Peter A Allard School of Law

Frequently Asked Questions

The following are some of the most common questions asked by applicants to our program. If you do not find the answer to your question on this sheet, please feel free to contact the Graduate Program office by email at

Frequently asked questions

It is up to the discretion of the Graduate Committee to determine, upon careful review of the complete application file, whether to waive the English-language test requirement.

If you can prove that your first degree was completed in English, we will waive the TOEFL/IELTS requirement. You can either ask the registrar from your university to provide a letter attesting that English is the medium of instruction in the entire institution, not just your degree program, or ask one of your referees to indicate this in their reference letter.

The Graduate Committee prefers to receive academic references as academic referees may be better placed to provide an evaluation of your academic strengths and provide a rationale as to why they feel that you would be successful in a research-based PhD program. If for some reason you do not have an academic referee we will accept a professional reference. 

PhD applicants are required to include a letter of reference from their LLM supervisor as one of their referees.  Please contact the research-based Graduate Program office at: if you are unable to comply with this request.

You do not need to find a supervisor prior to applying to or in order to be considered for admission to the research-based LLM/PhD program. Faculty members are busy with teaching and other commitments and may not have time to respond to your email, this is not an indication that they are not willing to supervise your research project. Many faculty members prefer to review applications that have been forwarded to them from the Graduate Committee. 

In order to be considered for admission, you are required to submit a list of two or three possible thesis supervisors, drawn from our faculty listing, with your application. Every effort will be made by the Graduate Committee to locate a suitable supervisor for your particular research topic.

You should choose a topic that you are interested in completing advanced research in not based on what is the current “hot” research area or what might guarantee you admission to the program. A potential thesis supervisor will be looking for originality in your thesis proposal, such as will your thesis be leading edge, something that is a different perspective that what is currently available in the available literature.  

Yes we have students from various countries. Approximately 55% of the student body in our research-based PhD program are international students.

There are various sources of awards and scholarship opportunities for the PhD program. The Graduate Program at Allard Hall will automatically consider all successful applicants who have been offered admission to the PhD program for any funding that we have available. In addition if you are an international student, UBC will automatically grant an International Tuition Scholarship of $3200.00 per year for the duration of your program. There are no separate applications for both the internal Graduate Program at Allard Hall funding or the UBC International Tuition Scholarship.

The PhD program begins in September and we only admit students once per year for the program. Please refer to the Graduate Admissions section of the law school's website.

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