Oct 17, 2021  
Undergraduate Calendar 2021-2022 
Undergraduate Calendar 2021-2022

Midwifery Education Program


Health Sciences Centre (HSC), Room 4H24, ext. 26654


Elizabeth Darling


Elizabeth Darling/B.ArtsSc., B.H.Sc., M.Sc. (McMaster), Ph.D. (Ottawa), R.M.
Derek Lobb/B.Sc. (Western Ontario), M.Sc. (Guelph), Ph.D. (Toronto)
Anne Malott/B.Sc.N. (Windsor), M.S.N (Case Western Reserve), Ph.D. (Western), R.M.
Helen McDonald/M.H.Sc. (McMaster), R.M.
Patricia McNiven/M.Sc., Ph.D. (Toronto), R.M.
Elizabeth Murray-Davis/BA (Guelph), BHSc (McMaster), MA (Toronto), PhD (Sheffield), R.M.


Kate Demers, MMID (Sheffield), R.M.
Kathi Wilson, M.Sc. (McMaster), R.M.


Saadia Israr

Program Overview

Midwives are primary health care providers who provide care and advice to women during pregnancy, labour and the postpartum period; conduct deliveries and provide care for newborn babies. Midwives have well-developed interpersonal skills and are competent in areas of health education, counselling and interprofessional collaboration. Midwives’ expertise in the care of normal pregnancy and childbirth arises from their understanding of childbearing as a social, cultural and biological process and from their ability to competently exercise clinical skills and decision-making. Midwifery is potentially one of the most important components of women’s health care in Ontario. Midwifery education provides the base for sound professional practice. The educational program is an integral part of the evolution of the profession of midwifery in Ontario and is a leader in midwifery education in Canada. The program helps create future leaders and teachers. It assures practice and teaching as a continuum so that learning environments become available across Ontario.

The Midwifery Education Program at McMaster University is a collaborative venture shared by McMaster, Ryerson and Laurentian Universities, and leads to a Bachelor of Health Sciences (B.H.Sc.) in Midwifery.

Admission Procedures and Requirements

Enrolment in the Midwifery Education Program is limited. Admission into the Midwifery Education Program is by selection and reserved for candidates who meet all requirements and who satisfy the academic regulations of the university. Possession of the minimum requirements does not guarantee an offer of admission. It is recommended that applicants have completed at least one year of university prior to applying. All certified transcripts from secondary and post secondary education previously attended by external applicants must be forwarded to the Office of the Registrar. The application deadline is February 1 each year for the following September intake. Applications or supporting documents received after February 1 will not be considered. Please note that all required courses must be completed, with final grades available on any and all official transcripts at the time of application (excluding current Secondary School students). All official transcripts must be submitted by the February 1 deadline. All documents submitted with the application become property of the university.

All applicants must have completed the following course requirements in order to be considered for admission:

A full course credit in:

  1. Biology 
  2. Chemistry
  3. English

A minimum grade of 75% in each course is required.

It is recognized that applicants apply to the program with varying educational backgrounds. Applicants can fulfill the courses required from the following educational backgrounds:

Applicants Directly from Ontario Secondary Schools

The following are the minimum grade 12 U and M requirements under the Ontario Secondary School Curriculum for applicants directly from an Ontario Secondary School:

  1. English 12 U
  2. Biology 12 U
  3. Chemistry 12 U

Completion of additional 12 U or M courses to total six credits.

Students must obtain a minimum grade of 75% in each of the three (3) required courses listed in points 1, 2 and 3 above AND a minimum overall average of 75% on grade 12 U or M courses including the required courses.

Current Ontario Secondary School Students may apply if one or more of the three (3) required courses are in progress at the time of application; however, the grade 11 prerequisite(s) must be completed at the time of application so that a preliminary assessment of the subject area(s) can be made. Admission is based on in progress secondary school grades for current secondary students only if the grade 11 prerequisite in that subject area is at least 75%.

Applicants with Prior College Diploma Studies

No Admissions will be based on College standing. For applicants with prior college/diploma studies who completed their college education within the last two years of applying to Midwifery, admission will be based on secondary school eligibility. If college education was completed more than 2 years ago at the time of applying to Midwifery, please refer to the Mature Applicants section for eligibility and admission requirements.

Applicants from Ontario Secondary Schools (within one year of obtaining OSSD)

The following are the minimum grade 12 U and M requirements under the Ontario Secondary School Curriculum for applicants from an Ontario Secondary School who have obtained their OSSD in the previous calendar year and have never attended University:

  1. English 12 U
  2. Biology 12 U
  3. Chemistry 12 U

Completion of additional grade 12 U or M courses to total six credits.

