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Living At McMaster

Fall 2021 Updates

You’ve done the hard work and you’re coming to McMaster – congrats! What’s next?

Update to Vaccine Requirements

As Ontario continues to re-open up, we are excited to include more in-person experiences for our residence community. To help you stay healthy, we are now requiring domestic residence students to receive their first dose of a Health Canada approved vaccine prior to arrival on campus and plan to be fully vaccinated within 14 days after arrival. For international students, please follow the guidelines on our international student page.

We will be requesting all students notify us of their vaccination status via the residence portal starting on Tuesday, July 27, 2021.

Room Assignments Available on July 27, 2021

Once you notify us of your status, you will be able to view your room assignment and connect with your new roommate(s)!

On-Going Updates for International Students

For international students living in residence this fall, please read our international student’s page as well. Updates regarding the recent changes to government quarantine rules will be posted by July 22, 2021.

Important Dates

May 2021 Residence Application opens for all students
Monday, June 1, 4:00 p.m. EDT Residence Application Deadline

Deposit deadline to maintain Guaranteed Status

Deadline to make application changes

Friday, June 4, 4:00 P.M. EDT Deadline for Residence Accommodation requests
July 5, 2021 Deadline for residence cancellations to qualify for a partial (50%) deposit refund
Tuesday, July 27, 2021 Room Assignments Available on the Residence Portal
Friday, August 13, 2021 Deadline to submit vaccine accommodation request on residence portal
Friday, August 13, 2021 Deadline to complete vaccine status step on residence portal
August 27 – September 4, 2021 Residence Move-In Period


Update to Residence Vaccination Requirement

Ontario’s new, updated guidance for university planning for fall 2021 is encouraging universities to expand their planning to include more student activities on campuses, no physical distancing, and the use of masks indoors.  As activities levels are expected to increase, McMaster has decided that students who’ve chosen to live in residences will require vaccinations this fall.

Starting on Tuesday, July 27, 2021, we will be requiring all students to attest to their agreement to secure at least their first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine before arrival via the residence portal.

Once you complete this important attestation, you will be able to view your room assignment and connect with your new roommate(s)! Please complete this step by August 13, 2021 at the latest.

On move-in day you will be expected to show us your vaccine receipt or similar vaccine documentation in order to receive your residence room keys. Students who fail to provide proof of vaccination will be given 3 business days to provide us with this document for review or to receive the vaccine. Students who do not complete this requirement will be asked to leave residence.

All residence students will receive an email with important information regarding this change. Please see below for FAQs regarding this update.

We have continued to work closely with local public health to make sure our plans for the fall continue to support the physical and mental health of our students and employees, while ensuring that we can expand in-person experiences for everyone. In alignment with the strong recommendations of public health we have made a change to our plans for students living in our residences. This means that students who want to live in our residences this academic year must be vaccinated against COVID-19.

Residence students will be required to have received their first-dose of a Health Canada recognized vaccine prior to arrival on campus and be fully vaccinated within 14 days after arrival.

For international students, please follow the guidelines on our international student page.


If you have received either your first or second dose of COVID-19 vaccination, you are able to download and print your COVID-19 vaccination receipt(s) through the province’s website. You must have a health card to use this online portal.

Confirmation will occur in two stages.

  1. Students will complete an attestation/declaration they they will comply with the vaccine requirement in the residence portal by August 13, 2021.
  2. Students will then be required to show their vaccination receipt(s) at check-in in order to receive their room keys on move-in day.

Students who fail to provide proof of vaccination in the form of a vaccine receipt(s) at move-in will be given 3 business days to provide these documents for review or to receive the vaccine if they not yet done so.

Students who do not complete this requirement will have their residence agreement/contract terminated and will be required to move out.


Those who cannot be vaccinated for medical or religious reasons or other protected grounds as included in the Ontario Human Rights Code, can request an accommodation via the Residence Accommodations application starting on Tuesday, July 27.

To ensure your space in residence, please submit your request by August 13, 2021.

All international students have coverage for the Covid-19 vaccine through UHIP. Please take a look at the Student Wellness Centre website for more information:

The Student Wellness Centre has great resources to help answer your questions about the Covid-19 vaccine.



Vaccines can be accessed both on a walk-in basis or by booking an appointment at clinics across Hamilton. Individuals 12 years of age and older who are eligible to receive a first dose or second dose can get vaccinated at mobile pop-up clinics. Clinic locations and hours are available here.

We’ll Assign Your Room – Tuesday, July 27

Keeping in mind your listed room type preferences, any accommodation or roommate requests, your lifestyle preferences, and your LLC or themed community preferences, our computerized lottery system will assign your space.

