Students should expect to have academic commitments Monday through Saturday but not on Sunday or statutory holidays. Students who require accommodations to meet a religious obligation or to celebrate an important religious holiday should make their requests as soon as possible after the start of term to their Faculty/Program office.
Student Academic Responsibility
In its commitment to helping students achieve their academic goals, McMaster University makes available numerous tools and resources, including the Undergraduate Calendar, advisement reports and academic advisors. However, students must assume certain responsibilities. They include:
- meeting admission requirements for a program
- applying to that program by the stated deadline
- selecting courses that meet the program requirements
- completing courses in an order that meets prerequisite requirements
- becoming familiar with and respecting University Sessional dates (see Sessional Dates ), the General Academic Regulations and the Faculty/Program/School specific regulations as found in the appropriate section of this Calendar
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.
In addition to the responsibilities listed above, students are expected to:
- become familiar with and respect the Senate Policy Statements (see Senate Policy Statements section of this Calendar)
- pay, within the prescribed deadline, undergraduate fees
- be aware that changes to course load and program may affect eligibility for government financial aid (e.g. OSAP and out-of-province student loan programs), University financial aid (e.g. bursaries and work programs) and scholarships
- consult with Student Accessibility Services in a timely manner to make the necessary accommodations for special needs.
Student Communication Responsibility
It is the student’s responsibility to:
- maintain current contact information with the University, including address, phone numbers, and emergency contact information.
- use the university provided e-mail address or maintain a valid forwarding e-mail address.
- regularly check the official University communications channels. Official University communications are considered received if sent by postal mail, by fax, or by e-mail to the student’s designated primary e-mail account via their @mcmaster.ca alias.
- accept that forwarded e-mails may be lost and that e-mail is considered received if sent via the student’s @mcmaster.ca alias.
The regulations which follow are the general regulations of the University. You should read both these general regulations and your Faculty regulations which may be more specific. They appear in the Faculty sections of this Calendar.
Since the Academic Regulations are continually reviewed, we reserve the right to change the regulations in this section of the Calendar. This University also reserves the right to cancel the academic privileges of a student at any time should the student’s scholastic record or conduct warrant so doing.
In the event there is a conflict between the program regulations and the general regulations in this chapter, the program regulations take precedence.
Faculties are authorized to use discretion in special situations by taking into account past practice, the spirit of the regulations, and extraordinary circumstances. Students who believe their situations warrant special consideration should consult the appropriate Office of the Associate Dean.
The Academic Regulations listed below are effective as of September 1993. These regulations apply to all undergraduate students admitted or readmitted to the University from September 1993 onward.
While most students will complete all their undergraduate work at McMaster University, the minimum requirements set out below apply to students who take part of their work at other institutions. In order to obtain any four- or five-level, first undergraduate degree, you must complete at least two of the levels (approximately 60 units of work) beyond Level I, including the final level, at McMaster.
To obtain a three-level, first undergraduate degree, you may satisfy the residence requirements either:
- by completing the final level and at least one other level (a minimum of approximately 60 units of work) at McMaster University;
- by completing the final level (approximately 30 units of work) at McMaster University, including at least 18 units of program- specific courses.
The work used to satisfy the residence requirements must be completed at McMaster University; work taken at another university on a Letter of Permission will not count toward the minimum residence requirements.
All the work for a second bachelor’s degree must be completed at McMaster University.
Policy on Access to Undergraduate Courses
McMaster’s policy on access to Undergraduate courses is designed to ensure that resources are properly managed while enabling students to enrol in required courses so that their program admission requirements and course requisites can be met, and that their program of study is not extended.
- Enrolment capacities are set on all undergraduate courses taking into account enrolment projections along with resources, enrolment trends and type of course (required or elective).
- If need exceeds approved capacity, enrolment capacities for courses will be reviewed and may be adjusted.
- Faculties and Department Offices are responsible for determining which courses require seats to be reserved. These reserved seats must be managed so that students are able to complete program admission requirements, meet course requisites and enrol in courses required to meet their program of studies in a timely manner.
- Where students are selecting from a list of required courses, access to a specific course is not guaranteed when there is another course available to meet a specific degree requirement.
- The University reserves the right to change a student’s enrolment in classes should the need occur (e.g. low enrolment, urgent timetable changes, etc).
The purpose of enrolment is to officially record your program and courses. Information on how to enrol is available online at: http://registrar.mcmaster.ca/category/enrol/. You must enrol in courses during the official registration period designated for each session or term. You are responsible for ensuring that your enrolment information is complete, and that your course selections meet the requirements of your degree. Academic counselling is available from your Faculty or Program Office to assist you in course selections.
Admission to Programs
Admission to and transfer between programs must be approved by the Office of the Associate Dean of your Faculty.
Selection of Courses
Before you select the courses you wish to take, please read the requirements for your program in the appropriate Faculty sections of this Calendar. You are responsible for ensuring that your course selection meets the requirements of your degree. If you fail to meet the program requirements, you will not be eligible to graduate. Select the courses required for your program; then select your electives. Ensure that you have completed the courses which are listed as prerequisites, have completed or chosen courses that are listed as co-requisites and that permissions have been obtained, if required. If you do not have the course requisites, you will not be able to take the course selected.
Multi-Term Course Policy
Prior to Spring/Summer Term 2015:
All undergraduate courses had course codes of 4 alpha-numeric digits and were administered as a singular course (e.g. ENGLISH 2G06 CANADIAN LITERATURE).
Effective Spring/Summer Term 2015:
All undergraduate course codes will retain the 4 alpha-numeric digits. Courses that span more than one term (e.g. both Fall and Winter terms), will have the characters A and B added to the code. Therefore, all courses with an additional A/B suffix are multi-term courses. (e.g. ENGLISH 2G06A/B CANADIAN LITERATURE).
Neither Part A nor Part B of a multi-term course has academic credit or value independent of both parts being successfully completed. Students who drop or cancel the ‘B’ portion of a course are not eligible to receive academic credit for the ‘A’ portion. Part A must always precede Part B and both must be taken sequentially within the same academic year. Upon completion of the first Term, the ‘A’ portion of the course will be included on the transcript with a grade designation of MT (Multi-Term). Final grades will not be determined until both A and B components have been completed.
The last day for enrolment and adding or dropping as well as the last day for cancelling without failure by default for multi-term courses are reflected in the Sessional Dates .
Changes to Enrolment
The last day for adding or dropping courses is approximately one week after classes begin for each term. (Please see the tables in the Sessional Dates section for the relevant dates for each term of the academic year.). After the above-mentioned period, you may cancel courses until the last day to withdraw without failure by default. Cancelled courses will be shown on your transcript with the notation W. After this date, you will remain enrolled in courses whether or not you attend classes. Your transcript will show a grade of F for any course not successfully completed.
You are responsible for ensuring that your course selection meets the requirements of your degree. You should review your personal advisement report on the working day following each time you drop or add courses, and contact an Academic Advisor in the Office of the Associate Dean of your Faculty if you have questions. Changes to your course load may also affect your fees and your eligibility for scholarships and financial aid such as OSAP. Limit on Level I Courses: In most Faculties, you may not obtain credit in more than 42 units of Level I courses in a three-level program, or more than 48 units in a four-level program.
Eligibility for Awards
See Undergraduate Academic Awards chapter in this Calendar for more information.
If you wish to take more than the normal number of units prescribed for a Level, you may do so only with the permission of the Office of the Associate Dean of your Faculty. Normally, a Fall-Winter Average of at least 7.0 in the immediately preceding review period will be required if an overload is to be permitted. Additional academic fees will be assessed for overload work. (For further information please visit http://www.mcmaster.ca/bms/student/)
Load in Spring/Summer Term
If you wish to take more than 12 units in the Spring/Summer term, or more than six units in either session of that term, you may do so only with the permission of the Office of the Associate Dean of your Faculty.
Repetition of Courses
Students may repeat courses that have been failed or for which credit has been obtained a number of times, with the exception of the students in the Faculty of Business who may only repeat courses which they have failed. The grades for all attempts appear on the transcript and enter into the computation of the Grade Point Average. However, only one successful attempt will enter into the computation of credit earned towards your degree.
If you are a currently enrolled student in a degree program and you do not wish to have credit for a course, you may, with the approval of the Chair of the Department and the Office of the Associate Dean, audit the course. You must satisfy the prerequisite for the course, but will not complete assignments nor write the final examinations. You will not be permitted to enrol for credit in the course after the enrolment deadline for the term has passed. Please see http://www.mcmaster.ca/bms/student/ for any applicable fees.
Letters of Permission
If you are in good academic standing at McMaster and if you wish to attend another university to take courses for credit towards a McMaster degree, you must obtain permission ahead of time. To do this you must seek a Letter of Permission from the Office of the Associate Dean. This request can be initiated in the Student Centre in Mosaic. Please take note of any conditions that might apply, including the requirement of a grade of at least C- for transfer credit. You should note that the grades obtained in courses taken at another university will not be included in the Grade Point Average. Full-time students taking courses on a Letter of Permission must continue to carry a full load at McMaster during the Fall and Winter terms if they wish to be considered for Undergraduate In-course Academic Awards; i.e. courses taken on a Letter of Permission do not count toward your load for purposes of academic awards.
Withdrawal from The University
If you wish to withdraw from the University, you must consult the appropriate Office of the Associate Dean. Your student identity card must be surrendered to the Office of the Associate Dean. Your course record will be handled as outlined above in Changes to Registration.
Transfer of Credit Between Faculties
Transfer of credit between Faculties is handled by the Office of the Associate Dean to which you wish to transfer. It is possible that full credit may not be given at the time of transfer between Faculties and additional courses may need to be taken.
Calculation of Grade Point Average Following Reinstatement After Poor Academic Performance:
Effective September 1997, if you are reinstated at the University, your Grade Point Average will be reset to 0.0 on zero units, although you may (at Faculty discretion) retain credit for prior work. If you are reinstated, you will be on academic probation. You must complete a minimum of 60 units of work after reinstatement to be eligible for Graduation with Distinction or other recognition based on theGrade Point Average.
If you wish to engage in international study, you may do so either by participating in one of the formal exchange programs that exist between McMaster and a number of universities in other countries; by participating in one of the programs available through specific Faculties; or by independent study abroad.
Formal exchange programs are those in which McMaster has an agreement with another institution, involving a temporary exchange of students. As an exchange student, you enrol and pay your tuition fees, and supplementary fees at McMaster. No tuition is paid at the foreign institution. If you are interested in participating in a formal exchange program, you can obtain further information and an application form from the International Student Services Office, Gilmour Hall, Room 104. Applications are normally due mid-January for exchanges expected to begin the following September. Admission is by selection. A registration checklist is available to assist you in making all necessary arrangements.
McMaster also offers other programs which allow you to spend all or part of your third year of a four-year program at another institution. You enrol but do not pay tuition at McMaster. These programs are not available at universities with which McMaster University has a formal exchange agreement. For more information on these programs, please see your Academic Advisor or the International Student Services Office.
Students must recognize and accept the fact that in many countries of the world, especially the newly-emerging nations, change may be the only constant. There are no guarantees that certain courses will be offered or that housing will be as one might expect. Spending time on an exchange program or an independent study abroad program offers an opportunity to develop one’s adaptability and resourcefulness in the face of new situations. McMaster University cannot be held accountable for unforeseen changes in the host country.
For information about programs and universities, please contact the International Student Services Office, Gilmour Hall, Room 104.
Academic Standing and Program Requirements Petitions for Special Consideration
Academic standing is reviewed in May and August each year for students who
- have attempted at least 18 units of work since the last review;
- may be eligible to graduate at the next Convocation;
In the review of academic standing, three sets of decisions are made:
- whether a student may graduate;
- whether a student may continue at the University; and
- whether a student may continue in a program.
Minimum Requirements to Continue at the University
All students must maintain a Grade Point Average (GPA) of at least 3.5 at each review to continue at the University. Under certain circumstances, as described below, students may be allowed to continue on academic probation for one reviewing period with a GPA of 3.0 to 3.4. If your GPA is less than 3.0, you may not continue at the University.
Level I Registration and Academic Standing Requirements
When you are admitted to McMaster University for a first degree, you will enrol in one of the following Level I programs: Arts and Science I, Business I, Automotive and Vehicle Technology I, Biotechnology I, Process Automation Technology I, Chemical & Physical Sciences I, Computer Science I, Engineering I, Environmental and Earth Sciences I, Health Sciences I, Humanities I, Honours Integrated Science I, Honours Kinesiology I, Life Sciences I Mathematics and Statistics I, Medical Radiation Sciences I, Midwifery I, Music I, Nursing I, Social Sciences I, Studio Art I. If you enter the University without Advanced Standing being granted, you must normally attempt a full load of Level I work before proceeding to the work of higher levels.
If you are studying part-time, the Office of the Associate Dean has the discretion to permit you to take some of the work in the higher levels prior to having attempted the full load of Level I. Decisions will be made on an individual basis, according to the special circumstances that apply in the particular case.
At any review during Level I before you complete the Level I work, as in the case of a part-time student, you must attain a GPA of at least 3.5 to continue at the University in good standing. If you attain a GPA of 3.0 to 3.4 you may remain at the University for one reviewing period, but will be placed on academic probation. You may be on academic probation only once during your University career. If your GPA is less than 3.0 you may not continue at the University.
At the review when you complete the Level I work, if you attain a GPA of at least 3.0 and have not previously been on academic probation, but fail to meet the admission requirements of any program, you may continue at the University for one additional reviewing period on academic probation. You will be enrolled in your original Faculty, and will be classified as a Level I transition student if your work may only qualify you to be considered for admission to a program in another Faculty. If, at the end of the next reviewing period, you again do not qualify for admission to a program, you may not continue at the University. If your GPA is less than 3.0 you may not continue at the University.
Students in Arts & Science I should refer to the Arts & Science Program regulations listed below.
Health Sciences I, Nursing I and Midwifery I students should refer to the program regulations listed in the Faculty of Health Sciences section in this Calendar.
Minimum Requirements for Entering and Continuing in a Program Beyond Level I
Admission to the programs beyond Level I is based on performance in Level I. You must meet both the minimum requirements to continue at the University, as described above, and program-specific requirements of each Faculty, as described in this Calendar.
Arts & Science Program
B. ARTS SC. (HONOURS) AND B. ARTS SC. PROGRAMS
You must have a Grade Point Average (GPA) of at least 6.0 to continue in the program. If your GPA is from 5.5 to 5.9, you may remain in the program, but will be placed on program probation for one reviewing period. You may be on program probation only once.
If your GPA is 3.5 to 5.4, you must transfer to another program for which you qualify, or enrol in the Arts & Science Program as an transition student for one reviewing period. During that period you cannot take Arts & Science Program courses. At the end of that period you may apply for readmission to the Arts & Science Program.
If your GPA is 3.0 to 3.4, you will be placed on academic probation. You may continue in the program for one reviewing period as an transition student but cannot take Arts & Science Program courses. The purpose of this period is to prepare yourself for a program outside the Arts & Science Program. You may be on academic probation only once. (Potential graduands may not continue at the University.)
If your GPA is less than 3.0 you may not continue at the University.
School of Business
For specific admission requirements to Commerce II see Program Notes under the heading Programs in the School of Business section of this Calendar.
If you are not admitted to Commerce II at the end of Business I, you have the following options available to you.
If your Grade Point Average (GPA) is 3.5 or greater, although you may not continue into a Commerce program either now or in the future, you are still in good standing at the University. You may continue at the University in a program outside the School of Business or as an transition student in Business. To continue in a program outside the School of Business you must apply for admission to that program through the Office of the Associate Dean appropriate for that program. You should consult that office for more details.
If you are not admitted to another Faculty you may enrol in the School of Business as an transition student for one reviewing period. During that period you cannot take Commerce courses and you will not be eligible for consideration for admittance to Commerce II or re-admittance to Business I. The purpose of your registration as an transition student is to make yourself eligible for admission to a program outside the School of Business. If you have a GPA of 3.0 to 3.4, you will be on academic probation and may continue at the University for one reviewing period as an transition student in the School of Business but will not be permitted to take any Commerce courses. At the end of your probation period you will not be eligible for consideration for Commerce II or re-admittance to Business I. The purpose of the probation period is to make yourself eligible for a program outside the School of Business.
If you have a GPA of less than 3.0 at the end of Business I you may not continue at the University either on a full-time or part-time basis.
Upon satisfactory completion of Commerce II, qualified students may continue in one of the following programs:
Honours B.Com. Program (Requirements for Students Entering in 2013-14 or Later):
You must have a Grade Point Average (GPA) of at least 5.0 to enter the Honours B.Com. Program in Level III or IV or to continue in the Honours B.Com. Program. Once admitted to Honours B.Com., if your GPA is 4.5 to 4.9, you may continue in the Honours B.Com. Program, but will be placed on program probation. You may be on program probation for only one reviewing period (as specified in the Glossary section of this Calendar). If your GPA is a 3.5 to 4.4, you may transfer to the B.Com Program. If your GPA is less than 3.5, you may not continue at the University. Regardless of your CA, if you receive more than six units of failure (in required or elective course work) after entry to Level II Commerce, you will not be permitted to continue in a program in the School of Business.
