Academics

Arts and Science is the largest Faculty at Queen’s University, making up over 60% of the university. It has 32 departments and schools, with an extraordinary scope of educational possibilities encompassing the creative arts, languages, computing, humanities, social sciences, life and physical sciences, as well as several interdisciplinary departments.

Arts and Science courses are open to exchange students provided that they have the appropriate prerequisite courses. Please note that availability may be limited in some departments, particularly in Psychology, Computing, and Kinesiology, and that entry into courses in any department is not guranteed.

Students may have the option to take courses from another Faculty; however, the majority of courses must be in the Faculty of Arts and Science. Students are not permitted to enroll in courses offered by the Faculty of Law.

Find departments in the Faculty of Arts and Science

Academic Information

More information about course registration can be found on our Pre-departure page.

All courses at Queen's are taught in English.

You can find courses of instruction in the online Academic Calendar.

Not every course listed in this Calendar is offered every year. For the most up-to-date information on course offerings, students are advised to view the course timetable on SOLUS or consult with the appropriate department.

A full-time course load for one term in Arts and Science consists of a maximum of 15.0 units.

  • This means five courses each valued at 3.0 units for a total of 15.0 units.
  • Students may only take 3.0 unit courses if 
  • Students studying at Queen’s for one single term may not enrol in six courses. This is strictly prohibited.

A full-time course load for a full year consists of a maximum of 30.0 units.

  • If studying at Queen’s for the full academic year (September to April), students can mix and match 3.0 unit courses with 6.0 unit courses for a total of 30.0 units.

Some past exchange students have found that taking four courses in a single term, or 12.0 units, provides them with a rigorous academic program but does leave time for other pursuits while on the exchange program. 

Exchange students are encouraged to carefully consider their course load in consultation with their home university. Generally speaking, students should expect a heavier volume of work in each course than at their home university. This is the most common observation exchange students report to our office. Time management is an essential component of a successful academic experience.

3.0 unit courses are offered within the Fall (September-December) or Winter (January-April) terms. A 3.0 unit course involves 110-130 hours of learning hours.

Full-year 6.0 unit courses extend throughout the Fall-Winter session (September-April). A 6.0 unit course normally involves 220-260 hours of learning hours (laboratories and tutorials may also be required).

The Faculty of Arts and Science uses a GPA (Grade Point Average) ranging from 4.3 (A+) to 0 (F). See the Faculty of Arts and Science website for more information.

Requirements vary for each course. An extra half hour during final examinations is available to exchange students whose first language is not English.

Searching for courses and mapping out an academic plan for a term or year abroad in an unfamiliar academic environment can seem like a daunting task. However, the IPO is here to provide support and guidance to all incoming exchange students. We also encourage students to consult regularly with the academic advisers at their home university to ensure that the selected Queen's courses will be a good fit for their degree program.

If you are having difficulty finding appropriate courses or want to review your course selections please contact us. There is a team of academic advisers in the IPO who are available to meet with exchange students for this purpose. The Faculty of Arts and Science is committed to offering exchange students a challenging and stimulating academic experience.

To see an adviser please book a virtual advising appointment or drop by our office in Mackintosh-Corry Hall.

Don't forget to consult with your home university as well to get their approval to transfer the credits for the courses which you wish to take while on exchange at Queen's.

Some departments require incoming students to have certain pre-requisites or to fulfill certain criteria, which are listed below.

Economics

All Economics degree programs at Queen’s require a supporting credit or background in Differential and Integral calculus. If you do not have this background it is recommended that you take MATH 121 or MATH 126. (MATH 126 content is similar to 121 but assumes no knowledge of calculus.)

English Language and Literature

Students applying for 300 level courses should have three previous English Literature credits completed at the home institution. Students may take 200 level courses with a minimum of one English Literature course completed. This does not include English as Additional Language courses. Access to Creative Writing courses is contingent upon the submission of a writing sample to the relevant professor.

Fine Art

Students wishing to take Fine Art courses must email ipo@queensu.ca as entry is highly restricted.

