Mature students

Applying as a mature student

If you aren’t eligible for admission consideration under the high school or post-secondary categories, McMaster will assess your eligibility as a mature student, provided these conditions are satisfied:

  1. You have never attended university.
  2. You have not attended secondary school or college on a full-time basis for at least two years.

Mature students are not eligible for transfer credit and are limited to 18 units (9 per term) for the fall/winter session. Once you have completed at least 18 units, you will be reviewed by your faculty office according to the general academic regulations of the university. There are limited programs available to students admitted under the mature student status, including some that have high school requirements:

  • Faculties of Humanities and Social Sciences: No specific course requirements for Mature Student admission.
  • Environmental & Earth Sciences: requires satisfactory standing in three Ontario Grade 12 U (or equivalent) Mathematics and Science requirements.
  • Life Sciences: requires satisfactory standing in three Ontario Grade 12 U (or equivalent) Mathematics and Science requirements.
  • Business: requires satisfactory completion of Grade 12 MCV4U.
  • Mathematics & Statistics: requires satisfactory standing in Grade 12 U Advanced Functions, and Calculus & Vectors (or equivalent).
  • Physical Sciences: requires satisfactory standing in four Ontario Grade 12 U (or equivalent) Mathematics and Science requirements, as described in the Subject Requirements for Specific Level I Programs in the Admission Requirements section of the current Undergraduate Calendar.

The following programs do not admit under the mature student status:

  • Arts & Science
  • Faculty of Engineering (all programs)
  • Bachelor of Health Sciences
  • Integrated Business and Humanities
  • Integrated Sciences
  • Kinesiology
  • Medical Radiation Sciences
  • Midwifery
  • Nursing


I went to university many years ago and took only a couple of courses. Can I be considered under the mature student status?

If you have attended university, you are not eligible to be considered for the mature student status.

Is there a particular age requirement to be considered a mature student?

Mature student status is not related to your age. It is based on post-secondary experience and length of time away from studies.

After I complete 18 units, can I increase my course load?

Mature students can be reviewed to increase their course load limit after attempting a minimum of 18 units. Please contact your faculty office if you have any questions.