Welcome to McMaster University

Instructions for September 2018 will be posted in late March.

Welcome to McMaster University’s ‘Quick Start’ website. Select the steps above to begin.


After accepting your offer of admission (and prior to your arrival), you are required to complete several actions in June (e.g. setup your McMaster e-mail, enrol in the appropriate courses, upload your photo, etc.). Please browse the links/icons above to get started. Precise enrolment instructions will be sent to you in late June.

If you have any questions, please use our ‘Ask McMaster’ question box (above).


Your official offer letter (posted on McMaster’s Applicant Portal) will have all of the conditions clearly stated. You must meet these conditions by the date specified in your Offer of Admission letter in order for your offer to become final.

We will notify you when you have cleared all your conditions, typically starting in late July and continuing through August. Since you will receive your final grades well before they are available to McMaster, we suggest you contact us as soon as possible to discuss your situation if you fail to meet a condition.

Usually, failure to meet a condition by the stated deadline will mean that we, unfortunately, have to rescind your offer and you will be unable to attend in September.

If your offer of admission does not include any conditions, it is likely that you have received an unconditional/final offer of admission.


  • Can I defer my offer of admission?

    Applicants who receive both an offer of scholarship and an offer of admission–and who have accepted the offer of admission through the Ontario Universities Application Centre and have satisfied all conditions of their offer of admission may apply to defer their entry for one year. McMaster does not normally grant a deferral of an offer of admission unless special circumstances exist. Each case is evaluated on its own merits.

    All requests for deferral of both admission and scholarship should be made in writing to the Admissions Office, Gilmour Hall 109 at McMaster by no later than September 1, outlining the reasons for the request. Normally, decisions regarding deferral requests are not made until early August, after the receipt of all final grades and required documentation.

    If a deferral is granted, it is conditional upon the student not attending a secondary or post-secondary institution during the deferral period. 

  • I am completing the IB diploma or AP courses. Can I receive advanced credit towards my degree at McMaster?

    At the discretion of the Faculty, advanced credit of up to 18 units may be granted for completed Higher Level courses with a minimum final score of 5. Applicants must complete the IB Diploma to be eligible for advanced credit.

    Applicants who have completed A.P. exams through the College Board in acceptable courses and achieve a minimum grade of 4 will be considered for up to 18 units of advanced credit.

    PLEASE NOTE: A.P. results from students who have completed the examinations as a challenge and have not taken the course at high school will not be considered as having completed the required prerequisite courses for advanced credit consideration. An official copy of the final Advanced Placement Examination Results Report from ETS the College Board is required as part of the advanced credit evaluation process.

STEP 2: Arrange your housing accommodations in Hamilton.

  • STEP 2.1
    Submit On-Campus Residence Application

    Your online residence application and $600 deposit are due by 4:00 p.m. EDT June 1, 2018 – don’t miss it if you haven’t completed it already!

    Not guaranteed residence? Apply to the wait list online. No deposit is required.

    Building/Room assignments are done by lottery. Room assignment notifications are emailed to students beginning in early July.

    +Start 2018-2019 Application

    After completing your residence application, proceed to STEP 2.3.


  • STEP 2.2
    Off-Campus Housing

    If you have not been guaranteed a spot in residence or if you are looking for a place to live near campus, our Off-Campus Resource Centre (OCRC) website is full of information and searchable listings to get you started.

    The OCRC has developed a Housemate Connector website for McMaster University students who will be living off-campus in the upcoming academic year. You may use this site to contact potential housemates in order to discuss the possibility of renting an accommodation together.

    Note: Our Society of Off-Campus Students (SOCS) assists with the orientation of new off-campus students during our Welcome Week in September (and beyond).

  • STEP 2.3
    Explore Meal Plans

    Regardless of where you live, you are going to be hungry after a long day of studying. Our Hospitality Services offers various meal plans to suit any student’s needs.

    If you are living in Residence a meal plan is mandatory.

    Off-Campus students have the option with lots of different plans to suit your needs.

    + Explore Our 20+ Dining Facilities
    + Review Our Meal Plans

STEP 2.4 Start Exploring Hamilton (#HamONT)

Coming to McMaster means you are part of the Hamilton community as well. Check out all there is to see and do in Hamilton – right outside the campus grounds.

STEP 3: Plan your courses for the upcoming year and enrol in your required classes.

  • STEP 3.1
    Familiarize Yourself with our Enrolment Portal & Program Requirements

    We recommend familiarizing yourself with McMaster’s Mosaic portal for current students by reviewing the video above.

