Incoming First-Years

First Year Students queen's university arts and science

Congratulations on your admission to Queen’s! We are so excited to welcome you to the family. The next few months are going to be a whirlwind but keep in mind that our team is here to help you. If you feel lost or you're not sure what your next move is, simply give us a call 613-533-2470.

Steps to Registration

Choosing your courses may seem a bit scary but don’t worry.  If you follow our easy steps to help you register, you'll find that registering in your classes isn’t as scary as you think.

  1. Read the Arts and Science 101:  Handbook (available June 5th).  This handy and essential Handbook will explain everything you need to know about Arts and Science; your degree program; your degree plan and course registration.   The Handbook will answer questions such as:  How many courses do I take each year? What courses should I take? When do I enrol in courses?  Everything you need to know is in the Handbook.
  2. Optional but recommended >Attend SOAR (see below), watch one of our recorded registration webinars  OR complete the online quiz to see if you understand what you need to do.
  3. Optional > So, you have read the Handbook and still have questions but you don’t know who to call?  Beginning May 15th, call our first year hotline at (613) 533-6708 and speak with one of our friendly and helpful Registration Assistants.
  4. Optional > Visit the Queen’s University Class of 2021 Facebook page (coming soon) to “meet” your peers and get advice from upper year students.
  5. Access SOLUS on June 20 to view the course timetable.  The course timetable lists all of the courses that will be offered in Fall and Winter.  This is your first opportunity to start planning your timetable using our timetable tool.
  6. Access SOLUS on July 4 to start filling your “shopping cart” with the classes you want to take.  Remember to click the “Validate” button to check for timetable conflicts.  This is also a good time to view and take note of your enrolment appointment time.  Your enrolment appointment time is your designated start time for enrolling in your classes.
  7. Finish enrolling in your classes when your enrolment appointment time begins. 
  • First-year BAH, BFAH, BMUS and BPHEH enrolment appointment times will be on July 10;
  • First-year BSCH and BCMPH enrolment appointment times will be on July 11.

Check, change and print your schedule. All changes must be made by July 28.


Registration Tips:

    • July 17 at noon:  To ensure that first year students are able to access the courses they need for their degree program, we put “reserves” on some of our first year classes.  If you try to add a class and get a “reserved” error message, don’t fret!  Restrictions on first year classes will be lifted as of noon (EST) on July 18.  If you can’t get into a class because of a reserve, try again on July 17.  NOTE:  this only applies to First-Year Students enrolling in First-Year courses.  It does not apply to upper year students.
    • July 28:  Registration closes on July 28 so make sure you are enrolled in all of your classes by this date. 
    • August 22:  Open Enrolment begins on August 22nd. At this time you can make changes to your classes if you need to.  Be sure to pay attention to the deadline dates for adding and dropping classes. See  (link to important dates)
    • September 1:  View your SOLUS account for tuition and other fees owing. Payment for fall term is due September 1st.

    First-Year Science Timetables

    How do I choose my first-year science class sections and build my schedule?

    1. You should decide which science courses you want to take based on the suggested courses listed for the Plans that you think you may want to choose as your Specialization, Major or Minor Plans.

    2. There are several possible lecture and lab sections for each science class. To make scheduling easier, we will be posting three suggested schedules for you by June 20th. You must choose one of these schedules.

    i)  Morning Lectures, Mid-Day and Afternoon Labs – recommended for students taking 3 or 4 of BIOL 102/103, CHEM 112, MATH 121, PHYS 117

    Science Timetable A: Morning Lectures; Afternoon Labs/Tutorials

    ii) Mid-Day Lectures, Morning and Afternoon Labs – recommended for students wishing to take any of MATH 110, MATH 120, PHYS 104, PHYS 106

    Science Timetable B: Mid-day Lectures

    iii) Afternoon Lectures, Morning Labs – recommended for students taking 2 or fewer of BIOL 102/103, CHEM 112, MATH 121, PHYS 117

    Science Timetable C: Afternoon Lectures

    Some clarification regarding Full-Year A/B courses

    If you're adding a full-year course to your Shopping Cart, you've probably noticed that the first part of the course, the "A" portion, is listed as having no units, while the "B" portion in the Winter term has 6.0 units. This is because you will not get credit for the course until you have completed the entirety of the course. So not to worry if you see zero units in the Fall term; you'll be given full credit for the course once you complete it in the Winter term.

