Online Learning

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 are ASO's courses structured?

You will access your required readings, assignments, videos, lectures and learning activities through the onQ portal. You will engage, learn, and interact with other students as well as your instructor through the onQ system.

Course assignments vary widely and may include essays, quizzes, group projects, discussions, etc. and are submitted through onQ.  While some online activities may take place live, these sessions are usually recorded so you can view them at your convenience.

Your course(s) 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 10-15 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.

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 Apply to ASO and ASO Admission Requirements and select the category that applies to you for more information.

If you’d like to speak to someone about starting your online studies with Queen’s, you may contact Arts and Science Online at asc.online@queensu.ca or call us at 1-613-533-3322.

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 Arts and Science Online at asc.online@queensu.ca or call 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 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.

For more information about our Interest Student category, please visit our Admission Requirements webpage.

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 asc.online@queensu.ca and provide the details of your primary degree.  We will assess it for degree viability.

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.

Many honours degree plans require 300 and 400 level seminar courses that are not designed for online studies at this time. Since admission requirements can vary so much from program to program, you are always best to speak to the graduate or professional school(s) you wish to attend to find out if our online degree programs or courses are right for your future goals.

I am experience a technical problem with the ASO online application.

We are here to help!  Please contact Call 613-533-3322 or contact Arts and Science Online at asc.online@queensu.ca.

Transfers at Queen's

Can courses taken at a previous institution count towards my online studies at Queen's?

BA and BSc Programs:

If you have completed post-secondary education at another university or college prior to Queen’s, you may be eligible for between 18.0 – 42.0 units in transfer credits (towards a 90.0-unit General BA or BSc). For students completing an online BA degree, a maximum of 12.0 of the 42.0 units can be used towards the plan requirements, and for those who are completing an online BSc degree, a maximum of 18.0 of the 42.0 transferred units (excluding supporting courses) can be used towards the plan requirements.

Certificate Programs:

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. To learn more about this, please see academic regulation 16.4 in the E-Calendar. 

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 email our Admission Coordinator at transfer@queensu.ca.

How do I transfer to a 4-Year Honours degree on-campus?

Once you've completed 24.0 units online at Queen's (not including transfer credits that 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 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 contact Arts and Science Online to schedule a meeting at asc.online@queensu.ca or call (613)533-3322.

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 fees@queensu.ca 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.  

For more information, please contact Queen’s Student Awards at awards@queensu.ca or 613-533-2216.

How do I know which textbooks I need and where do I purchase them?

The correct textbooks for your course will automatically appear when using the online ordering system at the Queen's Campus Bookstore.

Alternatively, you can view the required course materials on the course description page on our website or within your course in onQ once you are registered.

Textbooks can be ordered from the Queen's Campus Bookstore and shipped anywhere in the world. 
Electronic course resources or books with access codes will need to be purchased through the Queen's Campus Bookstore.

Additionally, 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 a course, do I get a refund?

If you drop a course before the “last day to drop without financial penalty”, a full refund will be issued to your student account in SOLUS.  

After the financial drop deadline, a pro-rated amount will be refunded based on how long after the financial deadline you dropped the course. You can access these refund rates by visiting the Office of the University Registrar’s website and scrolling down to the Drop Date Schedule section.

If you have any questions about your refund, please contact the Fees Office at fees@queensu.ca or 613-533-6894.

Course Planning

What does 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.

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 Admissions requirements webpage.

Can I take a break from my studies?

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 enrol 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.

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’d 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 asc.online@queensu.ca 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.  Send us an email at asc.online@queensu.ca to request a meeting.

Please visit the Forms page of our website for more information and to access the required form.

What courses should I take?

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.

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

While it is currently not possible to complete an Honours degree though Arts and Science Online at Queen's it may be possible to apply to transfer to an on-campus 4-year Honours Degree program at Queen’s or at another University.  

At Queen’s not all on-campus programs are open for transfer.  An example is the 4-year on-campus PSYC program which is closed transfers due to on-campus space constraints. Please contact Arts and Science Online to schedule a meeting: asc.online@queensu.ca or (613)533-3322.

