Peter A Allard School of Law

Frequently Asked Questions

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

Dates and Deadlines

The May start date is for those applicants who are trained in civil law or religious law and have no common law experience. We do not accept applications from non-common law trained students for the September start date. Applicants who have training in common law, such as those who have completed a law degree in the United Kingdom or the US, are welcome to apply to either the May or September start dates.

Application opening and deadlines can be found on the program’s How to Apply page

All applicant-supplied documents must be uploaded to the online application, the application fee must be paid, and the application formally submitted by the deadline. You can still add documents to your submitted application up to the deadline.   

No. Without exception we accept no late documents. The Graduate Committee will not consider incomplete applications for admission to the program.

The deadline for references is around 2 weeks after the applicant’s document deadline.  The deadlines can be found on the program’s How to Apply page. Please note that the Allard School of Law will be closed for Winter break the final week of December; no one will be available to answer questions until we return the first week of January when classes are back in session.

The Graduate Program must receive all letters of reference by the indicated deadline, whether submitted to the online system, or by hard copy to our office. Please submit everything early so you can be sure that your referees have ample time to send your references in.

Courses and Programs

No. To complete the program you must take all 30 credits, including the LLMCL program requirements and mandatory courses. There is no option for to only take the NCA courses you require as it would prevent you from meeting the LLM CL program requirements. If you only want to take a few courses to complete your NCA requirements, please take a look at our Online Learning at Allard courses which you can take individually outside of a degree program.

Yes! LLM CL students have the option of taking 2 distance learning courses as part of their LLM CL degree. Students are not able to take more than 2. If you want a fully online education experience you should take our distance education courses on their own. Please note that Allard Law does not offer an online degree, only individual courses.

The program is 30 credits. Most courses are anywhere from 3 – 5 credits each. Generally, students take 3 courses a term or 10 – 13 credits a term.

A full course load is 3 course a term or 10 – 12 credits a term depending on the courses taken and the amount of time involved in the course. Generally, for each credit students are expected to have 1 hour of class and 3 hours of course work (readings, studying, and review) each week. So for a 10 credit course load you would be in class 10 hours a week and have 30 hours of course work to complete each week.

Application Process

Yes, we accept applicants from many different countries. Approximately 50% of the student body in the LLM CL program are international students. 

We ONLY offer conditional admission for those students in the last year of their law degree. In that case the offer of admission is conditional on successful completion of the first law degree and based on the in-progress transcripts submitted with the application. We do not offer conditional admission for any other reason.

No. We cannot tell interested candidates if they are likely to be accepted into the program outside of the formal application process. All complete applications will be reviewed on their individual merit in the formal application period.

We do not offer paper application forms anymore. Applications are completed online via Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies' website.

The Graduate Committee look at each application holistically. They take into account all factors concerning a student’s application including their CV, GPA, Statement of Intent, References and English language test (if required).

We accept a wide variety of students into the LLM CL program. Typically, successful applicants have a number of strong factors in their application including excellent academics, a strong statement of intent, and strong letters of references.

Yes. All applications are reviewed holistically and all application documents are taken into account. Typically, applicants who are accepted exceed our minimum standards for GPA. However, if an applicant has a lower GPA from their first law degree but other outstanding aspects of their application then those will be taken into consideration by the Graduate Committee.

There can be many reasons that someone is not accepted into the program. The most common reasons are not meeting the English language requirement or not having a completed application. Other ways to improve are: more work/volunteer/extracurricular experience in law on your CV, a better statement of intent and/or stronger references.

Application Trouble Shooting

Make sure the your file is one of the acceptable file types for uploading documents and the file size is smaller than the maximum allowable file size.  File size cannot exceed 10MB. Preferred file format: PDF but can upload: BMP, DOC, DOCX, GIF, JPEG, JPG, RTF, TXT. To allow our system to process your documents, please ensure that your files are not locked via a password or PDF Document Assembly restrictions. 

Your student number is an 8 digit number that will be emailed to you when you first submit your application. It is the same as your application number. It does not begin with three zeros. Please include your student number in all correspondence with the law school as it is the most accurate way to track your application and answer your questions promptly.

