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An image of Watson Hall, home of the Department of History
Watson Hall, home of the Department of History

History FAQs

What is the difference between a lecture and a seminar? 

History lectures offer students the ability to learn about a diverse range of topics, typically through oral lectures delivered by your instructor and readings/assignments. Our lecture course offerings change every year to maximize the range of courses you can take before graduation. These courses are available to History Major, Joint Honours, and Minor students, as well as students enrolled in other programs at Queen’s. Lectures are courses from HIST 200-299.

History seminars are much smaller classes, limited to fewer than 25 students, and are only available to History Majors and Joint Honours to encourage active discussion among student peers and with instructors. Students value the small learning environment where they can collectively debate and discuss the finer points of historical scholarship with their colleagues and strengthen their communication skills. Seminars are courses from HIST 300-330 (core seminars – taken in your second year) and HIST 333-499 (upper level seminars – taken in years 3 and 4).  

Is there a Canadian History Requirement? 

Students enrolled in Major and Joint Honours plans must take 6.0 units of Canadian History at some point during their undergraduate career in order to graduate. A list of courses that count toward Canadian content requirements can be found on each of History's plan pages on this website. Current Canadian course offerings are available here.

As of April 2021, students enrolled in the Minor or General plan are not required to take Canadian content courses.

Which History courses do I have to take in my second year? 

If you are enrolled in a History Major or Joint Honours, you will need to take one core seminar in your second year. A core seminar is a yearlong course (6.0 units) from HIST 300-330 that will introduce you to seminar-style learning and prepare you for your upper-level seminars (HIST 333-499), that you will be taking in the third and fourth years of your degree. As a Major or Medial, it is also recommended that you take between 9.0 and 12.0 units of lecture courses (HIST 200-299) in your second year, to work towards satisfying your option courses required to graduate. 

If you are enrolled in a History Minor or General, there are no specific courses you must take in your second year. You will continue taking the lecture courses required to work towards satisfying your option courses required to graduate.

Please see the specific history plan pages (Major, Joint Honours, General, Minor) to see degree requirements and what it takes to be accepted to a History plan. Once you've declared a Major or Joint Honours, you will also have access to your Academic Requirements Report which is helpful in understanding your degree requirements and in planning your future courses. See the "Tools" drop-down section of the Academic Resources page for more information on Academic Requirements Reports. 

Can students in a Minor plan take seminars? 

Students enrolled in a Minor History plan cannot take seminar courses because they are reserved for History Majors and Joint Honours students. Students enrolled in Minor plans can take courses from HIST 100-299.

Does History offer internships? 

There are currently 4 internship courses offered to History students: 
HIST 212: Experiential Learning in Historical Practice
HIST 501/502: Queen's Archives Internship
HIST 512: Experiential Learning in Academic Publishing 
For more information on internship opportunities, visit our Experiential Learning page.

Are there clubs that I can get involved with? 

Joining the History Department Student Council is a great way to connect with other students during your History degree. The DSC works hard to ensure that History students have a rewarding university experience through hosting academic workshops and social events. As the liaison between students and departmental administration, the DSC plays an important role in the History student experience. Learn more about how you can get involved from former DSC members in this short video.  For more information on the History DSC, visit their FacebookInstagram, and the Watson Blog

The Peer Advising Team in History is another opportunity to build connections with History students during your degree. Peer Advisors are upper-year History students who are trained to answer student questions about how to select a History plan and how to do well in your History classes. PATH positions are advertised in the summer for the following academic year. Email for more information. 

The Department of History also launched its first undergraduate journal in the fall of 2021, Living Histories. each fall, the journal accepts applications for students to join its Editorial Team, to plan and produce a new issue at the end of each winter term. Learn more about Living Histories on the journal's website. 

Registration FAQs

I’m a 1st Year student who is interested in taking History. How can I find out what courses I need to take this year?

If you’re interested in becoming a History Major, Joint Honours, or Minor, you’ll need to take 3.0 units of 100 level History in your first year to be eligible for the History plan. See all 100 level courses offered on our undergraduate courses page. More information on what it takes to be accepted to a History plan can be found on the Major, Joint Honours, and Minor plan pages.

Why are there multiple courses offered with the same code but a different title? 

Some of History's courses are offered using topics course codes. This means that the course topics change year to year and multiple different courses may use the same course code but have a unique title. History students are welcome to take multiple topics courses offered under different course titles throughout their degree program. Topics course code include: HIST 241, 242, 400, 401, 402, and 403).

However, due to coding limitations, SOLUS will prevent students from enrolling in two courses with the same topics course code in the same term even if the titles differ. In these situations, please contact for assistance with enrolling in these courses. 

When is my registration timeslot?

For information on your registration timeslot, please see the Faculty of Arts and Science's course registration page.  

I can’t find the course I want to take in SOLUS

Some courses are not offered every year. If you see a course in the Academic Calendar that is not listed in SOLUS through either “career” in SOLUS, it is not offered this year. Check the Department of History's Courses page for an up to date list of courses. 

Why do some courses have a time slot of 12:00AM – 12:00AM?

While registering for some courses on SOLUS, you will find that under “Days and Times” a time span of 12:00AM—12:00AM is indicated. Again, under “Room” the notation TBA is specified. This might be confusing to you, but all this means is that the class will meet online and there is no set time for live lectures. Your course professors and seminar instructors will hold meetings and office hours, and they will communicate these arrangements at the beginning of the course. These meetings will be scheduled after consulting with you.

There is space in a course, why can’t I register?

During the first round of registration appointment timeslots, some seats in History are reserved for students who require them for their degree plans. Don’t worry, most of these reserves will be removed during open enrollment which begins on July 18. If you meet the pre-requisites for a course, and there is space, you will be able to register at that time. However, courses offered through the Undergraduate Online course career maintain their reserved seats until the first day of classes. 

How do waitlists work? 

SOLUS has a waitlist process so that you can be placed on a waitlist in the event a spot opens up. You can go on a waitlist prior to open enrollment. If there is space at open enrollment, you will be automatically enrolled into the course (as long as you have space in your schedule). For more information on waitlists, please see the Faculty of Arts and Science course registration page. 

Are syllabi available?

Instructors are currently working on the final details of courses for Fall 2022, so current syllabi are only available by request.

I need registration help—what do I do?

The best place for support with SOLUS is the Faculty of Arts and Science. If you have any questions about the History program course planning, or your degree requirements, email the Undergraduate Office at

Department of History, Queen's University

49 Bader Lane, Watson Hall 212
Kingston ON K7L 3N6




Queen's University is situated on traditional Haudenosaunee and Anishinaabe territory.