How does online learning work? How are your courses structured?
Queen's Arts and Science Online (ASO) courses are offered online and can be accessed anywhere you are provided you have an internet connection. ASO uses the Queen's University online learning platform called onQ. onQ is based on the Desire to Learn (D2L) framework.
Visit ASO's How Online Learning Works webpage to discover more about Online Learning.
How much time should I expect to spend per course?
On average, you can expect to spend 10-15 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 10-15 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.
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.
If you’d like to speak to someone about starting your online studies with Queen’s, you may contact Arts and Science Online at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 1-613-533-3322.
How do I apply as 'Mature' student?
We suggest that students seeking a “Mature Student Status” review the application criteria for our “Interest Student” category on the Application & Requirements 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.
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.
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.
To learn if you are eligible for a second degree, please contact ASO by email at email@example.com and provide the details of your primary degree. We will assess it for degree viability.
Fees and Finance
How much do your courses cost?
Visit our Tuition and Fee’s website for more information about Arts and Science Online Courses.
Tuition is due at the beginning of each term. You will only pay for the courses you are enrolled in for that specific term.
Tuition is subject to change every academic year.
How do I pay for my tuition?
Students in the Undergraduate Online (distance) career can pay tuition through online banking by adding “Queen’s” as the payee and using 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or 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 a Queen’s General Bursary.
Is there a fee for exams?
There is an off-campus exam fee of $100 per course for online proctored exams. Students will have two options to write their exams:
- They may write online using Examity proctoring services.
- They may choose to write their exams in-person on Queen's campus in Kingston.
Students writing in-person in Kingston will NOT be required to pay the exam fee. Should you decide to write your exam on campus, you must be vaccinated against COVID-19, as the vaccination mandate for the post-secondary sector remains in effect for Ontario.
What do Term and Units mean?
At Queen’s, there are three terms: Fall, Winter, and Summer. A session is an academic period within a term. The Summer term is the only term with sessions.
There are 3 sessions in the Summer term: May-June ; May-July and July-Aug. Most of the summer sessions run at an accelerated rate compared to the usual Fall and Winter terms.
How do course units work at Queen's?
Our ASO courses will either be 3.0-unit courses or 6.0-unit courses. A 3.0-unit course is usually run in a single term such as Fall, Winter or within one of the Summer sessions. A 6.0-unit course is also referred to as a full-year course and is usually run over the course of two terms (Fall and Winter) or during the May – July Summer session (at an accelerated rate).
The grade for a full-year 6.0-unit 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.
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 while on a degree program. You may enroll in one course or up to a maximum of six courses per term.
If you are an Interest student, you are limited to enrolling in one course at a time in your first and second terms. Once you have earned a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 1.6 on your first 6.0 units, you will be eligible to proceed with the academic progression process. For more information about the Interest Student pathway, please visit our Application & Requirements page.
What does 'Level 2' or 'Level 3' standing mean?
Your Level of Study can be defined in two (2) different ways. Your Level at the University is determined by the number of passed credits completed:
0.0 - 21 units completed = Level 1
24.0 - 45 units completed = Level 2
48.0 - 81 units completed = Level 3
84.0 + credits completed = Level 4
Your Level in your Program of Study is determined by the number of passed units completed toward the requirements of the plan, as specified by the Department. Transfer credits from previous education can count towards your level of study.
Can I take a course that I don't have prerequisites for?
If you would like permission to waive the prerequisites for a course you would like to take and feel that you have a strong basis to be able to do well in that course, you can email the Undergraduate Chair of the Department to ask for permission. If permission is granted in writing, please forward this to our office at email@example.com with your student number so that we can assist you with enrolment. Decisions are made on a case-by-case basis.
Note: The Department of Psychology will not approve prerequisite waivers for students who are in a degree program. You must wait until your transfer credits have been processed.
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 are eligible for a maximum of 42.0 transfer credits (with a max of 12.0 going to towards a BA plan requirements; and a max of 18.0 units going towards a BSC plan requirements). Therefore, you may request to take courses at another university and have them transfer back into your Queen's degree via a Letter of Permission. We would recommend that you schedule an appointment with an Academic Advisor to discuss if applying for a Letter of Permission is right for you.
What courses 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. More information about which courses are required for specific degree plan and/or certificate can be found on our Programs webpage.
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.
If you are beginning as an Interest Student, we recommend you begin with a course that would count towards your elective units, especially if it has been a few years since you have been away from school or have never taken online courses before. You may want to choose a course that will provide you with a strong foundation for future academic success such as WRIT 120 or WRIT 125.
More information about course planning can be found on our Course Enrolment webpage.
About My Degree
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 your online degrees qualify me for graduate studies?
While a highly marketable credential, a General degree is not aimed at providing students with direct access to graduate level studies. Our ASO 3-year degrees consist of 90.0-units, while the 4-year honours degrees requires 120.0-units.
What is the difference between a 3-year vs a 4-year degree?
There are a few things to keep in mind regarding the differences between 3-year General Degrees and 4-year Honours Degrees at Queen’s.
- Admission Requirements: ASO 3-year degrees require a minimum of a 75% average on your high school diploma, whereas the campus-based 4-year degree program requires an 80% + for admission. The campus-based program is also more competitive due to space constraints.
- Program Requirements: Many honours degree plans require 300 and 400 level seminar courses that are not designed for online studies at this time.
Accessibility and Accommodations
Where can I learn more about general accessibility at Queen’s?
Visit the Accessibility Hub for helpful information about accessibility for people with disabilities at Queen’s.
What is the difference between academic accommodations and academic considerations?
Academic consideration is a good faith process allowing for a compassionate response for students experiencing an extenuating circumstance. Academic consideration is a Queen’s University Policy, and does not fall under the Ontario Human Rights code, meaning there is no duty to accommodate requests made through this process. This means that Instructors have discretion how and whether Consideration can be granted.
Academic accommodations are put in place to equalize learning opportunities for students with visible and non-visible disabilities. This involves removing barriers caused by unique student functional impacts, allowing students to fully access the academic environment. Under the Ontario Human Rights Code, Queen’s University, made up of all members of the Queen’s community have a responsibility to uphold the Duty to Accommodate students with disabilities.
To read more information about Academic Consideration, please visit the Faculty of Arts and Science Student Services webpage.