New Students Website

September 2015 Quick Start Details To Be Posted in April 2015

Welcome to McMaster University’s ‘Quick Start’ website. By following these steps, you will be better prepared for your September arrival.


Prior to your arrival, you are required to complete several action-items in June and beyond. Please watch the video and browse the links/icons above for an overview of your pre-arrival steps. Precise registration instructions are sent in late June.

In the mean time, click the link below to join the official Class of 2018 Facebook group. We will be posting important reminders/updates on that page.

Class of 2018 on Facebook OFFICIAL #McMaster2018


Your official offer letter 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. Remember that you will receive your final grades well before we will, so if you think you have failed to meet a condition, we suggest you contact us as soon as possible to discuss your situation.

Usually, failure to meet a condition by the stated deadline, will mean that we will 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, 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 Enrolment Services (Admissions Office), Gilmour Hall 109 at McMaster by the relevant deadline, 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. Students will be required to re-apply through the Ontario Universities Application Centre on the 105D application form to reactivate their application by no later than March 1st or the specific deadline date for the program, whichever is earlier.

  • 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 complete the IB certificate are eligible for admission but not advanced credit.

    Applicants who have completed A.P. exams though 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 2.4 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.

‘Pop The Bubble’ – check out this student run blog which highlights all the interesting things to see and do in Hamilton.

STEP 3: Plan your courses for the upcoming year and submit the appropriate registration forms.

  • STEP 3.4
    Registration/Enrolment Planning & Advising

    Once you are familiar with the courses required for your program (and your preferred electives), you should familiarize yourself with McMaster’s registration process and create your preferred timetable.

    You may wish to:

    1. Review the Registrar’s Office Next Steps to Registration Information
    2. Print Timetable Worksheet
    3. Create a preferred timetable using the Master Timetable Search Tool
    4. Attend a Help/Planning Session (if needed, follow links below for the appropriate dates).

    Your Faculty/program will likely offer virtual training/in-person sessions to help you make the proper course selections. Help sessions typically commence in late June.

    Click on your Faculty/program for more information on help sessions:

    Arts & Science Life Sciences
    BTech (Bachelor of Technology) Mathematics & Statistics
    Business Medical Radiation Sciences
    Computer Science Midwifery
    Engineering Music
    Environmental & Earth Nursing
    Health Sciences (BHSc) Physical Science
    Humanities Studio Art
    Integrated Science Social Sciences

    Aside from academic planning, we also recommend coordinating your funding sources (see STEP 4.1 – Financial Matters for more information) as part of this pre-planning process. Exploring your funding sources now will help you complete the online enrolment (STEP 3.6) in a more efficient manner.

  • STEP 3.5
    Register / Enrol Online

    Once you have your courses picked out, it is time to go online (starting in late June) and actually register using SOLAR (Student Online Academic Registration) housed under our MUGSI system (McMaster University Gateway to Student Information). The schedule of dates listed when online registration opens for your program. Level I registration dates are outlined below:

    Start Date
    June 24
    Arts & Science, Science
    June 25
    Engineering, Health Sciences, Nursing
    June 26
    Business, Humanities
    June 27
    Social Sciences

    To complete the enrolment process / access the registration system:

    1. Log on to SOLAR via MUGSI (The link for SOLAR is located on the top navigation menu )
    2. Select ‘Undergrad Registration / Course Selection for the September 2014 Session’ and review the Personal Restrictions and Conditions.
    3. Add courses based on the sample timetable you created in STEP 3.4
    4. Be sure to Verify and Apply all changes or they will not be implemented.

    The instructions highlighted above are also listed (in greater detail) on the Office of the Registrar website, including specific log-on session time limits and deadlines for completing your online registration.

  • STEP 3.6
    Arrange Payment of Your Fees

    At the end of your enrolment session, you must also submit the ‘Payment Agreement Form‘ on SOLAR to complete the registration/enrolment process.

    The Student Accounts and Cashier website contains detailed information about tuition fees and the payment process, including:
    1. Instruction for the Payment Agreement Form
    2. Payment plans/options
    3. Payment deadlines (nothing before September 1 by the way)

    4. Payment methods (e.g. credit card, online banking, INTERAC, etc.)

    STEP 3.7
    After Registering

    Once you have successfully completed all of the required registration steps (in the appropriate time frame), the registration system will close for timetable processing.

    The Registrar’s Office will generate a personal timetable with all of your classes. Your personal timetable will be released on August 6, 2014 on the SOLAR system.

    If you would like to add/change your course selections, the SOLAR system will re-open later in the summer (see the Registrar’s Office deadlines page) to allow you to make the necessary changes.

    After completing all of the appropriate registration steps required by the Registrar’s Office by the deadlines, you will receive your new McMaster photo identification and confirmation package in the mail (typically August for Level I students).

    It is your responsibility to complete all of the required steps noted by the Registrar’s Office. Be sure to keep your mailing address, telephone number and e-mail address up-to-date on MUGSI; 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

    Registering for courses is only the start of the process. You must arrange to pay your fees to be considered completely registered. As noted in STEP 3.6, the Student Accounts and Cashiers website has detailed information on:

    1. McMaster’s Payment Agreement Form
    2. Payment plans/options
    3. Payment deadlines (nothing before September 1 by the way)

    4. Payment methods (e.g. credit card, online banking, INTERAC, etc.)

    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 access. 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 July 15th. The online application can be found at More information regarding OSAP is available on the SFAS website.

  • STEP 4.5
    Ontario Tuition Grant (OTG)

    You may be eligible for the OTG; it provides qualifying students with 30% off of their tuition. Visit the government website for all the details.

  • 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.

STEP 5: Attend/Participate in Orientation Activities

    Summer Orientation for Academic Readiness (SOAR)

    This online Orientation program will be a mix of webinars, chats, videos and blogs- all targeted at entering students like yourself. Check the Student Success Centre website in May for full schedule of online events.

    JULY 25
    Welcome Day

    Plan to attend this one day event with your family. This orientation program focuses on Student Life . Welcome Day is all about getting to know the campus and surrounding community, learning about the support services and resources available.

    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.


    Connect on FacebookLike McMaster’s Welcome Week Facebook Page for the latest updates

    Shifting Gears Program

    This transition program for students entering McMaster University with a disability, offers a series of summer workshops preparing 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 in on-line discussions about the book and its emerging themes related to university life.

  • AUGUST 27 – AUGUST 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, leadershipskills, mentorship and team development. This five-day trip will be a great warm-up for your transition to university life in September.

    #Mission2Mac – @McMasterAlumni

    Mission2Mac is a program hosted by the McMaster Alumni Association and provides incoming students and their families with the opportunity to have their questions answered before arriving on campus in the fall.

    Mission2Mac will come to you! In the summer of 2014, in addition to our online program, we will be holding social events in cities near you. These events will allow you to not only meet and interact with classmates but also with upper years who have been in your shoes.

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, or just want to have fun playing intramurals and working out at the Pulse (our fitness centre), the Athletics & Recreation department 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 time student, 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 at McMaster University. Our long-standing commitment will support you from the summer prior to your first year to 5 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-the art facilities and friendly staff will make researching that 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 Titles is your one stop shop for Mac wear and gift items as well as general stationary and supplies.

  • Technology Support

    From setting up your MacID to your McMaster email address, to using the 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 personal counseling and wellness education programs and workshops.

  • Parking

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

    Working On Campus

    Various student employment opportunities are posted on OSCARplus. The OSCARplus system is managed collaboratively across all five career centres on-campus to provide support for career development, recruitment and experiential education needs.