101 – McMaster University

University program information changes regularly. For the most up-to-date details, view the online application.

Last updated: October 3, 2017

Quick Links

About McMaster University


  • Founded in 1887 in Toronto through a bequest from the estate of Senator William McMaster, a member of the first Senate after Confederation and founding president of the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce.
  • Relocated from Toronto to Hamilton in 1930.
  • Celebrated our 125th anniversary in 2012.

The Campus

  • McMaster is located in Hamilton, Ontario: the fourth largest city in Ontario, the ninth largest city in Canada and about a 45‑minute drive from Toronto and Niagara Falls.
  • Hamilton is a vast multicultural city that is an urban and industrial centre that offers a variety of educational, cultural and recreational opportunities.
  • McMaster’s 12‑hectare main campus, bordered by the Royal Botanical Gardens, is considered to be one of the most attractive in Canada.
  • The architecture offers a harmonious blend of the traditional with the ultra‑modern.

Special Characteristics

  • McMaster University is ranked 66th in the world and third in Canada in the 2017 Shanghai Jiao Tong Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU).
  • The “McMaster Model” – a student‑centered, problem‑based, interdisciplinary approach to learning – has been adopted by universities around the world.
  • Eighth in Canada’s Top 50 Research Universities 2015, bringing in $310.6 million in sponsored research income in 2014.
  • First in the country for total corporate research income ($588.7 million) and total corporate research income as a percentage of total university income (35.1%).
  • Home to more than 62 research centres and institutes.
  • The only university in Canada to serve as host to the United Nations University through the Institute for Water, Environment and Health (UNU-INWEH).
  • More than 70 international exchange agreements.
  • World-class athletic facilities; 2011 Vanier Cup national football champions and 2012/2014 Vanier Cup finalists.

Top of Page

Offers of Admission

All programs at McMaster University have enrollment limits and admission is at the discretion of the University. Meeting minimum stated requirements for any program does not guarantee admission. Offers of admission will be processed as follows:

  • January: McMaster may make a limited number of select offers of admission to highly qualified applicants based on Grade 11 grades.
  • Early March: Applicants presenting a minimum of 3 final or 6 midterm 4U/M courses will be considered for admission on a rolling basis, upon receipt of grades from their schools via the OUAC. Approximately 70% of offers of admission will be made at this time.
  • Early May:
    • Applicants to all of McMaster University’s by‑selection programs requiring a mandatory supplementary application, including Arts & Science (Honours) 1, B. Com Integrated Business & Humanities 1 (IBH), Bachelor of Health Sciences (Honours) 1, Engineering 1, Integrated Biomedical Engineering & Health Sciences 1 (iBioMed), Nursing 1 and Honours Integrated Sciences 1 (iSci), will receive an admission decision.
    • The Midwifery program does not make offers until early May.
    • Applicants who were not eligible for an offer of admission in March will be reviewed again and will be considered for admission upon receipt of second semester midterm grades from their schools via the OUAC. Offers of admission and guaranteed residence (when applicable) will be based on official grade data reported through the OUAC and received by McMaster University no later than May 15.

All applicants will receive a decision from McMaster no later than May 28. Find more information about offers of admission.

Top of Page

Application Deadlines

All programs have enrollment limits and may become full prior to published deadlines. McMaster University reserves the right, at its sole discretion, not to accept, process or adjudicate applications or amendments to applications to any program at any time. You are advised to submit your application and/or amendments well in advance of the deadlines.

For undergraduate programs not listed, the deadline for applications is normally May 1. All required supporting documentation, such as official English‑language testing reports, must be received by April 1.

Program Application Deadline Supplementary Application Deadline
Arts & Science (Honours) February 1 February 1
B.Com. Integrated Business & Humanities (IBH) February 1 February 1
Bachelor of Engineering 1 and Bachelor of Engineering 1 (Co-op) January 17 February 1
Integrated Biomedical Engineering & Health Sciences (iBioMed) 1 and Integrated Biomedical Engineering & Health Sciences (iBioMed) (Co-op) 1 January 17 February 1
Health Science 1 (Honours) January 17 Early February
Applicants will receive an email in late January/early February from the BHSc program office with details and a password to access the mandatory supplementary application. The supplementary application questions are available for review prior to submission, via the program website: Bachelor of Health Sciences (Honours). Please refer to the website for any updates to the supplementary process.
Honours Integrated Science February 1 February 1
Midwifery February 1 N/A
Nursing 1 February 1 February
Test dates can be found at: takecasper.com.

Top of Page

Scholarships and Financial Aid

Entrance awards are available in the following circumstances:

  • if you are entering Level I of a first baccalaureate degree program,
  • have graduated from high school within the last 2 years and
  • have not attended another postsecondary institution.

We offer many in‑course scholarships for students enrolled in programs above Level I. View further information about scholarships and financial aid.

Top of Page

Residence Accommodations

There are approximately 3,000 spaces available for Level I students.

In previous years, a minimum average in the mid-80s (or equivalent standing) was required for guaranteed residence. This average is subject to change for 2018 admission.

