New Incoming Grad Information

Welcome to the Department of Chemistry at Queen's University!

Our goal is to ensure that you will have a successful career at Queen's, and we hope that you will enjoy your time here with us. If you have any questions or if there is anything that we can do to assist you, please let us know. We will be happy to help.

Below is important information to help you get started at Queen's and in our program. The most important time-sensitive information is denoted by an asterisk (*).



Communication is key to your success as a graduate student. There are multiple forms of communication that the department uses. Students should familiarize themselves with these forms of communication.

Every student is assigned a NetID - a unique network identification that allows you to access many Queen's online services.

Your student netID gives you access to such things as Office 365, the Student Online University System (SOLUS), the library, and onQ (course websites). It also creates your Queen's student email which is used as the main contact by the department and the university.

For more information and instructions on how to activate:

Getting Started: Students | IT Services (

*You will need your student number to activate your netID which can be found at the bottom of your Acceptance Letter.



Graduate Students who hold teaching assistantship (TA) and or research assistantship (RA) positions are considered employees of the University and are provided with a employee netID upon the acceptance of their first TA/RA Contract.

This employee netID, like the student netID, allows you to access Queen's online services that pertain to you as an employee including the MyHR system.

The MyHR system is an online portal that provides employees with access to a variety of human resources services, including access to view and print pay advice slips, view and print T4/T4A's, change home address and banking information and update emergency contacts. 

Your employee netID (email) account is also used as the point of contact for all TA positions after your initial TA contract setup by both students and employment supervisors.

Please note that your employee netID will expire five (5) months after your last active TA/RA contract.

The department uses distribution groups (mailing lists) to send important information to members of our department. These distribution groups are based on the Queen's Global Address Listing (GAL). As a student you have the option of hiding (not publishing) your email from this list.

If you choose to hide your email we will be unable to add you to the lists and you will not receive any important emails that are sent through these lists such as: TA applications, award deadlines, seminar announcements, safety issues, grad modules information, and many others. It will be your responsibility to obtain this information from other sources (i.e. website, another grad student or member of your group).

If your email is active and not hidden, you will be added to the CHEM Grad distribution list before you arrive. When you arrive you will then be added to your supervisor's group, the department, and any other distribution lists that pertain to you.  

The Chemistry Grad Platform is an onQ course website that has been set up to assist students navigate through their graduate programs and provide all the necessary information and forms needed. Students will have access to this course for the duration of their program. 

The platform can be assessed by going directly to, logging in using your student netID and selecting it from your list of courses (under the No Semester tab, if applicable). Alternatively, there is a direct link available from the Graduate drop-down menu on the Chemistry website.

This course is updated regularly. Students will be notified when new content has been added or modified based on their notification preferences. To manage your notifications in onQ click on your name in the top right corner of your screen and select Notifications. Under the Contact Methods you can select how you would like to receive the notifications and under Instant Notifications you can choose which notifications to receive.

Chemistry Grad Platform Reference Sheet

Below is a list of the forms included in the New Graduate Student Incoming Package that can be accessed through the SharePoint link provided using your Queen's student netID. These forms will need to be filled out with your supervisor. Hard copies of the forms can also be picked up from the Chemistry Main Office, Chernoff Hall room 200 upon arrival.

01 Graduate Students Memo - explains all forms and training needed to work in the department

02 Incoming Member Worksheet - used by the department to provide access to the building

03 Safety Handout - used to familiarize students with safety regulations and expectations

04 NMR form (if needed) - used if you need access to the NMR facilities as part of your research

05 ESA - information on the Employment Standards Act which would pertain to TA income

06 GRF Learning Plan - this form is completed each academic year to determine your learning plan for the year

New Graduate Student Welcome Package

Graduate Assistant
Main Office, Chernoff Hall, rm 200 (CHE200)

  • First point of contact for graduate studies
  • Processes all graduate forms, documents and contracts
  • Graduate finances and awards
  • Room bookings for committee meetings, candidacy exams and thesis exams
Graduate Coordinator
Chernoff Hall, rm 407 (CHE407)
  • Provides consultation or advice relating to academics, research and/or matters of concern
  • Signs all graduate forms (please submit to graduate assistant first)
Graduate Ombudsman
Contact the QGCS or Graduate Assistant for details
  • Provides anonymous, impartial consultation and advice for when a student feels uncomfortable approaching their supervisor and/or graduate coordinator
Office Assistant
Main Office, Chernoff Hall, rm200 (CHE200)
  • Department access forms and mandatory training
  • First contact for all repair/maintenance requests (building, custodial, telecom, etc.)
  • General room bookings
  • Safety/incident reports
  • Printing and faxing
Undergraduate Assistant
Main Office, Chernoff Hall, rm200 (CHE200)
  • TA applications and forms, evaluations
  • Room bookings for anything related to undergraduate courses
  • Assists with onQ issues related to TA positions

Chemistry Repair Shop
Chernoff Hall, rm 301/302 (CHE301/302)


  • Instrumentation repairs 
  • NMR maintenance
  • Computer repairs and software requests
  • Network issues
Science Stores
Chernoff Hall, rm 109 (CHE109)
  • Purchase lab and office supplies
  • Ordering

Financial Coordinator
Chernoff Hall, rm 200 (CHE200) 

  • Assists with research finances 
  • Sets up stores barcodes and photocopy code (at request of supervisor)
  • Assists with Expense Reimbursement System



Graduate Studies is a major financial undertaking. To assist students, the department and university offer a range of funding opportunities. Here you will find information on the funding available and what expenses to expect. 

The guaranteed minimum stipend runs on the academic calendar year (September to August). The finalized guaranteed minimum stipend is announced on August 1st for the upcoming academic year.

The is financial support can come from a variety of sources and can differ from student to student and from year to year. These sources include:

  • Supervisor Research Grant (GRF)
  • External Scholarships (NSERC, OGS)
  • Internal Scholarships
  • Graduate Teaching Assistantships (TA)
  • Graduate Research Assistantships (RA)

This support is guaranteed for all full-time graduate students up to two years of a MSc/MASc program and up to four years of a PhD program who do not have outside funding (i.e. government funding/scholarship).

To receive the minimum stipend students are required to apply for four TA positions unless their supervisor volunteers to increase the GRF portion or they have an award that reduces the number of positions required. Scholarship students should discuss a reduced TA load with their supervisor in line with the scholarship terms and conditions.

As long as students have applied for the required number of positions and have not declined any that have been assigned to them, the funding package will not be reduced should the department be unable to provide the requested number of positions.

Please refer to the Financial Support page for more details regarding the guaranteed minimum stipend.

Students are provided with a breakdown of their financial support at the end of August/beginning of September of each year, once the TA assignments have been determined. Students who start their studies in January or May will receive their financial support breakdown upon their arrival. Please note that changes are possible throughout the academic year and will be reported promptly should they occur.

Example of Student Financial Sheet

Disbursement of Funds

  • Awards
    • one payment at the start of each term in which the award applies
    • Posted to SOLUS generally between
      • ​​​Fall Term: September 1-10th
      • Winter Term: January 1-10th
      • Summer Term: April 20th - May 10th
    • Direct Deposit within 3-7 business days of posting
    • Exceptions: tuition awards which are applied directly towards tuition in SOLUS
  • Graduate Research Fellowships (GRF)
    • Monthly payment
    • Posted around 15th of the month to SOLUS
    • Direct Deposit within 3-7 business days of posting
  • Teaching Assistantships/Research Assistantships (TA/RA)
    • Monthly payment
    • Posted one week prior to the last working day of the month in MyHR
    • Direct Deposit on the last working day of the month
    • Subject to taxes and union dues

Students must apply to be considered for TA positions each year in June for the upcoming academic year. New incoming students who were accepted to the program after the June deadline are still eligible to apply for positions. The department will try to accommodate these requests where possible.

Although all students are encouraged to apply, students in preference group A (years 1 and 2 of an MSc/MASc, years 1 to 4 of a PhD in Chemistry) will have first priority. 

Students should discuss the application with their research supervisor to verify the number of TA positions for which they should apply in order to meet their support package. As part of the minimum guaranteed funding stipend, students are required to apply for four positions (2 Fall, 2 Winter) unless their supervisor volunteers to increase the GRF portion or they have an award that reduces the number of positions required.

For a list of positions please refer to Appendix 1: TA Positions (160KB, PDF)

2023-2024 TA Application (Microsoft Form)

TA positions fall under the PSAC Local 901, Unit 1 Collective Agreement

PSAC Local 901 website:

Graduate students are assessed term fees for each term of registration in their program. These fees are a flat rate based on enrolment in CHEM899/999 and is independent of any other courses a student may take. In addition, students will be charged a student assistance levy which is applied on a per-term basis. This fee is meant to help improve existing scholarships and student assistant programs, fund the Summer Work Experience Program (SWEP), and support the learning environment. 

