PhD Thesis Submission Process


My NUS BME PhD submission process. I shared this before on LinkedIn:

Created by OpenAI DALL-E.

Although these are more or less similar everywhere, here they are at NUS:
<2–3 months>
1. You submit the thesis the first time,
2. Then you receive feedback from 2–3 examiners.
3. Schedule a date for an oral defense together (if there is no major issue)
4. Presentation, open to anyone (<1hr), and following oral thesis defense (no time limit, and learning the outcome immediately)

< 2–3 months >
5. Two more weeks for the revision (if minor), corrections, and (if the requirements are satisfied) following confirmation from your thesis advisors, the department, and the thesis committee in a week (3 weeks max)
6. Submission of the final version to the official database
7. Receiving the official degree in a few months after uploading it to the database

I submitted the final version after minor revisions in November. Later, I uploaded it to the Electronic Thesis & Dissertation (ETD)system ( The degree was officially awarded by the new year (conferred by December 31st, 2023, and officially a PhD in 2024).

My thesis was about single-cell high-throughput total RNA-sequencing assay development (with applications) and subsequent single-cell (multi-omics) data analysis. The preprint has been available since March 2024.

I also had a major side project on which I spent as my thesis project. In this project, I developed another bioassay for the concurrent capture of secretion of a certain peptide and molecular transcriptome of a single cell (particularly applied to beta cells). We hope to share the major findings of this assay soon.

I know a lot of grad friends who are wondering about the pre-/post-thesis submission process at NUS. And, if you are an international student, this only adds to the pile of uncertainties.

Although the university provides excellent resources on how to manage them, sometimes the information shared on the portal might not be enough (

The recruiters might ask when you will receive the diploma.
And yes, if you need a visa sponsorship, they usually need the official documents.

It took ~ 3 months to complete the thesis process (settling on a date, oral defense, minor revisions, and uploading the final version to the NUS database).

~ 1 month later (and if there is no significant issue, so after the department approval), I officially graduated by the end of the year (as written on the transcript).

Singapore provides a “Student Pass” which enables you to stay in the country for the long term (however, this does not allow a work permit, just in case you wonder). Since I am no longer an NUS student, my student’s pass was canceled ~ a week after the official graduation.

Subsequently, I received this e-diploma email a few days later.

You receive this email a few days later following the Student Pass cancellation.

Please note that the process might be longer for different circumstances. This is based on the “everything goes well” scenario. For example, if the thesis submission is in November, finding a suitable date during December (the holiday/break season) might be harder.

I hope this clarifies for you as well
All the best!



Ortaya Karışık (Fatma Betul Dincaslan)

FeBe/ Molecular Biologist and Geneticist / Bioinformatician/ Single Cell Assayist / Socially developed nerd