McMaster University will continue to host undergraduate academic activities remotely for the Spring/Summer/Intersession term with only a few exceptions for courses that need student access to specialized equipment.

Future Students

Which graduate program to attend is a personal choice influenced by many different factors. Beyond the specific project to be undertaken and the relationship with your supervisor, there’s compatibility with the research group and department. The Department of Chemistry & Chemical Biology provides wide-reaching opportunities for research in virtually all branches of chemistry, and a highly supportive and collegial research atmosphere. Students are given the opportunity to learn, first hand, how to use advanced characterization equipment within our facilities, providing invaluable training for future careers.

Admission Requirements

chem student in laboratory

The specific requirements for admission into a graduate program at McMaster University are described in the current Calendar of the School of Graduate Studies / General Regulations / Admission Requirements (section 2.1).

Admission into the Chemistry M.Sc. program requires as a minimum of:

  • An Honours Bachelor's degree or an equivalent 4-year university degree in Chemistry, with a B+ (or 9/12) average for Chemistry and other Science courses
  • Excellent letters of recommendation
  • A strong performance in the final year of studies, including good marks in undergraduate research projects.

Admission into the Chemistry Ph.D. program requires as a minimum of:

  • Either an M.Sc. degree in Chemistry (or the equivalent) with a B+ (or 9/12) average
  • Or a B.Sc. degree in Chemistry with at least an A (or 11/12) average
  • Excellent letters of recommendation

Summer research experience will be considered when evaluating an application.

Some additional notes:

  • If English is not your first language, a minimum TOEFL (iBT) score of 92 (580 on the paper-based TOEFL test or 237 on the computer-based TOEFL test) or a minimum IELTS score of 6.5 is required for admission into the Chemistry program.
  • Prospective students are strongly encouraged to contact potential supervisors directly prior to submitting a formal application, but it is not required.

How To Apply

Most graduate students start in our fall term, beginning September 1. To apply, use the McMaster On-Line University Application System. Please contact us if you have questions about the online application process. For Canadian students coming to McMaster, your application fee may be reimbursed; contact us for details.

Before Applying

We recommend prospective students review faculty members' research interests and contact potential supervisors with a copy of your resume, information on grades from recent degrees, and a statement of your future research interests. This provides you with an opportunity to introduce yourself and helps potential supervisors to determine whether your background and future plans are a good match with their research program. If you are presently in Canada, we can arrange a visit to the Department so you can meet potential supervisors and current graduate students.  For qualified students, most travel and accommodation costs will be covered.

If you do submit your application without contacting a potential supervisor, the Department will try to find a potential supervisor based on your interests.


Our early application deadline for a September 1 start is February 1. If we receive your application by that deadline, you will receive first priority for internal and entrance scholarships. You may also receive an invitation to visit the Department.

We are no longer accepting new applications for admission in September 2021 or January 2022. 

If you are applying for admission in May 2022, applications opened August 30, 2021 and must be submitted by January 1, 2022. You can access the online application here.

If you are applying for admission in September 2022 or later, please refer to the deadlines listed on McMaster's Online Application website.

These due dates are for the initial online application only. Other required documents may need be sent after the due date. Please note that applications will not be accepted past the deadline date, except under special circumstances. Contact us  for more information.

Required Documents:

The following items are required before your application will be considered complete. You may submit unofficial copies with your online application but we may request that official copies of these documents be sent to the department if you are accepted into the program

  1. One official transcript of all academic work completed to date should be sent directly from the issuing institution. An applicant can send the transcript as long as it comes in a sealed envelope issued by the institution. If the final transcript does not show that a completed degree has been conferred, an official copy of your diploma is also required.
  2. Two confidential letters of recommendation from instructors most familiar with your academic work. Please note that McMaster University uses the Electronic Referencing System. By entering the email address of your referee through the online application, the system will automatically send an e-Reference request on your behalf. If, for some reason, you are unable to use the Electronic Referencing System, the Reference form can be downloaded here.
  3. If English is not your native language, an original of your TOEFL or IELTS score in English is required. A minimum TOEFL (iBT) score of 92 (580 on the paper-based TOEFL test or 237 on the computer-based TOEFL test) or a minimum IELTS score of 6.5 is needed. The GRE General Test is not a required document.
  4. A statement of interest in pursuing graduate studies. (Please include your full name on the statement.)