Graduate Students who do not enroll in the Pre-Authorized Payment Plan must pay tuition and fees by the due date of each term enrolled:

  • Fall Term: September 30
  • Winter Term: January 10
  • Summer Term: May 1

Graduate Tuition & Fees | Queen's University (

Graduate Students are also assessed ancillary fees which support activities and services provided by the university and by student governments, and their faculty/school societies, and clubs. These fees consist of mandatory and optional fees. Students can opt-out of optional fees online through SOLUS in September. Please note that the opt-out process can only be completed once per year. These fees are due by September 30 (unless enrolled in the Pre-Authorized Payment Plan). 

Graduate Students who start their program in January or May may be assessed prorated ancillary fees for the remainder of the current academic year. 

Ancillary Fees | Queen's University (

International students are required to have, and will automatically be charged for and enrolled in UHIP, the University Health Insurance Plan that provides basic medical coverage for most doctor and hospital services in Ontario. Watch your Queen's email for the message "UHIP - Action Required"

Canadian students from other provinces must inform their local Ministry of Health that they will be studying in Ontario. Domestic students who have yet to establish coverage in a provincial/territorial health plan, returning Canadians, or new permanent residents are eligible to apply for OHIP, the Ontario Health Insurance Plan. If you need coverage during the OHIP waiting period, you can request short-term UHIP.

UHIP Enrolment | QUIC (

The Pre-Authorized Payment Plan (PPL) is a payment program open to graduate students only, who have no debt from a prior academic year. There is no fee, or extra charge, to join the payment plan. The PPL will pick up all fees that have been assessed in SOLUS on a per-term basis and divide the amounts over the scheduled withdrawal dates of the plan.

Students must self-enrol in the payment plan through SOLUS each academic year. Students who register starting in the fall term, will automatically be enrolled in the winter plan on January 20th and subsequently those registered in the winter term, will automatically be enrolled in the summer plan on April 30 for that academic year. Students would then need to once again self-enrol starting the following fall term.

Once enrolled in the PPL, the withdrawals will be taken directly from the student's bank account using the bank information that has been entered into SOLUS. Students need to ensure that there are enough funds in their bank account to cover the withdrawal. The amount to be withdrawn can be verified on the student's SOLUS account.

Those students who receive a Department MSc International Tuition Award will have the amount of the award applied directly to the term fees and the amount will come off the next scheduled payment(s). It is not spread out over all of the payments.

How to Pay | Queen's University (

Here you will find links to specific resources that will help with Life in Kingston. 

Queen's University International Centre (QUIC)

Registrar & Financial Aid Services

  • Expenses & Budgets - please note that the listed rent and utilities costs for Off-Campus under the Living expenses section is per month so the 8 month budget total would be closer to $11,128-$16,624

Housing and Ancillary Services



The main goal of a chemistry graduate student is to gain expertise in a specific area of research. To help achieve this there are mandatory academic requirements and milestones throughout the course of each graduate program that students are expected to meet. 

To be registered students must have received a final offer letter from Queen's University. This acceptance is delivered via the online application system. Students need to ensure that they have submitted any required documents needed to receive a final acceptance offer.

New students are registered in their prospective programs by the department starting at the beginning of August. As part of the program registration students will be registered in the following courses each term:

  • CHEM 899 Master's Thesis OR CHEM 999 Doctoral Thesis
  • CHEM 802 Chemistry Seminar Program

These courses are non-graded courses that form the basis for enrolment for all students registered in a chemistry graduate program. Unlike undergraduate studies where tuition is based on the number of courses (each course has its own tuition fee), tuition for graduate studies is assessed at a standard tuition fee that is tied only to the registration in the non-graded thesis course. Any additional graduate courses a graduate student takes, whether required or elected, will not impact tuition.

All new incoming students are required to take and will automatically be enrolled in the following courses during their first fall term if not previously taken:

  • CHEM 801 Safety in the Laboratory*
  • CHEM 803 Principles of Scientific Communication

*Those students who are part of our Accelerated MSc program and had unofficially taken CHEM 801 during their final year of their undergraduate program, do not need to reattend or complete the exam a second time. Although the course will be listed in SOLUS for the fall term, the instructor will automatically assign the passing grade from the previous year when entering in the final marks. These students are welcome to attend the lectures as a refresher if they so wish. 

