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Prospective Students

When you apply to Queen’s University after completing high school, or its equivalent for international students, you will apply to the Faculty of Arts and Science. Like most programs in the Faculty of Arts and Science, the History Department does not offer direct entry. Instead, we welcome our new cohort of History Majors, Joint Honours, and Minor students in May at the end of your first year. This allows you to explore a variety of first-year courses before selecting your degree plan, one of the major benefits of pursuing an undergraduate degree at Queen’s University. To learn more about admissions requirements for first-year students, please visit the Undergraduate Admissions website. We look forward to welcoming you to the History Department at the end of your first year.

When you study History at Queen’s University, you’ll follow in the footsteps of thousands of alumni who have occupied and currently hold positions in government, law, business, education, management consulting, public relations, advertising, journalism, publishing, and the heritage sector. To learn more about the career opportunities available to History students, visit our Career & Alumni Pages.

As a History Major or Joint Honours student, you will have the opportunity to enroll in both large and small lecture and seminar courses to complete your degree plan requirements. You will also have access to enroll in experiential learning opportunities, such as the community internship program, archival internships, and/or complete an independent study project. The Department of History offers you the opportunity to choose from a wide range of course offerings and academic opportunities to customize your experience to fit your interests and career aspirations.

If you are considering pursuing a History Minor, you will have access to our 200 level lectures to complete your degree plan requirements. History Minor students cannot enroll in seminar courses. If you are debating between a Joint Honours or a Minor degree plan, please contact for advice. It is much easier to switch from a Joint Honours to a Minor degree plan but it can be difficult, but not impossible, to switch from a Minor to a Joint Honours. Our team of Peer Advisors would be happy to talk to you about plan selection and all the opportunities available to History Major and Joint Honours students.

Please visit the Faculty of Arts and Science's website to review the dates for plan selection, and see the individual plan pages to view the grade requirements to be accepted into each History Plan. For more information on Plan Selection, see this year's Plan Selection Undergraduate Bulletin. If you have any questions, please email, call us at 613-533-2150, or book an appointment. We look forward to meeting you in September and welcoming you to the Department of History! 

Plan Selection FAQs

What is plan selection?

Plan Selection is the process of selecting an area of study that you wish to pursue for your degree by declaring a Major or Joint Honours plan in a particular discipline, like History! It is optional to add a Minor plan to your degree. All first-year students who have completed 24.0 units of courses must declare a plan during the Plan Selection period. See the Faculty of Arts and Science website for more details and this year's dates. 

What do I need to be accepted to a History plan? 

Visit each our History plan pages (Major, Joint Honours, Minor) and select the "Acceptance Requirements" drop down menus on each page for plan acceptance details. All students must successfully complete at least one 100-level History course to be admitted to any History plan. 

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 smaller classes and are only available to History Majors and Joint Honours to encourage active discussion among student peers and with instructors. Our mid-sized department and small seminar classes offer a supportive and welcoming atmosphere where students can get to know the professors and their peers 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 Joint Honours, 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 Progress Report which is helpful in understanding your degree requirements and in planning your future courses. See the Academic Resources page for more information on understanding your Progress Report.

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 enrolled in Minor plans can take courses from HIST 100-299.

Does History offer internships? 

There are currently 3 internship courses offered to History students: 
HIST 212: Experiential Learning in Historical Practice
HIST 501/502: Queen's Archives Internship
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 Facebook, Instagram, 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.

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.