You must have a Grade Point Average (GPA) of at least 4.0 to continue in the B.Com. Program. If your GPA is 3.5 to 3.9, you are permitted to continue in the B.Com. Program on program probation for one reviewing period (as specified in the Glossary section of this Calendar). If your GPA is less than 3.5, you may not continue at the University. Regardless of your CA, if you receive more than six units of failure (in required or elective course work) after entry to Level II Commerce, you will not be permitted to continue in a program in the School of Business.
Faculty of Engineering
B.ENG., B.A.SC. Programs
To be admitted to a Level II Engineering program, you must have completed all non-elective Engineering I courses with a minimum Grade Point Average (GPA) of 4.0. Admission to Level II Honours Business Informatics requires completion of the minimum requirements for these individual programs as stated within the Faculty of Engineering section in this Calendar. In Level II and above, you must maintain a GPA of at least 4.0 to continue in an Engineering program or in the Honours Computer Science or Honours Business Informatics programs. If you have a GPA of 3.0 to 3.9, you may not continue in the Faculty. If your GPA is less than 3.0, you may not continue at the University.
For specific minimum requirements, please see the descriptions for the individual programs within the Faculty of Engineering section in this Calendar.
Faculty of Health Sciences
For specific minimum requirements, please see the descriptions for the individual programs within the Faculty of Health Sciences section in this Calendar.
Faculties of Humanities and Social Sciences
Honours B.A. Programs; B.MUS. (Honours) Program; BFA (Honours) Program (Excluding Honours Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour (B.A.) Programs):
You must have a Grade Point Average (GPA) of at least 5.0 to continue in an Honours program. If your GPA is 4.5 to 4.9, you may remain in the Honours program, but will be placed on program probation for one reviewing period. You may be on program probation only once. If your GPA is 3.0 to 4.4, you must transfer to another program for which you qualify. If your GPA is less than 3.0, you may not continue at the University.
Honours Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour (B.A) Programs and Combined Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour Programs:
You must have a Grade Point Average (GPA) of at least 6.0 to continue in an Honours Psychology, Neuroscience & Behavior (B.A) program. If your GPA is 5.5 to 5.9, you may remain in the Honours B.A. program, but will be placed on program probation. You may be on program probation only one reviewing period. If your GPA is 3.0 to 5.4, you must transfer into another program for which you qualify. If your GPA is less than 3.0, you may not continue at the University.
B.A./B.S.W. and B.S.W. Programs:
You must have a Grade Point Average (GPA) of at least 6.0 to continue in a B.A./B.S.W. or B.S.W program. If your GPA is 5.5 to 5.9, you may remain in the program, but will be placed on program probation for one reviewing period. You may be on program probation only once. If your GPA is 3.0 to 5.4, you must transfer to another program for which you qualify. If your GPA is less than 3.0, you may not continue at the University.
You must have a Grade Point Average (GPA) of at least 3.5 to continue in, or graduate from, a three-level B.A. program. If your GPA is 3.0 to 3.4, you may remain in the program, but will be placed on academic probation. You may be on academic probation only once. If your GPA is less than 3.0, you may not continue at the University.
Faculty of Science
Honours B.SC. Programs
You must have a Grade Point Average (GPA) of at least 6.0 to continue in an Honours B.Sc. program. If your GPA is 5.5 to 5.9, you may remain in the Honours B.Sc. program, but will be placed on program probation. You may be on program probation for only one reviewing period. If your GPA is 3.0 to 5.4, you must transfer to another program for which you qualify. If your GPA falls below 3.0 you may not continue at the University.
Honours B.SC.Kinesiology Program
You must complete Honours Kinesiology I (including KINESIOL 1A03 , KINESIOL 1AA3 , KINESIOL 1C03 , KINESIOL 1E03 , 1G03) with a Grade Point Average (GPA) of at least 6.0.
If, upon completion of Honours Kinesiology I (including KINESIOL 1A03 , KINESIOL 1AA3 , KINESIOL 1C03 , KINESIOL 1E03 , 1G03), you have achieved a GPA between 5.5 and 5.9, you may enrol in Level II Honours Kinesiology but will be placed on program probation for one reviewing period. You may be on program probation only once.
If, upon completion of Honours Kinesiology I, you have achieved a GPA between 3.5 and 5.4 and/or you have failed to successfully complete each of KINESIOL 1A03 , KINESIOL 1AA3 , KINESIOL 1C03 , KINESIOL 1E03 , 1G03, you may enrol in Level II Kinesiology General and, with permission, take Level II Kinesiology required courses (for which all course prerequisites have been met). At your next review, you must achieve a GPA of at least 6.0 including, successful completion of KINESIOL 1A03 , KINESIOL 1AA3 , KINESIOL 1C03 , KINESIOL 1E03 , 1G03, to transfer to the Honours Kinesiology program. Such students must attend a mandatory preregistration counselling session with an Academic Advisor. If you fail to meet the minimum requirements for transfer to Honours Kinesiology, you must transfer to a non-Kinesiology program for which you qualify.
If your GPA is 3.0 to 3.4, you must transfer to another program to which you qualify. If your GPA falls below 3.0 you may not continue at the University.
B.Sc. Programs: You must have a Grade Point Average (GPA) of at least 3.5 to continue in a three-level B.Sc. program. If your GPA is 3.0 to 3.4, you may continue on academic probation for one reviewing period. You may be on academic probation only once. If your GPA is less than 3.0, you may not continue at the University.
