Undergraduate Admission

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Personal Statement of Experience (PSE) and Supplementary Essay

The PSE and Supplementary Essay requirement has changed. You may have siblings or friends who have had to do a PSE in the past and give you information that will be incorrect! Read on to learn about your PSE and how we use it.

What hasn't changed is what we want to know about you! We still want to know how your experiences will contribute to the Queen's community, and we're still looking for:

  • Strong leadership

  • Time management skills

  • Commitment to your activities

How is the PSE used?

For Most Programs

Admission at Queen’s is very competitive and we use the Personal Statement of Experience (PSE), Supplementary Essay (SE) (where required) and your academic record to help make admission decisions. For all programs, except Commerce, completion of the PSE is optional-but recommended. While we recommend that all applicants submit a PSE, applicants who have not submitted a PSE (with the exception of Commerce) will be considered equally for admission to Queen’s. Your siblings or friends might tell you it's mandatory. It's now optional (unless you've applied to Commerce), but strongly recommended.

For applicants who fall within a critical range, we may consider your PSE, in support of your application to the program.

The recommended last date to submit the PSE is February 15.


For the Commerce program, the PSE and Supplementary Essay are required documents and the recommended last date to submit is February 15th.

Regardless of Program

If your grades place you above a minimum admission average (as determined by Queen's), we will use your PSE to learn more about you. Based on your PSE and your grades, you may be selected for an offer of admission. The minimum admission average, and the number of students selected based on the PSE, varies from year-to-year and is dependent on the number of applicants to the program, the academic strength of the applicants in a given year, and the number of spaces available. The unique demand of the program and the admission circumstances in a given year are also taken into consideration.


Before you submit your PSE, you will be asked to provide the name and contact information of an individual from your school (i.e. a guidance counselor or teacher) who can verify the information in your PSE. Please ensure you obtain consent from the verifier before including his or her name on your PSE. Your verifier must be able to verify each entry on your PSE. If he or she does not have personal, first-hand knowledge of a specific activity, job, or award, you must be prepared to provide documentation to your verifier if he or she is contacted by the Admission committee.

Before you sit down to your computer to complete your official PSE for Queen's, take a while to think about it. You might find this document helpful as you prepare your PSE.

Queen's reserves the right to change the questions from year-to-year.

How to submit your PSE

Follow these 10 steps to successfully submit your PSE/Supplementary Essay (if required):

  1. Go to my.queensu.ca
  2. Log into your Student Center using your NetId and password
  3. Click on SOLUS (red tab in the top right corner of the MyQueensU dashboard)
  4. Scroll to the bottom of the page and locate the “Admissions” heading
  5. Click on the link directly below the heading entitled “Personal Statement of Experience”
  6. Complete your PSE and SE (if required) – hit save often as it will time out after 20 min.
  7. After you have saved your work you must click the Submit button for the PSE to be properly submitted.
  8. Record your confirmation number
  9. After successfully submitting your PSE, the to-do list requirement will be removed within 72 hours. 

How do I complete the Activities/Employment entries in less than 90 characters with spaces?

We would like to see a brief list of your commitments. Faculty readers will assess how you link your experiences in your essay question to how you will contribute to life at Queen’s. The count performed in all questions is based on characters (including spaces).

How can I avoid timing out?

When you are in the process of submitting your PSE, you will be timed out of your online session after 10 minutes if you have not navigated to another step or saved your work. Please save your PSE and/or Essay every few minutes. If you have timed out, your work will not have been saved, and the system will bring you back to the sign-on screen.

I submitted my PSE and there are “?” where apostrophes used to be. What will happen when my PSE is being read?

The font in the PSE is a standard font and when you cut and paste into the PSE, the font will conform to this standard. It would only become visible after the PSE is saved and then reviewed. We are aware that the apostrophe appears as a question mark, however, please note that your PSE will not be disadvantaged. The faculty readers are made aware of this font issue

I’m getting an error message on format of the TO and FROM fields for activities/employment. Help?

Please use numeric entries for month and year. Example April 2013 is 04-13. Ensure there are no spaces. If you do not have 5 awards or activities and/or employments, please leave rows blank after completed entries. If you do not have ANY activities and/or employment, type NA as the response in the 1st box only of that question or questions if applicable.

What if I am still doing an activity or will continue my employment?

Please use the anticipated end date for an Activity or Employment. For example, if you will be engaged in the activity or employment until this summer, please use the summer month and year

I just submitted my PSE or Supplementary Essay. Why is it still in my TO DO list?

In most cases the PSE or Essay will remain on your TO DO list until the next business day. You will receive a confirmation notice and number upon successful PSE or Essay submission, and this is an indication that we will receive your PSE.

I'm applying to more than one program. What should I focus on in my PSE?

Each program has unique admission requirements and admission average threshold.  If you have applied to more than one program and wish to focus your responses to a particular program it is advisable to focus on the program which is your preference. 

Supplementary Essay for Commerce

If you apply to Commerce you will be required to submit an additional Supplementary Essay, due at the same time you submit your PSE.

Practice Supplementary Essay