McMaster University

McMaster University | Hamilton, Ont. | Founded 1887

McMaster university student in a laboratory

Courtesy of Georgia Kirkos/McMaster University

Although its steel- and manufacturing-based economy gave Hamilton its “Steeltown” moniker, students need not be deterred by images of an industrial wasteland. McMaster is actually a green campus with ivy-covered buildings blending in with modern glass and steel. Pedestrians rule the school grounds, which are located near lakefront conservation areas; cars are not allowed beyond the parking lots located along the campus perimeter.

Students are as enthusiastic and engaged as the forward-thinking professors, thanks to the university’s innovative teaching methods. The inquiry approach—a form of self-directed, problem-based learning—originated with the well-respected medical school, and universities around the world, including Harvard, continue to use Mac as a model. The university has a low-powered nuclear reactor, which is used for research and to produce medical isotopes for cancer treatment. Meanwhile, students can take a break at the on-campus planetarium or check out the art gallery or archives.

“McMaster’s success is rooted in taking chances,” says president David Farrar. “Our greatest leaps forward have happened when people came together and imagined something totally new, like problem-based learning. Even more importantly, they were encouraged to exercise their creativity, take a chance and do something astonishing.”

READ: An insider’s guide to the best cheap lunch, place to study and more on campus

Standout Programs
• Integrated Biomedical Engineering and Health Sciences: This five-year interdisciplinary program provides a strong foundation as well as experience through hands-on entrepreneurial projects.
• Integrated Business and Humanities: Emphasizing responsible leadership and management tactics for a changing global economy, this interdisciplinary program has a strong focus on community engagement and sustainable business practices.
Indigenous Studies: Students learn about the intellectual and cultural traditions of Indigenous peoples in areas such as community and political dynamics, peacebuilding, health and wellness, the creative arts, language, and traditional ecological knowledge.

Cool Courses
• Food, Power and Place: Students explore how our relationship to food is mediated by the state, private business and charity.
Media Numeracy: Telling Stories With Numbers: In a “post-truth” era, this course sheds new light on popular media. Students apply practical numeracy skills to examine stories that are told through text and numbers.

Tuition (includes compulsory ancillary fees)
$7,378
Minimum Entering Grades
Arts: 78-80% · Science: 83-90% · Commerce: 85.5-88% · Engineering: 90-95%
Student Body
Undergraduates: Full-time: 28,209 · Part-time: 1,067
Graduates: Full-time: 4,233 · Part-time: 758
International Students: First-year: 15.4% · Graduate: 32.6%
Male-female Ratio: 44 to 56
Housing Facts
Residence offerings reduced because of COVID-19
Residence Spaces: 700 (4,123 last year with 3,987 reserved for first-year students)
Residence Costs: Single room without meals: $8,700 to $9,350 · Apartment-style: $8,400 to $8,725

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