Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Thesis-based program

Program overview

The PhD program in Law gives qualified students the opportunity to engage in sustained research in an area of interest to them, under the supervision of our diverse, energetic faculty members.

The Faculty of Law includes endowed chairs in natural resources and business law. Our graduate programs in energy and environmental law are world-renowned. We have experts in a wide variety of areas of law, including international environmental law, internet and cybersecurity law, business law, and legal theory and history.

The Faculty of Law is a home of the Journal of Environmental Law and Practice and for our acclaimed law blog, ABlawg.


Completing this program

  • Core Courses: Graduate seminar in legal research and methodology, graduate seminar in legal theory, and independent, supervised research.
  • Thesis/Dissertation Proposal 
  • Written Field of Study Examinations
  • Oral Candidacy Examination
  • Completion of Original Thesis/Dissertation: Approximately 300 pages in length.



The PhD 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.

A PhD in law is usually considered a final degree; some graduates go on to post-doctoral research.

Thesis-based program

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

Classroom delivery

Time commitment

Four years full-time


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, 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
  2. Placeholder Profile Image

    Gideon Christian

    Accepting Inquiries
    Law and technology; artificial intelligence and law; legal profession.
  3. Dr. Ryan Clements, SJD

    Dr. Ryan Clements

    Accepting Inquiries
    Securities, Financial Market Regulation, Fintech
  4. Placeholder Profile Image

    Shaun Fluker

    Accepting Inquiries
    Environmental Law
  5. Placeholder Profile Image

    Greg Hagen

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

    Lorian Hardcastle

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

    Howard Kislowicz

    Accepting Inquiries
  8. Placeholder Profile Image

    Emily Laidlaw

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

    Sharon Mascher

    Accepting Inquiries
    Climate Change Law
  10. Placeholder Profile Image

    Michael Nesbitt

    Accepting Inquiries
    Criminal law, national security law

Admission requirements


Typically at least 3.7 GPA on a 4.0 point system.

Minimum education

An LLM or other relevant and appropriate master's degree.

Work samples

Writing sample required.


Applicants must provide a 10-page statement describing their research interests and propose a dissertation project.

Reference letters

Two academic.

Test scores


Supervision and Funding

Applicants must identify a potential supervisor in their application.  

English language proficiency

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


For admission on September 1:

  • January 15- application deadline
  • February 8- deadline for submission of supporting documents

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, AB T2N 1N4

Contact the Graduate Program Administrator

Visit their website

Related programs

If you're interested in this program, you might want to explore other UCalgary programs.