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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.


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
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    Lorian Hardcastle

    Accepting Inquiries
    Health law and policy, tort law
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    Howard Kislowicz

    Accepting Inquiries
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    Emily Laidlaw

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

    Sharon Mascher

    Climate Change Law
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    Michael Nesbitt

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

    Evaristus Oshionebo

    Accepting Inquiries
    Natural resources law and regulation

Admission requirements


Typically at least 3.30 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.
  • 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

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:

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


For Fall 2023 admission:

  • December 31, 2022 - application deadline
  • January 8, 2023 - 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, AB T2N 1N4

Contact the Graduate Program Administrator

Visit their website

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Related programs

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