Just to check if anyone is familiar with the vacation period of PhD students in Singapore?

I am considering a PhD in Singapore, there are two main universities NUS (National University of Singapore), and NTU (Nanyang Technological University).

There are two vacation periods for undergraduates, namely the "summer" break from May to July, and the "winter" break from December to Jan. (Singapore only has one season, hence the quotation marks)

However, I am not sure if the above applies for graduate students, especially PhD students on stipend.

  • 7
    "Summer" break from May to July and "from December to Jan". You can rest assure that as a PHD student you can not have 4 months of vacation, unless you are planning to graduate on >5-7 years, in any part of the world.
    – Alexandros
    Commented Jun 17, 2015 at 13:25
  • 1
    There may be a difference if your stipend is coming from teaching versus research. (@BillBarth Many students in lab sciences did not get normal holidays off.)
    – Kimball
    Commented Jun 17, 2015 at 13:58
  • 2
    @Kimball, did not get them off officially, or were forced by their supervisor to work even though the university was officially closed? My university is officially closed for the time between Christmas and New Years, and graduate students should not be in their labs working. Did we work? Sometimes. Were we supposed to? No.
    – Bill Barth
    Commented Jun 17, 2015 at 14:00
  • 3
    @BillBarth Where I was, at least as far as I know, the university being officially closed was just about administrative/teaching duties--I don't think there was any policy about students not being in labs on holidays.
    – Kimball
    Commented Jun 17, 2015 at 14:10
  • 3
    @BillBarth: In general, this seems to be entirely university-dependent. I know German universities that do not have any concept of being "closed"; employees have to either be at work or take a vacation day, as long as it is a day between Monday and Friday and not a national/state holiday (i.e. including, for instance, Dec 27 to 30). I also know other German universities that are really closed during some times of the year, to the point that employees cannot even enter the buildings with their office keys. As this question asks about universities in SG, though, neither my experiences from ... Commented Jun 17, 2015 at 19:34

1 Answer 1


I got my Ph.D. at NTU. Ph.D. students would generally be getting 21 days of leave for each calendar year (i.e. Jan-Dec) in both NUS and NTU (see links below).

With a 5 day work-week, that means a maximum of 4 weeks + 1 day of leave. This can be increased if the period coincides with one or more of Singapore's 11 public holidays (as published by the Ministry of Manpower). No-pay leave may also be possible, if the Ph.D. supervisor agrees.

Note that Ph.D. students would be still be working during the undergraduate summer break vacation periods.


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .