Admissions FAQ


All applicants

Admission Requirement change to Business I

For students interested in entering into Business I, the math requirement has changed.  One must now have both MHF4U and MCV4U in order to be considered.  Student from other curriculum are expected to present the equivalent courses.

I’m considering using the Student Direct Stream (SDS). How do I apply?

This step-by-step guide will help you through the process.

Step 1: Accept your offer of admission
You must accept your offer of admission by following the instructions in your official offer letter and before the specified deadline. For instructions on accepting your offer, please refer to OUAC.

Your offer letter(s) can be found on Mosaic. You will use the Letter of Acceptance attached to your Offer of Admission in the SDS application process.

Step 2: Visit the Government of Canada website
Follow the steps outlined by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada for the SDS processing. Make sure that you are from one of the approved countries to use this program.

Step 3: Calculate your tuition
You will find specifics about McMaster tuition fees on the Registrar’s Office website.

First-year tuition is equivalent to a 30-unit course load (37 units for Engineering students).
For a typical first-year course load (ex: Arts & Science: $1079.80 per unit × 30 units).
All science Gateway programs are categorized under ‘Science/Kinesiology’ for first year.
You can find out about ways to pay on our Payment Methods page.

Note: The published fee amounts are for the 2019/2020 academic year. These fees will change for students entering in the 2021/2022 academic year. You may use the 2020/2021 fee amounts for the SDS option until the new fees are posted in early June 2021. However, if you make your payment before the 2021/2022 fees are published, you will likely owe an additional amount. This will be payable when you arrive on campus in September.

Step 4: Keep your proof of payment
After your tuition fee payment has been submitted, it takes approximately 3-7 business days for the payment to reflect on Mosaic under ‘Finances’. You can access your proof of payment letter under ‘Admissions’ by clicking ‘View Letters’ once both your offer of admission and payment has been processed.

Students will receive a notification email when the payment confirmation letter is available.

How do I report extenuating circumstances?

Students that have any extenuating circumstances (situation beyond your control) that may impact their academic performance must reach out during our live chat. We can discuss what you need to submit in order to assess as part of your admission.

Will you accept Duolingo as an acceptable English language proficiency test?

Yes, for admission to September 2021, Duolingo has been added as one of the acceptable language proficiency test.  More information can be found on our English Proficiency page.

In the previous school year, my school offered pass or fail credits instead of assigning an actual grade. Do I have to go back and retake those courses?

At McMaster, if the student received the credit and therefore passed the course, we would count it as meeting the requirement; the average would be calculated on the remaining compliment of courses they present to meet the admission requirements. We would not penalize the applicant by making them repeat the course as they did not have a choice in how the grades were assigned.

What will happen in Fall 2021? Will I be able to live in residence? Will classes be online or in-person?

The health of McMaster students and our community will continue to be a top priority as we make decisions related to the delivery of academic courses, on-campus activities and access to facilities. As we learn more about COVID-19, we are determining how we can continue to prioritize health while bringing an even greater sense of engagement to student life and the campus environment in 2021-22. As we move closer to the Fall 2021 term we will continue to be transparent and timely in communicating decisions that will impact the student experience.

Ontario high school applicants

Will you use a Grade 11 course grade in place of a missing grade 12 course mark?

When we make admissions decision, if a student is missing a grade 12 required course mark, we do not use the grade 11 course grade in its place. This has not been our practice in the past and this year will be no different.

With many schools following quad-semester system, how does that change your admissions process this year?

In the past, in mid/late Feb, we required a min. of 3 Grade 12 final course grades/6 midterm grades in order to assess a student for program that does not have a supplementary application, as long as the student is also registered for all the other required courses for the program, to be completed by June 30th.

We then make another major round of offers which happen in late April/early May. During a traditional year, we require students to have 6 grades (including courses required by the program). Knowing this is not possible for everyone this year due to the varying curriculum structure, we will use the courses that are available to us at that time to make conditional offers (it may be only 4 or 5 courses, and possibly missing the required courses), knowing at the end of the school year, everyone needs to meet the same offer conditions.

With some school boards having announced of the removal of final exams, how would that impact my application?

Schools will continue to provide grades based on work completed throughout the semester.  McMaster University will therefore use whatever grades are submitted on behalf of the student.

I won’t have my OSSLT prior to graduation, would that impact my chance of gaining admission to McMaster?

The Ontario Ministry of Education has announced that OSSLT will be waived for all students graduating during the 2020-2021 school year, therefore, no student will be negatively impacted because of this test.

Alberta school applicants

The Alberta Ministry of Education announced diploma exams will be optional for the 2020-2021 school year, how would that impact for my admission to McMaster?

McMaster University will use whatever grades are submitted on the students’ transcript. The diploma exams are not required for the basis of admissions and students will not be negatively affected if they choose not to enroll in the diploma exams this year.

Applicants from the US curriculum

Are SAT/ACT tests optional? How are grades calculated this year?

In response to the pandemic, McMaster University is making the submission of SAT/ACT optional for the Fall 2021 admission cycle. Results (if submitted), will be considered if they benefit the student and make their application stronger however students who do not submit a score will not be penalized. Applicants choosing to submit SAT/ACT results may do so by email to