How to Apply

Prepare your application

Before applying to a McMaster University graduate program, you need to prepare your application:

McMaster University’s graduate programs include a wide-range of specialties in more than 100 Master’s and Ph.D. level programs.

Application deadlines vary between programs. Students must complete their applications by the deadlines noted in order to be considered admissible.

Find more information about the graduate programs McMaster University offers

Master’s Degree/Diploma/Post-Degree

  • Honours Bachelor’s Degree or equivalent
  • B+ (B- for Engineering) minimum average, based on a full year equivalent of final year courses (3rd/4th level) relevant to the program
  • Each program may set additional/higher requirements. Please review the program website for details.

Doctoral (PhD) Degree

  • Master’s Degree
  • B+ minimum average, based on previous graduate work
  • Each program may set additional/higher requirements. Please review the program website for details.
  • Admission to a graduate program is based on a judgement by the University that the applicant can successfully complete the graduate degree program.
  • Degrees and grades from foreign universities are evaluated for their equivalency to McMaster’s. Please contact the program for specific details.
  • Departments or programs may establish additional requirements, such as scores on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE).
  • Admission is competitive: meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee admission.
  • The admission decision is not subject to appeal.
  • Applicants who do not meet the above mentioned requirements, should consult the Graduate Calendar to determine the requirements for exceptional cases

Applicants are required to submit evidence of their proficiency in the English language as part of their application. The most common evidence is a score on one of the following exams:

  • TOEFL: minimum score of 92 (internet based), 237 (computer based) or 580 (paper based), minimum of 20 per band; for the Faculty of Engineering a minimum score of 80 (internet based) or 213 on the (computer based) or 550 (paper based)
  • IELTS (Academic): minimum overall score of 6.5, with at least 5.5 in each section
  • CAEL: minimum overall score of 70, with at least 60 per band
  • MELAB: minimum score of 85
  • PTE Academic: minimum score of 63
  • York University course: YUELI Level 6 with a minimum final grade of B
  • University of Toronto course: Academic Level 60 with a minimum final grade of B

Each program may set additional/higher requirements. Please review the program website for details.

The following items are required before your online application will be considered complete. Send all documentation to the program office. Review the program website for mailing information.

Official Transcripts

  • All post-secondary academic work completed to date
  • Transcripts must be sent directly from the issuing institution to the program office
  • If the final transcript does not show that all degree requirements have been met or the degree is conferred, an official copy of your diploma is also required

Two academic references

  • From instructors most familiar with your academic work
  • McMaster University uses an Electronic Referencing System. By entering the email address of your referee through the online application, the system will automatically send an e-Reference request on your behalf
  • If for some reason you are unable to use the Electronic Referencing System, you can download the Reference form here
  • Some McMaster programs may have different reference requirements. Please review the program website for details

English Language Proficiency

  • Review Language Requirements for acceptable tests
  • Applicants who have completed a university degree where the primary language of instruction is
  • English may have this requirement waived Please contact the program of interest for more information

Statement of Interest

  • Please review program website for specific details and requirements

Additional Documents

  • Programs may require additional documents as part of the application. Please review program website for details

Application instructions

This guide will lead you through the online application process.

Please note:

  • If you require technical support with the online application or eReference system, please email the technical support email account
  • You must save your application frequently. The application system will allow you to partially complete the process (if necessary) and return to it later
  • If you have successfully paid your application fee but are unable to submit the application, please try to clear your browsing history and/or login to your application using a different browser
  • Be sure to have a valid credit card or Interac card (domestic applicants) ready for the application fee ($100 CAD/ $150 CAD for MBA) and a valid email address. Please note application fees will be increased to $110 CAD starting for the September 2018 application cycle (MBA $150 CAD)
  • It takes approximately 30-45 minutes to complete an application. For security reasons, you will be logged out of the online application if you take more than 45 minutes on any one page
  • Applications from outside Canada should be completed at least five months before the desired date of entry, to allow for any delays and for obtaining the necessary student visa
  • Please note that McMaster University is closed from December 23 - January 1 inclusive and the technical support email account will not be monitored during this time. Please be assured that we will respond to technical support request messages received once the university reopens in January.
  • Review all admission requirements for your programs of interest
  • If you're ready to apply immediately, visit this page.
  • Select Full or Part-Time Status
  • Select the Admit Term (start date)
  • Click the “Search” button to identify a full list of all programs with an open application


  • Type a key word into the search box (i.e. Biology) and click “Search”
  • Click “Select” to start the application
  • Confirm the application details and click “Continue with Application”
  • To select a different program, click “Cancel and Return to Search”

If your search results in “No applications are available based on the search criteria…” then review the program website to ensure the application deadline has not passed and contact the program for additional information.

