Skip to McMaster Navigation Skip to Site Navigation Skip to main content
McMaster logo

Faculty of Humanities and Faculty of Social Sciences

Wilson College of Leadership and Civic Engagement


Welcome to Wilson College

Canada is changing in profound ways. Wilson College is educating the next generation of leaders who can anticipate those changes and work across the public, private and non-profit sectors to build a positive, hopeful future for Canada and the world.

With Canada’s only Honours Bachelor of Arts degree and minor in Leadership and Civic Studies, we offer a different kind of leadership education — one grounded in the liberal arts that goes beyond the boardroom and into the heart of our civic society.

About Us

Made possible following a $50 million gift from McMaster chancellor emeritus L.R. “Red” Wilson, Wilson College is a unique program that emphasizes the importance of collaboration between McMaster’s academic community and our local, regional and national leaders in building a stronger Canada and sustainable, resilient communities.

Forward-looking academic programs
With a solid foundation in the liberal arts, our students gain the historical context, societal awareness and ethical grounding that are the hallmarks of truly great civic and community leaders.
Wilson College offers the following academic programs in Leadership and Civic Studies:

  • A minor, launched in Spring 2023, open to students in any faculty who complete the requisite courses
  • A graduate seminar, launched in Winter 2024, open to students in the Faculty of Social Sciences and the Faculty of Humanities (with Dean’s permission)
  • A combined honours Bachelor of Arts in Leadership and Civic Studies launching in Fall 2025. Students in the Wilson College program will receive a joint B.A. in Leadership and Civic Studies and in a program within either the Faculty of Humanities or the Faculty of Social Science

A living-learning community
A specially designed building that includes a student residence, innovative learning and collision spaces, and administrative offices will provide a dynamic living-learning community that fosters intellectual curiosity, creative exchange, leadership skills and a sense of responsibility for the common good.

Research with impact
As well, the College emphasizes research in civic engagement and leadership. Led by the Wilson Chair in Leadership and Civic Studies, the College will create new scholarship and lead innovative academic programming.

Community and civic connections
Finally, guided by an external director and an external advisory council, the College is planning extensive external activities and opportunities to make a difference to Canada’s public and academic life and shape the discourse on key issues of concern to Canadian public life.

Information Box Group

Programs Discover

Learn about our undergraduate and graduate programs.

About Wilson College Explore

Find out about our philosophy, our history, and our namesake, L.R “Red” Wilson.

News and Events Engage

Stay up-to-date with what’s happening at Wilson College