A full-time course load in the Faculty of Arts is 4-5 courses (12-15 credits) per term of study in the Fall and Winter; a full year (Fall and Winter term) is normally 30 credits. This credit total includes courses taken at McGill and, if applicable, concurrent courses taken through the Québec Inter-University Transfer Agreement (IUT).
You must carry a reduced load (maximum 14 credits per term) if your academic standing is not Satisfactory.
Choose courses that will provide you with a balanced and manageable workload and consider your other commitments (part-time job, extra-curricular activities, eligibility for student visas, loans, bursaries, scholarships, etc.) in deciding how many courses to take. For example, select two or three courses toward your Major Concentration requirements, one or two courses toward your Minor Concentration requirements, and one or two elective courses.
In general, a three-credit course requires three hours of lectures per week for one term. Credits also reflect the amount of effort required and generally assume two hours of personal study time for each contact hour. Therefore, to meet the demands of a university level course, you need to expect to spend an additional six to nine hours per week per class for related course work. This additional time includes activities such as conference attendance, reading texts, reviewing lecture notes, conducting research for assignments, preparing for tests, and writing papers. Therefore, if you register for five courses, you must be prepared for 15 hours of class time and an additional 30 to 45 hours of study time each week.
If you take less than five courses per semester, it may take you a bit longer to complete your degree, but it will likely improve your academic performance and school/ life balance. If your post graduation plans include completing further studies, you should inquire whether the school you intend to apply to considers course load as a criteria for admission.
You should determine the impact that your course load will have on the timely completion of program requirements, your academic goals and access to any university services or financial assistance you may need. Faculty advisors in OASIS can help you figure this out!
|CREDITS PER TERM/YEAR||REGULATIONS TO CONSIDER|
12 credits minimum per term
for full-time status, which will be the eligibility requirement for student visas, most loans and bursaries
14 credits maximum per term
for students in Probationary Standing
17 credits maximum per term
for students in Satisfactory Standing
27 graded (non-S/U) credits minimum per year
for renewal of McGill entrance scholarships;
for in-course McGill scholarships or awards, including Dean's Honour List and Faculty scholarships
30 graded credits minimum per year
for some external scholarships
Summer course registration
The maximum number of credits you may take in the Summer session is 12 credits. This credit total includes McGill courses and courses taken at another host university during the Summer term.
The McGill schedule of lectures in Summer courses is very intensive; therefore, you may not register for more than two courses in any one McGill Summer term.
Part-time student status
If you are registered for fewer than 12 credits in a semester, you are considered to be a part-time student in that semester. Students are advised to consult with their service providers to ensure that they are meeting the necessary course load requirements to maintain services. If you plan to reduce your course load to below 12 credits, you are advised to have documentation to support this decision should you need to justify your reduced course load to a service provider, immigration authorities or graduate school admissions committee at a later date. If you are considering reducing your course load to less than 12 credits, your part-time status may affect the following:
|MAY IMPACT||WHO TO CONTACT|
|Scholarships or financial aid||Scholarships and Student Aid Office|
|CAQ or international study permit||International Student Services|
|Loans, RESPs, health insurance||Bank, health insurance provider, etc.|
Exceeding credits per semester
If you are a currently registered student in the Bachelor of Arts degree and have earned a minimum of 12 McGill credits with a CGPA of 3.50 or higher, you may request permission to register for more than 17 credits per term (to a maximum of 19 credits per term) for Fall or Winter, or more than 12 credits for Summer (to a maximum of 15 credits).
The form to request permission to register for more than 17 credits in Fall 2021(to a maximum of 19 credits) will be available on August 17 and will close on September 8, 2021 at 4 pm. You must complete this form Application to Exceed Credits Request (login required) to request permission. It is your responsibility to ensure that there is space in the course you wish to add.
**You can only submit one application for the current term of study. Applications for future terms will not be considered.
- Submitting this form does not guarantee approval of exceeding credits or registration in the course you wish to add.
- The programs on your unofficial transcript in Minerva must be accurate.
- Your Minerva record must be up-to-date. ALL grades and credits earned in preceding terms of study MUST be reported.
- Any transfer credit earned during an approved study away in a previous term of study must be articulated on your Minerva record.
- Your academic plan should not include registering for a course if it overlaps in time with another course listed in the Minerva Class Schedule.