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Frequently Asked Questions

See the response to our most frequently asked questions by clicking each one. If you don't find the answer you are looking for here, please feel free to contact us

Online Learning

How does online learning work? How are your courses structured?

We use an online learning platform called OnQ, which is much like a web forum. You will access your required readings, assignments, videos, lectures and learning activities through this portal. You can interact with other students and submit assignments through this system. Course assignments vary widely: essays, quizzes, group projects, discussions, etc. While some online activities may take place live, these sessions are always recorded so that you can view them at your convenience. Your course will have set start and end dates, and assignments will have fixed deadlines, but when you choose to work on them is up to you. It is a good idea to familiarize yourself with the course syllabus during the first week of classes to get a sense of how much each assignment is worth, when assignments are due, and how you can fit them into your personal schedule.

How much time should I expect to spend per course?

On average, you can expect to spend 10 hours per week on a 3.0-unit course in the Fall and Winter terms. A 6.0 unit course will span two terms, and you should also plan for 10 hours per week in these courses.


Summer Term courses cover the same amount of content, but in a shorter amount of time. Please plan 15-20 hours per course, per week during summer term.

Am I required to attend graduation in Kingston?

You're always invited to come out to the graduation ceremony, but you are not required to attend. If you choose not to attend in person, your diploma can be mailed directly to you.

Will employers view my diploma differently because it was completed online?

Our online courses and programs have the same learning outcomes as the on-campus versions and there is no differentiation between the accreditation - you are still receiving the same quality education that Queen's University is known for. Your diploma will look exactly the same as one completed on campus.


Do I qualify for admission?

We have admission categories to accommodate various backgrounds including those with no previous post-secondary education, or those who wish to take classes as an “interest student” without submitting documents. Visit our Admission Requirements page and simply select the category that applies to you for more information.

If you’d like to speak to an advisor about starting your online studies with Queen’s, you can book a phone or in-person appointment by emailing cds@queensu.ca or calling 613-533-3322.

I took courses at a previous institution; can these count towards my online studies at Queen's?

BA and BSc Programs
Queen's can grant up to 42.0 units in transfer credits towards a 90.0 unit BA or BSc for anyone who has previous post-secondary education at another university or a minimum of a 2-year college diploma.

Certificate Program
Queen's can grant up to 3.0 units in transfer credits towards a 12.0 unit certificate program for anyone who has previous post-secondary education at another university or a minimum of a 2-year college diploma.

Assessment Process
Transfer credit assessments will be done by the Admissions Coordinator once your application and required documentation are received. Certain additional admission requirements may apply. For more detailed information on transfer credits, please speak to our Admission Coordinator at 613-533-6000 ex. 79238

How does the ‘Interest' category work?

Interest students can start their studies at Queen's by taking a maximum of 3.0 units per term for two terms or one single 6.0 unit course (two 3.0 unit courses may not be taken at the same time). If after these initial 6.0 units you achieve a minimum 1.6 cumulative GPA, our office will switch your status to a ‘Non-Degree Continuing' student which will allow you to take up to 9.0 units per term. Once you have completed 18.0 units, maintaining a minimum 1.6 cumulative GPA, our office will give you the option to select one of our degree or certificate programs. If you have achieved a 2.9 GPA after these 18.0 units, you may take up to a full time course load of 15.0 units per term (5 classes).

I already hold a degree from Queen's or another university and would like to pursue one of your online degrees.

The process to obtain a second degree (as well as the number of transfer credits you receive) will vary depending on the type of degree you already hold.

Note: If you already hold a Bachelor of Arts degree or Bachelor of Science degree (from Queen’s or another college or university), you are not eligible to earn another BA or BSc (respectively) from Queen’s. However, if you already hold a BA, you may earn a BSc and vice versa.

For further information on how to proceed, please email our academic advisor at david.youssef@queensu.ca

Do your online degree programs qualify me for graduate studies?

There is no differentiation between the accreditation of our online vs. on-campus degree programs; however the specific admission requirements of the graduate programs you are considering must be discussed directly with the graduate school(s) of your choice.

What classes should I take? How many units do I need to graduate?

If you are pursuing one of our degree programs, you will need a total of 90.0 units to graduate.

For our Bachelor of Arts degrees: 30.0 of these 90.0 units will be required courses for your chosen degree program. The other 60.0 units are electives, meaning that you can take any combination of subjects and year levels you want, provided you have the prerequisites.

For our Bachelor of Science degree: 48.0 of the 90.0 units are required courses, while the remaining 42.0 units are electives.

You can find the specific requirements for each degree program on the related page. Click the links above to view the degree options.

I can't seem to find your online courses in SOLUS

When enrolling, be sure to set the course career to “Distance Studies”. If you are still experiencing issues, please contact us at cds@queensu.ca

How can I apply for a Certificate program?

The admission and documentation requirements for our online certificate programs are the same as those of our online Bachelor of Arts program. If you do not have the admission requirements, you may still apply to Queen’s as an interest student and qualify to take the certificate once you have satisfied the requirements of the interest category.

Click here and select "Certificate Programs" for full details about the admission requirements and processes to apply.

How do I apply as a "Mature Student"?

We suggest that students seeking a “Mature Student Status” review the application criteria for our “Interest Student” category on this page. This category has been created to allow a variety of students of all different ages and educational backgrounds to take our online courses and provides the opportunity to progress into a degree program. 

What courses do I need to get my Writing or Media Studies Certificate?

To complete the Academic Writing Certificate, you must take 12.0 units as specified here.

To complate the Media Studies Certificate, you must take 12.0 units as specified here.

If you are also in an online degree program, only 6.0 units from your degree program or the writing certificate can count towards both. In other words, to graduate with both an online degree and one of these certificates, you would need a total of 96.0 units (instead of 90.0 units).

If you are a Distance student who has already taken all the required courses for the writing certificate throughout your online degree program, you will need to enrol in an additional 6.0 units from the certificate program plan in order to confer both your online degree program and the certificate. If you do not take these additional 6.0 units, you will only be eligible to confer your online degree.

Please note that the Certificate in Academic Writing is not available to on-campus Queen's Students.

Will your online courses help me get into a Master's program?

While we do not currently offer an online Master's program, your Queen’s degree can serve as a basis of admission to various post-graduate programs. Since admission requirements can vary so much from program to program, you are always best to speak to the receiving institution to find out if our online degree programs or courses are right for your future goals.

Fees and Finance

How much do your courses cost?

Click here to see the most updated fees for Arts and Science online courses.

Tuition is due at the beginning of each term, when you will only pay for the courses that you are enrolled in for that term.

How do I pay for my tuition?

Students in the DIST career can pay tuition through online banking using “Queen’s” as the payee and their student number as the account number, or by credit card through SOLUS.

For all questions or concerns relating to payment and fees, please contact the Fees Office at 613-533-6894.

Can I get OSAP?

Only students enrolled in a degree program and taking a minimum of 9.0 units per term can qualify for OSAP. However, you may be eligible for other bursaries and awards. For more information, please speak to Queen’s Student Awards at 613-533-2216.

How do I know which textbooks I need? Where do I get them?

The correct textbooks for your course will be automatically populated when using the online ordering system at www.campusbookstore.com - alternatively, you can view the required course materials on the course description page on our website.

Textbooks can be ordered from the Campus Bookstore and shipped anywhere in the world. Electronic course resources or books with access codes will need to be purchased through the Campus Bookstore. However, hard copy textbooks can be purchased from anywhere as long as they are the exact same edition as outlined in the course description. Please plan adequate time to allow for shipping before your course begins.

I've decided to drop my course; do I get a refund?

If you would like to drop a course before the “Last day to drop without financial penalty”, a full refund will be issued to your student account. If you would like to request that this refund be put back on your credit card, please contact the Fees Office at 613-533-6894.

After the financial drop deadline, a pro-rated amount will be refunded based on how long after the deadline you drop the course.


Is there a minimum course load I need to maintain? What if I need to take a break from my studies?

There is no minimum course load you need to maintain during your time at Queen's. If you need to take a break from your studies, you may do so by ensuring you are not enrolled in any future terms or have any outstanding debt with the university. If you resume your studies within a year, you can simply log into SOLUS and enroll yourself in an upcoming term during open enrolment (please refer to our upcoming dates and deadlines page for open enrolment dates).

If you wish to resume your studies after more than a year has passed since leaving, you will need to fill out a Return to Studies form.

Can I take courses at another university and have them count towards my Queen's degree?

Students who are in a degree program at Queen's may request to take courses at another university and have them transfer back into their Queen's degree on a Letter of Permission. Please visit the Forms page of our website for more information and to access the required form.

