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Academic Placements

Enrich classroom learning through community engagement

Direct experience increases knowledge and develops skills

Academic placements are unpaid community-based experiences that are part of an academic course, linking the theories learned in class to the diverse aspects of the community around you.

Learn about the skills that can be developed through an academic placement experience.

Academic Placements provide you an opportunity to:

  • engage as an active participant in your learning through hands-on experiences;
  • discover insight into and have an impact on the community around you;
  • participate in an interactive and collaborative course experience with community;
  • develop skills under the supervision of someone more experienced; and,
  • build relationships with a new network of contacts and build your resume.
photo of Kelsey Tharmakumar

Kelsey Tharmakumar


"These opportunities have allowed me to put some of the theories that I learned in classrooms into practice. I encourage everyone to make use of such opportunities; they could make the difference to your life as it did to mine!"


In the 2018-2019 academic year, the following courses are working with the Office of Experiential Education to offer Academic Placements or other community-engaged learning experiences:

Health and Safety Requirements

The health and safety of students on placements is of the highest concern

McMaster University, and the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development (MAESD) (formerly Ministry of Colleges, Training and Universities - MTCU) has particular policies in place that guide student safety and your host organization will also have their own policies. 

It is important to strictly follow the guidelines and policies of McMaster University, MAESD, and your host organization as they have been put in place for your protection and the protection of the people you are interacting with at your placement.

Students completing unpaid placements as part of an academic course are required to print and complete the following documents, and return them to the course instructor, unless otherwise indicated:

  1. Students must sign the student declaration letter, required to let them know, via sign-off, they have coverage via WSIB or ACE/private coverage and to report incidents accordingly;
  2. Placement “employers” sign off on letter to placement employers, noting that they have been informed that WSIB coverage (or ACE/private coverage) is provided via the MAESD, and therefore their respective WSIB standings (i.e. premiums) will not be effected; and,
  3. Students and placement “employers” will sign off on the Pre-Placement Safety Orientation Checklist.

Students or supervisors with questions about the above forms can contact Ruthanne Talbot at or 905-525-9140, ext. 23382.

For more information, contact: