McMaster English Language Development Diploma (MELD)


Who should take this program?

The MELD program is intended for international students whose primary language is not English and who wish to improve their oral and written communication skills, and succeed in an English-speaking university environment. Prospective students should have obtained one of the following minimum scores of English Proficiency (or equivalent) to register for this program:

  • TOEFL iBT: 70
  • IELTS: 5.0
  • CAEL: 55
  • MELAB: 65

Interested students with a lower English proficiency score should contact the program coordinator.

Admission to McMaster University

The McMaster English Language Development Diploma (MELD) provides a supportive environment in which international students can succeed. The diploma is a two-term, full-time intensive bridging program in English language development and acculturation. Students accepted into MELD will have qualified for admission to undergraduate studies in a specific program, but do not meet the English language requirements. They are given a conditional offer of admission to their program of choice, conditional upon successful completion of the MELD diploma. Once the diploma in MELD has been successfully completed, the student may register in the program to which he/she was given conditional admission.


Program Highlights

  • Obtain credits towards university degree while completing the diploma
  • 20 hours per week (full-time study) in small classes
  • Dynamic program delivered in a technology-rich manner
  • Offered by a research-intensive Linguistics & Languages department with a graduate program in the Cognitive Science of Language
  • Taught by highest-qualified ESL/EAP instructors
  • Modeled on evidence-based research on best practices for the teaching of Advanced Academic ESL
  • Acculturation component—develop the cultural awareness skills needed to be successful in a North American university
  • Includes innovative embedded mentorship program
  • Focus on Academic Integrity—best scholarly practices

Students will improve their:

  • Academic writing
  • Speaking and presentation skills
  • Note-taking and listening skills
  • Ability to read critically in English
  • Professional communication skills

Students will also have the opportunity to participate in a mini-conference and to develop a digital portfolio showcasing their learning..

Program Fees:

$24,500 (including supplementary student fees)

Supplementary fees include:

  • Health Plan Premium
  • Dental Plan Premium
  • Hamilton HSR bus pass
  • Athletics and Recreation Activity Fee
  • Student Health Services

Not included: Compulsory University Health Insurance Plan (UHIP) for students without valid OHIP or other Canadian provincial health insurance coverage

Diploma Requirements

Total Number of Required Courses: 10

8 Courses in English for Academic Purposes

MELD 1A03 Academic Writing and Integrity
A writing course that focuses on the development of grammatically, lexically and stylistically appropriate English for writing summaries and short academic texts. Includes workshops on academic integrity.
MELD 1AA3 Advanced Academic Writing
A writing course that focuses on the development of the appropriate language (grammar, vocabulary, style) and structure for essays and on analysing charts/graphs. Includes workshops on documenting sources and citation styles.
MELD 1B03 English Phonetics and Pronunciation
This course offers an overview of the principal differences in varieties of Standard English, with a focus on Canadian English. Students are given opportunities to examine and practise their spoken language skills in English through short individual and collaborative presentations.
MELD 1BB3 Advanced Speaking and Presentation Skills
Students build appropriate speaking skills through a variety of individual and collaborative speaking and presentation exercises, based on academic content (oral reports, article summaries, video blogs, formal presentations).
MELD 1C03 Academic Reading and Listening Skills
In this course, students summarize and critically evaluate (both orally and in writing) a variety of texts in advanced academic English. The texts to be evaluated are both written and spoken.
MELD 1CC3 Advanced Academic Reading Skills
This course further develops students’ skills in academic reading. The focus in this course is on the comprehension and critical evaluation of scholarly articles and texts from a range of disciplines.
MELD 1D03 Social Perspectives on Language
An exploration of a variety of language registers and styles. Topics explored through role-playing, the collaboration of peer-to-peer mentors, and guest speakers.
MELD 1DD3 Academic Success
This course covers a variety of aspects of the university system and strategies for dealing with challenges that may arise, such as note-taking, time management, and studying for exams.

2 Degree Credit Courses in Linguistics

LINGUIST 1Z03 Sounds, Words & Meaning in Modern English
This course introduces students to the description and transcription of sounds in contemporary English, to the rules governing pronunciation, and to the study of word formation and meaning in contemporary English.
LINGUIST 1ZZ3 Sentence & Communication Structure in Modern English
This course examines the structure of contemporary English sentences, and how sentences are used to build larger meaningful units of written and spoken communication.

Academic Year

Term 1 (September – December)

  • Academic Writing and Integrity
  • English Phonetics and Pronunciation
  • Academic Reading and Listening Skills
  • Social Perspectives on Language
  • Linguistics 1Z03 (degree credit course)

Term 2 (January – April)

  • Advanced Academic Writing
  • Advanced Speaking and Presentation Skills
  • Advanced Academic Reading Skills
  • Academic Success
  • Linguistics 1ZZ3 (degree credit course)

Student Life


  • Students have the opportunity to stay in on-campus residences on our safe, pedestrian-friendly campus
  • Residences are a five-minute walk to classes, dining facilities, libraries and recreational facilities
  • Students may also consider nearby off-campus accommodation – for more information, please contact our office at

Food Options

  • There are a variety of dining options located on campus
  • Westdale Village also provides a diverse range of dining options, and is a ten minute walk from campus


  • Students have access to computer and library resources, the McMaster Museum of Art, as well as indoor and outdoor recreational activities

Student Clubs

  • Over 260 clubs based on volunteer, academic, cultural, social, sport, political and activity pursuits

Student Wellness Centre
(Campus Health Services)

  • Medical Services (including assessment and treatment, immunization and allergy injections, naturopathy)
  • Counseling Services (including personal, psychological and group counseling, wellness activities and education)

Athletics and Recreation

  • A wide variety of programming for all students, including varsity athletics, intramurals, instructional fitness programs, drop-in activities, outdoor recreation and the David Braley Sport Medicine and Rehabilitation Centre
  • Facilities include 9 gymnasiums, a 50-metre pool, 200m indoor track, outdoor track, squash courts, rock climbing wall, 6 outdoor fields and one of the largest university fitness centres in Canada

Take a ‘quick peek’ at the MELD program by watching our video on YouTube


Program Director, Dr. A. Moro,
Associate Professor, Department of Linguistics and Languages

Program Administrator, Ms C. Huelgas

McMaster University MELD Program

For more information: