Access Program

There’s a place for you at McMaster. Our goal is to help you think about post-secondary education as a world of possibilities instead of barriers.

McMaster’s Access Program connects equity-deserving students and those from historically under-represented backgrounds with information and supports to set them up for success in university. Once you’re here, we’ll work with you to ensure you have everything you need in your university experience.

Contact us

For more information, please contact us at

Contact the Access Program

McMaster’s Access Program is for equity-deserving students and those from historically under-represented backgrounds.

Equity-deserving groups often include:

  • Students with parents who did not attend, or complete, post-secondary studies (first-generation university students)
  • Indigenous students
  • Students with disabilities
  • Certain racialized minority students (especially youth with Afro-Canadian and Latin American backgrounds)
  • Students from low-income families and neighbourhoods
  • Adult learners who are new to post-secondary education
  • Students from rural communities
  • Women (in some disciplines)
  • Students who wouldn’t attend post-secondary without additional programs or supports

The Access Award provides up to $20,000 per year for four years of post-secondary education at McMaster. Plus, you receive mentorship, employment options and academic supports to set you up for success.

This award’s for academically qualified students from equity-deserving and historically under-represented groups in Hamilton and the surrounding area.

How to apply:

  1. Complete and submit your application to McMaster University through the Ontario University Application Centre (OUAC).
  2. Apply for the Access Award using McMaster’s AwardSpring platform. Your application must include:
    • A short essay describing the barriers you’re experiencing and why you want to attend McMaster
    • A reference letter

Visit the Registrar’s Office to learn more about entrance awards and how to apply.

If you grew up in the care of the Children’s Aid Society and are planning to attend McMaster, you may be eligible for financial support. Bursary funding is available towards tuition and compulsory fees. This funding is renewable, subject to meeting eligibility requirements for up to four years.

You’re eligible for the bursary if you:

  • Have completed extended society care in Ontario (not publicly adopted) in the Greater Golden Horseshoe Area (one year minimum).
  • Self-identify through the OSAP application process and provide the supporting documentation (OSAP Verification of Status with Children’s Aid Society Form).
  • Are a permanent resident, refugee or citizen of Canada.
  • Apply for non-repayable grant funding through full-time or part-time OSAP each academic year. Students are not required to apply for loan funding.
  • Receive an offer of admissions to McMaster University and meet the final admission conditions of the offer.

Visit the Registrar’s Office to learn more about the bursary and how to apply.


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