Academic Advising and Support
Academic Advising and Support
The Mission of the Academic Advising Office is to support students in the Faculty of Social Sciences as they work to realize their full potential. Our academic advisors work with students to develop and implement individual plans for the purpose of achieving both academic and personal goals. To request an appointment create a ticket on the Social Science portal.
NEED TO KNOW
Program Change Requests
How do I submit a program change request?
Log into MOSAIC > Student Center > Academics > My Academics > View my service requests > Create New Request > Requests for Program Change (click ‘next’) > indicate in the comment section which program you would like to transfer to (see below for example):
I.e., “I would like to transfer to Honours __________ or B.A. ___________”
Make sure to indicate ‘Honours‘ or ‘B.A.’ beside your desired major.
Check the status of your service request by returning to “View my service requests”, as indicated above.
How do I view my program change result?
Once program change results have been released in late May/early June, use the following steps:
Log into MOSAIC > Student Center > Academics > My Academics > look to the grey box on the right with your ‘My program’ breadcrumb.
Academics: Standing, GPA, Level, Program Requirements
How do I view my Academic Standing and GPA?
NOTE: Academic Standing and Official Cumulative Average information is only available for terms where students have had an academic review.
Step 1: Follow these steps to check your unofficial transcript to identify the most recent academic term where an ‘Academic Standing’ notation was assigned.
Log into MOSAIC > Student Center > Academics > My Academics > view my unofficial transcript (if nothing happens check your browser to ensure that pop-ups are not being blocked).
Step 2: Once you know the most recent term where you have an ‘Academic Standing’ notation use the following steps to view your Academic Standing and Official Cumulative Average.
Log into MOSAIC > Student Center > Academics > other academic… (drop-down menu) > Grades (click the blue arrow button) > select the most recent term that has an Academic Standing notation on your unofficial transcript (click ‘continue’) > scroll down to view Academic Standing and GPA (located at the bottom of the Cumulative Total column).
Where do I find my program/academic requirements (the Advisement Report)?
Log into MOSAIC and click the Owl Tile labelled “Advisement Report” on the front page.
Log into MOSAIC > Student Center > Academics > My Academics > View my advisement report.
Your advisement report will only be useful once you are in a specific level 2 program (subject) of study. If you are not in a level 2 program, do not worry about what it says. If you have questions, please contact the advising team for clarification (email@example.com).
How to read an advisement report:
Your advisement report shows you where your past (green circle) and current (yellow diamond) courses are being applied to your degree requirements. This allows you to determine what courses you will still need to take to graduate.
Once you have added classes check your advisement report by clicking ‘Expand all’ at the top, and ‘View all’ for any table with more than 10 items. If a course (other than the ‘A’ portion of a 6 unit course) shows up in the ‘Unassigned courses’ section it is not being used to move your degree requirements forward and should likely be changed for another class. This will help you avoid accidentally taking courses that you do not need for graduation.
What level am I?
Your level is assessed at each academic review period (i.e. the month of May) and it corresponds to the total number of units you’ve completed at the end of each Fall/Winter session:
24 units or more = Level II
54 units or more = Level III
84 units or more = Level IV *only Honours Programs*
Units completed during the Spring/Summer term are not factored into your total unit count until the following academic review period (i.e., the following May).
If you are completing courses during the Spring/Summer (specifically to advance to the next level in your program), contact your home Faculty before the start of September and request a level change.
What would be required if I were in a different program from the one I am in now?
Log into MOSAIC > Student Center > Academics > My Academics > Create a what-if scenario.
NOTE: Use your Advisement Report for your current program, do not use a What-if scenario. Your Advisement Report is customized to you based on the year that you entered your program, a What-if scenario is not, and may be confusing or misleading. Read a what-if scenario the same way that you read your advisement report.
How do I look up program admission requirements?
- Visit the Office of the Registrar’s Undergraduate Calendar
- Select the most recent academic calendar (i.e., Undergraduate Calendar 2022-2023). This can also be done from the drop-down menu located in the top right corner.
- Click ‘Programs (by Degree) and Minors’ (located on the left, 5th from top).
- Scroll down to ‘Bachelor of Arts (Honours)’ heading for a list of Honours Programs (four year) OR scroll down to “Bachelor of Arts” heading for a list of B.A. programs (three year).
- Find your desired program(s) and click on them to see admission and program requirements.
