What is P.A.S.S.?

PASS, the Peer Academic Support Service, is a great resource for first-year Arts and Science students available during the Fall and Winter term. 

The PASS team consists of upper year students who offer non-judgemental and confidential academic counselling on a drop-in basis in the Arts and Science Office. We are located across from the cafeteria in Mackintosh-Corry Hall, Room F200, and we are open Monday to Friday from 9 am - 12 pm and 1 pm - 4 pm. No appointment is necessary, so feel free to drop in at your convenience and chat with a Peer Advisor. You can visit our Moodle page for some helpful links and tips on navigating your first year at Queen’s: https://moodle.queensu.ca/. Questions or concerns may also be directed to our passhelp@queensu.ca e-mail account which is monitored by Peer Advisors on a regular basis. 

Peer Advisors are happy to answer your questions on any of the following topics:
•    Navigating SOLUS 
•    Adding/dropping courses
•    Using the Arts and Science Course Calendar
•    Choosing and changing degree programs, plans, and courses
•    Continuing & Distance Studies
•    Summer Studies
•    Referrals to other services
And much, much more!

PASS also runs informative presentations at key academic periods during the year.  These presentations address common questions and concerns of Arts and Science students, such as preregistration for second year plans and courses.

Please note, if you have questions about any of the following you should speak directly to an Academic Advisor in the Faculty Office:

  • Dual Degrees: Questions about dual degrees (for example, an Arts and Science degree along with a degree from another faculty such as Commerce)
  • Academic Withdrawal: Taking time off from your degree (ex. if you are sick, if you are taking a year off for travel, etc)
  • Transfer Credits: Transferring credits from the IB program or other universities
  • Transfer to other Faculties: Consult an advisor from both Arts & Science and the Faculty into which you wish to transfer
  • Appeals to the Associate Deans (Studies): Advisors can discuss your options and guide you through the appeal process
  • Letters of Permission: Navigating the application process for taking a course for credit at another University
  • Letters to QECO: Advisors can provide students with 'credits completed over and above' letters for Qualifications Evaluations Council of Ontario

 Who is PASS?

The PASS team is made up of upper year volunteers from a range of programs and disciplines in the Faculty of Arts and Science.  All Peer Advisors have been trained to comment and answer questions concerning all areas of study.  If students would like to know any more about a particular area of study, they can speak with specific Peer Advisors (schedule) or contact the Arts and Science Departments directly.  


Frequently Asked Questions 

How many courses do students in Arts & Science take?

A full time student normally takes five courses (30.0 units). Students in BMUS, BA/BEd and BA/BPHE have a load higher than 30.0 units. Students may carry fewer than 30.0 units, and as many as 36.0 units without special permission.

How many courses are students allowed to take in the Spring and Summer terms?

Students are no longer limited in the number of Spring and Summer courses they can take. However, it is recommended that they take no more than 12.0 units.

What does it mean to be a student accepted under the Non-Degree Student Regulation?

A student accepted to Queen's under the Non-Degree Student Regulation may take a maximum course load of 3.0 units per term or 6.0 units over the Fall-Winter Session.

How does the university decide who gets into a limited enrolment course?

During preregistration preference is given according to the following priorities, listed in descending order: students for whom the course is required in their concentration, an option in their concentration, part of their recognized concurrent-education teachable, an elective, or an option in the concentration beyond the normal load. Within each category, priority will be given to students who have the specified prerequisites and are furthest along in their program and are not repeating the course. In addition, priority will be determined by clear criteria published by the department offering the course.

How many courses do part-time students take?

A part-time student may take a maximum course load of 18.0 units over the Fall-Winter Session. A maximum of 9.0 units (or equivalent) may be taken in any one term.

What happens to a student who starts first year and then leaves before completing it?

Students who register in classes and then subsequently withdraw from Queen's do not need to reapply for admission upon their return.  Instead, students must complete and sign a Return to Studies form confirming that they have not attended another post-secondary institution during their absence from Queen's.

Students who do not register in classes and wish to defer their offer of admission must contact Undergraduate Admissions in the Office of the University Registrar.

What is the grading system at Queen's?

Please follow this link to the Queen's Grading System.


How do students know what is expected of them in Queen's courses, and how they will be evaluated?

At the beginning of every course, the instructor(s) will provide a clear statement of the basis on which final marks are assigned in the syllabus. They will specify the term work expected and the weight the work will contribute to the final mark.

What happens if a student does very poorly in first year at Queen's? Are people asked to leave in December if they don't do well on their exams?

No one is asked to leave Queen's in December, as first year final marks are based on work that is done between September and April. A student who has attempted 18.0 or more units and whose Grade Point Average is less than 1.60 will be placed on academic probation. The student will be on academic probation until at least 18.0 more unit registrations have been completed. At the end of the probationary period the student's overall grade point average must be at least 1.60 or the student will be required to withdraw for at least one year.

Students who fail to achieve a GPA greater than 0.70 may be required to withdraw from the university for a minimum of one year (12 months). During that period, the student will not be permitted to register in the Faculty. Note that these students will be allowed to return to Arts and Science after sitting out the year.

Under what conditions is a student required to withdraw from the university?

A student will be required to withdraw for a minimum of one or three years if he/she has a GPA less than 0.70 or has previously been required to withdraw for one year and subsequently failed to raise their GPA to 1.60 or better.   Students with extenuating circumstances beyond their control may appeal to waive the requirement to withdraw to the Associate Dean (Studies).