Is SOLAR Causing You a Headache?

July 3, 2013 at 14:29 pm

For many McMaster students, the most frustrating part of the university experience is not coursework or exams – it’s getting into their courses in the first place. Many students describe lengthy waits to log into SOLAR (McMaster’s online course registration platform), only to find required and / or highly recommended courses already full.

“This is a problem because students that need to fulfill their degree requirements are unable to register for their courses until much later in the summer,” said Spencer Graham, Vice President (Education) of the MSU. “This leads to a lot of uncertainty, especially where timetables and OSAP applications are concerned.”

Other sources of frustration for students are the discrepancies between the master course timetable and SOLAR. Upper-year students report spending a lot of time constructing their timetable before course registration opens, yet are unpleasantly surprised to discover a course they wish to take is not offered in that specific academic year.

"It all comes down to value for students,” said Spencer. “Some of these courses are incredibly valuable to students, and there needs to be consistent communication about whether or not the courses will be offered in a given academic year.”

Have you had trouble getting into any of your required courses? Were you unable to select a valuable elective on SOLAR this year? Spencer is compiling a collection of one-page letters from students that he would like to present to McMaster’s Provost and Vice President (Academic), Dr. David Wilkinson.  Please contact Spencer prior to July 15th with your story. Letters, along with anecdotes, comments and questions can be sent to Please be sure to include your name, program and year of study, as well as the specific course(s) for which you’ve had trouble registering.

For more information, please contact:

Spencer Graham
VP (Education)
905-525-9140 ext. 24017

Posted in: General, Advocacy, Board of Directors, Vice President Education | No comments yet
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