Let’s start the year together! 

September 1–8, 2021

First of all, congratulations and welcome to our Marauder family! We’re glad you’re here with us.

We’re committed to providing you and the entire incoming class with the best transition and orientation experience to get you ready for university life at McMaster. We’ve planned an exciting Welcome Week for you that includes academic and social programming, interactive games and activities, Faculty-based events and opportunities to connect with other incoming and upper-year students along with staff and faculty.

Note: If you’re a second-year student, check out the Second-Year Welcome page for all the activities happening just for you and your peers on September 11. These events aren’t listed with the Welcome Week 2021 schedule.

Customize your Welcome Week experience (200+ events and counting!)

More than 200 events, including some in-person activities, are now live and ready for you to explore on the Welcome Week website and registration portal. Keep checking the website, and stay tuned for more announcements!

Attending on-campus events? Here’s what you need to know and do

  1. Daily screening: all attendees must complete the COVID-19 provincial self-assessment within one hour of their intended arrival on campus. Participants will be asked about the completion of screening upon arrival at the event.
  2. Students arriving on campus must complete the COVID-19 Awareness training available through Mosaic. Once you have registered for the training on Mosaic, you will be directed to Avenue to Learn to complete the activities.
  3. Masks or face coverings are required for all indoor events and outdoors where physical distancing cannot be maintained.
  4. Physical distancing will be maintained at events where possible.
  5. Students participating in on-campus events must sign in with the event organizer upon arrival at the on-campus activity.
  6. Pre-registration is required for all events on Presence. This registration will be used for check-in when you arrive on campus and used to confirm your spot.
  7. Wash your hands often with soap for at least 20 seconds or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

We are one community. Stay home if you’re feeling unwell. A Step-by-Step Student Guide has been developed with information about self-assessment, reporting and minimizing exposure to COVID-19. It is recommended that you review the Student Guide in conjunction with the information shared on the Back to Mac website.

Stay connected with us

Starting in July, check your email for updates about Welcome Week and orientation. Also, follow us on Instagram (@MacSSC). We have takeovers dedicated to you and your fellow incoming first-year students every Monday. And there’s a Class of 2025 Discord just for you. Stay tuned to find out how we can help make your transition to university a successful one!

For more information about campus life in the fall, visit the McMaster Back to Mac website.

2021 Welcome Week themes

The promotion of health and well-being includes the understanding that health is viewed across a spectrum and pertains to more than just physical and mental well-being, which is critical for success. It also includes the recognition that McMaster is a community that fosters resiliency. The promotion of health and well-being acknowledges that the health and safety of our campus community is a collective commitment and shared responsibility. Faculty, staff and students are available to support each other as members of the McMaster Community.

In partnership with peers, upper-year leaders and mentors, staff and faculty, students will begin to develop a sense of belonging as they transition into the academic culture of McMaster. Each student will understand the importance of being academically prepared for the rigours of university education and the enhanced academic expectations. Students will understand that academics relate to the pursuit of knowledge, that learning is fluid and that they can start to explore their own individual educational pathway.

McMaster University recognizes and acknowledges that it is located on the traditional territories of the Mississauga and Haudenosaunee nations, and within the lands protected by the “Dish with One Spoon” wampum agreement.

McMaster strives to be a welcoming and diverse campus where students and staff can explore their personal positioning and privilege and be supported through various on-campus resources to attain this goal. Students can expect to study, work and live in an environment free from harassment, discrimination and sexual violence.

MacPass/Welcome Week FAQ

I missed MacPass registration. Can I still participate in Welcome Week?

Yes! You can still participate in all the Welcome Week events, and you still get a Welcome Week package that includes a McMaster or Faculty-crested t-shirt and a few swag items. However, we can’t guarantee t-shirt sizes. If you’re living off campus, we’ll send your package to the mailing address you used to register for university. If you’re living in residence, we’ll deliver the package to your dorm.

I missed MacPass registration. Do I still get a Welcome Week package?

Yes! You still get a Welcome Week package that includes a McMaster or Faculty-crested t-shirt and a few swag items. However, we can’t guarantee t-shirt sizes. If you’re living off campus, we’ll send your package to the mailing address you used to register for university. If you’re living in residence, we’ll deliver the package to your dorm.

Will there be any in-person Welcome Week events?

This year, the majority of Welcome Week activities are taking place online, with limited in-person, on-campus activities. We’re following provincial and public health COVID-19 guidelines to ensure the health and safety of everyone involved. More information on programs and activities is coming as soon as we finalize the details!

If you’re not able to participate in on-campus events because of your location, or other special circumstances, don’t worry! All our online programming is designed to give you the same sense of belonging and connectedness — because it wouldn’t be Welcome Week without a real “welcome!”

How will the online Welcome Week events work?

We’ve invested in technology to connect you with all the necessary resources, services and fun activities that Welcome Week 2021 has to offer, wherever you are in the world. Fun fact: last year, students participated in online Welcome Week festivities from more than 90 countries around the globe!