For details about how to submit required documents once you have been accepted into the program (including circumstances in which it may be acceptable to submit official electronic documents), please refer to McMaster's Conditions of Admission website

Any documents mailed to the Department should be sent to:

Graduate Assistant
McMaster University
Department of Chemistry & Chemical Biology
1280 Main Street West, ABB 156
Hamilton, Ontario L8S 4M1

Any documents sent to the Department electronically should be forwaded to

Please contact us if you have questions.


Financial Support

Graduate students accepted into the Chemistry Graduate Program receive or are eligible for financial support. We describe the most common types below. For more detailed information, please contact the Graduate Program Administrator.

Graduate Stipends

All students who are accepted into the graduate program and do not hold a scholarship designed to cover all or part of these costs receive a graduate stipend. For full-time graduate students during a full academic year (September 1 to August 31), this financial support is typically:

  • a Teaching Assistantship ($11,260 for 260 hours as September 2017) and
  • a Research Scholarship ($13,250 for M.Sc. and $14,750 for Ph.D.).
Our graduate stipend is intended to cover the costs of tuition and living expenses. Hamilton boasts a relatively low cost of living and students can expect to live comfortably on their stipend alone.

A foreign student Tuition Bursary ($6,000 for visa students) is available for students studying at the Master’s level to cover the difference in tuition. Visa PhD students pay the same tuition and are compensated in the same way as their domestic counterparts. More information on other sources of funding is available from the School of Graduate Studies.

The total level of this support is reviewed annually to ensure students are paid at a level competitive with other Canadian Chemistry Departments. The time limits for financial support in the M.Sc. and Ph.D. programs are described in the Chemistry Graduate Handbook. A separate application for financial assistance is not required; all applicants are automatically considered for financial support.


Graduate students are encouraged to apply for major scholarships awarded at the national (Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council or NSERC) and provincial (Ontario Graduate Scholarships) level. More information about external scholarships is available from the School of Graduate Studies.

The Department of Chemistry & Chemical Biology also awards a number of entrance scholarships to qualified incoming students and offers scholarships to in-course students based on their graduate program performance. All incoming students are automatically considered for an entrance scholarship at the time of application. For more information on the awards listed below, please contact the Graduate Program Administrator

Current awards available include:

  • International Excellence Awards
  • Ontario Graduate Scholarship (OGS) Awards (internally allocated)
  • Brian McCarry Graduate Chemistry Scholarship for research with industrial focus
  • Ronald J Gillespie Prize for research in inorganic chemistry
  • Impact Awards for students in Chemistry who have published a high impact research article or communication. Two to three are typically given each year.  Articles selected for this award typically have the recipient as the first author and are published in high-impact peer-reviewed journals
  • Manske-McLean and Brooman Bursaries
  • Ed Hileman Travel Awards to assist with the cost of conferences in North America (value $500)
  • Russell Bell Travel Awards to assist with the cost of conferences outside of North America (range $1000 to $2000)
  • $500 travel awards from the McMaster Graduate Student Association (GSA) (2 deadlines for applications each year, typically in September and May)

  Graduate Tuition and Other Fees

Why McMaster?

Beyond the Department, Hamilton is a great place to start your academic journey.

mcmaster students on campus

Our Campus and Cootes Paradise Marsh

McMaster sits beside Cootes Paradise Nature Santuary with its ample hiking trails. The sanctuary, including Cootes Paradise March, is owned and managed by the Royal Botanical Gardens, the largest botanical garden in Canada. 

Hamilton + McMaster

Hamilton is experiencing a renaissance, growing from its industrial past to a high tech future. McMaster Innovation Park plays a key role hosting start-up companies and incubator space for entrepreneurs. The University is actively working with the City and local community to support this renaissance offering students great opportunity.

A Great Place to Live

Hamilton is a great place to live, with numerous walking, hiking, running and biking trails throughout the city. The Niagara Escarpment, aka “the Mountain”, is surrounded by parkland and boasts dozens of waterfalls and hiking trails. The Royal Botanical Gardens is a world-class botanical centre, with its own numerous gardens and hiking trails. 

Located Nearby

Located half-way between Niagara Falls and Toronto, Hamilton has easy access to both. The Niagara area contains picturesque towns such as Niagara-on-the-Lake and Niagara Falls. It’s Canada’s premier wine-making region, with numerous well-known wineries and a growing craft brew community. Toronto is Canada’s largest city, providing outstanding night-life that includes clubs, theatre, shopping, cultural events, sports, etc.

International Access

Hamilton has easy access to three airports including Pearson International Airport, Canada’s largest with flights to practically anywhere in the world.

Frequently Asked Questions

Coming soon.

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McMaster University - Faculty of Science | Chemistry & Chemical Biology