    In early June, your Mosaic account type will be converted from applicant to matriculated (meaning you are now a McMaster student), if you have successfully accepted your offer.

    Once the conversion occurs, you will be able to access all of the portal’s functionality outlined in the video above. Note: The abovementioned functionality is NOT available until your account type has been set to matriculated.

    Prior to matriculation, be sure to familiarize yourself with your program requirements (required courses, electives, majors, minors, etc.) for your first year and beyond. Please refer to your Faculty/Program (below) for more information on the courses and total units you are required to take during your first year (Level I).

    The unit value of a particular course is indicated by the last digit of the course code (e.g. 1A03 = 3 units). The first digit (1) in the previous example denotes the study year/level of the course.

    McMaster’s Undergraduate Calendar also offers full course descriptions, a glossary and important policies related to studying at McMaster.

    Arts & Science Integrated Science
    Bachelor of Technology (All Streams) Kinesiology
    Business Life Sciences
    Chemical & Physical Sciences Mathematics & Statistics
    Computer Science Medical Radiation Sciences
    Environmental & Earth Sciences
    Health Sciences Nursing
    Humanities Studio Art (BFA)
    Integrated Biomedical Engineering & Health Sciences Social Sciences
    Integrated Business & Humanities  


  • STEP 3.2
    Upload A Student Card Photo

    In order to receive a new McMaster student identification card, you will need to upload a photo of yourself within your Mosaic Student Centre (under the Personal Information subsection).

    Once your account has been converted from applicant to matriculated, your Mosaic Student Centre will be available via mosaic.mcmaster.ca; this is where you will be able to upload your photo.

    If you have access to recent secondary school / graduation/ passportportraits(see example below), you are welcome to upload a digital version to Mosaic.
    Student Card Photo ExampleAs noted on the Registrar’s Student Identification guidelines page, your photo cannot contain hats, sunglasses, other people or pets; however, you are allowed to smile.

    Once you upload a photo, you cannot make additional changes unless you contact the Registrar’s Office.

    You will be using your student card for the next four to five years, so choose a nice photo.

    After you have completed all of the appropriate enrolment steps, your identification will be mailed to you or held for pick-up at McMaster, as noted in STEP 3.6.

  • STEP 3.3
    Plan Your Desired Timetable / Courses & Attend Help Sessions
    (if needed)

    The video above outlines how enrolment planning occurs at McMaster. Pay extra attention to the “Plan by My Program Requirements” section—which outlines the courses you will need from your first year and beyond.

    Once your user account has been matriculated/transferred from McMaster’s applicant portal to our current student portal, you will be able to access your Plan by My Requirements section by navigating the following path in Mosaic:
    Home > Student Center > Academics > Plan > Plan by My Requirements

    Beyond Mosaic’s Plan by My Requirements function outlined above, you may also develop your preferred timetable by manually searching course offerings/times via Home > Student CenterAcademics > Search or this website. Using a hard copy weekly calendar or your e-mail provider’s calendar function (e.g. Google Calendar / Outlook Calendar) is an easy way to plot possible timetable options.

    If you are unsure about your program/course selections for the upcoming year, your Faculty/program will offer virtual training or in-person sessions/appointments to help you make the proper course selections.

    Help sessions typically commence in late June.

    Click on your Faculty/Program for more information on availableresources / helpsessions:

    Arts & Science Integrated Science
    BTech (Bachelor of Technology) Kinesiology
    Business Life Sciences
    Chemical & Physical Sciences Mathematics & Statistics
    Computer Science Medical Radiation Sciences
    Engineering Midwifery
    Environmental & Earth Sciences Music
    Health Sciences (BHSc) Nursing
    Humanities Studio Art
    Integrated Biomedical Engineering & Health Sciences Social Sciences
    Integrated Business & Humanities  
  • STEP 3.4
    Enrol During Your Online Enrolment Appointment

    Your enrolment appointment will be listed withinthe Enrolment Dates panel on Mosaic Student Center. Appointments are individually assigned.

    The earliest appointments for new Level I students begin on June 26, 2017 and will be allocated/scheduledinto early July.

    As soon as your enrolment appointment opens, you will be able to actively enrol intothe necessary courses noted in Step 3.1 above. 

  • STEP 3.5
    Setup @McMaster.ca E-mail

    After you have successfully enrolled (STEP 3.4), you will be able to activate your new @mcmaster.ca e-mail address. Your account cannot be activated any earlier.

