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Housing & Conference Services

Living At McMaster

Frequently Asked Questions

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On May 25, 2020 the University announced its decision to minimize the risk of exposure to COVID-19 by moving classes for the entire Fall 2020 term online. Undergraduate students entering the first year of their programs will not need to be on campus to take their courses for the fall term with the exception of a limited number of health care professional courses.

As a result of this decision, students will not require residence in the fall. All students who have applied for residence will have their applications automatically cancelled.

For students who have paid the $300 deposit, a refund will be processed back to the credit card used for the deposit within 10 business days (around June 8, 2020). Please check your next credit card statement or contact your bank branch to ensure the transaction is successful.

Along with the Residence Application, your Meal Plan will be automatically cancelled. No further action is required.

If the Winter 2021 term includes a return to in-person classes and an on-campus presence, a January 2021 residence intake may be provided. It is too early to predict what the Winter term will look like in this changing situation. More information will be available on the Housing & Conference Website in the Fall.

The expertise, dedication and efforts of our student and professional Housing Team has been shifted and expanded to the Archway Program, a new McMaster initiative that provides personalized guidance through Mentors, Coaches and a network of student services to help our first-year students achieve success and foster community.

As incoming first-year students are given priority for residence spaces, upper-year students will be encouraged to search for alternative housing options within the local Hamilton community.

Eligibility for residence students will be determined in early March 2021.  Your Archway Mentors and Coaches will have good advice for you on how to investigate options. Details about residence for the 2021-2022 academic year will be available in early March 2021.

If you accept and register for classes for the 2020-2021 academic year your guaranteed space in residence is not transferrable to use in the following year of study. If you are exploring the option of deferring your offer of admission to McMaster you can view the University policy on deferrals at 

Deferring your offer of admission includes deferring your residence space. Details on the deferral process can be found at Please note that if you are granted a deferral you are not able to register and attend any secondary or postsecondary institutions for the 2020-2021 academic year.

If you have additional questions or inquiries please contact Residence Admissions via email at

Email Residence ADMISSIONS