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An Overview of Queen’s Commerce Courses and Classes

by Joel Nicholson Last updated Apr 03, 2020

One of the best aspects of the Queen’s Commerce curriculum are the breadth and depth of courses and classes offered. In the first two years of the program, Queen’s provides a broad education across all disciplines of business, and then in the third and fourth years, students specialize in specific areas. 

Here, we’ll provide a brief overview of all the required courses Queen’s Commerce students take during their four years.

Queen’s Commerce Courses: First Year

In the first year, students take a full course load of a total of 11 business-related classes. These first year courses span disciplines from accounting, marketing, and economics as seen below:

ECON 110 is the only class that is outside of the Smith School of Business. This is a full-year class in the Department of Economics, and is, obviously, essential for any business student. 

These classes are rigorous and challenging in different ways. For instance, Managerial Statistics is tough if you’re not naturally a math person, and Organization Behavior requires hours of reading for each class. 

You can visit this page to look at short descriptions about each Commerce course. Also, you can always reach out to Admissions Ally if you have questions about a specific class. 

Queen’s Commerce Courses: Second Year

In the second year, students take a course-load of nine required Commerce classes. Unlike the first year, there is now room for two electives from Arts and Science

See the courses below:

The second year curriculum is usually regarded as the most challenging. This is due in part, because students don’t yet have as much flexibility to choose which courses to take, and the foundational courses are challenging. Additionally, professors' expectations are higher, because they know students are no longer in their first year. 

The best advice for choosing good elective classes is to select a course in a subject you love. Sometimes students select courses they think will be easy, but that’s a waste of an opportunity to learn about a subject you care about.

Plus, even an “easy” course can be challenging if you’re uninterested. Keep in mind that your time at Queen’s shouldn’t be spent finding the easiest path. You should be constantly pushing yourself and broadening and deepening your areas of expertise. 

Queen’s Commerce Courses: Third and Fourth Year

In the third and fourth years, students take a minimum of five Commerce courses, and only have one annual mandatory class

That means students get to choose all their other courses, so that they can specialize in a particular area or field of business.

Notice that we’re not using the word “major” here. Your major is business, as Smith doesn’t offer more specific majors or minors. The is a BComm, which is what appears on graduates’ diplomas.

But, student transcripts show what specific courses they took. Certain employers will ask to see transcripts, so they can better understand an applicant’s speciality. 

For instance, anyone who wants to work in finance should definitely take courses like COMM 323 and COMM 325. 

For more general fields, like management consulting, employers will expect to see a more broad range of courses. 

Now you might be wondering how Queen’s Commerce’s courses compare to other BCom programs.

Well, in the first two years, Queen’s Commerce program of study is very similar to other top BCom programs. 

What makes Queen’s distinct, and we think stronger, is that in the last two years, students have so many flexible options to create their own areas of specializations. This can certainly make graduates more competitive for their desired jobs.

If Queen’s Commerce’s flexible course options appeal to you and you want to apply, check out our admission support services. We have a 4.9/5 rating and a 90% success rate!

Also, check out our Queen's Commerce Guide for a comprehensive breakdown of essential, need-to-know information for prospective applicants.


Joel Nicholson

Joel Nicholson is the Founder and Managing Director of Admissions Ally—Canada’s #1 platform for advising students through the toughest applications. He ’s also the Co-founder or CampusRankings and a Queen’s Commerce graduate.

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