Prerequisite

This is an academic requirement that must be met before registration in a course. Prerequisites form the building blocks for progression within a particular academic subject. Exchange students must be able to demonstrate a sufficient basis or foundation for acceptance into a 300-level course. Sometimes it may be necessary for an exchange student to visit the academic unit (i.e., department) upon arrival at Queen’s. This is to discuss their background in a particular subject.

Numbering of Courses
  • Courses numbered 100 to 199 are introductory courses, normally taken in first year.
  • Courses numbered 200 to 299 are normally taken in the second year and usually require a previous course in the subject.
  • Courses numbered 300 to 399 are normally taken in the third year and have prerequisites determined by the departments.
  • Courses numbered 400 to 499 are normally taken in fourth year and are primarily intended as senior courses in the four-year programs.

Note: Exchange students should not have a high expectation of gaining entry to 400-level courses. It may be possible but only if there is room in the course, the student has the required prerequisite(s) and obtains the instructor’s approval.

Course types
  • LAB – Laboratory An experimental session in a laboratory with a report due at the end of each session. Usually held weekly. Labs count toward the final course mark.
  • LECT –Lecture In-classroom presentations by professors/instructors. Assignments are scheduled for regular submission, usually weekly.
  • SEM – Seminar Small discussion group in a classroom, typically 10-20 students. Students are expected to prepare and deliver presentations to classmates and the professor. The presentations count toward the final course mark.
  • TUT – Tutorial An informal class that supplements a lecture usually conducted by a teaching assistant. The tutorial offers the chance to ask questions and receive clarification on lecture material.

Join the Conversation

Queen's University celebrates intercultural dialogue around equity, diversity, inclusion, and Indigeneity in the Queen’s and broader Kingston community. Intercultural conversation makes our community remarkable both within and outside the classroom. Here are some academic courses that we invite you to explore as you continue to research a potential exchange at Queen’s University. All members of the Queen’s community are encouraged to participate in the intercultural conversation and we hope you will join us.

Exchange students are also welcome to participate in free training sessions with the Human Rights and Equity Office and are encouraged to consider registering for the free Intercultural Awareness Certificate, co-offered by the Four Directions Indigenous Student Centre and Queen's University International Centre.

Courses listed below are one-term courses (either Fall or Winter) and have a cultural focus and minimal pre-requisites. Please note course offerings are subject to change each year.

  • ANSH 101/3.0 Beginning Anishinaabe Language and Culture I
  • ARTH 248/3.0 Introduction to the Indigenous Arts of North America
  • BIOL 319/3.0 Introduction to Ethnobotany
  • BLCK 200/3.0 Introduction to Black Studies
  • DEVS 220/3.0 Introduction to Indigenous Studies
  • ENGL 218/3.0 Introduction to Indigenous Literature in Canada
  • ENSC 103/3.0 Environment and Sustainability
  • GNDS 212/3.0 Racism, Colonialism and Resistance
  • GNDS 125/3.0 Gender, Race and Popular Culture
  • GNDS 215/3.0 Introduction to Sexual and Gender Diversity
  • GPHY 351/3.0 Geographies of Indigenous and Settler Relations
  • HIST 254/3.0 Women and Gender in 20th Century Canada
  • INDG 301/3.0 Black and Indigenous Poetries
  • INUK 101/3.0 Beginning Inuktitut Language and Culture
  • LLCU 101/3.0 Beginning Indigenous Language and Culture I
  • LLCU 110/3.0 Linguistic Diversity and Identity
  • LLCU 111/3.0 Introduction to Cultures
  • LLCU 270/3.0 Contemporary Events and Indigenous Cultural Politics
  • LLCU 302/3.0 Unsettling: Indigenous Peoples & Canadian Settler Colonialism
  • LLCU 370/3.0 Indigenous Women and Power
  • MOHK 101/3.0 Beginning Mohawk Language & Culture
  • POLS 313/3.0 Mass Media and Politics in Canada