Can I pursue an Honours degree after completing an online BA?

While it is currently not possible to complete an Honours degree online at Queen's, there are a few options that may be available to you. You can book an appointment with our Academic Advisor to discuss further. Email david.youssef@queensu.ca

I'd like to transfer to on-campus studies.

Once you've completed 24.0 units online at Queen's (not including transfer credits you may be granted), you may be eligible to apply to transfer into on-campus degree programs, provided that there are spaces available and you meet the minimum GPA requirements for the department you are applying to. Space and GPA thresholds vary by department and from year to year. Applications are available each February at www.ouac.on.ca(link is external) for the upcoming Fall intake. If this is something that you are considering, we strongly recommend that you book an academic advising appointment prior to applying. Please email our Academic Advisor at david.youssef@queensu.ca

I'm finished my class(es). How do I enroll for more?

After your first class at Queen's as an online student, you will be responsible for enrolling yourself in future classes using SOLUS. Enrolment is not always open so make sure you refer to our upcoming dates and deadlines.

I require accessibility and/or learning accommodations. Can you provide this?

Our Accessibility Services office strives to help make Queen's education as accessible as possible. If you require accommodations, please contact QSAS (Queen's Accessibility Services) at (613) 533-6467 or accessibility.services@queensu.ca at your earliest ability.

Can I take a class that I don’t have the prerequisites for?

If you would like permission to waive the prerequisites for a class you’d like to take and feel that you have a strong basis to be able to do well in that class, you can email the professor to ask for permission. If permission is granted in writing, please forward this to our office at cds@queensu.ca with your student number and preferred exam centre location so that we can assist you with enrolment. Decisions are made on a case-by-case basis.

How do 6.0 unit courses work?

How do I know if a course is 3.0 units or 6.0 units?

When you search for the course in SOLUS, you’ll be able to see how many units it is. Most 6.0 unit courses span the Fall and Winter terms. In the Fall term, the course will be labelled “A”, while in the Winter it will be labeled “B.”

How do I enrol in a 6.0 unit course?

Follow the steps to enrol in the Fall term portion of your course (the 'A' portion), then switch to the Winter term and repeat this process for the 'B' portion. You have to enrol in both or neither will count. The two portions cannot be separated out.

How do I drop a 6.0 unit course?

You will need to drop both portions out of your Fall and Winter terms in SOLUS.

Why does it say 0.0 units in my schedule for my 6.0 unit course?

Since you need to complete the entire course in order to get credit for it, the Fall term shows up as 0.0 units while in the Winter term you’ll see 6.0 units. Once you complete the course, you will have completed 6.0 units.

What do full-year courses look like on my transcript?

The course will show up as NG in the Fall term, meaning Not Graded. The Winter term will show the actual letter grade you receive in the course.

When enrolling, I get the error "Available seats are reserved for students in other programs..."

Are you trying to register for an online course through SOLUS, but getting an error saying "You are unable to enroll in this class at this time. Available seats are reserved for students in other Programs and/or Plans. Please keep trying as more seats may become available."

If so, that is because all of the remaining seats in these courses are being held for students enrolled in a Distance Career. This restriction will be removed on the first day of the applicable term and you may enrol in these courses at that time, provided there is still space available.

There is no waitlist option for online courses, so be sure to check back in SOLUS. If a space becomes available during the enrolment period or up until the last day to add classes, you can add it to your schedule.

Click here for upcoming dates and deadlines for current students.


I don't live in Kingston, how do I write my exams?

Not all of our online courses have final proctored exams but when they do, you can write your exams at any of our hundreds of established exam centers in Canada and around the world. If a city within a 100km radius of you is not listed as one of our exam centre locations when enrolling in a course, please select the “Remote” (9999) option and within a minimum of 4 weeks into the start of your course, we will be in touch with you about the process for setting up someone to proctor your exam in your hometown.

When do I get the exact time and location of my exam(s)?

The Queen’s exams office will post your exam time and date (not location) in SOLUS midway through the term. It is important to note that the location details and start time of your exam will be sent to your Queen’s email address 10 - 14 days before the exam session. While the date listed in SOLUS is correct, the exam location listed under "Exam Schedule" does not apply to students writing exams off campus.

You can check your exam centre location by viewing your class schedule in list view.

How do I change my exam centre?

