Current Students – I Need Help

I need help dropping a course after Drop/Add deadline:

You must ensure that the course you are dropping is not required for your degree requirements or your minor (if applicable) by referring to your advisement report.

You can drop a course after the Drop/Add deadline, but you will not be able to add a course in Mosaic. A course dropped after the Drop/Add deadline will appear on your transcript as ‘Cancelled’

Tuition penalties will apply based on when you drop the course.

Ensure you take note of the last day for cancelling courses without failure by default

I missed my final exam, what do I do?

Please complete and submit the Request for a Deferred Final Exam Form found on the program website, to the BHSc office, along with supporting documentation. Your request will be reviewed and the decision will be available on Mosaic.

What happens if I miss academic work or an in-class test?

You are required to complete a McMaster Student Absence Form (MSAF) in Mosaic. You are permitted to submit the MSAF once each term The MSAF must be submitted within 3 days of the missed work and the work cannot be worth more than 25% of the course weight. This tool cannot be used during any final examination period. Please refer to the MSAF website for more details.

Where can I go for academic advising?

For academic counselling, please contact a Student Advisor in the BHSc office to make an appointment.

You can also drop by the BHSc office with general questions

Where can I go for career counselling?

You may visit the Student Success Centre (SSC) in Gilmour Hall to schedule an appointment with a Career Counsellor.

SSC offers many resources including academic workshops (time management, exam preparation, resume writing, interview tips, and many more).

I am struggling with mental health issues/I have a friend struggling with mental health, where can I go to seek help?

Whenever you are unsure where/how to seek help, please visit the BHSc office.

Student Wellness Centre – drop in at the SWC at MUSC B101 to schedule an appointment with a counsellor or call to make an appointment.

  • Peer Support Line – The Peer Support Line is a confidential phone line that McMaster students may call. 905-525-9140 ext. 28888. The line operates 7 days a week, from 7PM-1AM. The phone line is a great option for students seeking after-hours help or phone-based support.
  • For emergencies, contact EFRT directly at 905-522-4135 or ext. 24281 or go to the nearest Hospital Emergency.
  • In case of crisis, contact St. Joseph’s Hospital Crisis Outreach and Support Team (COAST), 905-972-8338 24/7 service.

I need academic accommodations, what do I do?

Please contact Student Accessibility Services (SAS). You may visit their office to schedule a meeting with a counsellor. They support students managing a wide range of academic and disability-related needs.

Current Students – FAQs

What are the project/thesis courses?

For detailed information on project courses, please see the Project Courses Hub.

  • HTH SCI 3H03 (Inquiry Project), 4D03/4W03 (Special Topics in Health Sciences I/II), 4F03 (Clinical Practice Environment – this course is Pass/Fail). Please refer to the University Undergraduate Calendar for course descriptions and requisites.
  • BHSc (Honours): HTH SCI 4B06A/B (Senior Project), 4A09, 4A12, 4A15A/B (Thesis).
  • Child Health Specialization: HTH SCI 4C06 A/B (Senior Project in Child Health), 4C09, 4C12, 4C15A/B (Thesis in Child Health).
  • Global Health Specialization: HTH SCI 4G06 A/B (Senior Project in Global Health), 4G09, 4G12, 4G15A/B (Thesis in Global Health).
  • Biomedical Sciences Specialization: HTH SCI 4R09, 4R12A/B (Thesis in Biomedical Sciences).
  • Engaging the City: HTH SCI 4D06A/B (Senior Project in Engaging the City), 4D09, 4D12A/B (Thesis in Engaging the City).
  • For course descriptions, please refer to the Bachelor of Health Sciences (Honours) Program courses section of the online Undergraduate Calendar.

What is the difference between a senior project and a thesis?

A senior project course is 6 units (i.e. 4B06), while a thesis can range from 9, 12, or 15 units (i.e. 4A09, 4A12, 4A15).

The main difference between senior projects and thesis is the time commitment required. A senior project could be viewed as a shorter thesis, but the course may also be used as self-study, under the supervision of a faculty member, with the primary component representing distillation and reconstruction (understanding) of an issue of particular interest to the student. In some cases, a faculty member may supervise you working on a 6 unit project when there is mutual expression of interest, but not necessarily precise expertise in the area.

Some graduate programs require an undergraduate thesis course for admission, and may not accept a senior project course. Please inquire with the admissions office of the program you plan to apply to for full details.

How much work is involved in a project/thesis course?

Thesis and senior projects are highly individual with respect to technical requirements, difficulty and previous experience. In some cases, it might be difficult to determine a precise time commitment requirement. It is reasonable to expect that you will devote a minimum of 8-10 hours a week for 6 unit senior projects (4B06, 4C06, 4G06, 4D06), 12-15 hours a week for a 9 unit thesis (4A09, 4C09, 4G09, 4D09), and proportionally longer for 12 and 15 unit thesis projects.

