Courses and Academics
Key information on courses and the academic experience for the fall, including in person and virtual learning.
Fall 2021 will provide as many safe and meaningful in-person experiences for students as possible. This includes expanded opportunities for small-group learning across all faculties, but also in-person student life activities.
The fall class schedule is available in Mosaic and indicates a teaching mode for every course (i.e. in-person component, online, virtual, or some may be a combination of these). If you are enrolling in a course or course component designated as in-person, there will be varying levels of in-person engagement throughout the term.
If you are not able to attend any in-person components, it is recommended that you register in another course that is offered virtually or online. If the in-person course is a degree requirement where you have no other course options, please contact your associate dean’s / program office where you may request consideration based upon extenuating circumstances.
Libraries are opening, and almost all spaces will be open for use. Masks will be required inside.
Mills and Thode libraries will reopen Sept. 7. The Health Sciences Library will reopen Sept. 13. Operating hours will be posted on the libraries’ websites once finalized.
Individual study space at all libraries will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. Initially, the group study rooms at Mills, Thode and Health Sciences libraries will remain closed, but when they reopen, the booking process will be posted on library websites.
Final examinations will continue in the remote environment for fall 2021. In-person courses may use their scheduled classroom for testing purposes (i.e. midterms). There may be some exceptions for clinical programs. For questions about modes of learning in individual courses and programs, please reach out to your faculty, department or instructor.
Labs and other specialized facilities will only be available in very limited cases. Faculty and staff are encouraged to continue to find alternate means to deliver these types of programs or to redistribute courses so that work requiring access to labs or other types of facilities can be completed at a future time.
Student Accessibility Services (SAS) will continue to offer support to those who require accommodations. Students with accessibility needs will be encouraged to contact their professors and supervisors to communicate their academic accommodation needs, which will be supported by SAS as needed.
Student services and supports for navigating undergraduate learning and extracurricular experiences — whether on campus or online. For resources for grad students, visit the dedicated graduate student tab.
Archway, McMaster’s program for all first-year students, makes sure you feel supported by a community, no matter where you are. Archway connects you with one-on-one coaches, mentors and a community of friends based on your interests.
All the tips, recommendations and resources you need to set up your device for learning remotely or on campus, courtesy of University Technology Services (UTS).
At the same link, you’ll find a live chat that connects you with IT support to ask questions about your MACID and other logins you might need to get ready for the fall term.
Click here for the Discover and Learn MS 365 and Zoom website. Please note you must be logged in with your McMaster email and password.
Is this your first year at university? McMaster’s Student Success Centre (SSC) has you covered with a series especially for new students called Mac101. You can also access past event recordings recordings and FAQs on the same website. For more information on orientation, visit SSC’s dedicated page where you can find details on starting your first year at Mac!
Mental health supports will be available virtually with limited in person sessions for students. Resources such as WellTrack and an upcoming online program called TAO will be available for clients to work interactively with therapists in a virtual setting.
For more information on wellness resources for students, please visit the Student Wellness Centre website.
Students who may be experiencing financial emergencies as a result of the pandemic can seek financial support for food, rent, or other expenses. Incoming and current students can find the latest information on financial assistance, awards and enrollment for fall 2021 on the Registrar Office’s website.
If you require individual support, there is a live chat feature on the RO website available Monday to Thursday, 10 a.m. -12:30 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Academic skills programs are here to support your development in key areas, such as reading, writing and studying. Whether you seek support for in-person or online course components, the Student Success Centre offers services for anyone who wants to become more efficient and effective in their studies.
Information on residence for the 2021-22 year and advice for those seeking housing in Hamilton
Residences will be open for the 2021-2022 academic year. Planning is underway for fall, with a robust residence safety plan that allows us to operate safely at 93 per cent capacity with rooms set aside for self-isolation if needed.
The residence application is now closed, however incoming first-year students are invited to apply and will be added to the residence waitlist. Information on joining the waitlist and eligibility criteria is available here.
Students approved for residence will be required to follow these safety measures:
- A strict no guest policy.
- Masks and/or facial coverings in all public residence spaces, including common rooms, elevators, hallways, lobbies, etc.
- Use of large common areas, including game rooms, lounges and other gathering spaces will be capacity limited.
- Vaccinations are required for those living in residence.