Applicants must have obtained a minimum grade of 75% in each of the three (3) required courses listed in points 1, 2 and 3 above AND a minimum overall average of 75% on grade 12 U or M courses including the required courses. All required courses must be completed at the time of application.

Applicants with Qualifications Equivalent to Ontario Secondary School

Applicants from out-of-province, with qualifications equivalent to Ontario Secondary School (i.e Advanced Placement Students, American Style Curriculum Students, International Baccalaureate Students, General Certificate of Education Students, etc.) should refer to the Future McMaster website for general requirement and required course information. 

Applicants with Prior / Current University Studies

The following are the minimum course and grade requirements for applicants who are currently attending or have in the past attended University:

Prerequsite Requirements

  • Grade 12 U courses from Ontario high school, equivalent out-of-province high school or CEGEP curricula, or 6 units (1.00 credit) from university courses in the three (3) required subject areas of

o Biology
o Chemistry
o English

  • Minimum of 75% in each of the three required courses
  • Minimum overall average from most recent 42 units or 14.00 credits of undergraduate coursework must be a minimum of 75%

All prerequisites must be complete at the time of application. If an applicant has obtained less than 18 units of university credit and has been out of high school or college for more than two years at the time of application, it is required that the applicant complete at least 18 units of university to be eligible for consideration.

Current McMaster University Students

Applicants who are current McMaster University students and who are not scheduled to graduate in the spring convocation following the Midwifery Application deadline of February 1 may request an Internal Application Form from the Midwifery Program Office by emailing midwifery@mcmaster.ca. No OUAC application is required and any required transcripts or documents should be forwarded to the Midwifery Education Program office.

International Students

Applicants must be Canadian Citizens or HOLD Permanent Resident/Protected Person status in Canada prior to applying to the Midwifery program.

Mature Applicants

A mature student is someone who has been out of full time secondary school or college for the past two years, and who has never attended university. Midwifery does not offer mature admission directly to the program. However, students interested in Midwifery may be admitted as mature students to another program in order to complete university pre-requisite courses for later consideration for admission to Midwifery. Enrolment in this program is limited. Possession of the minimum admission requirements does not guarantee admission.

In order to apply for admission to the Midwifery Education program, mature applicants must have successfully completed a minimum of 18 units of university level course work with a minimum cumulative average of 75% prior to acceptance.

Applicants must have grade 12 U courses from high school or full university courses in the three (3) required subject areas of Biology, Chemistry, and English with a minimum grade of 75% in each. A full university course is equivalent to 6 units or 1.0 credit, depending on the university.

Prior Midwifery Education or Experience

For applicants with prior Midwifery Education or Experience, Ryerson University, through the division of Continuing Education, offers the International Midwifery Pre-Registration Program. The purpose of this program is to provide internationally educated midwives with assessment and education which will prepare them to register as midwives in Ontario. (Refer to the Midwifery Education Program website for more information.)

Indigenous Applicants

In accordance with the Self-Identification policy of the Faculty of Health Sciences, Indigenous (First Nations, Inuit and Métis) applicants who wish to apply to a program that has a facilitated Indigenous admissions stream must complete the supplementary Self-identification Application. Information on the policy, application requirements and the online application can be found at: https://ishs.mcmaster.ca/admissions/self-identification.

One self-identification application is used for all Faculty of Health Sciences programs that have a facilitated Indigenous admissions stream, and should only be completed once even if an applicant applied to multiple programs. Applicants identify the program(s) they applied to on the Self-identification Application. The applicant is responsible for ensuring the Self-identification Application is submitted by the application deadline(s) for the program(s) they applied to in addition to completing any other application required for that program(s). If you applied to multiple Faculty of Health Sciences programs, the Self-identification Application must be completed by whatever the earliest deadline date is for the programs for which you have applied to.

Indigenous applicants will also be required to apply to the Midwifery Program by February 1 of the year in which they are applying. All appropriate transcripts from secondary and post-secondary education must be submitted to the Office of the Registrar by February 1.

Applicants must meet the same minimum academic criteria for admission as set out for the general pool of candidates.

Transfer Credit

Students with previous university education may be eligible for transfer credits for non-clinical courses in Levels I and II. Transfer credits will be determined on an individual basis, after the admitted students have accepted their Offer of Admission.

Selection Procedure

The Midwifery Education Program has a limited number of placements and the admission process is very competitive. The admission requirements stated are minimum requirements. Preference will be given to applicants with the best qualifications. The actual standing required for admission in recent years has been an average in the mid to high 80s. The program has a two-step selection procedure:

  1. Assessment of academic eligibility. Applicants must be successful at step one to be considered for step two.
  2. Admission interview - selected applicants will be invited to Hamilton for an interview. The interview process will consist of ten, ten-minute interviews. The interviews typically take place on a Saturday at the end of April, but this is subject to change. Candidates must attend on the date and at the time specified.

