What is a continuing student?
You are a continuing student if you already hold a degree and wish to take undergraduate courses for personal or professional reasons, such as to be eligible for graduate studies or professional programs.
You will be subject to any course prerequisites and seat availability.
How do I apply?
If you have already graduated from an undergraduate degree program at McMaster, you can become a continuing student by submitting a Continuing Status Update Service Request in your Mosaic Student Centre. Be sure to select ‘undergraduate’ as the career type when completing the service request and NOT ‘continuing education’. Once this form is approved, you will be activated for the requested term and be able to enrol. A new service request is required for each term.
Graduate students wishing to take undergraduate level courses as a continuing student should contact the School of Graduate Studies.
Graduates from other universities
As a degree holder from another university, you need only apply through the Ontario Universities’ Application Centre (OUAC) website, with an application in the first instance (Program Code: MCS). The following items will be required for the application:
- A university transcript indicating the degree was conferred.
- If the courses of interest specify Grade 12 pre-requisites, a high school transcript must also be submitted.
- The McMaster Continuing Student Courses of Interest form is also required to complete the application.
Continuing student FAQs
Will these courses be part of my average?
Continuing students often take courses to ‘upgrade’ their average or to meet the admission requirements of other programs. There is no cumulative GPA published on McMaster transcripts. Instead, term averages are posted for each term in which courses were taken. Ultimately, it will be at the prospective school(s)’ discretion to calculate your average and determine what courses will be used.
Can courses I take as a continuing student be used to qualify for and obtain a second degree?
If you didn’t complete the introductory courses needed to be eligible for a second degree program, they may be taken as a continuing student (subject to prerequisites and seat availability). Extra courses taken at McMaster while enrolled in a first degree, or courses completed as a continuing student, may be applied to a second degree program at the faculty’s discretion.
Is a continuing student the same as a student enrolled at McMaster Continuing Education (MCE)?
No, these are two separate types of students. Continuing students at McMaster are degree holders pursuing undergraduate level courses, but are not enrolled in a degree-seeking program.
Students enrolled at MCE are taking courses towards certificate and diploma programs. Each have their own separate admission requirements and application processes. Learn more about MCE.
McMaster second degree
If you are a second degree student, you are pursuing a second undergraduate degree.
If you are looking to pursue a Master’s or Ph.D. program, please visit the School of Graduate Studies website.
A second degree can include:
- “Upgrading” a 3-level Bachelor’s Degree to an Honours Bachelor’s Degree in the same subject
- A degree in a different subject
In order to be eligible, you may need to complete courses required for admission for the program. If you didn’t take introductory courses as part of the first degree studies, they may be able to be completed at McMaster as a continuing student. Once complete, you can apply for a second degree.
How to apply
If you’re a McMaster alumni or graduand (i.e. potential graduate) and haven’t attended another university or received a college certificate/diploma since you were last enrolled at McMaster, you can apply using the McMaster Returning Student Application.
All other applicants should apply through the Ontario Universities’ Application Centre (OUAC) website, choose from the Second Degree options listed (OUAC Program Code “MSD”).
The requirements for a second degree are established by the admissions committee upon review of the application. General requirements for all second degree programs can be found in the Undergraduate Calendar by viewing General Academic Regulations and selecting ‘Second Bachelor’s Degree Programs’.
The following programs are not offered as second degree:
- Bachelor of Arts & Science (B. Arts Sc.)
- Bachelor of Commerce including Integrated Business and Humanities (B.Com.)
- Bachelor of Health Sciences (B.H.Sc.)
- Bachelor of Science in Integrated Science (B.Sc.) also known as iSci
- Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology (B.Sc.)
- Integrated Biomedical Engineering and Health Sciences
- Honours Music is available as a second degree only to those whose first degree is not a B.A. in Music.
- Level I Science programs (with the exception of Medical Radiation Sciences I)
Second degree FAQs
Can I apply to a level I program as a second degree student?
Level I programs are not intended to be taken as a second degree. If you are looking to take level I courses to qualify for a second degree, please review the Continuing Student process.
How long does it take to complete a second degree?
Typically, a second undergraduate degree can be done in less time. The number of units needed to complete a second degree vary by program. You can review the general requirements for second degrees in the Undergraduate Calendar.
If you receive an offer of admission your second degree requirements will be outlined for you.
Can credit from my first degree be used towards my second degree?
Extra courses taken while enrolled in a first degree program, or completed as a continuing student, may be applied to a second degree at the faculty office’s discretion.
What courses do I take for my second degree?
You will receive a customized set of requirements for your second degree program if admitted. If you are having trouble finding your requirements, please contact your faculty office.
If you are a former McMaster student who wishes to return to your program and resume studies, you can apply for re-admission if the following criteria have been met:
- You have not attended another university nor received a college certificate or diploma since you last attended McMaster.
- You left voluntarily in good academic standing.
- You have been absent for more than 5 years.*
How to apply
If you meet all of the above criteria, you can apply for re-admission using the Returning Student Application.
If you have attended another university or obtained a college certificate or diploma during your absence, please apply using the Ontario Universities’ Application Centre (OUAC) website. Transcripts from these institutions will be required for the application.
If you did not leave McMaster in good academic standing (i.e. your last result of session was either ‘May Not Continue at University’ or ‘Required to Withdraw from University’), please review the Reinstatement process.
If you have been enrolled within the last 5 years, have not attended any other university nor graduated from college, and are in good academic standing, you do not need to re-apply to McMaster. Please contact your faculty office to discuss returning to studies and course enrolment.
*Former students from the School of Nursing must apply for re-admission regardless of time elapsed following voluntary withdrawal in good standing.
Can I apply for re-admission to a different program?
Yes. You should check the admission requirements of your program of interest prior to applying. Meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee admission. Applications are considered on a case-by-case basis and admission is by selection.
I took just one course at another university. Can I still apply using the Returning Student Application?
If you have attended another university, you will need to apply through the Ontario Universities’ Application Centre (OUAC) website.
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