Your First Year at Queen's

If you are admitted into a Bachelor of Arts, Science or Computing in the Faculty of Arts and Science at Queen's, you will start your first year undeclared. Not sure what this means? Check out the "Undeclared First Year at Queen's" section below to learn all about it. We also offer four direct entry programs — find out about them in the "Direct Entry Programs" section below.

Students at Queen's that are admitted into a Bachelor of Arts, Science or Computing experience a common first year. Through self-exploration, and while you settle into university life, you have the chance work with our advisors and faculty to uncover where your real interests and opportunities for success are. Sometimes that discovery happens fairly quickly, and for other students it takes some work and time before the "ah-ha!" happens.

There is a difference between an undecided and an undeclared student. Whereas an undecided student has not decided on an academic discipline for his or her major, an undeclared student knows their major, but has yet to declare it — either way our first year is a perfect start to University life. 50% of undergraduate students change majors — with many doing so two and three times during their post-secondary years (Dr. Fritz Grupe, founder of Changing majors is a lot of work and sometimes not possible leading to disappointment. That's why starting with an undeclared year, Queen's students have the opportunity to 'try' out their areas of interest before commitment their major. No need to change a major — just select the one in your second year that you know is right because you've already taken it out for a test drive.

We have undeclared programs in the Social Sciences, Life & Physical Sciences, Humanities, Languages and the Creative Arts but if you're certain you know the your path and it won't change — don't worry we have direct entry programs too (check out the "Direct Entry" section below).

FAQs about starting undeclared

I need to have my program plan in place in year 1 to ensure career success later.

Advice: When job markets are tough, it is even more critical that you leave university with a general knowledge of the world and transferable skills that give you flexibility in the job market rather than studies that restrict you to just one main option. Timeless wisdom: The most advantageous thing you can do is to achieve high grades and take advantage of the opportunities that your major and extracurricular involvement provide for the development of additional skills. Employers will appreciate that you have a diverse learning experience to draw upon.

I really want to go into med school, but being undeclared won't get me there.

Advice: Every School of Medicine has different requirements for entry, however the common theme between all of them is that the most important thing is proven academic success - in any field. So undeclared or not, you have a chance. Simply work hard, and that will be easier to do if you have courses you want to take.

I already know what I want to do, so isn't being undeclared just wasting my first year?

Advice: It's true that many students have an inclination of what they want to do upon graduation; however looking back on the story of many of our graduates that path often changes. Having a diverse first year will help keep your paths open to many fields if your path does change. Learning in university is never a wasted year, it creates a great foundation for success.

Selecting your major

You will select your degree plan (i.e. major) at the end of your first year. When you are beginning the registration process for your second year, you will be required to request your degree concentration. Please note that many programs do have first year grade cutoffs required to proceed to second year. Please read the individual departmental regulations in the Arts and Science Calendar for more information.


We offer five programs for direct entry in your first year: Music, Kinesiology, Music TheatreFine (Visual) Art, and Life Sciences. Admission into our direct entry programs is extremely competitive and may require extra steps. What does direct entry mean? It means that rather than going through an undeclared year, you are enrolled in your degree plan from year one. This allows you to focus on the core courses applicable to your field of study.