Students who are interested in transferring to other institutions are encouraged to contact the programs directly to learn about the process.

What courses do I need to get a Certificate?

To complete a certificate, you must take the courses as specified on the certificate pages linked below.

Course Enrolment

How do I enrol in my courses?

Students will enrol themselves into their course(s) using our student admin platform called SOLUS. Everything you will need to know about how to plan and select your classes can be found on our Course Enrolment webpage. If you have any trouble enrolling in your class, or if you have any questions about the process, please send us an email so that we can help!

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

When enrolling, be sure to set the course career to “undergraduate online”.

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 the Undergraduate Online Distance Career.

You may add yourself to the waitlist in case a spot opens up. The restriction will be removed on the first day of class when any available seats will be granted to students on the waitlist.

Click here for upcoming dates and deadlines for current students.

How do I add my name to a waitlist for a course?

In step 1 of the enrolment process in SOLUS, you'll be given the option to check a box titled "Waitlist if class is full." If there is space on the waitlist for that class, you'll be added and given a "position number" that you can track.

As spaces in the class open up, students on the waitlist will be enrolled in priority sequence. This can happen at any point up until the add/drop period for that semester.

How do I know if I should drop a course?

Most first-year courses are designed so that students get feedback on how they are doing before the academic drop deadline. In fact, for a first-year student, not receiving feedback on at least one test or essay before the drop deadline may be grounds to appeal to drop a course late. However, we think that upper-year students have enough academic experience to be able to assess their situation, in the absence of concrete feedback from their instructor, through self-reflection:

1. Am I attending classes regularly and keeping up with the readings?

2. Am I up-to-date on submitting assignments and completing course work?

If the answer is “no” to either of these questions, then it may be a good idea to make an appointment with an academic advisor to talk about the situation. Have you been sick? Do you dislike the subject? Are you procrastinating for some reason? They’ll be able to guide you through the process and let you know what other things to consider:  for example, you may need this class to graduate, or it may be a class you need to access other required classes.

3. Am I putting in the effort but still struggling to learn the course material?

If you answer “yes” to question 3, then you may want to access some of the resources and services that are available to you.

Student Academic Success Services (SASS) provides many online learning resources.

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.


How do I know when I am ready to graduate?

You can run an Academic Advising Report in SOLUS to help you determine how close you are to completing your degree requirements. 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. While the ARR is a useful guide, the ultimate authority on all academic requirements in the Faculty of Arts and Science is the Arts and Science Calendar. It is highly recommended that all upper-year students run a report at least once a year, before the summer class selection period. You should also run a report before applying to graduate.

For more information, please visit the FAS Courses and Planning web page.

How do I run an Academic Requirements Report?

Login to your SOLUS student Centre to run your academic requirements report:

  • Select My Academics from the Main SOLUS Student Centre page.
    • DO NOT select Academic Requirements from the Drop Down menu, as it will not work properly.
  • Then select View my advisement report. 

For more information, please visit the FAS Courses and Planning webpage.

How many units do I need to graduate with my Degree?

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.

How do I apply to graduate?

You must formally "Apply to Graduate" through the Solus Student Centre.

To be considered eligible to graduate, you will need to have met all of the academic requirements for your Program/Plan. You may view your academic advisement report in your Student Services Centre under: My Academics -> Academic Requirements. All shopping cart and planner courses must be removed prior to running the report.

To learn more about Convocation and Graduating, please visit the FAS Student Services webpage. You can also visit the Office of the University Registrar’s website for a step by step guide on how to “Apply to Graduate”.

Am I required to attend graduation in Kingston?

You're always welcome to come to Kingston for your 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.


I am having technical issues during my online exam.

If you are experiencing technical issues during your exam contact Queen's ITS immediately for assistance.

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

Students are expected to write their exams as scheduled by the Exams Office at Queen's which includes arranging work and travel to accommodate the exam schedule/details provided. Changes to the dates or start times of exams cannot be made unless you feel you have extenuating circumstances preventing you from writing the exam as outlined in the academic consideration policy. If this is the case, please fill out the form on that website and contact your instructor immediately.