Courses: Late Withdrawal, Avenue to Learn, Enrolment & Prerequisites
Withdrawing from Courses
Enrolment Changes (Adding and Dropping Courses)
The last day for enrolment and course changes (drop/add) in each term is posted yearly under the Registrar’s Office Sessional Dates. It is important to familiarize yourself with these dates at the start of each term.
Students have until this deadline to add and drop courses in each term. Courses dropped by the last day for enrolment and course changes (drop/add) are removed fully from your record and no tuition is charged for that class. For classes withdrawn after the last day for enrolment and course changes (drop/add), and before the last day for withdrawing from courses, tuition is returned to a student’s account on a pro-rated basis according to the McMaster course cancellation schedule.
A positive balance on your student account is an amount owed to McMaster, and a negative value is the opposite of that. If you believe you should have a negative balance in your student centre that can be requested as a refund, please contact theOffice of the Registrar using the chat after checking the information available related to fees and refunds.
Students are fully responsible for any outcomes that are a result of enrolment changes (e.g. changes to eligibility for OSAP, residence, etc).
Withdrawing from Courses Without Failure by Default
Once the last day to make enrolment changes has passed, students can still withdraw from courses without failure by default by the published deadline. This deadline can be found in the Sessional Dates. Withdrawn courses will remain on your transcript with a notation of ‘W’ indicating you withdrew from the course. Withdrawn courses are not factored into your average.
Students do not receive a full refund for withdrawn courses. Please check the cancellation fee schedule on the Office of the Registrar website for more information. If you have any questions about an outstanding refund, please contact their office which can be accessed either through their chat, or in person.
After the last day to withdraw from courses without failure by default, you must remain enrolled in your classes or inquire with an advisor about late withdrawal. This can be done for a maximum of 18 units during your time at McMaster.
Students are fully responsible for any outcomes that are a result of enrollment changes (e.g., changes to eligibility for OSAP or residence).
If you have any concerns about withdrawing from courses, please contact the Academic Advising Office.
How do I submit a Late Withdrawal request?
We will be accepting Late Withdrawal applications beginning the day after the last day for withdrawing from courses without failure by default for the current term. Students are required to review their late withdrawal request with their Academic Advisor. Please request to speak with your advisor to inquire about information, or ask for a Late Withdrawal, by creating a ticket in the Social Science Academic Advising portal.
The last day to submit a Late Withdrawal request for the current term is the day classes end which can be found here.
To request late withdrawal from a course, students must not have completed the final evaluation (whether an assignment, paper, essay, test, or exam) for that course.
Why can’t I see my course(s) on Avenue to Learn?
Please contact the instructor for the course and request to be added on Avenue to Learn.
If you need contact information for the instructor, please reach out to the department that runs that course. This can typically be determined by the subject portion of the course code (e.g., a SOCIOL coded course would typically be run by the Department of Sociology). If you cannot determine the department, please contact Academic Advising.
Where do I find my Enrolment Appointment?
Once enrolment appointments are posted, usually in early June, use the following steps:
Log into MOSAIC > Student Center > look for the box on the right titled ‘Enrollment Dates’ to find your Enrollment Appointment.
How do I look up course prerequisites?
- Visit the Office of the Registrar’s Undergraduate Calendar.
- Select the most recent academic calendar (e.g., Undergraduate Calendar 2022-2023). This can also be done from the drop-down menu located in the top right corner.
- Click ‘Course Listings’.
- Select the subject code in the ‘Prefix’ drop-down menu (e.g., SOCIOL for Sociology, PSYCH for Psychology).
- Click ‘Filter’.
- Find your course(s) and click on them to see: course summaries, prerequisites, anti-requisites, and cross-listed information.
Missed Academic Work, Deferred Examinations & Accommodations
Missed Academic Work
Relief for Missed Academic Work
McMaster recognizes that students periodically require relief from academic work for medical and other personal situations. The academic regulations surrounding this aim to manage these requests by taking into account the needs and obligations of students, instructors and administrators.
MSAF is a self-reporting tool for undergraduate students to report absences due to minor medical or personal concerns that last up to three days. It provides the ability to request accommodations for any missed academic work worth equal to or less than 24% of the course work. This form should be filled out immediately when you are about to return to class after your absence. You may submit a maximum of one MSAF for missed academic work per term. It is the student’s responsibility to follow up with their instructor immediately regarding the nature of the accommodation.
This tool cannot be used during any final examination period.
MSAF is located in your Mosaic Student Centre in the drop-down menu, ‘other academic…’
Notification of Absence – MSAF type B/Extended MSAF/Faculty MSAF
There are cases where the McMaster Student Absence Form is not the appropriate tool to report an absence.