Documents submitted in support of applications become the property of the University and may not be returned to the applicant or student.

Applicants are discouraged from sending irreplaceable documents and are advised to follow the instructions for verified copies at the following website:  

Please see Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies process for transcripts here:

Acceptable documents must be PDF scans of an official transcript uploaded to the application system.  These must:

  • Be issued on the institution’s official transcript paper
  • Have the seal of the issuing institution
  • Contain the issuing institution’s marking guide.
  • Include the degree conferral (if conferred).  If not mentioned on the transcript, then you must upload a scanned PDF of your degree to accompany the transcript.

Unacceptable documents include, but are not limited to the following:

  • confirmation of enrolment letters,
  • printouts of student marks or course results,
  • "unofficial" documents
  • Emailed transcripts
  • Letters from programs or law schools
  • Individual images of the transcript submitted in a jpeg, tiff, png or other image format. 

You can change each referee one time in the application system.  You can do this under the “Manage References” tab of the My Application website once the application has been formally submitted.  Please contact the program if you would like to add a fourth referee.  We will have to enable that within the system.  You will get an email to submit the contact information for the referee. 

In general, we hope to have results from the Graduate Committee communicated to applicants between 4-6 weeks after the deadline for referees to submit the letters of reference has passed.  We are not able to give a specific date as many factors may influence the review of application timeline, such as the number of files received or the structure of the review process.  For our May international applicants, we do endeavor to have results communicated before the December holiday break.

Please allow at least 4 weeks for us to update the status of your application documents in the system. You can monitor the status of your application documents by logging into the My Applications website.  Due to the number of applications, the Graduate Program is unable to confirm the receipt of individual hard copy documents sent by mail.

The wait list is those students who meet our requirements for admission but there is not currently a place in the program to offer them. Generally, there is little movement on the waitlist and only a few students end up declining our offer of admission.

Yes. The only documents that we are able to carry over to your new application would be acceptable scans of official transcripts that were completed at the time of your initial submission.  Please contact the program directly if you have questions about your previously submitted documents being transferred to the current application once you have submitted the application. 

No. We do not offer interviews for admission. If the Associate Dean or the Graduate Committee needs further information from you regarding your application you will be contacted via email.

Yes.  Each year we get over 200 applications and offer anywhere from 25 – 30 spots for admission.


No. You must have a first law degree to apply.

Yes. Any offer of admission would be conditional on the successful completion of your law degree. You will need to upload a scanned copy of your official in-progress transcript to your application.

Yes. Please note that the National Committee of Accreditation will generally require you to complete 2 years of an in person program to become accredited with all mandatory and core subjects to be completed in a in-person format.  We currently offer Property Law and Tort Law only through online learning which will not satisfy the NCA's in-person requirement. Please check with the NCA directly to find out what they will require of you.

No, the faculty does not give preference to Canadian Citizens, but seeks to achieve a diverse community from Canada and around the world.


UBC's Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies website sets out the minimum academic requirements by country. Simply select the country in which you went to law school from the drop-down menu. The Graduate Committee evaluates your transcripts based on the marking guide from the institution itself – the reason we require a marking guide to accompany the official transcript. 

No, you do not need to write the LSAT.

English Language Requirements

The requirement for demonstrating English language proficiency is connected to the language of instruction at an applicant's post-secondary institution, not the applicant's first language. If English was the primary language of instruction in the entire university, then you do not need to write an English language proficiency exam; however, if English was not the primary language of instruction, then you need to demonstrate sufficient English language proficiency through one of the approved exams (TOEFL, IELTS or GCE). Details on the LLM CL Program's required minimum test scores for these exams can be found on the Program Eligibility  page as well as the How to Apply page.

If you can prove that your first degree was completed in English, we will waive the TOEFL/IELTS requirement. Please request the registrar or the student records office from your university provide a letter attesting that English is the primary medium of instruction in the entire institution and mail the hard copy of the letter to us at the following address.

