International Programs Office

International Programs Office

International Programs Office

site header


Upon acceptance to Queen's, the IPO Exchange Coordinator will contact students to provide additional information about course offerings.

Using this information, students should also consult the individual department websites to find out about available course offerings. Some courses are not offered every year so please check the department website or the course timetable on SOLUS (Queen's NetID required) for the most up-to-date information. 

NOTE: The course timetable will not be published until June.

Please also read carefully the information below regarding courses before making your selections. Students are responsible for ensuring that their course registrations are accurate and complete, and that the courses in which they register are appropriate to their degree and will meet the requirements for transfer credit at their home institution.

While every effort is made to place students in the courses requested, it is not always possible to fulfill all requests. When selecting courses, students are encouraged to explore all options in the Social Sciences, Creative Arts, Languages, Natural and Physical Sciences, and the Humanities.

What Should I Expect at Queen's University?

Wondering what course loads, class structures, assessments, supports look like at Queen's? We encourage you to check out the following website prepared especially for you by Queen's Student Academic Success Services: Adjusting to Canadian Academics: Tips for international and exchange students.

Submit Course Selections

Physics students discussing a problemThe International Programs Office (IPO) will prompt all incoming exchange students to review course offerings on the SOLUS timetable in June. Students will be asked to electronically submit their course selections through an online form. Instructions and further details will be communicated via Queen’s email

Prior to arrival at Queen's University, incoming students will be sent an update on their course approvals. Some students may be required to meet with the academic department to provide additional information about their degree program and pre-requisite courses in order to gain entry into the courses. The academic program at Queen's can be rigorous and the departmental advisors want to make sure that students have good foundation in the discipline. Students are advised to bring a copy of their most recent academic transcript to show to advisors in the departments. 

Departmental Requirements and Guidelines for Exchange Students

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


All economics degree programs at Queen’s require a supporting credit or background in Differential and Integral calculus. If you not have this background it is recommended that you take MATH 121 or 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 ESL courses. Access to Creative Writing courses is contingent upon submission of a writing sample to Carolyn Smart at


For students who are mathematics majors, the department undergraduate chair finds it helpful if you compose a few paragraphs about your background in the subject area and particular interests. This assists him in directing you to courses of possible interest. Forward this document to the International Programs Office with your course selection sheet.

Academic Advising

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 but the IPO is here to provide support and guidance to all incoming exchange students. We also encourage students to consult regularly with the academic advisors at their home university to ensure that the selected Queen's courses will be a good fit for their degree program.

There is a team of academic advisors in the IPO who are available to meet with exchange students who may be having difficulty finding appropriate courses or to go over their course selections for the term or year. The Faculty of Arts and Science is committed to offering exchange students a challenging and stimulating academic experience.

To see an advisor, simply drop by the office in B206 Mackintosh-Corry Hall and make an appointment. We are here to help!

Course Terminology and Explanations

A unit of study


Academic value of a course, either 3.0 units or 6.0 units (3.0 units indicates the course runs in either the Fall or the Winter term; 6.0 units means the course runs for the full year from September 2015 to April 2016).


This is an academic requirement that must be met prior to registration in a course. Prerequisites form the building blocks for progression within a particular academic subject. Exchange students must be able to demonstrate 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 in order to discuss his/her 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 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 submission on a regular basis, 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 which supplements a lecture usually conducted by a teaching assistant. The tutorial offers the chance to ask questions and receive clarification on lecture material.

Full Time Course Load

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. This is the most common observation exchange students report to our office. Time management is an essential component of a successful academic experience.

A full time course load for one term in Arts and Science consists of a maximum of 15.0 units, meaning five courses each valued at 3.0 units for a total of 15.0 units. 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 are able to mix and match 3.0 unit courses with 6.0 unit courses for a total of 30.0 units. Students studying at Queen’s for one single term may not enrol in six courses. This is strictly prohibited.

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. Consult with your home institution to determine the course load they expect you to carry. This can be done by contacting your International Exchange Office prior to departing for Queen's.