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First Year Program

First Year Program

Click on the headings below to explore features of the first year program.


Social Sciences I: A General First Year Program

If you are admitted to the Faculty of Social Sciences, you will start by taking a general program called Social Sciences I. This gives you the chance to explore fully the direction you wish to take in higher education, before deciding on a specific degree program at the end of your first year. It allows you both to continue with subjects you have enjoyed at high school and to broaden your horizons by trying out others (such as Political Science or Health Studies) which you may not have encountered before.


What is Social Sciences I?

Social Sciences I is made up of 30 units of courses. At McMaster, a course is generally worth either 3 or 6 units. A 3-unit course usually lasts for one term and a 6-unit course for two. You can tell how many units a course is worth by looking at the last digit in the course code (e.g. 1A03 or 1B06). A student taking a full-load will usually complete Social Sciences 1 in one academic year, taking 15 units of courses in each of the fall and winter terms.


Flexibility and Choice

As a Social Sciences student, you will have a great deal of flexibility when creating your Level I program and will be able to choose from a wide range of courses, including those offered by other Faculties. However certain requirements must be met. Students must take at least 18 units of required Social Sciences courses. The remaining 12 units of courses can be chosen from Social Sciences or other Faculties, providing you meet the prerequisites of individual courses.


Level One Courses

Full descriptions are available in the Undergraduate Calendar.


Preparing for your Level II Program

Social Sciences I acts as the gateway to your degree program. The most common requirement for entry to a Level II Social Sciences program is completion of any Level I program with at least 6 units of Level I courses in that subject. By selecting 6 units of courses in a number of different disciplines, you can increase your options for Level II. Entrance requirements for individual programs can vary, so check any that interest you carefully! See below for more information about Social Sciences programs and the Faculty, Programs and Schools section of the Undergraduate Calendar for entrance requirements for all programs. 

Undergraduate Program
Master's Program
Doctoral Program


Departments and Units


How to select your courses and enrolment information


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