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 for the 2019/20 intake will open on September 1, 2018.*

Earlier applications, particularly for international applicants needing student visas, are strongly encouraged.  In order to be considered for admission, all applicants must submit an application through the on-line application system.  It is recommended that at the time of application, applicants should upload to their application: all transcripts (including English language translations), proof of degree conferral, TOEFL/IELTS test results (if required), thesis proposal and list of possible thesis supervisors.  Email addresses for all referees must be included in the on-line application and all referees will be required to submit their letters through the on-line application system by no later than December 15th.   Public email addresses (Yahoo, Hotmail, Gmail, etc.) are not accepted.

Please note that all supporting documents, including letters of reference must be received by no later than midnight Vancouver time on December 15th.  Applications that are incomplete after the December 15th deadline will not be considered for admission for the 2019 intake.  Due to the high number of applications that we receive, we will not permit any exceptions.  The Graduate Program office is no longer accepting hard copy documents by mail.  All documents such as transcripts, proof of degree conferral, TOEFL/IELTS, etc. must be scanned and uploaded to your application.  Photographs or screenshots taken using a cellular or device or camera or documents forwarded by email or fax to our office will not be accepted.


  • Application and document (including Letters of Reference) submission deadline:  December 15.

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 Administrator (