Course load guide

Course load requirements for student loans and interest-free status

The number of credits you need to be considered as a full-time student for student loan purposes depends on your program. Find your degree, certificate, diploma, or non-degree study option below and see how to calculate your course load based on the number of credits enrolled.

Loans, grants, and UBC bursaries

If you're planning to apply to loans and grants, UBC bursaries, or interest-free status, you must be enrolled in at least 60% of a full-time course load in each term, or 80% for Newfoundland loans. 

Students with disabilities 

Undergraduate students who have established Permanent Disability (PD) or Persistant or Prolonged Disability (PPD) status with their provincial lender may be considered full-time for government student loans with at least 40% of a full-time course load. Graduate students should speak to an Enrolment Services Advisor (ES Advisor) to determine their full-time funding requirements.

All undergraduate students in a degree program have a dedicated Enrolment Services Advisor (ES Advisor) to help navigate the loan application process. If you don't have an assigned advisor, they're still available to help.

Graduate students

Research graduate program students and most professional graduate program students are considered full-time status if you meet the following requirements:

  • You pay full-time tuition fees.
  • You are registered in courses and/or thesis or have continuing status.

A few professional graduate programs (e.g. MFA Optional Residency) have credit requirements. Details can be found in the course load guide below.

International students

If you’re an international student, you must be enrolled full-time for immigration purposes during regular academic sessions to:

  • Remain in Canada as a student
  • Work during your studies and be eligible to work during scheduled program breaks
  • Maintain eligibility for the Post-Graduation Work Permit after your program

This may be different from other full-time definitions. For more details, review the immigration impacts of part-time studies and withdrawing from courses.




Pharmaceutical Sciences

Juris Doctor

Medical Laboratory Science



Dental Medicine

Social Work


Human Kinetics


Media Studies

Urban Forestry

International Economics

Design in Architecture, Landscape Architecture & Urbanism

Forest Bioeconomy Sciences & Technology

Law (Taxation)

PharmD - Entry to Practice


Health and Exercise Sciences

Certificates, diplomas, and non-degree studies

If you have questions

If you have questions about the credit requirements to be eligible for student loans or interest-free status, please contact an Enrolment Services Advisor (ES Advisor). ES Advisors can also assist with choosing the correct study dates and program code on your student loan or interest-free status application.