Student Advising & Support

Academic Advising & Support

Young woman gestures while using computer

Academic Advising & Support

The mission of the Academic Advising Office is to support students in the Faculty of Social Sciences as they work to realize their full potential. Our academic advisors work with students to develop and implement individual plans for the purpose of achieving both academic and personal goals. To request an appointment create a ticket on the Social Science portal.


Login using the “Login with MacID” button once you click the link below:





chevron back arrowGO BACK

Speak to an Academic Advisor

Submit a ticket, and login in using the “Login with MacID” button, to request an appointment with an Academic Advisor if you have any questions about requirements for your degree or minor, or if you are interested in exploring the resources and supports available at McMaster to assist students with moving forwards effectively with their studies.
If you are in the School of Social Work, please reach out directly to Tammy Maikawa, Academic Department Manager and Academic Advisor. 


How to submit a ticket

Login using the “Login with MacID” option.


If there is a password error, and you are sure that the password has been entered correctly, then University Technology Services will need to make a quick adjustment to your information on the platform. Go to the University Technology Services website and use the chat feature on that page to request “Please add my MacID to the correct JIRA group so that I can login to the Social Science portal”. Once you have asked to talk to a human their target response time is under 2 minutes and they are able to easily make the required update to your information.


If you get a blank screen, please try another web browser.

chevron back arrowGO BACK

Missed Academic Work (MSAF, RISO, & Accommodations)

*NEW* Missed Academic Work 

Please note changes have been made to the University’s Policy on Requests for Relief for Missed Academic Term Work, effective September 1, 2023.


Relief for Missed Academic Work

McMaster recognizes that students periodically require relief from academic work for medical and other personal situations. The academic regulations surrounding this aim to manage these requests by taking into account the needs and obligations of students, instructors and administrators.


We recommend that students read the following brief 3 pages of information to be able to more confidently navigate MSAF’s at McMaster: Academic Regulations re: Missed Academic Work


McMaster Student Absence Form (MSAF) – SELF REPORT

MSAF Self Report is a self-reporting tool for undergraduate students to report absences due to minor medical or personal concerns that last up to three (3) calendar days. It provides the ability to request accommodations for any missed academic work worth equal to or less than 24% of the course work.


MSAF Self Report requests:

  • may only be submitted once per term;
  • must be submitted within 24 hours of the end of the three (3) day period, and failure to do so may negate the opportunity for relief;
  • applies only to work due within the period for which the request applies, i.e., the three-day period specified in the MSAF; however, all work due in that period can be covered by one request; and
  • where applicable, students must provide documentation proving they have not attempted the work if they submit a request for relief.

It is the student’s responsibility to follow up with their instructor immediately regarding the nature of the accommodation. The instructor(s) will determine the appropriate relief for the request.


This tool cannot be used during any final examination period.


MSAF Self Report is located in your Mosaic Student Centre in the drop-down menu, ‘other academic…’



McMaster Student Absence Form (MSAF) – ADMINISTRATIVE REPORT

There are cases where the McMaster Student Absence Form is not the appropriate tool to report an absence.


These include if you:

  • Need to report a subsequent absence within the same term where the MSAF Self Report tool has already been used once,
  • Are absent for more than three (3) calendar days
  • Miss a piece of work worth 25% or more of the final grade.

If any of these situations occur, you must contact your faculty office within 24 hours after returning to your academic activities to discuss the absence and missed work. Students in Social Sciences must complete a Social Sciences MSAF Administrative Report form. The Social Sciences MSAF Administrative Report form is appropriate for coursework that will be submitted prior to the last day of classes. Supporting documentation may be required for an MSAF Administrative Report. If the absence was for medical reasons, student must have a health practitioner provide documentation. The health practitioner may complete the McMaster Student Health Certificate for convenience. If students believe they will not be able to submit work until after classes have ended, they should meet with an advisor to discuss the option of incomplete term work. For final examinations, students should refer to information regarding deferred examinations.


To submit your Social Sciences MSAF Administrative Report form form:


  1. Download the Notification of Absence (PDF) form: Type B – Administrative MSAF
  2. Fill out all fields and save it to your computer.
  3. Submit the forms and supporting documentation to the Faculty of Social Sciences through socscfac@mcmaster.ca, through our booking system, or in person in KTH 129.

If a student requires a second administrative MSAF in the same term they will need to request to meet with their advisor through the Social Sciences booking system, choosing the “I have missed work option” and providing documentation of the related circumstances for their advisor’s assessment.