These include if you:
- Are absent for more than three days.
- Miss a piece of work worth at least 25%.
If any of these situations occur, you must visit your faculty office to discuss the absence and missed work. Students in Social Sciences must complete a Notification of Absence form and supply supporting documentation.
The Notification of Absence is appropriate for coursework that will be submitted prior to the last day of classes. If students believe they will not be able to submit work until after classes have ended, they should meet with an advisor to discuss the option of incomplete term work. For final examinations, students should refer to information regarding
Request for Incomplete Term Work
Students with exceptional circumstances who wish to request an extension beyond the last day of classes may wish to meet with an Academic Advisor to discuss whether this is a reasonable option and may be requested to provide supporting documentation. Normally, students will then be advised to discuss their request directly with their course instructor.
The decision regarding the extension and the nature of the relief for missed work is at the discretion of the instructor. It is the student’s responsibility to follow up with each instructor to discuss how, when and where the work will be submitted.
Academic Conflicts for Student-Athletes
Student Athletes: It is your responsibility to review your competition schedule with your course outlines to determine any academic conflicts.
You are encouraged to plan and resolve your athletic/academic conflicts well in advance. However, as a minimum, requests are to be completed at least five business days prior to the conflict.
After completing the online form, the Athlete Services Coordinator will validate your athletic commitment with the Social Sciences Academic Advising Office. It is your responsibility to do the following:
- Contact the Social Sciences Academic Advising Office to request a copy of the current missed work form
- Submit the completed missed work form to the Social Sciences Academic Advising Office by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Once the Missed Work form has been processed, contact your instructor (or designate) regarding the request for relief of missed work. The final decision regarding the relief provided is at the discretion of the instructor.
Athletic commitment verification is provided for McMaster Athletics & Recreation sanctioned events only.
A request for a deferred examination is completed when a student misses a final examination due to compelling medical or personal reasons. Students in Social Sciences may submit a request for a Deferred Examination form and the accompanying documentation to the Academic Advising Office. Students in a program outside of Social Sciences should contact their own faculty/program office.
It is the student’s responsibility to check on the status of their deferred exam request. This may be tracked in the Mosaic Student Centre in the drop-down menu ‘other academic…’ and ‘deferred exam approvals’. Students must be available during the Deferred Exam Period (published under the Sessional Dates). Students who have been approved for a deferred exam should check their personal exam schedule approximately 10 business days before the deferred exam period to learn the specific date, time and location.
Deferred examination requests will not be granted for the purpose of travel. The final examination periods for the fall and winter terms are published well in advance of the start of the school year, and students are expected to be available for the entire examination period.
If a final examination has already been written, no special consideration will be granted.
Ongoing Accommodations (SAS)
Accommodations through the faculty are intended for temporary situations. If you believe you are in need of ongoing academic accommodations during your time at McMaster, please contact Student Accessibility Services.
Religious, Indigenous and Spiritual Observances (RISO)
The following excerpt is from McMaster University’s Policy on Academic Accommodation for Religious, Indigenous and Spiritual Observances (effective September 2015):
McMaster University strives to be welcoming and inclusive of all its members and respectful of their differences. Students, staff, and instructors come from a range of backgrounds, traditions and beliefs. The University recognizes that, on occasion, the timing of a student’s religious, Indigenous, or spiritual observances and that of their academic obligations may conflict. In such cases, the University will provide reasonable academic accommodation for students that is consistent with the Ontario Human Rights Code, through respectful, accessible, and fair processes.
View the full policy on the Equity and Inclusion Office’s website.
Academic Obligations Excluding Registrar-Invigilated Examinations
- Students are to submit the RISO form to their faculty office (for students in Social Sciences, this is the Academic Advising Office) within 10 working days of the beginning of each term in which they anticipate a need for accommodations.
- In cases where an observance is unanticipated, please contact the advising office as soon as possible.
- Once the RISO form has been reviewed and approved, the advising office will send days and/or times during which the conflict(s) is anticipated to the relevant instructors by email, with a copy to the student.
- It is the student’s responsibility to follow up no later than five working days with their instructor(s) regarding making accommodations arrangements.
- The nature of relief is at the discretion of the instructor.
How to submit an RISO Form
RISO forms can be submitted to email@example.com. Use your McMaster student email, include a brief explanation of why you are sending the email, and include your full name with your student number.
