Jun 22, 2024  
Undergraduate Calendar 2022-2023 
Undergraduate Calendar 2022-2023 [-ARCHIVED CALENDAR-]


Academic Probation

Academic Probation may be assigned to students whose Grade Point Average (GPA) is at least 3.0 but less than 3.5, will allow a student to continue at the University for one reviewing period.

Academic Standing

Academic standing is the statement of the academic performance of a student at the end of Winter or Spring/Summer terms. Good StandingMay Continue in Program - Academic ProbationMay Continue in Program - Program Probation, May Not Continue in Program, May Not Continue in Faculty, May Not Continue at University, Required to Withdraw from University, are examples of academic standings. See Academic Standing Review  and Academic Standings  in the General Academic Regulations for more information.

Advanced Standing/Credit

Advanced Standing/Credit may be granted to an applicant who has completed work at another university or college or who has completed a Certificate/Diploma program at McMaster University, subject to the applicant having met the minimum requirements prescribed by the University.


An antirequisite is a course which cannot be taken for credit before, after, or at the same time as the course with which it is listed.


Bursaries are granted based upon demonstrated financial need, and may include a minimum expectation of academic achievement or other miscellaneous criteria. They may vary in monetary value, based upon the level of financial need demonstrated.

Continuing Student

A continuing student is a university graduate who is not proceeding to an advanced degree, but wishes to take one or more undergraduate courses after graduation.


A co-requisite is a course which must be taken together with another course in the same term.

Course Numbers

Course numbers (e.g. 1A03) can be interpreted as follows: the initial digit indicates the Level of the course; the letter(s) in the middle identifies the specific courses within the Level; and the final digit(s) defines the number of units of credit associated with the course.


A credential is a body of academic work or collection of course work that stands on its own and for which a parchment is issued. McMaster credentials include certificates, diplomas and degrees. A single course is permitted to be counted toward a maximum of two credentials.

Cross-listed Course

A cross-listed course is a course which is listed under two or more subjects.

Cumulative Grade Point Average (Cumulative GPA)

The Cumulative GPA is the weighted average based on the Graded Units taken throughout the undergraduate career.  The Repeating Courses regulation , effective September 1, 2018, will affect the calculation of subsequent Cumulative GPA. 

Deferred (DEF)

Courses with the notation DEF have been approved for a deferred examination.


A degree is conferred when a student completes a program of study (e.g. Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science Kinesiology, Master of Science, Doctor of Philosophy).


A department is a subdivision of a Faculty, responsible for a particular subject or group of subjects (e.g. Department of Chemistry, Department of Health, Aging and Society).

Elective Courses

Elective courses are those courses taken by a student which are not specifically designated in a student’s program, but which form part of the total number of units required to complete the program.


Courses designated as “Extra” at the time of registration by the Faculty Office are not included as units toward completion of a student’s program. The grades obtained in such courses will not be included in the computation of the Cumulative GPA. However, they will be included in the computation of the Fall-Winter Average and the Spring-Summer Average.


A Faculty is a major administrative and teaching unit of the University responsible for programs and courses relating to common fields of study or academic disciplines (e.g. Faculty of Humanities, Faculty of Engineering).

Full Load

A full load is the number of units specified in the Calendar for an individual level of a program in a given year. If the Calendar does not specify the program requirements by individual levels, divide the total units for all levels by the number of levels, discarding the remainder.

Full-time Student

A full-time student, for academic purposes, is an undergraduate student who is registered in at least 9 units in a term, including Extra Courses. Full-time status for students in the Faculty of Science and Engineering Co-op programs is granted to those students registered in at least 9 units in a term.

Fall-Winter Average

The Fall-Winter Average is a weighted average based on the grades attained in the Fall and Winter Terms. Overload courses and Extra courses are included in the Fall-Winter Average.

Grade Point Average (GPA)

The Grade Point Average is the weighted average based on the grades obtained in all courses taken. Failed courses are included in the GPA calculation.

Graded Units

Graded units refer to the number of units taken at McMaster for which a letter or Numeric Grade  is earned. Graded units do not include courses assessed with a Non-Numeric Grade .

Honour Lists

Students are reviewed for Deans’ Honour Lists (DHL) and Provost’s Honour List (PHL) each time a minimum of 30 units (may not exceed 6 units assessed with a non-numeric grade) have been completed. Subsequent assessments are based on all units completed since the previous review. Students will be named to the Deans’ Honour List when a minimum average of 9.5 is achieved. Students will be named to the Provost’s Honour List when an average of 12.0 is achieved.


The Intersession is a time period in which students may explore novel interdisciplinary and experiential opportunities that may not be available during the Fall or Winter terms. The Intersession begins in the first week of May (concurrent with the Spring Session) and lasts for a four-week period. See the Sessional Dates  and INSPIRE course listings for more information.

Letter of Permission (LOP)

A Letter of Permission is a formal document which allows a McMaster student to take one or more courses at another university for credit towards a McMaster degree.


Level is used to describe a student’s progression through a program.

Mature Student

A mature student has not attended secondary school or college on a full-time basis for at least two years; and has not previously attended university.


Students enrolled in a four- or five-level program (with the exception of the Medical Radiation Sciences programs) are eligible to obtain a Minor in another subject area, provided that the subject area is not integral to the requirements of their degree program. At least 18 units must be completed at McMaster.  Students who wish to receive a Minor must consult the appropriate department section of the calendar. McMaster also offers Interdisciplinary Minors and Thematic Areas . To apply for a Minor, students must complete the Minor/Certificate Application in addition to their online Graduation Information Centre (GIC) application. The student’s Faculty will verify that the requirements have been met and, if successful, the transcript will indicate that a Minor has been obtained. Minors cannot be revoked once approved.

Multi-Term Fall/Winter Courses

Codes for multi-term Fall/Winter courses have an A/B suffix. Part A must always be taken in the Fall Term immediately preceding Part B. Neither Part A nor B of a multi-term course has academic credit independent of both parts being successfully completed. Students who drop or withdraw from Part A must also withdraw from B.

Upon completion of the Fall Term, a grade of MT indicating multi-term will be assigned to Part A and the final grade will be assigned to Part B.

Multi-Session Course

A multi-session course is one taught over the Spring and Summer sessions of the Spring/Summer Term.  Students enroll in both the ‘A’ and the ‘B’ parts of the same course.  Part ‘A’ is taken in the Spring session.  Part ‘B’ is taken in the Summer session.  Academic Load and Billing units are assigned to both parts.  Units for GPA calculation are assigned to part ‘B’ of the course only. 

OSAP Eligible Course Load

OSAP Eligible Course Load or equivalent refers to the 60% minimum course load per term (40% minimum course load per term for students with permanent disabilities) required to be eligible for full-time OSAP government student aid funding.

Part-time Student

A part-time student, for academic purposes, is an undergraduate student who is registered in fewer than 9 units in a term, including Extra Courses.

Pass/Fail Courses 

Courses evaluated on a Pass/Fail basis are not included in the calculation of averages. The earned units are counted towards degree requirements.

Post-Degree Student

A post-degree student is a university graduate or a person with professional qualifications who is not proceeding to an advanced degree, but wishes to take one or more graduate courses.


A prerequisite is a requirement to be fulfilled before registration in a course is permitted. This is usually the successful completion of another course.


A program is a specific combination of courses that fulfils the requirements for a degree.


See Readmission  in the Admission Requirements section of this calendar.


See Reinstatement  in the General Academic Regulations section of this calendar.

Required Courses

Required courses are those courses which are specifically designated for inclusion in a program.


A requisite is an academic requirement that must be met to register in a course. A course requisite may comprise Prerequisites, Corequisites and/or Antirequisites.


A academic review is an assessment of a student’s performance to determine eligibility to continue in a program or to graduate.

Reviewing Period

The reviewing period is the time between two reviews for a student. Reviews will take place in May and August, provided the student has attempted 18 units of work since the last review or is a potential graduand.


A period of study within a Term. Each term may have multiple sessions. For example, the Summer session runs from June to August within the Spring/Summer term.

Spring-Summer Average

The Spring-Summer Average is a weighted average based on the grades attained in the Spring and Summer Term. Overload courses and Extra courses are included in the Spring-Summer Average.


A period within the Academic Year. The Academic Year will have three Terms that may have multiple Sessions within them. For example: Fall Term (September-December), Winter Term (January-April), and Spring/Summer Term (May-August).

Term Grade Point Average (Term GPA)

The Term GPA is a weighted average based on the Graded Units taken in the term.


A transcript summarizes a student’s academic career at McMaster University and is available by electronic request through Mosaic. Transcript requests will not be processed for students with outstanding financial accounts at the University or those under investigation for an academic integrity violation.


Tuition is fees paid in consideration for enrolment in a program of study and selected courses.

Undergraduate Student

An undergraduate student is a one who is enrolled in a program of study leading to a bachelor’s degree or to the degree Doctor of Medicine.


Units define the number of credits associated with a course. A unit is roughly equivalent to one lecture-hour per week for one term or two hours of laboratories or seminars per week for one term. Three-unit courses are usually one term in length. Six-unit courses are usually two terms in length.


Courses designated as “Unused” cannot be used to fulfil the requirements for the student’s current degree program.  The grades obtained in such courses will be included in the computation of all averages.

Weighted Average

Weighted average is calculated by multiplying the grade points achieved in each course by the number of units in each course, totaling these results, and then dividing this result by the total number of course units.

With Distinction

Graduation With Distinction standing is awarded when a minimum Cumulative GPA of 9.5 is achieved in a degree program. In this case, the Latin phrase summa cum laude (“with highest honour”) will appear on the graduate’s diploma.

Withdrawal With Academic Penalty

Withdrawal With Academic Penalty is the formal process of discontinuing studies in a particular course or program after the last day to withdraw without failure by default  in the term.

Withdrawal Without Academic Penalty

Withdrawal Without Academic Penalty is the formal process of discontinuing studies in a particular course or program before the last day to withdraw without failure by default  in the term.

Withdrawn (W)

After the last day for enrolment and course changes , students may withdraw from courses until the last day to withdraw without failure by default  . Withdrawn courses will be shown on the student’s transcript with a grade of W. After the last day to withdraw without failure by default, the student will remain enrolled, whether or not they fulfil any further academic obligations, and a final grade will be assigned.