FAQ

When are students expected to begin the programme?

Students are expected to enter the WWB programme in their first year of graduate studies for a Masters degree and their first or second year for a Ph.D. degree.  In exceptional circumstances, students may be admitted other than in their first (or second for a Ph.D.) year of enrollment in a parent program at McMaster.

How are applications evaluated?

Once the deadline has expired, applications who have met the eligibility requirement will be assessed by the Water Without Borders Programme Committee.  The evaluation will be made in terms of the applicant’s qualifications and interests in relation to the research goals and programme of UNU-INWEH and the ability of faculty to provide co-supervision. Specifically, academic excellence will be based upon strength of their transcripts and references, while overall fit with the mission, vision and research priorities of UNU-INWEH will be based upon the statement of interest.

The Water without Borders Programme Committee will forward recommendations for offers of admission to the Director of UNU-INWEH.  A process of matching the student to a UNU-INWEH research project will then be initiated.  As part of the matching process, applicants may be invited to meet with the potential supervisor, at their discretion, prior to any decision being made. Only when a UNU-INWEH supervisor and a suitable water-related project have been identified will the student be admitted into the collaborative graduate programme.

What are the language requirements?

The medium of instruction for the WWB programme is English. For students whose native language is not English, English proficiency requirements are the same as for entry into a McMaster graduate program.

What type of certificate will students receive?

Upon completion of the Water Without Borders components, students receive the degree from their parent programme at McMaster University with the designation on their transcript and a certificate conferred of ‘Completion of Collaborative Degree Programme with the United Nations University Institute for Water, Environment and Health’, along with the seal of UNU-INWEH, and the signature of the Rector.

How is the student supervised?

Each student in the collaborative programme will have a co-supervisor from each of the participating institutions (i.e., one from McMaster, and one from UNU-INWEH).  This will be undertaken within the overarching rules for supervision in each Department.  It should be noted that in cases where a supervisor is not assigned (e.g. a course-based Masters degree) the McMaster Supervisor is the course instructor overseeing the directed studies unit.

Students will be assigned supervisors for their parent programme based on the procedures of that programme. UNU-INWEH supervisors will be assigned after the student’s acceptance into the programme and based on their research interests and the fit of UNU-INWEH projects.

Are part-time studies available?

The programme is not currently offered on a part-time basis.

Does the programme offer January admission?

Normally, students are admitted to the programme only for September.

When can prospective students apply?

Applications are generally accepted from early January through May. Exact deadlines are updated each year on the applications section of this website.

How many students are admitted to the programme?

Final enrolment numbers will depend upon the quality of applicants and the availability of appropriate supervisors.  Maximum enrolment will be limited to an intake of 10 students per year to ensure an intellectual community for each graduate cohort.

What costs are associated with the programme?

There are no additional tuitions fees associated with the programme. However, students will be required to incur the full cost of travel, accommodation and meals associated with the trip. The total cost of the field trip is $2500 (subject to change), to be paid in instalments prior to the trip.

How long does the programme take to complete?

The three courses are normally completed within the first three terms of registration in the WWB program.  All elements of the WWB program, including the research component must be completed prior to, or no later than, the date of oral defence (for thesis / dissertation) or the program deadline (Course-based or MRP).