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yeticrab

Mcmaster's Three Campuses - What Are They Like?

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I've never lived in Ontario and have virtually no knowledge of McMaster University or the surrounding area. On the very slim chance I do get the option to rank my campus choices, how would you describe each campus, and the pluses and minuses? My current city has a population around 300,000 but I have lived in smaller towns as well (~30,000). Thanks for any info!

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I only know the Hamilton campus and i've only been here a few weeks but generally the way I see it is. 

 

Hamilton is a city of about 700,000 people, McMaster is not located in the downtown, it is about a 10-15 minute bus ride from downtown. Hamilton has the biggest hospitals in the area which is generally considered a plus particularly if you want research. Lectures are broadcast to the regional campuses but conducted in Hamilton. 

 

Overall I would say the pros of Hamilton campus:

 

Larger class size - more of the people you meet in 1st semester or MF1 are going to be from your campus

Research hospitals - if you are interested in research or very specialized specialties, they will mainly be in Hamilton

Stay in the same place for 3 years - You don't have to move after MF1 like regionals do

Interest groups - interest groups tend to hold meetings in Hamilton although the larger ones do have campus reps

Lectures - lectures in person may be a bit more personal and traditional if you are there in person (yes you can microphone in to ask questions from the regional campuses) 

 

cons of Hamilton campus:

 

Class not as tight knit - the larger class size means you probably won't get to know everyone and there isn't as much binding Hamilton's together (most regionals are going to be in the same tutorial or pro-comp group with most of their classmates at some point in pre-clerkship)

No perks - Regionals can get perks like helicopter rides (Niagara campus) 

Polls - Polls of the classes after 2 and 3 years show that regionals are just as happy or happier than hamilton campus students and most students do not regret going to a regional campus

City of Hamilton - Hamilton can be a rough place to be in, some people don't like it as much and others just prefer smaller cities 

 

I've only been here for a few weeks so there are likely other pros and cons i've missed that someone else might be able to chime in on. I also don't have the regional experience so I can't comment. 

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I'm not a mac student, but I have lived or gone to school in KW for the past 8 years so I can speak to the city in terms of what matters to me. The Waterloo campus (actually in Kitchener) is right by UW's Pharmacy school, so I imagine there are some interprofessional opportunities. It is just on the edge of downtown Kitchener and kitty-corner from the Kaufman Lofts, where a fair number of Pharm/Med students live because of how close it is and the fact that these lofts are quite nice. It's also across the street from the Tannery, a building that houses a number of tech-startups including Google, though they're moving into a larger space close by, and Balzac's coffee. Both malls are far from the campus, and you're removed from the main UW campus so it's not your typical "university experience" I imagine. Whether it's a good, bad, or neutral thing to be separated from the undergrads is a matter of perspective! 

 

KW overall definitely doesn't have as much going on as some larger cities, but there are more local events than you might expect if you look for them. It's definitely a city that is easier to get around in a car, and parking is free almost everywhere. You'll probably need one to get to clinical rotations later anyways? I'm guessing on that point. If you want to get around without a car, the campus is right on a few of the main bus routes. You also have the Kitchener Farmer's Market not far away! Most people are more likely to know about the St. Jacob's Farmer's Market, which I do prefer in the summer because it has much more outdoor space, but the Kitchener one is the better one in the winter. 

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