How to Enroll

Enrollment Overview

Graduate students are required to enrol in all available terms within an academic year. Returning students must enrol in all three terms, regardless of when they intend to complete their degree. Students on a Leave of Absence for an entire term, not part of the term, are the only exception and should not enrol in any courses in the term that they are on Leave.

Academically accredited courses can either be part term 1.5 unit, full term 3 unit or multiple term 6 unit courses. Please refer to the Sessional Dates in the Graduate Calendar to familiarise yourself with the date limits for adding courses to your Academic Record.

Students must enrol in a placeholder course in any term in which no academically accredited courses are being taken. Students in programs charged per term should add SGS 700. Students in programs charged per course should add SGS 711. Visiting (Research Only) students should enrol in SGS 302.

Every graduate student should have one course in each term, if you want to change the last remaining course in a term you should first add the new course and then drop the course no longer required. For example if you had added a placeholder SGS 700 whilst considering which academic course to take, once you have made your selection of the academic course you should add this course first before dropping the placeholder. This is an important process as dropping courses can impact Financial Aid, fee assessment and payment of scholarships.

It should be noted that once you have enrolled for an academic course, placeholders are no longer required.

Mosaic provides two methods for enrolling in classes: Plan and Enroll. 

  • Plan allows you to create and save a personalised wishlist of courses. Your planner can include such things as: required courses, potential electives and other related courses of interest. You can use your planner to help you select the classes to enrol into. 
  • Enroll allows you to enrol in specific classes one by one.

This guide will give you step-by-step instructions for each of these methods.



New Students


After logging into Mosaic, the main page displays news and information for graduate students. A student can access the student centre to enrol in courses and access other services such as transcripts, student accounts and financial aid.

Mosaic Student Centre Screenshot

You will be asked a two voluntary questions, before proceeding to the student centre for the first time.

First Nations, Metis and Inuit Self Identification

Mosaic Screenshot - Voluntary Question 1

First Generation Declaration

Mosaic Screenshot - Voluntary Question 2

Once you have hit submit for both of these questions you will then be able to proceed to the student centre and confirm your citizenship and program of study.

All new students (who will be receiving a credential from McMaster) are required to take two courses in their first month of study:

 • SGS 101-- Academic Research Integrity and Ethics

• SGS 201—Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA)  

Visit Office of the Registrar for information about international fee exemptions.

Graduate Student Responsibilities

In its commitment to helping students achieve their academic goals, McMaster University makes available numerous tools and resources, including the Graduate Calendar. However, students must assume certain responsibilities. 

Enrolment Confirmation

At the start of each academic year, a student must confirm enrolment details, before accessing the student centre. This confirmation will include both the citizenship and program of study. Any errors should be reported to your program office. After confirming these details, the student can proceed to the student centre and select courses and access other services. International students must provide a valid study permit to the School of Graduate Studies in Gilmour Hall 212 on arrival and maintaining a valid permit until the program is completed. 

Step 1 Citizenship Confirmation

 Step 2 Program Confirmation




Other responsibilities include:

  • Meeting admission requirements for a program and applying by the stated deadline.
  • Selecting courses that meet the program requirements. A graduate student must enrol in at least one course in all three terms in order to be fully enrolled. If a student is not taking an academic course in any term, they must still add a placeholder course.
    • SGS 700 --For students who pay fees on a term by term basis
    • SGS 711-- For students who pay fees on course costed basis
  • Failure to enrol by the start of term may jeopardise the on-time payment of scholarships, pay and other bursaries.
  • Completing courses in an order that meets prerequisite requirements.
  • Becoming familiar with and respecting Sessional Dates, the general academic regulations (see General Academic Regulations section of the Calendar) and the program/plan specific regulations as found in the appropriate section of the Calendar.
  • Maintaining continuous registration until the student graduates or withdraws from the program. Failure to register will result in the student being withdrawn from the program.
  •  Experience has shown that students who do not follow these guidelines may experience academic consequences such as cancellation of registration in courses, completion of courses that are not counted towards their degree, or delayed graduation.
  • Become familiar with and respect the Senate Policies.
  • Pay fees within the prescribed deadline.
  • Be aware that changes to academic load and program/plan may affect eligibility for government financial aid (e.g. OSAP and out-of-province loan programs), University financial aid (e.g. bursaries and work programs) and scholarships.
  • Consult with the Student Accessibility Services (SAS) in a timely manner to make the necessary accommodations for special needs