McMaster English Readiness for Graduate Excellence (MERGE)

Program Dates: May 22 – July 27, 2018


Who should take this program?

MERGE is for current and prospective graduate students, who wish to improve their language skills and be better prepared for the academic and professional world. Be prepared!

Admission to MERGE

  • Minimum score – IELTS 6.5, TOEFL iBT 90 or equivalent
  • Completed undergraduate degree
  • Preparing to enter a graduate or professional program OR
  • Currently in a graduate or professional program


Program Highlights

  • 10-week intensive and comprehensive summer program
  • 22 hours/week in small classes
  • taught by highest-qualified ESL/EAP instructors
  • advanced speaking & writing
  • emphasis on acculturation component
  • professional development, including digital portfolio
  • leadership skills
  • Modeled on evidence-based research on best practices for the teaching of Advanced Academic ESL
  • Offered by a research-intensive Linguistics & Languages department with a graduate program in the Cognitive Science of Language

Program Fees:

  • Application Fee $100
  • Tuition Fee $12,324.12
  • Supplementary University Fees $175.88

Not included: Compulsory University Health Insurance Plan (UHIP) for students without valid OHIP or other Canadian provincial health insurance coverage.

Certificate Requirements

Total Number of Required Courses: 4

MERGE 100 Advanced Reading and Writing for Graduate Studies
Using scholarly articles from a range of disciplines, students practice reading strategies for the comprehension and critical evaluation of advanced academic texts. Appropriate structure and style is discussed in connection with graduate level reports, articles, thesis writing, abstracts, and literature reviews. Editing, research management, referencing styles, and academic integrity are also emphasized.
MERGE 200 Advanced Listening and Speaking for Graduate Studies
Through a variety of oral reports and assignments, real-time feedback, and analyses of video/audio recordings of themselves, students focus on clarity in spoken communication and on the comprehension of the full range of spoken language (formal to informal and conversational). The course further develops the student’s understanding of pronunciation differences, stress patterns (at the word and sentence levels), intonation, rhythm.
MERGE 300 Presentation Skills & Lecture Series
Students practice professional presentations for a variety of academic contexts: conference talks, poster presentations, conducting tutorials, lecturing. As part of the course, students attend a weekly guest lecture on a variety of scholarly topics, participate in discussions, provide feedback and analysis. Students work on presentations individually and collaboratively, and further develop the art of critiquing and constructive feedback.
MERGE 400 Professional Development
The main object of this course is to help students track their professional development through reflective practice and the development of an electronic portfolio. The electronic portfolio will include items and lessons learned from the other courses, as well as items covered specifically in this course, including the preparation of CVs; cover letters; teaching dossiers; peer review process; the supervisor-student relationship; teaching evaluations; leadership skills. As part of the electronic portfolio, students also track their lexical and stylistic development throughout the program.

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Student Life

Food Options

  • There are a variety of dining options located on campus
  • Westdale Village also provides a diverse range of dining options, and is a ten minute walk from campus


  • Students have access to computer and library resources, the McMaster Museum of Art, as well as indoor and outdoor recreational activities

Student Wellness Centre
(Campus Health Services)

  • Medical Services (including assessment and treatment, immunization and allergy injections, naturopathy)
  • Counseling Services (including personal, psychological and group counseling, wellness activities and education)

Athletics and Recreation

  • A wide variety of programming for all students, including varsity athletics, intramurals, instructional fitness programs, drop-in activities, outdoor recreation and the David Braley Sport Medicine and Rehabilitation Centre
  • Facilities include 9 gymnasiums, a 50-metre pool, 200m indoor track, outdoor track, squash courts, rock climbing wall, 6 outdoor fields and one of the largest university fitness centres in Canada


Program Director, Dr. A. Moro,
Associate Professor, Department of Linguistics and Languages

Program Administrator, Ms C. Huelgas

McMaster English Readiness for Graduate Excellence (MERGE)

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