The Graduate Students Association of McMaster University was incorporated in the province of Ontario in November 1970 as a not-for-profit non-share capital corporation.

The mandate of the GSA is:

  1. To promote the welfare and interests of the members through facilities and opportunities for social, athletic and intellectual activities;
  2. To represent the members before the duly elected and appointed authorities of McMaster University, and
  3. To promote communication and participation in all matters of common interest between the members of the Association and the members of other student organizations, both at McMaster and in other educational institutions.

The GSA owns and operates the Phoenix restaurant and bar, providing an opportunity for graduate students and other members of the McMaster community to interact in a casual restaurant/pub setting. As part of the GSA, which is a not-for-profit corporation, the Phoenix does not seek to maximize profits at the expense of providing quality services to members. Some of the fondest memories of McMaster alumni were forged in the Phoenix. The Phoenix is also the venue for a variety of social events sponsored by the GSA throughout the year.

The GSA maintains the Softball League and Soccer League. The leagues are open to all graduate students, staff, faculty, McMaster alumni and friends. The leagues are active from May through August. Individuals who are interested in either league should contact the GSA office manager for further information.

The GSA periodically hosts seminars and colloquia, including Graduate Students Day annually. The GSA also provides financial and media support for departmental and faculty seminar days, colloquia, etc., as the budget allows.

Members of the GSA executive meet regularly with the Deans from the School of Graduate Studies, the University President, and serve on a wide range of university committees (athletics, bookstore, centre for student development, health services advisory committee, parking, security, etc.) The GSA President also has observer status on the Board of Governors and the University Senate. The GSA President is invited to meet with representatives of the provincial and federal government when they visit McMaster.

The GSA is a member of the Graduate Students Association of Canada, a national organization representing the interests of graduate students vis a vis funding, intellectual property, etc. The GSA Executive maintain a collegial working relationship with the executives of other student organizations on campus including the McMaster Students Union (undergrads) and the McMaster Association of Part-Time Students (MAPS).

Mission Statement

Advocate for the needs of the collective, act as a resource, and provide support and services that improve the graduate student experience at McMaster.


Inclusive – work to engage all graduate students and represent the collective.

Supportive – in both how we interact as well as in the types of events and services offered.

Relevant – staying current by regularly taking the pulse of what graduate students want and refining services and supports to reflect those needs.

Connected – to the various university partners as well as the graduate student population. Includes connecting graduate students to one another as well as reaching out to those students not on campus.

Integrity – be honest, true and accurate when representing the graduate students.

Vision Statement

The GSA fosters and enables vibrant, engaged graduate students at McMaster University.