Master of Laws (LLM)

Thesis-based program

Program overview

We offer an LLM (general) and an LLM with a specialization in Natural Resources, Energy and Environmental Law (NREEL).

We accept students who have demonstrated strong potential for advanced legal research and writing. Most students in our thesis-based LLM program come from common-law legal systems. You will work with a supervising faculty member to produce a substantial piece of original legal scholarship.

The Faculty of Law has a wide range of research expertise. We have long been leaders in natural resources, energy and environmental law. Other areas of particular research strength include business and tax law, private law, administrative law and regulation, criminal law, Indigenous people and law, international law, human rights law, legal history and theory, and the law pertaining to privacy, security and technology. The Faculty of Law is a home of the Journal of Environmental Law and Practice and for our acclaimed law blog, ABlawg (

Our LLM program was included in the LLM Guide's top 10 energy law programs worldwide (2019). Our program earns this recognition for strengths in examining the relationship between society and the environment, in defining the interests we claim in the world around us, and in shaping the consequences of using those resources. The faculty has endowed chairs in natural resources law, in business law, and in business regulation. Our substantial law library complemented by the internationally-renowned Canadian Institute of Resources Law, which hosts symposia and publishes research on natural resources and energy law.

LLM students are eligible to become members of the University of Calgary’s Graduate College.

Completing this program

  • Core Courses: Graduate Seminar in Legal Research and Methodology and Graduate Seminar in Legal Theory.
  • Thesis: Students will complete a substantial research thesis, approximately 100 to 125 pages, prepared under the supervision of a faculty member or other suitable person appointed by the Graduate Program Director.
  • Additional Courses: Students are required to take two additional courses; Students in the NREEL specialization must take courses in the NREEL area.
  • Residence: Two terms in residence, normally consecutive from September to April.



The thesis-based program is for students passionate about research and writing in a focused area of law, and who may be interested in an academic or research career, although graduates also become in-house counsel and become employed in government, regulatory bodies and non-governmental organizations.

Attaining an LLM without a Canadian LLB or JD will not qualify graduates to practice law in Canada.

Thesis-based program

Students are required to prepare a thesis and successfully defend in an open oral defense.


Two core courses and two electives

Learn more about program requirements in the Academic Calendar

Classroom delivery

Time commitment

Three years maximum


A supervisor is required; potential supervisors must be listed when applying to the program

Fees and funding

See the Graduate Calendar for information on fees and fee regulations, including program-specific fees and fees for JD courses, and for information on awards and financial assistance.


Learn about faculty available to supervise this degree.
Please note: additional supervisors may be available. Contact the program for more information.

  1. Lyndsay Campbell

    Lyndsay Campbell

    Accepting Inquiries
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    Gideon Christian

    Accepting Inquiries
    Law and technology; artificial intelligence and law; environmental impact of new and emerging technologies
  3. Dr. Ryan Clements, SJD

    Dr. Ryan Clements

    Accepting Inquiries
    Securities, Financial Market Regulation, Fintech
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    Greg Hagen

    Accepting Inquiries
    Technology and Intellectual Property Law; Legal Theory & Philosophy
  5. Placeholder Profile Image

    Lorian Hardcastle

    Accepting Inquiries
    Health law and policy, tort law
  6. Placeholder Profile Image

    Howard Kislowicz

    Accepting Inquiries
  7. Placeholder Profile Image

    Emily Laidlaw

    Accepting Inquiries
    Technology and the law
  8. Photo of Sharon Mascher

    Sharon Mascher

    Climate Change Law
  9. Placeholder Profile Image

    Michael Nesbitt

    Accepting Inquiries
    Criminal law, national security law
  10. Evaristus Oshionebo

    Evaristus Oshionebo

    Accepting Inquiries
    Natural resources law and regulation

Admission requirements


A minimum of 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 point system, over the past two years of full-time study (a minimum of 10 full-course equivalents or 60 units) of the undergraduate degree.

Minimum education

Ordinarily, a JD, LLB or equivalent degree in law.

Work samples



  • Applicants must identify potential supervisors and provide a short thesis proposal. 
  • A C.V.
  • Writing Sample: Should be approximately 10-30 pages long. It must be your own original writing. It should be reasoned scholarly or professional work that serves to demonstrate to a committee of professors that you have a well-developed capacity for writing, analysis and research. It may be published or unpublished. Do not submit writing that you co-authored with someone else: application files relying on co-authored work will be treated as incomplete. Do not submit any material that is confidential or to which others might have claims of privilege, e.g. confidential or privileged memoranda prepared for clients or employers. 

Reference letters


Test scores


Supervision and Funding

Applicants must identify a potential supervisor in their application. The program endeavours, although not always successfully, to provide funding for thesis-based LLM students through fellowships and faculty research grants. 

English language proficiency

An applicant whose primary language is not English may fulfill the English language proficiency requirement in one of the following ways:

*Please contact your program of interest if you have any questions about ELP requirements


For admission September 1:

  • December 31 - application deadline
  • January 8 - deadline for submission of supporting documents and reference letters

If you're not a Canadian or permanent resident, or if you have international credentials, make sure to learn about international requirements

Learn more about this program

The Faculty of Law

Law Graduate Programs
MFH 2380, 2500 University Drive NW
Calgary, ABT2N 1N4

Contact the Graduate Program Administrator

Visit their website

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