Welcome To Queen's

Congratulations on your admission to Queen’s! We are so happy to have you joining us in Arts and Science. While preparing for first year may seem like a whirlwind, keep in mind that our team is here to help. If you feel lost or you're not sure what your next move is, please email us at asc.academic@queensu.ca or give us a call at 613-533-2470.

This Handbook provides first-year students with all the information they will need to have a successful first year at Queen’s, including: available courses, a registration checklist, a timetable template, and frequently asked questions.

The 2021-22 First-Year Arts and Science Handbook will be posted by the end of June. 


Start preparing for your first year by checking out our Next Steps website. The website will be updated throughout the summer, so make sure to check back often!


Information for parents, friends, and supports is available on the Student Affairs website: queensu.ca/studentaffairs/parents

Are you a first year BISC student?

Check out the BISC First-Year page to learn more about your next steps.

Are you a Concurrent Education student?

If you are a first-year Concurrent Education (Con-Ed) student then you are part of two faculties, the Faculty of Arts and Science and the Faculty of Education. You will take most of your classes within Arts and Science and have two extra courses (PROF and PRAC) from the Faculty of Education automatically added to your schedule. Make sure you familiarize yourself with the Arts and Science courses and requirements as well as the Con-Ed ones. You can use the Next Steps website to learn more about your next steps, as well as the Con-Ed website to learn more about the Faculty of Education.


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.

Find out more about our summer orientation program (SOAR) from Haley:

 SOAR will run from July 12th -23rd 2021. 


Everything You Need to Know in First Year   


July 12, 2:00 pm EST


Registration: Arts Students  


July 12, 7:00 pm EST


Registration: Science Students 


July 14, 7:00 pm EST


Registration: Music Students 


July 19, 7:00 pm EST


Registration: Kinesiology Students 


July 20, 11:00 am EST


Ask a Student: Student Panel

July 20, 7:00 pm EST


Registration: Computer Students     


July 21, 7:00 pm EST


Registration: Fine Arts Students   


July 22, 3:00 pm EST



You will be automatically enrolled in the SOAR “course” in OnQ. You will have access to all SOAR modules beginning July 12th, and we encourage you to sign up for online events, including webinars and sessions where you can meet your classmates and upper-year students. 

To learn more, visit queensu.ca/nextsteps/soar.

Learn More


Check out these different resources and ways to connect to ensure your first year is as smooth as possible.

Peer Academic Student Support (PASS) Advisors

This service is designed to ease student transition into university and to promote academic success. Peer Advisors address common questions and concerns (scheduling, plan requirements, SOLUS, and selecting courses) during confidential, non-judgmental advising sessions.

Learn More

Academic Advising

If you are looking for some guidance regarding academics, connect with one of our Academic Advisors! They are trained staff who can advise you about your options in Arts and Science.

Ask your questions or book an appointment through:

Email: asc.registration@queensu.ca

Phone: 613-533-2470

Learn More

Student Ambassador Program

Want to connect with a current student and get all your Queens questions answered? Check out our Student Ambassador program! 

Learn More

 Other Resources:

Student Wellness Services

Student Academic Success Services (SASS)

Peer Support Centre

Therapy Assistance Online (TAO) Support

Queen’s University International Centre (QUIC)

Alma Mater Society (AMS)

Arts and Science Undergraduate Society (ASUS)

Athletics and Recreation Centre (ARC)

Career Services

Office of the University Registrar

Four Directions Indigenous Student Centre


FAStrack is a free, non-credit course to assist our incoming students in their transition to Queen’s.

This course will explore topics that are essential for success at university, including tactics for how to approach your university courses, writing strategies, critical thinking and logical reasoning skills, working in teams, and intercultural competency. 

We are offering the following two sessions over the summer.

FAStrack I: July 12th - 30th  
FAStrack II: August 3rd - 20th 

Visit our FAStrack page to learn more or register here.

Hear what Queen’s student Yuejun Liu has to say about FAStrack:

Hear what Queen’s student Mia Basra has to say about FAStrack:





Environmental Studies


Global Development Studies


Kinesiology and Health Studies




To learn more about course registration follow these easy steps.

1. Read the First-Year Handbook as that is your best resource to learn what courses you need and how to register.

2. Sign up for SOAR, talk with an academic advisor and get all your questions before course registration so your enrollment time is easy.

3. Visit and review our Course Registration page including the course registration timeline..

4. If you still have questions, call us at our main line: 613-533-2470. Our hours are 9-12, 1-4 Monday-Friday.

Learn More


At the end of your first year in May, you will declare your Plan (in other words, your major, medial, minor or specialization depending on what you choose). See the Plan Selection page of our website to find out everything you need to know about Plan Selection.

Learn More


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!