In addition to the mandatory courses graduate students are required to take six (6) additional 1.5 unit modules, or equivalent of three (3) full term courses (9.0 units), past their Bachelor's degree with the exception of:

  • Students registered in the Doctoral program who have previously completed a Master's degree. These students will receive a letter from the department in early August outlining their individual specific course requirements based on the assessment of their previous MSc transcript.
  • Students enrolled in our Accelerated MSc program can count the graduate courses they took during their final year of their undergraduate program. The department will send in an official request to SGSPA for approval of these courses.
  • Stuttgart students registered in the Stuttgart-Queen's Dual Degree program. These students are only required to take four (4) 1.5 unit modules, or equivalent of two (2) full term courses (6.0 units) from Queen's.

These courses are considered primary courses and students are required to achieve a grade of 70% or higher to pass. As part of these additional requirements, at least four (4) of the 1.5 unit modules (two (2) for Stuttgart students) must relate to the student's core research and be from the courses offered by chemistry or a cognate department (i.e. Chemical Engineering, Biochemistry, etc). The remaining modules can be courses that may not necessarily relate to the core research but would be beneficial or of interest to the student (i.e. CHEM 904 Science Leadership and Management). Please note that all courses taken outside of the department require the instructors approval (this can be done by email). Students are welcome to take courses beyond their additional course requirements if they wish. These courses can be taken as secondary or audit.

Graduate students due not register themselves in courses through SOLUS. Instead, students submit a course registration request and approved courses are added to the students SOLUS account by the graduate assistant or SGSPA.

More information and the necessary forms are available in the Chemistry Grad Platform.  

Each graduate student is required to have in place a supervisory committee consisting of your supervisor(s) and two other faculty members with cognate research interests. The role of the supervisory committee is to assist supervisors in their monitoring function and to provide guidance and advice on the student's research, complementing the expertise of the supervisor(s). The responsibilities of Supervisory Committee members include participation in annual progress report meetings, internal review of the thesis, evaluation of the research seminar and participation in the thesis defense.

Supervisory committee members are chose in consultation with your supervisor(s) and should be selected by the end of the first term of registration. Once the supervisory members have been confirmed, the Supervisory Committee Sheet available in the Chemistry Grad Platform is to be completed and returned to the Graduate Assistant ( or in person in CHE200).

More information and the necessary forms are available in the Chemistry Grad Platform.  

Students are required to meet with their supervisory committee before the end of their first year to evaluate their progress. These meetings will consist of:

  • A report (maximum 3 pages + figures) prepared and submitted to the committee and Graduate Assistant five working days prior to the meeting
  • A short oral presentation (ca. 20 minutes) where the student highlights and elaborates on the report, followed by a discussion with the committee
  • A progress report form completed by the committee and submitted to the Graduate Assistant indicating the outcome of the meeting

In each subsequent year, a progress report is to be submitted to the committee and graduate assistant. Meetings are not required if the report is deemed satisfactory unless requested.

More information and the necessary forms are available in the Chemistry Grad Platform.  

PhD students are required to pass a Comprehensive Examination, known as the Candidacy Exam in the Department of Chemistry. The Candidacy Exam is to taken between 18 to 20 months after initial registration in the program.

MSc students with a first class standing, who show exceptional promise in their research and have the support of their supervisor, may transfer to the PhD program after successful completion of the Candidacy Exam.

In order for an MSc student to attempt the examination they must:

  • have a first class overall average (A- or higher) on at least 4 graduate modules, plus CHEM 803
  • have completed a satisfactory progress report
  • have completed no more than 20 months of the MSc program

Components of the Exam:

  • Written report - 12-20 pages, single spaced plus appropriate figures containing three sections (introduction, research preparations and/or results, future short- and long-term goals which is due two weeks before the exam
  • Oral presentation - 15-20 minutes summarizing those parts of the written report that the candidate feels to be most significant.
  • Question period - examiners ask the candidate questions which allow them to judge the candidate's mastery of their thesis topic, to assess their ability to undertake independent and original research, and determine their comprehension in basic chemistry and chemistry in his/her research area

More information and the necessary forms are available on the Chemistry Grad Platform.

The final stage of the program is to write and then defend your MSc or PhD thesis.

Your oral thesis defense is a public presentation and discussion of the findings of your research, conducted before a committee of selected examiners. This significant event marks a culminating point in which the candidate defends the meaning and significance of their research and knowledge of the discipline to examiners, peers, colleagues, and the community. Normally, the oral thesis defence is open to attendance by all members of the Queen's community.

The master's thesis should demonstrate that the candidate is capable of original and independent work; that of a doctoral student must be original and be of such value as to merit publication.

More information and the necessary forms are available on the Chemistry Grad Platform.