McMaster University, Civil Engineering Department

McMaster Fast Facts

Convocation Hall

Our Mission

  • At McMaster, our purpose is the discovery, communication and preservation of knowledge.
  • In our teaching, research and scholarship, we are committed to creativity, innovation and excellence.
  • We value integrity, quality, inclusiveness and teamwork in everything we do.
  • We inspire critical thinking, personal growth and a passion for lifelong learning.
  • We serve the social, cultural and economic needs of our community and our society.


Our History

  • Founded in 1887 in Toronto through a bequest from the estate of Senator William McMaster, a member of the first senate after Confederation and founding president of the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce.
  • Maroon and grey were adopted as the official colours in 1912.
  • Relocated from Toronto to Hamilton in 1930.


Our Strengths

  • A research-intensive, student-centred university dedicated to advancing human and societal health and well-being.
  • Ranked in the world's Top 75 by the Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings.
  • Second in the world in Times Higher Education's University Impact Rankings 2019 based on the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations.
  • The winner of the 2018 Global Teaching Excellence Award from the Higher Education Academy for our strengths in experiential learning and our commitment to global engagement.
  • Named Canada's most research-intensive university by Research Infosource in 2017, 2018 and 2019.
  • The McMaster Model, a problem-based, student-centred approach to learning, has been adopted worldwide.
  • Home to more than 70 research centres and institutes.
  • More than 70 international exchange agreements.
  • The only university in Canada to serve as host to the United Nations University through the Institute for Water, Environment and Health (UNU-INWEH).
  • World-class athletic facilities; National women's basketball champions (2019); national football champions (2011) and finalists (2012/2014).


Our Students

  • 28,290 undergraduates and 4,857 graduate students, for a total student population of 33,147.
  • In fall 2018, 13.3 per cent of all McMaster students were international, up 2 per cent from last year, from 120 countries.
  • International graduate students represented more than 27 per cent of the graduate student body in fall 2018.
  • The percentage of undergraduates registering with an admission average of 90 per cent and above has risen from 13.5 per cent in 2000 to 44.7 per cent in 2018.


Our Alumni

  • More than 195,000 alumni represent 162 countries as well as Canada.
  • Cabinet ministers, business leaders, scientists, university presidents, Hollywood actors, Olympians, astronauts.
  • Nobel laureates:
  • Bertram Brockhouse, professor of physics at McMaster from 1962 until his retirement in 1982, co-winner of the 1994 Nobel Prize in Physics;
  • Myron Scholes, McMaster alumnus, co-winner of the 1997 Nobel Prize in Economics;
  • James Orbinski, McMaster alumnus, then international president of Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF), accepted the 1999 Nobel Peace Prize on behalf of MSF;
  • Donna Strickland, McMaster alumna, co-winner of the 2018 Nobel Prize in Physics.


Our Faculty

  • 1,011 full-time instructional faculty members (excluding clinical educators).
  • Outpacing peers in research-intensity, averaging $439,500 per faculty member -- more than double the national average. ("Research intensity" measures research income per full-time faculty member.)
  • 114 endowed chairs, 70 Canada Research Chairs, 14 endowed professorships, six Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council Industrial Research Chairs, two Canadian Institutes of Health Research Chairs, two Ontario Research Chairs, and one Canada 150 Research Chair.


Our Staff


Our Surroundings

  • 300 acres of scenic property.
  • 30-acre central core designated for pedestrians and bicyclists.
  • The McMaster Forest: 115 acres of natural lands in the Dundas Valley.
  • Explore the natural beauty in McMaster's own backyard at Nature@McMaster.


Our Location

  • Hamilton, Ontario: The Waterfall Capital of Canada.
  • Close proximity to Toronto and Niagara Falls.
  • Flourishing local arts community.
  • Regional campuses in Burlington, Kitchener-Waterloo, Niagara and downtown Hamilton.