If you need to change your exam centre, please contact us any time before the exam centre change deadline to avoid a $100 fee. Email cdsexams@queensu.ca with your student number and preferred exam centre location, or call 613-533-3322

Can I defer writing my exam or change my exam date?

Exam times and dates are set by the University and cannot be changed. Please ensure to arrange your personal and work affairs to attend your exams as scheduled. Exams for online courses are never scheduled during the evenings or on weekends.

If an exam is missed (or expected to be missed) due to sudden health, family or other extenuating circumstances, please contact your instructor immediately.

Is there a fee for exams?

If you are an off-campus student registered in an online course that has a final proctored exam, there is a $100 exam fee.

My course doesn't have an exam. What exam centre should I choose in SOLUS?

If your course does not have a proctored exam, enter 1111 when prompted for the exam centre code. This will ensure that you are not charged the exam fee.


How do I find/use my Queen's email address?

Your Queen's email address will be provided to your personal email account in your welcome email from Arts and Science Online. All future email communications from Queen's will be sent to your Queen's email address. You can access your Queen's email using the same password you use for SOLUS. Bookmark this page or forward your Queen's email to your home email under the ‘options' menu to make sure you don't miss important information.

What is SOLUS? How do I use it?

SOLUS is our online student portal you will use to enroll in or drop classes, view/manage finances, grades, and biographical information we have on file for you. You can order transcripts, print grades, tax receipts and pay tuition as well. http://my.queensu.ca

How do I use OnQ?

OnQ is an online learning platform that works much like a web forum. It is chronologically organized to lay out assignments, readings and course modules. While students are generally expected to learn and familiarize themselves with OnQ, you can report technical difficulties to us at 613-533-3322 or cds@queensu.ca

If you are a Queen's staff member, please make sure you are logging in with your student ID, not your staff ID.

How do I access Moodle?

Queen's is no longer using Moodle as our online learning management system. Please refer to information about onQ, our new system, to access your course.

When will I gain access to onQ?

Students who are registered into courses before they begin will gain access to their course onQ site by the first day of class. Students who register after the first day of class will gain access to onQ within 24 hours of registering.

Who do I call if I am experiencing a technical problem?

For technical issues with your Queen's email, please call Queen's ITS at 613-533-6666.

For technical issues with our online application or with onQ, please call 613-533-3322 or email cds@queensu.ca

When Difficulties Arise

I am having an issue with my professor or another student. Who should I speak to?

You may book an appointment to speak to our Academic Advisor or put your concerns in writing to david.youssef@queensu.ca

I am having personal difficulties completing my course. What should I do?

If personal extenuating circumstances are preventing you from being able to complete your schoolwork, you may drop your course before the academic and financial drop deadlines without any penalty. If issues arise after these deadlines have passed, you may be able to appeal to have your course dropped. Guidelines and the online process for making your academic appeal can be found here.

The financial appeal form can be found here.

If you are unsure about whether or not you need to drop your course or whether or not your circumstances warrant an appeal being made, please book an appointment to speak to our Academic Advisor as soon as possible. Email david.youssef@queensu.ca

The work is tougher than I expected. Can you help me?

We encourage students to seek help early and often, and there are many student learning support services available to help you. Our Student Academic Success Services office offers one-on-one appointments, strategies and various learning skills enhancement programs to on-campus and distance students alike. Learn more about how the SASS office can help at http://sass.queensu.ca/how-we-help/

I was an on-campus student at Queen's but am now living outside of Kingston. How do I get access to your online courses?

If you have permanently left Kingston and are trying to complete your studies at a distance, please contact our Academic Advisor by email to notify us of this change and to set up an academic plan. Email david.youssef@queensu.ca


Arts and Science Online

[613-533-3322] [cds@queensu.ca]
Online courses, technical support, distance exams, academics

Undergraduate Admissions

[613-533-2218] [admission@queensu.ca]
Transfer credits, application eligibility, admission status

Records and Fees

[613-533-2040] [fees@queensu.ca]
Tuition, service fees, tax forms, holds, refunds, student cards, transcripts, SOLUS

Student Awards

[613-533-2216] [awards@queensu.ca]
OSAP, bursaries, awards, scholarships

Accessibility Services

[616-533-6467] [accessibility.services@queensu.ca]
Accessibility, learning accommodations, mental/health support services

Student Academic Success Services

[613-533-6315] [academic.success@queensu.ca]
One-on-one learning support, workshops and learning strategies.