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Housing & Conference Services

Living At McMaster

Exceptional Circumstances


The University’s decision to move classes completely online this Fall and physical distancing and health and safety requirements means that only a limited number of bed spaces will be made available in our residences this fall. Only those students who are deemed to have exceptional circumstances will qualify for the limited number of rooms available. Rooms will be single occupancy only, regardless of the room type, with access to an assigned washroom for personal use.

Students approved for residence will be required to follow modified Residence Expectations, including the following additions:

  • A strict no guest policy will be in place.
  • Wearing a mask will be required in all public residence spaces, including common rooms, elevators, hallways, lobbies, etc.
  • No large gatherings will be permitted and physical distancing will be required.
  • Use of large common areas, including game rooms, lounges and other gathering spaces will be very limited.

Note: If the University offers in-person classes for the Winter 2021 term, residence occupancy may be increased in January resulting in the assignment of new students in their room, apartment or suite at the discretion of the University.


Only first-year, full-time undergraduate students* with exceptional circumstances will be considered for a space in residence. Exceptional circumstances include:

  • students in the first-year Nursing program with in-person class requirements as verified by the University record and Faculty of Nursing
  • students living in areas with a time zone difference greater than one hour as verified by the University record.
  • students living in areas with limited or no internet coverage as verified by University record of address and CRTC Broadband Coverage Map.
  • students in challenging living situations that do not support an effective learning environment, where student explanation is supported by attesting professional documentation (where appropriate).

Applications will be considered on a case-by-case basis and priority will be given to students with the greatest need to be on-campus.

*Note: Students must be registered in at least 9 units per term to be considered full-time. Only students who are entering directly from high school into their first-year of undergraduate studies are eligible for residence. Transfer students, mature students, and graduate students are encouraged to look for alternative housing options in the McMaster community. Please visit for available listings. 

First-year students without exceptional circumstances who are interested in receiving updates about residence for Winter 2021 can sign up to our mailing list.

The application closes on Friday, July 24 at 4:00 p.m. EDT. Late applications will not be considered.

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