Yale-NUS Celebrates First Cohort of 119 Graduands

29 May 2017

Majority of the Class of 2017 have already secured jobs prior to graduation or university placements to pursue graduate studies

Yale-NUS College, Asia’s leading liberal arts college, marked the graduation ceremony of the Class of 2017, its pioneer cohort of students, on 29 May 2017. In total, 119 graduating students were presented to Dr Tony Tan Keng Yam, President of the Republic of Singapore and Chancellor of National University of Singapore (NUS) at the ceremony. Mr Ong Ye Kung, Minister for Education (Higher Education and Skills) and Second Minister for Defence, also graced the event and gave a speech to the graduating cohort. The graduation speaker was Professor Richard C Levin, Chief Executive Officer of Coursera and President Emeritus of Yale University.

The Yale-NUS Graduation Ceremony marks the start of a new journey for the Class of 2017. The College’s first graduating class comprises 119 students. 103 will graduate with a Bachelor of Arts with Honours and 16 with a Bachelor of Science with Honours. The top five majors of choice amongst the students were Arts and Humanities; Philosophy, Politics and Economics; Environmental Studies; Psychology; and Mathematical, Computational and Statistical Sciences. A full list of majors can be found in the table below.

“I am happy to present the degree scrolls to the first cohort of graduating students from Yale-NUS College. The occasion marks a significant development in Singapore’s higher education sector. With broad-based and multidisciplinary learning at the core of its four-year programme, the Yale-NUS curriculum offers a unique educational experience for its students. I am confident that these Yale-NUS graduands will bring rich skills in critical thinking and adaptability into the workforce. I wish them well in their future endeavours and look forward to their contributions to society,” President Tony Tan shared.

Ahead of graduation, over 60 percent of the graduating cohort have already secured jobs or university places to pursue graduate studies. Students who received job offers will be moving into a variety of sectors, mostly within the public sector (24%), consulting (24%), as well as education (14%). Other industries include science and engineering; finance; technology and start-ups; communications; and consumer and lifestyle. They will be taking on roles in organisations such as the National Arts Council, Ministry of Education, Oliver Wyman, Credit Suisse, SAP Innovation Centre, Heineken, H&M and Carousell, amongst many others. Those who are pursuing graduate studies have been accepted into prestigious universities such as Cornell University, Harvard University, Tsinghua University, University College London and Yale University. Others will be taking up offers such as the Princeton in Asia Fellowship and the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Programme.

Liberal arts students are exposed to multidisciplinary perspectives, a very important factor in today’s environment, where complex issues require a broad understanding of the field, the ability to be critically analytical and the capacity to make sound decisions. A key part of the Yale-NUS education is ensuring that our students have a wide range of experiences and a global portfolio of opportunities. 95% of the graduating students have participated in international experiences of at least four weeks in duration, immersing them in diverse environments and broadening their perspectives. These included semester abroad programmes, summer language programmes and overseas internships.

Besides preparing students for the working world, internship opportunities have also opened up opportunities for some. Graduating student Erika Terrones Shibuya took on a ten-week internship with Credit Suisse, and was offered a full-time position as a Global Markets Analyst as a result of her performance during her stint.

“Though it was challenging because a lot of on-the-job learning was involved, the internship programme was extremely rewarding. It was also empowering to be surrounded by driven and talented people whom I met at Credit Suisse and hope to learn from in the near future,” Erika said. “Being in Global Markets will allow me to be exposed to many different industries every day and I hope the interdisciplinary curriculum of Yale-NUS, as well as the experience of being part of the very diverse inaugural cohort, will help shape my opinions and views to help me succeed in my role,” she added.

Founding President of Yale-NUS College, Professor Pericles Lewis said, “As the pioneer cohort of Yale-NUS College, the intrepid students of the Class of 2017 have chosen to be the trailblazing participants in shaping our community of learning as we seek to redefine liberal arts and science education. We have learnt together and surmounted challenges, and I am immensely proud of their achievements. I am confident that Yale-NUS graduands will be differentiated by their creativity, communication skills and problem-solving acumen, enabling them to navigate today’s diverse and challenging work environment.”

Major: Number of Graduating Students:
Arts & Humanities 15
Philosophy, Politics and Economics 15
Environmental Studies 13
Psychology 12
Mathematical, Computational and Statistical Sciences 10
Anthropology 9
History 8
Urban Studies 8
Global Affairs 7
Economics 6
Literature 6
Philosophy 4
Life Sciences 3
Physical Sciences 3


For media enquiries, please contact publicaffairs@yale-nus.edu.sg