You must complete all the course requirements prescribed for Medical Radiation Sciences I by the end of term 2 of Level I, with a Grade Point Average (GPA) of at least 5.0 or permission of the Committee of Instruction (Chair Medical Radiation Sciences (Mohawk), Coordinator Medical Radiation Sciences (McMaster), Coordinator Radiation Therapy Specialization, Coordinator Radiography Specialization, Coordinator Ultrasonography Specialization). For additional program-specific regulations, see Medical Physics (Dept. of Med. Physics & Appl. Radiation Sciences) in the Faculty of Science section of this Calendar.
A. May Not Continue at the University
If you are ineligible to continue at the University (i.e. the Academic Standing on your last grade report was May Not Continue at University) and you wish to apply for reinstatement to a particular program, please contact the Office of the Registrar to obtain the appropriate application form. Students are considered for reinstatement for September entry or for May entry only.
You will be required to submit the following information along with your application:
- A brief summary of the circumstances relevant to your lack of academic success.
- Reasons for selection of program indicated.
- Reasons for selection of courses/program indicated.
- Activities since last enrolled at the University, including all academic work. You should provide evidence that you will now be able to succeed in a post-secondary program. Please refer to the website of the Faculty offering your selected program for further advice.
If applicable, you should support your application with appropriate documentation (e.g. from a doctor, lawyer, therapist).
Reinstatement is not guaranteed. There is limited room for students who have been unsuccessful in their previous studies.
If at any review after reinstatement your Grade Point Average (GPA) falls below 3.5, you will be required to withdraw from the University for a period of at least 12 months.
B. Required to Withdraw from University
If you are required to withdraw from the University because your GPA falls below 3.5 at any review after reinstatement, you may apply for reinstatement only after you have been away from the University for a period of at least 12 months. Please contact the Office of the Registrar to obtain the appropriate application form and follow the procedure above.
Transfer Between Programs
If you wish to transfer from one program to another, you should discuss the possibility with the appropriate Office of the Associate Dean to which you wish to transfer. It is possible that full credit may not be given at the time of transfer between Faculties and additional courses may need to be taken.
If you are enrolled in a four- or five-level program (with the exception of the Medical Radiation Sciences program which is a three-level program offered over a four-year period), you are eligible to obtain a Minor in another subject area, provided that the subject area is not integral to the requirements of your degree program. You should check the calendar requirements statement for your program in the case of Science programs, or check with your Faculty in the case of other programs, for subject areas that are excluded from consideration as a Minor in your program.
If you wish to receive a Minor, you should check the information under the heading Minor in the appropriate department’s listing. McMaster also offers many different minors including those in Archaeology, Globalization Studies and Jewish Studies (see Interdisciplinary Minors and Thematic Areas .) You will be responsible for ensuring that you enrol in the required Minor courses. Normally, you must complete a minimum of 24 units in the Minor subject. No more than six of these units can be at Level I, unless otherwise stated in the specific requirements of the minor. At least 18 units must be completed at McMaster.
In the final year of your program, when you complete your profile in the online Graduation Information Centre, you must indicate your desire to receive a Minor in the chosen subject. The Faculty Reviewing Committee will verify that the requirements have been met. If you are successful, your transcript will contain a designation for Minor in that area. See the Sessional Dates for deadlines.
The Specialized Minor in Commerce for Students Completing a Single Honours B.A. in Humanities requires an application for admission after Level I. See the Faculty of Humanities section for more information.
Minors cannot be revoked once approved (see Note 3 under Second Bachelor’s Degree Programs.)
Second Bachelor’s Degree Programs
For admission to a second undergraduate degree program you must hold a first undergraduate degree whether it be a three-level, four-level, or five-level degree. The minimum admission requirements and program of study for the second degree depend on the subject areas of the two degrees.
- Honours Degree following a Three-Level Degree in the Same Subject: For entry, a Grade Point Average of at least 6.0 in the first degree program is required. If admitted, you must take at least 30 units beyond the first degree, including all Honours requirements specified for the program. In some Faculties, this includes a minimum number of units of work in the discipline.
- B.A. or B.Sc. in Another Subject: For entry, you must meet the admission requirements for the program. If admitted, you must complete at least 30 units beyond the first degree, including all program requirements. In some Faculties, this includes a minimum number of units of work in the discipline.
- Honours B.A. or B.Sc. in Another Subject: For entry, you must meet the admission requirements for the program and have a Grade Point Average of at least 6.0. If admitted, you must complete at least 60 units beyond the first degree, including all Honours requirements specified for the program.
- B.M.R.Sc.: Students will be required to complete a minimum of 24 units during Level I of the program. Some of these units may be extra to the degree requirements.
- B. Eng., B.Tech., and B.A.Sc.: For entry, you must meet the admission requirements for the program. If admitted, you must complete at least 60 units beyond the first degree including all program requirements.
- All work for the second degree must be completed at McMaster University.
- A second degree is not available in all subject areas. You will not be admitted to a second degree program where there is substantial overlap in the requirements. See individual Faculty/Program regulations or consult Faculty/Program Offices for exclusions or further information.
- Minors will not be revoked to permit later registration in a three-level second degree in the same subject. Students may return for a second degree in a subject in which they have obtained a Minor, but only at the Honours level. (See Minors)
- Extra courses taken while you are enrolled in a first degree program, or courses completed as a Continuing Student, may, with the approval of the Faculty, be applied to the second degree program.
- You must meet the same standards for continuation and graduation as are applied to students enrolled in a first degree program.
- Credit from the first two degrees cannot be applied to a third undergraduate degree. To obtain a third undergraduate degree you must take the complete program. i.e. approximately 90 units for a three-level degree and approximately 120 units for a four-level degree.
Deans’ Honour List
Each year outstanding students with a minimum average of 9.5 on at least 30 units are named to the Deans’ Honour List. Students will be assessed at the reviewing period (either after the Fall and Winter terms or Spring/Summer term) when a minimum of 30 units (may not exceed 6 units that are pass/fail) has been completed since the previous Deans’ Honour List review. At each review the assessment will be based on all units completed since the previous Deans’ Honour List review.
