May 24, 2024  
Undergraduate Calendar 2015-2016 
Undergraduate Calendar 2015-2016 [-ARCHIVED CALENDAR-]

Faculty of Health Sciences


J. G. Kelton/M.D., F.R.C.P. (C.)


S. Collins/M.B.B.S., F.R.C.P. (UK), F.R.C.P.C.


W. Orovan/B.Sc., M.B.A., M.D., F.R.C.S.(C), F.A.C.S.


S.D. Denburg/B.A., M.A., Ph.D.


A. J. Neville/B.Med. Biol. (Path), M.B.Ch.B., M.Ed., Med. F.R.C.P. (Lond), F.R.C.P.C.


C. Tompkins/B.Sc.N., M.Ed., Ph.D., R.N.


C.P.M. Hayward/M.D., Ph.D., F.R.C.P.C.


P. Solomon/Dip. PT, M.H.Sc., Ph.D.

For information concerning Health Sciences education programs and admission requirements, contact:

Office of the Registrar
McMaster University
Gilmour Hall, Room 108
Hamilton, Ontario, L8S 4L8
Telephone (905) 525-4600


The concept of Health Sciences Education is based on the view that health is a broad subject encompassing both the problems of ill health and the impact of biology, environment and lifestyle on health. Each health professional has specific educational requirements, but by learning together in shared facilities there exists an opportunity to establish effective interprofessional working relationships.

The programs in the Faculty attempt to meet these goals through a variety of learning approaches. Emphasis is placed on problem-based, small group learning experiences. Other approaches to learning, including interdisciplinary educational experiences, are used where appropriate.

In July 1974, the School of Nursing and the School of Medicine were brought together to form the Faculty of Health Sciences. In 1989, the School of Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy (School of Rehabilitation Science) was added and in 1993 the Midwifery Education Program was established. A further innovation was the implementation of the Bachelor of Health Sciences Program in 2000, followed by the establishment of the Bachelor of Health Sciences (Physician Assistant) in 2008. The Faculty offers the following undergraduate degree programs: Doctor of Medicine (MD), Bachelor of Science in Nursing (B.Sc.N.), Bachelor of Health Sciences (Honours) (B.H.Sc. Honours), Bachelor of Health Sciences (B.H.Sc.) in Midwifery and Bachelor of Health Sciences (Physician Assistant). In addition to its undergraduate programs, the Faculty of Health Sciences also has responsibility for Residency Programs in Postgraduate Medical Education.

The School of Graduate Studies offers six distinct research-oriented graduate programs, each leading to a M.Sc. or a Ph.D. degree in the areas of: Biochemistry, Medical Sciences, Health Research Methodology, Health Sciences Education (M.Sc. Program), Nursing and Rehabilitation Sciences The Faculty offers the Medical Science program leading to the M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in the following areas: Blood & Vasculature, Cancer & Genetics, Infection & Immunity, Metabolism & Nutrition and Physiology and Pharmacology. Two professional core-based programs, Occupation Therapy and Physiotherapy are also offered at a Master’s level. Graduate diploma programs are also available in Advanced Neonatal Nursing, Health Services and Policy Research and Water Without Borders. Six collaborative graduate programs are offered in conjunction with Health Sciences and other faculties: Biomedical Engineering, eHealth (M.Sc. program), Global Health (M.Sc. program), Health Management (MHM program), Health Policy (Ph.D. program) and Neurosciences.

Interprofessional programs, postprofessional in nature and leading to an academic diploma, include: Child Life Studies and Clinical Behavioural Sciences. As well, a Certificate in Primary Health Care Nurse Practitioner is offered.

The Faculty of Health Sciences collaborates with the Division of Health Sciences at Mohawk College in educational programs for other health professions based at the College. Research programs encompassing the broad spectrum of health have been established, including basic and applied research and various aspects of health-care delivery. The graduate programs in medical sciences are related to the various areas of health research.

The Health Sciences Centre at McMaster provides educational and research facilities for medicine, nursing and other health professions. It includes a teaching hospital (the McMaster Site of Hamilton Health Sciences) with extensive ambulatory clinics for primary and specialized aspects of patient care. The building has been designed to bring into close proximity the programs for the various health professions and to integrate the facilities for education, research and patient care in the Faculty of Health Sciences.

In addition to the Health Sciences Centre, education, research and clinical programs are based at other Hamilton Health Sciences sites (Chedoke, General, Juravinski), St. Joseph’s Centre for Mountain Health Services, St. Joseph’s Hospital, St. Peter’s Hospital, Juravinski Cancer Centre and the Health Sciences Education Centre, Mohawk College. Extensive use is made of a variety of community agencies. In accordance with the plan to coordinate the development of specialized health services among the Hamilton and District hospitals, the Postgraduate Education programs in medicine have been developed on a regional basis.