    Log in to Mosaic and navigate to Enable or Manage Your Email Service under the Home tab to activate your e-mail account. After your enable your e-mail account, it may take several hours for the service to become active/usable.

    The University will use this e-mail account to send important information during your time as a McMaster student.

    Your account is powered by Google’s G-mail service and includes 25GB of space.

    Your e-mail address will be in the following format MacID@ studentmail.mcmaster.ca and can be accessed via studentmail.mcmaster.ca.

  • STEP 3.6
    Post Enrolment Confirmation & Beyond

    Once you have successfully completed all of the required enrolment steps(in the appropriate time frame), the Registrar’s Office will forward a confirmation package to you in late August. The package will include your new McMaster Student Photo Identification.

    Note: Students residing outside of Ontario are required to pick-up their identification in-person upon arrival at McMaster. ID cards will not be mailed.

    At this stage, be sure to note the financial implications and responsibilities listed under Step 4.

    If you would like to add/change your course selections, use the Swap Function outlined (in the video) under STEP 3.3 to make the necessary changes.

    It is important that you complete all of the required steps in a timely manner as they are part of your responsibilities as a McMaster student (as outlined by the Registrar’s Office).

    Be sure to keep your mailing address, telephone number and e-mail address up-to-date in Mosaic; this will ensure you receive important notifications from McMaster.

STEP 4: Submit your payment & explore funding sources for your education

  • STEP 4.1 Pay Your Fees

    After enrollingintothe appropriate courses for the upcoming academic year, you must pay your fees by the appropriate deadline(s).

    The Student Accounts and Cashiers website has detailed information:

    1. Accessing Your Account Statement (i.e. your McMaster fees)
    2. Payment deadlines
    3. Payment methods (e.g. credit card, online banking, INTERAC, etc.)
    4. Interest (how it works at McMaster)

    Be sure to dedicate some time to reviewing the information on the Student Accounts & Cashier’s website as it is a comprehensive resource on everything related to the payment/fees at McMaster.

  • STEP 4.2 Entrance Awards

    Did you qualify for an entrance scholarship? If your final admission average to your program is 80% or greater and you are a Canadian citizen, you likely did (you can find all the detailed requirements on the entrance award website). If you need to know the value of the award and how and when you will access the funds, be sure to visit the Student Financial Aid & Scholarships (SFAS) website.

  • STEP 4.3 Bursaries

    We are committed to helping students with need. Bursaries are one way of providing this help. Based on a financial need assessment, bursaries do not need to be repaid,and can be applied for each year you are a student at McMaster. Applications open in September of your first year and all the details on eligibility and the application process can be found on the SFAS website.

  • STEP 4.4
    OSAP (Ontario Student Assistance Program)

    You have likely heard the term OSAP but have no idea how to apply for it, whether or not you might qualify or what the deadlines are for applying. We have all the information laid out for you on our website. Short version – apply as soon as you know you have decided to accept McMaster’s offer of admission – the McMaster recommended deadline is June 30, 2017. The online application can be found at ontario.ca/osap.

  • INFO
    RESP Proof of Enrolment
    If you are a participating in a Registered Education Saving Plan (RESP) and require documentation demonstrating proof of enrolment at McMaster to release your funding, you may download a PDF letter from the Mosaic. The letter is available by navigating to Mosaic’s Student Center -> Finances -> Enrollment / Financial Letters section.

  • INFO
    Out-of-Province Students

    Students who do not reside in Ontario should refer to the CanLearn website for further instructions on applying for financial aid within your home province.

    McMaster Money Centre
    Mac’s Money Centre is a fantastic resource for students to learn how to make informed financial decisions by being educated, confident, and responsible.

STEP 5: Attend/Participate in Orientation Activities

  •   JULY 17  – AUGUST 11  
    Summer Orientation for Academic Readiness (SOAR)

    Do you have questions about starting university? Summer Orientation for Academic Readiness (SOAR) will help prepare you for school by answering these questions and introducing you to the skills you will need to be successful.

    Join us online as we discuss university academics through videos, short articles, and personal reflections. SOAR runs for four weeks in the summer and will start Monday, July 17. No registration is required!

    July 17-21 – Welcome to University

    July 24-27 – Managing Your Time

    July 31 – August 4 – Learning in Lectures

    August 8-11 – Being A University Learner

    Welcome Week

    Welcome Week involves events, activities, concerts, tours and welcome ceremonies. Unlike any experience you have had before, Welcome Week will provide you with educational seminars and social events that will connect you to the Hamilton community, McMaster University, your Faculty, your residence or off-campus society and, most importantly, to other students.

