101 – McMaster University

Last updated: October 20, 2020

University program information changes regularly. View the application for the most up-to-date details.

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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.

The Campus

  • Located in Hamilton, Ontario, about a 45-minute drive from Toronto, Niagara Falls and the United States border. The fourth largest city in Ontario and ninth largest city in Canada, Hamilton is a vast multicultural city that is an urban and industrial centre.
  • Our campus is over 300 acres of mostly green space, bordered by the Royal Botanical Gardens and Cootes Paradise, a wild bird sanctuary. We keep all our buildings within a 30-acre pedestrian-friendly centre core.
  • We are now one of the only entirely smoke-free universities in the country.
  • The McMaster Forest: 115 acres of natural lands in the Dundas Valley. Explore the natural beauty in McMaster’s own backyard at Nature@McMaster.

Special Characteristics

  • A research-intensive, student-centred university dedicated to advancing human and societal health and well-being.
  • Ranked in the world’s Top 75 by the Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings.
  • Second in the world in THE’s University Impact Rankings 2019 based on the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations.
  • Winner of the 2018 Global Teaching Excellence Award from the Higher Education Academy for our strengths in experiential learning and our commitment to global engagement.
  • Named Canada’s most research-intensive university by Research Infosource in 2017, 2018 and 2019.
  • The McMaster Model, a problem-based, student-centred approach to learning, has been adopted worldwide.
  • Home to more than 70 research centres and institutes.
  • More than 70 international exchange agreements.
  • The only university in Canada to serve as host to the United Nations University through the Institute for Water, Environment and Health.
  • World-class athletic facilities; National women’s basketball champions (2019); national football champions (2011) and finalists (2012/2014).

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Offers of Admission

All programs at McMaster University have enrollment limits, and admission is at our discretion. Meeting minimum stated requirements for any program does not guarantee admission. We will process offers of admission as follows:

  • January 2021: We may make a limited number of select offers of admission to highly qualified applicants to non-by-selection programs.
  • Early March 2021: We will consider applicants presenting a minimum of 3 final or 6 midterm 4U/M courses for admission on a rolling basis, upon receipt of grades from their schools via the OUAC. We will make approximately 70% of offers of admission at this time.
  • Early May 2021:
    • Applicants to all our by-selection programs requiring a mandatory supplementary application will normally receive an admission decision in early May. This includes:
      • Arts & Science (Honours) I
      • Integrated Business & Humanities I (IBH)
      • Bachelor of Health Sciences (Honours) I
      • Engineering I
      • Integrated Biomedical Engineering & Health Sciences I (iBioMed)
      • Nursing I
      • Honours Integrated Sciences I (iSci)
    • The Midwifery program reviews final academic course results posted to the OUAC as of February 1, 2021, only and all prerequisite subjects must be completed or in progress by that date. We make admission decisions in early May.
    • We will re-review applicants who were not eligible for an offer of admission in March and consider them for admission upon receipt of second semester midterm grades from their schools via the OUAC. Offers of admission will be based on official grade data reported through the OUAC and received by McMaster University no later than May 15, 2021.
All applicants will receive a decision from McMaster no later than May 27, 2021.

Read more about offers of admission.

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Application Deadlines

All programs have enrollment limits and may become full prior to published deadlines. We reserve the right, at our sole discretion, not to accept, process or adjudicate applications or amendments to applications to any program at any time. We advise you 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. We must receive all required supporting documentation, such as official English-language testing reports, by April 1, 2021.

Program Application Deadline Mandatory Supplementary Application Deadline
Arts & Science (Honours) February 1, 2021 February 1, 2021

Find the Arts & Science (Honours) supplementary application.

B.Com. Integrated Business & Humanities I (IBH) January 15, 2021 February 1, 2021
Bachelor of Engineering I and Bachelor of Engineering I (Co-op) January 15, 2021 January 29, 2021, noon (ET)
Integrated Biomedical Engineering & Health Sciences (iBioMed) I and Integrated Biomedical Engineering & Health Sciences (iBioMed) (Co-op) I January 15, 2021 January 29, 2021, noon (ET)
Health Sciences I (Honours) January 15, 2021 Early February 2021

You will receive an email from the Bachelor of Health Sciences program office with details and a password to access the mandatory supplementary application. The supplementary application questions will be available for review in September prior to submission via the Bachelor of Health Sciences (Honours) website. Refer to the website for any updates to the supplementary application process.

Honours Integrated Science February 1, 2021 February 1, 2021
Midwifery (including submission of all official transcripts and other required documentation) February 1, 2021 N/A

Note: You must complete all prerequisite subjects by the application deadline date. High school applicants: The corresponding Grade 11 subjects for prerequisite subjects must be included in the Grade 12 transcript to be submitted to the University no later than February 1 if you are completing the corresponding Grade 12 subject in the second semester.

Nursing I January 15, 2021 You must complete the CASPer® test on 1 of the dates listed on the CASPer website.

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Scholarships and Financial Aid

Entrance awards are available if you:

  • are entering Level I of a first baccalaureate degree program,
  • have graduated from high school and
  • have not attended a postsecondary institution.

We offer many in-course scholarships for students enrolled in programs above Level I.

Read more about scholarships and financial aid.

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Residence Accommodations

There are approximately 3,950 spaces available for Level I students.

In previous years, a minimum average in the low to mid-80s (or equivalent) was required for guaranteed residence. This average is subject to change for 2021 admission.

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

If you do not receive a residence guarantee, you may apply to a waiting list.

Residence facilities offer shared rooms and apartments/suites, and mandatory meal plans.

Read more about residence.

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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.

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Semester Entry Points

All our first-year programs are available for fall admission only.

