Jul 19, 2024  
School of Graduate Studies Calendar, 2018-2019 
School of Graduate Studies Calendar, 2018-2019 [-ARCHIVED CALENDAR-]

Financial Matters





5.1 Fees for Graduate Students

(The Board of Governors reserves the right to amend fees after the printing of this statement.) These regulations apply to tuition and mandatory supplemental fees. They cover the various charges which would be incurred for reasons of late payment or late registration. The 2018-2019 fees schedule is in effect for a period of September 1, 2018 to August 31, 2019 and applies to all graduate students whether registered in regular or part-time degree programs.  Please consult the Accounts and Cashiers website (https://student-accounts.mcmaster.ca/tuition-fees/undergraduate/#tab-content-graduate) for the official graduate fees.



Students promoted to a Doctoral program from a Master’s program will be considered as new admissions for the purpose of time limits for completion of the degree requirements, eligibility for financial assistance, and fee assessment.

Some international students may be eligible to pay Canadian fees depending on various immigration policies, and the Ministry Funding Manual.

Program Fees assessed on a term by term basis

Most students will pay regular tuition fees and these fees are assessed on a term by term basis. Part-time fees apply only to those students originally offered admission to a part-time program. If students change status from full-time to part-time, they will still be required to pay regular (full-time) fees. In most cases part-time fees will allow registration in up to 3 half courses per academic year, in programs where fees are costed on a term by term basis. Students registering in more than 3 half courses will be assessed full-time fees. In situations where a student in a part-time program completes the degree or withdraws from the university, fees for the academic session will be assessed by the number of terms or number of half courses (whichever is the greater). Term count is adjusted if student changes status from part to full time at a ratio of 2:1.

If a full-time student wishes to change their status from full-time to part-time, they will still continue to pay full-time tuition fees for the entire program. The most common occurrence of this situation would be when a student gains full-time employment, changes in status to part-time will be effective at the start of term.  Their mandatory supplementary fees however would be reduced to the part-time rate at the start of the next academic year.

Program Fees assessed on a course basis

Students enrolled in programs with course costed tuition will be assessed tuition fees for each course that they take.  The limit of 3 half courses per year does not affect their status.


Ph.D. students who have been registered as full-time for longer than the normal period of funding eligibility (as defined in Section 5.2.1 ) will be assessed discounted tuition fees.

A fee is charged for each course taken on the basis of Section 2.1.8  by persons who are not registered graduate students. The tuition fee for certain courses may be higher.


Leave of Absence

Students on leave of absence do not pay tuition fees for any complete months that they are on leave but do pay mandatory supplemental fees. Students who are on leave for a complete academic year do not pay mandatory supplemental fees.


Students who have “withdrawn in good standing due to time limit” do not pay fees until readmission. Readmission will only take place at the start of a term for students being readmitted to program. Students readmitted to defend will be readmitted at the point that they are ready to defend. See Section 5.1.5 (Readmission Tuition Charges) .

Mid-Year Admissions

Students admitted in January or May, will have a slightly different schedule of fees for tuition and mandatory supplemental fees.

Enquiries should be referred to Student Accounts and Cashiers (http://www.mcmaster.ca/bms/student/) 905-525-9140 ext. 24478

5.1.1 Payment of Fees

 In order to register a student mustpay full tuition and all additional fees for the full year. Details for payment methods and due dates can be found on the Students Accounts and Cashiers websites (http://mcmaster.ca/bms/student/SAC_payment_methods.html)

5.1.2 Non-payment of Fees or Charges

Students with outstanding accounts at the end of the academic year will:

  1. not receive academic results; and
  2. not be permitted to register for the next academic year until the account is settled.

5.1.3 Discounted Fees - Ph.D. Students

Full-time Ph.D. students (Canadian and international), who have reached term 13 or greater of their Ph.D. studies, will be charged tuition at a discounted fee rate.