As government and public health guidelines change, we will make updates and adjustments to the above requirements. Please refer to the Housing website for more information.
Students with questions about residence 2021-22 are encouraged to use the live chat on the Housing website, available Monday – Friday from 10 a.m. – 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. – 3 p.m. ET. Click on the “Live Chat is Online” button in the bottom right of the screen during those times to speak with a Residence Admissions team representative.
Over the past year and a half, we have spoken to many students who have been impacted by COVID-19 while living in student housing. We hope the guidelines available here are helpful for students preparing for communal living.
McMatch, McMaster’s Student Housemate Connector, is a new online platform from Housing & Conference Services where students can connect with each other to find housemates for their off-campus homes.
Students create a McMatch profiles in the Residence Portal, answering a series of questions to help determine their living preferences and compatibility. The McMatch platform is now live and accessible via the McMaster Residence Portal. A valid MacID is required to access the application.
To view available properties for the McMaster community, visit the Mac Off-Campus Housing website.
Extracurriculars, clubs and community-building opportunities. Learn more about campus life and how to get involved!
Mandatory vaccine requirement announced August 16
All university community members or visitors who wish to access a McMaster campus or facility, including faculty, staff and students, are required to provide proof of vaccination.
Welcome Week will be a mix of online and in-person activities from September 1st to the 8th. Further details regarding program offerings will be shared with student registrants once finalized.
We’ve planned an exciting week that includes academic and social programming, interactive games and activities, Faculty-based events and opportunities to connect with other incoming and upper-year students along with staff and faculty. There will also be September programming for our second-year students to give them an in-person welcome.
Clubs or other approved student-run events can and will operate, and must follow both university guidelines and Public Health measures. We are finalizing event guidelines that will be shared soon with the community. These guidelines will outline what’s considered a high-risk activity and should be avoided.
We anticipate that masking, screening, and attendance tracking will all be required, though some measures may change in accordance with Public Health guidelines.
A reminder that clubs are run through the MSU and event specifics beyond the guidelines from the University will be determined by the MSU and the clubs’ executive teams.
Student Success posts new jobs and experience-building volunteer opportunities on OSCARplus > Student Success Centre > Volunteering > Volunteer Postings. A valid MACID is required to access the OSCARplus portal.
OpenCircle McMaster is another network of weekly volunteering groups, where you serve with other McMaster students at placements across Hamilton and learn about and help address inner-city issues.
Whether you’re studying remotely in your home country or travelling to Canada to study, we’re here to help make your transition as smooth as possible.
International students can travel to Canada to resume / start their studies. We ask that all international undergraduate and graduate students visit the International Student Services office website to access current information and to receive the supports to be successful.
All new and returning international undergraduate students are required to sign up for the new iCent app. This app ensures we have the proper information to support you and help you make the most of your time at McMaster.
The Student Success Centre has developed a series of webinars about adjusting to life in Canada: finding housing, applying for and extending your study permit, and other topics that will help you get settled into the McMaster community. Each webinar is offered multiple times to accommodate different schedules and time zones.
International students who will be living in residence this fall can find updated information here.
Whether you want to pair up with an upper-year buddy or connect with friends from your home region, there are lots of ways to meet friends at Mac — even if you’re studying online. Check out the peer support page at the Student Success Centre.
The latest information from the Government of Canada about how COVID-19 might affect you, including travel and quarantine requirements, what to do if your study permit is expiring and applying for post-graduation work permits.
Your first stop for support and advice, McMaster’s International Student Services has dedicated staff who can answer your questions and help you with any challenges.
- Undergraduate International Students should contact International Student Services, Student Success Centre
- Graduate International Students should contact School of Graduate Studies
Grad students have unique challenges in the hybrid learning environment, from completing a thesis to navigating campus research guidelines.
There will be a mix of online and in-person learning for graduate students, and it varies from program to program across the university. Graduate students will be advised by their program of study if their work is online or in-person.
As public health guidelines change and the university has more opportunities for in-person events, we hope that PhD defences may return to a hybrid model, where some people are in a campus space and others are attending virtually. On-campus safety measures, such as physical distancing and masks would apply. Individual programs and your supervisor will provide more information.
The graduate student hub is the place where you will find information specific to beginning your life as a grad student at McMaster – links to resources and services, as well as a calendar of orientation sessions open to all grad students.