Offers of admission will be made following the interview process.

Offers based on interim grades will be conditional upon maintaining satisfactory performance on final grades and are based on the results from step 2.

Application for Deferred Registration​

McMaster will normally only grant deferrals on offers of admission when there are special extenuating circumstances. The McMaster Midwifery Education Program will evaluate all requests for deferral on their own merits. A request for deferral (to the subsequent Fall term) will be considered under the following circumstances:

  • the student has accepted their undergraduate offer of admission to the university; and
  • all conditions outlined in the Offer of Admission letter have been met; and
  • the student is not intending to return to secondary school or attend another postsecondary institution during the deferral period.

For information on how to formally request a deferral, please see https://registrar.mcmaster.ca/events/admission-deferrals/

Unsuccessful Applicants

If an unsuccessful applicant, or an applicant who refuses their offer of admission, wishes to reapply to the Midwifery Education Program, a new application, including transcripts and supplementary materials must be submitted.

Application Deadline

Submission of completed application forms to the Ontario Universities’ Application Centre must be received by the University no later than February 1 of the year in which registration is expected. All certified transcripts from secondary and post-secondary education previously attended by an external applicant must be forwarded to the Office of the Registrar and received by February 1. Applications received after February 1 will not be considered.


The Ontario Public Hospitals Act requires that all persons working in a hospital setting meet certain criteria regarding surveillance for infectious diseases.  In order for the requirement of the legislation to be met, students are required to complete the immunization screening process by July 15th in the year of admission and each subsequent academic year. Failure to do so will result in suspension of clinical work. Information will be sent to successful applicants prior to registration. 

Police Records Check

An offer of admission is contingent upon provision of a Police Records Check, by July 31st of the year of admission.  All registered students are required to have a satisfactory Police Records Check completed by July 31st annually.  Expenses for the Police Records Check are the responsibility of the student.

The Police Records Check includes a Vulnerable Sector Screening and check of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), National Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC) database for the following:

  • All records of Criminal Code (Canada) convictions
  • All pardoned sexual offences
  • All record of convictions under the Narcotic Control Act
  • All records of convictions under the Food and Drug Act
  • Any undertakings to enter into a Surety to Keep the Peace
  • Any Restraining Orders issued under the Criminal Code (Canada) or the Family Act
  • All outstanding warrants and charges

Financial Information

In 2019-2020 the tuition fees for a student in Level I of the Midwifery Education Program were $8,261.19 for an eight month academic term. Supplementary fees are estimated at $500.00 per year.

Additional costs include books, supplies, and other learning resources estimated at $1,200.00 - $1,700.00.

Students must have access to a vehicle for all placement courses.

Students should expect to relocate for clinical placements.

Students should expect to cover their own travel and accommodation costs during the program. The program strongly suggests that students join both the College of Midwives Subscriber Status and the Association of Ontario Midwives as a student member.

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. All students are encouraged to register as soon as Mosaic is available to them.

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.

In addition to meeting the General Academic Regulations of the University, students enrolled in the Midwifery Education Program will be subject to the following program regulations.

The Midwifery Education Program reserves the right, at any point during the term, to remove a student from a clinical placement or laboratory setting if the student exhibits unsafe clinical practice or behaviour that places clients or others at risk and/or violates the Midwifery Act of Ontario. Such removal will result in the student receiving a grade of F and may result in dismissal from the program.

Continuation in the Program

All courses (clinical and non-clinical) with the subject abbreviation MIDWIF and HTHSCI (as outlined in the Curriculum Plan) are required for the degree. Students are reviewed at the end of each term. Students must achieve a Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) of at least 6.0 in all graded courses and achieve a Pass/Satisfactory performance in all clinical courses at each review to continue in Good Standing in the program.

Good Standing

A student is considered to be in Good Standing when all of the following criteria are met. The student must:

  1. achieve a Grade Point Average (GPA) of at least 6.0;
  2. achieve a minimum grade of C- in HTH SCI 1D06; and a minimum grade of B- in MIDWIF 1D03, 1G03, 2G06, 3F03 and 3J06;
  3. achieve a minimum grade of C- in each of HTH SCI 1C06, 1J03, 2M03 and MIDWIF 1F03 (or HTH SCI 3C04), 2F03, with the exception that a minimum grade of D is acceptable in one of those courses;
  4. achieve a Pass/Satisfactory performance in all clinical courses MIDWIF 2H15; 3I03; 3K06; 3L03; 3A09; 3H15; 4A15 and 4B15; 
  5. receive a passing grade (minimum D-) in any required midwifery, health science, or indigenous studies graded courses other than those stated in 2. and 3. above.


