Universiti Sains Malaysia Ranking, Top Programs, Admission Process, Cost of Attendance & Scholarships

    George Town, PenangLocation
    UniversitySchool type
    Estd 1969established year
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    Anam Shams

    Content Curator

    Universiti Sains Malaysia was established as Universiti Pulau Pinang, the second university in Malaysia founded in 1969. It is one of the leading institutions in Malaysia and the Asian region. It currently educates over 30,000 students with nearly 4,200 international students. The university offers 180+ undergraduate and graduate programs with full-time and distance study options through its 26 schools.

    The university offers admissions for 2 intakes in the months of September and February. The primary intake month is September. Applications for undergraduate programs at USM are accepted throughout the year with cut-off dates on July 31 and January 31. The university accepts applications through the online application portal. An application fee of 100 RM must be paid along with the application. Undergraduate applicants must have completed 12 years of primary and high school education or equivalent international qualification. Applicants for graduate programs must have at least 2.75 in the bachelor’s degree.

    The total program tuition fee for international undergraduate students ranges between 54,587-74,862 RM. International graduate tuition fees range between 9,680-15,480 RM per year. Universiti Sains Malaysia offers financial aid to master’s and PhD students to support their education for the first two semesters of their program. Scholarships from the Malaysian government and Graduate Assistant Scheme are some ways of financing education. The university provides on-campus accommodation to students and allows students to live off-campus as well. Depending on the amenities, the monthly rent for on-campus accommodation is around 125-312 RM whereas off-campus accommodation is somewhat costlier with average rent being 312-520 RM excluding utility bills.

    Universiti Sains Malaysia Rankings

    With age and experience, it is undoubtedly one of the premier institutions in Northern Malaysia. The latest rankings of Universiti Sains Malaysia on reputed websites are as follows:

    • Ranked 147th in QS World University Rankings 2022 and 34th in QS Asian University Rankings 2021.
    • The university ranked in the following categories in the THE rankings:
      • 601-800th in World University Rankings 2021
      • =39th in Impact Rankings 2021
      • 151-200th in Young University Rankings 2019
    • In the U.S. News Best Global Universities 2021, it ranked 580th in the world, 109th in Asia and 3rd in Malaysia.


    Type of Establishment Public
    Location George Town, Penang
    Campus Setting Urban
    Mode of Program Full-time, Part-time, Online
    Total Enrollment 30,000+
    Percentage of International Students 13%
    Application Portal Online Application
    Application Fee 100 RM
    Test Score Accepted IELTS/ TOEFL/ PTE/ CAE/ CPE
    Basic Tuition Fee for International Undergraduate Students 54,587-74,862 RM
    Basic Tuition Fee for International Graduate Students 9,680-15,480 RM
    Financial Aid Scholarship, Assistantships, Grants, Loans
    Official Website

    Universiti Sains Malaysia Campus

    Universiti Sains Malaysia initially started teaching from the premises of the Malayan Teachers Training College in Bukit Gelugor. The campus of USM is currently based in Minden which is around 9.7 kms away from Georgetown. The campus stretches across an area of 417 hectares.

    • The university has 3 campuses - the main campus in Penang Island, the Engineering campus in Nibong Tebal and the Health campus in Kubang Kerian.
    • The university campus is facilitated with a museum displaying world-class art and state-of-the-art pieces, a gallery showcasing fine art and a library with extensive resources and internet access.
    • General facilities available at the campus include bank, bookshop, retail outlets, post office, pharmacy, cafeterias, well-organized pavilions, lecture theatres and classrooms.
    • The Sports Centre at the university is equipped with indoor and outdoor facilities such as Olympic-sized swimming pool, soccer field, hockey stadium and 8-lane running track.
    • There are a number of clubs at the university serving a wide variety of interests such as Debating and Public Science Club, Indian Cultural Club, Astronomy Club, Mass Communication Club, Computer Science Club, etc.

    Universiti Sains Malaysia Accommodation

    Universiti Sains Malaysia provides on-campus accommodation in student residences. Students are given the option to stay on-campus or off-campus.

    • On-campus accommodation offers single room or a twin-sharing room. Basic facilities in and around student residences include a laundry room, study room, common bathroom, pantry, grocery stores, sports facilities, cafeteria, etc.
    • A number of off-campus accommodations are located within walking distance from the campus within 3 km radius.
    • Most private apartments consist of 3 bedrooms, air conditioning, laundry shop, badminton court, grocery store, gymnasium, etc.
    • The rent for on-campus accommodation is around 125-312 RM (or 30-75 USD) per month excluding meal plans whereas off-campus accommodation costs 312-520 RM (or 75-125 USD) per month excluding utility bills.

