First Year Checklist

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Welcome to the Social Sciences at McMaster!

Information for students entering Level I

The Enrolment & First Year Information Guide gives you everything you need to know to help you have a successful first year including enrolment information, academic supports, various key student services and more.


Watch an Enrolment Planning Webinar below which covers the course enrolment process, including required and recommended courses.

Get Ready to Enrol 

As a McMaster student, you will use your Mosaic Student Centre and MyTimetable to search for classes and plan your schedule. Last day for enrolment and course changes (drop/add) is Tuesday, January 17, 2023.


To get started planning your courses, visit the Registrar’s Office website on How to Enrol for details on how to:

Planning your Courses

Level I enrolment for 2023-24 will take place in late June 2023.  Your individual enrolment date/time will be posted to your Mosaic Student Centre around June 9th, 2023, and can be found on the lower right-hand side of the page, under Enrolment Dates. Click on the date to see your specific enrolment time.


You can only begin enroling in courses at your specific time, on your specific enrolment date. You can continue to drop, add or swap courses until the end of the drop and add periods (September 14th, 2022 for the Fall 2022 term, and January 17, 2023 for the Winter 2023 term). Be sure to check your enrolment date/time and enrol as soon as it starts to ensure a seat in your preferred courses.


Plan for your enrolment by reviewing all of your Level I requirements for Level II programs within this Enrolment & First Year Information Guide. When choosing first-year courses, remember to select courses that will allow you entry into your preferred degree program as well as additional program options.


Before enrolment begins, sign into Mosaic and search for classes through your Student Centre portal by navigating to Student Centre > MyTimetable. You can save schedules to your Favourites and easily pull them up when it’s your time to enrol.


To add courses to your list, select a term, then search for a course by typing any of the following options:

  • Course code (e.g., SOC SCI 1T03).
  • Course Title (e.g., Life, the University & Everything).
  • Instructor’s name (e.g., Julie Gouweloos).


Repeat these steps for all desired courses for each term. Conflict-free schedules will generate and appear in the right column. You can review all options and choose your optimal schedule.


Once your enrolment access opens and you’ve created the timetable you want, click Get This Schedule. From here, click Go to Enrol and you’re done.


For more information on using MyTimetable visit the Office of the Registrar’s How to enrol in classes webpage.


You can activate your McMaster email account once you have successfully completed enrolment. Your McMaster email account will be your primary form of electronic communication with faculty, staff and fellow students. It must be used for all university communication.


After completing enrolment, it’s time to submit payment. Visit the Registrar’s Office website for details on:

  • Paying your fees and deadlines.
  • OSAP, the Ontario Tuition Grant and financial aid for Out-of-Province students.
  • Entrance awards, scholarships and bursaries for domestic and international students.

Level I Frequently Asked Questions

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When and how do I choose my major?

All Level I students will apply to your degree program of choice near the end of your first year, including Economics I and Health and Society I.

You will use an application in Mosaic to rank preferences and apply to your top four program choices. You can specialize in one subject or focus on two subjects equally in a combined Honours degree, such as two Social Sciences subjects or one from Social Sciences and one from another Faculty.

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Where can I find a list of all the courses available at McMaster?

The Undergraduate Academic Calendar is the university’s official repository for degree information, program requirements, academic rules and regulations. It lists every course available at the university.

When searching for courses, it is important to choose the most recent year of the calendar. This is a useful tool for planning out courses from now until your final year.

No course search is complete without knowing which courses being offered each term. Click on the “Student Center” Tile in Mosaic and choose “Search” under Academics. Under “Search for Classes” you will be able to select your desired Term and Subject to view details of course offerings.

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When can I enrol in my courses?

Enrolment for Level I students will take place on June 28th, 29th and 30th, 2022. Your specific enrolment date will be posted to your Mosaic account in Student Centre on the right-hand side of the page under “Enrolment Date”. Your appointment date will appear on June 10th, 2022.

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How many courses should I take each term?

Your course load should be balanced between the Fall and Winter terms. A full course load is typically five courses (15 units per term) but depending on your schedule, you may consider taking a reduced course load of four courses per term (12 units per term).

If you’re unsure if a reduced course load is right for you, contact the Academic Advising Office. To maintain full-time student status, you must take at least three courses per term (18 units per term).

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What are pre-requisites and anti-requisites?

