Freshmore Curriculum

Having completed a review and revamp, SUTD introduced a new Freshmore curriculum* from the AY2020 cohort onwards. Some key elements of the revamped and enhanced curriculum include:


The first three terms are common to all students and build the foundation in Science, Mathematics and Technology (SMT)Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences (HASS) and design. This approach provides a broad and rigorous education and aims to provide the students with a strong base to select and excel in their choice of major and also build foundational literacy for future careers and endeavours.
The incorporation of design projects within and across subjects further imbues design thinking, critical inquiry, problem solving, communication and collaboration skillsets, which are highly relevant and useful in the industry. These 2D design projects will also be reflected in the academic transcript from AY2020 onwards.

Example of Term 1 2D Design Project

01.018 Interdisciplinary Design Project

Project Scenario:
Airdropping medicine and food to an isolated flooded village affected by COVID-19.
The project is an interdisciplinary effort across 4 different modules:

  1. Humanities, Arts & Social Sciences (HASS) module: provides social context to the problem.

  2. Modelling and Analysis (Math): Model the air dropping motion of the package with a circular geometry parachute of different radii using optimisation techniques on Excel software.

  3. Computational Thinking for Design: Apply geometric modelling and simulation techniques to design the parachute of the emergency supply delivery system (cargo) using computer software.

  4. Physical World (Physics): Fabricate a parachute and shock absorption mechanism (force dissipation) to deliver the emergency supplies to the ground safely under two main criteria: (1) cargo should land in the shortest time of flight, and (2) the impact force on landing must be minimised to ensure cargo survivability.

Our students underwent the following stages of this project:

  1. Modelling a parachute. Model a flat surface using Rhinoceros 3D and create a mesh from it using Grasshopper. This mesh is analogous to the parachute membrane laid flat on the floor.

  2. Visual simulation of airdrop. Set up the physics-based form-finding system. Set anchors which represent the attachment points of the cable to the membrane. Set the mass for the particle representing the airdropped supplies.

  3. Run the simulation to drop the parachute. Change initial setup parameters to see their effects.

  4. Design Emergency Aesthetics. Once the design’s finalised, to personalise the parachute further, for example by mapping colours/images to the mesh (via the custom geometry preview component). In addition, record an animation of the parachute dropping.

  5. Inertial Measurement Unit. The following is the device the students will airdrop in lieu of a cargo with medicine and supplies. The device measures acceleration as function of time.

Expand learning beyond the classroom and into the region

The SUTD Freshmore Asian Cross-curricular Trips (FACT) is a programme that is incorporated into specific Freshmore courses. All Freshmore students are eligible to participate in the SUTD FACT and a one-time subsidy will be provided.

Incorporating such short immersion trips as nuggets of learning experience into our Freshmore curriculum, we offer students the opportunity to “see the world” and develop their world view right from the first year.

Extension of Grade-Free System

In addition to all subjects in Term 1 being grade-free (Pass/No Record), students can choose up to four more subjects from Terms 2 and 3 to be grade-free. With this arrangement, you can better adjust to academic life at SUTD, explore new areas that you are interested in or embrace learning subjects that you have no prior background in without worrying about grades.

More Flexibility to Pursue Interests

Students are now allowed to choose any 2 of the following 4 elective modules in Term 3, to provide them with more options to pursue their own educational interests.

New Computational Design Courses

Computational Thinking for Design (Term 1) and Spatial Design World (Term 3 elective module) are newly designed modules to strengthen students’ digital literacy in preparation for the data-driven world. 

Mathematics and Physics

The following core modules were developed with increased correlation between Mathematics and Physics in mind, with enhanced linkages and translation to the majors.

Chemistry and Biology

Science for a Sustainable World (Term 2) and Science and Technology for Healthcare (Term 3 elective module) have been designed based on current and relevant themes that are driven from the point of view of the Sciences.

List of Freshmore Subjects

Term 1
Modelling and Analysis
Physical World
Computational Thinking for Design
Social Science: Understanding Behaviour, Culture & Society (HASS)
Term 2
Modelling Space and Systems
Technological World
Science for a Sustainable World
Design Thinking and Innovation
Term 3
Modelling Uncertainty
Global Humanities: Literature, Philosophy, and Ethics (HASS)
Any two electives:
Science and Technology for Healthcare - Elective
Data Driven World - Elective
Designing Energy Systems - Elective
Spatial Design World - Elective

* More information about the Freshmore subjects for students enrolled in year 2019 and earlier can be found on this page.