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.

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?

What it takes to get accepted into 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.

Art History




Classical Studies (including CLST and CLAS)

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


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:

All students that have successfully completed 24 units or more must declare a Plan from May 14 - 25, 2018. See what steps you need to take in order to choose your Plan.

Questions about course selection? Find out what you need to know.

Certificates provide students with the opportunity to expand their credentials. See what Certificates are offered by Arts and Science.

Learn about how you can "test drive" a career through a 12-16 month paid and professionally supervised internship after your 2nd or 3rd year of undergraduate studies.

Understand and interpret your Academic Requirements Report (ARR), available through SOLUS. The Academic Requirements Report is designed to give you advice on what courses you will need to take to complete your degree, as well as warn you if you have broken any of the various rules that govern which courses may be used in a particular degree program.

Do you need help figuring out how to pick courses for your degree plan, electives and certificates? Watch our video or use our worksheet.