Your Course Load Percentage

The Basics

  • Each McMaster program has a set number of units that makes up a full (or 100%) course load
  • In most cases 1 course = 3 units
  • To be considered a full-time student for OSAP, you must be enrolled in at least 60% of a full course load for your program of study
  • If you have a disability you are considered full-time if you’re taking at least 40% of a full course load for your program of study
  • Full-time status for OSAP is considered term-by-term
    • To be considered full-time, you need to be in at least 60% (or 40% for students with a disability) of a full course load in each term 
  • For most programs of study (aside from Engineering programs and the exceptions listed below) a full course load is 30 units per academic year (15 units per term), calculated on a term-by-term basis
  • Engineering programs: Full course loads vary but are all greater than 30 units
  • Exceptions: Medical Physics Co-op, Physics Co-op, Biophysics Co-opMedical & Biological Physics Co-op, Music (BA), Music (B.Mus.) Nursing, Accelerated Nursing
  • To confirm the full course load for your year/program of study, see the Undergraduate Academic Calendar

Calculating your course load

1. Divide your full (100%) course load number by 2 to get the per-term amount

Example: 30/2 = 15 units per term

2. Divide the number of units you’re enrolled in by the number of units required for a full course load

Example: if you’re in 12 units and a full course load is 15 units, 12/15 = .8, so you’d be taking an 80% course load

3. REMEMBER: To be considered a full-time student for OSAP, you must be enrolled in at least 60% of a full course load each term**. To get the minimum number of units you need to be considered full time, multiply the number of units from required for a full course load by .6 (or 60%)

Example: 15 x .6 = 9, so 9 units per term is the minimum number to be considered full time

4. Students who have a disability are considered full time if they are taking at least a 40% course load, so complete the same calculation using .4 instead of .6

Example: 15 x .4 = 6, so 6 units per term is the minimum number to be considered full time for students with a disability


Full Time vs. Part Time

*40%-100% for students with a disability
**Students with a disbility can apply for full-time OR part-time OSAP when taking a 40%-59% course load. Understand OSAP’s academic progress requirements for full-time students.


If course load numbers differ between Undergraduate Calendar and our website, the Undergraduate Calendar will reflect the correct course load.

What’s New!

Course load calculator: Not sure about your course load percentage for OSAP? Check out our new guide on how to calculate it! Course load guide (non-Engineering). Engineering course load guide.


Indigenous Student Bursary: Applications for the 2018-19 Indigenous Student Bursary are now available. If you wish to apply for this bursary, you can find the application and more information in your Mosaic Student Centre under “Apply for Financial Aid.” Extended deadline: Feb. 1, 2019. 


Scholarship applications are OPEN: Don’t miss out on this easy money! There are awards for all faculties and programs, all undergrad years and both academic AND community work. Apply in Mosaic by clicking the “Apply for Aid and Awards” tile. Find scholarships under the “Aid By Application” tab. More info on scholarships.  


OSAP Income Update: Check your OSAP portal for a requirement to update your income. If you have this requirement it must be completed to maintain eligibility for the McMaster General Bursary. Even if you have no changes to report, you are required to submit the online form. Find Income Update deadlines.


 

Ask McMaster

*opens a new window