Request for Incomplete Term Work

Students with exceptional circumstances who wish to request an extension beyond the last day of classes may wish to meet with an Academic Advisor to discuss whether this is a reasonable option and may be requested to provide supporting documentation. Normally, students will then be advised to discuss their request directly with their course instructor. 


The decision regarding the extension and the nature of the relief for missed work is at the discretion of the instructor. It is the student’s responsibility to follow up with each instructor to discuss how, when and where the work will be submitted.


Academic Conflicts for Student-Athletes

Student Athletes: It is your responsibility to review your competition schedule with your course outlines to determine any academic conflicts. 

You are encouraged to plan and resolve your athletic/academic conflicts well in advance. However, as a minimum, requests are to be completed at least five business days prior to the conflict. 

After completing the online form, the Athlete Services Coordinator will validate your athletic commitment with the Social Sciences Academic Advising Office. It is your responsibility to do the following: 

  1. Contact the Social Sciences Academic Advising Office to request a copy of the current missed work form
  2. Submit the completed missed work form to the Social Sciences Academic Advising Office by email to socscfac@mcmaster.ca.
  3. Once the Missed Work form has been processed, contact your instructor (or designate) regarding the request for relief of missed work. The final decision regarding the relief provided is at the discretion of the instructor.

Athletic commitment verification is provided for McMaster Athletics & Recreation sanctioned events only.


Ongoing Accommodations (SAS) 

Accommodations through the faculty are intended for temporary situations. If you believe you are in need of ongoing academic accommodations during your time at McMaster, please contact Student Accessibility Services. 


Religious, Indigenous and Spiritual Observances (RISO) 

The following excerpt is from McMaster University’s Policy on Academic Accommodation for Religious, Indigenous and Spiritual Observances (effective September 2015): 

McMaster University strives to be welcoming and inclusive of all its members and respectful of their differences. Students, staff, and instructors come from a range of backgrounds, traditions and beliefs. The University recognizes that, on occasion, the timing of a student’s religious, Indigenous, or spiritual observances and that of their academic obligations may conflict. In such cases, the University will provide reasonable academic accommodation for students that is consistent with the Ontario Human Rights Code, through respectful, accessible, and fair processes. 

View the full policy on the Equity and Inclusion Office’s website. 


Academic Obligations – Excluding Registrar-Invigilated Examinations
  • Students are to submit the RISO form to their faculty office (for students in Social Sciences, this is the Academic Advising Office) within 10 working days of the beginning of each term in which they anticipate a need for accommodations. 
  • In cases where an observance is unanticipated, please contact the advising office as soon as possible. 
  • Once the RISO form has been reviewed and approved, the advising office will send days and/or times during which the conflict(s) is anticipated to the relevant instructors by email, with a copy to the student. 
  • It is the student’s responsibility to follow up no later than five working days with their instructor(s) regarding making accommodations arrangements. 
  • The nature of relief is at the discretion of the instructor. 

Social Sciences RISO FORM 


How to submit a Social Sciences RISO Form

RISO forms can be submitted to socscfac@mcmaster.ca. Use your McMaster student email, include a brief explanation of why you are sending the email, and include your full name with your student number.

Ensure that the filled out Social Sciences RISO form includes the work missed, the date due, percentage weight for your course. Attach it to your email to socscfac@mcmaster.ca for submission. 


Registrar-Invigilated Examinations
  • See the Registrar’s Exam RISO information at this link. Exam related RISO’s are best submitted as soon as possible by students upon receiving their exam schedule, and no later than 10 working days prior to the commencement of the examination period. 
  • If the student fails to meet this deadline, it may not be possible to reschedule the examination within the current exam period. In such cases, students must visit their faculty office to request alternative arrangements. 
  • The Registrar’s Office will normally inform students of their rescheduled examination(s) at least five working days prior to the beginning of the examination period. 

If you have a scheduling conflict between take home or online final examination scheduled by the Registrar’s Office and religious, Indigenous or spiritual observance, please complete the Registrar Exam RISO form and submit it online through MOSAIC at least 10 working days before the start of the examination period. 


Steps to submit a Registrar Exam RISO request:

  2. Student Centre
  3. My Academics
  4. View my service requests
  5. Create New Request
  6. Undergraduate Student Requests
  7. Choose: “RISO: Academic Accomodation for Religious, Indigenous and Spiritual Observances(FINAL EXAMS ONLY)”
  8. use “Add Attachment” to upload filled out Registrar Exam RISO form.

The McMaster RISO Policy can be found here. 

chevron back arrowGO BACK

Late Withdrawal

How do I submit a Late Withdrawal request? 


We will be accepting Late Withdrawal applications beginning the day after the last day for withdrawing from courses without failure by default for the current term.  


Please request to speak with your advisor to inquire about information, or ask for a Late Withdrawal, by creating a ticket in the Social Science Academic Advising portal.


The last day to submit a Late Withdrawal request for the current term is the day classes end which can be found here.


To request late withdrawal from a course, students must not have completed the final evaluation (whether an assignment, paper, essay, test, or exam) for that course. 


Late Withdrawal


McMaster University provides a Late Withdrawal option to assist students who have become irretrievably behind in a course. Students who have fallen behind with assignments and/or are not prepared to write final examinations (or equivalent) in one or more courses are encouraged to make use of this option and must contact their Academic Advisor in the Faculty/Program Office. Students will work with their Academic Advisor to discuss the situation and what steps they can take to prevent a recurrence.


The maximum number of units for which students may request a Late Withdrawal is 18 units throughout their undergraduate degree.


Students may request a Late Withdrawal, without petition, no later than the last day of classes in the relevant Term. However, it is important to note that:


  • Requests for Late Withdrawal cannot be made in courses for which the final exam (or equivalent) has been attempted or completed. This also includes courses where a final grade has been assigned (e.g. clinical courses).
  • Such requests will be cancelled or revoked if it is determined that the student attempted or completed the final exam (or equivalent).
  • Students cannot use the Late Withdrawal option for courses in which they are under investigation or for which they have been found guilty of academic dishonesty.

Course(s) approved for Late Withdrawal will be:


  • Assigned a non-numeric grade of LWD, in lieu of an alpha/numerical grade
  • Excluded from the calculation of the GPA
  • Ineligible for tuition refund

Approval of a late withdrawal is final, and requests to be re-enrolled in the withdrawn course(s) will not be considered. A withdrawal will not preclude students from enrolling in the course(s) in a subsequent term.

chevron back arrowGO BACK

Deferred Examinations

Request for Deferred Examination

A request for a deferred examination is completed when a student misses a final examination due to compelling medical or personal reasons. Students in Social Sciences may submit a request for a Deferred Examination form to the Academic Advising Office. Students in a program outside of Social Sciences should contact their own faculty/program office. Supporting documentation may be required.


It is the student’s responsibility to check on the status of their deferred exam request. This may be tracked in the Mosaic Student Centre in the drop-down menu ‘other academic…’ and ‘deferred exam approvals’. Students must be available during the Deferred Exam Period (published under the Sessional Dates). Students who have been approved for a deferred exam should check their personal exam schedule approximately 10 business days before the deferred exam period to learn the specific date, time and location.

Deferred examination requests will not be granted for the purpose of travel. The final examination periods for the fall and winter terms are published well in advance of the start of the school year, and students are expected to be available for the entire examination period.

If a final examination has already been written, no special consideration will be granted.


Before You Apply

Click here to review full information regarding deferred exams from the Scheduling and Examinations Office.


How to Apply

Complete the application below and submit it to our office. If you are a student in another faculty, you must apply for a deferred exam in your own faculty office.


To submit your Deferred Exam request:

  1. Download the Deferred Exam Request (PDF) form.
  2. Fill out all fields and save it to your computer.
  3. Please submit your request through the FSS ticketing system.
chevron back arrowGO BACK

Special Petitions & Student Appeals

Petition for Special Consideration

The Faculty of Social Sciences has the responsibility to ensure that degree, program and course requirements are met in a manner that is equitable to all students. While the Faculty adheres strictly to all deadlines and academic regulations as stated in the University Calendar, it does wish to assist students with extenuating circumstances.

Students who seek special consideration or who wish to request that the application of a particular University or Faculty regulation be waived because of compelling medical, personal or family reasons, may submit a Petition for Special Consideration to the Office of the Associate Dean. Supporting documentation will be required but will not ensure approval of the petition. The authority to grant petitions lies with the Office of the Associate Dean, Undergraduate Studies, and is discretionary


Students are responsible for submitting Petitions for Special Consideration in a prompt and timely manner. Following receipt of the appropriate form, the Assistant Dean shall submit the petition to the appropriate individual or committee and shall secure a final decision from the individual or committee. The student will be notified in writing (by email) of the decision on their petition


Petitions for Special Consideration decisions are final. In accordance with the Student Appeal Procedures, decisions made on Petitions for Special Consideration cannot be appealed to the Senate Board for Student Appeals. If a student feels their human rights have been violated, they may contact the Equity and Inclusion Office to initiate a complaint. 


Petition for Retroactive Withdrawal:


Petitions for Retroactive Withdrawal have the following four components:

  • A petition form with all 4 pages filled out and signed on 1st and 4th page.
  • A personal statement. See petition form page 3 for pointers. A personal statement can be on a separate document and submitted alongside the petition form, be sure to list the course codes for all courses of interest.
  • Supporting documentation of extenuating circumstances from an appropriate professional
  • Statements from each instructor on the student’s extent of participation in each course

Part of the petition process is requesting confirmation from your instructor as to what has and has not been completed in each course you are petitioning.


Use the following template, replacing the brackets and text with the correct information for your request. Ensure that your McMaster student number is included in the email to your instructor:


Subject: (Course code for the course) – (Term the course was in): (Last Name),(First Name) – (Student number) 


Hello Dr. (Instructor last name), 

I am submitting a petition for (course code), (lecture section [C0?]), (tutorial/lab [T0?/L0?] – unless the class does not have either) in the (term the course was in [Eg Winter 2022]) term. Could you please forward the information on what I have and have not done for this course as far as participation, assignments, essays, tests, and exams to socscfac@mcmaster.ca as it is an important part of the petition process.  

Please feel free to either simply forward this email with the information in the body text of your email, attach a file in a convenient format, or if you prefer, use the attached form. (Ensure the instructor statement form is attached.) 

Thank you, 

(Full Name) 

(Student Number) 

Petition for Special Consideration Form

Instructor Statement Form


Petition to add a class:


Petitions to add a class typically include the following components:

  • A petition form with all 4 pages filled out and signed on 1st and 4th
  • A personal statement. See petition form page 3 for pointers. A personal statement can be on a separate document and submitted alongside the petition form.
  • Permission from the instructor for the class, either as an email or signature on the Late Add form. Ask the department that administers the course subject area for instructor contact information if needed.
  • Permission from the Department that administers the subject area for the class (use course code), either as an email or as a signature on the Late Add form.
  • A Late Add form for each class with confirmation that work, and class attendance, is up to date, or a plan to make it so. The signature for instructor and department permission can be substituted by an email from each required individual stating that permission has been given.
  • Supporting documentation as appropriate.

Petitions to add a class require permission from both the instructor and the department that runs the course in question. Look up instructor contact information online or reach out to the department to ask for contact information if you are unable to locate the information yourself.


Department contact information can typically be found by searching online for the following: McMaster department contact [subject indicated by course code]


Social Science students forward confirmation of permission to socscfac@mcmaster.ca from your McMaster email, ensuring that your full name and student number are included in the email.


Petition for Special Consideration Form

Late Add Form


Petition to swap a class:


A Petition to Swap a class is both a petition to withdraw from the current class and a petition to add a new class. Please complete a single petition form and include the additional required documents for both retroactive withdrawal and to add a class.


Formal Student Appeal Procedures (University Secretariat)

Students who wish to raise questions or who have a concern are strongly encouraged to communicate informally with their instructors, Departmental Chairs, the relevant Associate/Assistant Dean of their Faculty, or of Graduate Studies, the University Ombud, and/or the appropriate administrative officer before seeking a review under formal procedures. Experience shows that the great majority of questions or complaints can be resolved satisfactorily through informal communication.

Information on:

chevron back arrowGO BACK



Advice for students with a Standing of
“May Not Continue at University”

If you have received a Standing of “May Not Continue at University” on your last academic review you must apply for Reinstatement in order to continue studies at McMaster. In our experience, it is recommended that students in this situation refrain from applying for Reinstatement to McMaster for a one-year period to allow for adequate time to resolve any difficulties that may have affected their academic performance. In addition, during that time we do recommend that you take some courses on a part-time basis at another university, full-time study at College of Applied Arts & Technology, or completion of a McMaster CCE diploma or certificate to demonstrate your ability to succeed in post-secondary level studies. These forms of study are eligible for consideration for transfer credit and allow you to progress in your education while not attending McMaster.

Please note that applications for Reinstatement from students who have a standing of “Required to Withdraw” will only be considered after a period of one year since their last enrollment at McMaster.

Reinstatement Application Deadline Dates:

  • Fall / Winter June 30th
  • Spring / Summer April 1st

Reinstatement Application Process
Reinstatement Application Forms are available on the Office of the Registrar website. The completed Reinstatement Application and accompanying required documents are submitted through a Service Request in Mosaic. The $100.00 Application Fee will be charged to your Student Account.

You must include the following with your application form:

  • One-page Letter of Explanation summarizing the relevant circumstances that impacted your ability to achieve academic success at McMaster.
  • An official transcript showing courses completed with minimum grade of B.
  • Supporting documentation, such as medical notes, that would verify extenuating circumstances which may have affected your academic performance.

