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Life in the Department, On Campus, in the City

When we think of graduate school, we think of seminars, conducting research, sitting for exams, and writing a thesis or dissertation. Scholarly activities are only part of the total experience of being a grad student. Grad student life at McMaster, and in the wider community of Hamilton offers so much more.

Study at McMaster

The Institute on Globalization & the Human Condition is located in the newly constructed WL.R. Wilson building. The Institute located on the second floor, overlooking a green roof and includes offices, and private study space for our Globalization MA students.

Campus Recreation

The McMaster campus boasts a number of outstanding recreational facilities that are available to grad students at any time of the year. These are found at the David Braley Athletic Centre, one of the largest of its kind at a Canadian university and just a short walk from our offices in University Hall. Students enjoy free access to swimming facilities, squash courts, and an indoor track. For a small fee, members can enroll in spin classes, yoga, dance, martial arts, and tai chi, as well as make use of the weight room, stationary bikes, and indoor climbing wall.

David Braley Athletic Centre

Hanging Out on Campus

No doubt, the Graduate Student Association will play an invaluable role by offering networking, scholarship and career development opportunities but the GSA also provides another crucially important service to the students: they manage The Phoenix, a bar and restaurant located in the historic Refectory building.

The Phoenix staff are the keepers of the McMaster version of the Holy Grail, The Thallion. Only those that have successfully defended their thesis may drink from this mystical chalice.

The Phoenix

Life in #HamOnt

McMaster is situated in Hamilton, Ontario, a city of more than half a million wrapped around the western most shore of Lake Ontario, approximately equal distance between the cities of Toronto and Buffalo, New York.

Get to know #HamOnt on Twitter! @ihearthamilton @thespec @tourismhamilton @hamiltongastro @popuphamilton @supercrawl

Arts & Culture

Once characterized as an industrial center, Hamilton is experiencing a period of intense revitalization. The downtown is now home to one of the most exciting arts and culture scenes in the country, with new shops, galleries, collectives, and restaurants opening all the time. The crown jewel of this initiative is the area surrounding James Street North, which has undergone arguably the most dramatic transformation. Supercrawl, a yearly celebration of JSN’s arts community, has exploded in popularity in recent years, drawing more than 100,000 visitors over the course of a weekend.

Hamilton Supercrawl

Where to Live

When it comes to housing for our students, the majority tend to prefer a living arrangement that will place them close enough to campus for an easy commute, while also giving them a chance to experience life in Hamilton on its own terms, apart from the university and its influence.

This has often meant renting a house, apartment, or room east of the campus in the communities of Kirkendall, Durand, and Corktown or to the west in the town ofDundas. Space in these neighborhoods is coveted not just for its proximity to the school: these are vibrant, historic, walkable communities with a wide variety of amenities and attractions. Although finding a great place to rent can be a challenge in any city, our students have reported success in using the McMaster Off-Campus Resource Center, as well as private services such as Padmapper and Kijiji.

McMaster Off-Campus Resource Center

A Nature-lover’s Dream

Newcomers to Hamilton are often surprised not only by its dynamic neighborhoods by its impressive natural beauty as well. The city is bisected by the Niagara escarpment, creating an ‘Upper’ and ‘Lower’ Hamilton. There are breathtaking views to be had when travelling between these two, especially on foot. Hamilton is also home to more than 100 waterfalls and cascades, and to numerous trails and hiking paths

Discover Hamilton's Waterfalls

Getting Around

Getting around town has gotten a lot easier recently with the launch of the SoBi Hamilton bike share network, which offers a discounted rate to university students. McMaster also has an agreement with Hamilton Street Rail that guarantees a subsidized, yearlong, renewable bus pass to every graduate student. Those of our students living further away in neighbouring towns or cities may drive and pay to park on campus, but, more often, they choose to ride on GO Transit, a network of trains and buses servicing the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area conurbation.

Those that don’t keep a personal vehicle may also want to consider using Community CarShare for occasional trips.  Cars are centrally located in the downtown core and at McMaster.

SoBi Hamilton