Off-Campus Students (Archway)

As an off-campus first-year student, you have access to mentorship and support through the Archway Program. At the beginning of the year, you’re paired with an Archway mentor, who will be your go-to source of one-on-one support when you need it. Archway also offers events, workshops and socials where you can meet new friends and stay prepared for the school year ahead.

Need help connecting with your Archway mentor?

Contact if you’re unsure who your mentor is or you need help getting reconnected with them.

Contact Archway

About the Archway Program

Archway is the core of the off-campus student experience. The team’s here to help you through your first year whenever you need it, and sometimes even before you know you need it. Check out all the ways the Archway Program can help you!

As a first-year student, you’re paired with an upper-year Archway mentor in the summer leading up to your first university term. Your mentor’s always there to chat, answer questions, provide guidance and help you navigate the transition to university life.

  • Mentors are part-time student staff who are upper-year students at McMaster. All mentors are equipped with leadership experience and diverse training to support you and your first-year experience needs.
  • Mentors can set up monthly check-ins to connect with you and provide relevant tips, resources and guidance to make your first year the best it can be. You can always chat with your Archway mentor outside of these monthly check-ins, too. 

Note sure who your mentor is?

Feel free to contact if you’re unsure where to get help or you need to get reconnected with your your Archway mentor.

Archway uses Microsoft Teams as a virtual community space where you can connect with other first-year students living off campus, chat with your Archway mentor, discover upcoming events and helpful resources  — and more. You get added to the Archway MS Teams space (using your McMaster email) in the summer before you start university. After all, your university transition starts before your first class starts.

You can contact your Archway mentor or the general email ( if you need help navigating the Teams community. We can also help if you aren’t sure where to get support.

Events and programming

We offer events and programming to help you feel connected and engaged with what’s going on at McMaster. Archway hosts regular events, socials and other opportunities to help you connect with other students through the year. Additionally, we host signature events and programs that are open to all first-year students, like Mac101: Introduction to University Life, Welcome Week and more. These activities are a great way to stay connected to the entire first-year community.

Archway events and socials are your opportunity to connect with other off-campus students and learn about the resources available to you. We share information about upcoming events in our first-year newsletter, on Instagram (@ArchwayMcMaster) and via Microsoft Teams.

Some examples of previous social events:

  • Game and movie nights
  • Wellness and de-stressing events (i.e., arts and crafts)
  • Group study sessions
  • Escape rooms

Plus, we’ll help you organize an event you want to happen! Connect with your Archway mentor to share your idea.

Mac101: Introduction to University Life

During Mac101, join students, staff and faculty for a series of sessions, discussions and activities to ease your transition to university life. Learn about strategies, skills, programs, tools and campus resources to support your success at McMaster.

Welcome Week

This is the event that every first-year student eagerly awaits to start their university journey! 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. Welcome Week incorporates 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.

More events for all first-year students

Filter by “First-Year Experience Events” to find activities designed specifically for you and your first-year community.

Additional first-year support

Your first-year support network doesn’t just include Archway — you have access to many resources to help you succeed in university. Discover these additional services so you know where to go for help when you need it.

Anyone can improve their writing and academic skills. Explore how our writing and academic skills services, programs and events can support your development in key areas, such as reading, writing and studying.

One-on-one support

The transition program coordinator can help address your questions about accessibility, accommodations and other aspects of the transition process. Additionally, they can help you navigate Student Accessibility Services, including the registration and accommodation request process.

Book an appointment with the transition program coordinator or email to learn more.

MacStart Summer Transition Program

The Transition Program supports incoming McMaster students with disabilities and accessibility needs as they begin a new stage in post-secondary studies. Participate in the program to get introduced to university learning, Student Accessibility Services offerings, accommodations and more.