A completed application must be submitted by the deadline date. Academic transcripts or supporting documents that arrive after the deadline delay the decision and will affect your ability to enrol in courses, if approved.

A Letter of Explanation should include the following details:

  • Summary of the relevant circumstances surrounding your academics during the last session attended (i.e. family crisis, personal, medical problems, etc.)
  • Explanation and/or evidence that your extenuating circumstances have been resolved
  • Reasons why you believe you should be reinstated to return to studies
  • Reasons for your program selection and courses selected
  • Activities since last enrolled at McMaster, including academic work and/or employment
  • Letters of reference are not required

Academic Preparation
Students who apply for Reinstatement are expected to provide evidence of the ability to succeed at the post-secondary level and must consider one of the following options:

INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS: Review the conditions of your Study Permit before considering the following.

1) TWO Distance Education/Online courses from Athabasca University, Toronto Metropolitan University, or University of Guelph Distance Education (these institutions will accept students regardless of previous academic performance).

  • When taking courses at Athabasca, note that courses numbered “200” are equivalent to first year university courses. Do not choose “100” courses.
  • When taking courses at Toronto Metropolitan University, Chang School of Continuing Education or University of Guelph Distance Education ensure they are degree credit courses.
  • Students should not repeat courses they have completed at McMaster.
  • Students are advised to choose Social Sciences courses to demonstrate their interest in Faculty of Social Sciences programs.
  • Students may refer to this McMaster website for pre-approved McMaster course equivalencies.
  • Note: Distance Education courses may take three to four months to complete.

2) College of Applied Arts & Technology

  • Completion of a one-year program with a minimum average of 80% – up to 6 units of transfer credit may be given for a related one-year program
  • Completion of a two-year diploma with a minimum average of 75% – transfer credit will be considered at the time of application. (This option is recommended for students who retained 6 units or fewer from their failed year.)

3) McMaster Continuing Education (MCE)

  • Completion of a MCE Diploma or Certificate program
  • Consult the Undergraduate Calendar for transfer credit information

Official transcripts should be submitted to:
McMaster University Faculty of Social Sciences
Kenneth Taylor Hall, Room 129
1280 Main Street W. Hamilton, ON L8S 4M4

Note: If McMaster is still operating remotely due to Covid-19 at the time of course completion, official transcripts may be emailed to: Merium Khan at khanm521@mcmaster.ca.

Reinstatement Decisions

Reinstatement Applications are carefully reviewed. Applicants will not be interviewed. Notifications of decisions will be sent by email. Decisions are final and cannot be appealed.

Normally, decisions for Fall/Winter Reinstatement are made by the end of July but may be later. Transfer credit will be evaluated at the time of the reinstatement decision.

For questions about the application procedures, contact Merium Khan at khanm521@mcmaster.ca.

chevron back arrowGO BACK

Program Changes

How do I request a program change?  

Program Application (Open only in April.)

Most program change requests are done through the Program Application when it is open in April of each year. The Program Application is available to all students who are not in the final level of their program (level 3 for B.A. programs & level 4 for Honours programs). See the levels information tab for steps to verify your current level.

Steps to access the Program Application:

Log into MOSAIC  > Student Center > Academics > My Academics > Program Application

Use the drop down menus to select the program(s) that you are interested in. Students in a level 2 program will typically only be able to request one option when listing programs. Students not yet in a specific level 2 program will be able to list up to 4 programs, and will go into the first program on their list where they meet the requirements and there is space for them in the program.

Note that other than when the Program Application is open in April the Program Application page will always say, “The Selection Period is not open at this time. Please contact your faculty for more assistance.”

This is also the case after the end of April when program change requests have been entered and program changes have yet to be released.

If you are asking to change programs at a time when the program application is not open, contact your faculty advising office to ask for next steps.


How do I view my program change result? 

Once program change results have been released in late May/early June, use the following steps: 

Log into MOSAIC  > Student Center > Academics > My Academics > look to the grey box on the right with your ‘My program’ breadcrumb. 


If you have further questions, please feel free to create a ticket using the following link: Submit a ticket


Service Request for a Program Change

You can submit a program change service request through Mosaic to ask to be admitted to a program you are eligible for. Inquire with your academic advisor about this option.

