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How to Get into Duke-NUS Medical School

Duke-NUS is the only graduate medical school in Singapore. It offers an extremely selective MD programme that many Singaporean medical hopefuls set their sights on. Unlike local undergraduate medical schools like NUS and NTU, Duke-NUS is only for graduate entry. According to their admissions site, all applicants must have completed, or be in the final year of, a Bachelor’s degree.

According to College Learners, the Duke-NUS acceptance rate is about 3.2%. Comparatively, NUS YLL medical school’s acceptance rate averages around 10%. So, what must you do to stand out among the best of the best to a school like Duke-NUS?

Application Requirements

The Duke-NUS Submission dates are 1st September for early acceptance, or by 31st January for the final deadline, applicants must complete the given admissions requirements for their application to be considered at all. As well as transcripts and recommendation letters from referees, you’ll need to submit a personal statement.

Your personal statement is an opportunity for you to show the school who you are as a student beyond your grades and academic interests. You’ll also be required to submit a few supplementary essays.

While these questions are only released with the application each year in June, some ways to prep for these supplementary might be to reflect on fundamental questions like why you want to be a doctor and what you have done to learn more about this path.

Demonstrate Your Interest in Medicine Concretely

You’ll also be asked to provide past experiences that demonstrate curiosity to expose yourself to medicine. Your interest in medicine will have compelled you to explore opportunities that give you a glimpse of your future goals. In your application, you’ll want to speak about these experiences and expand on how they have furthered your interest in the program.

Either way, make sure to acquire and mention a variety experiences in order to demonstrate the different way in which you have pursued and learned more about your goals.


Aside from the application form itself, it also mandatory to either submit an MCAT or GAMSAT score.

Although Duke-NUS does not have set cut-offs for each exam that you must meet in order to submit an application, as they prefer a holistic approach, it is still essential to score high in order to make you a strong candidate. If you take a look at the Duke-NUS class profile, you’ll see that students have an average MCAT score of 513. The Luckily, if you begin preparing early enough, you should have multiple opportunities to improve your score.

In order to decide which exam caters to your strengths more, you’ll have to conduct your own research to decide which exam to take.

Applicant Day

If you’ve got your sights set on studying at Duke-NUS, the part of the admissions process that you’ll really be looking forward to is Applicant Day. As stated on the Duke-NUS official website, this day is an opportunity for shortlisted candidates to speak to faculty and students, learning more about the school, as well as a chance to participate in interviews, discussion sessions, and written exercises for evaluation. 

Acing the Interview

Admissions interviews will have a wide range of questions, designed to evaluate whether you would be a good fit at their programme. Being asked personal questions, such as “Tell me about yourself” and questions about your strengths and weaknesses will be another opportunity for you to shine through as an individual, rather than a student who simply achieved impressive grades and experiences on paper.

Linking the values and priorities to what Duke-NUS can offer you as a student is also an important way of demonstrating how this school fits you as how you can serve this school too.

As well your competence in medicine, Duke-NUS will be looking to accept students who can conduct themselves in a professional manner. In preparation for ethical dilemma questions, you should be familiar with ongoing medical and healthcare related issues in the world, in the event that you are asked to offer your opinion on a certain issue. It may be useful to also establish with yourself what your stance is on especially controversial issues, making sure to remain consistent with your values. More ways to prepare for your medical interview include exploring more resources or consulting an experienced professional.

Final Words

Applying for medical school, especially at the graduate level is no small feat. Keeping up a stellar academic record, maintaining good relationships with your professors, maintaining a balanced academic portfolio—it all requires extreme dedication and perseverance.Don’t be afraid to seek out support and guidance instead of simply relying on yourself.

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