Provost’s Honour Roll
Each year outstanding students with a 12.0 average on at least 30 units (usually their Fall-Winter Average) are named to the Provost’s Honour Roll. Students will always be assessed at the same time and using the same average calculation as applied to the Deans’ Honour List assessment (may not exceed 6 units that are pass/fail). (See Deans’ Honour List section above)
Petitions for Special Consideration
The University wishes to assist students with legitimate difficulties. It also has the responsibility to ensure that degree, program and course requirements are met in a manner that is equitable to all students. Students may submit, in a prompt and timely manner, a Petition for Special Consideration to the Office of the Associate Dean of their Faculty (Faculty office) in those instances where a student acknowledges that the rules and regulations of the University have been applied fairly, but is requesting that an exception to the regulations be made because of special circumstances. Petitions should be submitted in a prompt and timely manner for the relevant term, but no later than July 31 immediately following the Winter term or November 15 immediately following the Spring/Summer term.
Two forms are available in the Offices of the Associate Deans (Faculty office):
Petition for Special Consideration (Form A):
The Petition for Special Consideration (Form A) is submitted for a variety of issues, including, when a student wishes to have a leave of absence or seeks to depart from University requirements based on compelling medical or personal reasons; or a student believes that an adverse ruling or decision about his/her academic performance, such as failing a course, or being required to withdraw from a program for failure to meet program requirements, should be waived because of compelling medical or personal circumstances.
Petition for Special Consideration: Request for Deferred Examination (Form B):
The Petition for Special Consideration: Request for Deferred Examination (Form B) is used when a student misses an examination because of compelling medical or personal reasons.
- Once a student has completed an examination, no special consideration will be granted. A student who misses an examination because of compelling medical or personal reasons may submit a Petition for Special Consideration: Request for Deferred Examination (Form B) to the Faculty office, normally within five working days of the missed examination.
- If the reason is medical, the approved McMaster University Medical Form must be used. The student must be seen by a doctor at the earliest possible date, normally on or before the date of the missed exam and the doctor must verify the duration of the illness. Relief will not be available for minor illnesses. If the reason is non-medical, appropriate documentation with verifiable origin covering the relevant dates must be submitted, normally within five working days.
- In deciding whether or not to grant a petition, the adequacy of the supporting documentation, including the timing in relation to the due date of the missed work and the degree of the student’s incapacitation, will be taken into account.
- It is the student’s responsibility to check with the Faculty office for a decision on the request for a deferred examination. If the deferred examination is granted, the student will be informed officially by means of the notation DEF which will appear against the relevant course on the student’s academic record and on the student’s grade report (available in Mosaic Student Centre).
- Deferred examinations are written during the next official University deferred examination period. Examination and deferred examination dates appear in the Sessional Dates section of this Calendar. Default of the deferred examination will result in a fail for that examination.
- Students who have been granted more than one deferred examination may be required by their Faculty/Program office to reduce their course load during the term in which the deferred examinations are being written. The decision on a reduced load will be made and communicated with the decision on the request for deferred examinations.
- At the discretion of the Faculty/Program office, students who have been granted one or more deferred examinations, may not be allowed to enrol in a subsequent term or session until all deferred examination(s) have been completed and the Academic Standing calculated. Students will be notified of this decision by their Faculty/Program office.
The authority to grant any petitions lies with the Faculty office and is discretionary. It is imperative that students make every effort to meet the originally-scheduled course requirements and it is a student’s responsibility to write examinations as scheduled.
Decisions made on Petitions for Special Consideration are final. In accordance with the Student Appeal Procedures, decisions made on Petitions for Special Consideration cannot be appealed to the Senate Board for Student Appeals. However, if a student believes that a decision is a violation of his/her human rights, he or she must contact the office of Human Rights and Equity Services in room 212 of the McMaster University Student Centre, to initiate a complaint.
Requests for Relief for Missed Academic Term Work
The University recognizes that students periodically require relief from academic work for medical or other personal situations. This academic regulation aims to manage these requests by taking into
account the needs and obligations of students, instructors and administrators. It is the prerogative of the instructor of the course to determine the appropriate relief for missed term work in his/her course.
Any concerns regarding the granting of relief should be directed to the respective Faculty Office. Requests for relief should be made with a commitment to academic integrity in mind. Requests that
deviate from this commitment will be handled under the Academic Integrity Policy and Student Code of Conduct, where appropriate.
- Relief for missed academic work worth less than 25% of the final grade resulting from medical or personal situations lasting up to three calendar days:
- Use the McMaster Student Absence Form (MSAF) on-line self-reporting tool. No further documentation is required.
- Students may submit requests for relief using the MSAF once per term.
- An automated email will be sent to the course instructor, who will determine the appropriate relief. Students must immediately follow up with their instructors. Failure to do so may negate the opportunity for relief.
- The MSAF cannot be used to meet a religious obligation or to celebrate an important religious holiday.
- The MSAF cannot be used for academic work that has already been completed/ attempted.
- An MSAF applies only to work that is due within the period for which the MSAF applies, i.e. the 3-day period that is specified in the MSAF; however, all work due in that period can be covered by one MSAF.
- The MSAF cannot be used to apply for relief for any final examination or its equivalent. See Petitions for Special Consideration above.
- For medical or personal situations lasting more than three calendar days, and/or for missed academic work worth 25% or more of the final grade, and/or for any request for relief in a term where the MSAF has been used previously in that term:
- Students must report to their Faculty Office to discuss their situation and will be required to provide appropriate supporting documentation (see Documentation Requirements below).
- If warranted, the Faculty Office will approve the absence, and the instructor will determine appropriate relief.
