Frequently Asked Questions

Need help? The Undergraduate Student Experience team has compiled a list of common questions (with answers!) that they often receive from Commerce and IBH students.
If your question is not answered below, please get in touch using the form on this page.

Final Year Students

If you are in your final year, you may be thinking “how do I know that I am graduating this year?” or “what do I need to do to graduate or declare a minor?”

The Office of the Registrar has created a Graduation Checklist to guide you through the process of declaring your intention to graduate. The checklist can be found at https://registrar.mcmaster.ca/grad/details/#tab-10

Some important points about the graduation process:

  • Later in the Winter term, you will need to complete the convocation forms tile when it appears on your Mosaic Student Centre.
  • If you have been working towards a Minor, you will declare this in your Minor/Certificate Application tile when it becomes available on Mosaic.

How do I know if I’m on track to graduate?

  • Your Advisement Report on Mosaic can show all your degree requirements, courses taken, courses enrolled, and how they all align.
  • Have questions? Book an appointment via OSCARplus to meet with an Academic Advisor and review your graduation eligibility.

New Paramount Studios is holding grad photo appointments at their studios in Mississauga and Toronto. We hope to see New Paramount on campus in the future, but do not have any dates just yet. Stay tuned to the bulletin and DCS social media for updates.

To book your appointment:

  • Navigate to New Paramount website
  • Select “Book”
  • Register as a New User
  • Re-enter and select “University/College” – McMaster Commerce
  • Choose the time that conveniences you

Once registered, you will receive an email from the studio outlining their COVID-19 safety protocols and other terms.

If you have any questions about your graduation photos, please reach out to the DeGroote Commerce Society directly via email.

Winter Enrollment

Winter 2023

  • The last day for enrollment and course changes (drop/add) was January 17.
  • The last day for withdrawing from courses without failure by default is March 17.

Understanding the difference between dropping a course and withdrawing from a course is financially critical. Visit the Course Cancellation Page of the Registrar’s website to learn more.

See the Sessional Dates section of the Registrar’s website for more information about important University dates.

There is an additional option to withdraw after the last day for withdrawing from courses, which is called the Late Withdrawal (LWD).

A Late Withdrawal is available to students before the end of term, on the last day of classes, and before the last component of the course has been attempted (i.e., final examination or assignment).

The LWD option is to help students who have fallen behind in a course and are not prepared to write final exams. The maximum number of units you may request a Late Withdrawal for throughout your undergraduate degree is 18 units.

A few things to note:

  • Requests for Late Withdrawal cannot be made in courses for which all course components have been completed.
  • Students cannot use the Late Withdrawal option for courses in which they are under investigation or for which they have been found guilty of academic dishonesty.

A course approved for Late Withdrawal will be:

  • Assigned a non-numeric grade of ‘LWD’.
  • Excluded from the calculation of the student’s cumulative GPA.
  • Ineligible for a tuition refund.
  • Cannot be completed in Mosaic.

If a LWD is required, it must be requested by meeting with an Academic Advisor via OSCARplus, no later than the last day of classes, and before the last component of the course has been attempted.

Approval of a late withdrawal is final. Requests to be re-enrolled in a withdrawn course will not be considered.

We understand that course enrollment can feel confusing at times, but there are two great McMaster resources to make sure you’re on track to meet your degree requirements.

Advisement Report

Your Advisement Report on Mosaic can show you which courses are required for your degree for each academic level. It can also show you which courses you are already enrolled in.

Follow the steps to access your report:

Undergraduate Academic Calendar

The Undergraduate Academic Calendar lists your program requirements based on your year of entry into the program:

General

Each specific program and entry year has their own number of electives available. Within your Commerce degree, you will take required Commerce courses, Commerce electives, and non-Commerce electives.

Each year of your program, there are a different number of Commerce and non-Commerce electives available to you.

Your program requirements for each year can be found in the Academic Calendar or on your Advisement Report in Mosaic. To do this, please follow the instructions below:

If you have fast-tracked your degree, or taken courses off-cycle, it is important to review your Advisement Report each year for confirmation.

Yes, effective September 1, 2018, students may repeat a course twice (i.e. attempt a course three times).  Cross-listed courses count as attempts.

Grades from every attempt will appear on the academic transcript.

The Cumulative GPA will include only the grade earned on the most recent attempt.

Units earned will be counted once toward the student’s program requirements, regardless of the number of times the course is repeated. Prior to September 1, 2018 the grades from all attempts are included in the GPA calculation.

If your course load is below 60% for your program, you are a part-time student. If your course load is above 60%, you are a full-time student.

If you want to have full-time student status, you need to enroll in at least nine units per term. If you enroll in only three or six units per term, you will be considered a part-time student.

If you have any questions about your course load, please schedule an appointment with an Academic Advisor via OSCARplus.

If you are interested in taking an extra course in an academic term, this is called an “overload”.

Business 1 students cannot overload.

If you are a Level II or III student, you must have at least a 7.0 in the prior academic year. To overload, you must contact the Student Experience team via email to request permission.

If you’re in your final year and need to overload in order to graduate with your class, you can register for up to 36 units. Overloading is done at your own risk, and you can’t take more than six courses per semester. Email the Student Experience team if the registration system does not let you register for the extra units.

A traditional course load is five courses (15 units) per term. Commerce GR0 and Commerce 2IN0 are zero-unit courses and are often taken as a student’s “sixth” course in a term.

Many students opt to reduce their course load for a variety of reasons. To reduce your course load, only enroll in the number of courses you are comfortable taking per term.

Please note: if you want to have full-time student status, you need to enroll in at least nine units per term.

If you are not sure that you want to reduce your course load or want to discuss how a reduced course load will impact your academic progress, please schedule an appointment with an Academic Advisor via OSCARplus.

Your Major is Commerce, however, you can choose an Area of Focus by selecting your Commerce electives accordingly.

Below is an article written by DeGroote Undergraduate Alumnus, Kevin Linger, Stress Less: What You Need to Know About Selecting Your Area of Focus.

“During your Bachelor’s of Commerce at DeGroote, your required courses fall into a few different disciplines:

You have the option of ‘specializing’ in any of these areas. During your
third and fourth years of study, you are required to take what are referred to as ‘commerce electives‘. Commerce electives are business classes you get to choose. Remember when you were in first year and selected from a list of electives including anthropology and sociology? This is the same idea. So when you select an area of focus, all that really means is the majority of the commerce electives you take are from one of the disciplines listed above.

DO I HAVE TO DETERMINE AN AREA OF FOCUS?

The short answer is no. Many students at DeGroote choose to take courses from several different disciplines. They may choose to do this because they have diverse interests, aspire to have a more flexible education, simply aren’t interested enough in any one area, or for other reasons!

What’s great about DeGroote is that the choice is yours. If you would like to pursue certain careers, it may be beneficial to focus on one area. For example, taking more accounting classes is probably very valuable in pursuit of a CPA designation.

To answer a couple of common questions:

  • There is no record kept on your area of focus. Your choice will not be reflected on your diploma or transcript.
  • You do not require a certain GPA to specialize in a specific area.
  • Your major is still Commerce.

WHY SHOULD YOU PURSUE AN AREA OF FOCUS?

“So, if nothing appears on your transcript, why should you care about focusing?”

Here’s why:

  • Prepare for a designation. For some professional titles, it is required that you take specific courses during your undergrad.
  • Gain a deeper understanding of a field. The opportunity to take a deep dive on specific topics is a very fun experience!
  • Explore careers within a single area. Before I began focusing on marketing, I thought the only role in the field was advertising. I’ve learned that there is a broad range of marketing jobs, including brand managers, marketing researchers, online marketing specialists, and more!
  • You enjoy those classes! If you have fun learning about a specific discipline, you’ll be more likely to work hard and go the extra mile. Within the marketing stream, I frequently read books about the profession and stay up to date on the latest trends. This layering of knowledge has only improved my performance in the classroom.

I WANT TO FOCUS, NOW WHAT?

While enrolling in courses for your third year, choose classes that are related to your area of focus. In the undergraduate course outline, you’ll find a list of available classes. In the right column, you’ll see the area of focus each class corresponds to. You can also check the undergraduate course calendar to find DeGroote’s newest classes.

For example, if you are concentrating in finance, consider enrolling in International Finance, Security Analysis, Financial Modelling, and other related courses.

The first letter in a class’s course code can also be an indication of what area it corresponds to. While this isn’t always accurate, it can be a quick way to find what courses you might be interested in.

For example:

Area Letter
Accounting A
Human Resources B
Finance F
Information Systems K
Marketing M
Operations Q or O
Strategic Management S or P

 

It’s important to keep in mind that, even if you aren’t ready to make a decision at the end of second year, you can change your mind later. During my third year, I took consumer motivation, a marketing elective, and alternative investments and portfolio management, a finance course.

I really enjoyed consumer motivation, and that played a huge role in helping me decide that marketing was my passion. In my final year, I enrolled in four marketing electives, with one information systems class on e-business strategy.

If there’s one thing I’d like to leave you with, it’s this: choosing an area of focus is very stressful for some students. While it can be very beneficial to commit to one path, you don’t have to! Follow your heart, do some research, and make the most of each class you take, regardless of the discipline.”