    Universiti Sains Malaysia Programs

    Universiti Sains Malaysia offers undergraduate and graduate programs in a variety of disciplines such as Applied Sciences, Medicine, Health Sciences, Pharmaceutical Sciences, Humanities, Social Sciences, Education, Science and Technology, etc.

    • Programs at Universiti Sains Malaysia are organized into 17 academic schools at the main campus, 6 schools at the Engineering campus and 3 schools at the Health campus.
    • The university offers 111 full-time programs and 72 distance learning programs.
    • The distance learning programs lead to Bachelor of Science (Honours), Bachelor of Social Science (Honours), Bachelor of Arts (Honours) and Bachelor of Management (Honours).
    • Some of the popular full-time programs are Engineering, Computer Science, Applied Science, Sciences, Technology, Health Sciences, Medicine, Art, Pharmaceutical Sciences, Social Sciences, Management and Accounting and Education.

    Universiti Sains Malaysia Admission Process

    Universiti Sains Malaysia accepts online applications from international candidates. Applicants must pay an application fee of 100 RM and submit all necessary documents online. Applications for undergraduate programs are accepted throughout the year with cut-off dates for semester 1 and 2 intakes. The available intakes for most graduate programs are February and September.

    The process and requirements for admission to Universiti Sains Malaysia are discussed below:

    Application Portal: Undergraduate Online Application or Graduate Online Application
    Application Fee: 100 RM
    Application Deadlines: Undergraduate: Semester 1 - July 31; Semester 2 - January 31; Graduate: Varies from program to program.
    Admission Requirements: The requirements for admission to undergraduate programs are as follows:

    • Completed application and receipt of payment of processing fees
    • Completion of 12 years of primary and high school education and obtained High School Certificate for undergraduate programs.
    • Completed bachelor’s degree with a CGPA of at least 2.75 on 4.0 for graduate programs.
    • Official copies of transcripts, mark sheets, certificates or school reports from previously attended secondary school or college.
    • Official translation of documents not issued in English or Malay language.
    • Proof of English language proficiency scores or a letter from a previous institution stating that the medium of instruction was English
    • Copy of personal information page of passport
    • USM Interview
    • Updated CV
    • Work experience in related field
    • Employment Pass (required for candidates working in Malaysia)

    English Language Requirements

    International applicants must provide proof of English language proficiency for admission to undergraduate or graduate programs at the university. The university accepts a number of test scores. The minimum test scores for undergraduate and graduate admission are given in the table below:

    Test Undergraduate Requirements Graduate Requirements
    IELTS 5.0 5.0
    TOEFL-iBT 42 35
    CAE/ CPE 154/ B1 154/ B1
    PTE 47 36

    Universiti Sains Malaysia Cost of Attendance

    The tuition fees for undergraduate and graduate programs at Universiti Sains Malaysia are given in the table below:

    Program Tuition Fees (in RM)
    Bachelor of Computer Science 62,385
    Bachelor of Science in Mathematics 57,186
    Bachelor of Technology (Environmental) 54,587
    Bachelor of Management 66,544
    Bachelor of Communication 62,385
    Bachelor of Electrical Engineering 74,862
    Master of Business Administration 23,760
    Master of Architecture 14,080
    Master in Counselling 11,660
    Master of Science (Data Science and Analytics) 11,880
    Master of Communication 15,480
    Master of Economics Management 9,680

    Students must include estimated cost of accommodation, food, entertainment, travelling and miscellaneous expenses in their budget for living in Singapore. The estimated expenses are as follows:

    • On-campus accommodation - 1,148 RM or 276 USD per year
    • Other expenses - 10,398 RM or 2,500 USD per year

    Universiti Sains Malaysia Financial Aid

    Universiti Sains Malaysia offers financial aid to international students in Malaysia to encourage them to pursue postgraduate studies and research at the university. The funding is usually available for the first and second semester and applies towards the tuition fees.

    • Applicants must be accepted as a full-time student at Universiti Sains Malaysia to be eligible for financial aid.
    • The minimum requirements include a minimum GPA of 3.0 in the bachelor’s degree for master’s degree applicants.
    • Some of the available financial aid options for international students are as follows:
      • Malaysian International Scholarship: Awarded to outstanding international students with excellent academic records and co-curricular achievements who wish to continue their studies at a renowned Malaysian institution. The scholarship is available to both postgraduate and post-doctoral students provided they fulfill the following requirements:

    Obtained a minimum GPA of 3.5 on 4.0 in bachelor’s degree, Minimum IELTS score of 6.5 or TOEFL-iBT score of 92.

