What is the work program?
The McMaster Work Program (you may hear it called “work/study”) gives students who demonstrate financial need opportunities to work on campus part-time (max 10 hours/week) during the fall/winter terms and full-time ( max 35 hours/week) over the summer.
There are more than 1250 jobs available with more than 100 different McMaster departments/offices. Positions range from administrative support and customer service, to athletic coordinators to research support.
- Apply for work program positions once approved to participate
- Notify Student Services of changes in financial status, income or enrolment
- Report all work program income to OSAP
- Remain enrolled in fall/winter terms to maintain work program eligibility
- Maintain satisfactory work performance and attendance
- Accept only one work program position at a time
- Adhere to all McMaster employment standards
Eligible for the McMaster Work Program
- Students are required to apply and/or reapply to the work program each term (Fall, Winter and Spring/Summer)
- Fall/winter work program: All undergraduate and domestic graduate students enrolled in full-time studies during the applicable work terms.
- Summer work program: Undergraduate students that were enrolled in full-time studies in the proceeding fall and/or winter terms and are returning to full-time studies the following year (i.e. not in graduating year)
- Domestic students and international undergraduate students:
- First-year international students are not eligible for the fall/winter work program, but can apply for the summer after their first year and every year beyond
- International undergraduate students with a valid study permit are eligible to participate in McMaster’s work programs (no work permit required). Information about working with a study permit for international students.
- The work program is for students who have financial need. All students eligible to apply to OSAP or Government Student Aid Programs are expected to apply before applying for bursary assistance.
- If you are not eligible to apply for Government Student Aid Programs for a valid reason (i.e., a restriction), you will be assessed a need score based on the information provided on your AwardSpring application. If it is determined that you demonstrate need, the need score will be recorded on Mosaic and passed to AwardSpring, allowing you to apply for need-based aid.
- To qualify for the summer work program, students must have demonstrated financial need in the previous fall and/or winter term, which is primarily determined by applying and qualifying for a government student aid program such as OSAP.
Ineligible for the McMaster Work Program
You are not eligible to apply for the work program if you:
- Are not returning in the following fall/winter term (i.e. graduating students)
- Are not entitled to at least $1 of OSAP student-loan funding (or funding from your government aid program)
- You do not demonstrate financial need based on your Determination of Financial Need AwardSpring application
- Are an international student in your first year of studies (you can apply for the work program that runs the summer after your first year)
- Are a continuing education (MCE) student
- Are not enrolled in a full-time course load (at least 9 units in fall or winter term)
- Are an international graduate student
How to apply for the McMaster Work Program
You must be approved for the McMaster Work Program before you can apply for any work-program jobs. Applications for work-program approval are done in AwardSpring.
The first step to applying for the Work Program (and scholarships and bursaries) is completing the common application in AwardSpring. This application opens on Aug. 10 for the coming academic year (September-August).
You only need to complete common application once an academic year. If you submit the common application and apply for the fall/winter work program, you don’t need to submit it again to apply for bursaries or scholarships.
Step 1: Log in to AwardSpring
- Click the “AwardSpring” tile on your homepage.
- Log in to AwardSpring using your MacID and password.
You can view a listing of all the aid & awards offered by McMaster and the corresponding application deadlines under the Scholarships tab.
Step 2: Start your Application
- To start your application, click on the “Application Tab”
- There are six sections you will need to complete as part of your common application.
Privacy: Read the privacy statement to understand how your information will be used. If you have any questions, you can connect with Student Services for more information. Click the Next Step button to continue with your application.
Application Tips & Personal Information: Please review the application tips before continuing.
- Complete the voluntary self-identification questions as they apply to you.
- AwardSpring pulls some of your contact information from Mosaic so the questions you are asked may differ from a friends’.
Academic Information: The Academic Information tab is quick and easy – we’ll pull most of your program information from Mosaic.
Financial Information: If you would like to be considered for need based opportunities such as bursaries and the work program, select “Yes” to the first question, and complete all questions on the Financial Information tab.
Qualification Questions: In the Qualification Questions tab, you will have the opportunity to tell us more about yourself. Please note that your responses won’t impact the amount you are eligible for, only the sources it comes from.
Consents & Declarations: Read and complete this final section and submit your common application.
Tip: You won’t able to click submit until all the required questions in each sections are complete.
Please save your documents as a PDF and ensure there are no foreign characters in the file name, as it will prevent the file from opening.
For our fillable forms, complete the form and select File > Print. Choose Adobe PDF as the printer in the Print dialog box. Click Print. Name your file, and save it to your computer. Upload the completed document to AwardSpring.
