Law

Program Overview

The Master of Laws (LLM) is a one-year degree program that provides students with an opportunity for more profound study beyond their first law degree. (Please note: the LLM program is an academic program and is not designed to meet National Committee on Accreditation [NCA] requirements.)

The LLM program can be thesis intensive (with either a shorter or longer thesis) or coursework only. The longer thesis option is for law students who have demonstrated a strong potential for advanced research and writing in a common law system. The shorter thesis option and coursework-only formats are for law students who wish to specialize in a specific area of law or explore common law at an advanced level.

Within the LLM program, students also have the option of applying to pursue one of four areas of concentration: Business Law; Criminal Law; Health Law, Ethics and Policy; or Legal Theory. Students accepted into a concentration will receive a designation on their transcript. The number of places available for students in each of the areas of concentration will be limited, and acceptance into the concentrations will be on a competitive basis.

​The Master of Studies in Law (MSL) is designed for scholars with no prior training in law who wish to acquire knowledge of law in order to add a legal dimension to scholarship in their own discipline.

The Doctor of Juridical Science (SJD), a thesis degree program which normally takes three years to complete, is for outstanding law students seeking to pursue careers in teaching, policy, and research.

The Faculty of Law also offers the Global Professional Master of Laws (GPLLM)​.


Quick Facts

Domestic International
Application payment deadline LLM:

13-Dec-2019

MSL:

13-Dec-2019

SJD:

02-Apr-2020

LLM:

13-Dec-2019

MSL:

13-Dec-2019

SJD:

02-Apr-2020

Supporting documents deadline LLM:

17-Jan-2020

MSL:

17-Jan-2020

SJD:

16-Apr-2020

:
LLM:

17-Jan-2020

MSL:

17-Jan-2020

SJD:

16-Apr-2020

Minimum admission average LLM:

B+

MSL:

B+

SJD:

B+

LLM:

B+

MSL:

B+

SJD:

B+

Direct entry option from bachelor's to PhD? LLM:

N/A

MSL:

N/A

SJD:

Yes

LLM:

N/A

MSL:

N/A

SJD:

Yes

If a supervisor is identified after admission (as per question above), is admission conditional upon securing a supervisor? LLM:

After

MSL:

N/A

SJD:

After

LLM:

After

SJD:

After

Is a supervisor assigned by the graduate unit or secured by the applicant? LLM:

Graduate unit

MSL:

N/A

SJD:

Graduate unit

LLM:

Graduate unit

MSL:

N/A

SJD:

Graduate unit

Program length (full-time only) LLM:

3 Sessions

MSL:

3 Sessions

SJD:

3 years (regular)

5 year (direct entry)

LLM:

3 Sessions

MSL:

3 Sessions


Master of Laws

Program Description

The Master of Laws (LLM) is a one-year degree program that provides students with an opportunity for more profound study beyond their first law degree.

The LLM program can be thesis-intensive (with both a short or long thesis option) or coursework-only. The short and long thesis options are for law students who have demonstrated a strong potential for advanced research and original scholarship. The coursework-only option is for law students who wish to specialize in a specific area of law or explore common law at an advanced level.

Within the LLM program, students also have the option of applying to pursue one of four areas of concentration:

  • LLM with a Concentration in Business Law
  • LLM with a Concentration in Criminal Law
  • LLM with a Concentration in Health Law, Ethics, and Policy
  • LLM with a Concentration in Legal Theory.

Students accepted into a concentration will receive a designation on their transcript. There are a limited number of spots available for students in each concentration, and acceptance into the concentrations will be competitive.

The program is completed on a full-time basis. Part-time registration may be considered in exceptional circumstances.

 

LLM Program (No Concentration): Thesis Option

Minimum Admission Requirements

  • Applicants are admitted under the General Regulations of the School of Graduate Studies. Applicants must also satisfy the Faculty of Law's additional admission requirements stated below.

  • Applicants must have obtained a Bachelor of Laws or Juris Doctor degree from a recognized university, or the international equivalent of a law degree from a foreign institution. Applicants must have a minimum B+ average in the final year of their legal studies. Preference will be given to applicants who maintain this average throughout their legal studies, i.e., during the course of their entire law degree.

