Most frequently asked questions at Singularity University. If you have any media or PR inquiries, please contact PR@singularityu.org.
Singularity University is a unique interdisciplinary, international and intercultural experience which challenges students to use transformative, exponential technologies to address grand challenges. SU educates and inspires students 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, Singularity University offers a 10-week graduate studies programs and shorter executive programs. SU also offers specialized programs designed to bring the unique and stimulating environment of SU to organizations outside of Silicon Valley.
The goal of Singularity University is to positively impact humanity by assembling, supporting, educating and inspiring future leaders across the globe who can harness the power of exponential technologies to improve the lives of a billion people within a decade.
In 2007 Dr. Peter Diamandis, founder and chairman of both the X PRIZE Foundation and International Space University (ISU), proposed the concept of Singularity University to three key individuals who helped make this a reality: Dr. Ray Kurzweil, author of The Singularity is Near; Dr. Robert D. Richards, Diamandis’ co-founder of ISU, and Michael Simpson, then president of ISU. Diamandis was inspired to combine the need for a place to learn about accelerating technologies in a comprehensive way with the interdisciplinary, international and intercultural experience of learning seen and proven at ISU. The urgency in the mission of Singularity University comes from the potential of the accelerating changes in fields such as biotechnology and nanotechnology to fundamentally disrupt humanity if left unguided as well as their potential to solve our biggest problems.
Singularity University’s name was inspired by Ray Kurzweil’s book “The Singularity is Near.” The book 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, and ask what will teams be able to work on in five or ten year. For Singularity University, the concept of singularity relates to the unexpected moments of dramatic technological change and the need to foresee their implications and opportunities.
Singularity University’s programs have a deep focus on accelerating technologies, their intersections, and grand challenges in a largely collaborative, international, and interdisciplinary forum. This combination creates an intense educational experience, which complements the existing graduate and post-graduate programs from which we choose many of our participants.
The core of SU is our people– from faculty working at the newest edges of science and technology to the students chosen from around the world, dedicated to challenging problems in research, industries, non-profits, and more. Through our faculty, staff, and students Singularity University is able to revisit our curriculum each year, continuously discussing and building on past breakthroughs and applications of the fastest moving technologies.
SU has attracted a world-class, core faculty which is complemented by cutting-edge practitioners and thinkers — experts in their field — who serve as guest lecturers, mentors and advisors. The faculty includes professors and researchers from Stanford, MIT, Carnegie Mellon, Harvard and other major educational institutions, and experts and executives from business, including Google, Cisco, Nokia, and Auto Desk, the Kauffman Foundation, ePlanet Ventures and others.
Singularity University has a lease agreement with NASA Research Park, Moffett Field, Calif., to house its facilities in the NASA Research Park. S. Pete Worden, NASA Ames Center Director, hosted SU’s Founders Conference on Sept. 20, 2008 and continues to participate as a guest lecturer.
On NASA’s behalf, he and other Ames personnel have provided input to SU’s founders and faculty that encourages scientific and technical discussions. “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, however, 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 which directly collaborates with academia, private industry and non-profits is home to Singularity University.
Singularity University has a Space Act and Lease agreement with NASA Research Center. This allows 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.
S. Pete Worden, NASA Ames Center Director, hosted SU’s Founders Conference on Sept. 20, 2008 and continues to participate as a guest lecturer.
On NASA’s behalf, he and other Ames personnel have provided input to SU’s founders, faculty and students that encourages scientific and technical discussions. “The NASA 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 Center Director Worden nor any other NASA employee is engaged in the University’s operation, however, nor do any NASA Ames employees have personal or financial interests in Singularity University.
SU is a California Benefit Corporation which is supported by generous contributions from individuals and organizations (Corporate, Platinum, and Founding Partners).
Students in the Graduate Studies Program are funded through donations, scholarships, and tuition. Up to a third of our students receive full scholarships, and many receive partial scholarships.
SU’s scholarship competitions are funded by the partnering organization and individuals. The following organizations are key partners for SU Internationally and are helping to sponsor students and leverage SU’s Content worldwide.
SU also runs a series of Global Impact Competitions where the winners of the competitions receive scholarships to attend the Graduate Studies Program. These scholarship competitions are sponsored largely by local business and government institutions in the areas they are run.
Singularity University welcomes partnerships and collaboration with companies, individuals, educational institutes and other innovation organizations, including media, technology and science museums and business organizations worldwide.
Singularity University offers many opportunities for sponsorships, including:
- GSP student scholarships
- GSP program activities
- GSP team projects
- Components of the overall GSP experience (health, wellness, education)
Singularity University offers an annual ten-week summer course, the Graduate Studies Program. SU also offers multiple 7-day executive programs for entrepreneurs, senior corporate executives, leaders in finance, government, inventors and innovators.
The inaugural Graduate Studies Program began in June of 2009 with a class of 40 selected from a pool of 1,200 applicants. In 2011, 80 students were accepted out of 2,200 applicants.
Both the Executive Program and Graduate Studies Program SU’s programs attract individuals from around the world, creating a multi-cultural, international environment which is both intellectually and socially stimulating.
Singularity University also offers specialized courses which provide a more comprehensive look at technologies relating to a specific discipline. One example is FUTURE MED.
Singularity University GSP Team Projects:
During GSP, SU challenges students 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.
The SU program complements formal, for-credit curriculum but is not a degree-granting institution.
Potential or incoming students 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 students in providing the necessary requirements for obtaining credits when applicable. Upon successful completion of the Graduate Summer Program, students receive a transcript of their results and a Certificate of Completion.
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.
Yes, this can be done at the Executive Program level. Singularity University has built specialized programs for corporations, global investment groups and international entrepreneurs.
The program concentrates on six exponential growing technologies areas:
- Artificial Intelligence & Robotics
- Biotechnology & Bioinformatics
- Medicine & Neuroscience
- Networks & Computing Systems
- Energy & Environmental Systems
Attending the 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.
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, we do not require students to currently be in a graduate school program.
Graduate Studies Program: In 2011, we accepted 80 students from 35 nations: Africa – 6; Asia Pacific – 8; Europe 24; Middle East 11; North America 22; Central & South America 16.
Level of education of SU GSP Students: In 2011, 92% of students had earned a Bachelor’ degree or higher.
Gender: 35% females; 65% males in 2011
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.
Languages spoken by various faculty and staff include but are not limited to include Spanish, French, Greek, Vietnamese, Tagalog, and conversational Russian.
Singularity University offers an intense 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 but is not limited to 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 see a typical day at SU, view our youtube channel
SU’s biggest asset is the 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 students and executives connected and engaged. Additionally, many SU students 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 advise and help to move the Team Projects forward.
Singularity University is not an academic exercise. We provide tools and inspiration for innovation through the Team Projects. A selection of Team Projects from GSP09 and GSP 10 are under the Impact Section on the website.
The launch and continuing success of Singularity University has been covered 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.
Over 90% of our Executive participants said “highly recommend,” with many saying it has been their “best program ever.”
Potential students should fill out the GSP12 application, link on our homepage
The cost for the 10-week GSP is US $25,000/per student, inclusive of all housing, food and tuition, but does not cover travel to/from SU. A number of partial and full scholarships are available: over half ot the GSP2011 class received full or partial scholarships. We encourage and assist our students 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@example.com