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Academic Courses and Learning Opportunities 

There are several learning opportunities available to older adults at McMaster.​


Enroll in degree studies

If you are 65 years of age or over, subject to meeting admissions and prerequisite requirements, you may enrol in courses for credit without payment of tuition and supplementary fees. The required full-time application fee must be paid and must accompany the appropriate application to the Ontario Universities’ Application Centre.

Click here to enroll in degree studies.

Enroll as a listener or auditor

If you are interested in taking university courses at McMaster, but not for credit, you can register as a listener. A listener attends all classes, but does not complete assignments or tests – no grade is assigned or credit earned.

More information is available at the Office of the Registrar.

Enroll in McMaster Learning for 55+

McMaster Learning for 55+ is now offering older adults online classes. If you or someone you know is an older adult looking for interesting learning opportunities, then check out McMaster Continuing Education's new course line-up geared to this age group.

Class topics include:

  • arts and literature
  • science and technology
  • health and wellness
  • business and innovation

Click here to learn more about this season's classes.

Enroll in Continuing Education

McMaster Continuing Education (MCE) offers academic certificates and diplomas as well as professional development opportunities on a broad range of engaging topics.

A full list of courses and programs is available on the McMaster Continuing Education website

There is a cost for most of the learning opportunities offered by MCE. However, the Caregiving Essentials microcredential program is offered for free. Les soins essentiels is also free for French-speaking caregivers.

Enroll in a Hamilton Community Program

There are also a number of learning opportunities in the Hamilton community.

  • The City of Hamilton offers a number of resources and programming options for older adults including recreation centre programming, seniors clubs, and community supports.
  • Hamilton Third Age Learning is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to providing opportunities within the City of Hamilton for lifelong learning by its retired and semi-retired citizens. It offers programs that allow participants to listen to and engage in discussions with a variety of well-informed speakers on subjects of interest.

Other On-Campus Opportunities

McMaster offers on-campus opportunities for older adults.

  • McMaster PACE (Physical Activity Centre of Excellence) offers community exercise and wellness programs for individuals over 55, with specialised programs for individuals with heart disease, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injury, or who are cancer survivors.
  • Participate in Research Studies: Researchers at McMaster occasionally recruit members of the public to participate in research studies. These opportunities are a great opportunity to contribute to cutting-edge research and learn more about the work that researchers are doing at McMaster. Opportunities are posted in the newspaper, online and on community bulletin boards, as well as in other venues.

Want to Learn More?

There are a number of resources available through McMaster for anyone who may be interested in learning more about aging and working with older adults, without enrolling in a full class. Here are some of the options available:

  • The McMaster Institute for Research on Aging brings together researchers from all Faculties of McMaster to collaborate on finding answers to some of the questions in the field of aging and create useable, practical, older adults-centred solutions. The Institute holds events throughout the year that provide the interested public with opportunities to learn about how cutting edge research can contribute to helping older adults live healthier lives. You can stay up-to-date on news and events on their website. 
  • The Gilbrea Centre offers seminars and workshops on improving the lives of older adults. A full listing can be found on their website.
  • Take a free course, “Working with Older Adults,” on the MacHealth portal.
  • Read about evidence-based answers to questions commonly asked by older adults on the McMaster Optimal Aging Portal.
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