On Tuesday, July 27, you will be notified via email when your room has been assigned and that you can view your room in the residence portal. We will need you to complete some additional questions, along with updating your vaccination status at that time.

Along with this information, you’ll learn which LLC you will belong to during the academic year (if applicable).

Read more about how lottery room assignment works in the FAQs below.

Move-in – End of August

This is it – the start of your residence experience. Each building and floor will have designated day and time information as we ensure this is a safe experience for all students and staff. More details to follow on our move-in page (to be updated July 2021) and in your McMaster email in August.

December Break Move-Out

While December may seem far away, it’s not too early to think about whether you are going to travel home or will look for alternative accommodation during the December Break.

April Move-Out 2022 – End of April Exams

When exams are over in April, you have some options to stay on campus. Each year, we offer McMaster students discounted rates to stay in select residence buildings so that they can spend the summer working at McMaster, taking extra classes or just staying close to their new campus community. You can apply to stay during the summer starting in January. If you decide to not stay on-campus, you’ll need to move out of your residence room by 12 p.m. the day after your last exam.

You've Applied, Now You've Got Some Questions

Check out our frequently asked questions below for some more insight on the year ahead!

Residence rooms are determined by a lottery process. All students guaranteed a space in residence who have completed the residence application by the deadline will be placed in a lottery.

1. On the residence application, you will have had the opportunity to indicate up to 3 preferred residence room types.

2. All first-year guaranteed students who have completed their application and paid their deposit by the deadline are then entered into a computerized lottery for a room assignment.

3.  After the residence lottery process on Tuesday, July 27 and your completion of the vaccine attestation step on the residence portal, you will be able to view your room assignment.

4. We will do our best to provide you with room options based on your type preferences. However, we have limited availability of certain room types and over 70% of our residence types are double rooms.

Please note that preferences will be taken into consideration but are subject to availability.
We have a very limited amount of single rooms and students who have identified only single room type preferences on their applications may not have the option to choose these spaces

Room types on-campus that can accommodation a valid roommate request for two students are:
• Suite-style
• Apartment-style (Apartment 4/6 and Apartment 2 person (Double Room))
• Any Double Occupancy Room (i.e., Double Room, Double with Access to Single-User Washroom, Double with Connected Shared Washroom).

Students may select the room types that can accommodation a roommate request on their online residence application. However, please appreciate it is a lottery process to assign students to bed spaces and you may not receive one of your top preferences. As such, please note you will most likely be assigned to a traditional double room together.

If you and a friend submit a valid roommate request by the deadline this will over-ride any request for single bed-space room types such as a Single Room, Single Room with Access to Single-User Washroom, Single Room with Ensuite Washroom, or Single with Connected Shared Washroom.

Can I live with 3 or 4 of my friends?
We will not be considering roommate requests from 3 or 4 persons for Fall 2021. You may only request one roommate request.

  • In a recent provincial government announcement, Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health has approved lifting provincial border restrictions as of June 16, 2021.
  • With this new guidance, if a student has not travelled outside of Canada in the past 14 days, we will not be requiring out of province students to quarantine upon arrival to campus regardless of vaccination status.

If you have submitted a valid roommate request and your preferred roommate has also indicated you, you will be assigned the same room.

Roommate requests do not extend to single rooms with connected shared washrooms in the Peter George Centre for Living and Learning residence building.

If you and a friend submit a valid roommate request by the deadline this will over-ride any request for single bed-space room types such as a Single Room, Single Room with Access to Single-User Washroom, or Single Room with Ensuite Washroom.

After the residence lottery process on Tuesday, July 27 and your completion of the vaccine attestation step on the residence portal, you will be able to view your room assignment.

Many residence students who initially express disappointment with their building assignment find that after living in their building for a week or two, they wouldn’t want to trade residences even if given the option! Every year students remind us that it’s not the building that makes residence home, it’s the people! Students can submit a room change request via the residence application portal after room assignments are released in July.

First year students wishing to room with a friend will be placed as roommates as long as both have:

  • received guaranteed residence offers
  • met the residence application and deposit deadline
  • ranked their preferences identically, and requested each other as roommates
  • A valid roommate request WILL over-ride requests for single bed-space room types (i.e. if you have a valid roommate request, you will be assigned together; single room requests will not be considered).

If you did not get your requested roommate, then one of these requirements was not met.

You can view your roommate’s first name by visiting your application status page of the online Residence Portal. You can email a message to them by clicking on the Send Message button. Be sure to include your contact information so they can reply to you directly.