McMaster has four senior student governments (and you belong to at least one of them). Each represents the interests of and advocates for their student population. They are:

McMaster Association of Part-time Students (MAPS)

Members: All undergraduates registered in fewer than 18 units
All students in courses at the Centre for Continuing Education

McMaster Students Union (MSU)

Members: All full-time undergraduates registered in 18 or more units

Graduate Student Association (GSA)

Members: Full- and part-time graduate students

MBA Association (MBAA)

Members: graduate students enrolled in the Masters of Business Administration program in the DeGroote School of Business.


The current operating definition is: You are a MAPS member if you are an undergraduate student taking 17 units or fewer between September and April of the current academic year; AND students enrolled in the Spring/Summer term who were not full-time students in the preceding 8 months. See the schematic below.


Any enrollment in more than 5 McMaster University courses will result in you being placed in the full time student category; and charged full time fees.

Dropping back down to 5 courses will not restore your part-time student status.

Flow Chart of Academic Units & Part Time Students

There are some cases where a transfer can be made regardless of the number of credits being taken, but there are strict rules regarding this.

  1. Students Enrolled with Student Accessibility Services (SAS) have the ability to switch to whichever student group they wish to.
  2. Students in their final academic year of studies, may transfer back into their previous association, provided they were a member of it the year before.
    • Part-Time students (1- 17 units) can transfer into the MSU from MAPS, provided they were an MSU member the year before.
    • Full-Time students (18+ units) can transfer into MAPS from the MSU, provided they were a MAPS member in the year before.
  3. Students are required to pay the student fees associated with the student government they choose to remain with.

If you would like to transfer your membership, apply using the MSU-MAPS Transfer Application Form. Students eligible to apply for membership transfer can apply starting September 1, 2022 until October 14, 2022 and will be required to submit an application. Once your application has been submitted a representative from Student Accounts will contact you within 5-7 business days.


There are no fees associated with switching, that being said, students are expected to pay the membership fees associated with the student government they choose to stay with. Students transferring from MSU to MAPS would receive a refund, net of fees payable as a member of MAPS.

Below you will find both MSU and MAPS Membership Fees for the current year. Those transferring from MAPS to MSU can expect the following fees being charged to their student accounts:

MSU Membership Fees

Fees administered by the MSU: 

  • $144.14 for the MSU Organization Fee;
  • $106.00 for the MSU Health Plan;
  • $129.90 for the MSU Dental Plan;
  • $14.84 for the 93.3 CFMU-FM Operating and Capital Funds;
  • $1.77 for World University Service of Canada Refugee Scholarship;
  • $232.94 for HSR Bus Pass, payable to the HSR Transit Commission.
  • $0.72 per unit to a maximum of 30 units for the MSU-MUSC Operating Fee, payable to MUSC.

Fees administered by non-MSU, non-University bodies: 

  • $1.10 for, and administered by, Incite;
  • $5.50 for, and administered by, OPIRG-McMaster;
  • $1.11 for the McMaster Solar Car Project;
  • $0.41 for, and administered by, Engineers Without Borders;
  • $1.07 for, and administered by, the McMaster Marching Band.

McMaster University fees, approved by MSU referenda: 

  • $1.37 per unit to a maximum of 30 units for the Transcripts, Letters, Tax Forms & Certificates Fee (Formerly Administrative Services Fee)
  • $8.36 per unit to a maximum of 30 units for the Sports Complex Building Fee;
  • $273.90 for the Athletics and Recreation Activity Fee;
  • $83.69 for the Student Success Centre;
  • $115.30 for the Student Wellness Centre.

McMaster University fees, approved by quorate MSU General Assembly: 

  • $104.50 Orientation Fee for all Level I, full-time undergraduate students.

MAPS Membership Fees (17 units or less)

Fees administered by MAPS:

  • $7.00 per unit for, Organization Fee
  • $2.58 per unit, Academic Fee
  • $2.38 per unit, Basic Health Resources
  • $0.74 per unit, Career Services Fee
  • $0.36 per unit, Handbook Fee
  • $0.09 per unit, Newsletter Fee
  • $0.39 per unit Student Building Fee
  • $0.13 per unit, Student Tax Returns
  • $0.70 per unit, Auxilliary Fee

The HSR Bus Pass will come into effect starting August 22, 2023. Learn more information and important dates regarding your HSR Buss Pass.

Important dates for the 2022/2023 academic year:

Monday August 15, 2022 – Eligible students can pick up their free PRESTO card at the Campus Store
Monday August 15, 2022 
– Voucher code will be available on Mosaic
Monday August 22, 2022 – Bus pass comes into effect