Academic Advisors are committed to helping students achieve their academic goals. We are happy to meet with students to address their concerns and make appropriate referrals. To this end, we make available numerous tools and resources in an effort to inform students of dates, deadlines, information sessions, pertinent websites etc.
There are, however, many responsibilities which university students must themselves assume including:
Meeting program admission requirements by proper course selection.
Checking all deadlines for program application, registration, dropping and adding courses, sessional dates, exam schedule.
Ensuring all course prerequisites requirements are met.
Reading the Undergraduate Calendar and becoming familiar with and respect the University Sessional Dates http://registrar.mcmaster.ca/CALENDAR/current/pg195.html, the general academic regulations and Faculty/Program/School specific regulations. Experience has shown that students who do not follow these guidelines may experience academic consequences such as cancellation of registration in courses, completion of courses that are not counted towards their degree, or delayed graduation.
Becoming familiar with their degree audit that is available on MUGSI/SOLAR. The degree audit should be treated like a program planner. Students should be visiting their Academic Advisor whenever they have any academic concerns or questions.
Maintaining current contact information with the University, including address, phone numbers, and emergency contact information.
Use the University provided e-mail address or maintaining a valid forwarding e-mail so they don’t miss any important information from their Faculty or other departments.
Making an appointment with their Associate Deans Office if they believe situations warrant special consideration. Most offices have availability on both a drop in and appointment basis.
The Student Success Centre acts as a central resource for academic support providing services for students that will increase their confidence and improve their skills necessary for success at university.
Included are workshops that assist with the development of many academic and life skills, such as the writing process, time management, effective note-taking, study strategies, and more. By participating in a workshop, students can expect to learn valuable academic strategies that will increase their confidence and improve skills necessary for their success at university.
Register on OSCARplus to participate in any of these workshops.
With the success of summer workshops for incoming students to McMaster University, Student Accessibility Services is now offering workshops during the school year for both fall and winter terms. These workshops are designed to aid students with disabilities in furthering their academic skills.
Here are some of the workshops being offered for the Fall Term:
October 2011 - Thursday, 27th, 1:30 - 3:00 PM at MUSC 230
University Level Essays: Beyond the Hamburger Principle
This workshop gives students the chance to explore professor expectations regarding essay requirements. They will receive tips on how to refine an essay topic and content following a brief demonstration of software programs designed to assist with the writing process.
November 2011 – Tuesday, 15th, 1:30 – 3:00 PM at MUSC 311/313
Exam Preparation: Feeling Anxious? Just Breathe.
With exams around the corner, students are now feeling anxious. That is why this workshop is designed so students can gather valuable tips to help them alleviate test anxiety and enhance their test taking skills. Perfect for ways to prepare for exams.
Student Accessibility Services (SAS) is pleased to announce a new program focused on putting technology in the hands of students to aid in evaluating what the most effective hardware and software solutions could be for them with respect to their disability. Made possible by the Student Life Enhancement Fund, a variety of hardware and software is available for loan such as organizational tools, recording and note taking devices, and reading software. Having the opportunity to take a tool to class, and then home, allows one to answer questions like “Is this going to reduce work, or add to it?” and “This is useful, but is it worth the price?” without having to purchase the technology.
Students can access the lending program by speaking with their Disability Coordinator, Assistive Technologist, or Learning Strategist at SAS http://sas.mcmaster.ca/
SEND SOME LOVE FROM HOMEwith an Exam Survival Kit!
The McMaster Alumni Association is pleased to offer parents a way to help ease the stress of exams with a kit full of exam essentials along with a personalized note from home. Crammed in a reusable tote, this kit makes the grade with study essentials such as highlighters, post-its, as well as energy snacks and treats such as breakfast bars, gum, candy, soup, pop. We do the shopping and delivery – you send the love in a personalized note to your student!
A scholarship is awarded on the basis of academic merit and/or extracurricular activities. It does not require repayment.
A bursary is typically awarded based on demonstrated financial need to help eligible students meet their financial commitments. A student normally demonstrates financial need through their provincial loan program application (such as the Ontario Student Assistance Program-OSAP). It is considered a gift, and does not require repayment.
Academic grants combine aspects of both scholarships and bursaries. These are awarded to students on the basis of achievement (academics and/or extracurricular) as well as demonstrated financial need.