For extra help choosing your commerce courses, book an appointment with an Academic Advisor!

In March 2021, the DeGroote Student Experience team and area faculty hosted a series of webinars to share more information about each Area of Focus. You can now access each of these webinars on DeGroote’s YouTube channel.

Yes, students in the Bachelor of Commerce and Integrated Business and Humanities program can work towards a Minor.

Learn more about how to use your electives towards a Minor.

If you are interested in pursuing a Minor, you should review the requirements of the Minor on the Academic Calendar.

If you have questions on what Minors are available, or how a Minor would work with your degree, please meet with an Academic Advisor.

Students in Commerce can complete the academic coursework requirements for various professional designations throughout their undergraduate degree. To learn more about these options, please follow this link: https://ug.degroote.mcmaster.ca/professional-designations/.

At McMaster, you have the opportunity to explore new and unfamiliar topics through Personal Interest Courses (PIC). PICs were designed so you can explore interests outside of your program without affecting your Cumulative GPA.

What you need to know:

  • For students in a Bachelor of Commerce program, only non-Commerce electives may be taken as a PIC.
  • If you are pursuing a PIC and would rather keep the numeric grade for the class, you must indicate the course is no longer a PIC on Mosaic by the final date in which a student can withdraw from a course without failure by default.
  • If you choose to do this, the numeric grade will appear on your transcript.

For more information about the PIC option, visit the Registrar’s website.

As per the Registrar’s notation, the Deans’ Honour List (DHL) status for the current year of study is based on a minimum 9.5 GPA on at least 30 units since last assessed (may not exceed 6 units assessed with a non-numeric grade). Subsequent assessments are based on all units completed since the previous review. Students will be named to the Deans’ Honour List when a minimum average of 9.5 is achieved.

Being on the Dean’s Honour list does not result in any financial/or physicals awards. However, this achievement is noted on student’s transcripts.

To see if you qualify for the Dean’s Honours List, view your unofficial transcript. Follow the steps below to access your unofficial transcript:

  • Click the ‘Student Center’ tile, clicking the dropdown menu in the Academics Section (where it says ‘other academic …’).
  • In the dropdown menu, select ‘Transcript: View Unofficial’ and hit the arrow button next to the dropdown box.
  • This action will pull up the ‘View Unofficial Transcript’ screen. At this point, you can click the yellow button saying ‘View Report’ and this will show your unofficial transcript.
  • Your Dean’s Honours List status will be depicted under the ‘Totals’ section of your academic year.

Missed Coursework, Midterm Conflicts, and Accommodations

Yes! Students requiring academic accommodation based on Religious, Indigenous or Spiritual Observances (RISO) should follow the procedures set out in the RISO Policy. More information about RISO can also be found on our RISO Fact Sheet.

  • Students requiring a RISO accommodation should submit their request to buscom@mcmaster.ca as soon as possible.
    • Include your RISO form and be sure to include the dates/times needing to be accommodated.
    • You will be contacted via your McMaster email as soon as the RISO is reviewed and approved.
    • Students should contact their instructors to make alternative arrangements for classes, assignments, and tests as soon as their RISO accommodation has been processed by the Student Experience Office.
  • If your RISO accommodation is for a final exam in December or during a deferred exam period, submit your RISO form to the Examinations Office by email to exams@mcmaster.ca at least two weeks prior to the Examination Period.

For additional information on missed coursework, please visit: https://ug.degroote.mcmaster.ca/forms-and-resources/missed-course-work-policy/.

The procedure for requesting relief for missed course work worth 25% and higher (or if you’ve used your self-submitted MSAF for coursework less than 25%) is to fill out and submit a Notification of Absence form.

Please submit this form to the Student Experience Office. You have five (5) business days from the date of the missed course work to complete this process.

Please also take the time to review our Missed Coursework Policy.

Although every effort is taken by the Faculty Office to ensure that Commerce midterms do not conflict, there may be a situation where you have a conflicting midterm date or time. Sometimes, Commerce midterms can also conflict with a non-Commerce course.

  • Email the Student Experience Office at buscom@mcmaster.ca to notify us of the conflict. You will need to fill out a Notification of Absence form and provide us with the following information:
    • Your full name and student number
    • Course codes (i.e. Commerce 1AA3) of both conflicts
    • Dates and times of both conflicts
    • Supporting documentation supporting the conflict (i.e. screenshot of course outline, emails from professors, etc.)
  • Await approval. You will be notified by your McMaster email.
  • Follow-up with your instructor.