    • Graduate Assistant Scheme: Awarded to master’s degree students with a minimum CGPA 2.75 for 4 semesters. Under this scheme, the selected candidate will have to assist in teaching 6 hours a week. The recipient receives a monthly allowance of 900 RM for 10 months.

    Universiti Sains Malaysia Alumni

    Universiti Sains Malaysia offers an opportunity to stay connected with the alma mater through its Alumni Development Center. Alumni are provided several benefits such as the following:

    • An option to adopt the hostel room in which they stayed and renovate it.
    • Attend events such as the International Alumni Convention and Innovation Exhibition
    • Receive issues of Alumni Bulletin thrice a year via email
    • 10% discount on postgraduate tuition fee

    Some of the notable alumni of Universiti Sains Malaysia are listed below:

    • Idris Jusoh - Former Minister of Higher Education of Malaysia
    • Teresa Kok - Former Minister of Primary Industries in the Pakatan Harapan administration between 2018 to 2020.
    • Daphne Iking - Malaysian television actor
    • Ahmad Said - Former Chief Minister of Terengganu
    • Chow Kon Yeow - Chief Minister of Penang

    Universiti Sains Malaysia Placements

    The career development center of the Universiti Sains Malaysia provides regular updates regarding job opportunities to students. Students are also encouraged to attend career talks that help them to get an insight regarding the job hunting process, its challenges and how to overcome it.

    As per Emolument, the top paid graduates of Universiti Sains Malaysia according to degree are given in the table below:

    Degree Average Salary (in RM)
    Bachelor of Arts 234,000
    Masters in Science 194,000
    Bachelor of Science 166,000
    Other degrees 165,000
    Other bachelor’s degrees 97,000

    Some of the top paid positions of Universiti Sains Malaysia graduates are as follows:

    Job Position Average Salary (in RM)
    Finance Control and Strategy 310,000
    IT and Software Development 170,000
    Engineering 165,000
    Sales and Business Development 161,000

    Universiti Sains Malaysia is well-known for its world class research and has 17 dedicated research centres working on a wide range of specialisations such as Archaeology, Dentistry, Molecular Medicine, Science and Technology, Policy Research, Management Studies, etc. It has been recognized as a research intensive university by the Ministry of Higher Education Malaysia and has worked to maintain its reputation. The university is one of the 1,117 institutions to be ranked in THE Impact Rankings for performing against the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Universiti Sains Malaysia ranks 39th with an overall score of 90.5 and best ranks in Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions, Good Health and Well-Being, No Poverty and Partnerships for the Goals.


    Ques. Is Universiti Sains Malaysia a reputed institution?

    Ans. Universiti Sains Malaysia is ranked 147th in the QS World University Rankings 2021. It is also ranked 34th in the QS Asian University Rankings 2021.

    Ques. What is Universiti Sains Malaysia known for?

    Ans. Universiti Sains Malaysia is known for its programs in Engineering, Computer Science, Applied Science, Sciences, Technology, Health Sciences, Medicine, Pharmaceutical Sciences, Social Sciences, Accounting and Education, Management and Arts. It is also one of the leading research institutions in Malaysia.

    Ques. How many campuses does Universiti Sains Malaysia have?

    Ans. Universiti Sains Malaysia has 3 campuses that include the main campus with 17 schools, Engineering campus which is home to 6 schools and the Health campus which houses 3 schools.

    Ques. Does Universiti Sains Malaysia provide student accommodation?

    Ans. Yes, Universiti Sains Malaysia offers on campus accommodation to students with single or twin sharing options.

    Ques. What is Apex USM?

    Ans. Apex USM is the Accelerated Programme for Excellence (APEX). It is an accelerated program that leads tertiary institutions to achieve world-class status. Universiti Sains Malaysia is the only APEX institution in Malaysia.

    Ques. Can I study the MBA program part-time?

    Ans. No, the MBA program at Universiti Sains Malaysia is only offered full-time. However, students can enroll for the online MBA program.

    Ques. Is work experience required for admission to the MBA program at Universiti Sains Malaysia?

    Ans. Yes, at least one full year of work experience is required for admission to the MBA program at Universiti Sains Malaysia.

    Ques. How can I apply for admission to Universiti Sains Malaysia?

    Ans. Candidates can apply for admission to Universiti Sains Malaysia by completing the application available on the university website and submitting it along with an application fee of 100 RM.

