Information for Students Fall 2020 & Winter 2021

This FAQ provides specific details for the Faculty of Arts and Science following the University’s updates on the Fall 2020 and Winter 2021 terms, and will be updated regularly.


NEW - For the full statement (December 23) from the Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic) regarding programming for the Winter 2021 term, please visit


For FAQs and information related to undergraduate course registration for the winter and summer terms, please see our course registration webpage.


Mackintosh-Corry Hall Student Study Hub                                                              

University study space is being provided for the Fall Term to support students who are living in the Kingston area and enrolled in classes offered either in-person on-campus, or remotely, who need access to reliable internet; a quiet, controlled workspace as an alternate to current living conditions; and/or a waiting space between classes to study.

A suite of 5 classrooms in Mackintosh-Corry Hall has been designated as a student study hub, with protocols in place to ensure student safety and usage tracked to determine the extent of the need. For more information, please see


In addition to the remote delivery of first-year courses, almost all Faculty of Arts and Science upper-year and graduate courses will be offered remotely this winter. Only a few exceptions will be made for undergraduate students who are graduating and need to complete individual capstone projects that require specialized equipment or space and a very small number of graduate courses that require similar access to equipment or space.

NEW - For FAQs and information related to undergraduate course registration for the winter and summer terms, please see our course registration webpage

Remote Delivery of Courses

Will there be any courses at all being offered on-campus face-to-face in Kingston this year?

For the 2020-2021 school year, undergraduate courses in the Faculty of Arts and Science will be offered remotely with the exception of individual capstone projects such as theses.

What will happen in January 2021? Will the winter be on campus?

In addition to the remote delivery of first-year courses, almost all Faculty of Arts and Science upper-year and graduate courses will be offered remotely this winter. Only a few exceptions will be made for undergraduate students who are graduating and need to complete individual capstone projects that require specialized equipment or space and a very small number of graduate courses that require similar access to equipment or space. These students will be receiving communications directly from their Department Head and/or Undergraduate Chair.

How will time zone and internet issues be accounted for?

If you anticipate that a time zone difference or internet instability will interfere with your studies, please inform your instructor as soon as possible and well before any assignments are due or online sessions or tests are scheduled to take place. For internet difficulties, please contact the IT support centre

Will I be at a disadvantage taking courses online?

Arts and Science is committed to providing you with an engaging online learning experience and the supports to help you succeed. We are able to use a lot of what we’ve learned through our Arts and Science Online unit. For example, instructors have participated in training to learn how to create an online learning community so that it is easy to interact with your peers. They learned how to use regular check-ins to gauge learning, and address particularly challenging topics via course announcements and short videos. Our goal is to communicate regularly, offering timely feedback and regular help sessions.  

Will tuition be reduced for 2020-2021? 

Tuition will remain the same for 2020-2021. Tuition is reflective of the quality of the degree and associated learning outcomes. Queen’s has invested significant resources to ensure our students receive a quality learning experience and the value of a Queen’s degree is not diminished.

How will the Faculty of Arts and Science maintain academic integrity with online courses?

Maintaining standards of academic integrity in all aspects of learning is a priority for the Faculty of Arts and Science. In online courses, as with face-to-face courses, instructors will be able to choose the assessment format that will best demonstrate your individual learning and avail themselves of solutions such as Turnitin for originality checking and onQ settings to reduce collaboration when it is not permitted. Where necessary, final exams will be proctored remotely using a service such as Examity.

How will lab based/hands-on courses work?

Instructors are developing alternatives and in some courses labs and other practical components will be offered virtually.

How will I get the textbooks that I need?  Will the Bookstore ship them to me?

The Campus Bookstore offers an easy to access online textbook search engine and order system and ships via FedEx.

They are also working with publishers to see what material may be made available electronically.

Will I be able to access library resources? 

Yes, Queen’s University Library is committed to supporting faculty, students, and staff while maintaining its core academic operations to facilitate the institution’s educational mandate. Online resources (e-journals, e-books, databases, etc.) continue to be available to support the university's academic and research mission. Consult the library’s website for more information.

For those in Kingston the library has limited availability for studying. Please sign up for study times on their website.

What if I need help?  How will I contact my professor or teaching assistant in an online class? How will office hours work?

Instructors and teaching assistants will be available via the discussion forum within your course page in onQ.  They may also be contacted by email and this contact information will be posted for each of your courses. Some instructors and teaching assistants may also host one-on-one or group help sessions by video or live chat. 

What supports are available to me?

In addition to your instructors, and the university’s programs and services to support your academic progression and personal well-being, Faculty of Arts and Sciences staff continue to be available to support you. Please reach out to one of our PASS or Academic Advisors if you need assistance. We will also be providing additional academic advising services once the timetable has been finalized.

What will be the technology requirements for courses delivered online?

Computer Specifications

  • Latest, most up to date version of Windows or Mac OS

  • USB Headset

  • Webcam

Supported Browsers

  • Latest up to date version of Chrome (preferred) or Firefox

Internet Connection

  • High speed Internet access (5-10 Mbps of download speed)


Course Selection and Registration

For FAQs and information related to undergraduate course registration for the winter and summer terms, please see our course registration webpage.

Will all the courses I need to graduate be available? Can I graduate anyway if I am only a few units short?  

We will make every effort to ensure you will be able to take the courses you need to complete your degree on time. If you are concerned that you won’t be able to take all the courses you need, please notify the Undergraduate Chair in your department of your situation.  