How to submit a Program Change Service Request:
Log into MOSAIC – “Student Center” – Academics – “My Academics” – “View my service requests” – “Create New Request” – “Undergraduate Student Requests” – “Requests for Program Change” (click “next”) – indicate in the comment section which program you would like to transfer to (see below for example):
i.e. “I would like to transfer to Honours __________ or B.A. ___________”

Do not use “Continuing Education Service Requests” or “Graduate Students – service requests”

Important: Make sure to indicate “Honours” or “B.A.” beside your desired major.

Ensure that your Service Request has been “Submitted”.

You can check the status of your service request by returning to “View my service requests”, as indicated above.

Email us at socscfac@mcmaster.ca when you have submitted your service request to let us know.

chevron back arrowGO BACK

Key Dates & Deadlines, Fees

Key Dates & Deadlines 

Visit the Registrar’s Dates and Deadlines page for a listing of key dates and deadlines.

These include:

  • Last day to add or drop classes for each term.
  • The last day to withdraw without failure by default for each term.
  • First and last day of classes for each term.
  • Final exam dates: Students are expected to be available for the full duration of the scheduled dates for final exams.


Fees for each term are due near the start of the term as follows:

  • Fall Term (September to December) fees are due in September.
  • Winter Term (January to April) fees are due in January.
  • Spring Session (May to June) fees are due in May.
  • Summer Session (June to August) fees are due in July.

For more information, including links to the Fee Deadlines (which are the specific dates when payment is due), visit the Office of the Registrar’s Fees and Payment page.

chevron back arrowGO BACK

Academic Standing, GPA, Level, Program Requirements

How do I view my Academic Standing and GPA? 

NOTE: Academic Standing and Official Cumulative Average information is only available for terms where students have had an academic review.

Step 1: Follow these steps to check your unofficial transcript to identify the most recent academic term where an ‘Academic Standing’ notation was assigned.

Log into MOSAIC > Student Center > Academics > My Academics > view my unofficial transcript (if nothing happens check your browser to ensure that pop-ups are not being blocked). 

Step 2: Once you know the most recent term where you have an ‘Academic Standing’ notation use the following steps to view your Academic Standing and Official Cumulative Average.

Log into MOSAIC > Student Center > Academics > other academic… (drop-down menu) > Grades (click the blue arrow button) > select the most recent term that has an Academic Standing notation on your unofficial transcript (click ‘continue’) > scroll down to view Academic Standing and GPA (located at the bottom of the Cumulative Total column).

Academic Standing Definitions:
  • Good standing: Student may continue in their program as they are meeting or exceeding the minimum requirements to do so.
  • May Continue in Program – Academic Probation: Student has until the next time they are reviewed to improve their cumulative GPA to at least a 3.5 (on the McMaster 12 point grade scale), or they will be given a standing of “May not Continue at University”.
  • May Continue in Program – Program Probation: Student has until the next time they are reviewed improve their cumulative GPA up to a level where they meet the requirements for “Good Standing”, otherwise they will be given “May not continue in Program”.
  • May Not continue in Program: Student must move to a different program to continue at University.
  • May Not Continue at University: Student cannot enroll in further classes at McMaster until reinstated.
  • Required to Withdraw from University: Cannot enroll in further classes at McMaster until reinstated and cannot apply for reinstatement for at least 12 months.

Where do I find my program/academic requirements (the Advisement Report)? 

Log into MOSAIC and click the Owl Tile labelled “Advisement Report” on the front page.

Log into MOSAIC  > Student Center > Academics > My Academics > View my advisement report.

Your advisement report will only be useful once you are in a specific level 2 program (subject) of study. If you are not in a level 2 program, do not worry about what it says. If you have questions, please contact the advising team for clarification (socscfac@mcmaster.ca).

How to read an advisement report: 

Your advisement report shows you where your past (green circle) and current (yellow diamond) courses are being applied to your degree requirements. This allows you to determine what courses you will still need to take to graduate.

Once you have added classes check your advisement report by clicking ‘Expand all’ at the top, and ‘View all’ for any table with more than 10 items. If a course (other than the ‘A’ portion of a 6 unit course) shows up in the ‘Unassigned courses’ section it is not being used to move your degree requirements forward and should likely be changed for another class. This will help you avoid accidentally taking courses that you do not need for graduation. 


What level am I?  

Your level is assessed at each academic review period (i.e. the month of May) and it corresponds to the total number of units you’ve completed at the end of each Fall/Winter session: 

24 units or more = Level II 
54 units or more = Level III
84 units or more = Level IV  *only Honours Programs* 

Units completed during the Spring/Summer term are not  factored into your total unit count until the following academic review period (i.e., the following May).

If you are completing courses during the Spring/Summer (specifically to advance to the next level in your program),  contact your home Faculty before the start of September and request a level change. 


