Peter A. Allard School of Law, University of British Columbia
The PhD in Law is designed to provide advanced training for outstanding graduate students who have already obtained a Master of Laws (LLM) degree or its equivalent. The PhD is a research-intensive degree that prepares graduates for opportunities in law teaching, legal research, policy development, public and governmental service, and the practice of law.
The degree requirements include course work, comprehensive exams, a dissertation proposal and defence, a dissertation, and an oral dissertation exam. Working closely with a supervising faculty member, a student in the PhD program is expected to produce a book-length piece of original legal scholarship and of publishable quality.
The PhD provides an opportunity for focused study in a chosen field of law. It does not, of itself, qualify a holder for entry to the legal profession in British Columbia or any other certification for legal practice.
The Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies establishes the minimum admission requirements common to all applicants, usually a minimum overall average in the B+ range (76% at UBC). The graduate program that you are applying to may have additional requirements. Please review the specific requirements for applicants with credentials from institutions in:
Each program may set higher academic minimum requirements. Please review the program website carefully to understand the program requirements. Meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee admission as it is a competitive process.
Applicants from a university outside Canada in which English is not the primary language of instruction must provide results of an English language proficiency examination as part of their application. Tests must have been taken within the last 24 months at the time of submission of your application.
Minimum requirements for the two most common English language proficiency tests to apply to this program are listed below:
Overall score requirement: 100
Overall score requirement: 7.0
Some programs require additional test scores such as the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or the Graduate Management Test (GMAT). The requirements for this program are:
The GRE is not required.
Completion of either an LLB or JD and a Masters degree.
Additionally to the required documents please submit: C.V. or resume Dissertation Proposal: PhD degrees in the Allard School of Law at UBC are dissertation-based degrees involving original research. Dissertation (PhD) proposals form an important part of the admissions process and help to guide the assignment of supervisors and supervisory committees. A proposal should outline a research project that could reasonably lead to a dissertation that makes an original scholarly contribution in the chosen field of legal study. The PhD dissertation proposal is approximately 10 pages (2,500 words), excluding bibliography. Clarity of expression is important. Please upload your thesis proposal under "Writing Sample". List of possible thesis supervisors: All applicants must submit a list indicating your first and second choice for a thesis supervisor, this list should be uploaded to your application form. There is no need to secure a thesis supervisor nor is it is necessary to contact potential thesis supervisors prior to submission of an application as many faculty members prefer that applications are referred by the Graduate Committee for their review.
All applicants have to submit transcripts from all past post-secondary study. Document submission requirements depend on whether your institution of study is within Canada or outside of Canada.
A minimum of three references are required for application to graduate programs at UBC. References should be requested from individuals who are prepared to provide a report on your academic ability and qualifications.
Many programs require a statement of interest, sometimes called a "statement of intent", "description of research interests" or something similar.
Students in research-based programs usually require a faculty member to function as their supervisor. Please follow the instructions provided by each program whether applicants should contact faculty members.
Permanent Residents of Canada must provide a clear photocopy of both sides of the Permanent Resident card.
All applicants must complete an online application form and pay the application fee to be considered for admission to UBC.
Allard Hall, the home of the Peter A. Allard School of Law, was opened in 2011. The latest technology connects the Faculty with campuses, courthouses and offices around the world, and a new, state-of-the-art UBC Law Library serves as a vital academic hub for students and the legal community. Natural light, contemporary classroom designs, expanded student service spaces, a student forum space at the centre of the building, and new research spaces are all part of the new facility. The Law Library has a research collection of approximately 225,000 volumes.
|Fees||Canadian Citizen / Permanent Resident / Refugee / Diplomat||International|
|Installments per year||3||3|
|Tuition per installment||$1,767.18||$3,104.64|
|Tuition per year|
(plus annual increase, usually 2%-5%)
|Int. Tuition Award (ITA) per year (if eligible)||$3,200.00 (-)|
|Other Fees and Costs|
|Student Fees (yearly)||$1,057.05 (approx.)|
|Costs of living (yearly)||starting at $17,366.20 (check cost calculator)|
Applicants to UBC have access to a variety of funding options, including merit-based (i.e. based on your academic performance) and need-based (i.e. based on your financial situation) opportunities.
All full-time students who begin a UBC-Vancouver PhD program in September 2021 or later will be provided with a funding package of at least $22,000 for each of the first four years of their PhD. The funding package may consist of any combination of internal or external awards, teaching-related work, research assistantships, and graduate academic assistantships. Please note that many graduate programs provide funding packages that are substantially greater than $22,000 per year. Please check with your prospective graduate program for specific details of the funding provided to its PhD students.
All applicants are encouraged to review the awards listing to identify potential opportunities to fund their graduate education. The database lists merit-based scholarships and awards and allows for filtering by various criteria, such as domestic vs. international or degree level.
Graduate programs may have Teaching Assistantships available for registered full-time graduate students. Full teaching assistantships involve 12 hours work per week in preparation, lecturing, or laboratory instruction although many graduate programs offer partial TA appointments at less than 12 hours per week. Teaching assistantship rates are set by collective bargaining between the University and the Teaching Assistants' Union.
