FAQ

Most frequently asked questions at Singularity University. If you have any media or PR inquiries, please contact [email protected].

Vision and Mission
What is Singularity University?

The goal of Singularity University is to positively impact humanity by educating, inspiring and empowering leaders across the globe to harness the power of exponential technologies to improve the lives of billions of people.

What is the Mission of Singularity University?

Singularity University (SU) is a unique interdisciplinary, international and intercultural experience that challenges participants to use transformative, exponential technologies to address humanity’s greatest challenges. SU educates and inspires participants to discover and design sustainable organizations to positively impact humanity.

Located on the campus of NASA Research Park in Silicon Valley, one of the world’s great epicenters of innovation, SU offers a 10-week graduate studies program and week long executive programs, as well as customized programs for corporations, entrepreneurs, NGOs and government. SU also offers Executive Programs in industry-specific areas, including the highly acclaimed Exponential Medicine, concentrating on the most recent breakthroughs in medicine, biotech and healthcare.

Who founded SU and why?

SU was founded in 2008 by Dr. Peter H. Diamandis, Founder and Chairman of the X PRIZE Foundation and International Space University (ISU), and Ray Kurzweil, futurist, author, and Director of Engineering at Google, inspired by the desire to combine the need for a place to learn about accelerating technologies in a synergistic way with an interdisciplinary, international and intercultural experience of learning. The urgency in the mission of Singularity University came from the potential of rapidly accelerating advancements in technology, including biotechnology and nanotechnology, which can help to solve humanity’s biggest problems. SU was incorporated in 2008 as a non-profit organization, and in 2012, was reorganized into a California Benefit Corporation.

What does Singularity mean in the context of Singularity University?

Singularity University’s name was inspired by Ray Kurzweil’s book The Singularity is Near, which looks at rapid and accelerating developments within and between science and technology fields. One goal of Singularity University is to make visible how important these changes are in today’s world. At times these changes are so integrated into our daily lives that we don’t notice them. We observe that small teams today may work on projects that were not even feasible five or ten years ago. For SU, the concept of singularity relates to the unexpected moments of dramatic technological change and the need to foresee their implications and opportunities.

Is Singularity University unique or are there other similar organizations?

Singularity University’s programs have a deep focus on accelerating technologies, their intersections, and ability to help solve grand challenges in a largely collaborative, international, and interdisciplinary forum. This combination creates a unique and intense educational experience that complements the existing graduate and post-graduate programs from which we select many of our participants.

The core of SU is our people– from faculty working at the edges of science and technology to participants from around the world, jointly dedicated to challenging problems in research, industries, non-profits, and more. Through our faculty, staff, and participants, Singularity University is able to revisit our curriculum each year, continuously discussing and building on past breakthroughs and applications of the fastest moving technologies.

What is SU Labs?

From its inception, SU has focused on taking exponential technologies beyond the classroom and into the world, with the goal of addressing humanity’s biggest challenges. SU Labs is a start-up company accelerator comprised of a community of local and global start-ups offering the tools and space for collaboration in an interdisciplinary way. Supported by SU faculty, alumni, corporate partners and a growing network of mentors and investors - start-ups and projects in SU Labs receive the guidance, support and connections necessary to build successful companies that impact the world.

SU Programs
What types of programs are offered by Singularity University?
  • SU Graduate Studies Program (GSP) convenes future leaders, entrepreneurs, and technologists from around the world in a 10-week collaborative experience to develop team-based technology solutions to widespread global challenges.
  • SU Executive Program (EP) is a 7-day intensive and interactive program for “C-level” business executives, covering the technologies and tools that corporate leaders and entrepreneurs need to understand the wave of accelerating change.
  • Exponential Medicine explores the future of medicine and biotechnology in both one week and 3-day formats to look at breakthrough innovations in medicine and healthcare.
  • SU Global Summits are two-day programs that showcases the opportunities of disruptive influences brought about by exponential technologies and global impact.
  • Innovation Partnership Program (IPP) is a joint venture of X PRIZE Foundation, SU and is presented by Deloitte. IPP provides C-Suite executives an overview and showcases the exponential organizational tools that will radically transform industries and society over the next decade and beyond.
  • SU also offers Customized Programs tailored to the needs of a specific industry and have delivered these worldwide for corporate, non-profit and government organizations.