Undergraduate Health Professional Education Programs

Admission and Registration

Application to any program in the Faculty of Health Sciences implies acceptance on the part of the applicant of the admission policies and procedures, and the methods by which applicants are chosen for the Health Sciences programs.

Registration in any program in the Faculty of Health Sciences implies acceptance on the part of the student of the objectives of that program and the methods by which progress toward the achievement of those objectives is evaluated.

The following describes the regulations governing admission and registration in the Health Sciences programs, and should be considered in conjunction with specific admission requirements described on the following pages for the Bachelor of Health Sciences (Honours) program (B.H.Sc. Honours), School of Medicine (MD), the Midwifery program (B.H.Sc.), the School of Nursing (B.Sc.N.) and the Physician Assistant Education program (B.H.Sc.). The following application deadlines are strictly enforced. Deadline dates are for consideration of admission to a program in the following September.

Bachelor of Health Sciences (Honours)  
  (B.H.Sc. Honours) Level I February 1
  (B.H.Sc. Honours) Level II transfer April 1
Medicine (MD)  
  Registration with OMSAS September 15
  Final application deadline October 1
Midwifery (B.H.Sc.) February 1
Nursing (B.Sc.N.)  
  Applicants directly from Ontario Secondary Schools January 23
  Applicants to Basic Accelerated February 1
  Applicants with Other Qualifications February 1
Physician Assistant (B.H.Sc.) February 1
Child Life Studies Diploma Program March 1

The University reserves the right to change the admission requirements at any time without notice.

As places in the degree programs of the Faculty of Health Sciences are limited, admission is by selection, and possession of published minimum requirements does not guarantee admission. The University, therefore, reserves the right to grant admission to a limited number of students, and to refuse readmission to any student whose academic performance or general conduct has been unsatisfactory, or who has withdrawn from the program for a period in excess of one academic year.

An evaluation of Unsatisfactory in the School of Medicine signifies that the student has failed to meet these objectives and the University may require the student to withdraw from the School at any time.

The University reserves the right to require the withdrawal of a student should his or her conduct so warrant.

Falsification of Admission Information

An applicant supplying documentation or evidence which, at the time, or subsequently, is found to be falsified will be withdrawn from consideration. Any student admitted to the program having submitted false evidence will be withdrawn.

Health Regulations for Admission

Before registration, students must file with the University evidence of a recent health examination, immunization screening and chest X-ray. More detailed medical information will be required upon acceptance into the program.

Clinical Course Requirements

Where the performance of the student in clinical practice may jeopardize or endanger the welfare of the patient or the patient’s family, the student may be removed from clinical experience any time during the academic year, until continuation in the course is reviewed.

Information and Academic Counseling

In certain programs, a faculty member is selected for each student in the September of entry to a degree program and provides each student with advice on evaluations, electives and other educational needs throughout the program. Changes in advisors may be entertained as each student becomes acquainted with Faculty well enough to choose his or her own advisor. The academic advisory role for B.Sc.N. students is fulfilled by the Coordinator of Studies (Nursing). Students are also encouraged to consult individual faculty members regarding career planning.


Students are responsible for expenses involved in transporting themselves to community agencies, making home visits, or in connection with clinical study.

License to Practice

All graduates who wish to engage in clinical practice in any of medicine, midwifery, nursing, occupational therapy and physiotherapy are subject to any qualifying examinations and other requirements by the licensing bodies for each of these professions. In addition students should be aware that a license may be denied if they have been convicted of a criminal offence for which a pardon has not been granted. A student in such a position should consult the respective licensing body about such a situation.

Post-Professional Health Sciences Education Programs

Child Life Studies Full-time Diploma Program

This is an eight-month applied professional program in the Faculty of Health Sciences, focusing on the development of knowledge and skills for individuals working with infants, children, youth and families in a health care setting and community based programs.

The learning objectives are:

  1. to examine and review the growth and development of infants, children and youth, incorporating communication, play, expression of feelings, discovery and mastery of the environment, behaviour management, and parent/child relationships, and
  2. to examine the child life role by demonstrating critical thinking in assessment, intervention, prevention, advocacy and documentation in situations critical to the child’s development, at times of acute and chronic illness and potentially traumatic or life-changing events.

