How to Choose Your Program – Arts and Science

If you’re a first year Arts and Science student at Queen’s, chances are you’ll be selecting a degree plan within the coming months. With so many programs to choose from, many students have trouble choosing their Major, Medial, Minor, or Specialization. Here are a few tips and questions to consider while choosing your degree plan!

 What type of degree do you want to graduate with?

When choosing your program, you’ll want to decide whether you’re planning to enroll in a General Degree (3 years and a focus on entering the workforce) or an Honours Degree (4 years and a focus on either entering the workforce or pursuing graduate studies). The majority of Arts and Science students at Queen’s choose to enroll in an Honours Degree.

What are the requirements of the program?

Every program has different requirements for mandatory courses, elective courses, grades, prerequisites, etc. When choosing your program, make sure to find a program that suits your needs and strengths. Consider, among other factors, the following:

  • How many hours a week will I spend in the classroom?
  • How many hours a week will I spend studying?
  • What types of courses does the program offer (lectures, seminars, labs, field courses, placements, etc.)?

Does this program fit my lifestyle?

Every student is different, and it is important to consider your personal needs and strengths when choosing a program. Consider your work ethic, learning style, career/educational goals, extracurricular plans, etc. Does the program you are considering fit your lifestyle?

Where should I direct questions about programs I’m considering?

There are many people who can help you choose your program! Here are some ways to get more information and have your questions answered:

  • Talk to upper year students in the program
  • Contact the Departmental Student Council (DSC) that oversees the program you’re considering
  • Contact the Department Head or Undergraduate Program Assistant who oversees the program you’re considering

What if I can’t choose between two programs?

As an Arts and Science student, you have the option of declaring a combination of a Major, Medial, Minor, and Specialization. For example, you can choose a Major/Minor, a Medial, a Major with a Specialization, etc. With these options, you can tailor your Degree Plan to suit your individual goals, and you can even combine two programs that aren’t traditionally connected!

Am I stuck with the Degree Plan I declare this year?

After declaring your Degree Plan, you might find that you have changing interests, that you want to focus more on your Minor than your Major, etc. In your future years at Queen’s, you can apply to change your Degree Plan if you find a program or combinations of programs that better suit your needs.

Where else can I get information?

For an overview of program selection information, visit the following links on the Queen’s University website:

Best of luck with choosing your degree plan!

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