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Senator McMaster statue


McMaster University was founded in 1887 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 85 in the world by the Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings for 2023. McMaster has been ranked 37th in the world in the THE’s Education’s University Impact Rankings for 2023, based on the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations.

Bonny Ibhawoh seminar

Leaders in Teaching & Research

In 2018, McMaster received the Global Teaching Excellence Award from the Higher Education Academy for the university’s commitment to experiential learning and global engagement. McMaster consistently ranks among Canada’s most research-intensive universities and placed first in graduate student research intensity in the 2021 Research Infosource rankings.

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 60 research centres and institutes that cross boundaries and disciplines. McMaster is the 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, 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. Our athletic facilities have been home to National Women’s Basketball Champions in 2019 and National Football Champions in 2011.

Our Students

  • McMaster is home to 32,119 undergraduates and 5,251 graduate students, for a total student population of 37,370.
  • In the 2021/2022 academic year, 17.20% of all McMaster students were international students, from 120 countries.
  • International graduate students represented 27% of the graduate student body in fall 2021/2022.
  • The percentage of undergraduates registering with an admission average of 90% and above has risen from 13.9% in 2000 to 71.8% in 2021/2022.

Our Alumni

  • More than 227,000 alumni represent 163 countries, including Canada.
  • Our alumni are cabinet ministers, business leaders, scientists, professional musicians, university presidents, Hollywood actors, Olympians and astronauts.
  • Nobel laureates: Professor Emeritus Bertram Brockhouse, 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

  • McMaster is home to 997 full-time instructional faculty members (excluding clinical educators), 111 endowed chairs, 86 allotted Canada Research Chairs, 13 endowed professorships, six Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council Industrial Research Chairs, one Canadian Institutes of Health Research Chair, two Ontario Research Chairs.
  • Research intensity (research income per full-time faculty member) averages $419,000 at McMaster.
  • Selected as a Hamilton-Niagara Top Employer for the past five years in a row.
  • Recognized as one of Canada’s Best Diversity Employers in 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022.
  • The university employs more than 14,800 people.

McMaster Fast Facts

Download a PDF version of the McMaster Fast Facts