Course load

First-year students who are concerned about course load should contact a Science Academic Advisor ( to discuss concerns, options, and solutions.

Helpful links: Required CoursesAccessAbility Services, and Student Success Office Learning Resources

What constitutes a full-time student?

Students who are in 1.5 units or more are considered a full-time student. Anything between 0.25-1.25 is considered part-time. Students registered with AccessAbility Services may be considered full time with a minimum of 1.0 units.

What is my maximum unit load each term?

Unit loads may differ based on program and academic standing. Please see the Academic Standings and the Term Unit Load sections of the Undergraduate Calendar for further information if you are considering exceeding 3.25 units in one term.

How does my course load affect...

Item affected Affect of course load
OSAP For Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) purposes, students enrolled in a minimum of 1.5 units for at least 12 weeks, or registered with AccessAbility Services. Anytime you change your course load it may effect your OSAP payment. For more information please see the Student Awards and Financial Aid website.
Scholarships Specific scholarships may require students to have a full course load. If you are concerned about your specific scholarship, please contact Student Awards and Financial Aid.
Bursaries Students who have received full-time bursary may have their bursary amount adjusted if there are any changes to their OSAP application, such as course load or income. More information about full-time and part-time bursaries can be found on the Student Awards and Financial Aid pages.
Tuition Tuition is assessed for each 0.5-unit course. The fee breakdown changes slightly depending on if you are a domestic or international student. Please check the tuition fee schedule for more detailed information. 
Incidental fees and Health and Dental plan Students with more than 1.5 on-campus units will be assessed for the applicable incidental fees. All students, part-time and full-time, are automatically enrolled in the WUSA Health and Dental Plan.
Next term's courses Students reducing their course load may see an impact on next term's courses if prerequisites are missing. Students should consult with their advisor when reducing course loads.
Co-op Students must be full-time in the academic term that precedes a co-op work term.
On-campus residency As part of the Waterloo Residences Terms and Conditions, students living in residences must maintain eligibility for accommodation. Please review the Terms and Conditions of the academic year that you are living in residence.
Varsity sports Students who are on a varsity team need to be enrolled as a full-time student or on a co-op term. If you have any questions about your eligibility, please contact your coach or academic advisor.
Term Distinction Eligibility to be award Term Distinction may be affected. Please see the Undergraduate Calendar for more details.
Professional School requirements

This is highly dependent on the professional school requirements. You can start visiting the prospective school's website as well as connect with Career Advisors from the Centre for Career Action for more details. 

The Centre for Career Action has created a Further Education Decision Tree to guide students through the decision of dropping current courses and how it affects their eligibility for further education (professional or grad school).