If you expect to miss a midterm exam with a known conflict, you must provide our office ten (10) business days’ notice if you wish to be eligible for an alternate sitting. Notice of a conflict that is provided with less than ten (10) business days’ notice that is approved will be left to the discretion of your instructor.

To defer a Final Examination, you must fill out a Deferred Examination Form.

Please submit this form to the Student Experience Office. You have five (5) business days from the date of the missed course work to complete this process.

If approved, you will be required to write the deferred exam in the next deferred examination period (see Dates and Deadlines).

Reach out to your instructor immediately via email. Failure to do so may negate the opportunity for relief. Their email address can be found on your Course Outline or through Avenue2Learn.

Do not submit an MSAF. The MSAF cannot be used for academic work that has already been completed/attempted.

This includes the viewing and/or partial completion of an online assessment (quizzes, tests, etc.).

Student Accessibility Services (SAS) provides academic accommodation assistance and related supports to students with disabilities at McMaster.

SAS is available to assist students transitioning from high school, other post secondary institutions, undergraduate, continuing and graduate students.

Note to all students seeking academic accommodations: Please be advised that the process for activating academic accommodations must be completed at the start of every term.

For any questions related to this process, please contact SAS.

If you have concerns about the grade received on an academic component, a midterm or final exam, or your final grade, you must reach out to the instructor of the course directly.

Their contact information can be found on the course outline.

If you would like to review a midterm exam or final exam that you have written in a Commerce course, you must complete a Request to View an Exam form and return it via email to buscom@mcmaster.ca. Once received, we will review your request and connect you with the Instructor to confirm the next steps.

Experiential Opportunities

Commerce 2IN0 is a 5-week, 10-hour career development course offered by our Career and Professional Development team that is zero unit (pass/fail).

Successful competition of Commerce 2IN0 is required prior to Level 3 to apply to the BCom with Internship or IBH with Internship degree program.  Students in Level 3 or 4 may take 2IN0, but not for the purposes of the internship program. This course is not offered to non-Commerce students.

This course is designed to equip students with the tools necessary to successfully participate in summer, internship and full-time job searches.

Topics may include, but are not limited to:

  • Self-assessment and personal branding
  • Developing career goals and strategies
  • Creating effective resumes and cover letters
  • Networking, job search strategies and business etiquette
  • Learning and practicing interview techniques

Sessions include lectures, interactive activities, videos, assignments, and guidance from a team of trained upper year Career Mentors. Although this course is zero units, a course fee of $175 is required.

Have questions if Commerce 2IN0 is right for you? Connect with a Relationship Manager on OSCARplus!

Students who have successfully completed Commerce 2IN0 will be encouraged to apply to the BCom / IBH with Internship degree program in the summer months prior to Level 3.

The admission process will include:

  • an application (resume and statement of interest)
  • academic review
  • virtual interview

Students will need to be entering into full-time Level 3 (minimum 54 units completed) and have achieved a minimum 7.0 cumulative GPA. Students also need to have a minimum 18 degree units to come back to after the internship.

The fee for internship is $1650.  Only students who have successfully secured an internship will be charged the internship fee. The total cost will be divided equally for payment over three academic terms ($550 per term).

Internship fees cover the costs associated with administering the internship component of the degree program. This includes the development and delivery of the internship recruitment cycles (such as job postings, interviews, offers and networking events), pre-internship training and career development, student and employer support throughout the internship, recognition, assessment and evaluations of internships, and employer recruitment, engagement and new business development.

The DeGroote School of Business continues to support the new degree program with the costs associated with space and maintenance as well as subsidizing staffing costs.

Internships are not guaranteed, but a wealth of resources are in place to help you secure an internship. Services include:

  • an internship specific job board
  • coaching
  • workshops
  • networking events to help you in finding success throughout the recruitment process.

Our internship roles focus in many different industries and business functions including accounting, finance, marketing, operations, human resources, sales and project management. As a candidate you will actively apply and interview for positions to secure an internship.

Students who are unable to secure an internship will be transferred into the Honours Bachelor of Commerce following the completion of the internship recruitment cycles.

As a Commerce student, it is an exciting time when you make the decision to explore your learning options abroad. More information on the steps and to understand your eligibility for exchange can be found via the Student Success Centre.

Once you have reviewed your eligibility and have started your exchange application, please contact the Student Experience Office via buscom@mcmaster.ca and request permission to be added to our new DeGroote-specific Avenue to Learn page. This is a new resource to keep you informed and updated about the exchange process and required steps. This is not where you will create and submit your exchange application – this is for information purposes only.

Helping Hands

More Help

If your question isn’t answered on this page, contact us for more help using this form.

Contact the Student Experience Team

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