  • Applicants whose primary language is not English and who graduated from a university where the language of instruction and examination was not English must show evidence of having taken one of the following tests:

    • The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) with the following minimum scores:

      • Paper-based TOEFL: minimum overall score of 600, and 5 on the Test of Written English (TWE)

      • Internet-based TOEFL: minimum overall score of 100/120, and 24/30 on each section.

    • The International English Language Testing System (IELTS), Academic module, with an overall score of 7.5 with at least 7.0 in each component.

  • No conditional offers of admission will be given based on successful completion of an English language test.

Program Requirements

  • A course of studies and a thesis which, combined, are valued at 24 credit hours (equivalent to 6.0 full-course equivalents [FCEs]).

  • Students writing a short thesis must:

    • Complete 20 credit hours of coursework (equivalent to 5.0 FCEs); and

    • Write a thesis worth 4 credit hours (equivalent to 1.0 FCE), and approximately 45 pages or 13,000 words, under the supervision of a graduate faculty member.

  • Students writing a long thesis must:

    • Complete 8 credit hours (equivalent to 2.0 FCEs) of coursework; and

    • Write a thesis worth 16 credit hours (equivalent to 4.0 FCEs), and approximately 175 pages or 52,000 words, under the supervision of a graduate faculty member.

  • All thesis students must complete:

    • The mandatory graduate seminar for all LLM students who are writing a thesis: LAW 1000H Alternative Approaches to Legal Scholarship (3 credits, or 0.75 FCE); and

    • The mandatory graduate seminar for all LLM students: LAW 7572H LLM Seminar (1 credit, or 0.25 FCE).

  • All coursework and the student's thesis are graded using the graduate grading scale as outlined in the University Assessment and Grading Practices Policy.

  • The Faculty offers thesis students some flexibility regarding their thesis credits. Students writing a short thesis can choose to write a slightly longer thesis for additional credit, and students writing a long thesis can choose to write a slightly shorter thesis for fewer credits. Students who wish to reduce or increase their thesis credits should contact the graduate program coordinator before the Fall add/drop deadline.

  • For those writing a thesis, the coursework requirements must be completed by the Faculty’s Winter sessional deadlines of the academic year of attendance; the thesis must be completed by July 31 of the academic year of attendance.

  • With approval of the Associate Dean, Graduate Studies at the Faculty of Law, the program may be taken on a part-time basis over two years, in which case the coursework requirements must be completed by the Faculty’s Winter sessional deadlines of the second academic year of attendance; the thesis must be completed by July 31 of the second academic year of attendance.

  • Residence. Students must be in attendance for at least two academic sessions (eight months, September to April).

Program Length

3 sessions full-time (typical registration sequence: F/W/S);
6 sessions part-time (exceptional circumstances only)

Time Limit

3 years full-time;
6 years part-time (exceptional circumstances only)

 

LLM Program (No Concentration): Coursework-Only Option

Minimum Admission Requirements

  • Applicants are admitted under the General Regulations of the School of Graduate Studies. Applicants must also satisfy the Faculty of Law's additional admission requirements stated below.

  • Applicants must have obtained a Bachelor of Laws or Juris Doctor degree from a recognized university, or the international equivalent of a law degree from a foreign institution. Applicants must have a minimum B+ average in the final year of their legal studies. Preference will be given to applicants who maintain this average throughout their legal studies, i.e., during the course of their entire law degree.

  • Applicants whose primary language is not English and who graduated from a university where the language of instruction and examination was not English must show evidence of having taken one of the following tests:

    • The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) with the following minimum scores:

      • Paper-based TOEFL: minimum overall score of 600, and 5 on the Test of Written English (TWE)

      • Internet-based TOEFL: minimum overall score of 100/120, and 24/30 on each section.

    • The International English Language Testing System (IELTS), Academic module, with an overall score of 7.5 with at least 7.0 in each component.

  • No conditional offers of admission will be given based on successful completion of an English language test.

Program Requirements

  • A course of studies valued at 28 credit hours (equivalent to 7.0 full-course equivalents [FCEs]). In addition, students pursuing the coursework-only option must designate one course as their designated writing requirement course. Only courses requiring one or more written assignments of at least 3,500 words (combined) will qualify as designated writing requirement courses. LAW 1000H Alternative Approaches to Legal Scholarship and LAW 7572H LLM Seminar do not qualify as designated writing requirement courses.

  • All students in the LLM program must complete the mandatory graduate seminar: LAW 7572H LLM Seminar (1 credit, or 0.25 FCE);

  • All coursework is graded using the graduate grading scale as outlined in the University Assessment and Grading Practices Policy.

  • The coursework requirements for all courses apart from the designated writing requirement course must be completed by the Faculty’s Winter sessional deadlines of the academic year of attendance; the writing requirement must be fulfilled by July 31 of the academic year of attendance.

  • With approval of the Associate Dean, Graduate Studies at the Faculty of Law, the program may be taken on a part-time basis over two years, in which case the coursework requirements must be completed by the Faculty’s Winter sessional deadlines of the second academic year of attendance; the writing requirement must be completed by July 31 of the second academic year of attendance.

  • Continuation in Year 2 of the part-time LLM program is subject to the Faculty of Law's determination that the student has made satisfactory progress in Year 1 of the part-time LLM.

  • Residence. Students must be in attendance for at least two academic sessions (eight months, September to April).

Program Length

3 sessions full-time (typical registration sequence: F/W/S);
6 sessions part-time (exceptional circumstances only)

Time Limit

3 years full-time;
6 years part-time (exceptional circumstances only)

 

LLM Program (With a Concentration): Thesis Option

Minimum Admission Requirements

  • Applicants are admitted under the General Regulations of the School of Graduate Studies. Applicants must also satisfy the Faculty of Law's additional admission requirements stated below.

  • Applicants must have obtained a Bachelor of Laws or Juris Doctor degree from a recognized university, or the international equivalent of a law degree if from a foreign institution. Applicants must have a minimum B+ average in the final year of their legal studies. Preference will be given to applicants who maintain this average throughout their legal studies, i.e., during the course of their entire law degree.

  • Applicants whose primary language is not English and who graduated from a university where the language of instruction and examination was not English must show evidence of having taken one of the following tests:

    • The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) with the following minimum scores:

      • Paper-based TOEFL: minimum overall score of 600, and 5 on the Test of Written English (TWE)

      • Internet-based TOEFL: minimum overall score of 100/120, and 24/30 on each section.

    • The International English Language Testing System (IELTS), Academic module, with an overall score of 7.5 with at least 7.0 in each component.

  • No conditional offers of admission will be given based on successful completion of an English language test.

  • Applicants applying to one of the four areas of concentration must substantiate their interest in and suitability for the particular area of concentration in their statement of interest, letters of reference, and research proposal. Applicants may only apply to one of the areas of concentration. Applicants may be admitted into the LLM program without a concentration.

Program Requirements

  • Students must complete a total of 24 credits (6.0 full-course equivalents [FCEs]) through a combination of coursework and the thesis. The thesis must be in the area of concentration into which the student was accepted.

  • Students writing a short thesis and pursuing a concentration must:

    • Complete 20 credit hours of coursework (equivalent to 5.0 FCEs), at least 8 credits (equivalent to 2.0 FCEs) of which must be taken from a list of courses in the area of concentration, which will be provided annually on the program website. The remaining required credits can be satisfied with courses either within or outside the area of concentration.

    • Write a 4-credit hours thesis (equivalent to 1.0 FCE); that is, approximately 45 pages or 13,000 words in length, in the area of concentration under the supervision of a graduate faculty member.

  • Students writing a long thesis and pursuing a concentration must:

    • Complete 8 credit hours of coursework (equivalent to 2.0 FCEs), at least 2 credits (equivalent to 0.5 FCE) of which must be taken from a list of courses in the area of concentration, which will be provided annually on the program website. The remaining required credits can be satisfied with courses either within or outside the area of concentration.

    • Students pursuing the concentration in Legal Theory must complete the mandatory 3-credit course LAW 7081H Foundations of Legal Theory (3 credits, or 0.75 FCE). This course will count towards the credits required for the area of concentration.

    • Write a thesis worth 16 credit hours (equivalent to 4.0 FCEs) and approximately 175 pages or 52,000 words in length, in the area of concentration under the supervision of a graduate faculty member.

  • All thesis students must complete:

    • The mandatory graduate seminar for all LLM students writing a thesis: LAW 1000H Alternative Approaches to Legal Scholarship (3 credits, or 0.75 FCE).

    • The mandatory graduate seminar for all LLM students: LAW 7572H LLM Seminar (1 credit, or 0.25 FCE).

  • All coursework and the student's thesis are graded using the graduate grading scale as outlined in the University Assessment and Grading Practices Policy.

  • The Faculty offers thesis students some flexibility regarding their thesis credits. Students writing a short thesis can choose to write a slightly longer thesis for additional credit, and students writing a long thesis can choose to write a slightly shorter thesis for fewer credits. Students who wish to reduce or increase their thesis credits should contact the graduate program coordinator before the Fall add/drop deadline.

  • For those writing a thesis, the coursework requirements must be completed by the Faculty’s Winter sessional deadlines of the academic year of attendance; the thesis must be completed by July 31 of the academic year of attendance.

  • With approval of the Associate Dean, Graduate Studies at the Faculty of Law, the program may be taken on a part-time basis over two years, in which case the coursework requirements must be completed by the Faculty’s Winter sessional deadlines of the second academic year of attendance; the thesis must be completed by July 31 of the second academic year of attendance.

  • Residence. Students must be in attendance for at least two academic sessions (eight months, September to April).

Program Length

3 sessions full-time (typical registration sequence: F/W/S);
6 sessions part-time (exceptional circumstances only)

Time Limit

3 years full-time;
6 years part-time (exceptional circumstances only)

 

LLM Program (With a Concentration): Coursework-Only Option

Minimum Admission Requirements

  • Applicants are admitted under the General Regulations of the School of Graduate Studies. Applicants must also satisfy the Faculty of Law's additional admission requirements stated below.

  • Applicants must have obtained a Bachelor of Laws or Juris Doctor degree from a recognized university, or the international equivalent of a law degree from a foreign institution. Applicants must have a minimum B+ average in the final year of their legal studies. Preference will be given to applicants who maintain this average throughout their legal studies, i.e., during the course of their entire law degree.

  • Applicants whose primary language is not English and who graduated from a university where the language of instruction and examination was not English must show evidence of having taken one of the following tests:

    • The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) with the following minimum scores:

      • Paper-based TOEFL: minimum overall score of 600, and 5 on the Test of Written English (TWE)

      • Internet-based TOEFL: minimum overall score of 100/120, and 24/30 on each section.

    • The International English Language Testing System (IELTS), Academic module, with an overall score of 7.5 with at least 7.0 in each component.

  • No conditional offers of admission will be given based on successful completion of an English language test.

  • Applicants applying to one of the four areas of concentration must substantiate their interest in and suitability for the particular area of concentration in their statement of interest, and their two letters of reference. Applicants may only apply to one of the areas of concentration. Applicants may be admitted into the LLM program without a concentration.

Program Requirements

  • Students must complete a total of 28 credit hours (7.0 full-course equivalents [FCEs]).

  • At least 12 of the credits (equivalent to 4.0 FCEs) must be completed from a list of courses in the area of concentration into which the student was accepted. A list of eligible courses will be provided annually on the program website.

  • Students pursuing the concentration in Legal Theory must complete the mandatory 3-credit course, LAW 7081H Foundations of Legal Theory (3 credits, or 0.75 FCE). This course will count towards the credits required for the area of concentration.

  • The designated writing requirement course must be in the area of concentration. Only courses requiring one or more written assignments of at least 3,500 words (combined) will qualify as designated writing requirement courses. LAW 1000H and LAW 7077H do not qualify as writing requirement courses.

  • All students in the LLM program must complete the mandatory graduate seminar: LAW 7572H LLM Seminar (1 credit, or 0.25 FCE).

  • All coursework is graded using the graduate grading scale as outlined in the University Assessment and Grading Practices Policy.

  • The coursework requirements for all courses apart from the designated writing requirement course must be completed by the Faculty’s Winter sessional deadlines of the academic year of attendance; the writing requirement must be fulfilled by July 31 of the academic year of attendance.

  • With approval of the Associate Dean, Graduate Studies at the Faculty of Law, the program may be taken on a part-time basis over two years, in which case the coursework requirements must be completed by the Faculty’s Winter sessional deadlines of the second academic year of attendance; the writing requirement must be completed by July 31 of the second academic year of attendance.

  • Continuation in Year 2 of the part-time LLM program is subject to the Faculty of Law's determination that the student has made satisfactory progress in Year 1 of the part-time LLM studies.

  • Residence. Students must be in attendance for at least two academic sessions (eight months, September to April).

Program Length

3 sessions full-time (typical registration sequence: F/W/S);
6 sessions part-time (exceptional circumstances only)

Time Limit

3 years full-time;
6 years part-time (exceptional circumstances only)

 

Dual Degree Program: Bachelor of Laws (National University of Singapore) / Master of Laws (University of Toronto)

Program Description

This dual degree program is offered as part of the LLM’s coursework-only option, with or without a concentration. Students are not eligible to take the thesis option.

Students complete three years of a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) from the National University of Singapore (NUS), and in Year 4 complete the LLM degree at the University of Toronto. Students complete the LLB and LLM degrees in four years rather than the five years it would take to attain them separately. See the LLM coursework requirements (with or without a concentration) above.

Upon successful completion of the degree requirements of both programs, students receive a Bachelor of Laws degree and a Master of Laws degree.

Contact

Bachelor of Laws Program
Faculty of Law, National University of Singapore
Email: lawUGadm@nus.edu.sg

Master of Laws Program
Faculty of Law, University of Toronto
Email: law.graduate@utoronto.ca

Application Process

  • Initial consideration for admission to the dual degree program will be based on the applicant’s performance during the first three terms of the NUS LLB program.

  • All offers of admission to the dual degree program will be conditional upon successful completion of all Year 1, 2, and 3 requirements of the LLB program before starting the LLM program.

Minimum Admission Requirements

  • Applicants are admitted under the General Regulations of the School of Graduate Studies. Applicants must also satisfy the Faculty of Law's additional admission requirements stated below.

  • Successful completion of the first three years of the NUS LLB program, with the equivalent of a B+ average. Preference will be given to those who maintain this average throughout their legal studies.

  • Applicants whose primary language is not English and who graduated from a university where the language of instruction and examination was not English must show evidence of having taken one of the following tests:

    • The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) with the following minimum scores:

      • Paper-based TOEFL: minimum overall score of 600, and 5 on the Test of Written English (TWE)

      • Internet-based TOEFL: minimum overall score of 100/120, and 24/30 on each section.

    • The International English Language Testing System (IELTS), Academic module, with an overall score of 7.5 with at least 7.0 in each component.

  • No conditional offers of admission will be given based on successful completion of an English language test.

  • Applicants applying to one of the four areas of concentration must substantiate their interest in and suitability for the particular area of concentration in their statement of interest, and their two letters of reference. Applicants may only apply to one of the areas of concentration. Applicants may be admitted into the LLM program without a concentration.

  • Residence. Students must be in attendance for at least two academic sessions (eight months, September to April).

Master of Studies in Law

Program Description

The Master of Studies in Law (MSL) program is designed for scholars with no prior training in law who wish to acquire a legal education and knowledge of law in order to add a legal dimension to scholarship in their own discipline.
 

Minimum Admission Requirements

  • Applicants are admitted under the General Regulations of the School of Graduate Studies. Applicants must also satisfy the Faculty of Law's additional admission requirements stated below.

  • Applicants must have completed at least a master's degree, and preferably a doctorate, from a recognized university with a demonstrated high level of scholarship in a discipline related to law. Applicants must have a least a B+ average in their final year of study. Preference will be given to applicants who have maintained this average throughout their studies.

  • Applicants whose primary language is not English and who graduated from a university where the language of instruction and examination was not English must show evidence of having taken one of the following tests:

    • The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) with the following minimum scores:

      • Paper-based TOEFL: minimum overall score of 600, and 5 on the Test of Written English (TWE)

      • Internet-based TOEFL: minimum overall score of 100/120, and 24/30 on each section.

    • The International English Language Testing System (IELTS), Academic module, with an overall score of 7.5 with at least 7.0 in each component.

  • No conditional offers of admission will be given based on successful completion of an English language test.

Program Requirements

  • MSL students must pursue a course of studies approved by the Faculty​.

