Summer Transition Programs and Support

Transitioning from high school to university is exciting, but there can also be a lot of adjustments. We offer orientation and transition programming to help you adapt to university life in the classroom and beyond. Discover how you can get started in the summer before classes start. Then, you’ll know how to get involved and seek support throughout your university journey.

Summer transition and Welcome Week

At the Student Success Centre, we provide and collaborate on programs to help address your first-year experience needs. You’ll find opportunities to meet new people and make friends, explore all that campus has to offer, receive valuable information and mentorship — and more.

Annually in July | Open to all incoming first-year students (includes sessions for parents, families, caregivers)

Mac101 is your introduction to university life. This summer, join students, staff and faculty for a series of sessions, discussions and activities to ease your transition to university life. Attend virtual sessions to learn about strategies, skills, programs, tools and campus resources to support your success at McMaster.

Mac101 is open to all incoming first-year students, with customized sessions for students with disabilities, international students, transfer students, Access Program students and parents, caregivers and families.

Annually from May to August | Open to incoming first-year international students

Incoming international students, you probably have questions about moving to and learning in a new country. Attend our webinars to meet your community of support and discover how you can be successful at McMaster.

Topics include:

  • Study permits
  • Housing
  • Tuition
  • Living in Hamilton
  • English-language support
  • University Health Insurance Plan (UHIP)
  • Banking in Canada
  • Studying in Canada

Plus, you’ll have opportunities to meet other international students and connect with McMaster staff who are here to support you.

Annually from August to September | Open to incoming first-year students with disabilities (upper-year students also welcome)

MacStart is a free summer program to help you transition to university learning at McMaster University. Our goal is to support the needs and interests of incoming students with disabilities.

This free orientation program is offered in a choose-your-own-journey style. This means that you register once for the whole program and attend only the workshops that interest you. You don’t need to be registered with Student Accessibility Services to participate in MacStart.

Annually from late August to early September | Open to all incoming first-year students

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. Get excited for 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.

Welcome Week is a collaborative initiative involving many units across campus, including Student Affairs, the McMaster Students Union (MSU), Faculties and Programs, Faculty Societies, non-Faculty partners and student planning groups.

Transition programs across campus

McMaster’s a community of communities, and our partners across campus offer additional options for transition programming. Discover how the campus community works together to provide personalized programs for you and your peers.

Annually in May | Open to prospective applicants and incoming first-year students (parents, family and caregivers welcome)

May@Mac is your opportunity to explore McMaster’s campus, learn about our programs from faculty members and discover what it’s like to live and learn at the university.

Annually in August | Open to incoming first-year Engineering students

Get a head start on your university career through this flexible, optional program designed to suit your needs.

EMBER prepares students who are entering their first year of Engineering, the Bachelor of Technology program, Computer Science and Integrated Biomedical Engineering and Health Sciences (iBioMed) for academic and social success. Mix and match courses and other opportunities to create your own unique, customized EMBER experience. This program is offered at no additional cost.

Annually in July (additional programming in the fall) | Open to incoming first-year Indigenous students

Find a culturally safe space to develop your community and access support among Indigenous learners before the year starts. Over two weeks in the summer and workshops continuing in the fall, you’ll learn about culture, university life and academic skill development while celebrating Indigenous values and ways of learning.

Personalized transition support

No two student experiences are the same in university. Each students comes to McMaster with unique experiences and perspectives that shape their journey in the classroom and beyond. We can help you build your network of support and find your community at McMaster.

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.

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

And the support doesn’t end after you accept your offer. The Access Program’s designed to enhance your sense of belonging and empowerment during university, too. We provide services and connect you with resources across campus to support your academic, career, wellness and financial needs.

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.

Every Marauder deserves a great place to call home. Housing & Conference Services’ Residence Life unit supports on-campus students through inclusion, community engagement and activities that promote personal growth and health and well-being. Your Residence Life community advisor is available to provide support and guidance to help you adjust to university life and navigate the campus.

The Student Success Centre, in partnership with Student Accessibility Services, provides customized transition support for students with disabilities. You can meet with the transition program coordinator one on one to discuss your needs and get introduced to your network of support at McMaster. This includes learning how to register for academic accommodations through Student Accessibility Services, accessing assistive devices and more.

Note: We require 24-hours notice for new appointments.