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Arts & Science Program

The McMaster Discovery Program

The McMaster Discovery Program (MDP) is a free, non-credit university course for adults in the Hamilton area who want to experience university in a supportive and welcoming learning community. The program aims to create opportunities for local residents who have faced barriers to accessing post-secondary education to take part in a process of learning and discovery in the liberal arts tradition, to inspire a passion for lifelong learning, and to foster engagement and mutual learning between McMaster University and the communities it aspires to serve.

Applications for the Fall 2024 session are now open!

Please see the ‘How to Apply’ tab below for more information and/or to submit your application.

If you have any questions, please contact Sarah Bennett, Discovery Program Coordinator, at or (905) 525-9140 ext. 24066

We hope to see you this Fall!

Expandable List

This year’s course offering is called “Home, Movement, and Migration” and will be taught by Dr. Mirna Carranza from McMaster’s School of Social Work.

The course will aim to explore various factors impacting migration as well as various paths to integration and the making of one’s ‘home’. It will allow participants to explore questions such as, “what does it mean to be home, or to be away from home?”, and “how do immigrant and refugee communities navigate migration, construct transnational identities, and experience life in their new communities while building and recreating home for themselves and their families?”

The course will feature 11 in-person sessions held on Saturdays between September and November on campus at McMaster. Each session will run from 10:30am-2:15pm, including a break for a shared lunch (with lunch provided).

Classes have been scheduled for the following Saturdays: September 7, 14, 21, 28, October 5, 19, 26, November 2, 9, 16, 23 (No class on October 12)

This course has been designed to encompass both in-class lectures and small discussions. In addition to participating in the class meetings, students will be encouraged to complete weekly readings as well as small assignments and a larger project.

Students are encouraged to attend as many sessions as they are able. If the student can attend a minimum of 9 sessions, they will receive a certificate recognizing their participation in the program. A graduation ceremony will take place in late November where the certificates will be presented.

To support students with their learning, course materials, lunch, volunteer childcare, and transportation will all be happily provided!

Course Materials – each student will receive all required materials, including all readings and supplies, as well as access to McMaster’s library.

Lunch & Snacks – lunch, snacks, coffee, and tea will be provided every class and help build community.

Volunteer Childcare – if required, on-site volunteer childcare is available for students.

*Volunteer childcare is only available for children over the age of 4 years and for up to a maximum of 5 children total (pending final approvals).

Transportation – transportation will be provided in the form of HSR bus tickets or on-site parking passes.

*Please note that transportation support is limited to students who are located in the Hamilton area and utilize the HSR bus system. If you live outside the Hamilton area or require a different method of transportation to attend the program, please contact the Program Coordinator.

Applications for the Fall 2024 session are now open!

We are actively recruiting community members who love to learn but have experienced social, financial, attitudinal, or other barriers to access. If this program sounds interesting to you and you wish to apply, please complete and submit an application form.

Please note that the purpose of this application form is to gather more information about applicants. Eligibility for the McMaster Discovery Program is not based on the answers provided as we are not assessing or evaluating applicants’ responses.

The first 25 applicants to apply will be contacted by the Discovery Program Coordinator to schedule a conversation to ensure that this program is a good fit for you! This will also provide applicants with the opportunity to learn more about the program and ask questions.

Sarah Bennett, McMaster Discovery Program Coordinator


Phone: (905) 525-9140 ext. 24066

Student Testimonials

“The Discovery Program is McMaster’s hidden gem, living proof that education, knowledge, re-inventing yourself have no boundaries. I savoured every moment of being part of this journey.”

MDP Graduate 2023


“Exceeds all expectations, life changing each and every week”

MDP Graduate 2023


“I really enjoyed the time spending in this course, learning about new and different topics and making new friendships and meeting people who have shared the same life experiences in Canada”

MDP Graduate 2023


“Never feel like you’re too old to go back to school; you won’t be disappointed with Discovery”

MDP Graduate 2019


“The Discovery Program has changed my life for the better”

MDP Graduate 2019


“Come and enjoy the experience of the McMaster Discovery Program. I loved every minute of it, and it was fun to learn from both instructors and other students.”

MDP Graduate 2019

Information Box Group

About the Discovery Program Learn More

Learn more about the Program’s history and vision.

Discovery Program Courses (2011-23) View List

See a listing of the MDP annual course offering.

MDP in the News Read More

Read about what others have had to say about the Discovery Program.

McMaster Discovery Program
Fall 2019 Graduation

Congratulations to the Fall 2019 graduating class of the McMaster Discovery Program.

McMaster Discovery Program

A quick introduction to the McMaster Discovery Program, a free, university-level, non-credit course for adults in Hamilton who have experienced barriers accessing post-secondary education.