If the reason for a request for relief is medical, the approved McMaster University Medical Form covering the relevant dates must be submitted. The student must be seen by a doctor at the earliest possible date, normally on or before the date of the missed work and the doctor must verify the duration of the illness.
If the reason is non-medical, appropriate documentation with verifiable origin covering the relevant dates must be submitted, normally within three working days.
In some circumstances, students may be advised to submit a Petition for Special Consideration (Form A) seeking relief for missed academic work. In deciding whether or not to grant a petition, adequacy of the supporting documentation, including the timing in relation to the due date of the missed work and the degree of the student’s incapacitation, may be taken into account. Failure to do so may negate the opportunity for relief.
If the petition is approved, the Faculty Office will notify the instructor(s) recommending relief. It is the prerogative of the instructor of the course to determine the appropriate relief for missed term work in his/her course.
The Office of the Registrar schedules and conducts most final examinations and December mid-year examinations for full-year Level I courses. See the Sessional Dates section in this Calendar. Examinations organized by the Office of the Registrar during these dates may be scheduled in the morning, afternoon, or evening, Monday through Saturday. Other instructor-scheduled tests and examinations may be held throughout each term in compliance with the Assessment Ban.
The Assessment Ban is intended to enable students to continue to attend classes and start preparing for examinations held during the official University examination period. There is a university-wide ban on examinations and tests in the final week of classes: see below for exemptions. Each year the dates will be listed in the Sessional Dates section of the Undergraduate Calendar.
- Assignments worth more than 10% of the final course grade cannot be assigned during the examination ban period.
- Tests and exams cannot be scheduled during the examination ban period.
- Take home exams worth more than 10% of the final course grade cannot be due during the examination ban period.
- Tests, including lab tests, are exempt when they have the following characteristics:
- The test is held in the normal class or lab time slot;
- The test is worth no more than 10% of the final course grade.
- Requests for a waiver of the ban must be approved by the Faculty or Program Office before being considered by Undergraduate Council.
Note: The Assessment Ban does not apply to the M.D., B.H.Sc. (Midwifery), B.H.Sc. (Physician Assistant), or to Levels 2 and above of the Medical Radiation Sciences programs.
Examinations Conducted by the Office of the Registrar
- McMaster student photo identification cards are required at all examinations. If you arrive at an examination without presenting a proper I.D. card you will not be admitted to the room and you will be required to have a substitute card made before being seated. There is a fee for this service. No additional time is given to compensate for examination time missed.
- You may only use books, papers or instruments during an examination if they are specifically prescribed on the examination paper. No examinations books or supplies are to be removed from the room.
- No conversation or any form of communication between candidates is permitted in the examination room.
- No cell phones, laptops or any communicating or electronic devices are permitted.
- No food is permitted and drinks must be in a spill proof container.
- The University is not responsible for lost or stolen articles.
- Items (including back packs) that are not required to write the examination should not be brought into the examination as they must be left at the side of the room at your own risk.
- Handbags or small personal belongings may be left beneath your chair but not on your desk.
- You are expected to use the washroom before or after and not during an examination.
- You are responsible for writing the correct examination from the right instructor at the place and time indicated on your personal examination timetable on MUGSI.
- You may leave an examination only after the first 45 minutes have elapsed.
- If you miss a final examination for medical or personal reasons you may submit a Petition for Special Consideration: Request for Deferred Examination (Form B) with supporting documentation to the Office of the Associate Dean of your Faculty, normally within five working days of the missed examination
- If you begin a final examination, but are unable to complete it for medical reasons, you may submit a Petition for Special Consideration (Form A) with supporting documentation to the Office of the Associate Dean of your Faculty, normally within five working days of the examination.
- If you are late for an examination, and it is still in progress, report immediately to the presider in your examination location.
- Special examination arrangements may be made upon application to the Scheduling and Examinations of the Office of the Registrar in some circumstances, such as:
- conflict with religious obligations
- conflict between two Registrar-scheduled examinations
- schedule with three examinations in one calendar day or three consecutive examinations
Application must be made at least 10 working days before the scheduled examination period and where applicable, acceptable documentation must be supplied. Failure to meet the stated deadline may result in the denial of special arrangements.
- Students with disabilities are required to inform Student Accessibility Services of accommodation needs for examinations on or before the last date for withdrawal from a course without failure by default. (See the Sessional Dates section of this Calendar.) This allows sufficient time to verify and arrange appropriate accommodation. Failure to meet the stated deadline may result in the denial of special accommodation. See Academic Facilities, Student Services and Organizations , Student Accessibility Services section of this Calendar.
- Examinations are not rescheduled for purposes of travel. You must arrange to be available for the entire range of examination dates as listed in the Sessional Dates section.
Students wanting to write their approved deferred examination at an institution other than McMaster must submit a Request to Write Deferred Examination Off-campus Form (PDF) at least 15 working days prior to the date of the deferred examination.
In the case of examinations written at an off-campus location, any fees incurred are the responsibility of the student. This includes the fee to courier the written examinations back to the Examinations Section of the Office of the Registrar.
Deferred Examination dates appear in the Sessional Dates section of this Calendar.
For information regarding application for Deferred Examination, see Petitions for Special Consideration: Requests for Deferred Examinations (Form B).
The method for determining your final grade will be given in the course outline. Unless otherwise specified in a course outline, course results determined on a percentage scale will be converted to an official letter grade, as indicated in the equivalent percentage scale which follows. The results of all courses attempted will appear on your transcript as letter grades.
- Before submitting a failing grade, your instructor reassesses whatever examples of your work are available.
- To satisfy prerequisite requirements, a grade of at least D- is required, unless otherwise stated.
- You retain credit for all courses with grades of D- or better, except in those programs for which a higher grade is specified in the program regulations.
