Queen's Academics 101

Definitions

SOLUS
The Queen's student admin system is your source for schedules, course selection (for upper years in Engineering), fee status, contact info, etc. See the Guide to Registration and Fees on the Registrar's website for tutorials on how to use SOLUS.
Plan (also called your program or discipline)
SOLUS refers to the type of engineering (e.g. MECH, CHEE) as your plan. Traditionally, we have called this a program, but SOLUS uses the term "plan." For our purposes, the term "program" will be used.
Sub-Plan (also called option)
A specialty within your program - some programs have them (e.g. MECH - General, BioMech, Materials); others don't (e.g. CIVL).
Academic
Anything to do with your program and courses (e.g. academic advisor).
Academic calendar
Lists of all courses you must do over the four years of your program.
Academic session
Summer, Fall and Winter terms together for one academic year.
Academic transcript
The listing of your courses, including unit weightin, grades, and GPA.
CEAB
Canadian Engineering Accreditation Board

Your Engineering courses

Course length: Most Engineering courses are 12 weeks (one term) long - called Fall term (F) courses or Winter term (W) courses. A few of your courses run through both Fall and Winter terms (FW).

Course weight: Each course is assigned units reflecting the weight of the course (this corresponds approximately to the number of contact hours per week).

  • Term-length Fall (F) or Winter (W) Engineering courses are 3.0 - 4.5 units.
  • FW course are generally twice this (e.g. APSC100 is 9 units).
  • Courses in the Faculty of Arts and Science are all 3 units (one term) or 6 units (Fall/Winter).

Course types in Engineering:

  • Core Courses: These are courses you must take and pass in order to complete your degree requirements (you don't choose these - we put them into your schedule - e.g. all of your first year courses are core).
  • Technical elective courses: Engineering upper-year courses you can choose.
  • Complementary studies courses: Three courses (9 units) chosen from Humanities, Languages, Management and Linkage (done in upper years).

Course numbering:

  • The four-letter prefix denotes the type of course
    • APSC: Course common to all programs. All first-year courses are designated APSC.
    • All others denote the course type (e.g. CHEE = Chem Eng, MECH = Mech Eng, MTHE = Math, ENPH = Eng Phys)
  • The three-digit number indicates the level of the course:
    • 100-level = first year
    • 200-level = second year, etc.

Course structure:

In Engineering, most courses consist of three 50-minute lecture periods per week and one 50-minute tutorial (class problem solving session). Some courses also contain lab components.

Engineering Design and Practice Sequence (EDPS):

The CEAB requires that engineering students gain knowledge and skills in many different areas of design and professional practice. In order to achieve this, Queen’s Engineering students are required to complete an EDPS course every year. In first year, this course is APSC100, in second year APSC200. In third and fourth year, these courses have program-specific course numbers. These courses will teach you the elements of design as well as professional skills, such as teamwork, problem solving, and communication.