- Students are to complete a RISO form in person at the Scheduling & Examinations Office (Gilmour Hall 114) as soon as possible upon receiving their exam schedule, no later than 10 working days prior to the commencement of the examination period.
- If the student fails to meet this deadline, it may not be possible to reschedule the examination within the current exam period. In such cases, students must visit their faculty office to request alternative arrangements.
- The Registrar’s Office will normally inform students of their rescheduled examination(s) at least five working days prior to the beginning of the examination period.
If you have a scheduling conflict between take home or online final examination scheduled by the Registrar’s Office and religious, Indigenous or spiritual observance, please complete the RISO form and submit it to our office at least 10 working days before the start of the examination period.
The McMaster RISO Policy can be found here.
Student Appeals & Reinstatement
Below outlines procedures for submitting student appeals and petitions within the faculty and the University.
Petition for Special Consideration
The Faculty of Social Sciences has the responsibility to ensure that degree, program and course requirements are met in a manner that is equitable to all students. While the Faculty adheres strictly to all deadlines and academic regulations as stated in the University Calendar, it does wish to assist students with legitimate difficulties.
Students who seek special consideration or who wish to request that the application of a particular University or Faculty regulation be waived because of compelling medical, personal or family reasons, may submit a Petition for Special Consideration to the Office of the Associate Dean. Supporting documentation will be required but will not ensure approval of the petition. The authority to grant petitions lies with the Faculty Associate Dean’s office and is discretionary
Students are responsible to submit Petitions for Special Consideration in a prompt and timely manner. Following receipt of the appropriate form, the Assistant Dean shall submit the petition to the appropriate individual or committee and shall secure a final decision from the individual or committee. The student will be notified in writing (by email) of the decision on his/her petition
Petitions for Special Consideration decisions are final. In accordance with the Student Appeal Procedures, decisions made on Petitions for Special Consideration cannot be appealed to the Senate Board for Student Appeals. If a student feels his/her human rights have been violated, they may contact the Equity and Inclusion Office to initiate a complaint.
Part of the petition process is requesting confirmation from your instructor as to what has and has not been completed in each course you are petitioning. Use the following template, replacing the bracketed parts with the correct information for your request:
Subject: (Course code for the course) – (Term the course was in): (Last Name),(First Name) – (Student number)
Hello Dr. (Instructor last name),
I am submitting a petition for (course code), (lecture section [C0?]), (tutorial/lab [T0?/L0?] – unless the class does not have either) in the (term the course was in [Eg Winter 2022]) term. Could you please forward the information on what I have and have not done for this course as far as participation, assignments, essays, tests, and exams to firstname.lastname@example.org as it is an important part of the petition process.
Please feel free to either simply forward this email with the information in the body text of your email, attach a file in a convenient format, or if you prefer, use the attached form. (Ensure the instructor statement form is attached.)
Formal Student Appeal Procedures (University Secretariat)
Students who wish to raise questions or who have a concern are strongly encouraged to communicate informally with their instructors, Departmental Chairs, the relevant Associate/Assistant Dean of their Faculty, or of Graduate Studies, the University Ombud, and/or the appropriate administrative officer before seeking a review under formal procedures. Experience shows that the great majority of questions or complaints can be resolved satisfactorily through informal communication.
- Form A (Re-Read/Re-Assessment)
- Form B (Formal Inquiry)
- Form C (Appeal to the Senate Board for Student Appeals)
- Student Appeals Policies, Procedures and Guidelines
May Not Continue at University
If after being reviewed, a student’s academic standing is ‘May Not Continue at University’, this means they are ineligible to continue at McMaster unless reinstated.
When completing a reinstatement application, students should address the following questions:
- What circumstances impacted your ability to succeed academically? You are welcome to include any documentation (e.g. doctor’s note) that you feel will support your application.
- How have you resolved, or plan to resolve, these concerns in order to be successful if reinstated?
- If reinstated to the Faculty of Social Sciences, what program do you plan to pursue?
If applicable, students must ensure they include transcripts from any post-secondary institutions attended during their absence.
Required to Withdraw
If at any review after reinstatement a student’s Grade Point Average falls below 3.5, they will be ‘Required to Withdraw’ from the University for a period of at least 12 months before they can be eligible again for reinstatement. Should students wish to apply again for reinstatement, it is expected that during the minimum 12-month leave students work to resolve any difficulties that interfered with their academic performance and provide evidence of the ability to succeed academically in Social Sciences.
In some cases, we recommend students pursue coursework through a College of Applied Arts and Technology, or through Distance Education courses offered by universities such as, but not limited to, Athabasca or Ryerson. These courses should focus on subjects and skills offered by Social Sciences, particularly essay writing. Transcripts from such courses must be included in your reinstatement application. There is no guarantee that courses taken at other institutions will be given transfer credit.
How to Apply for Reinstatement
Instructions and applications for Reinstatement may be found on the Office of the Registrar’s website here.
Applying does not guarantee reinstatement. The faculty considers both the strength of the student’s application as well as the number of spaces available in our programs.
Students must apply for reinstatement by June 30 for September entry. Applications are due by April 1 for Spring/Summer entry.
To inquire further about the reinstatement process, please contact email@example.com
Study Abroad & the Letter of Permission
Would you like to live and study in a different country, increase your global awareness and obtain credit towards your McMaster degree? If so, make studying abroad part of your undergraduate experience! Learn more about the McMaster Study Abroad Program, Independent Study Elsewhere and Travel Scholarships on the Student Success Centre website.
Letter of Permission
If you are in good academic standing and wish to take courses at another university for credit towards your McMaster degree, you must obtain a Letter of Permission from your faculty prior to enroling at the other institution.
A Letter of Permission request can be initiated in your Mosaic Student Centre under ‘My Academics’. Once your request is submitted, it takes our advisors approximately three weeks to review and respond to it. Applications may take longer to review during peak times, so please ensure you are applying early. Students are responsible for applying to and following the regulations and processes of the host institution. Please ensure a request is submitted in plenty of time to register with the host institution.
Before You Apply
Take note of the regulations and conditions surrounding courses taken through a Letter of Permission for transfer credit. Regulations include but are not limited to the following:
- Students are normally permitted to take only elective credit on a Letter of Permission.
- A minimum grade of C- must be achieved in order for transfer credit to be received.
- Grades from courses taken at another university are not factored into any averages (e.g. cumulative, honours) at McMaster. Courses will appear on your McMaster transcript as either ‘T’ to indicate transfer credit was given, or ‘N.C.’ if no credit was given.
- Transfer credit cannot be given until an official transcript has been received by our office directly from the host institution. Students are responsible for ensuring this is sent in a timely manner.
- Students are responsible for being mindful of their intended date of graduation from their undergraduate degree, and ensuring that the official transcript is sent in time for the faculty to review you for graduation. If you are unsure about your timing for graduation, please contact the Academic Advising Office.
- If you later decide not to pursue your approved LOP course(s), proof of non-enrolment from the institution will be required to remove the course(s) from your record.
FOR INTERNATIONAL LOPs, PLEASE NOTE: If you are applying to take courses on an LOP at a school outside of Canada, please do not apply on Mosaic.
Students interested in pursuing courses at a University outside of Canada for McMaster University transfer credit must complete the ILOP (International Letter of Permission Form) and submit using the following portal: Social Sciences Student Services Portal. Approval by the Faculty of Social Sciences is required prior to enrolling in courses externally. For questions or concerns, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Speak to an Academic Advisor
Submit a ticket to request an appointment with an Academic Advisor if you have any questions about requirements for your degree or minor, or if you are interested in exploring the resources and supports available at McMaster to assist students with moving forwards effectively with their studies.
Login with your MacID & Password
If there is a password error, and you are sure that the password has been entered correctly, then University Technology Services will need to make a quick adjustment to your information on the platform. Go to the University Technology Services website and use the chat feature on that page to request “Please add my MacID to the correct JIRA group so that I can login to the Social Science portal”. Once you have asked to talk to a human their target response time is under 2 minutes and they are able to easily make the required update to your information.
If you get a blank screen, please try another web browser.
Careers & Experiential Education, Faculty Experiential Courses
Careers & Experiential Education
We aim to enrich undergraduate education in the Faculty of Social Sciences by fostering unique learning opportunities within the classroom and helping students become more actively engaged in their communities to prepare them for life after graduation.
Faculty Experiential Courses
Social Sciences offers a number of ways for students to apply their skills from the classroom to experiential opportunities, all while earning credit towards their degree!
Level I Programs
PLAN YOUR JOURNEY
UNDERGRADUATE COURSES & COURSE OUTLINES
Find information about past or current courses including course outlines.
Everything you need to know to help you have a successful first year including enrolment information, academic supports, various key student services and more.
McMASTER / MOHAWK AFFILIATED CERTIFICATES
Exclusive to Social Sciences. Earn a Mohawk College certificate as you complete your degree.
MEET THE TEAM
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