Step 1: Complete the Follow-up
Once your common app is submitted, you will be directed back to your Dashboard where you will see all opportunities requiring a follow-up.
- On your Dashboard and select ‘Complete Follow-up‘ under the award
- Click the hyperlinked text to open and download your Work Approval Notice. You will need to download and save your approval notice(s) for each term right away, as it will not be available to download at a later time.
A status of Awarded ($1) means you are eligible to participate in the work program for the term(s).
Please allow one full business day for a decision on your work program application.
Step 3: Reapply for the summer
An approval for the fall/winter does not automatically mean you’re approved for the summer work program. You must reapply for the summer if you wish to work over the spring/summer term.
Weren’t approved for fall/winter? You can still reapply for the summer.
Step 4: Apply for jobs
Being approved for the work program does not automatically guarantee you a job. You need to apply for individual positions in Mosaic.
Find tips and important information on applying in the next tab.
Fall/winter Work Program 2021-22 dates
|Work program eligible dates of employment||Sept. 1 – April 24|
|Employers submit job openings||June 15 – July 16|
|Job opening approvals||Within 2 business days of submission|
|Student application opens in AwardSpring||Aug. 10|
|Jobs posted on Mosaic under Career Opportunities||Aug. 10|
|Student application closes||Feb. 28|
Summer Work Program 2022 dates
|Work Program eligible dates of employment||April 25 – Aug. 31|
|Employers submit job openings||Jan. 14 – Feb. 15|
|Job opening approvals||Within 2 business days of submission|
|Student application opens in AwardSpring||March 1|
|Jobs posted on Mosaic under Career Opportunities||March 1|
|Student application closes||July 15|
Save your approval
STEP 1: Complete the AwardSpring FOLLOW-UP on your Dashboard.
Once a decision is made on your application, you’ll need to download and save your approval notice(s) for each term. It will not be available to download at a later time. Alternately, within 2 business days of approval, you will find the status of your work program application on your Mosaic Student Center >> Finances >> View Financial Aid Awards
STEP 2: Apply to jobs in Mosaic
Work-program job postings are found in Mosaic under “Career Opportunities”. Click the “Student Work Program” tab to filter out other types of jobs.
Make sure to read job descriptions and application requirements carefully and submit your application(s) on time.
REMEMBER: you need to include a copy of your work-program approval with your application(s). Applications without work program approval may be considered incomplete by employers.
- You can only accept one work-program position at a time.
- If you’re not eligible for the work program, you cannot be hired for a work-program position.
- In most cases, only those candidates selected for an interview will be contacted by employers.
- You are not obligated to apply for a job if you’re approved for the work program.
- Need help with your resume or cover letter? The Student Success Centre is a great resource!
- Wages: Employers are obligated to pay an hourly wage of at least the Ontario Minimum Wage; however, many employers pay more.
Why participate in the McMaster Work Program
The McMaster Work Program helps campus employers by subsidizing wages for temporary student employees. This allows McMaster departments/offices to create meaningful job opportunities for students who demonstrate financial need.
Potential employers can join the mailing list by completing this subscription form. Be sure to action your confirmation email to confirm your subscription.
Work Program Subsidy
Fall/Winter: $6.50/hour to a maximum subsidy of $1,500 (up to 10 hours per week)
Summer: $5.50/hour to maximum subsidy of $2,560 (up to 40 hours per week)
Work-program jobs MUST:
- Be on a McMaster campus/site
- Not replace or subsidize existing positions
- Not conflict with any existing collective agreements
- Pay at least minimum wage
Due to circumstances relating to COVID-19, work will be required to be completed in a secure work environment from a remote location.
Review the COVID-19 Human Resources site. It includes the framework to help supervisors address COVID-19 related occupational health and safety concerns in accordance with the Occupational Health and Safety Act requirements and acts as a resource for information as provided by the Public Health Agency of Canada, Public Health Ontario and Global Affairs Canada.
Consider providing deferred start dates for on-campus work. Contact your HR Advisor for more information.
Please note: With AwardsSpring, the approval notices provided with work program job applications will look very different from what was provided in Mosaic. A student receives an approval notice for each work period for which they are approved. If you are hiring a student for the fall and winter terms, the student should provide an approval notices for each term.
Detailed step-by-step instructions, including screenshots, are available in the Manager’s Toolkit on the Working at McMaster website and in this “How to hire a work program student” instructional guide.
Step 1: Job description and wage range
Select a job description and wage range for your Work Program Student role using one of two options:
- Option A: Review the temporary/casual/interim generic job descriptions and select the job that reflects your current job requirements. If there is a job that reflects job requirements, note the Student Work Program Code on the job description. If no similar job exists, proceed to option B.