The guaranteed residence space must be secured by completing an online residence application, including deposit, by the deadline date specified in your offer of admission letter.

Those who do not receive a residence guarantee may apply to a waiting list.

Residence facilities offer shared rooms and apartments/suites, and mandatory meal plans. Find more information about residence.

Top of Page

Support Services

The Student Success Centre provides you with academic and development support, including understanding academic expectations, developing academic skills, and job search and interview skills workshops.

Student Accessibility Services offers various supports for students with disabilities, including learning strategies, assistive technologies and classroom accommodations.

The Student Wellness Centre is available for all McMaster students and includes medical and health services and personal/psychological/academic counselling.

Top of Page

Semester Entry Points

The majority of McMaster’s first‑year programs are available for September entry only. Note: If you are completing your Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) in June, you are not eligible for May or June entry.

Full‑time: September only (fall/winter session)

  • The 101 application is used for the full‑time fall/winter term.

Part‑time: September

  • If you wish to study at McMaster on a part‑time basis only, apply using the 101 application and then simply register for a reduced number of courses after admission.

Top of Page


If you are applying to McMaster, you must provide and maintain an active personal and unique email address that is not shared with any other current or previous applicants to McMaster University or shared with any current student or employee at the university.

During the application process, McMaster will communicate important information including application decisions via email. If you do not provide a personal and unique email address, we cannot guarantee that you will receive critical and timely communication from us, and your application may be jeopardized.

We highly recommend that you do not use school or employer-issued email addresses as these are normally deactivated upon departure from the school/employer.

Make McMaster a Safe Sender

Email is the primary communication tool for Admissions at McMaster University. McMaster will send important messages outlining the required next steps to complete your application and other important information to the email address associated with your application. After submitting an online application, add the mcmaster.ca domain to your email “safe senders” list and check your junk mail/spam folder regularly.

Top of Page

Submitting Documents

After you apply, we will send you an email acknowledgement that we received your application and will provide you with instructions on how to access your McMaster University online Mosaic account where you can see all requirements for your application and track your status. If you apply to McMaster University and do not receive an email acknowledgement from McMaster within 2 weeks of your application submission, check your junk mail/spam folder and ensure that you list McMaster as a “safe sender”.

If our email acknowledgement is not in your spam folder, contact us via our “Ask McMaster” link.

Top of Page

English-Language Proficiency

Each student granted admission to McMaster must be proficient in the use of the English language. You are required to present an acceptable score on 1 of the English‑language proficiency tests recognized by McMaster University. See our English-language requirements website for acceptable score requirements.

If you have completed a minimum of 3 years of full‑time academic studies (non‑ESL) in an accredited educational institution in Canada (or other English‑speaking country) immediately prior to application or have resided in an English‑speaking country for 4 years immediately prior to application, you may be exempt from this requirement. However, exemption is not automatic and McMaster may require a test of proficiency from any applicant at any time.

McMaster University may, at its sole discretion, challenge any test score it deems as either suspicious or inaccurate and may require you to take another test of the university’s choosing for English‑language proficiency.

Top of Page

Mandatory Supplementary Applications

The following limited enrollment programs have mandatory supplementary applications, which are a critical component of the selection process. You will not be considered for admission unless both the OUAC application (including application fees) and the supplementary application are submitted by the specified deadline date. Although the deadline dates listed in this Application Guide were correct at the time of publishing, you should confirm specific deadlines for supplementary applications.

Arts & Science (Honours)

The Arts & Science program at McMaster is a special interdisciplinary program with a limited enrollment of 60 students in Level I. A minimum average of 88% is normally required to be considered for this program. The mandatory supplementary application must be submitted online.

Supplementary application for Arts & Science.

B.Com. Integrated Business & Humanities (IBH)

This exciting new program augments the business education offered by the DeGroote School of Business with robust educational opportunities in the Faculty of Humanities, to create a unique undergraduate program that is focused on training responsible leaders and citizens of the future. IBH contains strong experiential learning components, takes a global approach to leadership and management and places a high priority on community engagement and sustainable business practices. Admission is by selection and enrollment is limited to 80 students. A minimum average of 88% is required for admission consideration. A mandatory supplementary application must be submitted prior to the specified deadline. Find further information about B.Com. Integrated Business & Humanities.

Bachelor of Engineering and Bachelor of Engineering (Co-op)

Enrollment in Level I Engineering is limited to 760 students. A minimum average in the high 80’s is required to be considered for this program. A mandatory supplemental assessment must be submitted online prior to the specified deadline. Find further information about Bachelor of Engineering.

Integrated Biomedical Engineering & Health Sciences (iBioMed) and Integrated Biomedical Engineering & Health Sciences (co-op)

Biomedical engineering is an emerging discipline requiring graduates with both specialized training and an interdisciplinary breadth of learning across many fields of study. This innovative program aims to produce such graduates, as it will be the first of its kind in Canada to offer a 5-year Biomedical Engineering + specialization program that integrates Engineering with Health Sciences. Admission is by selection and enrollment is limited to 140 students. A minimum average in the low 90s is required for consideration to this program. A mandatory supplementary application must be submitted online prior to the specified deadline. Find further information about integrated Biomedical Engineering & Health Sciences.

