DeGroote School of Business


We’ve put together a list of questions students often ask — along with the answers — on this page.

Frequently Asked Questions

New Students

For the latest COVID-19 news and updates, please visit (and bookmark) the McMaster COVID-19 website.

The Graduate Studies COVID-19 page also provides answers to some of the frequently asked questions regarding academic services, campus services, completing your degree, and travelling under the current COVID19 situation.

Please remember that as a PhD student, you will need to build your network and connect with other researchers. A strong online presence including a well-developed profile on the DeGroote site will help foster your legitimacy as a researcher and academic. You can send your research efforts, professional activities/experience and headshot to

If you are a newly admitted student, you’ll need to upload a passport type photo (head shot) in the Mosaic Student Center > Personal Information > Demographics.

More information for students can be found here: Student Card Instructions

We require a non-refundable deposit of $500 CAN. If you accepted our offer of admission, you are required to pay the deposit in the month of June (prior to registration in July). When you pay this deposit, you secure your position in our program and the value of the deposit will be deducted from your tuition once you begin in September.

Instructions for making payments can be found here: McMaster Payment Methods

The PhD Program in Business Administration offers seven fields of study. Admission targets for each field are set at the beginning of each cycle. Students can only apply to one field of study and must indicate their chosen specialization on their application.

Students are required to attend the program full-time in six of the fields. Part-time applications are accepted for the Health Management field.

The program has a two-stage application process:

  • Preliminary application form
  • Formal application package

To apply, first read the application requirements. Then follow the instructions on the application procedures page. If you have any questions during the process, please email

We require all applicants to provide a valid GMAT or GRE test score at the time of application. The PhD Program in Business attracts candidates from a wide variety of academic and employment backgrounds and this is the only common thread that we have to evaluate one candidate against another.

A GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test) score of at least 600 is required.

A comparable GRE (Graduate Records Exam) score is also acceptable with a minimum 80% below required in the quantitative score. Please see our preliminary application form for more information.

GMAT and GRE test scores are valid for five years.

If your native language is not English you must provide a TOEFL or IELTS score with your application.

You are exempt from this requirement if you have completed a university degree at an institution where English was the language of instruction. For universities outside of North America, a letter from your university confirming the language of instruction should be included with your transcript.

We only require unofficial test results for your preliminary application. If you were to receive an offer of admission, then your offer would be conditional upon us receiving official test scores.

TOEFL and IELTS scores are valid for two years.

Two references are required at the formal application stage. Ideally, they will be two academic references that can speak to your research capabilities. However, having one professional reference and one academic reference is also acceptable.

You will add your referees’ information directly to the application portal and an automated email will be sent directly from SLATE to your referees. Our preference is that the email provided comes from an institution-based address (e.g. “”) rather than a personal address (e.g. “;”, etc.). They will be prompted to complete a confidential reference report online through the eReference tool provided in SLATE. Applicants are able to send email reminders to their referees directly through SLATE.

Your McMaster email address should be available for activation after registration. Please consult the University Technology Services (UTS) website for more information. You will be expected to use your McMaster email address for all correspondence with the PhD Program Office as well as DeGroote faculty and staff once activated.

No, there is no specific format required. However, we ask that you include:

  • A very specific topic within your chosen specialization that you wish to research
  • Any past research experience (including publication history)
  • Future career goals
  • Your reasons for choosing the DeGroote School of Business (and list up to three supervisor names who would be a good match for your work).

Please keep in mind that there is a 4,000 character limit for each question; however, you will be able to attach a PDF version of supporting documents later on in the application. We recommend that you create your statement in a separate document and copy and paste it into the space provided OR indicate “Please see attached” and ensure that the attachment has responses to each individual question.

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