Government student loans are available to students and are offered at both the federal and provincial level. Government loans are based on financial need and may not be available to everyone. Generally, interest payments on the loans are made by the government while the student remains in school.
Bank loans may be available to students at a preferential interest rate; however, most institutions offer student lines of credit which allow more flexibility, permitting withdrawals as needed to a preset limit. Students pay interest on the funds withdrawn and are expected to only pay the interest on a monthly basis while in school.
One of the most valuable skills a student can acquire during their academic years is how to manage finances. Building a budget is about understanding the difference between income and expenses. In order to start building a budget, students need to take inventory of their income, thinking of all sources such as scholarships, bursaries, loans, earnings from employment as well as consider all expenses including tuition, books, meals, housing and utilities. Budgeting is all about understanding how much money is coming in (earnings) versus how much is spent and what it is spent on!
Help your student be a budget builder! The Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships has produced an interactive Budget Builder allowing students to design a budget, while providing feedback with hints and tips to help create a reasonable spending plan.
Financial Aid & Scholarships - Upcoming Applications & Deadlines
December 1, 2011 KILLAM FELLOWSHIP TO STUDY IN THE UNITED STATES 2012-2013 ADMISSION
The Killam Fellowships Program provides opportunities for exceptional undergraduate students from universities in Canada and the United States to study in the neighbouring country for either one semester or a full academic year. Established in 2002 through a partnership between the Foundation for Educational Exchange between Canada and the United States of America (Foundation) and the American Killam Trusts, the goal of the program is to increase mutual understanding between Canada and the United States of America through a program of residential exchange. After a very successful five-year pilot phase, the program is now available to all undergraduate students in good standing at four-year degree-granting institutions throughout Canada and the United States.
Direct exchange program: Killam Fellows who participate in the direct exchange program (partner institutions) will register at their home institution and attend the host institution as an exchange student and, during the course of their fellowship, will continue to pay tuition and fees to their home institution. Candidates must be nominated by their home university. Students should apply to the direct exchange program through the Office of Student Financial Aid & Scholarships.
# In addition to the $10,000 US ($5,000 US per semester) cash prize, and the allowance for health insurance costs, all Fellows are eligible to apply for a mobility grant in an amount not to exceed $800 US. The idea of the Mobility Program is to allow students to undertake an educational field trip, providing the Fellows with the opportunity to gain a fuller understanding of the culture of the host country. Please consult the 'news and events' section of the Killam web site to learn about the mobility projects and travel plans of current Killam fellows and Killam alumni.
Services to Killam Fellows:
A program officer available to answer any of the student’s questions about the program either before or during their time abroad
Assistance in obtaining the necessary documentation to study and travel in the United States
Contact information for other American and Canadian students who have attended the same university through the Killam program
The opportunity to share their experiences with other current Killam students through the Fall Orientation session and Spring Seminar
Assistance with the course selection process to ensure full credit transfer to the student’s home university.
Why Study in the United States?:
Interesting cultural opportunity
World-class research universities, offering credits that should be transferable to a student’s degree requirements in their programs at their home institutions.
Full-time undergraduate student in good standing in an Honours program, at McMaster University
Expected to receive an undergraduate degree in the Spring of 2013 or beyond
Eligible for study abroad, meeting the eligible requirements and regulations of McMaster University (Normally, study abroad is done in the student’s penultimate year. Student’s must have the approval of their Associate Dean of Studies to participate in this exchange program.)
Proficiency in English
In possession of a superior academic record (McMaster recommends a minimum cumulative average of 9.5)
Able to complete all steps of the application process by the published deadlines Applications in the Student Financial Aid drop box (located outside of Gilmour Hall, room 120) by 8:00 am on Friday, December 2nd will be accepted. Applications received after 8 am will not be accepted under any circumstances.
Applications are reviewed by an independent adjudication committee, normally comprised of faculty members from Canadian and American universities
Selection is open and competitive, based on a combination of academic standing, personal statements, and letters of reference
The Foundation recognizes that excellence is found in all linguistic, ethnic and religious groups without regard for gender, age, sexual preference or race. The Killam Fellowships
Program encourages applications from all interested and eligible candidates.
