SUTD-Duke-NUS Special Track

Harnessing the Confluence of Design Innovations and Technology to Medicine

In today’s world, the use of technology and the design of the built environment play an increasingly significant role in improving the way we live and our quality of life. One area where this convergence of technology and design is making a huge impact is the practice of medicine.

The SUTD-Duke-NUS Special Track aims to nurture future clinicians who are adept at both practising medicine and harnessing technological advancements across disciplines to impact healthcare. With the ability to treat patients and design medical innovations, these future clinicians will have an edge in the industry, quickly becoming the new benchmark. Our partnership with Duke-NUS Medical School, the only US-styled graduate-entry medical school in Singapore, will help deliver this unique programme which aims to nurture future leaders in healthcare. You will be prepared with a background in engineering or architecture, and can look forward to a technology and design focused curriculum which pushes you to think creatively and to work across disciplines.

“The SUTD-Duke-NUS Special Track presents me with a unique opportunity to see beyond the primary responsibility of a doctor. The insights to healthcare systems and medical innovation have not only equipped me with a better understanding of future healthcare challenges, but further appreciate the tremendous and exciting potential our healthcare ecosystem holds.”

Gan Yu
National Junior College alumnus
SUTD-Duke-NUS Special Track student

Programme Highlights

This track builds on SUTD’s existing offerings and capabilities in healthcare across the pillars, and advances our mission of bettering the world through design. Selected applicants will expand both their engineering/architecture and clinical knowledge in an interdisciplinary learning environment, and learning will take place at three campuses – SUTD, Duke-NUS Medical School and Singapore General Hospital’s Outram Campus.

Being versatile in both technology and design, together with a deep understanding of patients’ needs, you will be at the forefront of healthcare issues by being able to analyse challenges in healthcare and having the know-how to address them with your own innovations. Some areas where you can look to make a difference include healthcare product design (medical devices/equipment), biomaterials, drug delivery, hospital bed allocation systems, patient monitoring, and hospital design.

Successful students will graduate with a Bachelor of Engineering (BEng) or Bachelor of Science (BSc) degree at SUTD, followed by a Doctor of Medicine (MD) degree at Duke-NUS Medical School.

During your undergraduate studies at SUTD, you will be able to work closely with medical professionals and engineering/architecture faculty, as well as get inducted into Duke-NUS Medical School. In particular, you can look forward to the following:

  • Be assigned a clinical mentor who will see you through your entire course of study, to provide advice, along with a once-a-semester progress review

  • Preparatory courses

    • 1-week Duke-NUS PreHealth Experiential Programme (PrEP)

    • 2-day Duke-NUS Alumni Clinical Observership (DACO) 

    • “Introduction to SingHealth Duke-NUS ACP” workshop for each term

    • Attend Duke-NUS Pre-medical module (GMS1000) (once a week over 14 weeks).  This course, which is conducted at Duke-NUS Medical School, introduces students to current research issues in biomedicine

  • Take up the Healthcare Engineering Design Track in SUTD once you are in the Pillar years

  • Complete a summer internship in a healthcare environment with either Duke-NUS, one of the SingHealth group of hospitals, or a healthcare product manufacturer

  • Work on a healthcare-related Capstone project in the final two semesters

The opportunities to stay engaged with Duke-NUS through extra-curricular activities such as seminars, workshops, and visits will further enhance your competencies as future physicians.


Admission Requirements for SUTD-Duke-NUS Special Track

Application is open to high-achieving Singapore Citizens and Singapore Permanent Residents who fulfil the following criteria:

  • Have outstanding academic results with either GCE A-Levels, local Polytechnic Diploma, International Baccalaureate Diploma or NUS High School Diploma – (As reference, applicants should score at least 3 ‘A’s at H2 and 1 ‘B’ at H1 at GCE A-Level, or the equivalent, to be eligible) 

  • Have good records of leadership experience and community service 

  • Demonstrate strong communication skills

  • Interested in harnessing technological advancements to bring about innovations in medicine and healthcare

How to Apply

  1. If you are interested in the SUTD-Duke-NUS Special Track, you will only need to submit a single application via the SUTD undergraduate admission online application. Simply indicate your intention to apply for the track in the application form, along with a personal statement of not more than 500 words on your motivation for applying to this track.

  2. If shortlisted, you will be required to attend the Special Track Applicant Day at SUTD where you will be jointly assessed by faculty from SUTD as well as faculty/clinicians from Duke-NUS/Changi General Hospital/Singhealth.  During the Special Track Applicant Day, you will get to work in a group and be assessed on a design activity.  You will also attend an individual interview and get to network with staff members from SUTD and Duke-NUS to have your questions answered.  The Special Track Applicant Day is held in the afternoon from 1pm to 4.30pm.  For AE2019, the dates are as follows (you are strongly encouraged to set aside time for one of these sessions if you are applying for the Special Track):
    - 7 Dec 2018
    -15 Mar 2019
    -29 Mar 2019
    In the event that you are not shortlisted for the SUTD-Duke-NUS Special Track, you will still be considered for the SUTD single degree programme.

  3. Upon review by the Admissions Committees of both universities, you will be informed of the outcome of your admission offer to SUTD and the conditional admission offer to Duke-NUS separately, and no later than mid-April for those enrolling in the immediate intake. 

  4. Do confirm your acceptance of the SUTD undergraduate programme admission offer and the Duke-NUS conditional admission offer by the stipulated deadline in the offer letters.  The conditional admission offer to Duke-NUS is also contingent upon your acceptance of the SUTD undergraduate programme admission offer.

Important Note

Successful applicants will receive a conditional admissions offer for the Doctor of Medicine (MD) programme at Duke-NUS. Students are expected to maintain a stipulated academic performance and fulfil conditions stated in the conditional offer for successful admission into the Doctor of Medicine (MD) programme upon their graduation. A general overview of the final acceptance criteria and the Special Track is illustrated below.

Mentorship and Enrichment Activities Final Acceptance Criteria
  • Advising Sessions with Duke-NUS Medical School faculty
  • Prehealth Experiential Programme
  • Medical Specialties Workshops
  • Duke-NUS Alumni Clinical Observership
  • Community Projects
  • Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) – as an indication of academic performance
  • Complete the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) exam by September of the year prior to entry
  • Evidence of meaningful clinical/medical experience
  • Successful graduation from SUTD
  • Expected to conduct themselves professionally

Although students are not required to make a binding commitment to Duke-NUS at the time of admission, they should inform SUTD and Duke-NUS of their withdrawal from the track at least the year preceding medical school matriculation.

The SUTD-Duke-NUS Special Track Pathway

Bachelor of Engineering / Science
Singapore University of Technology & Design
- 3.5 years

Doctor of Medicine
Duke-NUS Medical School 
- 4 years

  • Clinical mentors
  • Prehealth experiential and preparatory programmes and workshops
  • Healthcare track in pillars
  • Internship in a healthcare setting
  • Healthcare Capstone project
  • Academic medicine partnership with SingHealth
  • US-style medical course delivered through interactive team-based learning
  • Degree jointly awarded by Duke University School of Medicine and NUS

Upon satisfying the full acceptance criteria, students can expect to receive the final admission offer to the MD programme from Duke-NUS at the end of Term 6 in SUTD. Students can then proceed to join the Duke-NUS orientation programme at the end of July in Year 4.


Outstanding students who are offered admissions to the SUTD undergraduate programme will be awarded attractive SUTD-administered scholarships.
Click to find out more on scholarship and financial aid for the MD programme.

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