    • The course of studies will comprise at least 28 credit hours (7.0 full-course equivalents [FCEs]), and not more than 32 credit hours (equivalent to 8.0 FCEs), and will include at least three of the following subjects: contracts, torts, property, criminal law, constitutional law, and civil procedure.

    • Students must complete a research project of an interdisciplinary nature during their studies at the Faculty of Law. The project must be completed in the context of one of the courses that students are completing for credit.

    • A mandatory graduate seminar: LAW 1000H Alternative Approaches to Legal Scholarship (3 credits, or 0.75 FCE).

    • In no circumstance will courses taken in the MSL program be accredited for the Juris Doctor (JD) program.

  • Residence. Students must be in full-time attendance for two academic sessions (eight months, September to April).

Program Length

3 sessions full-time (typical registration sequence: F/W/S)

Time Limit

3 years full-time

Doctor of Juridical Science

Program Description

The Doctor of Juridical Science (SJD) is a thesis degree program for outstanding law students seeking to pursue careers in teaching, policy, and research. Students receive a guaranteed funding package for three years. Inquiries should be directed to the Graduate Program Coordinator, Graduate Program, Faculty of Law at the address above.

Applicants may enter the SJD program via one of two routes: 1) following completion of an appropriate Bachelor of Laws or Juris Doctor degree and a Master of Laws; or 2) direct entry following completion of an appropriate Bachelor of Laws or Juris Doctor degree.
 

SJD Program

Minimum Admission Requirements

  • Applicants are admitted under the General Regulations of the School of Graduate Studies. Applicants must also satisfy the Faculty of Law's additional admission requirements stated below.

  • Applicants must have obtained a Bachelor of Laws or Juris Doctor degree and a Master of Laws degree from a recognized university, or the equivalent of each degree from an international institution. Applicants must have a minimum B+ average in the final year of their legal studies. Preference will be given to applicants who maintain this average throughout their legal studies.

  • Applicants whose primary language is not English and who graduated from a university where the language of instruction and examination was not English must show evidence of having taken one of the following tests:

    • The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) with the following minimum scores:

      • ​​​Paper-based TOEFL: minimum overall score of 600, and 5 on the Test of Written English (TWE)

      • Internet-based TOEFL: minimum overall score of 100/120, and 24/30 on the writing and speaking sections.

    • The International English Language Testing System (IELTS), Academic module, with an overall score of 7.5 with at least 7.0 in each component.

  • No conditional offers of admission will be given based on successful completion of an English language test.

Program Requirements

  • Coursework. Students must complete the mandatory graduate seminar LAW 1000H Alternative Approaches to Legal Scholarship (3 credits, or 0.75 full-course equivalents [FCEs]).

    • Other coursework requirements are optional and shall be determined upon consultation with the supervisor. All coursework shall be subject to the approval of the Associate Dean, Graduate Studies, Law.

  • Area requirement. Before being allowed to proceed with formal research on a thesis topic, a student must demonstrate competence in a broader area within which the topic falls. The student's supervisory committee (established by the student and approved by the Associate Dean of Graduate Studies at the Faculty of Law) assists in framing that area and compiling an appropriate plan for carrying out the research. ​The research undertaken by the student either culminates in a written exam, based on the reading list, or a research project, which is either a draft of a chapter of the thesis or an overview of the general argument. Both paths lead to an oral exam based on the written work and the reading list (the "area exam"). Unless approved by the Associate Dean of Graduate of Graduate Studies, a student must satisfy the area requirement by the end of Year 1 of registration.

  • Research and writing. A student will not be allowed to continue in the doctoral program, where, in the opinion of the Area Committee, the student is not capable of demonstrating the capacity for independent legal research and writing at an advanced level, including through the satisfaction of the area exam.

  • Year 2 presentation. At the end of Year 2 of registration, students must present an abstract of their work in progress or a draft chapter to an audience of their peers and interested faculty. The purpose of the meeting is to provide the student with a forum to collect feedback from a broad audience.

  • Annual meetings. Students must meet with their entire supervisory committee at least once a year.

  • Thesis. Following completion of the requirements above, a thesis must be prepared which, in the opinion of the Faculty of Law, constitutes a distinct contribution to legal research or scholarship, and the student must pass a Doctoral Final Oral Examination based on the thesis.

