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COVID-19 information and updates

Find the most recent updates here, as well as FAQs and information for students, faculty and staff.

Graduate FAQ's

Frequently Asked Questions for Graduate Students

Is the MA only open to McMaster Labour Studies undergrads?

No. The Labour Studies MA is happy to accept qualified undergrads from ALL disciplines.

Can I still apply if I haven’t graduated with an Honours BA yet?

Yes, provided your undergraduate degree will be completed by August (i.e., your graduation/convocation could be later in the fall).

Do I have to decide between the MRP and Thesis before I apply?

No, it is best to make this decision after you’ve started our MA Program and you have a better sense of our expectations, and in consultation with your faculty advisor.

When do I enroll in my MA courses?

Not until September, once you have met your Faculty Advisor.

How do I get a Faculty Advisor?

We assign a 'interim' one based on your research interests (from your Statement of Interest) and those of our professors. Though most people stay with the same advisor throughout the MA, you can change advisers at any point before the end of January if your research interests take you in a new direction.

Can I start the MA program in January?

Because we are a small program, normally all students start in September.

What if my undergrad degree was not done in Canada? Not in English?

International applicants are welcome to apply. If English is not your native language, an official copy of your TOEFL score, or other evidence of competency in English is required. A minimum TOEFL (iBT) score of 80 (550 on the paper-based TOEFL test or 213 on the computer-based TOEFL test). IELTS minimum is 6.5. Tests older than 2 years will require an updated test. Scores lower than these will NOT be accepted by the School of Graduate Studies. More information for International applicants can be found here:

I work the MA available part-time?

Yes. 3 to 5 years are allotted to complete the MA part-time. Many graduate courses are offered at night or in the late afternoon to assist part-time students to attend.

My undergrad degree was completed 20 years ago, can I still apply?

Absolutely! Please contact the Graduate Chair in Labour Studies for discussion.

I didn’t get very good marks in my first two years, but improved in final two years of my degree. Will that hurt my chances of being accepted?

The last 10 half-courses of your honours (4-year) undergrad degree are averaged. If those equal a B+ (78%), you are eligible to apply.

Are my grades all that is considered? Does anyone really read reference letters?

A Committee of Faculty members review all submitted information in each application before making recommendations for admission into the MA Program.

I was accepted into the MA....when do I receive my scholarship?

Your scholarship is paid as follows:  40% in September; 30% in January; 30% in May.

I was accepted into the MA with a TAship. How does that work if I don't have any experience?

Most new graduate students do not have any TA experience. A preference form listing all available TA positions will be distributed in August to rank options. The instructor of the course will provide information on expectations prior to the start of tutorials (third week of the term). TA duties are completed within the fall or winter terms (i.e., nothing in the spring/summer).

Can I work as an RA (research assistant) instead of a TA?

Some years, a small number of RA positions are available. Information will be communicated to all new admissions in August regarding this option.

Can I come to Mac and meet with the professors before I make up my mind?

Yes, we are very happy to meet with you, discuss your research interests and give you a first hand look at our programme. Please contact us to arrange a suitable time for your visit: 905-525-9140 x24692. (Not available during COVID-19)

Can I apply to the MA even though I missed the deadline for applications?

Sometimes, but not always. Late applicants may not have access to scholarship and TA monies. Email our Graduate Assistant, for details (

Contact our Graduate Assistant