Note: If you are completing your Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) in June, you are not eligible for spring or summer admission.

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

  • Use the 101 application 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.

    Note: Not all programs are available to be completed on a part-time basis.

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

During the application process, we 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. We 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 you submit your application, add the “mcmaster.ca” domain to your email “safe senders” list and check your junk mail/spam folder regularly.

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Submitting Documents

After you apply, we will send you an email acknowledgement, which will provide you with instructions on how to access your McMaster University Mosaic Student Centre and how to submit any additional documentation required for admission consideration. You will be able to view 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 you have not received our email acknowledgement 2 weeks after you submitted your application and paid your application fees, you may contact us via live chat on our Future Students website.

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English-language Proficiency

Each student that we grant admission to must be proficient in the use of the English language. You must present an acceptable score on 1 of the English-language proficiency tests that we recognize. See our English-language requirements website for acceptable score requirements.

If you have completed a minimum of 4 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 we may require a test of proficiency from any applicant at any time.

We may, at our sole discretion, challenge any test score we deem as either suspicious or inaccurate and may require you to take another test of our choosing for English-language proficiency.

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Mandatory Supplementary Applications

The following limited enrollment, by-selection programs have mandatory supplementary applications, which are a critical component of the selection process. Although the deadline dates listed in this application guide were correct at the time of publishing, you should confirm specific deadlines for supplementary applications.

We normally make offers of admission for all by-selection programs in early May.

Arts & Science (Honours)

This is a special interdisciplinary program with a limited enrollment of 70 students in Level I. We normally require a minimum average of 88% for consideration for this program. You must submit the Arts & Science (Honours) mandatory supplementary application by the specified deadline.

B.Com. Integrated Business & Humanities (IBH)

This exciting program augments the business education offered by the DeGroote School of Business with robust educational pedagogy in the Faculty of Humanities to create a unique undergraduate program that focuses on training responsible leaders. 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 60 students. We require a minimum average of 88% for consideration for this program. You must submit a mandatory supplementary application prior to the specified deadline.

Read more about the B.Com. Integrated Business & Humanities.

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

Enrollment in Level I Engineering is limited and by selection. We require a minimum average in the high 80s for consideration for this program. You must submit a mandatory supplementary application prior to the specified deadline and time (ET).

Read more about the Bachelor of Engineering.

Integrated Biomedical Engineering & Health Sciences (iBioMed) and Integrated Biomedical Engineering & Health Sciences (iBioMed 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 is 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. We require a minimum average in the low 90s for consideration for this program. You must submit a mandatory supplementary application prior to the specified deadline and time (ET).

Read more about Integrated Biomedical Engineering & Health Sciences.

Bachelor of Health Sciences (Honours)

Enrollment in Level I is limited to 240 students and admission is by selection. We require a minimum average of 90% for consideration for this program. You must submit the Bachelor of Health Sciences (Honours) mandatory supplementary application by the specified deadline.

Honours Integrated Science (iSci)

Enrollment in Level I is limited to 60 students and admission is by selection. Successful candidates will present a minimum average in the high 80s.

In first year, you will engage in research and obtain an integrated background in science subjects. The program is designed to produce students who understand how scientific thought is created and communicated.

Interdisciplinary teams of instructors will teach you in laboratory and field settings as well as in lectures, workshops and tutorials.

You will use thematic modules to understand the connections between various scientific disciplines and the relevance of science to modern society.

You must submit the iSci mandatory supplementary application.


Enrollment in Level l is limited to 120 students and admission is by selection. Successful candidates must present a minimum average of 85% for consideration for this program. The deadline for application to this program is February 1. Find the test dates for the required CASPer supplementary assessment/application on the CASPer website.

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Deferral of Admission

We will review written requests to defer enrollment for a maximum of 1 year. You must accept our offer of admission through the OUAC prior to the required response deadline and must also satisfy all conditions of your admission by the specified deadline before you submit your written request to defer your enrollment to fall 2022. Our deferral application process normally opens in July each year. Check our Future Students website for more information.

All requests for deferral of admission should be based on extraordinary circumstances, and you must forward requests via the online process no later than September 1, 2021.

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

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Co-operative Education/Internships

The Faculty of Science offers co-op programs in the following areas:

  • Honours Actuarial and Financial Mathematics
  • Honours Biochemistry
  • Honours Chemical Biology – Biomedical Research Specialization
  • Honours Chemistry
  • Honours Earth and Environmental Sciences
  • Honours Environmental Sciences
  • Honours Geography and Environmental Sciences
  • Honours Life Sciences
  • Honours Mathematics and Statistics
  • Honours Molecular Biology and Genetics
  • Honours Physics

These are 5-year programs that commence in year 3.

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 for us to consider you for the co-op version of the programs. Co-op placements are a mandatory component of all Bachelor of Technology 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 5-year Engineering programs).

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

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

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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

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

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Collaborative Programs

Bachelor of Technology (Honours)

The Faculty of Engineering at McMaster and Mohawk College’s School of Engineering Technology have partnered to create 4-year Bachelor of Technology Co-op (Honours) programs that provide accelerated paths to both a Bachelor of Technology degree (B.Tech) from McMaster and a Diploma in Technology from Mohawk College.

Read more about the B.Tech program.

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.

Read more about Medical Radiation Sciences.


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 3 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.

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Additional Program Options Beyond First Year

Medicine at McMaster

McMaster offers an undergraduate program in Medicine. You must complete a minimum of 3 years of undergraduate university study prior to application/admission.

Read more about Medicine at McMaster or call 905-525-9140, ext. 22235.

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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
Live chat available

Visit the following websites for specific information about each program:

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