Financial Support

From PNB Graduate Handbook
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Support, Tuition, Fees

A separate application for financial assistance is not required when applying to the PNB Graduate Program, as all applicants are automatically considered for financial support within the Department. All graduate students are supported by stipends from a combinations of external scholarships, departmental scholarships, research grants, training grants, and teaching assistantships. The minimum stipend for 2020-2021 is $23,902 (see below for breakdown). Hamilton is affordable for students and thus the stipend affords a comfortable lifestyle.

This link about 2019-2020 payment information was created to help new students understand MacIDs, student accounts, payments, tuition, and deadlines.

  • Department scholarships:
  • PNB graduate students without External Scholarships receive a departmental scholarship; in 2020-2021 this is $15,000 for both M.Sc. students and Ph.D. students who do not have external scholarship support.
  • PNB graduate students with External Scholarships receive the value of the external scholarship plus a smaller departmental scholarship; in 2020-2021 this is $2,500 for both M.Sc. and Ph.D. students with external scholarship support.
  • During the years of their graduate training, students assist in the Department teaching activities. The nature of each student's contribution depends upon his or her other interests and the needs of the Department. Teaching Assistantships pay $8,902 per year (2020-2021) and are available to all graduate students in our Department. The sum of department scholarship ($15,000) plus teaching assistantship ($8,902) provides the minimum stipend $23,902.
  • Tuition Fees (2020-2021) for Canadian citizens and Permanent Residents for one academic year (September to August) are $6,307.20 plus supplemental fees of $998.16 (total = 7305.36). Once you have paid tuition and fees from your take-home amount of $23,902, the remaining amount is $16,596.64 before taxes.
  • Payments for Teaching Assistantships are treated as income and will be taxed; scholarship funding (both departmental and research) is not taxed.
  • Scholarship funding is paid in 3 installments at the beginning of the Fall, Winter, and Spring/Summer terms. TA hours are paid biweekly through Fall and Winter terms.
  • Tuition and supplementary fees are due the first week of September, however students are not charged interest until the end of the month so that there is enough time to receive scholarship funding to pay tuition. Details about Tuition and Fees at McMaster.
  • Information on charges and payments is updated about mid-July for September's new and returning students. Visit the Student Accounts & Cashiers website for detailed information about paying fees, UHIP (for international students), deadlines, etc.
  • Pay cheques are distributed using the direct deposit system (this is mandatory). This means that to get paid, you must complete a form for Direct Deposit and have a valid bank account. You should also fill out the TD1 and TD1ON Personal Tax Credit Returns. Detailed information and forms can be found on the Working at McMaster teaching assistants site.
  • In recent years, foreign students have been put on a similar financial footing with Canadian students, by virtue of their receiving either a supplementary departmental scholarship or a tuition differential waiver. This is still the process for international masters students. However, in 2018 international tuition for graduate students in PhD programs at McMaster has been equated to domestic tuition rates. Health Insurance is mandatory for all Visa students and is provided through the University Health Insurance Plan (UHIP) at a current cost of $636 for one person. Please refer to International Students for more details about tuition and fees.

External Scholarships

Prospective students are strongly encouraged to apply to external granting agencies in the autumn before they apply to the Department. Financial support from these (Tri-Council) agencies is often substantially greater than can be offered by the Department. Canadian citizens or landed immigrants may apply to the Federal Tri-Council agencies: (1) Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), (2) Canadian Institutes of Health Sciences (CIHR), or (3) Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC). Ontario residents may also apply to the Ontario Graduate Scholarship (OGS) program; students who apply for one of the Tri-Council scholarships are automatically entered into the central competition for OGS. Details of these and other assistance programs are available on our External Scholarships page, and from the McMaster University School of Graduate Studies scholarship page, or for new students just arriving at McMaster, from your own University Graduate Office.

Current Students: ALL graduate students, if eligible, are required to apply for External Scholarships. The season for submitting most scholarship applications is late summer into the fall term (with some exceptions). Please refer to External Scholarships for more details.
PNB graduate students with External Scholarships receive the value of the external scholarship plus a departmental scholarship of $2,500 (2020-2021). They also have the same opportunity as other students for the 200 hours of TAships, which provide $8,902 per year (2020-2021).

Teaching Assistantships

Follow this link for detailed information about Teaching Assistantships.

PNB Graduate Travel Support

Graduate students can apply to receive financial support to attend scientific conferences. Please refer to PNB Graduate Travel for more details.

Additional Support

Dr. Dick Day often engages graduate students as examination invigilators. Email is sent to all graduate students when invigilators are needed.

If you are having trouble making tuition and other scheduled payments, we refer you to a couple of websites that contain important information:

Maximum Number of Hours You Can Work

McMaster University regulations state that the maximum number of hours that full-time graduate students can work on campus is 10 hours/week; this includes work from Teaching Assistantships. It is the responsibility of the graduate student to make sure that any work above the teaching assistant duties falls within the guidelines set out by the university and the union (CUPE 3906). If you work more than the allowed 505 hours per academic year, you risk losing your full-time student status, and therefore, not only your scholarship, but also the high pay rate for Teaching Assistantship work.