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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.

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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
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    Greg Hagen

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

    Lorian Hardcastle

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

    Howard Kislowicz

    Accepting Inquiries
  6. Placeholder Profile Image

    Emily Laidlaw

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

    Sharon Mascher

    Climate Change Law
  8. Placeholder Profile Image

    Michael Nesbitt

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

    Evaristus Oshionebo

    Accepting Inquiries
    Natural resources law and regulation
  10. Tingle QC

    Bryce Tingle

    Accepting Inquiries
    Corporate Governance, Entrepreneurial Law, Corporate Finance

Admission requirements


Minimum GPA of 3.3 out of 4.0 on JD, LLB or equivalent Law degree, plus 3.0 out of 4.0 on Masters of Law of equivalent. Generally, successful applicants will have a GPA of at least 3.7 out of 4.0 in their Masters degrees.

International applicants should visit this website to determine whether or not their GPAs meet program minima.

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.
  • 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. Be prepared to explain in your application the circumstances under which you wrote it. 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.
  • You will be asked to identify two referees. Ensure that the contact information you provide is accurate. At least one, and preferably both, of your references should be provided by individuals who have worked with you at the Master’s level and is well familiar with your past work and research proposal.
  • Transcripts from all post-secondary institutions that you have attended, including any that you may currently be attending. Information about transcripts is available HERE

Reference letters

Two academic.

Test scores


Supervision and Funding

Applicants must identify a potential supervisor in their application.  

English language proficiency (ELP)

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

Dates and Deadlines

For admission September 1:

  • Application portal (below) opens September 1.
  • Application deadline: December 1.
  • Deadline for submission of supporting documents and reference letters: December 15.

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.