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Graduate Studies

How to Apply

IMPORTANT: As a graduate student at McMaster University, you must be available to attend campus. McMaster University has paused its vaccine mandate for Spring/Summer term. For more information, please review McMaster to pause vaccine and mask requirements from May 1: A letter from the President and Provost.

Important information about the application process

  • If you require technical support with the Grad application, email technical support.
  • The application system will allow you to partially complete the process (if necessary) and return to it later.
  • Have a valid credit card or debit card ready for the application fee ($110 CAD/ $150 CAD for MBA and Master of Finance programs).
  • It takes approximately 30-45 minutes to complete an application. For security reasons, you will be logged out of the online application if you take more than 45 minutes on any one page.

This guide will lead you through the online application process:

Expandable List

Review all admission requirements for your programs of interest

If you’re ready to apply, visit the application page.

Provide your name, date of birth, citizenship, and other identification details. Please ensure that all information is accurate and matches your official supporting documents.

Personal Background must be completed before applicants are able to select a program in an application.

Review the available programs, and their open and close dates. Please note: Close dates correspond with applicants’ citizenship status in Canada.

Select the Apply Now button for the program for which you would like to apply. If the button is not active, please note the open/close dates for that program.

When you click the Apply Now button, your Personal Background information will open first. You will not be able to select a program in your application until you have completed Personal Background.

Please note: You need to complete Personal Background only once; this information will apply to all future applications through this portal .

You may specify a mailing address different from your permanent address.

The email address you provide will be the one we use to communicate with you throughout the admissions process.

Create a list of all post-secondary academic institutions you have attended, including college, and/or university.

Provide details of all post-secondary study you have undertaken, including current studies, even if a degree has not been awarded. Begin with the most recent (or current) institution attended and continue in reverse chronological order.  You will be required to provide a copy of the transcript for each institution for your application to be assessed.

Please do not include your high school (secondary school) academic history.

Begin by clicking on Add Institution and enter your school name. If your school does not auto-populate, you may manually type the institution name.

Please include the time period when you studied there (approximate dates are acceptable), and the level of study that you have completed. Failure to disclose all previous post-secondary education may affect your application, evaluation, acceptance or registration.You will be required to upload transcripts for each post-secondary attended. In addition, where official transcripts are not in English, official translations are required.

Please review program websites as some programs may have additional ELP Admissions requirements and applicants may be required to complete an English Language Proficiency Test.

Please review program specific requirements.

In the application, indicate whether you have completed a degree where the official language of instruction and evaluation is in English by choosing Yes or No. 

To evaluate applications, some programs require applicants to respond to program-specific questions.

An application will be considered incomplete if responses to questions are not included.

You may be requested to indicate your area of research interest by identifying a proposed topic.

Also, you may be requested to identify potential supervisor(s).

Include the name and contact information for at least two references from instructors most familiar with your academic work. It is important to note that some programs have different referee requirements. Some programs may require three (3) references, some may require professional or clinical references.

Reference Options in the application:

  • Academic Reference – required by most programs
  • Clinical Reference – as identified by the program as a requirements
  • Professional Reference – as identified by the program as a requirements
  • Professional in lieu of Academic Reference – if a program allows a professional reference in lieu of an academic reference

Please be sure to review program requirements prior to completing this section of the application.

You are required to include an email address for each referee. Applicants’ referees will receive an email message asking them to complete an eReference.

If you need to change a reference or referee email address after submitting your application, you may do so by navigating back to your application or through the Application Status Portal.

Please review the program website for more information related to any additional materials required for your application.

Note: These materials/documents are in addition to the most recent transcripts you are required to upload with your education information.

Please ensure that you have read and accepted the Collection of Personal Information notice and Application Declaration terms.

Applicants will be required to type in their name in place of their signature.

Only complete applications can be submitted.

If any areas of the application are incomplete, when you click on Finalize and Pay, a list will appear indicating what areas of the application must be completed before your application can be submitted.

Click Finalize and pay. Applicants will be directed to pay a non-refundable application fee.

Application Fee (non-refundable)

  • $110 CAD
  • $150 CAD for MBA and Master of Finance programs

If there is an issue with payment, the application will not submit.

When the payment is approved, you will receive an application acknowledgement email confirming that your application has been successfully submitted.

Applications will not be considered for admission until an application fee has been paid.