Academic Placements

Teenagers Young Team Together Cheerful Concept
Confident team leader shaking hands with smiling employee.

Academic Placements

Enrich classroom learning through community engagement. Direct experience increases knowledge and develops skills.


Academic placements are unpaid community-based experiences that are part of an academic course, linking the theories learned in class to the diverse aspects of the community around you.

Explore the skills that can be developed through an academic placement experience.


Academic Placements give you an opportunity to:

  • Engage as an active participant in your learning through hands-on experiences.
  • Discover insight into and have an impact on the community around you.
  • Participate in an interactive and collaborative course experience with community.
  • Develop skills under the supervision of someone more experienced.
  • Build relationships with a new network of contacts and build your resume.


To learn more, book an appointment with a Careers Advisor.



In the 2022-2023 academic year, the following courses are currently working with Careers & Experiential Education to offer academic placement opportunities or other community-engaged learning experiences:


Fall 2022

  • HLTH AGE 3EE3 – The Practice of Everyday Life: Observations and Inquiry
  • POLSCI 3PR3 – Practice of Politics
  • SOCSCI 3EL3 – Leadership through Social Innovation


Winter 2023

  • ANTHROP 4D03 – Practicing Anthropology: Ethics, Theory, Engagement
  • HLTHAGE 3BB3 – Field Experience


Some of the above courses may count towards the following:

  • Interdisciplinary Minor in Community Engagement
  • Concurrent Certificate in Social Innovation

Health and Safety Requirements

The health and safety of students on placements is of the highest concern. McMaster University, and the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities (MTCU) has particular policies in place that guide student safety and your host organization will also have their own policies.


It is important to strictly follow the guidelines and policies of McMaster University, MTCU and your host organization as they have been put in place for your protection and the protection of the people you are interacting with at your placement.


Students completing unpaid placements as part of an academic course are required to print and complete the following documents, and return them to the course instructor, unless otherwise indicated:

  1. Students must sign the student declaration letter, required to let them know, via sign-off, they have coverage via WSIB or ACE/private coverage and to report incidents accordingly.
  2. Placement ‘employers’ sign off on a letter to placement employers, noting that they have been informed that WSIB coverage (or ACE/private coverage) is provided via the MTCU, and therefore their respective WSIB standings (i.e., premiums) will not be effected.
  3. Students and placement ‘employers’ will sign off on the Pre-Placement Safety Orientation Checklist.

Students or supervisors with questions about the above forms can contact Ruthanne Talbot at talbotr@mcmaster.ca or 905-525-9140 ext. 23382.

To find out more about any of the current opportunities, please contact:

Ruthanne Talbot Headshot

Ruthanne Talbot