Further information on Exam Regulations and Academic integrity are available here.

How do I change my exam centre location?

Please email asc.online@queensu.ca if you need to change your exam centre. Remember, if you have any on-campus courses you will write your exams in Kingston.  If you are fully remote, you will write your exams online.

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

Not all ASO online courses have final proctored exams but when they do, you will write your exam with our online remote-proctoring service, Examity, if you are not in Kingston. To learn more about Queen’s remote proctoring services and regulations and about Examity, visit the Central Exams Service website.

Is there a fee for exams?

There is a off-campus exam fee  of $100 per course for online proctored exams. Students will have two options to write their exams:

  1. They may write online using Examity proctoring services.
  2. 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.

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

Students writing exams online

  • An announcement will be posted to your onQ homepage detailing the date and time of your online exam with instructions on how to schedule.  
  • There will be a 36-hour window in which you can choose to schedule your exam. 
  • You will also be given the opportunity to take a practice exam which allows you to run through the authentication process and what will be expected of you during your actual exam. 
  • The full list of technical requirements can be found at

Students writing exams on-campus

On-campus exam date, time and location can be found in your SOLUS account.

  • On your SOLUS main page, under the 'Academics' section, click on the 'other academic...' dropdown menu
  • 'Exam Schedule' will be the 11th menu item listed. Click on it, then click on the 'Go' icon
  • From this screen, you will be able to view your exam date and time and location.

What type of computer do I need for my proctored exams?

For a full description of technical requirements for ASO's proctored exams check the Queen's Remote Proctoring webpage.

For exams using the Examity Proctoring system, you can:


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.

You may forward your Queen's email to your home email under the ‘options' menu to make sure you don't miss important information - here is a link to the instructions (scroll down to "Access your Queen's email").

Can I use an iPad to take an online course?

An iPad would be useful for annotating notes without printing out course content, however there would likely be content in the course that will not display or function correctly on an iPad.

Also, an iPad cannot be used to take an online proctored exam. For these reasons we recommend a PC, Mac computer, or laptop.

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

For technical issues with your Queen's email, please call Queen's Information Technology Services (ITS) at 613-533-6666 or visit their website.

For technical issues with our online application or with SOLUS or onQ, please call 613-533-3322 or contact Arts & Science Online by email at: asc.online@queensu.ca.

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.

How do I login to SOLUS?

  • Go to the My Queen's Website at https://my.queensu.ca
  • Click on the red rectangle in the upper right corner:  Search and Sign In
  • From the list "University Wide" choose  "My Queen's U"
  • Log into SOLUS with your NetID@queensu.ca as your username, along with your NetID password.
  • Please note that you do not need to have a Queen's email address to login, but you will need to add @queensu.ca after your NetID.
  • If you have recently activated your NetID or changed your password, wait 30 minutes before attempting to log into SOLUS. 
  • If you a former student attempting to access Solus, and still unable to access Solus after changing your password and waiting 30 minutes, Queen's ITS will need to "fix" your account.

How do I use OnQ?

Sign into onQ and click on your course to beginning learning.  

  • It is chronologically organized to lay out assignments, readings and course modules 
  • Students are expected to learn and familiarize themselves with onQ
  • You can report technical difficulties to us at 613-533-3322 or at asc.online@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.

onQ is Queen's University's enterprise learning management system, built in the Brightspace/Desire2learn environment

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.

When Difficulties Arise

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

You may book an appointment to speak to an Academic Advisor or put your concerns in writing to asc.online@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.

To learn more about how to submit an Academic Appeal by visiting the FAS Student Services webpage.

To learn more about the Appeal for Tuition Amendment process, visit the Office of the University Registrar webpage.

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 contact Arts and Science at asc.online@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.

Queen’s Student Academic Success Services (SASS) 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 the SASS webpage.


Arts and Science Online

[613-533-3322] [asc.online@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

Student Academic Success Services

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

Accessibility Services

[613-533-6467] [accessibility.services@queensu.ca]
Accessibility Services
Accessibility, learning accommodations, mental/health support services

Inclusive Queen's