- Option B: Contact the Human Resources Total Rewards team to develop a new temporary/casual/interim job description. Once developed, Human Resources will inform you of the wage level rating and Student Work Program Job Code.
Step 2: Prepare a job opening
- If your department does not already have a Student Work Program position number, you need to request to have one created
- Create a job opening making sure to use the job family “WRKPRG” and a job code with the prefix “WPS”
- Post your job opening to the work program job board in Mosaic (optional: if you would like to rehire a work-program student, you do not need to post your job).
- Make sure to set the visibility to “internal only”
- List your department’s HR coordinator or FHS HR consultant as the “primary recruiter” and your department manager as the “hiring manager”
Step 3: Link successful applicant
- If your successful applicant did not apply to the job opening online you may have to create an applicant record
- Search your applicant, link them to the job by entering the job opening ID and clicking “link” under “Actions”
Step 4: Create job offer
- Make sure to include: offer date, start date, offer expiry date, base salary, and hourly rate, click “submit for approval”
- Your job offer will be submitted to the Aid & Awards team for approval. You can check the status in the “Approvals” tab in the “Prepare Job Offer” window
- Once your job offer is approved, you will have the option to generate an offer letter.
A successful job opening:
- Is submitted by the deadline. See Important Dates for more information
- Is within work program dates
- Has a job code beginning with the prefix WPS
- Includes a primary recruiter and hiring manager
Make sure to tell students:
- To include a copy of their work program approval(s) with their application (include this requirement in your job description)
- Job postings open to students in March for summer and in August for fall/winter
- Students ineligible for the work program cannot be hired for work program positions. You can still hire them, but their wages will not be subsidized.
- Students can only accept one work program position per term
- The work program approval is necessary to complete the application
Employer subsidy payment dates
|Summer Work Program||September month-end|
|Fall/Winter Work Program||April month-end|
Fall/winter 2021-22 employer program dates
|Work Program Eligible Dates of Employment||Sept. 1 – April 24|
|Employers Submit Job Openings||June 15 – July 16|
|Job Opening Approvals||Within 2 business days of submission|
|Jobs Posted / Student Application Opens||Aug. 10|
|Student Application Closes||Feb. 28|
Summer 2022 employer dates
|Work Program Eligible Dates of Employment||April 25 – Aug. 31|
|Employers Submit Job Openings||Jan. 14 – Feb. 15|
|Job Opening Approvals||Within 2 business days of submission|
|Jobs Posted / Student Application Opens||March 1|
|Student Application Closes||July 15|
Work Program FAQs
Can international students apply?
Level I, full-time international students may apply via AwardSpring for the Summer Work Program. After completing Level I or higher of an undergraduate program of study, international students can apply for both the Fall/Winter Work Program and/or the Summer Work Program. International students participating in the Work Program require a valid study permit and must be living in Canada during their period of employment in the fall, winter and/or summer terms. Learn more about working while you study.
How much money can I expect to make?
Employers are obligated to pay an hourly wage of at least the Ontario Minimum Wage; however, many employers pay more. Check the job posting for the rate of pay. The Fall/Winter Work Program allows students to work a maximum of 10 hours per week. Summer Work Program jobs may be part- or full-time to a maximum of 40 hours per week.
How long does it take to receive work program approval? Where can I review the status of my application?
Please allow one full business day for a decision on your work program application. A status of Awarded ($1) means you are eligible to participate in the work program for the Fall term.
Can I have more than one work program job?
No. Students can hold only one work program position at a time.
Why aren’t I matched with any need-based opportunities?
To be eligible for need-based aid such as bursaries and the work program, your OSAP/government aid assessment must show an entitlement of at least $1. Once your application has an assessment, you’ll be able to review and apply for needs-based aid on AwardSpring within two business days.
Can I apply for the work program if I don’t receive OSAP?
The work program is for students who have financial need, which is primarily determined by applying and qualifying for OSAP.
If you are not eligible to apply for OSAP for a valid reason (i.e., you are an out of province student or you have an OSAP restriction), you will be assessed a need score based on the information provided on your AwardSpring application.
If it is determined that you demonstrate need, the need score will be recorded on Mosaic and passed to AwardSpring, allowing you to apply for need-based aid.
Useful Information – TBD
Have questions about AwardSpring?
Financial aid funding that is based on financial need and not academics/extracurriculars. This includes OSAP and other government loan/grants programs, bursaries and the work program.
Often called “awards”, this kind of funding is based on academics/extracurricular accomplishments. The most common type is scholarships.
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