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Plans for the Fall Term

Dear Humanities students,

I am writing to let you know more about our plans for the coming Fall term.  Our top priority is the health and safety of our McMaster and Hamilton communities.  As a consequence, we won’t be able to welcome you to the usual term on campus, but we are committed not only to providing high quality online courses, but also to providing you with the full repertoire of supports to thrive, despite the challenges that we know you may face. We are also working to provide that sense of community that we pride ourselves on in the Faculty of Humanities at McMaster.

We will be offering a full suite of courses, so that you may pursue your programs with undiminished choice and opportunity. The university and faculty have invested considerable resources in providing the best online teaching, and our dedicated instructors are working hard and creatively on designing great courses.  Our team of Academic Advisors will, as always, be available to provide guidance and help you navigate the year and any challenges that may arise.  The Student Success Centre has developed, in addition to its other resources, supports for helping students to optimize their learning in the online classroom. The university is dedicated to equity, diversity, and access, and supports will continue to be provided by Student Accessibility Services and the Equity and Inclusion Office.  The university has also boosted financial support for students.

For students entering the university, we have introduced the Archway Program, in which first-year students will be paired with an upper-level student and a coach from the university’s professional staff, to provide support and build community, beginning in the summer and continuing throughout the academic year. Knowing the disruptions students faced at high school last term, we are also offering a Summer Writing Program, a free non-credit course offered by the Student Success Centre to ease your transition by building key academic skills.

The world today faces serious challenges. In the Humanities we seek not only to illuminate the human condition, but also to better it. As researchers and creators, we bring artistic, historical, critical, and philosophical reflection to bear to understand ourselves and empower us to live meaningful lives and build a better world.

In the pursuit of humanistic inquiry, and by gaining practical experience through experiential learning, community engagement, and international experience, our students learn the skills sought by employers in the public, private, commercial, and non-profit sectors alike. These skills, including creativity, critical thought, ethical judgment, empathy, social intelligence, and effective communication, not only prepare one for a career, but also for a life of citizenship and leadership.

We are proud that McMaster ranks among the world’s best universities in terms both of academic excellence and social impact.  We are proud of our students and committed to your success.  If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to email us at

Stay tuned to our social media channels for further updates throughout the summer.

Dr. Pamela Swett

Dean of Humanities