Singularity University GSP Team Projects:
During the GSP, SU challenges participants to design a sustainable global solution in the Team Project (“Ten to the Ninth Plus”), leveraging exponential trends, innovation and the power of entrepreneurship to positively impact 1 billion people in ten years. The problem spaces change from program to program, but will always be in areas of significance to the goals and vision of SU and the world.

What types of degrees are offered? Is SU accredited?

The SU program complements formal, for-credit curriculum but is not a degree-granting institution. Potential or incoming participants who wish to negotiate academic credits at their home university or would like to get tuition reimbursement for programs credited towards their degree should contact their individual universities for specific credit requirements. SU will assist participants in providing the necessary requirements for obtaining credits when applicable. Upon successful completion of the Graduate Studies Program, participants receive a transcript of their results and a Certificate of Completion.

Are courses offered online?

Singularity University is investigating new means to share the knowledge that is imparted within our campus via online curricula. Many of our lectures and seminars are published frequently on our website (singularityu.org).

Can SU create a specialized program for my organization?
What are the tracks for the SU Executive Program?

The program concentrates on exponentially growing technologies areas:

  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) & Robotics
  • Biotechnology & Bioinformatics
  • Energy & Environmental Systems
  • Medicine & Neuroscience
  • Nanotechnology
  • Networks & Computing Systems
  • Design

The Executive Program provides an understanding of how these accelerating technologies will transform your business and your industry by showing you what is in the lab today and where the technologies will be within the next 3 to 10 years.

Faculty & Advisors
Who serves on the Faculty of Singularity University?

SU has attracted a world-class core faculty, which is complemented by cutting-edge practitioners and thinkers, experts in their respective fields who serve as guest lecturers, mentors and advisors. The faculty includes scientists, engineers, entrepreneurs, and researchers from Stanford, MIT, Carnegie Mellon, Harvard and other major educational institutions, and experts and executives from business, including Auto Desk, Genentech, Google, Cisco, Deloitte, ePlanet Ventures, the Kauffman Foundation, Nokia, and others. Full bios can be found at: http://singularityu.org/faculty

Is NASA involved with Singularity University?

Singularity University has a Space Act Agreement with NASA Ames Research Center, permitting SU to house its facilities in the NASA Research Park and facilitates partnership with NASA through joint public events, speaker presentations, team projects collaboration and NASA Ames STEM program.

“The NASA Ames campus has a proud history of supporting ground-breaking innovation, and Singularity University fits into that tradition,” said Worden. “We’re proud to help launch and be a growing partner with this unique educational program and are looking forward to the new ideas, technologies and social applications that result.”

Neither NASA Ames Director Worden nor any other NASA employee is engaged in the University’s operation, nor do any NASA Ames employees have personal or financial interests in Singularity University.

The NASA Research Park, located in the heart of Silicon Valley has emerged as NASA’s leading center in information technology research with a focus on supercomputing, networking and intelligent systems. Ames also is a leader in nanotechnology, fundamental space biology, biotechnology, aerospace and thermal protection systems, and human factors research. Ames conducts the critical R&D and develops the enabling technologies that make NASA missions possible. NASA Research Park (NRP), the R&D Center for NASA Ames that directly collaborates with academia, private industry and non-profits is home to Singularity University.

How is Singularity University funded?

SU is a California Benefit Corporation that is supported by the revenue from its educational and other services, and through sponsorships as well as generous contributions from individuals and organizations, some of which are used to lower the cost of SU's GSP tuition for certain applicants who win our series of Global Impact Competitions.

