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.

MSU-MAPS Transfer Application Form


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.

Below you will find both MSU and MAPS Membership Fees for the current year:


All 2017/18 MSU Membership Fees

Fees administered by the MSU:
$128.09 for the MSU Operating Fund
$106.00 for the MSU Health Plan
$122.00 for the MSU Dental Plan
$13.19 for the 93.3 CFMU-FM Operating and Capital Funds
$1.57 for World University Service of Canada Refugee Scholarship
$187.67 for HSR Bus Pass, payable to the HSR Transit Commission
$0.64 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:
$1.02 for, and administered by, Incite
$8.07 for, and administered by, OPIRG-McMaster
$1.11 for the McMaster Solar Car Project
$0.40 for, and administered by, Engineers Without Borders
$0.95 for, and administered by, the McMaster Marching Band.

McMaster University fees, approved by MSU referenda:
$1.23 per unit to a maximum of 30 units for the Administrative Services Fee
$4.81 per unit to a maximum of 30 units for the Sports Complex Building Fee
$415.89 for the Student Services Fee


All 2017/18 MAPS Membership Fees

Fees administered by MAPS:
$7.00 per unit for, Organization Fee

McMaster University fees, approved by MAPS referenda:
$5.31 per unit for,  Administrative Services Fee
$1.23 per unit for, Athletics & Recreation Activity Fee

Nursing students add:
$9.10 for, Learning Resources Fee
$28.55 for, communicable Disease Screening
$23.36 for, Respiratory Mask  Fitting Fee