McMaster University: Ranking, profile | Maclean's

McMaster University

McMaster University | Hamilton, Ont. | Founded 1887

Students walk on McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario on Thursday, September 22, 2017. (Photograph by Hannah Yoon)

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. Located near lakefront conservation areas, pedestrians rule the school grounds, as 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. In particular, 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. Students can take a break at the on-campus planetarium or the art gallery. President Patrick Deane lays out the school’s priorities: maximizing the undergraduate experience, building stronger community connections and driving research excellence. “We must serve our community by cultivating human potential in rapidly changing circumstances,” Deane says. “We must teach our lessons and gather our data, not only in lecture halls and laboratories, but also in the streets, shops and clinics, and the very landscape we inhabit.”

READ: Where to find the best place for a nap and more on campus

Standout Programs
Bachelor of Commerce in Integrated Business and Humanities: Combines classes from the DeGroote School of Business and the faculty of humanities; offers experiential learning, a global approach to management, and a strong focus on community engagement and sustainable business practices.
Bachelor of Health, Engineering Science and Entrepreneurship and Bachelor of Engineering and Biomedical Engineering: Both programs aim to expose students to the interdisciplinary nature of biomedical engineering; students share a common first-year curriculum and have the option to complete either degree.
Justice, Political Philosophy and Law: Offers a cross-disciplinary range of courses exploring the world’s political and legal landscape; includes an experiential course in final year.

Cool Courses
Natural Disasters: A look at plate tectonics, earthquakes, volcanoes, landslides, river erosion and climate change, and the impact they have on human populations.
• Aging: This psychology course examines sensory, cognitive, personality and social changes that occur through the aging processes.

Minimum entering grades Tuition Number of students Residence spaces Graduation and retention rates
Engineering: 89%
Arts: 75%
Science: 85% to 90%
Commerce: 82.5%
$7,451 Undergraduates: 24,440
Graduates: 4,196
3,780 (3,590 reserved for first years) Graduation: 80.3%
Retention: 90.3%

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