Can I take project/thesis courses when I am in first or second year?

Requests from Level I or II students to complete a project/thesis course will be assessed on an individual basis. Please speak to the BHSc office staff to inquire further.

When do I need start approaching supervisors?

The deadline to submit the permission form for project/thesis courses is March 31st of the year prior to your Level III or IV year, depending on which course you plan to complete.

It is recommended that you start approaching potential supervisors well before the end of the March deadline, as students from other faculties are also beginning to approach potential supervisors.

How do I get evaluated?

HTH SCI 3H03/4D03/4W03/4F03 requires you and the supervisor to create evaluation criteria. This information is submitted to the BHSc office as part of the documentation submitted prior to the project start date.

The final grade for senior project/thesis courses is not determined by a specific formula. At the end of the course, the supervisor will assign a letter grade based on an overall evaluation of the students’ work. The final letter grade should account for all evaluation components. Although an evaluation criteria is not a requirement for senior project/thesis courses, expectations should be made clear at the beginning of the project/thesis work. Contact between you and your supervisor should be such that the student is able to obtain continuous guidance, feedback and support from the supervisor.

How do the credits get distributed between the terms?

The units for A/B courses are distributed evenly between the Fall and Winter term (i.e. HTH SCI 4A15A/B is split 7.5 units in the Fall term and 7.5 units in the Winter term).

HTH SCI 3H03/4D03/4F03 can be taken in either term. HTH SCI 4W03 is only available in the Winter term.

If you have an uneven term balance (i.e. 13.5 units in the Fall and 16.5 units in the Winter) there is no need for concern provided that you have a minimum of 30 units over both the Fall and Winter terms.

Can I take more than one project/thesis course?

These requests will be reviewed on an individual basis. Please contact the BHSc office to discuss this option further.

Can I do my project/thesis course internationally?

If you are thinking about completing course work outside of Ontario, you are required to contact the BHSc office to discuss options and requirements. Do not book accommodations or transportation until after you receive approval from the BHSc office.

Review this link for further details

Where can I find forms for project/thesis courses?

For detailed information on project courses, please see the Project Courses Hub.

For Thesis guidelines and related forms, please visit the corresponding course conference on LearnLink.

  • BHSc (Honours) Program > BHSc Project-Thesis Courses >  Thesis/Senior Project or BMS Project/Thesis

Do I need to complete ethics for my project/thesis?

All project/thesis courses require you to complete the BHSc Ethics Screening Form prior to starting the work. This must be submitted to the BHSc office no later than 10 business days from the project start date.

For external ethics application/approval (i.e. HIREB), please discuss this further with your supervisor.

Do I need to complete safety training for my project/thesis course?

All project/thesis courses require you to complete the required safety training, as pertaining to the specific tasks and location of work. Please refer to the BHSc Placement/Project/Thesis Requirements chart found in each project/thesis course folder on LearnLink.

Do I need to get immunized for my project/thesis?

If you are required to work with patients or have any contact with patients, students MUST complete and submit a Health Surveillance & Immunization Form. Please refer to the BHSc Placement/Project/Thesis Requirements chart found in each project/thesis course folder on LearnLink.

Does the BHSc Program award scholarships?

  • The Bachelor of Health Sciences (Honours) Program Scholarship (HSC)
  • BHSc (Honours) Program Summer Research Scholarships
  • You can check Community posts on LearnLink for additional details.

How do I apply for bursaries and scholarships?

There are numerous scholarships and bursaries available to undergraduate students. A list of scholarships and bursaries, including application information is available through the Financial Aid and Scholarships office at

Can I get any funding to go to a conference?

You can apply for a BHSc Travel Bursary using the finance tab in MOSAIC. For more information, please refer to the related post in the Community folder on LearnLink.

When do I apply for specializations?

First year BHSc (Honours) students interested in applying for a BHSc specialization will apply in the Spring.

BHSc (Honours) Specializations are not open to Level II transfer applicants.

How do I apply for specializations?

If you (BHSc Level I student) are interested in applying to a specialization, you must complete the Level II Program Application in MOSAIC. The application will be available in March and will close in late April. In addition, you must complete a supplemental application for the specialization and submit it to the appropriate LearnLink folder by the specified deadline date. Please refer to the related post in the Community folder on LearnLink for more details.

You (BHSc Level I student) can apply to more than one specialization, but you must prioritize your program selections carefully. If you apply to more than one specialization, you will be considered for your first choice. If you receive an offer to your first choice, you will NOT be considered for any other specialization.

