McMaster University

Founded 1887 | Hamilton, ON

Although its manufacturing- and steel-based economy gave Hamilton its “Steeltown” moniker, students need not be deterred by images of an industrial wasteland. McMaster University is 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 offerings, such as integrated programs where related subjects are taught under one degree, like integrated business and humanities.

The inquiry approach—a form of self-directed, problem-based learning—originated at McMaster’s well-respected medical school. Universities around the world, including Harvard, continue to use Mac as a model. The university’s state-of-the-art facilities include 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 university’s art gallery and 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.”

Campus Buzz

McMaster students can put their climbing skills to the test at the recently renovated Pulse Fitness Centre, which features a three-story indoor climbing wall.

Standout Programs

• Integrated Biomedical Engineering and Health Sciences: This interdisciplinary program provides a strong theoretical foundation as well as practical hands-on, project-based learning with a strong emphasis on entrepreneurship and solving real-world problems.

• Kinesiology: This program offers a broad mix of basic and applied science courses related to the study of human movement. Students learn in the classroom, laboratory, and through fieldwork placements.

• Integrated Arts (iArts): This interdisciplinary hands-on program combines media and techniques in art and performance with history and critical context. Students create a body of work and hone career skills.

Tuition (includes compulsory ancillary fees)

$7,538 ($8,357 out-of-province students)

Minimum Entering Grades

Arts: 78-85% | Science: 88-93% | Commerce: 85-90% | Engineering: 88-93%

Student Body

Undergraduates: Full-time: 30,792 | Part-time: 1,382

Graduates: Full-time: 4,435 | Part-time: 928

International Students: First-year: 11.8% | Graduate: 34.9%

Housing Facts

Residence Spaces: 4,252 (4,000 reserved for first year students)

Residence Costs: Double room with meals: $13,470 to $14,920 | Single room with meals: $14,420 to $15,920 | Apartment-style: $8,350 to $10,400

Cool Courses

• Public Memory, Media and African Diaspora Studies: Study Black history and continuing freedom struggles within public spaces and institutions.

• Integrated Engineering Design Project 2: Students complete a design project in areas such as 3D-printed housing, clean water for remote communities and infrastructure for self-driving vehicles.

Student Life on Campus

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