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 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 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.”

Standout Programs

• Integrated Arts (iArts): This interdisciplinary, hands-on program combines art and performance techniques with histories and critical contexts, as well as entrepreneurial skills needed in the creative arts.

• Sustainable Chemistry: Discover innovative ways to improve the environmental footprint and sustainability of common products. Access state-of-the-art facilities, the latest instrumentation and co-ops.

• Integrated Biomedical Engineering and Health Sciences: This interdisciplinary program provides a strong foundation as well as hands-on experience through entrepreneurial projects.

Tuition (includes compulsory ancillary fees)


Minimum Entering Grades

Arts: 78-83% · Science: 84-90% · Commerce: 86-90% · Engineering: 90-95%

Student Body

Undergraduates: Full-time: 30,171 · Part-time: 1,362

Graduates: Full-time: 4,081 · Part-time: 836

International Students: First-year: 15.6%

Graduate: 28.4%

Male-female Ratio: 44 to 56

Housing Facts

Residence Spaces: 4,000 (3,300 reserved for first-year students)

Residence Costs: Double room with meals: $10,073

Single room with meals: $10,998

Apartment-style: $9,250

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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