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Housing & Conference Services

Living At McMaster

How to Apply to Residence

Have you been accepted into McMaster and are looking to live in residence starting Fall 2022? You are in the right place! 

Sign up for our residence newsletter for future students to get updates throughout the application period!

What You Should Know Before You Apply for Residence

All applications to residence for the Fall 2022 and Winter 2023 terms must be submitted online through our residence portal. Applications will be open from April 20 to June 1, 2022 at 4 p.m. EDT.

  • A space in residence is not guaranteed to all first-year students, but all first-year students are welcome to apply for residence if they are interested.
  • First-year students coming directly from high school with an admission average of 90% or higher will be notified that they have guaranteed residence when receiving their offer of admission from McMaster. To confirm this offer, they must complete their residence application and pay their deposit before the deadline.
  • 70% of students will live in double rooms with a roommate. If you have someone you want to live with, you can request them during the residence application process.
  • All students in residence are required to purchase a meal plan.
  • All guaranteed students must complete the residence application and pay the deposit by the June 1, 2022 4 p.m. EDT deadline to ensure they will receive a space.

Important Dates

April 20, 2022 Residence Application opens for all students
May 14, 2022 May @ Mac Open House
June 1, 2022 at 4:00 p.m. EDT Residence Application and Deposit Deadline

Deadline to make application changes

June 8, 2022 at 4:00 P.M. EDT Deadline for Residence Accommodation requests
June 28, 2022 to mid-July Students will begin selecting their room via time slot lottery.
July 25, 2022 at 4:00 P.M. EDT Deadline for residence cancellations to qualify for a partial (50%) deposit refund
August 27-28, 2022 Residence Move-In Period (Move in on the Saturday or Sunday based on your residence building)


Non-Guaranteed Students Applying to the Waitlist

Any non-guaranteed student who applies to residence is placed on the waitlist. The waitlist is not first-come, first-served. Students who apply to the waitlist prior to 4 p.m. EST on June 01, 2022 will be ordered on the waiting list according to their admission average. Students who apply to the waitlist after this deadline will be ordered at the bottom of the existing waitlist by date and time of submission.

Students will be able to check their waitlist number on the Residence Application Status page by Monday, June 6. 

Waitlist offers can only be made if/when spaces become available through cancellations. Students are encouraged to monitor the waitlist number throughout the summer months.

McMaster Vaccination Policy

As of May 1, 2022, McMaster University will pause its vaccine requirement until the end of the summer term. However, prospective residence students are encouraged to make sure they are fully vaccinated, including booster shots.

If pandemic circumstances, public health advice and government requirements change, McMaster may need to quickly reinstate the vaccine policy, limiting access to campus (including residence buildings) to those who are fully vaccinated.

On the residence application, you will be asked to acknowledge that McMaster University may ask for proof of COVID-19 vaccination if it re-instates the COVID-19 vaccination requirement. Failure to provide proof of vaccination, if requested, may result in the cancellation of your residence agreement and your removal from residence.

Residence Fees

Students will be required to secure their residence space with a deposit, which must be paid by June 1, 2022 at 4 p.m. EDT. The residence deposit is part of the overall residence fees. Your deposit and the residence fees will be added to your Mosaic student account. Room types and fees can be found here.

Room fees do not include Meal Plan fees.

Room Self-Selection Process

Residence rooms are determined by a self-selection process. All students guaranteed a space in residence who have completed the the residence application and deposit by the deadline on June 1, 2022 at 4 p.m. EDT will be placed in a time-slot lottery.

  1. On the residence application, you will have 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 before the deadline on June 1, 2022 at 4 p.m. EDT are then entered into a computerized lottery for room self-selection time-slots.
  3. After the residence application deadline, all students will be emailed an assigned time-slot to choose their room in late June 2022.
  4. Please log in to the Residence Portal on your assigned date and time and select your room from the options available.

We will do our best to provide you with room options based on your type preferences. However, room preferences cannot be guaranteed as we have limited availability of certain room types and most rooms are double rooms.

Please note that LLC preferences, room profile and room type preferences will be considered during the room self-selection process.


Double Room at McMaster University

Roommate Requests


If you and a friend both have guaranteed residence offers, you can submit one roommate request. You and your preferred roommate must both indicate you wish to live with one another to be assigned the same room. If the request is valid, the first student with the earlier room selection time-slot will select which room they will share and the other student will be automatically assigned to that space.

Groups of 4 guaranteed students who wish to live together in a traditional quad room type, must email with all your names and McMaster Student ID numbers. If all of the students are guaranteed residence and submit their requests by 4:00 p.m. EDT on June 01, 2022, we will consider your request for a traditional quad style room. For more information, please review our roommate request section.

All roommate requests must be submitted by 4:00 p.m. EDT on June 01, 2022.


Accommodation Requests


If you have a medical, dietary, disability, religious request that may necessitate specific residence accommodation needs, you must indicate this on your residence application by answering “Yes” to requiring residence accommodation by June 8, 2022 at 4 p.m EDT.

Complete the required sections which includes an explanation of the student’s situation and provide documentation from an attesting professional.


Meal Plans

On your residence application, you will also need to select which Meal Plan you would prefer – view the different meal plan options here.

  • Hospitality Services requires all residence students to purchase a Meal Plan.
  • Students living in traditional residences must purchase a Group A full meal plan. Students living in Bates and Mary E. Keyes Residence may select either the Group A full meal plan or the Group B reduced plans since those residence spaces include in-suite kitchens.
  • If you have listed an apartment or suite room type as a preference but are assigned a traditional building, your plan will be changed to the corresponding Group A full meal plan.
  • Hospitality Services can accommodate most dietary needs. If you have special dietary needs, please ensure you indicate this information on the Residence Accommodation section of the online application. Please also contact Hospitality Services (Ext. 24422) to discuss your Special Dietary needs.

Learn more about the application steps by checking out our walkthrough video playlist!

December Break

All students are required to leave their residence space by 12 p.m. noon the day after their last December exam for the duration of the December Break, as per the Residence Agreement contract. You do not have to take all your belongings with you, but you won’t be allowed back into the building until the re-open date in January.

If you are wish to stay in residence for the winter break holiday, please indicate on your residence application under the December Break section, that you would like to apply for this option. This option is an additional cost which will be added to your student account.

When residence room assignments are released in the summer, this will indicate whether you have been approved for a December break stay.


This year, we plan to welcome residence students to campus on August 27th and 28th. As always, we work closely with public health and may modify these plans based on recommendations, changes to McMaster policies or government guidelines.

Residence buildings will be assigned to move-in on either the Saturday or the Sunday. After you select your residence room this summer, we will share more information on which day we will see you on campus!

Cancellation and Withdrawal Policy

Students with guaranteed residence who cancel their application online must do so by the refund cancellation deadline July 25, 2022 to qualify for a 50% deposit refund.