    Ques. How can I pay the application fee for applying to Universiti Sains Malaysia?

    Ans. Students can pay the application fee using cash at the USM Bursary Counter or online payment via USM e-payment portal.

    Important Dates

    ProgramApplication DeadlineFees
    M.A Clinical Pharmacy
    Term 1 (20th May 2019)
    Term 2 (20th Oct 2019)
    $6,031 /Yr
    Term 1 (20th May 2019)
    Term 2 (20th Oct 2019)
    B.A/B.Sc Architecture
    Term 1 (30th Jun 2019)
    Term 2 (30th Dec 2019)
    B.Sc Building Surveying
    Term 1 (30th Jun 2019)
    Term 2 (30th Dec 2019)

    Master Clinical Pharmacy

    1 year
    Full Time
    USD 6,031/Yr
    Application Deadline: 20 May, 2019
    Application Deadline: 20 May, 2019

    Master Public Administration

    18 months
    Full Time
    Application Deadline: 20 May, 2019
    USD 4,527/Yr
    Application Deadline: 20 May, 2019
    USD 4,625/Yr
    Application Deadline: 20 May, 2019


    Times Higher Education logo

    Overall #601 out of 1200 in Global Ranking

    Engineering #601 out of 1200 in Global Ranking
    Medicine #601 out of 1200 in Global Ranking
    Architecture #601 out of 1200 in Global Ranking
    Arts #601 out of 1200 in Global Ranking

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    College Rating

    Based on 2 Students Rating

    8.6 out of 10
    8.0/10Social Life

    Universiti Sains Malaysia Reviews

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    2 Reviews Found

    9.3 /10

    Once I went on a family trip to Malaysia. I got so much attracted to the environment and the culture there and decided to pursue my studies from there only. I applied to the college through the Unit Pengambilan Universiti by paying RM 100.

    Fees :

    I don't know about the fee structure as all of the financial things are taken care of by my father.

    9 /10 academic/food
    10 /10 faculty
    9 /10 infrastructure
    10 /10 accomodation
    9 /10 placement
    9 /10 extracurricular
    7.8 /10

    My uncle has a business in Malaysia. I keep travelling to his place on and off. When the time to chose the university came, he was the one who guided me about this college. Since Malaysia is not too far from India, I thought why not to go and take admission in this university. Thus, I went ahead with the application process and filled the online application form of RM100 and went ahead with the application process.

    Fees :

    I paid an amount of $14,000.00 as a part of the tuition fee. Apart from the tuition fee, I paid a Recurrent Fee (Payable every semester) $45.00 and a Non-Recurrent Fee (Payable upon registration) $255.00. My books and supplies cost came under $2000.

    8 /10 academic/food
    9 /10 faculty
    8 /10 infrastructure
    7 /10 accomodation
    8 /10 placement
    7 /10 extracurricular

    Attendance Cost


    attendance cost

    The table shows average yearly cost of attendance for international students. Amount may vary with the course opted, nature of accommodation, and personal spending habits of a candidate. Check Program wise Fees

    Tuition fees
    Post Graduate Program
    $4,625 / Year
    Level 1, Building E42, Chancellory II Universiti Sains Malaysia 11800 USM Penang

    Nearby This Campus

    • Bus Station
    • Book Store
    • Shopping Mall
    • Hospital
    • Airport

    Bus Station

    Desasiswa Fajar Harapan, Lengkongan Teknologi0.14 km
    Dewan Budaya,Jalan Universiti0.19 km
    Pusat Pengetahuan Kominikasi Dan Teknologi,Jalan Universiti0.21 km
    Desasiswa Bakti Permai,Persiaran Sains0.23 km
    Show More

    Shopping Mall

    Naelofar Hijab Pulau Pinang0.83 km
    Gintell0.85 km
    Outlet DeXandra Penang1.52 km
    Young Heart2.50 km
    Show More


    Penang International Airport7.32 km
    Airport Helipad7.68 km

    Book Store

    Bismi Books & Stationery0.35 km
    Taman Buku USM0.46 km
    Pustaka Union & Enterprise0.51 km
    The Universiti Sains Malaysia Co-Operative Bookshop Ltd1.43 km
    Show More


    Penang Hyperbaric Center2.21 km
    Diabetes Treatment | Natural & Holistic3.55 km
    Lam Wah Ee Hospital3.99 km
    Ambulance MEDILIFE4.34 km
    Show More

    *All distance are measured radially. Actual distance may vary


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