Doctor of Philosophy in Law (PhD)

The PhD in Law is designed to provide advanced training for outstanding graduate students who have already obtained a Master of Laws (LLM) degree or its equivalent. The PhD is a research-intensive degree that prepares graduates for opportunities in law teaching, legal research, policy development, public and governmental service, and the practice of law.

The degree requirements include course work, comprehensive exams, a dissertation proposal and defence, a dissertation, and an oral dissertation exam. Working closely with a supervising faculty member, a student in the PhD program is expected to produce a book-length piece of original legal scholarship and of publishable quality.

The PhD provides an opportunity for focused study in a chosen field of law. It does not, of itself, qualify a holder for entry to the legal profession in British Columbia or any other certification for legal practice.

The Faculty expects students to complete the degree requirements in 3-5 years. Under general University regulations a student in a PhD program has up to six years to complete the degree.

Application Information:

Applications Open: September 1st.

***New Deadlines effective for 2020/21 intake***



Submission of on-line application form, Transcripts, Proof of Degree Conferral, TOEFL/IELTS, Thesis Proposal, C.V.

December 1.

Letters of Reference (one of your referees must be your LL.M. thesis supervisor)

December 15.


It is the applicant's responsibility to insure that all documentation is complete by the above-noted deadlines.  Due to the high volume of applications that we receive each year, the Graduate Committee will not be considering any application files are incomplete.

With the exception of TOEFL or IELTS test results, which must be forwarded to our office by the testing centre, please do not forward original, hard copy documents such as transcripts until such time as you have been offered admission to the Graduate Program.  If you are offered admission you will receive instructions on how to submit your original transcripts to the UBC Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies and will be given sufficient time to do so.

Program Start Date: September of year of intake

Program Information

For detailed information on the PhD Program, including curriculum, admissions requirements and how to submit an application, please click on the corresponding links to the left of this page.

View the PhD Program's application, registration and completion statistics.


If you have additional questions, please contact Ms. Joanne Chung, the Graduate Program Advisor, Research-based LL.M. and Ph.D. Programs by email at: