Work Program FAQs

Who Can Apply?

In order to qualify, students must apply through the Mosaic Online Aid Application and be entitled to at least $1 of OSAP or demonstrate financial need through the McMaster online aid application need profile.


  • Undergraduate students (international undergraduate students must be Level II or above)
  • Graduate students (excluding international graduate students)
  • Medicine students


  • Undergraduate students, including international students, returning to continue their degree in the following fall/winter terms
  • Medicine students returning to continue their degree in the following fall/winter terms

Are international students eligible to apply for work programs?

Level I, full-time international students may apply via Mosaic for the Summer Work Program. After completing Level I or higher of an undergraduate program of study, international students can apply for both the Fall/Winter Work Program and/or the Summer Work Program. Students are required to complete a budget as part of the online aid application and submit supporting documentation to demonstrate financial need to SFAS, Gilmour Hall, Room 120. Program processes and expectations apply to international students as well.

Where can I go if I need help completing my online aid application?

Instructions on applying for McMaster Aid can be found on the SFAS website. Students with specific questions can email or visit the office during regular office hours.

How long does it take to receive work program approval? Where can I review the status of my application?

Students, with an OSAP entitlement, who meet all program requirements, will receive automatic approval and will find a checklist on their Mosaic Student Center ‘To Do List’. Please allow 30 minutes for processing. The status can also be found  by clicking on ‘View Financial Aid Applications’.

Students who are not eligible to apply for OSAP will be required to submit their need profile and all required supporting documentation. Please allow 2 business days for processing before a decision is posted to your Mosaic Student Center.

Am I guaranteed a job if I am approved for a work program?

A work program approval does not guarantee a job. Students approved to participate in a work program must apply, interview and compete for available positions. NOTE: In most cases, only those candidates selected for an interview will be contacted by employers.

If approved for the work program, is there any obligation to seek employment through the program?

No. A work program approval does not obligate you in any way to participate in the work program. There are no negative effects to your student record or approvals for subsequent work program applications if you are approved and do not seek employment through the program.

When and how do I apply for work program jobs?

Work program jobs are posted on the Mosaic portal (home tab) under Career Opportunities >> Student Work Program. Please review Important Dates including open application and job posting dates. Carefully read job descriptions. Once you have found a job that meets your skill set and interest, follow the application instructions as outlined on the job posting.

Fall/Winter work program jobs are posted beginning Aug. 10
Summer work program jobs are posted beginning March 1

What can I do to help improve my chances of getting a job?

  • Complete your online aid application as soon as applications open in August. Pay particular attention to the ‘Jobs Posted’ dates on our Important Dates webpage as jobs are generally filled quickly.
  • Read the job descriptions carefully to ensure you have the required qualifications and experience.
  • Be sure to include a copy of your work program approval from your Mosaic Student Center with your job application/resume. Applications without work program approval may be considered incomplete by employers.

Do I need a work permit to participate in work programs?

International students with a valid study permit are eligible to participate in McMaster’s work programs.

Where can I get help writing a resume/cover letter? Where can I get helpful information on how to prepare for an interview?

The Student Success Centre is an excellent resource for students; providing guidance on resumes and cover letters. You will also find event information, one-on-one services and tools to help you with your job search.

How much money can I expect to make?

Employers are obligated to pay an hourly wage of at least the Ontario Minimum Wage; however, many employers pay more. Check the job posting for the rate of pay. The Fall/Winter Work Program allows students to work a maximum of 10 hours per week. Summer Work Program jobs may be part- or full-time to a maximum of 40 hours per week.

Can I have more than one work program job?

No. Students can hold only one work program position at a time.


What’s New!


Course load calculator: Not sure about your course load percentage for OSAP? Check out our new guide on how to calculate it! Course load guide (non-Engineering). Engineering course load guide.

Scholarship applications are OPEN: Don’t miss out on this easy money! There are awards for all faculties and programs, all undergrad years and both academic AND community work. Apply in Mosaic by clicking the “Apply for Aid and Awards” tile. Find scholarships under the “Aid By Application” tab. More info on scholarships.  


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