A pre-requisite includes the requirements you must fulfill before you can take a specific course.

Prerequisites may include: one or several courses that you must complete, a level that you must achieve, enrollment in a certain program, a grade or GPA requirement, or appropriate permission.

Anti-requisites are courses which, cannot be taken before, after, or at the same time as the desired course. This is because the course content is very similar.

You can check pre-requisites and anti-requisites by visiting the Undergraduate Academic Calendar, under the course description in the Course Listings section for the most recent year.

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What are electives?

Electives are courses beyond the core requirements that a student takes. These may come from the Social Sciences course lists, and/or from other Faculties as long as you meet the pre-requisites.

Students should check the requirements for their Level I program to determine the number of electives they may take.

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Error message: “Available seats are reserved and you do not meet the reserve capacity criteria.” What does this mean?

This message means that although seats are available, they are currently only open to certain groups of students (i.e., students majoring in that subject, students in a particular Faculty, or students of a particular Level).

This is typically done to ensure students requiring the course for their program are able to obtain a seat. You may directly contact the department and ask when they will be releasing the seats, or keep checking periodically for open seats.

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Do I need to take math?

If you are interested in Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour or Economics you will need to take some math courses. Be sure to use the Enrolment Planning Worksheet to plan which courses you need to take in Level I to qualify for your desired programs in Level II.

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Is there a co-op option?

McMaster’s Faculty of Social Sciences offers an education that combines academic study with hands-on experience – we call it Careers & Experiential Education (CEE). Through CEE, you can participate in paid internships, a tuition-free career planning course, academic placements in courses, and career placement job shadowing opportunities.

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Are there any additional certificates or diplomas that I can earn alongside my degree?

Social Sciences students have the exclusive option of earning an additional affiliated certificate from Mohawk College while working on their degree.

The three certificate options are:

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I have a disability or require some form of academic accommodations. How do I receive support?

Student Accessibility Services (SAS) provides academic assistance and related supports to students with documented needs at McMaster. Please reach out to them directly at any time.

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Can I study on an exchange?

Social Sciences allows eligible students to spend part or all of their third year studying abroad at an approved university. Tohttps://iss.mcmaster.ca/international-programs/study-abroad.html participate you must be registered in an Honours program and have completed at least two years of study with at least a B- cumulative average.

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When are my tuition fees due?

Tuition for the 2022 Fall term is due September 25th. Please see the McMaster Important Dates and Deadlines website.

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Not Coming Straight From an Ontario High School?

Enrolment tips for out of province/out of country high school students, graduates of colleges of applied arts & technology, McMaster Centre for Continuing Education, university transfers and mature students.

Out of Province / Out of Country High School Students 

High school students from outside of Ontario and from outside Canada may require course permission to enrol in a course which requires a high school prerequisite. While the majority of courses you will select as a Social Science I student do not have high school prerequisites, others such as Math, Science and Language courses may require prior preparation. 

For example, the following Level I courses require a Grade 12 or equivalent prerequisite:

Psychology 1XX3 Foundations of Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour 

  • Prerequisite: Grade 12 Biology U or credit or registration in one of Biology 1A03, 1M03, 1P03. 

Mathematics 1M0M3 Calculus for Business, Humanities and the Social Sciences 

  • Prerequisite: One of Grade 12 Calculus and Vectors U, MATH 1F03 or a grade of at least B- in MATH 1K03. 

Please contact the Faculty of Social Sciences if you have questions related to your high school prerequisites. If the Faculty determines that a prerequisite has been met, permission will be coded for individual courses, allowing students to include them in their enrolment. This may take several days to complete. We strongly advise that you contact the Faculty as early as possible, as courses fill up quickly.

University Transfer Students 

University transfer students are advised to consult the Undergraduate Calendar to confirm what courses are required to complete your McMaster degree. If you are considering a course with a high school prerequisite, you must contact the Office of the Associate Dean, so we may determine if you have the academic background to take the course and add the necessary course permissions.

Mature Students

If you have not attended secondary school or college on a full-time basis for at least two years and you have never attended university, you may be admitted as a Mature Student. When selecting your first courses, always make sure you meet the prerequisites and consider your interests. 

Choose courses based on what you think you would enjoy while meeting the requirements of your Level I program. You may want to think ahead to your Level II degree program and select your courses with those in mind.