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Admissions Info

Applicants will be required to meet the admission requirements of the School of Graduate Studies:

  • An Honours bachelor's degree or the international equivalent from an accredited university 
  • B+ average (77-79%, equivalent to a McMaster 8.5 grade point average) in the final year of undergraduate study
  • Applicants whose native language is not English will be required to demonstrate proficiency in the use of the English language, as outlined in the Graduate Calendar. Similar to several other graduate programs, a minimum acceptable TOEFL (iBT) score  will be 92 overall with a minimum of 22 for reading 24 for speaking, 24 for listening and 22 for writing. Alternately an overall minimum IELTS score of 7.0 will be required.

For admission to the MSc in Child Life and Pediatric Psychosocial Care program, an applicant must also meet the criteria listed below to ensure the appropriate background and success of our learners.

Stream 1 has earned graduate endorsement through the ACLP. It is offered as a full-time, 24 month long, entry-to-child life practice Master's program. 

For those applying to Stream 1 of this program, which provides the academic and clinical preparation to enter the field of child life, applicants will also be required to demonstrate the following:

  • A minimum of 100 hours of volunteer work in a child life program. Those who have not fully completed these hours are still invited to apply. A conditional offer of admission can however only be offered before these hours have been completed. Admission will be contingent upon confirmation of these 100 hours being complete by June 30 in that year. Download a copy of the Volunteer Hours Form.
  • A minimum of two undergraduate courses in normative child development. This course work must cover growth and development from birth to 18 years of age as a requirement for child life specialist certification eligibility through the Association of Child Life Professionals (ACLP). Please refer to the ACLP website for more information on the specific child development course requirements ACLP will look for to meet their eligibility criteria. A conditional offer of admission can only be made to those still completing this course work. Admission will be contingent upon confirmation of these courses being successfully completed by June 30th in that year.
  • Successful completion of the program’s multiple-mini-interviews.

Meeting the above minimum admissions requirements does not guarantee admission. Limited space will be available, and the admission process is expected to be competitive.

Complete application requirements for Stream 1 can be found here.​

For those applying to Stream 2, applicants must have qualifications as a child life specialist, or health professional. 

Individuals interested in becoming a certified child life specialist (CCLS) should apply to our ACLP endorsed Stream 1 program. Stream 2 does not provide all requirements needed to certify.

 Complete application requirements for Stream 2 can be found here.

The Child Life and Pediatric Psychosocial Care Program has a facilitated admission process for Indigenous applicants. In accordance with the Self-Identification policy of the Faculty of Health Sciences, Indigenous (First Nations, Inuit and Métis) applicants who wish to apply through this process must complete the supplementary Self-identification Application. Information on the policy, application requirements and the online application can be found here.

Consideration will be given to Stream 1 Indigenous applicants who do not have child life volunteer hours. Those Indigenous applicants who satisfy all other Stream 1admission requirements will be automatically invited to come for an interview. Interviews are not required for Stream 2 applicants. Indigenous applicants will be prioritized within this stream.

** No Appeal procedure shall be available for decisions on admission to the School of Graduate Studies, McMaster University. Please see Grad Calendar Section 2.1.

"2.1 Admission Requirements:
McMaster University seeks candidates for graduate study who show high scholarly promise. Admission to a graduate program is based on a judgement by the University that the applicant can successfully complete the graduate degree program. The University’s minimum requirements are identified in this section. Degrees and grades from foreign universities are evaluated for their equivalency to McMaster’s. Departments or programs may establish additional requirements, such as scores on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). Applicants should read the admission statement for the program or department, as well as the section here. Admission is competitive:  meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee admission. Final decisions on matters of admission rest with the Graduate Admissions and Studies Committee for each Faculty. The admission decision is not subject to appeal."

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