    When adding the B portion of a full-year course to your Winter Shopping Cart, make sure that the section numbers correspond to the section numbers you added to your Fall Shopping Cart (i.e. if you put CHEM 112A-002 in the Fall, you should have CHEM 112B-002 in the Winter. SOLUS will not allow you to mix and match sections when you enrol). If you are a full-year student, you should be aiming for 30.0 units for the year (5 courses each term).

    Courses Available to First-Year Students

    From Applied Music to Fundamental Physics to World Religions, we have over 75 courses open to first year students. It doesn't matter if you are an Arts student or a Science student - you have courses open to you from all subjects within the Faculty of Arts and Science. In fact, one of our recent grads shared with us his strategy for course selection and we think it's a good strategy - every year pick one course that scares you, go out of your comfort zone and you'll be surprised how much fun the course will be.

    For a quick, easy to reference, take a look or download our course list for first-year students. For a more detailed approached, read the course descriptions.

    If you need help deciding what courses to take review the Arts and Science 101: Handbook; attend one of our webinars or SOAR, or call us for more information.

    Course List for First Year Students coming soon

    1st Year at the BISC

    Bader International Study Centre (BISC) STEPS to Registration

    Course Registration can be daunting - we know. So follow our 10 easy steps help you register and you'll be just fine.   

    1. Review the BISC First Year Course Registration Manual 
    2. Attend SOAR (see below).
    3. Pencil out courses of interest using the BISC Course Registration Preparation Sheet in the registration manual.
    4. Optional > So, you have read the Manual and still have questions but you don’t know who to call?  Call our first year hotline at (613) 533-6708 and speak with one of our friendly and helpful Registration Assistants.
    5. View your course enrollment appointment time on SOLUS [July 4]. Spoiler alert - the enrollment appointments for BISC students begin on July 7.
    6. Fill your shopping cart on SOLUS (July 4)
    7. Enrol in courses during your appointment time on July 7. All BISC students start their enrollment times on July 7. Since you not need to be concerned about the timetable (the BISC will do this for you!), you should be able to enroll in all your desired courses for your degree program (Arts or Science). No first come, first serve for you - everyone will be able to enroll in the courses that they are eligible for.
    8. Ensure that you have registered in your courses by July 28.
    9. View your SOLUS account for tuition and other fees owing. Payment for fall term is due September 1st.
    10. READ and REVIEW the Preparing for Your Arrival section of the BISC website. Make sure that you have submitted all the necessary documentation for your arrival in the UK. Start packing for the adventure of a lifetime!


    1st year BISC COURSES for 2017-18

    For all BISC Students: Thinking Locally, Acting Globally (BISC 100 and 101)

    • Archaeology
    • Art and Architecture in Britain from Antiquity to Modernity
    • Astronomy
    • Biology of Cells
    • Biology of Organisms
    • Canada and the 'Third World'
    • Critical Thinking
    • Differential and Integral Calculus
    • Earth System Science
    • English Literature
    • Environmental Geology and Natural Hazards
    • Film Form and Modern Culture
    • Français Intermédiaire
    • General Chemistry
    • Great Works of Philosophy
    • Macroeconomics
    • Microeconomics
    • Opera
    • Politics and Government
    • Principles of Psychology
    • Social History of Popular Music
    • Spanish
    • The Dynamic Earth
    • Western Music: Napoleon to 9/11

    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.

    This is a unique opportunity for students and family members to:

    • Meet with an advisor to assist you in choosing your courses
    • Meet upper year students in your program and the professors and advisors who are committed to your success
    • Learn about the specific health and wellness supports on campus including counselling and accessibility services
    • Meet with a counsellor, residence staff, or dining hall staff to discuss any academic of living accommodation needs you may have

    2017 SOAR Dates for Arts and Science Students: July 6th, 7th, 8th, and 9th

    Registration for SOAR os now open!

    For more information and to register for SOAR, please visit

    SOAR for Arts and Science students includes Kinesiology, Phys-Ed, Computing, Fine Art, Music and Concurrent Education students.


    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). 


    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

    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!

    Next Steps (Month-by-month reminders for Incoming students)

    The Next Steps website is a resource for all incoming first year students.  In a month-by-month format, Next Steps will walk you through the items that you need to complete from May to September to ensure you are prepared for your first year at Queen’s. Wondering when you should register in courses? Or when fall tuition is due? How about when to attend Orientation Week?  Learn all this and much more, at Queen’s Next Steps. We look forward to seeing you in September!