MBA in Singapore – Best business schools ranking, costs, salaries

Best MBA in Singapore

Top business schools in Singapore – Ranking, costs, salaries

Singapore might be a city, a state and a whole country in and of itself, but its impact on the global economy and global education is quite formidable. It is one of the most desirable countries to study abroad.

It also happens to be ranked 5th in LPI index Global Rankings, by the World Bank, which is technical speak for “ease in doing international business with”.

In this article, we will list the reasons, and the resources, that have made Singapore one of the most sought after destinations for business, studies, and business studies, in not just Asia, but the entire world. And yes, we list the top business schools with the best MBA programs (full-time and part-time Executive MBA).

MBA in Singapore

Why Singapore, Best MBA Programs, Costs, Salaries & more


What makes Singapore a popular hub for an MBA degree?

America might still be an economic power house, with the most number of universities producing the brightest business minds in the world, but there are other countries catching up to the race that once began there. Countries like India, China, and Singapore, are now home to some heavy-selling MBA brands.

According to the GMAC Geographic Trend Report, Asia received 56,213 score reports from examinees all across the globe. Though paling in comparison to American stats, this is an upward trend in the face of immigration and policy uncertainties in USA. In 2018, MBA enrolment at Singaporean business schools shot up to 3,531 with new interests blooming among international students from China, Vietnam, and India.

USA, while being a champion in dominating the market of MBA education, has been experiencing a decline in MBA applications. GMAT score reports received, from non-US citizens, at US B-Schools dropped from 61.5% in 2014 to 51.8% in 2018. This percentage is out of the total scores sent to USA, Western Europe and Canada. Hence, correspondingly, Western Europe and Canada saw an increase in applications from 18.1% and 6.6%, in 2014, to 24.1% and 8.2%, in 2018 (Source).

Leaving the brain churning statistics aside, simply put, the current trends show that Singapore is certainly an A-lister in business education. So, this clearly begs the question, what makes Singapore such a hub for MBA?

Let’s explore.

Multicultural Society

Its population is largely a mix of various Malaysian, Chinese, Indian and other minorities. Being a melting pot, of sorts, the country, and its people, are quite fluent in English and are open to induct foreign nationals into their system. Among other work permit schemes, their government offers two especially beneficial employment eligibility to foreign workers.

The Employment Pass Scheme allows skilled individuals to work in Singapore as long as they are continuously employed with a minimum monthly salary of S$3,600 (~USD2,600). Also there is no official quota as to how many are allotted each year, with the permit itself open to renewal every 1-2 years.

The Entrepreneur Pass Scheme is also similar but differs in the nature of employment, namely for entrepreneurs instead of employees. As long as the nature of the business qualifies a minimum requirement of at least S$100,000 in investor funding, or falls under the heaer of being “innovative”, or if you have a track record of solid investments (Check EntrePass official), you may be eligible for such a work permit. There is also the Personalized Employment Pass (PEP) which has a limited duration of 3 years for overseas professionals with a minimum monthly salary of at least S$18,000 (~USD 13,000) or an Employment Pass holder with a fixed monthly salary of S$12,000 (~USD 8,000).

Nevertheless, these schemes open up possibilities of seamless enterprise, or employment, as long as you fulfill their eligibility criteria of skills. MBA certainly fits the bill.

Quality of life

Life is good in Singapore, especially for an MBA degree holder. According to the QS Jobs and Salary Trend Report (download the pdf here), from 2015, Singapore is 4th among the world’s topmost countries for average MBA salary at $142,000, including bonuses. With that kind of money, and the somewhat exaggerated living costs, in the table below, you can expect a single person household to be quite comfortable.

Items Cost/month in USD (Numbeo)
Food Prices per person $345
Rent for a single apartment $14,00 – $2,200
Estimated single household cost $950 (without rent)

Clearly, you could squeeze out a lot more pennies, to save, if you choose to adopt a more practical approach to spending – living outside the city limits, using the extremely convenient public transportation system, and generally avoiding a whole lot on extravagant expenditures.

In all, with its Quality of Life Index, at 137.05, towering over Bangalore (118.67), New York City (128.10), and London (108.68), you can expect to smile quite a bit in your pursuit of happiness.

International Student Scholarships

And if the tuition feels heavy on the pocket and loans feel like a way to near perpetual debtdom, Singapore universities/institutes also offer a variety of scholarships to international students.

Read the individual MBA school details, below, for a closer look. Read How much does an MBA cost in India, USA and Europe?

Brand of business schools, for an MBA

Clearly, all the glitz would mean nothing if the quality of the MBA degree, itself, held no value in the international circle. With its sensible education approach, relatively low tuition cost as compared to the US, world class teaching faculty, and an extremely daunting network of past alumni, most having established a drool worthy position at the top MBA recruiting companies in the world – read McKinsey, Boston Consulting, Bain & Company, Amazon, Google, Microsoft and all such companies with a kingdom of their own – Singapore business schools are now a brand to scale other business schools. Did we mention that their global ranks are well within the first 50?

Best Business Schools in Singapore

Here are the top business schools for an MBA in Singapore.

Sl. No. B-School World Ranking(2021) Average/Maximum Post MBA Salary(USD)
1) National University of Singapore (NUS) #14 (Financial Times – FT)
#28 (QS)
$161,200 (Average 3 year after graduation)
2) INSEAD Singapore #1 (FT) $$103,800 + Bonus 
3) Nanyang Technological University (NTU)-Nanyang Business School #37 (FT)
#30 (QS)
4) Singapore Management University-Lee Kong Chian School of Business #58 (FT) $121,300


Top MBA Programs in Singapore | Full-time & Part-time

Business School Duration Approx. Tuition (USD)
National University of Singapore
Full Time: 17 Months
Part Time: Available
Full Time: ~$55,800 + Tax
Part Time: ~$55,800 + Tax
Financial Aid & Scholarship
INSEAD Singapore MBA 10 Months ~$104,100 depending on the intake season
Financing & Scholarship
Nanyang Business School
Full Time MBA
1 year ~$45,600
Financing & Scholarships
Nanyang Business School
Nanyang Waseeda Double MBA
14 Months in Singapore & Japan(Optional) $45,600
Singapore Management University-Lee Kong Chian School of Business MBA Full Time: 1 year
(10 week internship)
Part Time: 18 Months
~49,500 Full-Time
~$50,200 Part-Time
Financing & Scholarships


Best Executive MBA Programs in Singapore

Business School Duration Approx. Tuition (USD)
National University of Singapore
Executive MBA
15 Months
(6 x 2 week residential)
~$77,000 + Tax
National University of Singapore
UCLA- NUS Executive MBA
15 Months
(6 x 2 week in Singapore, Los Angeles, Shanghai,Shenzhen, Bangalore and New Delhi)
$130,000 with Tax
INSEAD Singapore
Global Executive MBA (GEMBA)
14 – 17 Months (51-60 days off work) $144,000
INSEAD Singapore
Tsinghua INSEAD Executive MBA (TIEMBA)
18 Months
(12 weeks on campus in INSEAD & Beijing)
Financing available
Singapore Management University-Lee Kong Chian School of Business
Executive MBA
12 Months
(1-2 week sessions & 3 day weekends at SMU, Wharton, Washington, ISB & Peking Univ.)

And that commences the top brands from Singapore. For further insight, we recommend a thorough research on the individual college websites. Meanwhile, here are some useful links and few experiences shared by past candidates.

Read more about top business schools in the world.