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Life Sciences Experiential Courses FAQ

Program Requirements

Three units of experiential courses are required to graduate. The one exception is Honours Life Sciences Co-op program.

Depending on which course lists you have completed, either Life Science course list or elective.


LIFESCI 3EP3 is a work-integrated learning experience, while LIFESCI 3RP3 is a research-based learning experience. See our Guide to Applying for Independent Studies and Experiential Placement for more information.

Yes, classes are mandatory for all research  (3RP3, 4A03, 4B09, 4C12, 4D15) and all research and experiential (3EP3, 4EP6) courses.

Students can complete LIFESCI 3EP3, LIFESCI 3RP3 and LIFESCI 4A03 in spring. Summer offerings cannot be guaranteed.

Please check the course outline.

Thesis Courses 4A03, 4B09, 4C12 And 4D15

LIFESCI 4B09: 4.5 units per term; LIFESCI 4C12: 6 units per term, LIFESCI 4D15: 7.5 units per term

You should expect to spend approximately 20 hours per week on preparation and research in LIFESCI 4B09 and approximately 25 hours per week on preparation and research in LIFESCI 4C12 and approximately 30 hours per week on preparation and research in LIFESCI 4D15.

While it is recommended you complete LIFESCI 3RP3 prior to a thesis course, it is not a prerequisite for any LIFESCI thesis courses.

Placement Courses 3EP3 And 4EP6

At the beginning of term, you will likely complete your placement hours within the term. We recommend you space your hours ideally 5 per week.

No. SCIENCE 2C00 is not a prerequisite for any LIFESCI placement course.

Please check the course outline.


It is up to the student to find their own supervisor that aligns with their own personal interests. We suggest doing research on your topic and/or placement of interest. Explore why you feel this is well suited to your academic and career goals, and then contact potential supervisors accordingly.

Yes, if the project is collaborative. However, please indicate the primary supervisor in your application, who will be the point of contact for the School and responsible for grading.

Only for LIFESCI 3EP3/4EP6. For research/thesis courses (3RP3, 4A03, 4B09, 4C12), supervisors must be faculty members at McMaster University or affiliated with McMaster University.

Yes, so long as they are also affiliated with McMaster University.


Applications are found on the SIS website under Work-Integrated and Research-Based Learning, respectively.

30 days before the start of term you will be enrolled in the course.

Please review our application portal located on either the Research Based Learning page or the Work-Integrated Learning page.

Applications are reviewed after the deadline, 2 to 3 weeks before the start of term. It is important to submit your completed application in advance to ensure your enrollment in the course. Signatures of your supervisor are required in the application. If the application is missing any information, it will not be reviewed and will cause delay in enrollment and approval. Once your completed application is reviewed you will receive an email confirming approval for the course.

Please ensure your supervisor has checked all of the information you submitted and signed the form prior to submitting the application for review. This can be done in person or over email.

This is not necessary, if your application does not meet the criteria for your preferred course, we will recommend a more suitable one based on your original application.

Course Enrollment

After submitting your electronic application 30 days before the start of term (the term you will be taking the course) and after your application has been approved, you will receive an email from, notifying you that permission has been loaded for you on Mosaic and you can then enroll.

After receiving email notification of your approval from, please enroll like any other course. All emails are sent to McMaster University email address’ only.

Have you submitted and received approval on your electronic application? If no, refer to question “How do I enroll in a placement/thesis?”. If yes, you may have a course conflict or level issue. Please email