Faculty of Arts & Science
A place to learn, discover, think and do.

Going into Second Year

Second year is all about making choices. Select your plan by the end of your first year, choose your electives plus supporting courses, and where to live. There are new awards to apply for as well. Get started by determining your GPA and academic standing.

Program/Plan Selection

Program/Plan Selection

Students who have completed 24 units or more must participate in the Program/Plan selection process in May.  This involves choosing the area of study (plan) that you wish to pursue.  For some students this may involve requesting to change your degree program.  For example, students may request a change of degree program from:

  • Bachelor of Arts Honours (BAH)  to Bachelor of Science Honours (BSCH) or Bachelor of Computing Honours (BCMPH)
  • BCMPH to BAH or BSCH
  • BSCH to BAH or BCMPH

NOTE:  Students who were admitted to the following programs do not participate in plan selection:  Bachelor of Fine Art, Bachelor of Music, Bachelor of Physical and Health Education; or Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology.

For more information on degree programs offered in Arts and Science, please visit Degrees at a Glance.

To request your Program/Plan, log into your Student Centre in SOLUS.  Program/Plan Selection is NOT first-come first-served and you may access the page as often as you wish.  Please keep in mind, though, that each time you are accepted into a plan, a record of that change will be recorded on your student record and transcript. 

If you need help navigating SOLUS please visit this link.

All plans in Arts and Science have minimum academic requirements that a student must satisfy in order to be admitted to that plan.  To view the thresholds for all plans in Arts and Science please visit your department page and see the "What it takes" handout under Degree Plans and Options.

Each plan will have an automatic acceptance threshold and a pending list threshold. Once you have decided which plan you wish to pursue, access SOLUS to request that plan.  Be sure to enter your desired plan first.  When you enter your request one of three outcomes will occur:

  1. Automatically Accepted - If you meet the automatic threshold for the plan you have requested you will receive a message on SOLUS telling you that you have been accepted into your plan.  Once accepted, your plan information in SOLUS will be updated and a new entry denoting the change will be recorded on your SOLUS record and transcript.   Every time you request a plan change and are accepted to a different plan, a new entry will be recorded on your SOLUS record and on your transcript.

  2. Placed on a Pending (waiting) list- If you receive a message on SOLUS telling you that you have been placed on a pending list this means that your request will be manually reviewed by the department following the Plan Selection period (see below). In addition to being informed that you are on a pending list, SOLUS will also inform you that you must select an alternate plan that you can be automatically accepted to.

    Can I be on more than one pending list?

    No, students can only be on one pending list.  This means that if you choose another plan for which you are placed on the pending list, you will be removed from the first one. Plan selection ends on May 23.  If you do not participate in plan selection you run the risk of not getting into the plan of your choice.  It is critical that you are automatically accepted into a plan before the Plan selection period ends.  Otherwise, you will not be able to register in your classes in July.

    Following the Plan Selection process on SOLUS, departmental administrators will manually review all students on their pending lists.  If a department accepts you from their pending list, your plan information in SOLUS will be updated and a new entry denoting the change will be recorded on your SOLUS record and transcript.

    REMEMBER:  Departments will be reviewing their pending lists until June 6th so you may not see a change to your plan until after that date.

    3.  Refused Admission for that Plan?  If you do not meet the minimum requirements for the plan you want, please consider the following strategies: 
    Plan selection strategies

Program Plan Selection Flowchart >

Be sure to attend Information Sessions or obtain academic advice from the Departments.

What it takes to get accepted to a Plan

The Plans found below indicate the minimum academic requirements to be automatically accepted or placed on a pending list for every available Plan in Arts and Science. All requirements include a minimum GPA and/or a minimum grade in a single course. If a course number is labelled with a #, this denotes a “wildcard”, and any course number is acceptable. For example, PHYS 1## indicates that any of PHYS 104, PHYS106 or PHYS117 are acceptable.

Some Plans have other minimum prerequisite standards that must be met before a student can access second year courses. These are indicated in the “Notes” section of the tables. While the SOLUS system may accept a student into the Plan, if they do not hold the correct prerequisites they may not be able to complete the degree within the usual timeframe, and may be at a significant academic disadvantage in upper year courses.

Please note: These academic thresholds are for students applying to plans from first-year going into second year. They are not applicable to upper-year students wishing to change their plan. All upper-year student change of plan requests are pending departmental approval which may or may not reflect the thresholds below.

While every attempt is made to ensure our web pages are up-to-date and accurate, sometimes errors occur. The content on these pages of this website is for your general information and use only. It is subject to change without notice.

Please note that the thresholds listed below, are for the 2014-2015 academic year.  The thresholds for the 2015-2016 academic year will be updated starting in February, 2015.

Art History




Classical Studies (including CLST, GREK, LATN)

Computing (including BMCO, COGS, COMP, CSCI, SODE)




Environmental Science

Environmental Studies

Film and Media

French Studies

Gender Studies




Global Development Studies

Health Studies


Jewish Studies

Languages, Literatures and Cultures

Life Sciences

Mathematics and Statistics




Political Studies


Religious Studies


Stage and Screen Studies

Electives & Supporting Courses

With a few limitations, electives may be chosen freely from any course offered through the Faculty of Arts and Science and are in addition to those required for the Plan component of the degree. Check with your subject of interest for a list of electives available to take.

Course from other Faculties and Schools at Queen’s may also be used towards the elective component of the degree. Some of the most common choices are noted below, but also consult the Degree Programs section of the Arts and Science calendar for a complete list.

School of Business

Up to 24.0 units in any Commerce (COMM) course offered by the School of Business may be used as an elective in Arts and Science. However, not all COMM courses are open to registration by Arts and Science students.

Engineering and Applied Science

Engineering and Applied Science courses may be used as electives, or towards the Plan requirements of Programs in Arts and Science. Special permission is required for registration in these courses, and students should consult with the Student Services Office and the Undergraduate Chair in their home department before attempting to register. Students should also note that the unit weighting system in the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science differs from that in all other faculties at Queen’s. Therefore, such courses may be reweighted when applied as credit towards an Arts and Science degree Program.

Schools of Nursing, Urban Planning, Religion, and Faculty of Law

Selected courses are available as elective choices from the Schools of Nursing (NURS), Urban Planning (SURP), Religion (THEO) and the Faculty of Law (LAW). Most of these courses are only available to students in certain Plans, or with permission of the other School or Faculty concerned.

Supporting Courses in Arts and Science

Some Plans in Arts and Science require the student to take supporting courses. These are courses in a subject different from that of the Plan but are required prerequisites for upper year courses. An example would be a first year calculus course in a Physics Plan.

When combining Plans in Medial or Major-Minor degrees, courses common to the two Plans cannot be shared between the requirements of the two Plans. In such cases, an alternative must be chosen. Supporting courses are the exception to this rule: a supporting course in one Plan can be used towards the requirements of the other, increasing the number of electives available to the student. See the Degree Programs section of the Arts and Science calendar for complete details of how courses are shared between Plans.

GPA and Academic Standing

Dean’s Honour List and Dean's Honour List with Distinction

Achieving a 3.50 or above GPA on all courses taken during an academic year (from Sept 1 to Aug 31) will place a student on the Dean’s Honour List.

To be placed on the Dean's Honour List with Distinction, a student must have achieved an academic year GPA in the top three percent (3%) of all students within Arts (BA, BAH, BFA, BFAH, BMus, BPHE, BPHEH) or Science (BSc, BScH, BCMP, BCMPH).  Based on previous performance levels, a minimum academic year GPA of approximately 3.90 in Arts and 4.10 in Science will be required. These values may vary from year to year. In addition, there may be no Incomplete (IN), Deferred (GD), Failure (F) grades, or repeated courses during the year in question.

Requirements to Graduate

To graduate, students must have a minimum GPA on all courses taken at Queen’s (cumulative GPA), as follows:

Cumulative GPADegree Eligibility
1.60 or above3-year degree:
B.A., B.Sc., B.Cmp., B.F.A., B.P.H.E.
1.90 or above4-year Honours degree:
B.A.(Hons.), B.Sc.(Hons.), B.Cmp.(Hons.), B.F.A(Hons.), B.P.H.E.(Hons.), B.Mus.

Specific course requirements for all these degrees remain unchanged.

Academic Progression

Students are expected to maintain a cumulative GPA of 1.60 or above to remain in good academic standing. Students who fail to achieve the following cumulative GPA standards when they are evaluated in May of each year may receive an academic sanction.

Cumulative GPASanction
Below 1.60Placed on Academic Probation
(if you are a new student or are currently in good academic standing)
Required to Withdraw
(if you are currently on academic probation)
Below 0.70Required to Withdraw

The first time a student is required to withdraw, it will be for a period of one year. They may then return to Arts and Science on academic probation. If they are required to withdraw a second time, it will be for a period of three years.

How will repeating a course affect my GPA?
If you repeat a course, only the highest grade earned will be used when calculating the cumulative GPA. Repeating a failed course: If you repeat and pass a course that you previously failed, your GPA will increase, likely to a significant extent. The previous failed attempt will remain on your transcript but the failing grade will be excluded from your GPA.

How will taking a course that is an exclusion of another course affect my GPA?
An exclusion* is a set of two or more courses that are not the same, but that have considerable overlap in content such that both may not count towards the requirements of your degree. Students are not normally permitted to enrol in a course that excludes one that they have already taken. If you obtain permission to take a course that is an exclusion of another course(s) that you have taken, the grades in all excluded courses will contribute to your GPA, but only the course with the highest grade will count for credit. For example: SOCY 211/3.0 and STAT 263/3.0 are exclusions. *Exclusions are identified in the Academic Calendar course descriptions or in SOLUS in the following manner: EXCLUSION: No more than 3.0 units from BIOL 243/3.0; ECON 250/3.0; GPHY 247/3.0; KNPE 251/3.0; POLS 385/3.0; PSYC 202/3.0; SOCY 211/3.0; STAT 263/3.0.

How will my transcript be evaluated externally?
Your Queen’s transcript is an important record of your academic achievements in university, but it is by no means the only indicator of your overall abilities: building a good resume and a network of individuals who can act as references is also very important. Having said this, it is important to remember that those evaluating your transcript are likely to be looking at a lot more than just your GPA. They are going to be far more interested in such things as: what courses did you take? How long did you take to complete your degree? How consistent is the student’s performance? How applicable are the skillsets and knowledge you have acquired as an undergraduate to the position/award to which you are applying?

Second Year Awards

Once a student has completed at least one year of studies at Queen's they may qualify for an upper year awards.

Awards Requiring a Separate Application

Some upper year awards require students to submit an application to the Student Awards Office or their Faculty.  To apply for the majority of these awards students should submit a resume and letter explaining how they meet the selection criteria for the specific award. Please review the specific details of each award for deadline dates and how to apply. A list of all upper year awards requiring a separate application can be found on the Awards List section of the website.

Awards Not Requiring a Separate Application

At the end of each academic year Faculties review student achievement and top students are selected to receive one (or more) of the many upper year scholarships, prizes and other merit-based awards. Students do not need to submit an application as these upper year awards are granted automatically by your Faculty. You will be notified by the Student Awards Office if you have been selected for an award.  For a complete list of the upper year awards not requiring an application, please visit the Awards List section of the website.

Notification of an Award

You may see all of your Queen’s administered awards and scholarships on SOLUS (Student Center)! To view your awards, simply log into SOLUS (using your Queen’s NetID and password) and click on the “View Financial Aid” hyperlink, available in the “Finances” section. Once there, you will be able to view your scholarships and awards broken down per academic year.

Where to Live in Second Year

Thinking about where you are going to live next year? There are limited spaces available in residence for upper-years’ – applications will be accepted until February and will be selected by lottery. Visit the Residence website for more information.

Other resources to help you find a home:

Course Waitlists

Frequently Asked Questions
July 2014

For the 2014 registration period a class wait list option is available on a select number of Arts and Science classes.  The wait list option gives you an opportunity to join a wait list for a class that is full.  Not all Arts and Science classes will be set up with wait lists.  Click here to see which 2014-15 Fall-Winter classes have wait lists.

Why don’t all classes have wait list?
This is a pilot project to use a small number of single-section popular courses to test the way wait lists work in PeopleSoft and to determine how best to communicate the outcomes of auto-enrolment from the wait lists to students.  Once we have reviewed the success of the introduction of class wait lists and determined that it is successful, we will assign wait lists to more classes in the future.

How does the wait list work?
Once a class is closed (full), students may choose to join the wait list for the class.  When searching for classes in SOLUS, you must deselect the box labelled:  “Show Open Classes Only”.  If the class is open, you will see a green circle.  If the class is full and there is space available on the wait list, you will see an orange triangle.  If the class is full and all spaces on the wait list are full, you will see a blue square.

When you choose to join a wait list you will be informed of your position on the wait list.  Once a wait list has been initiated, the class will remain closed until the auto-enroll process is run.  The auto-enroll process will be run every two hours and will check for space in classes that have wait lists.  If there is space in the class, the next person on the wait list will be enrolled in the class.  
NOTE:  A student’s position on the wait list will not change unless a student with a lower wait list number is auto-enrolled in the course or removes him/herself from the wait list.  Therefore one student cannot normally move ahead of another student on the wait list.

If an enrolled student drops a class that has a wait list, how are students moved from the wait list into the class?
Students are auto-enrolled from the wait list into the class by their priority ranking in the wait list.  For example, if a class is full and 3 students drop the class, students in wait list positions numbers 1, 2 and 3 will be auto-enrolled from the wait list if there are no factors preventing their enrolment.  The student who was previously ranked number 4 will then be ranked number 1, and will be the next student auto-enrolled if another enrolled student drops the class.  This process will continue until the wait list is empty.

I see that there is a space available in the class, but the class is still showing as closed.  Why?
When there are students on a wait list for a class, that class will remain closed until all of the students have been moved from the wait list into the class.  In other words, when there are students on the wait list, another student cannot bypass the wait list and enroll in the class if he/she sees that a space has become available.

When can I wait list for a class?
A student may choose to join a wait list during the following time periods:
July 28 to August 1 – you may wait list for Fall and Winter Term classes
September 3 to 19 – you may wait list for Fall and Winter Term classes
September 20 to January 16 – you may wait list for Winter Term classes only

How many classes can I be on a wait list for?
July 28 to August 1:  During the summer class selection period, full-time students may wait list in a maximum of 3.0 units per term.  During this time period wait listed courses are included in your maximum term load of 15.0 units per term.   Part-time students may wait list for a maximum of 3.0 units per term.  During this time period wait listed courses are included in your maximum term load of 9.0 units per term.

September 3 to January 16:  During the Open Enrolment period, full-time students may wait list for a maximum of 6.0 units per term.   During this time period, wait listed courses are included in your maximum term load of 18.0 units per term.

TIP!  If you wish to enroll in the maximum units per term but also want to be on a wait list for another class, you must use the SWAP feature when joining a wait list, indicating which class you would like to be dropped if you are auto-enrolled from the wait list.  If you simply ADD the wait listed class you will never come off the wait list because that would exceed your term limit.

By adding yourself to a class wait list, you are acknowledging that you may be auto-enrolled and will therefore be responsible for the additional tuition and for dropping the class if you no longer wish to take it.

How many spots are there on the wait list?
10% of the class capacity has been set aside for wait list spots.  So, if the maximum capacity in the class is 100, there will be 10 wait list spots available.

Can I go on a wait list for a class that meets at the same time as another class that I am enrolled in?
Yes, but in order to do this you will need to use the “SWAP” function in SOLUS to put yourself on the wait list.  By using the swap function, SOLUS will add you to the wait listed course when a space becomes available and also drop you from the class you choose to swap.

How do I know where I am on the wait list?
When you choose to be added to a wait list you will be informed of your position on the wait list.  You can check your position on the list at any time in SOLUS.  If you decide that you no longer want to be wait listed for the course, you can remove yourself from the wait list in SOLUS.

What are my chances of getting into the wait listed class?
That will depend on your position on the wait list and whether or not students enrolled in the class decide to drop the class.

How will I know if I have been enrolled in the class I wait listed for?
You will NOT be notified of the success/failure of the auto-enrolment process.  You must login to SOLUS regularly to check your class status.  If you have been enrolled in the class you will see that class is no longer waitlisted and has been added to your schedule.

If I don’t get in the class, will I just stay on the wait list forever?
Class wait lists will be purged following the last date to add a class in the term in which the course is offered.

What would prevent me from getting on a wait list?

•    You are trying to add yourself to a wait list before the start of your enrollment appointment time.
•    You have exceeded the maximum number of units allowed for the term.
•    You are trying to exceed the maximum number of wait list units.
•    You do not meet the pre- or corequisites for the course.
•    There are no more wait list seats available for the course.
•    You have a hold on your record that blocks enrolment.

I am number one on the wait list and a spot opened up in the class but I didn’t get in.  How come?
You may not be auto-enrolled from the wait list into the class if any of the following have changed since you were added to the wait list for the class:
•    You added another class that puts you over the maximum number of units allowed for the term.
•    You dropped a class that was a pre- or corequisite for the wait listed class.
•    The wait listed class will cause a timetable conflict with another class in which you are enrolled.
•    A hold that blocks enrolment has been added to your record since you were added to the wait list for the class.

If none of the items above applies to you, please contact the Faculty Office for assistance.

•    You should enroll in open classes prior to requesting to be added to a wait listed class.
•    If you want to drop a class that you are enrolled in if you are able to be auto-enrolled from the wait list for another class, be sure to use the SWAP function in SOLUS to add yourself to the wait list.
•    You should check your enrolment regularly to see if you have been added to the wait listed class.  If you see that other students have been added ahead of you, you will know that there is a problem with your enrolment that is causing the auto-enroll to fail (see things to check above).
•    If you no longer wish to be on the wait list you must remove your request in SOLUS.
•    Once a class wait list has been initiated, no one other than the students on the wait list will be allowed to enroll in the class.  If spaces become available in the class and the wait list is also empty then the class will become open again.
•    Your position on the wait list will change only if other students ahead of you become auto-enrolled or remove themselves from the wait list.

Have Questions?

Call us at 613-533-2470 or email us.

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