Provide your name, date of birth, citizenship details and other identification details. Please ensure that all information is accurate and matches your official supporting documents.

You may specify a mailing address different from your permanent address.

The email address you provide will be the one we use to communicate with you throughout the admissions process.

You can change this information at a later date through Mosaic.

Mosaic is the university’s main site for students to carry out key tasks related to their academic life, like checking course schedules and paying tuition. For future students, it’s also the place where you can check on the status of your application for admission. You will be able to log into Mosaic once you’ve submitted your application and received your application confirmation email containing login information.

Create a list of all the post-secondary academic institutions you have attended, including college, and/or university.

Begin by selecting the Country and Province of the school and this will populate a current listing of institutions for you to select from. If you cannot find your school in the drop down menu, you may manually type the institution name.

Please include the time period when you studied there (approximate dates are acceptable), and the degree or level that you have completed. Failure to disclose all previous post-secondary education an affect your application, evaluation, acceptance or registration.

Indicate any languages that you speak, read or write including English.

You may indicate unofficial English Language Proficiency test scores (e.g. TOEFL, IELTS, etc.) if applicable.

You may indicate your area of research interest by selecting or creating a topic. You may identify potential supervisor(s). If the potential supervisor is not listed, please contact the program to which you are applying.

Use the FORWARD/BACK ARROWS (< or >) to view and respond to each question.

Be sure to click “Save” after you have entered your responses.

Responses may contain a maximum of 4000 characters including spaces.

Please ensure that you have PDF copies of your documents ready to upload. PDF documents should be unlocked and not password protected.

Individual file size should NOT exceed 5MB and the total file size of all uploaded documents should NOT exceed a maximum of 10MB.

Indicate the name and contact information for at least two references from instructors most familiar with your academic work. ( It is important to note that some programs require three (3) references ( 

You will be required to indicate an email address for each referee.  Your referees will receive an email message asking them to complete an eReference after your application has been submitted. If you need to change your reference or referee email address after submitting your application, you may do so through the Mosaic Applicant Portal.

Required Information in the Online Application:

Name: Enter the referee name

Institution: Enter the referee’s affiliated institution in the box provided. Abbreviations are strongly discouraged

Email: By providing the email address of your referee(s), the system will automatically send an electronic reference request to that email address once your application is complete and has been submitted

Please ensure that you have read and accepted the Collection of Personal Information notice and Application Declaration terms.

Generate a report of your application details and review for accuracy. You may wish to save a copy of this report for your future reference.

Application Fee: To finalize your application, you need to agree to our terms and conditions, and pay a non-refundable application fee ($100 CAD) by credit card or debit card. Please review your program website for additional/higher application fee details.

The Student Accounts & Cashiers website indicates acceptable methods of payment.

If you are paying the application fee by credit or debit card, please remember to return to the online application to click “Submit”

Your application will not be considered for admission until your application fee has been paid.

Returning to complete an application in progress?

Having Technical Difficulties?

Send an email and include the details of your query. Please be sure to include details such as error messages and the name of the program to which you are applying. Screen shots are helpful.

After you&#039;ve applied

Now that you've applied, what's next?

Once you have submitted your online application, you will receive an email confirming your application has been successfully submitted within the next few days. The email will contain important information about how to access Mosaic to follow the status of your application and your checklist of required documents.

Applicants can check their application status online anytime, after their application has been submitted, by logging into the Mosaic system. The admissions process varies for each applicant and program and the School of Graduate Studies cannot provide specific dates for admission decisions. 

If you have questions about the status of your application contact the program to which you are applying. Click here for program information.

NOTE: If you have submitted all of the required documentation and the application status indicates "Initiated" the program office staff may not have had the opportunity to update your status due to high application volumes.

Received an offer of admission?

Congratulations! You now have your Offer of Admission in hand.

We hope you will join us. Respond to the offer through your Mosaic portal.

Learn more about registration, orientation and other ways to prepare for your graduate studies at McMaster.