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Community Engagement

McMaster Access Strategy

McMaster’s Access Strategy assists academically qualified students from equity deserving groups in Hamilton and surrounding communities to access university education at the undergraduate level.

We work with students to help navigate the application and admissions process and are here to ensure success through to graduation.

Portrait photograph of Celeste Licorish, standing with her arms crossed and smiling.

Youth in extended society care tuition bursary

We know how challenging funding your education can be. If you grew up in the care of the Children’s Aid Society, you may be eligible for bursary support towards your tuition at McMaster University. We want to help you achieve your academic goals and support you during your time at McMaster.

The Registrar’s Office has more information on eligibility, the application process and where to go for more details.

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 faculties)

  • Students who wouldn’t attend post-secondary without additional programs or supports

who qualifies for access?

Any student from an equity deserving group who is also affiliated with any of our community partnerships.

A view of campus looking out of the doorframe of the University Club in the winter.

Our Partnerships Include

Pathways to Education

Empowerment Sqaured

Hamilton Wentworth Catholic District School Board

Hamilton Wentworth District School Board

Hamilton Community Foundation - ABACUS

Focus of the Access Strategy

General Application Support:  The Access Strategy is available to support you from the moment you consider applying to the summer before you start your first year.

Introductions to:

Student Success Centre Learn More

Engage in diverse learning opportunities that support academic, personal, and professional growth!

Office of the Registrar Learn More

Learn about information regarding government student assistance to McMaster’s scholarships, bursaries, work programs, and more!

Pilot Mentorship Project

Connecting current senior McMaster students with eligible students requiring support.  Mentors will gain experience and mentees will gain the knowledge, encouragement, connections, and support they need to be successful during their time at McMaster.

Financial Assistance

OSAP, bursaries, scholarships, and more!

Information Sessions

Hosting community information sessions to provide information to high school students and families about Access Program opportunities, university entrance requirements, application/transition resources and supports at McMaster.

Campus Tours

Providing elementary and high school students with opportunities to participate in and experience university activities that will have them feeling like post-secondary education is attainable!


For more information, please contact us to get in touch with the Access Program Manager, Celeste Licorish.

Stories About the Access Strategy