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Graduate Studies

Notes for successful applicants

Understanding your offer status

Final Offer: “Good Academic Standing” as it appears in the offer letter, refers to maintaining the required minimum grade in all  in-progress courses required by your program, and free of academic misconduct/dishonesty. Failure to maintain good academic standing could result in your offer of admission being rescinded.

Conditional Offer: Your condition(s) of admission are listed in your offer of admission. Please be aware of due dates as most conditions need to be satisfied well before the start of term. You are responsible for ensuring that all documentation is submitted to your program office prior to the deadline. Late submissions will jeopardize your admission status. For more information, visit Conditions of admission.

Your offer status will not change on the Applicant Portal when your condition has been met.

Vaccine Policy:

The vaccine policy at McMaster continues to be paused from May 1, 2022. However, students are encouraged to ensure they are fully vaccinated, including booster shots, and to keep their MacCheck vaccination status up to date. Keeping your vaccinations updated and having proof of vaccination makes our campus and community safer and will help to ease any disruption that any future changes in the pandemic may cause.

Policies may change. If public health advice shifts and government requirements change because of the pandemic, we may need to quickly re-instate a mask requirement and a vaccine policy. Resumption of a vaccine mandate would mean that access to campus is limited to those who are vaccinated.

Please note: By accepting an offer of admission you are agreeing to comply with any vaccine policies related to the start of the Fall term, and any modifications to those policies during your course of study.

Deposit fee payment

If your program requires you to pay a deposit fee, the Applicant Portal (Account Summary) will display the amount due.

Responding to your offer

You may accept or decline your offer of admission by completing the on-line response form on the Applicant Portal. Your response deadline is indicated in your offer letter, which is also available on the Applicant Portal.

Please note, applicants who received an offer to Occupational Therapy, Physiotherapy, or Speech- Language Pathology are required to respond to the offer of admission by logging on to Ontario Rehabilitation Sciences Programs Application Service (ORPAS).

  1. Log on to your completed ORPAS application, using your ORPAS username and password.
  2. Click on the appropriate link and follow the online instructions. Make sure you follow through with the submit process after you save your response.
  3. You will receive a confirmation number from ORPAS once you have submitted the response to your offer of admission.

Please ensure you respond to any subsequent revised offer letters issued to you by following the same steps as above. Revised offers replace any and all previous offers issued.

As a graduate student at McMaster University, you are required to be on campus and accessible to campus during your period of enrolment. McMaster University requires all students, staff, and faculty to supply proof of being fully vaccinated for COVID-19 or obtain an exemption from the university on the basis of substantiated human rights or medical grounds. You will not be permitted to enrol in courses, conduct research or TA if proof is not supplied prior to the start of the term. By accepting this offer, you understand and agree to the requirements as stated above.


Approximately two weeks before enrolment opens (mid-July, mid-November, mid-March), you will receive an email notifying you about the opening of enrolment. If you have any questions in the interim:

  • contact your program or supervisor directly;
  • check our website for updates about how to enrol;
  • check our website for information regarding scholarship deadlines and other important information.

Your McMaster email

You will receive an email to your personal email account, to advise you when your McMaster email address has been activated.

Graduate payments

All scholarship payments are paid in a lump sum per term by mid-September, mid-January and mid-May.

If you withdraw, take a leave of absence, or graduate (or become approved to graduate) part way through the academic year, you are not entitled to any further portion of the scholarship award and you may have to repay a portion of the award you received for the term. A Teaching Assistantship (TA) is paid as earned over the period in which you hold a TA. Note: Taxes, CPP, EI, union dues, dental (if eligible), etc., will be deducted from your teaching assistantship income.

Fast facts about scholarships and awards

OSAP: Students are encouraged to apply for OSAP. Your OSAP application could automatically consider you for bursaries available through McMaster.

Federal and Provincial awards: Students are encouraged to apply for CIHR, NSERC and SSHRC Master’s or Doctoral scholarships through McMaster’s competition. If you apply for the Federal Master’s scholarship, you will automatically be considered for an Ontario Graduate Scholarship at McMaster. Applications for Federal awards are due in the fall for the next academic year (i.e. Fall 2020 competition for the 2021-22 academic year).

Internal McMaster scholarships and awards: Students can apply for available internal McMaster scholarships and awards for which students this fall. You can apply through AwardSpring, which can be found as a tile on your Mosaic home page. A student must complete one application to be matched with all eligible awards. AwardSpring tracks completion of any additional application requirements and progress on a user-friendly dashboard.

For information about available awards, visit our Scholarships page or visit the program to which you applied, and review the Related Scholarships tab. Please note that eligibility criteria varies and some awards may not be available every academic year.

Tuition and fees

For more information on tuition, fees, and other related financial matters, visit Fees and Payment.

Some international students may be exempt from paying international fees. You can find more details on our website.

Graduate Student Resources

Visit Graduate Student Resources on our website to learn about the many for services available during your graduate journey.

Graduate Supervision: Review the roles and responsibilities of graduate students and academic supervisors, as you embark on your degree. Download our toolkit for Getting the Supervisory Relationship off to a Good Start.

Grad Wellness: Visit the Student Wellness Centre for resources on counselling, medical care, and wellness education during graduate school

Graduate School, Disability, and Accommodations: Graduate students with disabilities who require academic accommodation should contact Student Accessibility Services (SAS) to make arrangements. This includes students previously accommodated as undergraduates at McMaster.

Graduate Academic Skills: Support and expert advice on graduate level writing.

Graduate program information

Be sure to check in with your graduate program for important information on condition clearing, registration, and orientation. For a list of graduate programs, visit our website.

International Students

Make sure to apply for your study permit as soon as you decide to accept your offer.

Resources for International Graduate Students: Visit the International Students page on the Graduate Studies website for resources, upcoming events, and recorded webinars that will help you as you begin your graduate journey at McMaster.

International Grad Navigator: Connect with a current international graduate student who may have shared similar experiences as you. Sign up through the International Grad Navigator page.

International Student Services: Visit the International Student Services website for information about immigration advising, success coaching, events, and health insurance (UHIP) available for all international students.

Health Insurance (UHIP): Health insurance is mandatory for all international students. For more information about enrolling you and your family in UHIP, visit the Health Insurance (UHIP) page.

Graduate Students Association (GSA)

For more information on the GSA, please visit the Graduate Students Association.

International graduate students can connect to the International Graduate Students Association through their Facebook group page.