A student will be placed on probation if any of the following criteria is met. The student:

  1. obtains a GPA less than 6.0;
  2. obtains a grade of less than C- in HTHSCI 1D06 or a grade of less than B- in MIDWIF 1D03, 1G03, 2G06, 3F03 and 3J06;
  3. achieves a minimum grade of less than C- in HTH SCI 1C06, 1J03, 2M03 or MIDWIF 1F03 (or HTH SCI 3C04), 2F03, with the exception that a grade of D or D+ is acceptable in one of those courses;
  4. receives an F or a Fail/Unsatisfactory in any clinical course MIDWIF 2H15; 3I03; 3K06; 3L03; 3A09; 3H15; 4A15 and 4B15;
  5. fails any one required midwifery, health science or indigenous studies course.

If a student receives a CA of less than 6.0 (5.5 to 5.9), he/she may remain in the program, but will be placed on program probation for one reviewing period. A student is permitted to be on program probation only once. A student on probation at the completion of Level II, Fall term, must undertake remedial course work and remove the probationary status before proceeding to MIDWIF 2H15. If a student receives a CA of 3.5 - 5.4, he/she may transfer to another program for which he/she qualifies.

A student must obtain a minimum pass grade (D-) except in courses with a higher minimum grade requirement (see items 2. and 3. under Good Standing above) when a course is repeated and receive an overall CGPA of 6.0 at the completion of a probation period. Planned course work for any student on probation must be approved by the Academic Review Committee.

Graduation Requirements

Students who have successfully completed Level III of the program may request permission from the B.H.Sc. (Midwifery) Program Office to graduate with a three-level B.H.Sc. degree. Please refer to the General Academic Regulations  section in this Calendar for additional information related to graduation.

Required to Withdraw

A student will be required to withdraw from the program if any of the following criteria is met. The student:

  1. obtains a Grade Point Average (GPA) of less than 6.0 at the end of a probation period;
  2. fails two of the following courses MIDWIF 1D03; 1G03; 1F03; 2F03, 2G06; 3J06; 3F03; HTHSCI 1C06; ID06; 1J03; 2M03; 2H15; 3I03; 3K06; 3L03; 3A09; 3H15; 4A15; 4B15;
  3. fails the second attempt at a course or receives a grade in the second attempt below C- for any of HTHSCI 1C06, 1D06, 1J03, 2M03, MIDWIF 1F03 (or HTHSCI 3C04), 2F03 or below B- in MIDWIF 1D03; 2G06; 3F03; 3J06;
  4. fails to complete program requirements for graduation within the maximum allowable time (five years) (not inclusive of approved leaves of absence);

Deans’ Honour List, Graduation with Distinction, Provost’s Honour Roll

Students will be evaluated for standing on the Deans’ Honour List, Graduation with Distinction and the Provost’s Honour Roll only upon completion of the program. Students will be named to the Deans’ Honour List and will Graduate with Distinction if they receive no failing, provisional or unsatisfactory grades in any courses throughout the program and achieve a GPA of 9.5, on graded courses taken throughout the program.

For the Provost’s Honour Roll, students will be assessed if they have a GPA of 12.0 and have not received a failing, provisional or unsatisfactory grade in any course throughout the program.

Graduation Requirements

A student is eligible for graduation when all of the following criteria are met. The student must:

  1. complete all required courses, including electives, with a GPA of at least 6.0 including a minimum grade of C- in HTHSCI 1D06 and a minimum grade of B- in MIDWIF 1D03, 2G06; 3F03; and 3J06; 
  2. complete HTHSCI 1C06, 1J03, 2M03, MIDWIF 1F03 (or HTHSCI 3C04), 2F03 with a minimum grade of C- with the exception of a D in one of those courses;
  3. complete all clinical courses with a Pass/Satisfactory grade;
  4. complete all courses for the degree within five years (not inclusive of approved leaves of absence). 

The practice of midwifery is regulated by the College of Midwives under the Midwifery Act, 1991 and the Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991.

The Midwifery Education Program monitors and documents students’ clinical experience in order that students meet minimum practice requirements to be eligible for registration to practice. Graduation from the Midwifery Education Program does not guarantee registration with the College of Midwives of Ontario. All applicants to the College must meet additional registration requirements. New graduates are required to work in an established practice for their first year of registration.

Regulatory requirements are subject to change from time to time.



    Bachelor of Health Sciences