Prospective Students – I Need Help

I missed the Supplementary Application submission deadline, what do I do?

Unfortunately, the Supplementary Application submission deadline is firm, and no extensions will be given if this deadline is missed. The questions are posted in mid-September, to provide you with several months to prepare your answers.

If technical issues prevented you from submitting your answers before the deadline, see the next FAQ for more information.

I'm having technical problems with the supplementary application submission, what do I do?

First:  Don’t panic!  If you’re having technical issues we will help you resolve them as soon as we can — we appreciate your patience.  Technical problems are frustrating for you and for us, but rest assured we will work with you to solve them.

Next:  Try re-doing the system check — this will resolve many common issues.

Finally:  If that doesn’t work, submit one ticket to the BHSc Apply Helpdesk (available in the supplementary application submission site).  Helpdesk staff will respond to your query during business hours (Monday – Friday, 8:30am – 4:30pm EST).  This is the most efficient and effective way for us to help you solve technical problems that are not solved by re-doing the system check.

We ask you to please refrain from sending emails to other McMaster staff — this won’t help to resolve your issue any faster, as the only people equipped to address the technical issues are the Helpdesk staff.

If you’ve submitted a Helpdesk ticket, please be patient and we’ll address your issue as soon as we can.  If you’ve submitted a Helpdesk ticket and haven’t received a response within 2 business days, the appropriate channel to follow up is by sending an email to bhsc@mcmaster.ca, but please give us some time to respond to your ticket before you email!

I think I made a typo in my supplementary application! Will that hurt my chances?

Rest assured that the odd typo or grammatical issue isn’t going to hurt your scores — we know that little mistakes happen.  Our raters are instructed to ignore a few minor mistakes and focus on the substance of the submission unless the typos or grammatical problems impede understanding or suggest a pervasive problem in communication.

I missed the OUAC application deadline, what do I do?

Unfortunately, if you missed the OUAC application deadline date, you will not be considered for this program.

I did not receive an offer of admission, what are my options?

Given the volume of applications to the program (over 4000 in 2017) and a limited number of seats available, unfortunately the reality is that there are a huge number of talented and qualified applicants that we simply aren’t able to accommodate in the program due to sheer numbers.

If you are very interested in the BHSc Program but did not receive an offer of admission for Level I, we also have a limited number of spots available for transfer students into Level II (click here for more information about the requirements and process for applying as a transfer student).

Admissions decisions are final and we only reconsider applicants in cases where there are errors in the applicant’s high school transcripts.  We will not review any additional information or conduct interviews.  We do not disclose supplementary application scores or rankings to applicants, nor do we provide any feedback on individual applications.

Prospective Students – FAQs

What are the Ontario admission requirements for BHSc (Honours) Level I?

  • Minimum 90% grade 12 average in the five required courses, plus one additional grade 12 course
  • Completion of the mandatory on-line BHSc Level I Supplementary Application by the specified deadline date.
  • English U
  • Biology U
  • Chemistry U
  • One of Grade 12 Mathematics of Data Management U (MDM4U), Advanced Functions U (MHF4U) or Calculus & Vectors U (MCV4U). Applicants who present with more than one of these math courses, the highest grade at the time of review will be used to calculate the admission average.
  • One non-math or non-science U or M credit (note: PSE4U Exercise Science will satisfy this course requirement)
  • One additional U or M credit to total six courses.
  • No additional documentation (i.e.: CV/Resume, Reference Letters) is accepted or considered for admission.
  • Supplementary Applications will be reviewed for those applicants who satisfy the grade and course requirements. A combination of the supplementary application ranking and grade 12 marks with high rankings on both elements will determine if an applicant will receive an admission offer.
  • Admission offers will be made in early May.

What are the Out-of-province and International admission requirements for BHSc (Honours) Level I?

  • Minimum 90% grade 12 average.
  • Completion of the mandatory on-line Level I BHSc Supplementary Application by the specified deadline date.
  • English
  • Math
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • One non-math or non-science Note: Courses in technological education, science or mathematics are not acceptable.
  • If you are attending a school outside of Canada, you must satisfy the admission requirements available at http://future.mcmaster.ca/admission/admission-requirements/
  • One additional grade 12 course is required to total six courses.
  • No additional documentation (i.e.: CV/Resume, Reference Letters) is accepted or considered for admission.
  • Supplementary Applications will be reviewed for those applicants who satisfy the grade and course requirements. A combination of the supplementary application ranking and final/interim grade 12 marks with high rankings on both elements will determine if an applicant will receive an admission offer.
  • Admission offers will be made in early May.

How do you select who gets in to the program?

An applicant’s grades and their scores on the mandatory on-line BHSc supplementary application both factor into the admissions decisions. Supplementary applications are reviewed for applicants who satisfy the admission requirements.  Each supplementary application is scored by multiple reviewers, and if there is significant disagreement between the initial reviewers an additional reviewer is added.  Once the supplementary application scores are finalized, an iterative approach is used to determine which applicants will receive an offer of admission based on both the GPA and the supplementary application scores — thus it is possible to have a very high GPA and still not receive an offer of admission.

Given the large number of applications to the program (over 4000 applicants in 2017), there are many more excellent applicants than we are able to accommodate in our incoming class.  Not receiving an offer of admission doesn’t mean we thought the application was weak — it’s simply that there are more excellent applicants than we are able to accept.

My grade point average is in the low 90s, do I have any chance of getting into the program?

Yes!  You may have read media stories about students with a 98+ average who didn’t get an offer of admission to the program, or seen in various internet forums that there is no point in applying if you don’t have a GPA of at least 95.  However, we factor both the supplementary application score and the GPA into our decision-making, and so applicants with a very high GPA may not get an offer of admission if their supplementary application score is weak, and applicants with a GPA in the low 90s and a strong supp app score can get an offer.  In fact, we make offers of admission to applicants across the entire spectrum of grades from the low- to high-90s, so don’t count yourself out if your average is in the low 90s!

How many students are admitted each year?

For the entering class of 2017, the target enrollment in the BHSc (Honours) Program is limited to 240 students in Level I and 20 students transferring into Level II.  Target enrollments may vary from year to year.

When is the Level I Supplementary Application due?

Supplementary application questions will be posted on the BHSc website in mid-September to help you prepare your answers. Applicants will receive an email with a password to access the online Supplementary Application around mid-February at which time you will have seven days to complete and submit it. Applicants are advised to refer to updates posted on the BHSc website in early-February.

The OUAC Application Deadline is January 15th for Level I applicants. Please refer to the OUAC website: http://www.ouac.on.ca/

If I don’t get into BHSc, will I automatically be considered for another program (i.e. Life Sciences) at McMaster?

No, if you would like to be considered for another program at McMaster, you must apply to the program separately on OUAC. http://www.ouac.on.ca/

Can I apply as a Level II transfer applicant?

If you are currently in Level I of a University undergraduate program, you can apply to the BHSc (Honours) Program Level II as a Transfer Applicant, provided you satisfy the admission requirements. If you have completed more than one year of university, you are ineligible to apply to this program.

What are the admission requirements for BHSc (Honours) Level II as a transfer applicant?

  • Completion of the mandatory on-line BHSc Level II Supplementary Application by the specified deadline date.
    • One full year of University Undergraduate Studies.
    • Completion of six units (full course) of university Level I Biology and six units of Level I Chemistry (equivalent to Biology 1A03 & 1M03 and Chemistry 1A03 & 1AA3). Minimum 10.0 (A-) on a 12.0 scale GPA/average.
  • McMaster University Transfer Applicants are required to complete a Level II Program Application on Mosaic which is available in March to April and the mandatory BHSc Level II Supplementary Application.
  • Applicants from other post-secondary institutions must apply by April 1st via the Ontario Universities’ Application Centre (OUAC), http://www.ouac.on.ca, and complete the mandatory BHSc Supplementary Application.
  • Deadline for external applicants to submit a FINAL University transcript to McMaster University Admissions Office is June 1st.
  • Supplementary Applications will be reviewed for those applicants who satisfy the grade and course requirements. A combination of the supplementary application ranking and University grades with high rankings on both elements will determine if an applicant will receive an admission offer.
  • No additional documentation (i.e.: CV/Resume, Reference Letters) is accepted or considered for admission.
  • Note – Transfer applicants are ineligible to apply to a BHSc Specialization.

When is the Level II Supplementary Application due for transfer applicants?

