How Online Learning Works | Arts and Science ONLINE

How Online Learning Works


Arts and Science Online offers courses through an online learning platform called OnQ. It works much like a web forum where courses are chronologically organized to lay out assignments, readings, videos, discussion forums, quizzes, group work, and tutorials, all of which are available 24/7. You can log into OnQ on the first day of classes to access your course materials. Many courses also require a textbook, e-textbook or other resource which may be purchased through the Campus Bookstore.


Queen’s online courses are developed with a focus on active learning by Queen’s professors with a team of online learning and technology specialists. You’ll get to know your professor and classmates throughout the term. You’ll work with other students on class projects and share perspectives on discussion board assignments.


All of our courses have set start and end dates, which follow the same terms as an on-campus course (Fall, Winter and Summer). Throughout your course, assignments will have fixed deadlines but when you choose to work on them is up to you. While some online activities may take place live, these sessions are always recorded so that you can view them at your convenience. 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.

Time Commitment

On average, you can expect to spend 10 hours per week on a 3.0-unit course (longer in condensed summer courses).

Course Load

The number of courses you take in a term will depend on which admission category you choose, and your own work-life balance.

Students who are admitted to the Interest category, are limited to one course (or 3.0 units) at a time for the first two terms. After achieving above a 1.6 cumulative GPA in these first two courses, Interest students may take up to 9.0 units per term and progress into a degree program. Read more about how the Interest category works here.

Degree students may take up to a full-time course load - 15.0 units per term (9.0 during the summer). There is no time limit on how quickly you must finish your degree; take all the time you need! If you need to take a break from your studies, you can always come back (see ‘Return to Studies Form’ for more info).


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, or via online proctoring where available. You’ll get to select your exam centre when you enroll in a course. If we happen not to have one set up near you, please select "Remote" (9999) when applying and we’ll contact you about arranging for a proctor.

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 evening or on weekends.