Skip to McMaster Navigation Skip to Site Navigation Skip to main content
McMaster Logo McMaster logo

Information Box Group

Senator McMaster statue


McMaster University was founded in 1877 in the city of Toronto by Senator William McMaster. The University was a bequest from Senator William McMaster, a member of the first senate after Confederation, founding president of the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, and chair of the Great Western Railway. As the facility grew, it was apparent more campus space was needed. In 1930, McMaster University relocated to the city of Hamilton.

two science students in lab

World Class Rankings

McMaster University is one of only four Canadian universities ranked among the top 70 in the world by the Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings for 2021. McMaster has been ranked 17th in the world in the THE’s Education’s University Impact Rankings for 2020, based on the Sustainable development Goals of the United Nations.

Bonny Ibhawoh seminar

Leaders in Teaching & Research

In 2018, McMaster received the 2018 Global Teaching Excellence Award from the Higher Education Academy for our strength’s in experiential learning and our commitment to global engagement. McMaster has been named Canada’s most research-intensive university in 2017, 2018 and 2019 by Research Infosource.

Students in class

Student Centered Learning

The McMaster Method, a problem-based, student centred approach to learning has been adopted world wide.

Engineering students in McMaster lab with cutting-edge technology

Renowned Research Centres & Institutes

McMaster is home to more than 70 research centres and institutes that cross boundaries and disciplines. It is in these facilities that we advance basic research and increase our capacity to work on the world’s research stage. McMaster is only North American host site of a United Nations University, the Institute for Water, Environment and Health (UNU-INWEH).


Helping Students Excel Outside of the Classroom

Whether you are an athlete, an artist or world traveler, McMaster’s student life has something for everyone. McMaster has over 350 student-led clubs on campus, more than 70 international exchange agreements and world- class athletic facilities. In fact, our athletic facilities have been home to our National Women’s Basketball Champions in 2019 and our National Football Champions in 2011.

Our Students

  • McMaster is home to 28,290 undergraduates and 4,857 graduate students, for a total student population of 33,147.
  • In the 2018/2019 academic year, 13.3% of all McMaster students were international, up 2% from last year, from 120 countries.
  • International graduate students represented 27% of the graduate student body in 2018/2019.
  • The percentage of undergraduates registering with an admission average of 90% and above has risen from 13.5% in 2000 to 44.7% in the last full academic year.

Our Alumni

  • More than 195,000 alumni represent 162 countries as well as Canada
  • Our alumni are cabinet ministers, business leaders, scientists, professional musicians, university presidents, Hollywood actors, Olympians, astronauts.
  • Nobel laureates: Bertram Brockhouse (professor emeritus), co-winner of the 1994 Nobel Prize in Physics; alumnus Myron Scholes, co-winner of the 1997 Nobel Prize in Economics; alumnus James Orbinski, then international president of Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), accepted the 1999 Nobel Peace Prize for MSF; alumna Donna Strickland, co-winner of the 2018 Nobel Prize in Physics.

Our Faculty and Staff

  • 1,011 full-time instructional faculty members (excluding clinical educators).
  • Outpacing peers in research-intensity, averaging $439,500 per faculty member — more than double the national average. (“Research intensity” measures research income per full-time faculty member.)
  • 114 endowed chairs, 70 Canada Research Chairs, 14 endowed professorships, six Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council Industrial Research Chairs, two Canadian Institutes of Health Research Chairs, two Ontario Research Chairs, and one Canada 150 Research Chair.
  • Selected as a Hamilton-Niagara Top Employer for the past five years in a row.
  • Recognized as one of Canada’s Best Diversity Employers 2019.

McMaster Fast Facts

Download a PDF version of the McMaster Fast Facts