BHSc (Honours) Specializations are not open to Level II transfer applicants.

What are the different specializations available?

All students in the BHSc (Hons) Program do a common first year, with the option available to specialize starting in second year.  The majority of students opt to stay in the core program and not to specialize.

For new students entering the program, we currently offer the Child Health Specialization.

The Global Health Specialization (which was available to students entering the program before 2017) is now part of an interdisciplinary collaboration with the McMaster Institute on Globalization & the Human Condition, and students interested in Global Health will be able to pursue that interest in a variety of ways, including through a new “Globalization & Health Theme” in the Interdisciplinary Minor in Globalization Studies.

The Biomedical Sciences Specialization (which was available to students entering the program before 2019) has been converted to a Concurrent Certificate in Biomedical Sciences, available not only to BHSc (Hons) students, but to any students in the university.

If I am in a specialization, does that mean I can’t take as many elective courses?

Each specialization has unique degree requirements. Please refer to the Undergraduate Calendar for the degree requirements.

Students completing a specialization will have fewer elective courses available.

Specializations are only available to students completing the four year Honours degree.

Can I change my mind if I decide I don’t want to be in a specialization anymore?

Requests to be removed from a Specialization will be reviewed on an individual basis. If approved, you will need to register in any courses in the BHSc (Honours) core curriculum that you may not have completed in the Specialization (i.e. Anatomy & Human Physiology).

Can I apply for an exchange or study abroad?

If you wish to study abroad (MacAbroad), please refer to the International Student Services website at, and contact their office for any questions.

MacAbroad is typically available to students entering third year with application made in second year.

If you are planning to apply to the MacAbroad program, please contact the BHSc Program Manager to schedule a meeting.

Can the program help pay for my exchange?

BHSc (Honours) Program Travel Bursaries provides travel assistance that pertains to students’ academic course work or summer volunteer experience. Refer to the financial tab in MOSAIC.

Travel & Exchange Scholarships are offered by McMaster University (Financial Aid & Scholarships Office). Please refer to their website for eligibility criteria at, and the financial tab in MOSAIC.

Can I take courses in person or online at another University?

It is possible to take a course at another university. You must complete a Letter of Permission in MOSAIC. It is your responsibility to ensure that you comply with the host University registration deadline dates and course requisites, register for the course and pay their tuition fees, submit your LOP request for review and approval, and submit an official transcript to the BHSc office after course completion.

If I take a course at other universities, will those grades count towards my GPA?

Courses taken on Letter of Permission (LOP) will appear on your McMaster transcript. Provided you receive a minimum final grade of C-, the transfer credit will be applied and the units will count towards your degree. The grade from the host University will not appear on your transcript.

Are my summer school grades included in my GPA when I apply to professional schools?

Each professional school has a unique GPA calculation method for candidates. Students should contact each school directly.

I have a "W" (withdraw) on my transcript and I'm afraid it will hurt my post-graduate applications. Can I get the W removed?

In the competitive world of professional and graduate school admissions, students are often worried that having a “withdrawn” notation on their transcript will be harmful to their application, and ask us if they can be removed.  However, we want to reassure you that one or two “W”s on your transcript will not be harmful to your post-graduate applications.

It is widely recognized that there are many reasons that a student might have a W on the transcript, and if there are no other indicators of concern it is very unlikely that a W by itself would be a disadvantage.  For example, we have canvassed Canadian medical schools and confirmed that unless a course withdrawal affects their eligibility requirements (that is, if you withdrew from a course they require and have not otherwise fulfilled that requirement, or if they require a full course load and the withdrawal drops you below their threshhold), a W is not viewed negatively.

We do not remove a “W” from a transcript except in extenuating circumstances (for example, compelling medical or personal circumstances); in order to be considered, you must submit a Petition for Special Consideration and appropriate supporting documentation.

Can I take a year off during my undergraduate studies and return to continue my studies in the program at a later date?

A request to take a year off during your undergraduate studies will be assessed on an individual basis. Please contact the BHSc Program Manager to arrange a meeting.

I’m in Level IV and believe I should be graduating, what do I do?

You are required to complete the Graduation Information Card (GIC). Review the Registrar’s Office website for graduation details at

How do I complete a Minor?

Most minors consist of 24 units to be completed during your Undergraduate Degree. Refer to the Undergraduate Calendar for minor requirements. It is your responsibility to ensure that you satisfy the minor requirements during your four years of study.

Minors are only available to students who complete a four year Honours degree.

You must declare a minor when you are applying to graduate by completing the Graduation Information Centre (GIC).

How can I determine whether I am fulfilling all of my degree requirements?

You should refer to your Advisement Report in Mosaic every time you register or make course changes to ensure that you are satisfying your degree requirements for each level.