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Arts & Science Program


Expandable List

The Bain-Peart Award

Established in 2018 by the Estate of Helen Jean Bain.

Requirements: To be awarded to students entering Level 2 of an Arts & Science Program who have demonstrated outstanding academic achievement and who, in the judgement of the Program, have made a significant contribution to the program. The award is tenable for up to 3 years provided the student remains enrolled full-time and achieves a Fall-Winter Average of 9.5.

Typically Available: 1 x $2,000

The Arts & Science Program Book Award

Established in 1995.

Requirements: To be awarded from time to time to an Arts and Science student who, in the judgment of the Arts and Science Program Awards Committee, has demonstrated outstanding academic achievement in both arts and science.

Typically Available: 1 x $75

The Class of 1953 50th Anniversary Scholarship

Established by the Class of 1953 in honour of its 50th reunion.

Requirements: A variable number of scholarships to be awarded to students in Level II and above in a program in Arts and Science who, in the judgment of the Arts and Science Program, have attained high academic standing and demonstrated community involvement.

Typically Available: 2 x $1,500

The Barbara Francis Scholarship

Established in 1985 by Laura Dodson (Class of ‘56) in memory of her sister.

Requirements: To be awarded to the student who has completed Level I and at least an additional 30 units of an Arts and Science program and who has demonstrated outstanding achievement in both arts and science.

Typically Available: 1 x $400

The George P. Gilmour Memorial Scholarship

Established in 1987 by the Graduating Class of 1962 in honour of Dr. G.P. Gilmour (Class of ‘21), Chancellor of McMaster University from 1941 to 1950 and President and Vice-Chancellor from 1950 to 1961.

Requirements: To be awarded to a student who has completed Level I and an additional 60 – 75 units of an Honours program in the Arts and Science Program and who, in the judgment of the Arts and Science Program Admissions, Awards, and Review Committee, has demonstrated outstanding academic achievement and has made notable contribution to the campus or community by participation in extracurricular activities.

Typically Available: 1 x $325

The recipient of this award is eligible to receive the corresponding bursary if financial need is demonstrated.

The Herbert M. Jenkins Prize

Established in 1990 as a tribute to Dr. Herbert M. Jenkins, first Director of the Arts and Science Program, by his many friends, colleagues and students on the occasion of his retirement from McMaster University.

Requirements: To be awarded to a student in an Arts and Science program whose work, in the judgment of the Arts and Science Program Awards and Review Committee, best reflects scholarship and the spirit of inquiry.

Typically Available: 1 x $150

The Charon Burke McCain Memorial Scholarship

Established in 2004 in memory of Charon Burke McCain by family, friends, colleagues and students.

Requirements: To be awarded to an Honours Arts and Science student who has completed Level III and who, in the judgment of the Arts and Science Program, has demonstrated exceptional qualities of leadership and service at McMaster University or in the community, as well as notable academic achievement.

Typically Available: 1 x $500

The Arts & Science Essay Prizes

Up to two prizes for outstanding essays written for courses in Arts & Science may be awarded each year: one for essays written in Levels I and II courses and one for essays written in Levels III and IV courses.

Value: $75 each
Deadline: 30 April annually
Applications Requirements: Students do not apply for this award; submissions will be accepted from Arts & Science instructors only.

Instructors in all Arts & Science courses are invited to submit, with the student’s permission, a clean PDF copy of the most outstanding essay in their course.  Please submit to the Awards Committee, c/o Shelley Anderson or Madeline Van Impe, by 30 April annually.

McCall MacBain International Fellowships

The McCall MacBain International Fellowships aim to enable globally-minded young Canadians to develop strong intercultural competencies and ties to different regions of the world, and to cultivate creativity, resilience, independence, critical thinking, and the ability to “stretch” outside their comfort zones. Fellows spend a year abroad divided into three terms: language, academic, and work/internship. Questions? Contact McMaster’s office of International Student Services.

Three Arts & Science students have been awarded year-long McCall MacBain International Fellowships for 2020-21 — Parnika Godkhindi, Zia Mawani, and Sneha Wadwhani (locations TBD). Miruna Dragomir was also awarded a one-term McCall MacBain grant for 2020-21.

Three Arts & Science students — Faris Mecklai (Uruguay), Kartik Sharma (Argentina), and Tasneem Warwani (Lebanon) — studied abroad on year-long McCall MacBain International Fellowships in 2019-20. Read about them here and read about their experiences on our Life on Exchange blog. Maanvi Dhillon, Rhea Murti, and Tracey Yu were also awarded one-term McCall MacBain grants in 2019-20.

Value: $23,500

The Class of ’37 Travel Scholarship in Arts and Science

Established in 1989 by the Graduating Class of 1937 in celebration of their 50th anniversary and augmented by friends of the Arts and Science Program. To be awarded to a student who has completed Level I and an additional 30 – 72 units of an Honours program in the Arts and Science Program. Applicants should have demonstrated a lively interest in developing countries. The purpose of this award is to enable the winner to spend the summer, immediately following its receipt, working and/or studying in a developing country.

Value: $1,300

The John P. Evans Travel Scholarship

Established in 1991 by many friends, colleagues, students and graduates of McMaster University as a tribute to John (Jack) P. Evans upon his retirement as Associate Vice-President, University Services and Secretary of the Board of Governors in recognition of his 25 years of outstanding contribution to the University Community. To be awarded to a student who has completed at least 30 units beyond Level I of an Honours program with notable academic standing and has demonstrated a scholarly interest in some aspect of Asian languages, history or cultures, with preference being given to a student wishing to study in China.

Value: $1,500

The Jimmy Fong International Outreach Travel Award in Engineering

Established in 2006 by Jimmy Fong, B.Eng.Mgt. (Class of ’82). To be awarded to a student who, in the judgment of a selection committee, demonstrates high academic achievement, and is pursuing an international relief and development project under the auspices of Engineers Without Borders in an underdeveloped, disadvantaged area outside of North America. Preference to be given to a student in the Faculty of Engineering and/or a project in China.

Value: $2,500

The Susan Vajoczki Legacy Travel Scholarship

Established in 2013 by the family, friends and colleagues in memory of Susan Vajoczki, Professor of Geography and Earth Sciences, and Director of the Centre for Leadership and Learning. To be awarded to a student who has completed at least Level II in any program in the Faculty of Science, Faculty of Social Sciences, or the Arts and Science Program and who, in the judgement of the School of Geography & Earth Sciences has achieved notable academic standing, and is pursuing research in the fields of pedagogy (teaching and learning) or Earth Sciences who could benefit from travel.

Value: $1,000

The Howard P. Whidden Scholarship

Established in 1941 by the Honourable Jacob Nicol (Class of ’00) of Sherbrooke, Quebec, in honour of Chancellor Howard P. Whidden, with a view to fostering relations of friendship and understanding between French-speaking and English-speaking Canadians. To be awarded to a student who has completed six units of French and who shows ability and promise in the use of the French language. The recipient will study at a Quebec university during the summer.

Value: $1,500

The T. Russell Wilkins Memorial Scholarship

Established in 1963 by bequest of Mrs. T. Russell Wilkins (B.A. ’18 Brandon, M.A. ’32), daughter of former Chancellor Howard P. Whidden, in memory of her husband, Dr. T. Russell Wilkins (Class of ’11). Two scholarships to be awarded to students in their penultimate level of an Honours program in Arts and Science, Health Sciences or Science who have demonstrated outstanding academic achievement. In addition, the students should demonstrate a lively interest in the humanities and in the human and social implications of scientific developments. The purpose of the scholarship is to enable the winners to spend the summer before the final Fall/Winter session in travel and study outside Canada.

Value: $4,600 each

The Beale-Lincoln-Hall Exchange Scholarship

Established in 1996 by Arnold A. Beale in memory of his parents F. Arnold Beale and Margaret S. Beale and Mr. and Mrs. Walter Gould Lincoln and Commander Harley H. Hall, U.S.N. To be awarded to students who demonstrate high academic standing and are participating in one of McMaster’s formal exchange programs. Preference will be given to students enrolled in a program in Biochemistry, Biology, Chemistry, Commerce, Cultural Studies and Critical Theory, Earth and Environmental Sciences, Engineering Physics, English, French, Geography, History, Materials Science, Mathematics, Modern Languages, Physics or Religious Studies and who demonstrate a lively interest in the humanities and the human and social implications of scientific developments.

Value: $2,000

The Rundle Foreign Study Scholarship

Established in 2011 by the Rundle Foreign Study Bursary at Hamilton Community Foundation. To be awarded to a student who has completed at least 30 units beyond Level I and who, in the judgment of the Selection Committee, has attained notable academic achievement. The purpose of the scholarship is to provide financial assistance to students who are participating in one of McMaster’s formal exchange programs in a country where English is not the first language and who have graduated from a publicly funded secondary school in the Hamilton-Wentworth area.

Value: $2,500

Killam Fellowships Program (Presented by Fullbright Canada)

The Killam Fellowships Program provides an opportunity for students from Canadian institutions to spend either one term or a full year studying at a host school in the United States while still paying their home tuition and fees to McMaster. Killam Fellows participate in an Orientation program in Ottawa in the fall and again in a seminar in Washington D.C. in the spring (all costs are covered for both trips).

Value: $5000 US per semester, plus health insurance allowance


  • Canadian citizenship
  • Full-time undergraduate student in good standing
  • Requirements for exchange met
  • Fluency in English (or French where applicable)
  • Please visit the information page for Killam Fellowships here.

2013-14 Arts & Science Recipient: Robert Godfrey (for study at the University of Washington)
2011-12 Arts & Science Recipient: Amy Tang (for study at Smith College)
2008-09 Arts & Science Recipient: Barry Dewitt (for study at the University of Washington)

Sarun and AndrewEstablished in 2012 by Drs. Jolie Ringash and Glen Bandiera. The award, with its emphasis on experiential learning, is intended to create transformative opportunities for students from all Faculties and programs, from undergraduate to graduate and professional. The recipient of the award shall be an individual who wishes to engage in a 4-12 month, self-directed, enrichment experience outside his/her chosen program of study, and who wishes to explore a project of personal significance that will amplify the recipient’s University experience while engaging in experiential learning at home or abroad.

Value: $25,000


Level II Arts & Science students Sarun Balaranjan and Andrew Dissanayake have received the 2020 Drs. Jolie Ringash and Glen Bandiera Renaissance Award. Their project will explore intergenerational post-civil war narratives in Sri Lanka and the Sri Lankan-Canadian diaspora.

This marks the eighth consecutive year that Artsci students have won a Renaissance Award.


Level IV Arts & Science student Avery McNair has received the 2019 Drs. Jolie Ringash and Glen Bandiera Renaissance Award. Collaborating with Megan Watson, a fourth-year Biochemistry student, Avery will be using this opportunity to explore sustainable and agroecological farming across Canada. The duo is pursuing the project because they view sustainable farming in Canada as directly linked to a positive future for food sourcing, climate change, biodiversity retention, Indigenous food sovereignty, and economic efficiency. From May to August, Avery and Megan will be traveling across Canada to interact with Canadian farmers and explore the current ways in which they employ agroecological practices. Upon their return, they will be turning their sure-to-be-remarkable experience into a shareable film designed to inspire people to become more acquainted with their own food systems. This marks the seventh consecutive year that an Artsci student has won a Renaissance Award.

The Renaissance Award: A Summer on Sustainable Farms
From McMaster Daily News, 18 September 2019


For the sixth consecutive year, Arts & Science students have received the honour of the Drs. Jolie Ringash and Glen Bandiera Renaissance Award. Two of this year’s recipients are fourth-year Arts & Science students Emily Siskos and Alexia Olaizola.

For their project, Alexia and Emily will study Indigenous visual arts as means of cultural reclamation and resistance in Canada. With guidance from their supervisors, Carol Podedworny and Dr. Rick Monture, Emily and Alexia have planned a trip that will span from May-August 2018 to study art from Indigenous communities in Eastern, Central, and Western Canada. They want to learn how to become better allies to Indigenous communities in Canada. They are excited to view Indigenous art and learn from artists, curators, and community members. Over the four months, Alexia and Emily will produce sketches and photographs of their journey and compile them into a mixed media piece at the end of the four months.

Exploring How to Be Indigenous Allies Through Art, Thanks to a Renaissance Award
From McMaster Daily News, 9 August 2018


Arts & Science student Tai Jacob received the 2017 Drs. Jolie Ringash and Glen Bandiera Renaissance Award. Tai produced a podcast, titled “Gender Blender,” focused on the experiences of those going through gender transition based on interviews in trans communities in Toronto, Montreal, New York, and Chicago.


Arts & Science students Sutina Chou and Korryn Garvey received the 2016 Drs. Jolie Ringash and Glen Bandiera Renaissance Award. The projects of both students include coast-to-coast trips to investigate Canadian identity: Sutina’s explores the relationship between Canadian literature and Canadian identity, while Korryn’s focuses on the role of architecture in defining what it means to be Canadian.


Arts & Science students Rachel Brain and Maia Stevenson received the 2015 Drs. Jolie Ringash and Glen Bandiera Renaissance Award. Their project, Getting to the “Roots” of a Sustainable Food Supply, focuses on the development of sustainable communities in relation to food supply. The students’ project encompassed travel to British Columbia, Oregon, and California to volunteer with organic farms as well as participation in a 100-Mile Diet exercise in Northern Ontario. Visit the report and photojournal of their project here:

Renaissance Award Winners to Study Japanese Longevity, 100-mile Diet
From McMaster Daily News, 4 March 2015


Arts & Science students Anthony D’Ambrosio and Andrew Case received the 2014 Drs. Jolie Ringash and Glen Bandiera Renaissance Award. They embarked on an expedition along Newfoundland’s East Coast Trail.

Students Give Radio Update on ‘the Best Summer Job Ever’
From McMaster Daily News, 10 July 2014

Andrew Case and Anthony D’Ambrosio, both students in the Arts & Science Program, stopped by a CBC studio in Newfoundland to talk about life on the trail. Read more…

Renaissance Award Helps Three Students Explore Two Very Different Coasts
From McMaster Daily News, 21 March 2014

One special award is helping two sets of students pursue very different projects this summer. Read more…


Renaissance Award Winners

Arts & Science students Jackie Brown and Ros Pfaff received the 2013 Drs. Jolie Ringash and Glen Bandiera Renaissance Award. On 7 Oct. 2013, at Hamilton’s Pearl Company, they presented a documentary about their experiences. Click here to view the event poster.

Click here to view their documentary, “Making Space: Strengthening Communities through Creativity”

Off the Well Travelled Path
From The Hamilton Spectator, 23 September 2013

When Glen Bandiera and Jolie Ringash were in medical school, they didn’t have a chance to travel, to broaden their horizons. Now the husband and wife team is hoping a unique new award will provide McMaster students with opportunities they never had.

“When you’ve been part of a country and a community and an academic culture for a number of years, it can be hard to realize that it’s not the only way to see the world,” says Bandiera, a McMaster grad and emergency room doctor at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto. “We hope this will encourage learners to see the world in a different way. It’s something we think personally we would have benefitted from.”

Worth up to $25,000, the Renaissance Award aims to improve educational experiences for students by giving them the means to travel or take part in a course that’s productive, creative and challenging. The only catch is that it can’t be related to their course of study.

“The key criteria for us is that it has to be completely different than something they’ve been doing up until now and it has to be something that’s not built into their current program,” said Bandiera. Students from all faculties are eligible for the prize, which will be handed out in early spring. The deadline for proposals is 15 Oct. 2012.

Siobhan Stewart, president of the McMaster Students Union, applauded the award and said more bursaries like this need to be established to break down the financial barriers that prevent many students from enhancing their learning. “I’ve had a lot of experiences that have really enriched my time in university because I had the opportunity to go,” she said. “I wouldn’t have been able to do it without money.”

History grad Jon Fairclough wasn’t so lucky. He opted to work abroad and travel during his summer breaks, but it left him with a mound of debt. “I probably still owe between $5,000 and $6,000,” said the 24-year-old, who now lives and works in London, England. “This would’ve helped. It would have gone a great distance to help pay for flights and accommodation and take the burden of debt off of me.”

Jean Wilson, director of Mac’s interdisciplinary arts and science program, lauded the award, saying the university wants to encourage this approach to learning. “It’s just a great opportunity for students to step off the beaten path and take a bit of a detour, which can give them perspective,” she said. “It allows them to look at their education, their learning and their direction through new eyes.”

Inaugural Renaissance Awards Take Winners to New Experiences Around the World
From McMaster Daily News, 15 February 2013

“Here’s something you don’t hear about every day: a university award designed to help students broaden their education by not going to school. The newly established Drs. Jolie Ringash and Glen Bandiera Renaissance Award provides up to $25,000 annually for students to take time from their fields of study to pursue knowledge in other areas.” Read more.

The Queen Elizabeth Scholarship program in Strengthening Health and Social Systems is a dynamic international community of young global leaders who are creating lasting impacts on health and social systems both at home and abroad through cross-cultural exchanges encompassing international education, discovery and inquiry, and professional experiences. The McMaster Health Forum is honoured to be a recipient of one of 20 Canadian Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Scholarship programs. For more information, please visit the McMaster Health Forum.

Value: $6,000


Parnika Godkhindi (Level III) and Lynaea Korol-Filby (Level IV) have received Queen Elizabeth Scholarships for Summer 2020. Parnika will travel to Malaysia to intern with the Institute of Health Systems Research. Lynaea will travel to Sydney, Australia to work with the New South Wales Ministry of Health.

Note: Parnika and Lynaea’s travel plans are subject to change in light of COVID-19 developments.


Level III Arts & Science student Kartik Sharma received a Queen Elizabeth Scholarship and travelled to South Africa. He split time between the Africa Centre for Evidence and the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation.