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

Incoming First-Years

Congratulations on your admission to Queen’s!

You’ve decided to accept the challenge of pursuing your goals with the Faculty of Arts and Science at Queen’s University, and we’re committed to helping you succeed.

Summer Orientation to Academics and Resources (SOAR)

The SOAR program aims to help ease the transition of our incoming first-year students and their families. Participants will have an opportunity to learn about academic expectations, resources, learning strategies, and common student transition issues.

Each July, incoming students may take part in a one-day summer orientation program to learn how to: 

  • Prepare effectively for new academic expectations
  • Prepare for potential personal stresses and academic pressure points during first year
  • Make the most of services and resources to support student learning and academic success
  • Anticipate important academic dates and deadlines
  • Navigate administrative processes, including academic registration and financial accounts
  • Get tips for staying healthy and getting involved in the campus community

Learn more

10 Steps to Course Registration

10-Steps to Course Registration: (see below for detailed steps)

  1. Log onto to SOLUS with your NetID and password
  2. View your Enrollment Appointment date and time on July 2nd
  3. Select your Fall, Fall-Winter and Winter term courses and load them into your "Shopping Cart".
  4. Wait for your Enrollment Appointment date and time.
  5. At your Enrollment Appointment time, enroll in the courses that you had placed in your "Shopping Cart".
  6. Check your class schedule. Make any needed changes. Print.
  7. View your SOLUS account for tuition and other fees owing. Payment is due September 1st.
  8. Enrolment restrictions are lifted between July 27th - July 31st and then again starting August 25th
  9. Make note of the drop deadlines for your fall and winter term courses on your calendar. These are the last days you can drop courses if you need to!

PLEASE NOTE: Write your Language Placement Test during the summer. Your choice of intermediate or advanced French depends on your language skill level. To retain your place in the course for which you have or would like to register, you are required to take a placement test. This will ensure that you are registered in the appropriate French course. Visit http://www.queensu.ca/french/undergraduatestudents/placementtest.html for complete information and the moodle link for the test. You will be required to show proof of having taken the test on the first day of classes.

Courses Available to First-Year Students in 2015-16
A "one-stop" chart outlining all of the first-year courses offered this year!

Get more information on courses to take in your first year plus descriptions for electives by visiting the subject you are interested in:

Cha Gheill & the Oil Thigh

The Oil Thigh

This combined song and dance is a distinctive Queen's tradition, performed at sporting events and most university occasions less formal than convocations (although spontaneous Oil Thighs have also been known to occur). It consists of the old song "Queen's College Colours," sung to the accompaniment of a low-kicking sort of can-can dance.

The name "Oil Thigh" comes from the chorus of the song, which begins with the Gaelic words "Oil thigh na Banrighinn a'Banrighinn gu brath" ("The college of the wife of the King forever"). At football games, it is a tradition that students perform an Oil Thigh after every touchdown.

The song "Queen's College Colours" was written in 1898 by student Alfred Lavell to inspire Queen's football team to victory after a disappointing loss to the University of Toronto. Its staying power is somewhat surprising: it was just one of countless university songs penned at a time when songwriting was a booming pastime among students, and even Lavell later described its verses as "sophomoric."

Its survival is due partly to its rousing Gaelic chorus, which was actually written separately as a university cheer in 1891, and its popular tune, stolen from the American "Battle Hymn of the Republic." But it has also prospered because most of its rivals suffered even more noticeably from over-sentimentality and clumsy rhyme.

The song's original line "So, boys, go in and win!" was changed to "So, Gaels, go in and win!" in 1985 to include Queen's women athletes.

The modern version of the Oil Thigh:

Queen's College colours we are wearing once again,
Soiled as they are by the battle and the rain,
Yet another victory to wipe away the stain!
So, Gaels, go in and win!


Oil thigh na Banrighinn a'Banrighinn gu brath!
Oil thigh na Banrighinn a'Banrighinn gu brath!
Oil thigh na Banrighinn a'Banrighinn gu brath!
Cha-gheill! Cha-gheill! Cha-gheill!

Varsity's not invincible, they tremble at the news
Of Queen's College Colours and are shaking in their shoes.
Yet another victory, the chance we dare not lose.
So, Gaels, go in and win!

Chorus: Oil thigh, na Banrighinn...

McGill has met defeat before, they've heard the same old tale
Of Queen's College colours, boys, the ones that seldom fail,
Remember Captain Curtis and the conquerors of Yale,
So, Gaels, go in and win!

Chorus: Oil thigh, na Banrighinn...

Western’s White and Purple have come down to Queen’s to score,
We sent them back to London as they’d ne’er been sent before.
And Queen’s again were victors as they were in days of yore,
So, Gaels, go in and win!

There may be other colours to the breezes oft unfurled,
And many another college yell by student voices hurled;
Queen's College colours are the dearest in the world,
So, Gaels, go in and win!

Cha Gheill

This Gaelic war cry, correctly pronounced "kay yi-al" and usually translated as "no surrender," is the rousing conclusion of Queen's traditional cheer (see below). The cheer is now used almost exclusively in the chorus of "Queen's College Colours," popularly known as the Oil Thigh song, but actually predates the song.

The cheer was composed in 1891 by three Gaelic-speaking students: Donald Cameron, F.A. McRae, and another called MacLean, whose first name is not known. It was incorporated into "Queen's College Colours" when the song was written in 1897.

The term "Cha Gheill" is sometimes used separately, especially between older alumni at university occasions, as a jocular equivalent of "Cheers!" or as a salutation at the end of letters.

The original cheer was:

Dearg! Gor'mus! Buidthe!
Oil Thigh na Banrighinn gu Brath!
Cha Gheill! Cha Gheill! Cha Gheill!

This translates as:

Red! Blue! Yellow!
Queen's forever!
No surrender!

It is pronounced:

Jarg! Gormoos! Boo-ee-ee-ee!
Oil Thigh na Banree gu Braw!
Kay Yi-al!

What to Expect - a Gaels' Journal

So excited about coming to Queen’s, kind of nervous too—just found out that I’m going to be in McNeil House residence; it’s right beside the cafeteria, which is pretty sweet. I’m so excited to meet my roommate and I really hope there isn't any snoring! I’m trying to figure out what I need to bring; I’ve never been away from home for more than two weeks, so I’m making a checklist of anything I might need. Can’t wait to move in!

Frosh week was amazing! My Frosh group was called 2 Frosh 2 Furious and a bunch of the people from my Frosh group are in the same classes as I am. The people on my floor all seem pretty cool and Sean and Mary are planning to go into History too, so we might take some of the same courses together next year.

I went to the Clubs Fair with my floor and I’m really excited to get involved this year; I’m hoping that I’ll be able to meet more people from different faculties.

I got lost on the first day of class trying to find a room in Mac-Corry. I still haven’t found it, but I figure if I set aside Saturday afternoon I’ll be able to figure out where everything is!

The first month went by really fast and the work keeps piling up. I’ve come up with a new reading system: for classes that have stuff due in the next two weeks, I’ll do the readings and I’ll catch up on the other stuff later. I just need to come up with a good balance.

It was really nice to see my family and catch up with people from High School over the Thanksgiving weekend. Sometimes I really miss having a room to myself, but I’m pretty happy to be back at Queen’s. It was actually really weird to go without talking to my roommate every day.

Got my first essay mark back; I’m going to have to work a lot harder than I did in High School. I also think I’m getting sick…I drank a bunch of energy drinks to make it through an all-nighter, so today has been pretty rough.

I’m going to start eating healthier and going to the gym and I’m definitely going to stop procrastinating next semester.

Last day of classes! First semester of university is almost done! I fell asleep in Stauffer last night; I can’t wait until exams are over. Four of five exams are out of the way, so far so good, now it all comes down to English. I think I’ll go over last year’s exam on the exambank to do some practice questions.

Just wrote my last exam! I’m going to sleep for the next 12 hours and then pack for home!

Got some of my marks back; I think I’m probably going to go into Biology. I’ve started studying on the top floor of Douglas; it’s really quiet up there and it kind of looks like a scene out of Harry Potter.

Jasmine, Ayan and Tim have asked me to live with them so we’re going to start house-hunting for next year. Hopefully we’ll find something close to campus, because Kingston winters are a lot colder than back home.

My marks are much better this term. I got my first A- on a Philosophy essay. I’m really glad I went to the writing centre to go through my essay with them; it made a huge difference.

Gael applications are due soon and I’m thinking about applying; my roommate Spencer and a bunch of people in my Politics tutorial are doing it, so it seems like it could be pretty fun.

Reading week is coming up and then midterms, so I’m going to crack down and actually work all week to get caught up.

Reading week didn’t go exactly as planned and it went by way too fast, but I’m feeling good about my midterm.

I saw an advisor named Colin at the Peer Academic Support Service and now I think I know that I want to major in Philosophy.

It’s hard to believe I’m almost done first year! We just signed the lease for our house, so we’ll be leaving res and moving into our house in just over a month! I got the biggest room in our house, but the floor is kind of slanted; I feel it’s a fair trade off.

Two more presentations and I’m finished until exams!

First year classes are done! Back to Stauffer being open for 24 hours…I am so close to being finished.

Exams are done and so is my first year at Queen’s! Now it’s home for the summer!


Orientation Week will introduce you to the many academic and social opportunities at Queen's and will immerse you in the full university experience. Take advantage of the opportunities to speak with professors, advisors and students about your academic choices, as well as your strengths, needs and interests. And while you are busy broadening your horizons and getting to know your university, don't forget to have fun.Cha Gheill!

Orientation Groups

Arts and Science (ASUS)

Arts and Science (A&S) students who sign-up for the Arts and Science Undergraduate Society (ASUS) Orientation Program will be placed in a Gael Group. Each orientation group is led by 3 or more upper-year student leaders, with up to 15 first-year students. Gael Groups are made up of students in similar disciplines (e.g. Biology, English, Geography, etc). Check out the ASUS Frosh Week website for further information.


Students who sign-up for the Computing (COMP) Orientation Program will be placed in a Tech Group. Each orientation group is led by 3 or more upper-year student leaders, with up to 15 first-year students. Email COMPSA for more info about Frosh week

Physical Education and Kinesiology (PHE/KIN)

Students who sign-up for the Physical Education and Kinesiology (PHE/KIN) Orientation Program will be placed in a Coach Group. Each orientation group is led by 3 or more upper-year student leaders, with up to 15 first-year students.
Check out the School of Physical Education and Kinesiology website for further information.

Concurrent Education (CON ED)

Students who sign-up for the Concurrent Education (CON ED) Orientation Program will be placed in a Teach Group. Each orientation group is led by 3 or more upper-year student leaders, with up to 15 first-year students. Check out the CESA (Concurrent Education Student Association) website for further information.


If you are unsure of your Group or an event your group is scheduled to attend just call or visit:

  • ASUS Nerve Center located in the Lower Ceilidh of the John Deutsch University Centre 613-533-6254
  • AMS Orientation Hotline located in the Lower Ceilidh of the John Deutsch University Centre 613-533-6293

Student ID

Student Card (Photo-ID) Validation Sticker

  • Please check the Registrar's web page for details on how to validate your student card.
  • Off-Campus and Evening Students: Students registered exclusively in evening or distance courses will be mailed an off-campus student card and/or validation sticker.
  • Replacement Photo-ID cards available in the Office of the University Registrar, Room 125, Gordon Hall, Monday to Friday, 8:30 am. to 4:30 pm.
  • There will be a $20.00 replacement fee.
  • If you have an off-campus student card and are taking a day course(s), you must replace your off-campus student card with a Photo-ID card at the Office of the University Registrar. There is no charge for this replacement.

Peer Academic Support Service (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 terms only

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 on the main floor of Dunning Hall, 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. Questions or concerns may 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. 

Telephone Advising Appointments


You’ve decided to accept the challenge of pursuing your academic goals with the Faculty of Arts and Science at Queen’s University, and we’re committed to helping you succeed, starting with your very first course registration on SOLUS, our online Student Centre.

This section is designed to allow new first-year students to book a telephone appointment to speak with an academic advisor prior to and during the course selection period.

NOTE:  You do not need to book a phone appointment prior to registering in courses.  We are simply here if you need us.  Please do not wait to begin your course selection!

Before accessing the Phone Appointment Request application below, you must have handy:

1. your Queen's email address (ie. 3tld1@queensu.ca)
2. your Queen's netid
3. your questions

If you wish to book a 20 minute phone appointment with an academic advisor, please access the application below (when active) to see available dates and times.

If you need to cancel your booked appointment, please email asc.registration@queensu.ca and let us know.  You cannot edit your phone appointment.

PLEASE NOTE:  Check your Queen's email after you have successfully booked your telephone advising appointment for contact/phone information.

Please note that the telephone advising appointment service for the 2015-2016 academic year will open for bookings mid-June (exact date TBA) with the first appointment available TBA.


Have Questions?

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

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