What would be required if I were in a different program from the one I am in now? 

Log into MOSAIC  > Student Center > Academics > My Academics > Create a what-if scenario.

NOTE: Use your Advisement Report for your current program, do not use a What-if scenario. Your Advisement Report is customized to you based on the year that you entered your program, a What-if scenario is not, and may be confusing or misleading. Read a what-if scenario the same way that you read your advisement report.


How do I look up program admission requirements? 

  1. Visit the Office of the Registrar’s Undergraduate Calendar.
  2. Select the most recent academic calendar (i.e., Undergraduate Calendar 2022-2023). This can also be done from the drop-down menu located in the top right corner. 
  3. Click ‘Programs (by Degree) and Minors’ (located on the left, 5th from top).
  4. Scroll down to ‘Bachelor of Arts (Honours)’ heading for a list of Honours Programs (four year) OR scroll down to “Bachelor of Arts” heading for a list of B.A. programs (three year).
  5. Find your desired program(s) and click on them to see admission and program requirements. 
chevron back arrowGO BACK

Course Enrollment, Late Withdrawal, Avenue to Learn, Enrolment Appointment & Prerequisites

Enroling and Withdrawing from Courses  

Enrolment Changes (Adding and Dropping Courses)

The last day for enrolment and course changes (drop/add) in each term is posted yearly under the Registrar’s Office Sessional Dates. It is important to familiarize yourself with these dates at the start of each term.

Students have until this deadline to add and drop courses in each term. Courses dropped by the last day for enrolment and course changes (drop/add) are removed fully from your record and no tuition is charged for that class. For classes withdrawn after the last day for enrolment and course changes (drop/add), and before the last day for withdrawing from courses, tuition is returned to a student’s account on a pro-rated basis according to the McMaster course cancellation schedule.

A positive balance on your student account is an amount owed to McMaster, and a negative value is the opposite of that. If you believe you should have a negative balance in your student centre that can be requested as a refund, please contact theOffice of the Registrar using the chat after checking the information available related to fees and refunds.

Students are fully responsible for any outcomes that are a result of enrolment changes (e.g. changes to eligibility for OSAP, residence, etc). 

Withdrawing from Courses Without Failure by Default 

Once the last day to make enrolment changes has passed, students can still withdraw from courses without failure by default by the published deadline. This deadline can be found in the Sessional Dates. Withdrawn courses will remain on your transcript with a notation of ‘W’ indicating you withdrew from the course. Withdrawn courses are not factored into your average. 

Students do not receive a full refund for withdrawn courses. Please check the cancellation fee schedule on the Office of the Registrar website for more information. If you have any questions about an outstanding refund, please contact their office which can be accessed either through their chat, or in person. 

After the last day to withdraw from courses without failure by default, you must remain enrolled in your classes or inquire with an advisor about late withdrawal. This can be done for a maximum of 18 units during your time at McMaster. 

Students are fully responsible for any outcomes that are a result of enrollment changes (e.g., changes to eligibility for OSAP or residence). 

If you have any concerns about withdrawing from courses, please contact the Academic Advising Office.


How do I submit a Late Withdrawal request? 

We will be accepting Late Withdrawal applications beginning the day after the last day for withdrawing from courses without failure by default for the current term.  Students are required to review their late withdrawal request with their Academic Advisor. Please request to speak with your advisor to inquire about information, or ask for a Late Withdrawal, by creating a ticket in the Social Science Academic Advising portal.

The last day to submit a Late Withdrawal request for the current term is the day classes end which can be found here.

To request late withdrawal from a course, students must not have completed the final evaluation (whether an assignment, paper, essay, test, or exam) for that course. 


Why can’t I see my course(s) on Avenue to Learn? 

Please contact the instructor for the course and request to be added on Avenue to Learn. 

If you need contact information for the instructor, please reach out to the department that runs that course. This can typically be determined by the subject portion of the course code (e.g., a SOCIOL coded course would typically be run by the Department of Sociology). If you cannot determine the department, please contact Academic Advising.


Where do I find my Enrolment Appointment? 

Once enrolment appointments are posted, usually in early June, use the following steps: 

Log into MOSAIC > Student Center > look for the box on the right titled ‘Enrollment Dates’ to find your Enrollment Appointment.


How do I look up course prerequisites?   