Many professors are able to provide Research Assistantships (GRA) from their research grants to support full-time graduate students studying under their direction. The duties usually constitute part of the student's graduate degree requirements. A Graduate Research Assistantship is a form of financial support for a period of graduate study and is, therefore, not covered by a collective agreement. Unlike other forms of fellowship support for graduate students, the amount of a GRA is neither fixed nor subject to a university-wide formula. The stipend amounts vary widely, and are dependent on the field of study and the type of research grant from which the assistantship is being funded. Some research projects also require targeted research assistance and thus hire graduate students on an hourly basis.
Canadian and US applicants may qualify for governmental loans to finance their studies. Please review eligibility and types of loans.
All students may be able to access private sector or bank loans.
Many foreign governments provide support to their citizens in pursuing education abroad. International applicants should check the various governmental resources in their home country, such as the Department of Education, for available scholarships.
The possibility to pursue work to supplement income may depend on the demands the program has on students. It should be carefully weighed if work leads to prolonged program durations or whether work placements can be meaningfully embedded into a program.
Canadian residents with RRSP accounts may be able to use the Lifelong Learning Plan (LLP) which allows students to withdraw amounts from their registered retirement savings plan (RRSPs) to finance full-time training or education for themselves or their partner.
Please review Filing taxes in Canada on the student services website for more information.
Applicants have access to the cost calculator to develop a financial plan that takes into account various income sources and expenses.
24 students graduated between 2005 and 2013: 1 is in a non-salaried situation; for 1 we have no data (based on research conducted between Feb-May 2016). For the remaining 22 graduates:
These statistics show data for the Doctor of Philosophy in Law (PhD). Data are separated for each degree program combination. You may view data for other degree options in the respective program profile.
This list shows faculty members with full supervisory privileges who are affiliated with this program. It is not a comprehensive list of all potential supervisors as faculty from other programs or faculty members without full supervisory privileges can request approvals to supervise graduate students in this program.
|2022||Dr. Maharaj's work examines the law on mitigation of damages for breach of contract by establishing a robust framework that explains how the doctrine applies, why it applies, when it applies, and what it actually demands of contracting parties in practice. It will benefit judges, legal counsels, and the wider scholarly community in private law.|
|2022||Dr. Ponomarenko studied the requirements the government must meet to justify a limitation of a Charter right. Currently, there is no judicial consensus on when these requirements must be strict and when they can be relaxed. Her dissertation examines this undertheorized body of jurisprudence and provides it with a principled theoretical basis.|
|2022||Dr. Aikenhead examined the Canadian criminal justice response to technology-facilitated intimate partner violence (TFIPV) through a review of recent case law. She identified concerns and gaps in the legal response from a feminist perspective. Her proposed legislative and policy reforms will assist victims of TFIPV in accessing justice.|
|2022||The law of negligence claims to deter accidental wrongdoers from causing harm. The mixed doctrinal and qualitative research in this dissertation suggest that in the law of negligence in Canada, deterrence is largely illusory. Potential wrongdoers are so well protected by liability insurance that there is little inclination to avoid causing harm.|
|2021||Dr. Sankey studied legal processes developed by Squamish Nation for land use planning and environmental assessment of natural gas projects. Her research finds that in developing policy aimed at reconciliation, Canadian governments will learn much by shifting their focus away from principles of consultation defined by Canadian courts, toward processes for achieving consent established by Indigenous nations.|
|2021||Dr. Dzah studied how Africa influences and is influenced by the concept of sustainable development. He argued that ethics and customary and Indigenous norms can revitalise the legal dimensions of this concept. He proposed ecological law as a new way to theorise and implement sustainable development and to reorganise links between society and nature.|
|2021||Dr. Nickason examines Canada's efforts to give effect to First Nations' rights of self-determination and self-government. She demonstrates that cultural differences, in the ways First Nations and settler societies conceive of legitimacy, have undermined our capacity to negotiate new arrangements to give effect to these rights.|
|2020||Dr. Pilliar developed a new person-centered approach to understand and remedy access to justice problems. Drawing on analyses of the legal services landscape, interview research with people who have had access to justice problems, and data on how lawyers do their work, Dr. Pilliar proposes four tangible steps to improve access to justice in Canada.|
|2020||Dr. Yorgun studied ostracized populations, understudied in refugee law, conducting novel interviews in South Africa. Dr. Yorgun's research unmasked a bias in refugee law which predominantly focuses on the asylum systems of Western states. She demonstrates this must be overcome to better understand some of the most vulnerable, least mobile refugees.|
|2019||Dr. Pauer studied carbon tariffs, an environmental policy recommended by many experts but rarely used in practice. Using interviews and case studies in Europe and the USA, he explained the challenges of adopting and implementing this policy. His research contributes to the development of effective government action to address climate change.|
I first attended UBC for my Master in Laws (LLM) and then decided to stay for my PhD. Although I did focus on Feminist Legal Theory in my LLM, in my PhD, I wanted the opportunity to work and contribute to the Centre for Feminist Legal Studies (CFLS) at the law school. The Vancouver campus was also...
I’m originally from the east coast of the United States, so I’m pretty far from home. After doing a Fulbright fellowship with the Environmental Law Centre at the University of Victoria I fell in love with this coast and with the community of people working for climate justice along the coast....