Graduate students are core to McMaster University’s educational mission, both as learners and teachers, and graduate students’ discoveries have helped McMaster become one of Canada’s most research intensive universities.
McMaster’s graduate students connect, discover and excel in more than 100 Master’s and Ph.D. level programs in fields spanning the Humanities, Social Sciences, Science, Engineering, Business and Health Sciences. As our graduate student enrolment continues to grow, so does the demand for new program offerings – and this year we met the demand by creating five new programs. Two programs are interdisciplinary collaborations between the Faculty of Health Sciences and the DeGroote School of Business: the Master's of Health Management, and the Master's of Science program in Global Health, which is a unique partnership with Maastricht University in the Netherlands. The DeGroote School of Business also initiated a graduate diploma program in Management Studies. Faculty from Humanities and Social Sciences came together to support an innovative interdisiplinary program in Gender Studies and Feminist Research, which will grant both Master’s degrees and graduate diplomas for students enrolled in disciplinary PhD programs. Finally, McMaster approved another collaborative diploma program called "Water without Borders" with the United Nations University Institute for Water, Environment and Health (UNU-INWEH). These new programs complement our outstanding existing disciplinary and interdisciplinary programs, and together meet the full range of educational needs for the next generation of leaders.
More than 3800 graduate students from all over the world now call McMaster home, and a key priority continues to be the maintaining and enhancing the quality and diversity of our students. We are expanding opportunities for international students and visiting graduate students to conduct their research here at McMaster and for our students to travel abroad, and providing new support structures for international students. The primary purpose of SGS has been to provide students with outstanding and innovative academic programs. Recently, SGS’s mandate also was expanded to support graduate student life and research training through the development and administration of programs in support of research and essential skills training for graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and undergraduate researchers. Last year we established a series of professional development workshops, including improvisational theatre training in collaboration with Hamilton’s Theatre Aquarius.
We started this year with comradery as Jorge Cham, creator of PhD Comics, greeted over 1200 students, including half of the incoming class. Through his humour, he reminded everyone in the audience that the coming years will be challenging but are exciting and you are not alone. We heard many ideas from students at our welcome event, and to keep the discussion going, this year we are initiating a new program called Dine with the Dean. This initiative will connect students with University and Community leaders, and enable students to continue sharing their ideas about how we can all work together to ensure McMaster provides graduate students with the best possible experience.
Our office in 212 Gilmour Hall is a resource for you throughout your time at McMaster. You can also visit us virtually on our new SGS website or through the Ask McMaster knowledge database – simply type in your questions for a quick reply: from recruitment to registration to convocation. We look forward to a wonderful year in graduate studies, and to hearing about your experiences as McMaster graduate students in the labs, libraries, and beyond.
Sincerely, Allison Sekuler
Associate Vice-President and Dean, Graduate Studies