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

Incoming First-Years

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.

Meet our Registration Assistants for 2015-16

The Arts and Science Faculty Office is very happy to introduce our Registration Assistants for 2015-16, Ruth Hobbis, Brandon Murray and Maggie Veneman. Ruth, Maggie and Brandon come to us with lots of advising experience and they are eager to help us welcome our new students as well as provide support to our current students.  

10 Steps to Course Registration

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

  1. Review the SOAR booklet
  2. Review the course registration mini-booklet
  3. Optional but recommended > Review the recording from a past Course Registration 101 webinar (password is 1234), Attend SOAR (see below) OR complete the online quiz to see if you understand what you need to do.
  4. Pencil out courses of interest using our timetable tool 
  5. Optional > Get some advice from the Queen's U 2019 Facebook Page
  6. View your course enrolment appointment time on SOLUS [July 2nd]
  7. Fill your shopping cart on SOLUS [July 2nd]
  8. Enrol in courses during your appointment time
  9. Check, change and print your schedule. (Check your class schedule by July 31st. Make any needed changes. Print.)
  10. Don’t forget about:
    • Open enrolment begins August 25th. At this time you can make changes to your classes if you need to. Make note of the deadline to add and/or drop your classes.
    • View your SOLUS account for tuition and other fees owing. Payment for fall term is due September 1st.

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

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 your 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 our 10 steps to course registration below, attend one of our webinars or SOAR, or book an appointment with one of our advisors.

Course List for First Year Students

1st Year at the BISC

10 STEPS to Course Registration at the BISC

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 > Book an advising appointment with an academic advisor (see below)
  5. View you course enrollment appointment time on SOLUS [July 2nd]. Spoiler alert - the enrollment appointments for BISC students begin on 10 July.
  6. Fill your shopping cart on SOLUS [July 2nd]
  7. Enrol in courses during your appointment time on 10 July. All BISC students start their enrollment times on 10 July. 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 31 July.
  9. View your SOLUS account for tuition and other fees owing. Payment for fall term is due September 1st.
  10. READ and REVIEW your BISC Student Handbook (link to handbook). Start packing for the adventure of a lifetime!

1st year BISC COURSES for 2015-16

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

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

See courses by discipline and term

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.

  • Friday, July 3
  • Saturday, July 4
  • Thursday, July 9
  • Friday, July 10
  • Saturday, July 11


  • Friday, July 10
  • Saturday, July 11

This July, incoming students will take part in 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

Register for SOAR 2015

Telephone Advising Appointments

Need help picking your courses for first year? We want to help... but first make sure to complete Steps 1 to 4 from the 10 Steps to Course Registration above - that way you don't run out of time during your appointment and that time can be used effectively.

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!

20-minute telephone advising appointments with an academic advisor are available between June 29th and July 31st. 

Book your advising appointment

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. 


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!

Have Questions?

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

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