Corporate Participation & Sponsorship
How can my company work with Singularity University?

Singularity University welcomes partnerships and collaboration with companies, individuals, educational institutions, and other innovation organizations, including media, technology and science museums and business organizations worldwide.

What sponsorship opportunities are available at Singularity University?
SU Experience
Who are the participants who come to Singularity University?

Singularity University is a truly international and intercultural experience, attracting participants educated in multiple disciplines. While most are at the graduate to post-graduate level of education, SU does not require participants to currently be in a graduate school program. The international and interdisciplinary strengths of the program create a unique and highly collaborative learning culture that supports broader perspectives and changed outlooks on world challenges and opportunities.

Are courses taught in English with discussions in English?

Yes, courses and lectures are delivered in English. However, at any one time multiple languages are spoken in break-out sessions and during meals, creating a truly international experience.

What languages are spoken by Faculty and Staff?

Languages spoken by various faculty and staff include, but are not limited to Spanish, French, Greek, Vietnamese, Tagalog, and conversational Russian.

How do you describe a “typical” day at SU?

Singularity University offers an intense, immersive experience that combines academic activities, peer-to-peer learning and work, and a health and wellness program. Academic activities include lectures and discussions, labs and workshops, site visits to companies and organizations, special guest lectures, and more. Peer-to-peer learning and work includes study groups, the 10^9+ Team Projects, student-led lectures. The Health and Wellness program includes specialized catering, athletic and exercise programs, health tracking, and other activities. To get a feel for being at SU, see the Bloomberg News video:

http://www.bloomberg.com/video/singularity-university-bloomberg-brink-06-04-llZ8NpBqQB65izwV_sjNeQ.html
Can I stay connected and contribute to SU after I leave?

SU’s biggest asset is our global network of alumni from GSP and EP events. Singularity University creates a unique environment for learning and collaboration: alumni gatherings around the world and online programs keep participants and executives connected and engaged. Additionally, many SU participants and alumni create companies and other organizations as a result of the SU experience, which are detailed below. Participants in other programs who learn about these organizations have engaged with them to provide advice and help to move the Team Projects forward.

Companies Started at Singularity University
What companies have resulted from the SU experience and collaboration?

Singularity University is not an academic exercise. We provide tools and inspiration for innovation through the Team Projects, many of which have become companies: http://singularityu.org/companies

Many of these companies are now part of SU Labs: http://singularityu.org/labs

SU in the News
Are there articles I can read about Singularity University?

The continuing success of Singularity University has been reported by major media around the world. To see a selection of this coverage, and to connect with the SU Media Team, please refer to the multimedia section of our website: singularityu.org

What do EP alumni say about Singularity University?

More than 90% of our Executive participants “highly recommend” SU, with many saying it has been the “best program ever.” Many of these quotes can be found on the SU website.

Applications Process, Financials, Miscellenous Questions
How do I apply to Singularity University Programs?
What is the cost of SU programs?

The cost for the 10-week GSP is US $30,000/per student, inclusive of all housing, food and tuition, but does not cover travel to/from SU. We encourage and assist our participants to use their contacts and ingenuity to raise funds from donors, corporate sponsors, and other organizations to cover a portion of their tuition.

The cost for the 7-day Executive Programs is $12,000 per participant. This fee is inclusive of all housing, food and tuition, but does not cover travel to and from SU. For information regarding costs of specialized Executive Programs, contact SU at [email protected]

For in-depth information about all Singularity University Programs and Initiatives, see the specific pages for these programs on our web site: singularityu.org

CONTACTS:
Applicants & General Questions: [email protected]
Media Contact: [email protected]
Careers: [email protected]

MAILING ADDRESS
Singularity University
NASA Research Park
Building 20, So. Akron Road
MS 20-1
Moffett Field, California 94035-0001

TELEPHONE: +1.650.200.3434