Supplementary Application details are available here.

What is the purpose of the supplementary application?

The supplementary application is an important aspect of the admissions process. It is an opportunity for you to demonstrate capacities that are not readily apparent from grades alone, share your experiences, thought processes, and other things you would like us to know and understand about you. It helps us learn more about you as an individual that isn’t necessarily available on your high school transcript.

When do the supplementary applications become available?

The Level I & Level II Supplementary Application questions are posted on our website mid-September.

Can I get help from others when writing my supplementary applications?

Your responses to the questions must be entirely your own. Discussion with others, including current program students is not permitted. Posting answers to third party websites or on-line forums is strictly prohibited. Failure to comply with these terms is considered a breach of academic integrity and any violation is grounds for removal from the applicant pool.

Who reads the supplementary applications?

Faculty, staff and fourth year BHSc (Honours) students review and score the supplementary applications.  Each application is scored by multiple reviewers; where there is a significant discrepancy in the scores given by the reviewers, an additional reviewer is assigned.

I am very active in extracurricular activities but there's nowhere for me to list that on my supplementary application. Can I send you additional material for my application?

Grades and the scores on the supplementary application are the only elements we consider in making our admissions decisions, and in fairness to all applicants we do not review any additional material.

Extracurricular activities are no doubt important in shaping your experience and skills, but the availability of these opportunities varies widely, and thus we do not use this as a consideration in our admissions process.

Someone in an online forum said that...

I’m gonna stop you right there.  There are a lot of things in online forums about the BHSc Program that are inaccurate, not correct, and outright nonsense.  For example, some forums claim that if you don’t have a 95% GPA or higher don’t even bother applying (completely untrue — successful applicants span the entire eligible grade range from 90-100%).

Some of these forums have contributors who identify themselves as BHSc Students and give advice based on their insight or experience.  Take these with multiple grains of salt.  For one thing, it’s possible they aren’t actually students at all and are just trolling.  For another, even if they are students, the information they provide is based on their own individual experience and perception, and may not be representative of all students or may not be correct.  The info they give may well be useful, but just bear in mind it isn’t the definitive account of things.

Our website represents a repository of information about the program, and if you have questions that can’t be answered here, you can contact the Program Office by phone or email with your questions.  Or you can visit us at the Ontario University Fair event each fall in Toronto, or on campus during one of the fall or spring preview days, or make arrangements to come by the office to chat!  We’d be happy to meet you!

I didn't get an offer of admission to the BHSc (Hons) Program. What can I do?

Given the volume of applications to the program (over 4000 in 2017) and a limited number of seats available, unfortunately the reality is that there are a huge number of talented and qualified applicants that we simply aren’t able to accommodate in the program due to sheer numbers.

If you are very interested in the BHSc Program but did not receive an offer of admission for Level I, we also have a limited number of spots available for transfer students into Level II (click here for more information about the requirements and process for applying as a transfer student).

Admissions decisions are final and we only reconsider applicants in cases where there are errors in the applicant’s high school transcripts.  We will not review any additional information or conduct interviews.  We do not disclose supplementary application scores or rankings to applicants, nor do we provide any feedback on individual applications.

What is the difference between Health Sciences and Life Sciences?

The BHSc (Hons) Program aims to provide students an understanding of health from the integration of biological, psychosocial and health-systems based perspectives of illness and wellness. Life Sciences aims to provide students a foundation in traditional scientific disciplines, such as: biology, biochemistry, neurosciences and earth sciences. Applicants are encouraged to contact each program directly to obtain more information.

Does McMaster University award scholarships to incoming first year students?

The BHSc (Honours) Program does not provide a program specific entrance award, but you may be eligible for a McMaster University entrance award. Please review details and eligibility criteria on the Financial Aid and Scholarships website: http://sfas.mcmaster.ca/scholarships/entrance-scholarships/

What are the courses in First Year BHSc (Honours)?

In Level I, BHSc (Honours) students are required to complete 21 units of required courses and 9 units of elective courses – total of 30 units:

  • 6 units HTH SCI 1I06 (Cellular & Molecular Systems)
  • 6 units CHEM 1A03, 1AA3 (Introductory Chemistry I & II)
  • 6 units HTH SCI 1E06 (Inquiry)
  • 3 units HTH SCI 1G03 (Psychobiology)
  • 1 course in WHMIS 1A00 (WHMIS, Health and Safety)
  • http://academiccalendars.romcmaster.ca/index.php

What makes the BHSc Program unique compared to other programs?

