FAQs – Faculty of Engineering

Frequently asked questions

No, you do not need to have a supervisor to apply for admission to McMaster Engineering’s research-based graduate programs. In fact, we encourage you to apply prior to having a supervisor.

No. McMaster Engineering does not require a GRE score.

The application fee is $110 CAD.

Applicants who have completed a university degree where the official language of instruction is English, do not need to submit a language proficiency test.

McMaster Engineering requires a language proficiency test to be completed for all other applicants. Please visit the School of Graduate Studies website for more information.

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

  • Faculty of Engineering a minimum score of 88 (internet-based, iBT or iBT Home Edition); minimum of 20 per band.  MyBest(R) scores are not accepted. 
  • 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.

Applicants are required to submit two references in their application. We suggest that all applicants provide references from the academic setting. However, if you have been out of school for 5 or more years and cannot find an appropriate academic reference, you may provide one from an employer/supervisor/manager.

Please remember that we are looking for a reference who can attest to your ability to be successful within the academic setting.  Your reference does not have to have an official institutional email address.

Generally No. For research studies, a letter of admission may mention a financial package to be distributed over the duration of the 2-years (Masters) or 4-years (Doctoral) degree program. The majority of the funding will be given as a scholarship while the student remains enrolled and in good standing with the program. The only employment salary that may be mentioned in the package is a teaching assistantship(TA). A minimum level of remuneration is guaranteed for doctoral candidates (except for those under the Industrial PhD option or if the student refuses or loses the TA). The funding package may not be sufficient to cover all living expenses while studying.

All research-based graduate degrees are based on a mentor-style learning model and so each enrolled student must work under a specific professor to remain in the program.  The mentioned prospective supervisor has offered you a position in the university under their guidance and your research will be determined by that supervisor.  By accepting the offer of admission you are agreeing to study under this person for the duration of the degree program.  In general, a student can not change their supervisor during their studies.

As a graduate student in a research degree program, no you don’t. McMaster’s policies require the equal sharing of intellectual property rights between the students and supervisors involved on a project.  In addition, many research projects in the Faculty of Engineering are covered by research agreements and/or non-disclosure agreements with participating companies sponsoring the studies and those agreements automatically apply to all members of the university, including any student currently participating or joining the project. Ask your prospective supervisor if you have concerns about how a research agreement will affect your research progress.

When submitting your application please be sure that all requested material is uploaded to your file.

At any point during the application process, you can check the status of your application in the Online Application Portal. Please note that due to the volume of applications received the checklist may not be updated right away as it is done manually.

We understand that you are eager to obtain an admission decision. Our goal is to issue a decision as quickly as possible. However, the time required for our admission team to complete our review process and make an informed decision could vary depending on the volume of applications we receive. We ask that you refrain from contacting us for an update on your application status. Students should allow until at least 10 weeks after the application deadline for the term for which they have applied for admission before expecting an admission decision.

If you have applied to a research program (MASc or PhD program), then a faculty member must be willing to act as your supervisor in order for you to receive an offer of admission. Once you submit your application it will be made available to all faculty members within the department to which you have applied. They can access and review all of your application documentation and can contact you to interview you or to speak to you about their research group. If you would like to submit an application to multiple departments you may. Please note that you must submit a new application for each and every department you wish to apply to.

Once an admission decision has been made, applicants will receive an email to the address provided in their application.

No.  If you have an Honours Bachelor’s degree (4-year) in engineering or sciences you are encouraged to apply.