    Shifting Gears Program

    This transition program is for students entering McMaster University with a disability. It offers a series of summer workshops to prepare you for ‘the shift’ to university expectations.

    Common Reading Program

    The McMaster Common Reading Program is a great opportunity to share a common reading experience with your future classmates and friends. Students registered in this orientation program will participate inon-linediscussions about the book and its emerging themes related to university life.

  •  AUGUST 28 – 31 
    MOOSE – the McMaster Outdoor Orientation Student Experience

    Mac MOOSE (McMaster Outdoor Orientation Student Experience) is a five-day canoe trip experience at the end of August to Algonquin Park, consisting of outdoor education, leadership skills, mentorship, and team development. This five-day trip will be a great warm-up for your transition to university life in September.

  •   JULY 28 – 30 
    MSU Horizons Leadership Conference

    The Horizons Leadership Conference is a 3-day, 2-night on-campus experience is a leadership-oriented introduction to campus and university life. Your leadership skills will be enhanced through sessions, events and speakers with a focus on goal-setting,team workand communication. You will have the opportunity to engage with the Hamilton community, be introduced to involvement prospects in McMaster and begin expanding your network in the McMaster and Hamilton communities.

STEP 6: Learn about ways to obtain support and get involved in campus life while attending McMaster.

  • Athletics & Recreation

    Whether you are looking to compete at an elite level on one of our varsity teams,orjustwanttohavefunplaying intramurals and working out at the Pulse (ourfitnesscentre), the Athletics & Recreationdepartment has something for everyone. Find out how to purchase your Pulse membership before starting classes in September.

  • Student Clubs & Government

    Similar to a high school student council, the MSU (or McMaster Students Union Inc.) is the representative/governing body for all full-time undergraduate students at McMaster. It supports and administers more than 250+ cultural, academic and social issues clubs on campus. It also operates one of our campus pubs 1280, the Union Market convenience store, and a number of other services. As a full timestudent, you automatically become a member of the MSU. For a complete listing of student clubs, please visit the MSU’s recognized club listing.

  • Student Success Centre

    Your success is at the core of the services and programs offered by the Student Success Centre. The Centre will support you from the summer prior to your first year to five years after graduation in the areas of student orientation, academic skills, leadership, service-learning, volunteerism, educational planning, employment and career transition.

  • Libraries

    With five libraries across campus, there is sure to be one that fits you the best.State-of-theartfacilitiesandfriendlystaffwillmakeresearchingthat first university paper just a little less stressful. Check out their website for great information on how to take advantage of all of their resources and services.

  • Campus Store

    Wondering how to buy your textbooks? You can do it online using the searchable textbook function. You can buy more than books however as Campus Store is yourone stopshop for Mac wear and gift items as well as generalstationaryand supplies.

  • Technology Support

    From setting up your MacID to your McMaster email address, using student computer labs, UTS provides all the support services to keep you up and running online.

  • Student Accessibility Services

    If you require special accommodations, our dedicated team is here to provide you with all the support you need to be successful at university. Be sure to connect with us early to discuss the options available to you.

  • Student Wellness Centre

    Our fully staffed Student Wellness Centre offers a wide range of medical services, as well as personalcounselingand wellness education programs and workshops.

  • Nature @ McMaster

    McMaster is very lucky to be situated within an area rich with biological, ecological, and geological diversity. Hamilton’s spaces alone range from wetlands, marsh, and hardwood forests to prairie or escarpment habitats. McMaster is full of opportunities to explore the outdoors and experience the natural beauty that engulfs the campus.

Parking & Transportation

  • Parking
    Planning on driving to McMaster campus. Visit our Security & Parkingservices website to learn more about parking permits, fees, and space availability.

  • McMaster GO Station
    McMaster University is part of the GO Transit / Metrolinx regional transportation network. Whether you are commuting to McMaster on a daily basis or searching for transportation options to explore Southern Ontario, the University’s GO Transit stop offers several connection options.

  • Social Bicycles Hamilton

    SoBi Hamilton is the non-profit local operator that keeps the Hamilton Bike Share system rolling smoothly. SoBi maintains a fleet of bicycles that may be rented to help students explore the City of Hamilton or facilitate daily commute to/from campus. Members of the McMaster community are eligible for a reduced annual membership fee.