Graduates of the Child Life Studies Program will:

  1. Demonstrate assessment skills and interact with patients and families using theories of human growth and development, family systems and knowledge of cultural background
  2. Demonstrate effective use of therapeutic and expressive play as a primary tool for assessing and meeting psychosocial needs
  3. Effectively provide provision of a therapeutic and safe environment for individuals and groups aged newborn - 18 years
  4. Demonstrate ability to assist patients and families in coping with the stress of hospitalization, illness, death, and/or loss
  5. Demonstrate effective use of developmentally appropriate language and medically accurate teaching aids and techniques with children of all ages
  6. Demonstrate ability for self- evaluation of professional practice
  7. Function as a member of and integrate Child Life programming into the health care team
  8. Represent and communicate Child Life and psychosocial issues of pediatric health care to others
  9. Demonstrate the ability to supervise volunteers
  10. Demonstrate evaluation and/or record-keeping of child life services

Coursework involves emphasis on problem-based small group learning, case studies and self-directed learning. Two eight-week internship placements in children’s hospitals and community settings are a requirement of this program.


A related university degree with an overall B average is required, as well as relevant experience. Admission is based on the assessed strengths of each applicant as determined by a 2 stage selection procedure:

  1. Application package
  2. Interview

Not all candidates are offered interviews. Candidates must be successful at stage one to be offered an interview.

The Child Life Studies Program has a limited number of internship positions and the admission process is very competitive. The admission requirements stated are minimum requirements. Applicants who achieve highest overall admission scores based on application package and interview will be given preference for entrance into the program. Offers of admission will be made following the interview process.

Applications must be submitted by March 1 of each year for the study period beginning in September. Information outlining application requirements can be obtained by contacting the Child Life Studies program office at (905) 525-9140, ext. 22795

Unsuccessful Applicants

Applications are not held over from one year to another. If the applicant wishes to reapply they must resubmit a new application package including transcripts and additional material.

Evaluation and Continuation in the Program

Evaluation by self, peers, preceptors and faculty is part of an on-going assessment process of coursework, internships and program objectives.

A student must achieve a Cumulative Average (CA) of at least 70% in all graded courses combined and achieve a Pass/Satisfactory performance in both internships.

Undergraduate Level Courses

Undergraduate level courses in Child Life are available separate from the post-graduate program. Please see the course descriptions listed in the Course Listings section of this calendar, under the subject Child Life Studies (CHILD LS). Contact Allison Riggs, Coordinator of Online Learning, Child Life at for more information.

Occupational Therapy Examination and Practice Preparation Project (OTepp)

The focus of the Occupational Therapy Examination and Practice Preparation (OTepp) Program is to assist internationally educated occupational therapists (IEOTs) as they seek to transition into practice in Canada. The project is led by the School of Rehabilitation Science at McMaster University in partnership with the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists (CAOT). The core curriculum includes gaining knowledge of theoretical practice frameworks, ethics and evidence in practice, and core information as outlined in the national examination blue print. Participants will need to achieve an average of 60% on all assignments in order to pass the course. More information is available at

Advanced Standing and Double Counting

The OTepp Certificate program is a stand-alone program for those who have already successfully completed a degree in occupational therapy: there are no courses with an equivalent to undergraduate courses at McMaster University. As such, advanced standing for students wishing to apply OTepp credits towards a degree program at McMaster is not possible. Furthermore, OTepp courses were developed to prepare internationally educated occupational therapists and Canadian trained occupational therapists who are entering or re-entering the profession in Canada to pass the Canadian certification exam and to transition into practice in Canada. The nature of these courses precludes “double counting” of credits from a degree or diploma program towards completion of OTepp.

Health Professional Entrance Preparation Undergraduate Certificate

Health Professional Entrance Preparation (HPEP) certificate is a gateway program for internationally educated students to enter a Canadian health professional education program including medicine, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, speech language pathology, nursing, midwifery, and others at universities and colleges across Canada.  Overall, the curriculum will focus on generic skills that are relevant to all health professions. The 4-month online component of the program will introduce students to the context of health care in Canada, health professional practice, and provide the opportunity to build written communication skills.  The 4-month face to face component will be problem-based learning in design, develop critical appraisal skills of literature and provide intensive experiential written and oral language application focused on critical thinking and reasoning as well as group and interpersonal communication skills. 

Admission Requirements

This certificate program considers international students who have already completed a Baccalaureate degree from an accredited university or college outside of Canada. Applicants must meet English language proficiency requirements according to McMaster policy: Completion of TOEFL (iBT) exam with minimum acceptable score: 92 overall with a minimum score of 22 for reading, 24 for speaking, 24  for listening, 22 for writing, valid for 2 years. There is no opportunity to transfer credits from HPEP to other courses or degree programs at McMaster University. 

For more information visit