American Universities participating in the Direct Exchange Program are:
Arizona State University
Bridgewater State College
State University of New York - Plattsburgh
University of Maine
University of Southern California
University of Washington
January 6, 2012 THE ONTARIO INTERNATIONAL EDUCATION OPPORTUNITY SCHOLARSHIP (OIEOS) 2011/12 APPLICATION
McMaster University is pleased to advise that the Government of Ontario has allocated the funding to create the Ontario International Education Opportunity Scholarships for students completing part of their academic program abroad through the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities’ International Strategy. This scholarship will provide eligible students with financial support for an eligible period of academic study, work term or co-op placement outside of Canada. The value of the scholarship will be $1250 or $2,500.
The scholarships will be awarded on the basis of financial need and academic merit, with special consideration given to Aboriginal students, francophone students, and students with disabilities.
In order to be considered for the scholarship a student must:
be a Canadian Citizen, Permanent Resident of Canada (landed immigrant) or a Protected Person; and
not have previously received an Ontario International Education Opportunity Scholarship; and
be completing an approved full-time international academic study*, work-study or co-op placement which begins between April 1, 2011 and March 31, 2012; $1250 for international opportunities lasting at least four weeks, but less than eight weeks and $2500 for international opportunities of at least 2 months duration; and
demonstrate financial need (note, an OSAP application is NOT required); and
have a minimum cumulative average of 7.0 or equivalent (B- or 70%)
*As per the OIEOS Program Guidelines, a student who receives the OIEOS is not simultaneously eligible for government funds from Baden-Wurttemberg, Rhone-Alps, and Maharashtra-Goa, Ontario Jiangsu etc. in the same year. By signing this application you are agreeing to the release of your name and OIEOS bursary amount to the Ontario University International office (O.U.I.).
Online at http://sfas.mcmaster.ca/pdf/2011/1112%20OIEOS_application.pdf
You must apply prior to the start of your International academic study/ work study/co-op opportunity and no later than January 6, 2012. Applications accepted in the Office of Student Financial Aid and Scholarships or the drop box located outside of Gilmour Hall, room 120. Late applications will not be accepted under any circumstances.
Due to our responsibility toward the University’s movement to create a sustainable society, in 2008 McMaster stopped mailing out Statements of Account to students. While statements have always been available online, we increased our communication to help our students realize their student account is their responsibility and the importance of reviewing it regularly not only for charges, but to ensure payments have been received as scheduled.
As a parent, you too may be interested in viewing your son/daughter’s Statement of Account. Now would be an opportune time to talk to them about arranging a regular time to review the details with them. They will need to log on to MUGSI, click on “My Student Accounts and Cashiers” then click on “Account Statement”. They can print it or copy and email it to you. Our friendly staff will be happy to explain any general information provided on our website. However, because we are mandated to follow FIPPA (Freedom of Information Protection and Protection Act) we are not permitted to reveal or discuss specific financial information regarding any of our students. If any questions arise, the student must make the inquiries. It’s much easier to review and correct problems, if any, as they arise rather than at the end of the year.
Flex Plans and Interest Charges…How Does That Work?
All Flex Payment Plans involve monthly interest charges. Interest is charged at a rate of 1.2% on any unpaid balance on the last day of each month (14.4 annually – subject to change). The only way to avoid interest charges is to Pay in Full no later than September 30th. If your child is carrying a balance, whether they are an OSAP recipient or not, interest will be charged on the balance due on the last day of each month going forward until paid in full.
All Flex plan users are also subject to a $35 per-term Flex Plan Fee. If your child has not paid their full tuition, residence and meal plan fees by September 30th, they will be charged this fee. If the student’s account is paid in full by the end of the first term (December), there will be no additional $35 per-term Flex Plan charges. Therefore, student’s have the ability to control and minimize their interest and Flex Plan charges by paying more at the beginning of the plan, rather than leaving a bigger balance to pay toward the end of their registered session. For a complete list of Important Dates and Deadlines, please click here.
The Payment Agreement. What if I change my mind about the Payment Plan I chose?
If after reading this and you have satisfied at least the minimum payment required, you and your child decide you are going to minimize interest and flex plan charges by paying more than what you indicated on the Payment Agreement, there is no need to contact us. Paying early is to your benefit. You are not locked into paying according to the plan you chose. The Payment Agreement is only a registration tool used to calculate your fees and get you “Fully Registered”. However, it is necessary to comply with the minimum payment required of whatever plan you chose.