Since September 1982, the grading scale has been:
||Equivalent Grade Point
||0-49 – Failure
Example of a Weighted Average Calculation, using the grade points and units for courses completed:
||To calculate Average: 153 ÷ 18 = 8.5
Undergraduate Academic Awards
The Fall-Winter Average will be used to determine your eligibility for these awards. Terms and conditions of awards for full-time and part-time studies are defined in the Undergraduate Academic Awards section.
Graduation With Distinction standing will be awarded if a minimum Grade Point Average (GPA) of 9.5 is achieved in a degree program. In this case, the Latin phrase summa cum laude (“with highest honour”) will appear on the graduate’s diploma.
The following Grade Point Averages are required to graduate:
- B.A. – 3.5
- B.A. (Honours) – 5.0
- B.A. /B.S.W. and B.S.W. – 6.0
- B.Arts Sc. and B.Arts Sc. (Honours) – 5.0
- B.A.Sc. – 4.0
- B.Com. – 4.0
- B.Com. (Honours) – 5.0
- B.Eng., B.Eng.Biosciences, B.Eng.Mgt., B.Eng.Society – 4.0
- B.F.A. (Honours) – 5.0
- B.H.Sc. – 6.0 (on all graded courses)
- B.H.Sc. (Honours) – 5.0
- B.M.R.Sc.*– 4.5
- B.Mus. (Honours) – 5.0
- B.Sc. – 3.5
- B.Sc. (Honours) – 5.0
- B.Sc.Kin. (Honours) – 5.0
- B.Sc.N. – 5.0
- B.Tech – 3.5
* All requirements must be completed within five years from the time of registration in Level II.
Please see the graduation regulations for individual Health Sciences programs in the Faculty of Health Sciences section.
If, at the time of graduation, you fail to meet the requirements for an Honours degree, you may seek to transfer to another program.
If you are enrolled in Level III of an Honours program and wish to transfer to a three-level degree program to be eligible for graduation at the next Convocation, you must submit your request through your Mosaic Student Centre by May 15 for Spring Convocation, and by October 15 for Fall Convocation (if these dates fall on a Saturday or a Sunday, the next business day will be the deadline). If permission is granted, you must complete your profile in the online Graduation Information Centre.
If you are scheduled to graduate from a three-level program and wish to be considered to transfer to Level IV of an Honours program rather than graduate, you must submit your request through your Mosaic Student Centre May 15 for Spring Convocation, and by October 15 for Fall Convocation (if these dates fall on a Saturday or a Sunday, the next business day will be the deadline). You will receive the decision on your eligibility to transfer on your grade report and if you are not eligible to transfer, you will graduate from your three-level program as scheduled.
During the term in which you expect to complete your graduation requirements, must complete your profile in the online Graduation Information Centre by the appropriate deadline, available at http://registrar.mcmaster.ca/grad.
If you wish to apply to receive a Minor in addition to your major program of studies, you must indicate this in your profile in the Graduation Information Centre as well.
You must take the degree at the Convocation immediately following the completion of the appropriate degree work.
Diplomas will not be released if you have an outstanding account with the University.
Diplomas held for students with an outstanding account or that have been returned in the mail will only be retained for a period of twelve months following the Convocation date. Students under the above circumstance requesting diplomas after this period will need to purchase a replacement diploma.
Duplicate and Replacement Parchments, Diplomas and Certificates
Graduates may request, with payment of the required fee, a duplicate or replacement degree parchment, diploma or certificate. A duplicate copy of the student’s degree parchment, diploma or certificate will be issued when a student requires a second copy of the degree parchment, diploma or certificate. A degree parchment, diploma or certificate will be reissued (noting the date of reissue) when the original document has been lost, damaged or destroyed.
The words duplicate copy or reissued will be affixed to all degree parchments, diplomas or certificates requested in this manner. Degree parchments, diplomas or certificates will bear the signatures of the current Chancellor, President and Vice-Chancellor and Registrar.
Transcripts, which summarize your academic career at McMaster University, are available from the Office of the Registrar.
Office of the Registrar
Room 108, Gilmour Hall
Phone: (905) 525-4600
Fax: (905) 527-1105
NOTE: Academic terms do not appear on transcripts until a registration has been academically and financially approved and the first day of classes in the term has passed. Requests for transcripts may be made in transcripts may be made electronically in the Student Centre in Mosaic. To protect the confidentiality of student records, all requests must be signed by the student whose transcript is being requested.
There is no charge for transcripts. However charges to have transcripts faxed or couriered from McMaster will be applied. Current fees for faxes and courier services can be found on our web site at http://registrar.mcmaster.ca/category/services/transcripts/. Fees are due at the time that transcripts are ordered. All mail or fax requests must include a credit card number with the expiry date, name and signature of card owner (Visa and MasterCard, only).
Requests are filled promptly on receipt of payment. Official transcripts are usually delivered to other Ontario universities by courier and elsewhere by Canada Post. To avoid disappointment, please allow at least five to seven business days (up to 10 business days during peak periods: January, June and September) for processing plus delivery time. Transcripts will not be issued if you have outstanding accounts at the University.
When you apply for admission to McMaster University and enrol in programs at the University, you accept the University’s right to collect pertinent personal information. The information is needed to assess your qualifications for entry, establish records of performance in programs and courses, provide the basis for awards and governmental funding, and to assist the University in the academic and financial administration of its affairs. All documentation that you submit to the University in support of applications for admission, residence accommodation or financial awards, or any appeals or petitions, becomes the property of the University. You are notified of your academic performance in courses by grade reports provided by the Office of the Registrar.
All information needed to produce official transcripts is maintained permanently. If you are not accepted, or if you fail to enrol following acceptance, your documentation is normally destroyed at the end of each admissions cycle. If you reapply, you must resubmit any previous documentation and any additional academic information.
Supporting documentation relevant to your admission to, and performance at, the University will normally be eliminated five years after the end of your enrolment at the University (regardless of whether you graduate).