Do I have to graduate in 4 years?

No. You can take the time that you need. It is quite common for students to take several extra terms to complete their course work by taking fewer courses each term to manage their workload. 

Can I take my courses at my local university? Will it be easy to transfer?

Yes, returning students may take courses at another university through a Letter of Permission.

What if I am an upper-year student and don’t want to take online courses in the Fall 2020 or Winter 2021? Can I voluntarily withdraw for the term or the year?

Yes. If you decide to take time away from your studies and do not attend another post-secondary institution during your time away, please notify us when you are ready to take classes so that we can advise you of next steps and get you up in SOLUS.

In the current situation, there are opportunities for our students that may not have been possible before. Before you decide to take a term or year away we encourage you to keep this in mind.

A break from studies is also not the only option – you could choose to take a reduced course load instead. If you are unsure about what working remotely will be like, perhaps consider taking two or three courses instead of the usual five.  Many students who take an online course for the first time find that it works really well with their learning and lifestyle. Another important factor to consider is staying “fresh”.  Taking time away from your studies may be something you need for your mental or physical health, and that’s ok – encouraged in fact!  However, if your driving factor for pausing your studies is based on the current environment, remember that it’s sometimes tough to get back into your usual “university-mode” after you have taken an extended break. Staying engaged in studies, even with a reduced load may make it  easier to keep that momentum rolling and engagement level high to get you through to graduation.

If you feel that taking a break from your studies is truly in your best personal interests, this is an option you can pursue. The process itself is quite straight-forward – you simply do not register in any classes for the 2020-2021 year. During your time away, your student account will “freeze” meaning that we will not roll forward any future registration segments to allow you to register in further classes until you have completed a “Return to Studies” form.  By signing a Return to Studies form you will declare that you have not attended another academic institution during your time away. If you have attended another school during your absence you must declare this and it could result in having to reapply for admission; therefore, if you consider attending another school of any kind during your absence we strongly encourage you to consult with the Faculty Office first to ensure that you understand all the terms and conditions.

When you submit a “Return to Studies” form prior to your return, the Faculty Office will consult with your home department to ensure it supports the reactivation of your current degree plan. We therefore advise you to consult with your department prior to making a decision about pausing your studies to understand any relevant terms and conditions on course enrollments, priorities, limitations and possible restrictions that you could face upon your return.

Note that if you are in receipt of a scholarship or bursary, you may wish to speak to Student Awards to arrange a deferral of the funding until you return. 

Can I take a part-time load or do I have to keep taking 5 classes (15.0 units) per term?

We are aware that learning is effortful and remote learning even more so and we want you to succeed. Please consider how many hours you can invest this fall when working remotely. You have the option to take fewer units in the fall and then make up these units by taking a 3.0 or 6.0 unit course in spring or summer. Note that we will also be offering our usual online spring and summer courses.   We are also planning to offer some on-campus elective courses in May-June of 2021. Although 9.0 units constitutes full time studies at Queen’s, a course load of fewer than 15.0 units per term may have an effect on some scholarship awards and other funding sources. Please be mindful of these requirements. For OSAP eligibility, please see

What supports will there be for students for whom English is an additional language (EAL learners)? 

Student Academic Success Services (SASS) offers a number of programs and resources to help students for whom English is an additional language to be successful at university. Students can improve communication and build confidence by working on academic English reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills. Please see

What if I try remote/online classes and they don't go well?  Can I appeal my grades?

For Fall 2020, we have moved the deadline to drop a course late without financial or academic penalty to the end of Week 8 to give you more time to reflect on your progress.  We are committed to providing support to help you do your best in your courses. An appeal for credit standing (CR) is reserved for situations where you experience extenuating circumstances (something sudden, that was not known when you started the course). 

What will remote/online classes look like on my transcript?

The Faculty of Arts and Science has offered online courses for many years. They look no different than on-campus face-to-face courses on your transcript. They are just the same. 



If I am not on campus, what are the instructions for managing my own accommodations at home myself? How can I guarantee I get all of my different types of accommodations?

Students must be enrolled in courses before academic accommodations can be finalized.  Once you've confirmed your courses in SOLUS, complete the QSAS online registration to finalize your accommodations.  See


Academic Advising 

Will I be able to access  academic advising?


For information about our daily help sessions during the registration period, please see our registration webpage

The academic advisors in the Faculty of Arts and Science Office (usually located in Dunning Hall) are booking appointments for advising via phone or video. Email to book an appointment. Departmental advisors are also available for advising. Check with your department for an email address to book an appointment or ask a question. 

Meet Haley from our Student Services Team:


Please see our Arts and Science Online (ASO) website for information and to apply. 

Since Queen’s began offering “extension” courses in 1889, the Faculty of Arts and Science has been a trailblazer in distance education. ASO programs, certificates and courses are now offered fully online. 

Meet Laura (BA Psychology), from Victoria, B.C

Will graduate programs be delivered remotely this year?

Graduate courses will be offered remotely this year. Only a few exceptions will be made for a small number of graduate courses that require specialized equipment or space. The students in these courses will be receiving communications directly from their Department Head and/or Graduate Coordinator. 

When will graduate students be allowed to return to campus to conduct research and prepare for remote teaching?

In addition to the graduate students who have already received approval to return to campus for research, return to campus is now being phased in to support remote teaching. This includes temporary and/or intermittent return to campus. Please see for more information.

Please see the School of Graduate Studies website for additional information.