The BHSc Program at McMaster University is unique for many reasons.

  • Many of our courses have small class sizes which allows more direct contact with a wide range of clinicians and scientists and more class participation.
  • The use of inquiry- and problem-based, self-directed learning, peer-collaboration and the opportunities to develop leadership qualities.
  • Students gain skills that will facilitate flexible learning and effective function in university and in their future career.
  • The program develops a functional literacy in a variety of health disciplines, allowing graduates to draw on a range of perspectives, knowledges, and skills.

You can explore our website for more details.

Is this a Pre-Med Program?

No — although many of our graduates do go on to pursue the health professions (including medicine), the BHSc (Hons) program is NOT a pre-med program. The curriculum is designed to provide students with a broad interdisciplinary background in health, using teaching approaches that build competencies as learners, collaborators, leaders, problem-solvers, and critical thinkers. The resulting profile of our graduates makes them well-suited to a wide variety of careers in health research, health policy, health promotion, and the health professions (including but not limited to medicine), among many other paths.

What can I do with this degree upon graduating?

BHSc (Honours) graduates have pursued a variety of opportunities. Some examples include:

  • Professional school (e.g. Medicine, Dentistry, Law, Chiropractic College, Naturopathic College, Veterinary School)
  • Graduate school (e.g. Heath Sciences Graduate Program, Health Policy, Global Health, Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy, Speech Pathology, Masters of Health Administration)
  • Seek employment (e.g. Pharmaceutical & Insurance industry, Hospital & Community agencies)
  • You can refer to more information on our post-graduate page at http://www.fhs.mcmaster.ca/bhsc/graduates.html

What is Inquiry?

Inquiry is an educational approach that is one of the foundational aspects of the BHSc (Hons) Program, in which students are active participants in their own learning, and develop a variety of transferrable skills in learning, collaboration, and problem-solving as they also gain knowledge.  You can learn more about the Inquiry approach and why we think it is so important here.

Do I have to take Inquiry?

Yes, all Level I students are required to complete first year Inquiry (HTH SCI 1E06A/B); second year transfer students are required to complete HTH SCI 2D06 in place of HTH SCI 2E03.  There are also required Inquiry courses in 2nd and 3rd year of the program, and many of our required and elective courses also incorporate inquiry principles.

Inquiry is one of our core educational principles in the BHSc (Hons) Program because we believe that it develops transferrable capacities that are valuable for working in any field, health and otherwise.

How much group work can I expect in this program?

Many of the required BHSc courses will involve a group component. The learning process is paramount to our collaborative teaching and learning style.  Moreover, we believe that the skills one develops by working in collaborative teams are critically important for people who want to work in the field of health, where teamwork and collaboration are the norm.

Is there any support to help me navigate through first year?

Absolutely!  We want students to not only do well academically, but also to be well as whole people.  There are multiple ways you can access support as you are transitioning into the program, including (but not limited to):

  • the BHSc Buddy System which is managed by upper year BHSc students, matching first year students with upper year students who can help answer questions and understand more about how the BHSc (Hons) Program works;
  • peer tutors and facilitators in your first year Inquiry (HTH SCI 1E06) classes are valuable contacts when you need support;
  • Whenever you are unsure where/how to seek help, please visit the BHSc office!  Our staff is eager to help you solve problems and connect you to other offices and supports in the University as required.  If you’re having an issue with something and don’t know where to start, please come and let us know!  While our main offices are under renovation, you can find us in MDCL-3511, you can send an email to bhsc@mcmaster.ca, or call our main phone line at (905) 525-9140 x22815.
  • there are many other offices on campus that offer support to students for a wide variety of concerns, questions, or assistance.  The Office of Student Affairs has a large range of programs and services, including Student Accessibility Services, the Student Wellness Centre, the Student Success Centre, International Student Services, and Student Financial Aid & Scholarships.
  • Indigenous students can access support through the Aboriginal Students Health Sciences Office and through the Student Resources in the Indigenous Studies Office.