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McMaster University

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Subject areas

Commerce, Engineering, Humanities and Social Sciences, Music, Science


Canada, North America

Language of instruction


Level of study

Both UG/PG

Additional information

McMaster is located in the city of Hamilton, 45minutes from Toronto, Niagara Falls, and the USA border.
Semester Dates (General)
Term 1: Early September to end of December (including exams)
Term 2: Early January to end of April (including exams)
Course registration at McMaster takes place in mid-June for all students. Therefore, it is ideal for VUW students to apply by the December 1st for exchange during VUW's Trimester 2 or Trimester 1 the following year to secure courses for your exchange period. However, students can apply at both deadlines.
The availability of off-campus housing in the Fall (September) term can be very limited, most difficult for single semester exchange students. We encourage partners to nominate their semester students for the Spring (January) term when possible and encourage students to apply for the on-campus room lottery.
Ontario's University Health Insurance Plan (UHIP) is mandatory for all international and exchange students studying in Ontario. The UHIP fee will be automatically charged to the students’ account.
UHIP is a comprehensive plan appropriate for coverage in the Province of Ontario only. Students traveling outside of Ontario or Canada must purchase supplemental health insurance.
For more details visit or click here.
Students should visit Citizenship and Immigration Canada upon receiving their acceptance letter from McMaster University to understand the immigration requirements for their visit. As processing times vary, students should apply as soon as possible.
More information can be found at the links below:
Canadian Immigration & Citizenship Canada - click here.

Exchange length

1 or 2 Trimesters

Course load

Undergraduate students: Full-time studies at McMaster equates to 12 or 15 units per semester (4 or 5 courses). Students will be asked to choose a home faculty from which they will take the majority of their courses (for example, 3 out of 5 courses, or 3 out of 4 courses).

Graduate students: The number of courses varies by program. On average students take 1-3. Some course-based engineering programs will have students take up to 5.

VUW students are required to take at least 4 courses (12 units) per semester. Courses taught at levels 1, 2 or 3 transfer to Victoria at 100, 200 or 300 respectively.

Exchange restrictions

Students accepted at the undergraduate (bachelor) level are not eligible to take courses at the graduate (masters) level. Students are NOT permitted to take courses within the School of Social Work. Exchange with the Faculty of Health Sciences is NOT permitted.

Undergraduate exchange students will be registered as Level 3 students at McMaster and should expect to follow courses in Level 2 and Level 3. Enrolment in Level 4 and many Level 1 courses is generally reserved for McMaster students. Access to Level 1 elective courses may be given, space permitting.

Faculty of Humanities
Multimedia and Studio Art courses are restricted, but may be open to students registered in a similar program at their home university (space permitting). Students interested in these courses should contact McMaster early to check availability and, if interested in Studio Art, submit a portfolio.

Faculty of Engineering
The Bachelor of Technology program is not available to exchange students. This includes any course with TECH in the course code (GENTECH, BIOTECH, CIVILTECH, AUTOTECH, etc.).

Faculty of Social Sciences
Students applying for PNB (Psychology, Neuroscience and Behaviour) courses should have completed ‘A’ level mathematics and at least ‘O’ level biology. This would equate to university calculus and grade 12 biology (highest biology level in high school). Please note that Psychology courses are science based.

Faculty of Science
Enrolment in Science Inquiry and Senior Projects is restricted (may be waived on a case by case basis).

Students within the Faculty of Science may be permitted to take courses within the Faculty of Health Sciences. This will depend on seat availability and sufficient background knowledge. Students will be considered on a case by case basis, negotiating all requests with their McMaster academic advisor.

DeGroote School of Business
The economics program is part of the Faculty of Social Sciences at McMaster, NOT the School of Business. This may affect some students’ eligibility for Commerce courses depending on the agreement between McMaster and the partner university. Engineering students must be registered within an Engineering Management program at their home institution to be eligible to take courses within the Faculty of Business. Level 1 business is not open to exchange students.