  1. Visit the Office of the Registrar’s Undergraduate Calendar.
  2. Select the most recent academic calendar (e.g., Undergraduate Calendar 2022-2023). This can also be done from the drop-down menu located in the top right corner. 
  3. Click ‘Course Listings’.
  4. Select the subject code in the ‘Prefix’ drop-down menu (e.g., SOCIOL for Sociology, PSYCH for Psychology).
  5. Click ‘Filter’.
  6. Find your course(s) and click on them to see: course summaries, prerequisites, anti-requisites, and cross-listed information. 
chevron back arrowGO BACK

Study Abroad, Letter of Permission (LOP), & International Letter of Permission (ILOP)

Study Abroad

Would you like to live and study in a different country, increase your global awareness and obtain credit towards your McMaster degree? If so, make studying abroad part of your undergraduate experience! Learn more about the McMaster Study Abroad Program, Independent Study Elsewhere and Travel Scholarships on the Student Success Centre website. 


Letter of Permission

If you are in good academic standing and wish to take courses at another university for credit towards your McMaster degree, you must obtain a Letter of Permission from your faculty prior to enroling at the other institution. 

A Letter of Permission request can be initiated in your Mosaic Student Centre under ‘My Academics’. Once your request is submitted, it takes our advisors approximately three weeks to review and respond to it. Applications may take longer to review during peak times, so please ensure you are applying early. Students are responsible for applying to and following the regulations and processes of the host institution. Please ensure a request is submitted in plenty of time to register with the host institution. 


Before You Apply 

Take note of the regulations and conditions surrounding courses taken through a Letter of Permission for transfer credit. Regulations include but are not limited to the following: 

  • Students are normally permitted to take only elective credit on a Letter of Permission. 
  • A minimum grade of C- must be achieved in order for transfer credit to be received. 
  • Grades from courses taken at another university are not factored into any averages (e.g. cumulative, honours) at McMaster. Courses will appear on your McMaster transcript as either ‘T’ to indicate transfer credit was given, or ‘N.C.’ if no credit was given. 
  • Transfer credit cannot be given until an official transcript has been received by our office directly from the host institution. Students are responsible for ensuring this is sent in a timely manner. 
  • Students are responsible for being mindful of their intended date of graduation from their undergraduate degree, and ensuring that the official transcript is sent in time for the faculty to review you for graduation. If you are unsure about your timing for graduation, please contact the Academic Advising Office. 
  • If you later decide not to pursue your approved LOP course(s), proof of non-enrolment from the institution will be required to remove the course(s) from your record. 

Instructions on how to apply for a Letter of Permission on Mosaic.


FOR INTERNATIONAL LOPs, PLEASE NOTE: If you are applying to take courses on an LOP at a school outside of Canada, please do not apply on Mosaic.


Students interested in pursuing courses at a University outside of Canada for McMaster University transfer credit must complete the ILOP (International Letter of Permission Form) and submit using the following ticket type on the Social Sciences portal: International Letter of Permission Application.


Approval by the Faculty of Social Sciences is required prior to enrolling in courses externally. For questions or concerns, please contact socscfac@mcmaster.ca 

chevron back arrowGO BACK

Careers & Experiential Education, Faculty Experiential Courses

Careers & Experiential Education 

We aim to enrich undergraduate education in the Faculty of Social Sciences by fostering unique learning opportunities within the classroom and helping students become more actively engaged in their communities to prepare them for life after graduation. 



Faculty Experiential Courses 

Social Sciences offers a number of ways for students to apply their skills from the classroom to experiential opportunities, all while earning credit towards their degree!

chevron back arrowGO BACK

Useful Links

Level I Programs

a stack of books in yellow overlay a stack of books in yellow overlay mobile image
paper icon


Find information about past or current courses including course outlines.

Book with bookmark


Everything you need to know to help you have a successful first year including enrolment information, academic supports, various key student services and more.

certificate icon


Exclusive to Social Sciences. Earn a Mohawk College certificate as you complete your degree.


Our Academic Support Team is available at the front desk to support you with general inquiries, dropping and adding courses, problem-solving, and accessing university resources and services. 


Office Hours: Monday–Friday, 9 a.m.–12 p.m. and 1–4 p.m. at Kenneth Taylor Hall 129 (Campus Map) 


Kenneth Taylor Hall 129 

McMaster University 

1280 Main Street West 

Hamilton, Ontario, L8S 4M4


Event Image

Haudenosaunee Social Songs with Bruce Longboat


Calendar Icon

Event Image

Truth Before Reconciliation: How to Identify and Confront Residential School Denialism


Calendar Icon

Event Image

AWSOME: 4th Annual Workshop of Southern Ontario Macro Economics


Calendar Icon
May 08, 2023
Event Image



Calendar Icon
June 19, 2023