The Federal Student Work Experience Program (FSWEP) provides full-time students valuable, hands-on work experience related to their field of study and allows for a wealth of learning opportunities. Students obtain fair and equal access to job opportunities across Canada. Although students are not required to have previous work experience to apply, they must meet the program’s eligibility criteria.
There are many types of exciting and challenging jobs offered to both secondary and post-secondary students. These opportunities encompass a wide range of duties and responsibilities related to providing service to Canadians. This full spectrum includes office and clerical work, field and lab work, information technology work and working outdoors.
The Student Success Centre is proud to host our first Social Media and Job Search Conference being held November 10 and 11 at McMaster Innovation Park. Students can meet with social media experts who can help with job search using some of the most popular social networking sites. Students will discover how creating and maintaining their personal brand is important to their future career.
For more details, agenda and information on keynote speakers, visit our Social Media and Job Search website at: http://studentsuccess.mcmaster.ca/careers/career-exploration/events/smconf.html
Registration is limited to 125 students – you must pay the $10 conference registration fee (cash only) at the Student Success Centre, Gilmour Hall 110 in order to secure your spot.
This conference is open to all undergraduate students; however, graduating students in their final year will benefit most from attendance at the conference due to the topics being discussed.
First Year Student Perspective - Direct from the Source
The following are thoughts and reflections from two current residence students on the advantages and rewards of becoming actively engaged in your first year/residence experience. In residence, as in life, ‘what you give is what you get’ out of opportunities. Please encourage your son/daughter to get actively involved in their campus and/or residence experience.
Congratulations to your sons/ daughters for getting accepted to McMaster. This experience can be very exciting but at the same time it is natural to be concerned about them. I have just started my first year at Mac and I am very happy that I chose McMaster. Since September, through my residence,- I have become very involved with the clubs and events that are being offered. Just recently, I went to the leadership program called ‘Mac Connect’ that was being held by the residence life office. Through this program I learned a lot about my core values such as ‘respect’ and how I can implement these values in my class work and also in residence. My involvement in these clubs and events has helped me make new friends, get a better understanding of leadership and helped me learn how to manage my time between school and fun even if I am not very proficient at it yet. Living in residence has taught me a lot, but I believe that I have still got lots more to learn, so my next goal is to practice the skills I have learned and to do so by getting involved with my faculty: events, clubs and getting to know more people. Before I finish here I would like to end this note with a quote that helps me keep my balance between school and activities: “Happy is Most Important.”- Anonymous
Preyesha Tapiawala (Engineering, Level I)
In my opinion, being actively involved in your first year really adds to your experience in a positive way. This year I joined a couple of interesting clubs, such as MacGreen (campus environmental club), McMaster Life Science Society, Cootes Paradise Club, and the McMaster Residence Green Team. Through these groups, I met a lot of new people and made many friends. Being in these clubs has improved how well I communicate with others. Moreover, living in residence, so far, has been very exciting. I'm always looking forward to the floor-wide residence experiences planned by my Community Advisors. For instance, in September we went bowling and our theme was diversity. While having fun, it's also important for me to manage my school work. I'm glad I chose to come to Mac!
Most incoming university students have never shared a room or apartment/suite with another person before and this new experience may be challenging. Sometimes things work out really well and roommates become lifelong friends and sometimes they may have very little in common with each other and lead very separate lives. All relationships have high and low points, but the challenge in residential living is learning how to manage and communicate through these ups and downs. As a parent, roommate conflicts may be an entirely new experience as well. Here are five things that you can do to help your son or daughter in the event of a roommate disagreement.
It is important to remember that there are two sides to every story. Support your son or daughter while encouraging them talk to their roommate about what is troubling them. Advise them to address the roommate’s behaviour rather than the individual themselves.
Use Their Roommate Agreement
Each resident student completes a Roommate Agreement at the beginning of the year. They discuss things such as sleeping patterns, noise and cleanliness among other things. Ask your son or daughter what they agreed upon at the beginning of the year.
Learning to live and share an environment with another person can be a challenge. It can take some compromise in order for everyone to feel comfortable. Encourage your son or daughter to be flexible in the discussion in order to reach an agreement that works for everyone.
Refer them to their Community Advisor
The Community Advisor living in your son or daughter’s community is trained in mediation and conflict management and is willing to help. They are students too and can understand some of the challenges that your son or daughter may be facing and will be able to provide strategies to resolve the situation.