ATTN: LLM Common Law Program

Peter A. Allard School of Law

University of British Columbia

1822 East Mall

Vancouver BC Canada V6T 1Z1

No. The English Language proficiency results are considered part of the required documents and must be submitted before the document deadline.  Failure to submit results will likely mean your application is incomplete and will not be considered for admission.

Generally no. While your English exam score is only one of the requirements that is assessed in your application, it is crucial to have a high enough level of English to succeed in the program. As a result, applicants who do not meet the English minimum requirements are most of the time not successful. The LLM CL program is a highly rigorous one year legal program and we are looking to set our students up to succeed. This is why we require a certain level of English for admission and why we do not offer deferred admission on the basis of English language. If you do not have an IELTS or TOFEL test that meets our minimum standard, it is recommended that you wait to apply until you meet our minimum requirements.

No, we do not offer a means of conditional admission for English Language.  Applicants who attend or complete intensive English language training, such as UBC’s English Language Institute, are still required to provide an English language proficiency result that meets the minimum requirements.

No, the program does not offer a waiver for the English language requirements. All applicants are required to provide an English language proficiency result that meets our minimum requirements unless the applicant has completed a degree program (equivalent to a bachelor’s degree or higher) from an institution where English is the primary language of instruction in the entire institution (and not just the degree program)

National Committee on Accreditation (NCA)

The National Committee on Accreditation (NCA) is the body charged with determining the additional qualifications required for foreign-trained lawyers to practice law in Canada. It is run by the Federation of Law Societies of Canada, independent from Canadian universities. Contact information and details on the accreditation process can be found on the NCA's website.

If you obtained your law degree outside of Canada and wish to practice law in Canada, then you must apply to the NCA to have your education and work experience assessed. In its assessment, the NCA will determine what additional training you require in order to be eligible to practice law in Canada. The LLM CL Program has been designed in consultation with the NCA to help students demonstrate competency in those subjects where the NCA commonly requires additional training. As an LLM CL student, you would be able to select courses offered by the Allard School of Law to help you meet the NCA's requirements while you also complete a master's degree.

No. The LLM CL Program is designed to provide students with a thorough foundation in Canadian common law whether they wish to practice law in Canada or not. However, if you plan to practice law in Canada, then applying to the NCA before the start of the LLM CL Program is helpful because you will know which subjects the NCA requires of you and you can select courses accordingly.

Practical Questions

The program has two start dates; May and September, and is 12 months in length. There are three terms in that period. Fall term is September – December, spring term is January to April and summer term is May to August. Students will take anywhere from 10 – 15 credits of course work each term for a minimum total of 30 credits. It is possible to take more credits than 30. Generally, students are on campus a minimum of 3 days a week, while most have classes on 4 days of the week. Classes are scheduled primarily between 9am and 5pm. We offer a limited number of classes in the evening.

Tuition is assessed on a per-credit basis, and the program’s minimum required credits to graduate is 30 credits. We maintain up-to-date tuition figures at the LLM CL Tuition website.

Tuition is due in installments for each term. The first term installment is due in the beginning of May or September.

Award information is available on our Tuition, Fees & Funding page.

Deferral can be granted by the Associate Dean for Graduate Studies where extenuating circumstance prevent a student from attending the LLMCL in the year they were admitted for. You can only defer once and a deferral is given for a maximum of 12 months.


The PhD program at the Allard School of Law looks for applicants to have completed a thesis-based Master’s program, or a Master’s program with a substantial research component to demonstrate the applicant’s research abilities.  It is advised that prospective students looking to go on to further study in law at the doctoral level complete a thesis-based LLM degree, and not the course-based LLM CL degree. 

Admission to our program is a multi-faceted process and each application is carefully reviewed.  Speaking very generally, the main components of an application review are the academic weight of the degree which forms the basis of admission, GPA, the standing of the institution where the degree was taken, English language proficiency scores (if required), letters of reference, statement of intent, and associated activities such as volunteer or professional work.  This is a competitive process which takes into account the caliber of all applicants in a given application cycle.


Please bear in mind that the number of applications we receive each year far exceeds the number of seats available in our program.  Meeting our minimum requirements is not a guarantee of admission to the program.  We regret that each year we must turn down many qualified and strong applicants who have applied to our programs. 

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