Jul 13, 2024  
Undergraduate Calendar 2018-2019 
Undergraduate Calendar 2018-2019 [-ARCHIVED CALENDAR-]

Honours Bachelor of Health Sciences in Biomedical Discovery and Commercialization Program

Health Sciences Centre, Room 4H30, ext. 27335



Eric Brown/(Biochemistry and Biomedical Sciences) B.Sc., M.Sc., Ph.D. (Guelph)/Canada Research Chair  


Nancy McKenzie/B.Sc., Ph.D.

Program Overview

The Biomedical Discovery and Commercialization (BDC) program is a multidisciplinary training program, concentrated in the biomedical sciences that will produce graduates with the combined strengths of discovery research skills and business acumen. An important goal of the BDC program is the exposure of students to business curriculum in the DeGroote School of Business to complement a strong foundation in the biomedical sciences obtained in the Faculty of Health Sciences. Further, the program seeks to make strong connections with the health research business community in order to provide internships and community mentors for its trainees. With this unique combination of skills and knowledge, BDC graduates will be well positioned for employment in the biotechnology, pharmaceutical and other biomedical science sectors of the economy. Likewise they will be equipped to pursue further training in, for example, graduate studies in research, Master of Business Administration, Law or Medicine. The format of the BDC program is a ‘4+1’ Bachelor plus Master program. It is a four‐year undergraduate Bachelor’s degree that begins in Level III, followed by a fifth year Master’s degree. Thus candidates who successfully graduate from the four-year undergraduate BDC program may choose to apply for admission to the one‐year non‐thesis, course‐based Master’s program. Upon successful completion of each of the degree requirements, candidates will have graduated with an Honours Bachelor of Health Sciences degree in BDC and subsequently a Master of Biomedical Discovery and Commercialization.

Admission Procedures and Requirements

Please note that the admission policy may be reviewed annually and the admission requirements may be changed in future years. As places in this program are limited, the admission process is competitive. Possession of the minimum requirements does not guarantee admission to the program.

Admission Requirements

Selection will be based on academic achievement, a written statement of interest and an interview but requires, as a minimum, submission of an on-line application by the stated deadline, completion of Level II (or above) of a Science or Health Sciences program with a Grade Point Average of at least 8.0 on the McMaster 12-point scale (equivalent to a grade of B). Refer to the “Apply” tab on the BDC website (bdcprogram-mcmaster.ca/apply) for further information and important dates and deadlines. Applicants from other disciplines may also be a good fit depending on their educational background.  Successful completion of both CHEM 2OA3  and 2OB3  (or equivalent) is strongly recommended prior to entry into the program. CHEM 2OA3  must be completed by the end of Level III and CHEM 2OB3  must be completed by the end of Level IV.  The program will be open to applicants who have completed equivalent Level II courses at another university. Applicants who have completed a University degree are also eligible to apply as a second degree student.

Academic Regulations

Student Academic Responsibility

You are responsible for adhering to the statement on student academic responsibility found in the General Academic Regulations  of this calendar.

Access to Courses

All undergraduate courses at McMaster have an enrolment capacity. The University is committed to making every effort to accommodate students in required courses so that their program of study is not extended. Unless otherwise specified, registration is on a first-come basis and in some cases priority is given to students from particular programs or Faculties. Students will be informed of their enrolment periods and are encouraged to enroll as soon as online enrolment is available to them in the Student Centre in Mosaic.

In addition to the regulations in the General Academic Regulations  section of this Calendar, the following Program regulations apply.


This information is directed BDC to students who are interested in completing a minor in another subject area. A minor is not available in the Honours Bachelor of Health Sciences in Biomedical Discovery and Commercialization Program.

A Minor is an option available to a student enrolled in a four or five‐level program. A Minor consists of 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. A student is responsible for registering for courses to be applied towards a Minor using elective units only. In the case of cross‐listed courses, students must ensure that they register in the appropriate subject for the Minor designation. Those who have the necessary requirements may apply for recognition of that Minor when they graduate. If recognition for a Minor is granted, this recognition will be recorded on the student’s transcript. Minors cannot be revoked once approved. Students may return for a second degree in the subject in which they have obtained a Minor, but only at the Honours level. For further information please refer to Minors in the General Academic Regulations section in this Calendar.

Continuation in the Program

Students who have a minimum GPA of 6.0 may continue in the program.

If a GPA of 3.0 to 5.9 is obtained a student may remain in the program but will be placed on program probation for one reviewing period. A student may be on program probation only once.

Students previously on program probation who achieve a GPA between 3.0 and 5.4, may transfer to a non-BDC program for which he/she qualifies or graduate with a B.H.Sc. three year degree provided a minimum 3.5 GPA is achieved and all program requirements have been met.

Students whose GPA is less than 3.0 at any academic review may not continue at the University.

Letters of Permission

Students enrolled in the Honours Bachelor of Health Sciences in Biomedical Discovery and Commercialization Program may apply to take courses at another university on a Letter of Permission (LOP) by submitting an LOP request in MOSAIC. Students must achieve a grade of at least C- to receive credit.

Students are responsible to forward the transcript from the other university directly to the BDC Program Office (HSC-4H30). If a grade of C- or better is attained, the transcript designation reads T indicating Transfer Credit, or NC indicating Not Complete if less than a C- grade is attained.

Courses taken at another university cannot be used to satisfy the university’s minimum residence requirements, will not be included in the calculation of the Cumulative or Fall/Winter Averages, and therefore cannot be used to raise standing. Students may take up to six units of courses towards a Minor on a Letter of Permission. Students must be in good standing to be eligible to take courses on a Letter of Permission.

Level of Registration

A student with six or more units incomplete at any level may proceed to the next level of the program only with the permission of the BDC Program Office.

Reinstatement to the Honours Bachelor of Health Sciences in Biomedical Discovery and Commercialization Program

A student who may Not Continue at the University may apply for reinstatement. Students seeking reinstatement should complete the Reinstatement Request Form available at the Office of the Registrar (Gilmour Hall, Room 108). The completed form and the $100 fee must be submitted to the Office of the Registrar by July 15 for September entry and November 30 for January entry.

The form should explain the reasons for the student’s inadequate performance, corroborated by two letters of support, and should also include relevant documentary evidence such as, for example, a physician’s letter documenting an illness that may have impacted upon the student’s prior academic performance. Reinstatement cases will be carefully screened and the evidence considered will include the student’s academic performance before and following admission to McMaster, as well as the nature of the reasons cited in the letter, the letters of support and the accompanying documentation. Reinstatement is not guaranteed

If students are reinstated to the University, their Grade Point Average will be reset to 0.0 on zero units, although students may, at the discretion of the Faculty, retain credit for prior work. Following reinstatement, students will be on academic probation and must complete a minimum of 60 units of work after reinstatement to be eligible for graduation with Distinction or other recognition based on the Grade Point Average. If at any review after reinstatement the student’s Grade Point Average falls below 3.5, the student will be required to withdraw from the University for a period of at least 12 months.

Registration and Course Changes

It is the responsibility of the student to ensure that the program of work undertaken meets the requirements for the degree. It is highly recommended that you review your advisement report in MOSAIC on the working day following each time you drop or add courses and seek academic counselling from the Program Office if you have any questions. Dates for final registration and course changes appear in the Sessional Dates  section of this Calendar and are enforced.

Academic Counselling

Academic counselling is available throughout the year from the Program Office. It is recommended that students make an appointment with the Program Office if they have any questions.


A GPA of 5.0 is required for graduation. Please refer to the General Academic Regulations section in this Calendar for additional information related to graduation.