    • The thesis must be completed within five years from the date of enrolment in the program.

    • No candidate will be recommended for the degree until the thesis has been approved by the Faculty of Law and is presented in publishable form, as described in the PhD regulations in this calendar.

  • Residence. Students must be in full-time attendance for at least two academic sessions (eight months):

    • September to April for those starting the program in September or

    • January to April and September to December for those starting the program in January.

Program Length

3 years

Time Limit

5 years
 

SJD Program (Direct-Entry)

Minimum Admission Requirements

  • Applicants are admitted under the General Regulations of the School of Graduate Studies. Applicants must also satisfy the Faculty of Law's additional admission requirements stated below.

  • Applicants must have obtained a Bachelor of Laws or Juris Doctor degree from a recognized university, or the equivalent of a law degree from an international institution. A minimum A- average is required in the final year of their legal studies. Preference will be given to applicants who maintain this average throughout their legal studies, i.e., during the course of their entire law degree.

  • The Associate Dean, Graduate Studies at the Faculty of Law has the discretion to permit direct entry into the SJD following completion of the Bachelor of Laws or Juris Doctor degree where the Graduate Committee is satisfied that the applicant's law record demonstrates excellent potential for independent legal research and writing at an advanced level.

  • Applicants whose primary language is not English and who graduated from a university where the language of instruction and examination was not English must show evidence of having taken one of the following tests:

    • The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) with the following minimum scores:

      • ​​​Paper-based TOEFL: minimum overall score of 600, and 5 on the Test of Written English (TWE)

      • Internet-based TOEFL: minimum overall score of 100/120, and 24/30 on the writing and speaking sections.

    • The International English Language Testing System (IELTS), Academic module, with an overall score of 7.5 with at least 7.0 in each component.

  • No conditional offers of admission will be given based on successful completion of an English language test.

Program Requirements

  • Coursework. Students must complete at least 8 credit hours (2.0 full-course equivalents [FCEs]) including the mandatory graduate seminar: LAW 1000H Alternative Approaches to Legal Scholarship (3 credits, or 0.75 FCE).

    • All coursework shall be subject to the approval of the Associate Dean, Graduate Studies at the Faculty of Law.

  • Area requirement. Before being allowed to proceed with formal research on a thesis topic, a student must demonstrate competence in a broader area within which the topic falls. The student's supervisory committee (established by the student and approved by the Associate Dean of Graduate Studies at the Faculty of Law) assists in framing that area and compiling an appropriate plan for carrying out the research. ​The research undertaken by the student either culminates in a written exam, based on the reading list, or a research project, which is either a draft of a chapter of the thesis or an overview of the general argument. Both paths lead to an oral exam based on the written work and the reading list (the "area exam"). Unless approved by the Associate Dean of Graduate Studies, a student must satisfy the area requirement by the end of Year 1 of registration.

  • Research and writing. A student will not be allowed to continue in the doctoral program, where, in the opinion of the Area Committee, the student is not capable of demonstrating the capacity for independent legal research and writing at an advanced level, including through the satisfaction of the area exam.

  • Year 2 presentation. At the end of Year 2 of registration, students must present an abstract of their work in progress or a draft chapter to an audience of their peers and interested faculty. The purpose of the meeting is to provide the student with a forum to collect feedback from a broad audience.

  • Annual meetings. Students must meet with their entire supervisory committee at least once a year.

  • Thesis. Following completion of the area requirements, a thesis must be prepared which, in the opinion of the Faculty of Law, constitutes a distinct contribution to legal research or scholarship, and the student must pass a Doctoral Final Oral Examination based on the thesis.

    • The thesis must be completed within six years from the date of enrolment in the program.

    • No candidate will be recommended for the degree until the thesis has been approved by the Faculty of Law and is presented in publishable form, as described in the PhD regulations in this calendar.

  • Residence. Students must be in full-time attendance for at least two academic sessions (eight months):

    • September to April for those starting the program in September or

    • January to April and September to December for those starting the program in January.

Program Length

5 years

Time Limit

6 years

Julius Haag

“I have worked with several community partners to improve the outcomes of racialized and marginalized youth in the GTA.”

Julius Haag
PhD Candidate, Criminology & Sociolegal Studies
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