disputes with the company.