Give Them Confidence
It is natural to want to help solve your son or daughter’s issue for them. However in the long run this will not be beneficial. University is an opportunity for students to develop and practice the life skills they will need in their future. Encourage them to try to solve the issue on their own while giving them the support they need.
Mac Serve: Reading Week is a one week experience that allows students to take a closer look at local, national or global issues and investigate their own capacity to affect positive social change. Participants will perform valuable service while forming new relationships and learning about themselves and the world around them.
Applications close November 7th.
'The whole trip was amazing, the food, the people, the community, I couldn't have spent my week any better.' Daniel Basra - 2011 New Orleans Participant
'Regardless of which trip you decide to go on, the friendships you make will be lasting. Not only will your understanding of a particular topic or social issue broaden, but so will your understanding of yourself.' Siobhan Stewart - 2011 Hamilton
For McMaster alumni who have graduated within the last 5 years, the Job Search Essentials e-course is a 4-week e-course delivered using Avenue to Learn (McMaster's e-learning tool), which means that you can work on the course when it is convenient for you, wherever you are in the world. You can expect to spend about 10 hours per week learning and applying search strategies, while connecting with other alumni and the Alumni Career Coach through discussions and assignments. Topics covered by Job Search Essentials include: researching employers, resumes and cover letters, using social media in your search, networking, and interview preparation. To register, login to OSCARplus using your MacID, select events and go to November 7 where you will see Job Search Essentials. Registration is limited to 15, but the course will be offered regularly.
Questions are always welcome at email@example.com. Happy exploring!
You or your McMaster student may find just the right information and resources needed, by browsing through ourWellness@Mac newsletter. Take a look, and encourage them to as well!
Check out these wellness topics, and more … in the September 2011 edition.
The benefits of incorporating fitness into your day Using Positive Psychology strategies Getting your fruits and veggies How to help a friend who has had too much to drink Where to get Free Nicotine Replacement Therapy
Whether your son or daughter lives in a campus residence hall or an off campus dwelling, everyone needs to know how to respond in case of a fire.
McMaster is dedicated to educating our students about fire safety, and finding creative ways to disseminate fire safety and prevention has become an ongoing priority for members of our campus community.
As such, Housing and Conference Services, Environmental and Occupational Health Support Services, Security Services, and Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards joined forces with Hamilton’s Fire Prevention Division to plan and present MacDraft: A Fire Safety Initiative.
This innovative event took place on Thursday, September 22nd during which a mock student bedroom was set on fire. This was an opportunity for students and others within the campus community to gain a first-hand perspective on the actual effects of a fire; it provided a real-time illustration of how quickly fire can spread and exposed people to key campus fire safety messages.
The fire demonstration was videotaped, and along with various interviews of key campus representatives, the initiative will come together as a documentary film to be used for future educational purposes for our students. When it is finalized, it will appear on the following website: http://housing.mcmaster.ca/macdraft. We hope you’ll have a look and see what an exciting educational event this was.
The University will “close” because of severe winter weather when normal operation would pose a danger to students, staff and faculty (including Mohawk students at the Institute for Applied Health Sciences) while on campus or would prevent large numbers of them from coming to campus or returning safely to their homes.
When the University is “closed”:
classes are not held
meetings and other scheduled events are cancelled
all areas and operations not defined as “essential” are closed
examinations are cancelled and rescheduled
deadlines for student assignments and other submissions due on a “closed” day are postponed until the same hour on the next academic day on which the University is not “closed”
deadlines for job applications and other employment requirements are postponed to the same time on the next business day on which the University is not “closed”
To determine whether the University is closed check the McMaster homepage, Daily News or check for announcements concerning closings on:
December exams still seem so far away, yet the exam timetable is already available! Have your son or daughter check their personal exam schedule through MUGSI if they haven’t already done so.
Students in residence are required to leave by 12 noon the day following their final exam. Please check with your son/daughter to determine when that is and plan accordingly. It is important that students leave based on their move-out date to ensure the community remains quiet for those students still completing exams. Any students found in residence beyond their move-out date will be fined $50/day.
Residence buildings close December 22 at 12 noon and re-open on Monday, January 2nd, 2012 at 7am.
McMaster’s annual giving program has the mission to reach out to as many people as possible to raise unrestricted support for the University. Gifts are vital to the health and continued growth of students and the entire university. To join over 200 parents that support McMaster annually CLICK HERE.
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