Queens is a member of the Ontario Universities Program in Field Biology, which offers ~30 different field courses each year for academic credit (2 week course = 3 credits). Some of these courses are taught by Queens, but you are eligible to take any of them if you are a biology or environmental studies student at Queens and have the pre-requisites. Courses are open to students from participating universities who have completed (or anticipate completing) at least second year. Some courses require students to have completed some third year courses. Be sure that you have the appropriate prerequisites for your choice/s (contact the course instructor or the biology undergraduate office if you are not sure). The range of field courses for the following academic year (April – February) is finalized by the OUPFB in December of the current academic year.
To apply: The OUPFB website provides dates, locations, costs and application forms. Print the application form, fill it out and bring it with a deposit to the Biology General Office (BIOSCI rm 3111) or to Laura Nagel (BIOSCI rm 2321). Be sure to sign the acknowledgement and the risk waiver. We cannot give you a spot in a course unless we have a deposit from you. Enrollment opens on the first day of winter term each year.
Deposit: The amount of the deposit required for each course that you plan to take is $350.00. You only need one deposit for $350.00 if you plan to take one course (just list your first and second choices). If you want to take two courses, you need to pay $700.00. Make cheques or money orders payable to Queen's University (we cannot do electronic transfers, but cash can be accepted if you pay Jan in the biology office). Once a space has been reserved for you in a requested course your deposit is non-refundable unless the instructor of the course says that they have found a replacement and can refund you.
Cost: Each course has a different fee breakdown that depends on the location of the course. Please read the course description carefully. This cost for transportation and accommodation DOES NOT INCLUDE UNIVERSITY COURSE TUITION FEES. Do not purchase airline tickets without cancellation insurance. After you are enrolled in a course, the instructor will let you know how and when to pay the remainder of your course fees to them.
Note that you can apply for Queen's summer bursaries through SOLUS, but you must also receive OSAP as well. The 'Karen Huntley Memorial Award', can be applied to through the Arts and Science Undergraduate Office.
The enrollment process: Queens has some guaranteed spots available in most courses for the month of January. After this deadline, the order of enrollment in courses is the order that applications (with deposits) are received by the biology department. Check the OUPFB site to see if there is space in a course and contact us if you want to register in it. We contact the university that runs the course to register you with them. If more than one course interests you, it is important that you list alternative courses: if your first choice is full, you will be placed in your 2nd choice. Modules may be cancelled if there are too few applicants.
You MUST contact Queen's through Laura if you want to add or drop a course after you are enrolled. You cannot just contact the course instructor at the other university or you may end up having to pay tuition and/or other administration fees.
If you are an exchange student, the International Programs Office at Queens will not allow you to take field courses without their permission. graduate students can only take courses offered by Queen's staff, and must obtain the permission of the instructor.
After you apply: People on waiting lists often get the module they want - don’t be discouraged if you do not get a guaranteed position at first. You should receive formal notification of your acceptance in a course from the instructor after the course is full (don’t worry if you don’t hear from the instructor right after your application is accepted). Contact Laura Nagel if you have questions at any time about your status in a course.
Registration: We will register you for BIOL 307 (or 317 for your second course) in the term that coincides with the dates of your field course (e.g. if you sign up for a module for the summer of 2017 you will be registered for the course in the summer term). Contact Laura if your course does not appear on SOLUS in the term that you expect it to. A field course of at least two weeks in duration is a 3 course credit. You will receive a grade from the field course instructor that will appear on your Queens transcript.
Off Campus Activity Safety Policy Forms: Queen's students taking part in an off campus academic activity are required to complete an OCASP form. Once you have been accepted into a module you will get instructions from us on how to register with that office.
Note that field courses are unique educational experiences: participants should expect to work and live closely with other people at sites that may not be fancy. Courses may also involve long days, adverse conditions and demanding physical activity.