5.1.4 Change in Residency

Changes in residency that occur when a student becomes either a permanent resident or Canadian citizen will have an impact on fees. These changes can only be accepted at the start of term and cannot be applied retroactively.

5.1.5 Readmission Tuition Charges

Students who do not register and pay tuition fees for any academic session are deemed to have withdrawn. These students and those who have been withdrawn in good standing due to time limit are required to apply for readmission. Master’s or Ph.D. students withdrawn in good standing who are being readmitted to defend their thesis pay fees at the “Readmission to Defend” rate and are not eligible for a refund.

Students who withdrew voluntarily or did not register for an academic session and wish to apply for readmission to their academic program are readmitted at the registration status they were at the time of withdrawal and charged the current calendar rate of tuition and supplemental fees accordingly. Readmissions in this category are not eligible for the part-time rate unless the student was registered in a part-time program at the time of withdrawal.

5.1.6 Refund of Tuition Fees

A student, who completes the degree requirements, withdraws from the program, or takes a leave of absence prior to the end of the academic year will be entitled to a refund, based on the method of payment per section 5.1.1. The refund is based on the schedule set out by Student Accounts and Cashiering (http://www.mcmaster.ca/bms/student/)r. (Note: a refund does not apply to students who are readmitted to defend.) Mandatory supplemental fees are not refundable.

5.2 Financial Assistance

5.2.1 Financial Support for Full-time Students

The University normally provides different types of financial support to full-time students: employment income, graduate/department, research, tuition scholarships, McMaster scholarships and awards, bursaries (financial need), and external awards tenable at the university. A student’s letter of offer or award letter from the University will include all details of financial support. Students with questions regarding financial support should contact their department or graduate program directly for assistance. 

The University provides graduate scholarship awards to most regular graduate students in Ph.D. programs and in many Master’s programs. These students must be full-time as defined in section 2.5.2. Such scholarships are awarded annually.  For students who are successful in winning an internal scholarship or external award (e.g. OGS, SSHRC, NSERC, CIHR), any change in Graduate and/or Research scholarships is at the discretion of your program for the duration of the award and the student will be provided with correspondence from the program reflecting the change in their financial support relative to the offer letter. Support for a Ph.D. student is normally eligible for the first four years. Students in Master’s programs are usually supported for their first three to six terms depending on the department. Subsequent support is at the department or graduate program’s discretion, unless the offer of admission guarantees otherwise. 

Teaching Assistantships (TA) (or Research Assistantship-in-lieu under the collective agreement between Canadian Union of Public Employees, Local 3906, Unit 1 and McMaster University) and contract employment income are offered to many graduate students registered in full-time programs. TA duties vary according to department but will normally consist of performance in connection with undergraduate teaching, such as leading tutorials, demonstrating labs, and marking assignments. The award of a TA may vary but should not exceed 10 hours per week, plus three hours of training per term. TA funding is contingent on fulfillment of the employment obligations and maintaining satisfactory work performance, as stated in the letter of offer or employment contract. No exceptions more than 505 hours or more in a single academic year will be approved (see section 2.5.3). Employment is paid as earned over the period in which the work is performed.

The Faculties or departments may provide tuition scholarship funds to International Master’s students to assist with tuition and fees.

5.2.2 Financial Payments to Graduate Students 

International students must provide a clear demonstration of their means of financial support in order to obtain a student visa.

The University is required by law to deduct Canada Pension Plan and Employment Insurance premiums on all employment income and any appropriate union dues and deductions. Income Tax will be assessed on employment income only. Net earnings will be deposited bi-weekly, directly into a Canadian Bank account.  A statement of your earnings is available online after each pay. The direct deposit method of payment is mandatory.

Enquiries about employment should be referred to Human Resource Services (http://www.workingatmcmaster.ca/) 905-525-9140 ext. 22247.

If the student withdraws or graduates from the program part way through an academic year, the student is not entitled to any further portion of the award. Note that funding monies owing to McMaster, such as award/scholarship/bursary repayments, will show as an outstanding balance on their student account.