How to apply to McMaster Computer Science

The McMaster Computer Science program takes theory and brings it to life in practical applications!

The Honours Computer Science program at McMaster is a direct-entry four-year program where students learn programming, software design, systems and theoretical foundations.

In five practice and experience courses, the emphasis at McMaster is on lab-based exploration and discovery, including expanded coverage of practical topics such as profiling and tuning, and foundational topics such as operating systems and compilers.

McMaster Computer Science students become skilled systems analysts, database specialists, software developers, and system administrators — want to join them? Keep reading and we’ll show you how to apply for the McMaster Computer Science program!

Why Choose McMaster Computer Science?

With their totally redesigned first-year curriculum, featuring five computer science, three math, and two electives courses, in the McMaster Computer Science program you’ll start gaining specialized knowledge right away and are more employable in co-op positions after first year.

By covering foundational topics earlier on, you’ll have space to take specialized elective courses in or outside of your field in upper years!

Things to Know About The McMaster Computer Science Program:

  • The program is competitive, only about 160 students are admitted into the program in their first year.
  • 25% of the curriculum is devoted to open elective courses.
  • There are 50+ available minors including innovation, sustainability and more!
  • There are 5 practice and experience courses to apply your knowledge
  • Strong academics: there is a comprehensive focus on programming, software design, systems, and theory.
  • Experiential learning: Computer Science students always take theoretical foundations and bring them to life in practical applications.
  • Customizable co-op: there is a flexible co-op program that allows you to design your own degree.

First-Year Courses at McMaster Computer Science

Some of the courses you can expect to take within your first year include:

  • Discrete Mathematics for Computer Science (COMPSCI 1DM3)
  • Introduction to Computational Thinking (COMPSCI 1JC3)
  • Introduction to Programming (COMPSCI 1MD3)
  • Computer Science Practice and Experience: Development Basics (COMPSCI 1XC3)
  • Computer Science Practice and Experience: Introduction to Software Design Using Web Programming (COMPSCI 1XD3)
  • Linear Algebra I (MATH 1B03)
  • Engineering Mathematics I (MATH 1ZA3)
  • Engineering Mathematics II-A (MATH 1ZB3)
  • 6 units of electives

How To Apply For McMaster Computer Science

Before you apply for the program, you’ll need to see if you meet the admission requirements first!

Required Courses:

Completion of High School Diploma plus four Grade 12 academic courses including:

  • English (English Studies 12, English 12 or English 12 First Peoples)
  • Calculus (Calculus 12 or AP Calculus)
  • Two of Biology (Biology 12 or Anatomy & Physiology 12), Chemistry (Chemistry 12) or Physics (Physics 12)

You will also need a minimum 90% GPA in order to be considered for the program!

To learn more about the requirements for Computer Science, click here!

Important Notes:

  • You must submit first semester grades, and a list of all courses for the entire year, no later than February 15th!
  • Approved Grade 12 Academic Courses:
    • Courses under applied design, skills and technologies, career education, physical and health education, and faith-based courses are not acceptable, with the exception of Economics 12.

Apply on OUAC:

You apply online for McMaster Computer Science at the Ontario Universities Application Centre’s (OUAC) website.

Follow these steps:

  • Watch the how-to videos supplied by OUAC.
  • Include a valid and unique e-mail address that only you can access/use. McMaster and many Ontario universities use e-mail to send important information.
  • Add to your safe sender/trusted list on your e-mail client to ensure our messages are not marked as spam.
  • Apply before the recommended deadline (January 13) to ensure your application is processed without delays.
    • Applying beyond January 13 (via OUAC) is still possible to programs that do not have a mandatory supplementary application deadline that has passed.
    • Adding/changing a McMaster program choice after January is also possible via OUAC.
  • Submit a Supplementary Application
  • If you are required to submit an English Language Proficiency test result, please upload it directly on your application portal prior to April 1, 2022.

Application Deadlines

Make sure you submit your application by the following deadlines:

Admission Decision Timing:

  • OUAC 105 APPLICANTS (Everyone other than OUAC 101)

Decisions to non-supplementary application programs are normally processed and released 4 to 5 weeks after all supporting/required documentation noted on McMaster’s Applicant Portal are marked as “Completed.”

  • OUAC 101 APPLICANTS (Ontario Full Time Grade 12 students)

February to March

OUAC 101 Applicants to non-supplementary application programs presenting a minimum of 3 final or 6 midterm Grade 12 U/M courses will be considered for admission on a rolling basis. Applicants must either be enrolled in or have completed at least 6 Grade 12 U/M courses including program-specific requirements.

OUAC 101 Applicants will be reviewed again upon receipt of second-semester midterm grades. Offers of admission will be released on a rolling basis as grade data is received, until May 15. Final decisions will be communicated by the May 27 deadline.

While you wait to hear back about your application, you can:

NOTE: You must accept your offer by June 1 for current, full-time Ontario secondary school students or the deadline listed on your offer letter.

  • You can view and download your admission decision letter on McMaster’s Applicant Portal.
    • All admissions decisions will be made no later than end of May.
  • Students must complete the following conditions by June 30 (or the specific date listed on McMaster’s offer of admission letter):
    • Complete the required courses for the McMaster Computer Science program
    • Complete your Secondary School Diploma (and its associated requirements).
    • Maintain the minimum average noted on your offer of admission letter.
  • Accept your offer on OUAC by the deadline listed on your offer of admission letter

McMaster Computer Science Scholarships

On average, the tuition for the McMaster Computer Science program for Canadian Students is about $7997.40.

Worried about tuition costs? No need to stress — The Faculty of Engineering offers $1,000,000+ in entrance scholarships and research awards to students entering a Level 1 Faculty of Engineering program (like Computer Science)!

Only one application is required to be considered for all eligible awards!

All Faculty of Engineering application-based scholarship winners will also receive a Research Experience Award valued at $6,000 the summer after first year. Learn more here.

Scholarships available include Dean’s Excellence Awards and Big Ideas Awards, as well as scholarships for participation in organizations like SHAD, FIRST Robotics, and DECA. Open to both domestic and international students. See full details here.

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