I’m a second-year student. Can I participate in Welcome Week 2021?

Check out the Second-Year Welcome page for all the activities happening just for you and your peers on September 11. These events aren’t listed with the Welcome Week 2021 schedule.

Why should I go to Welcome Week?

  • Welcome Week includes a wide range of social and academic activities designed to ease your transition to university.
  • You can get engaged in university life and participate in events and programs designed to help connect you with your Faculty and professors, staff, upper-year reps and, most importantly, other students.
  • You pay for your MacPass, which is your registration pass for Welcome Week, through a mandatory orientation fee.

I work during the day, so I can’t attend Welcome Week. Can I still participate?

  • Welcome Week has been extended into the first week of class, with the expectation that most students will not be working this week.
  • Many sessions will take place in the evening and on the weekend.
  • Many of the sessions will be recorded, so you can review them at a time that works for you.

Do I have to attend all the events?

We encourage you to attend the events and programs that you are most interested in throughout Welcome Week. A variety of programs and events have been developed to engage students and provide you with opportunities to make connections with students, staff and faculty.

Can I bring friends to Welcome Week?

Sorry, no outside guests can attend McMaster programs and events during Welcome Week.

What is a MacPass?

  • The MacPass is your “all-access pass” to the events and programs taking place during Welcome Week.
  • This is covered by a mandatory university orientation fee paid by all first-year undergraduate students registered for 18 or more units.
  • Since you are paying for MacPass, we encourage you to take advantage of the benefits.
  • You will also receive a MacPass package that will be sent to the address you specify on your MacPass registration. This will include a first-year Welcome Week t-shirt with your Faculty or general McMaster crest, a few other swag items and information on Welcome Week 2021.

Note: Mohawk and Conestoga first-year nursing students who wish to participate can purchase a MacPass for $100.

Who is eligible for a MacPass?

Eligible:

  • Full-time first-year undergraduate students
  • Mature students entering first year
  • International students
  • First-year transfer students
  • Mohawk and Conestoga nursing students (payment required)

Not eligible:

  • Part-time students
  • Upper-year students
  • Midwifery students
  • MELD students

I want to change my MacPass registration details. How can I do this?

Please email sscevent@mcmaster.ca.

Note: MacPass registration changes can only be made before the registration deadline.

Do I have to pay for my MacPass?

Mandatory first-year orientation fee:

  • On March 28, 2012, McMaster students voted in favour of a University Orientation Fee (MacPass) for all first-year undergrad students registered for 18 or more units. This fee is used for the operation of Welcome Week, organized in partnership by the MSU and the Student Success Centre. If you are registered for 18 units or more as of August 31, 2021, this $100 charge will appear automatically on your student account. This fee will entitle you to participate in all orientation programs and events administered by the Student Success Centre, MSU, Archway and Faculty societies commencing Wednesday, September 1 through to Wednesday, September 8, 2021.
  • Participation in MacPass registration and Welcome Week is optional. However, the orientation fee is mandatory.

Note: Mohawk and Conestoga first-year nursing students who wish to participate can purchase a MacPass for $100.

How do I pay for my MacPass?

If you are registered for 18 units or more as of August 31, 2021, this $100 charge will appear automatically on your student account. This fee will entitle you to participate in all orientation programs and events administered by the Student Success Centre, MSU, Archway and Faculty societies commencing Wednesday, September 1 through to Wednesday, September 8, 2021.

Participation in MacPass registration and Welcome Week is optional. However, the orientation fee is mandatory.

Note: Mohawk and Conestoga first-year nursing students who wish to participate can purchase a MacPass for $100.

Do I have to get a MacPass?

Participation in MacPass registration and Welcome Week is optional. However, the orientation fee is mandatory.

I’m an upper-year student who missed my Welcome Week. Can I get a MacPass?

Unfortunately, no. The MacPass is exclusively for first-year students at McMaster. The MacPass cannot be purchased by upper-year students.

Note: If you’re a second-year student, check out the Second-Year Welcome page for all the activities happening just for you and your peers on September 11. These events aren’t listed with the Welcome Week 2021 schedule.

A big thank-you to our partners

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McMaster Students' Union Logo

McMaster Student Success Centre, McMaster Residence Life, McMaster Off-Campus Resource Centre, McMaster Equity and Inclusion Office, McMaster Student Accessibility Services, McMaster Student Wellness Centre, McMaster Indigenous Student Services, McMaster Athletics & Recreation, and Office of Alumni Advancement, and the McMaster Students Union (MSU), including the McMaster Science Society, McMaster Social Sciences Society, McMaster Humanities Society, McMaster Engineering Society, DeGroote Commerce Society, Society of Arts & Science Students, McMaster Kinesiology Society, McMaster University Nursing Students Society, Bachelor of Health Sciences Society, Society of Off-Campus Students

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