Bachelor of Health Sciences (Honours)

Enrollment in Level I is limited to 240 students. A minimum average of 90% is required to be considered for this program. The mandatory supplementary application must be submitted online.

Supplemental application for Bachelor of Health Sciences.

Honours Integrated Science (iSci)

The enrollment in Level I is limited to 60 students. Successful candidates will present a minimum average in the high 80s. In first year, you will be engaged in research and obtain an integrated background in science subjects. The program is designed to produce students who will understand how scientific thought is created and communicated. You will be taught by interdisciplinary teams of instructors in laboratory and field settings as well as in lectures, workshops, and tutorials. Thematic modules will be used to allow you to understand the connections between various scientific disciplines and the relevance of science to modern society. The mandatory supplementary application must be submitted online.

Supplemental application for Honours Integrated Science.


Enrollment in Level l is limited to 110 students. Successful candidates are required to present a minimum average of 85% to be considered for this program. The deadline for application to this program is February 1 and the test dates can be found at takecasper.com to complete the mandatory CASPer supplementary assessment/application for Nursing.

Top of Page

Deferral of Admission

McMaster will accept written requests to defer enrollment for a maximum of 1 year from students who officially accept McMaster’s offer of admission via the OUAC prior to the required response deadline, and who have satisfied all conditions of their admission by the specified deadline.

All requests for deferral of admission should be based on extraordinary circumstances and written requests must be forwarded to the Admissions Office no later than August 31.

Deferrals of enrollment are not automatic and each case will be judged on its own merit. If a deferral is granted, admission will be guaranteed for the following fall/winter session provided that you do not attend a secondary or postsecondary institution in the interim.

Top of Page

Co‑operative Education/Internships

The Faculty of Science offers Honours Co‑op programs in Biochemistry, Biology & Pharmacology, Chemical Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics & Statistics, Medical & Health Physics, Molecular Biology & Genetics and Physics. These programs commence in year three of a five‑year program.

The Faculty of Engineering permits you to enroll in a co‑op or a non‑co‑op version of each program in any level. Simply choose the appropriate Engineering or Computer Science co‑op courses at the time of registration to be considered as registered in the co‑op version of the programs. Co‑op placements are a mandatory component of all B.Tech. Honours Degree programs.

The Faculty of Engineering and the Faculty of Science offer industrial internships in your second or third year (or fourth year for some Engineering 5‑year programs).

The School of Business offers an optional internship program after successful completion of Level 3.

The Faculty of Social Sciences offers an internship option to those registered in most Honours programs if you have successfully completed your second year.

Top of Page

Interdisciplinary Studies

Many opportunities exist for interdisciplinary studies in the following areas:

  • Business
  • Engineering
  • Health Sciences
  • Humanities
  • Social Sciences
  • Science faculties, through combined Honours programs

In addition, interdisciplinary minors and thematic areas of study are available in the following areas:

  • Archaeology
  • Globalization Studies
  • Jewish Studies

A concurrent diploma from McMaster is available in Music Performance if you are enrolled in degree programs at McMaster.

Top of Page

Collaborative Programs

Medical Radiation Sciences

The Faculty of Science offers a fully integrated, collaborative, 4‑year program between McMaster University and Mohawk College. You pursue 2 qualifications simultaneously, and receive a Bachelor’s degree from McMaster and an Advanced Diploma in Medical Radiation Sciences from Mohawk. View more information Medical Radiation Sciences.

B.Tech. (Honours)

The Faculty of Engineering at McMaster and Mohawk College’s School of Engineering Technology have partnered to create 4‑year Bachelor of Technology (Honours) programs that provide an accelerated path to both a Bachelor of Technology degree (B.Tech.) from McMaster and a Diploma in Technology from Mohawk College. View more information about B.Tech.


If you are interested in a McMaster Nursing degree (BScN), you have 3 location options: McMaster University, Mohawk College or Conestoga College. Each of the three education sites will offer the 4‑year program that uses a problem‑based learning and small group tutorial educational model. Apply to Nursing at the 2 college sites via OCAS.

Top of Page

Additional Program Options Beyond First Year

Physician Assistant

The Physician Assistant Supplementary Application and all official transcripts are due February 1. To be eligible for admission to this program, you must first complete at least 2 full academic years of undergraduate course work by June 2018 and have achieved the required minimum grades/GPA for admission consideration. Download the Physician Assistant supplementary application.

Medicine at McMaster

McMaster also offers an undergraduate program in Medicine. You must complete a minimum of 3 years of undergraduate university study prior to application/admission. Find information about Medicine at McMaster or call 905‑525‑9140, extension 22235.

Top of Page

Contact Information

McMaster University
Office of the Registrar, Admissions Office
Gilmour Hall, Room 108
1280 Main Street West
Hamilton ON  L8S 4L8

Telephone: 905‑525‑4600 or 905‑525‑9140, ext. 24796
Ask McMaster

Visit the following websites for specific information about each program:

Top of Page