Doctor of Philosophy in Law (PhD)

Overview

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.

Quick Facts

Degree
Doctor of Philosophy
Subject
Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities
Mode of delivery
On campus
Registration options
Full-time
Specialization
Law
Program Components
Dissertation
Faculty
Peter A. Allard School of Law

Program Enquiries

If you have reviewed the information on this program page and understand the requirements for this program, you may send an enquiry

Admission Information & Requirements

In order to apply to this program, the following components may be required.

Online Application

All applicants must complete an online application form and pay the application fee to be considered for admission to UBC.

Transcripts

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.

Minimum Academic Requirements

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. Meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee admission as it is a competitve process.

Letters of Reference

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. 

Statement of Interest

Many programs require a statement of interest, sometimes called a "statement of intent", "description of research interests" or something similar.

Document Requirements

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.

English Language Proficiency

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:

100
25
25
25
25
7.0
7.0
7.0
7.0
7.0

Supervision

Students in research-based programs usually require a faculty member to function as their supervisor. Depending on program, applicants either reach out to faculty members directly or the program supports this process in different ways.

Supervisor commitment required prior to application?
No

Test Scores (GRE / GMAT or similar)

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.

Prior degree requirements

Completion of either an LLB or JD and a Masters degree.

Citizenship Verification

Permanent Residents of Canada must provide a clear photocopy of both sides of the Permanent Resident card.

Research Information

Research Facilities

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.

Deadline Details

Application Deadline

Deadline to submit online application. No changes can be made to the application after submission.

Transcript Deadline

Deadline to upload scans of official transcripts through the applicant portal in support of a submitted application. Information for accessing the applicant portal will be provided after submitting an online application for admission.

Referee Deadline

Deadline for the referees identified in the application for admission to submit references. See Letters of Reference for more information.

September 2021 Intake

Application Open Date
01 September 2020
Canadian Applicants
Application Deadline: 01 December 2020
Transcript Deadline: 01 December 2020
Referee Deadline: 15 December 2020
International Applicants
Application Deadline: 01 December 2020
Transcript Deadline: 01 December 2020
Referee Deadline: 15 December 2020

Funding Sources

All full-time students who begin a UBC-Vancouver PhD program in September 2018 or later will be provided with a funding package of at least $18,000 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 $18,000 per year. Please check with your prospective graduate program for specific details of the funding provided to its PhD students.

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.

We encourage all applicants to review the awards listing to identify potential opportunities to fund your 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.

In addition to scholarships and awards, applicants may be eligible to apply for financial aid or other benefits in the form of loans, bursaries, tax credits, or similar.

Career Outcomes

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:


RI (Research-Intensive) Faculty: typically tenure-track faculty positions (equivalent of the North American Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, and Professor positions) in PhD-granting institutions
TI (Teaching-Intensive) Faculty: typically full-time faculty positions in colleges or in institutions not granting PhDs, and teaching faculty at PhD-granting institutions
Term Faculty: faculty in term appointments (e.g. sessional lecturers, visiting assistant professors, etc.)
Sample Employers in Higher Education
Thompson Rivers University (2)
University of Victoria (2)
University of Manitoba (2)
University of Calgary (2)
University of Hong Kong
University of Alberta
La Trobe University
University of Macau
University of British Columbia
Institute of Development Studies
Sample Employers Outside Higher Education
OneBusinessAsia Group
Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada
Laramie County, Wyoming
Sample Job Titles Outside Higher Education
Lawyer (2)
Founder, Chairman
Senior Resolution Manager
Deputy County Attorney
PhD Career Outcome Survey
You may view the full report on career outcomes of UBC PhD graduates on outcomes.grad.ubc.ca.
Disclaimer
These data represent historical employment information and do not guarantee future employment prospects for graduates of this program. They are for informational purposes only. Data were collected through either alumni surveys or internet research.

Alumni on Success

Robert Russo

Job Title
Lecturer
Employer
Peter A. Allard School of Law, University of British Columbia

Tuition / Program Costs

FeesCanadian Citizen / Permanent Resident / Refugee / DiplomatInternational
Application Fee$106.00$168.25
Tuition *
Installments per year33
Tuition per installment$1,698.56$2,984.09
Tuition per year
(plus annual increase, usually 2%-5%)
$5,095.68$8,952.27
Int. Tuition Award (ITA) per year (if eligible) $3,200.00 (-)
Other Fees and Costs
Student Fees (yearly)$944.51 (approx.)
Costs of living (yearly)starting at $16,954.00 (check cost calculator)
* Regular, full-time tuition. For on-leave, extension, continuing or part time (if applicable) fees see UBC Calendar.
All fees for the year are subject to adjustment and UBC reserves the right to change any fees without notice at any time, including tuition and student fees. Tuition fees are reviewed annually by the UBC Board of Governors. In recent years, tuition increases have been 2% for continuing domestic students and between 2% and 5% for continuing international students. New students may see higher increases in tuition. Admitted students who defer their admission are subject to the potentially higher tuition fees for incoming students effective at the later program start date. In case of a discrepancy between this webpage and the UBC Calendar, the UBC Calendar entry will be held to be correct.

Statistical Data

Enrolment Data

 20182017201620152014
Applications7253322542
Offers68564
New registrations46553
Total enrolment3743424948

Completion Rates & Times

This program has a graduation rate of 66.67% based on 33 students admitted between 2006 - 2009. Based on 22 graduations between 2015 - 2018 the minimum time to completion is 3.66 years and the maximum time is 8.33 years with an average of 6.16 years of study. All calculations exclude leave times.
Disclaimer
Admissions data refer to all UBC Vancouver applications, offers, new registrants for each year, May to April [data updated: 22 March 2019]. Enrolment data are based on March 1 snapshots. Program completion data are only provided for datasets comprised of more than 4 individuals. Rates and times of completion depend on a number of variables (e.g. curriculum requirements, student funding), some of which may have changed in recent years for some programs [data updated: 27 October 2019].

Research Supervisors

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.

  • LeBaron, Michelle (law, dispute resolution, conflict resolution, community conflict, cross-cultural conflict resolution, Cross-cultural Conflict Resolution, Law, Legal Culture and Conflict Resolution, Conflict across Worldview Differences, Creativity and Conflict, Gender and Conflict, Religion and Conflict, Teaching Innovation and Effective Teaching and Learning)
  • Liao, Carol (Business Law, Corporate Governance, Sustainable Development Law, Law and Economics, Social Enterprise Law, Access to Justice)
  • Lin, Li-Wen (Comparative corporate governance; Corporate social responsibility; The interdisciplinary study of corporate law and economic sociology; Law and economic development; Chinese law)
  • Liston, Mary (Administrative Law, Constitutional Law, Public Law, Jurisprudence, Rule of law, Comparative public law, Law and literature, Law and politics, Democracy, Values and norm systems, Political regimes)
  • MacDougall, Bruce (Law of Obligations, Sexual Orientation and the Law, Secured Transactions, Commercial Transactions)
  • Mack, Johnny (legal relationship between indigenous and settler peoples in contemporary settler states, particularly Canada)
  • Matsui, Shigenori (Constitutional Law, Mass Media Law, Information Law, Internet Law, Japanese Law, Law and Medicine )
  • Mickelson, Karin (Environmental law)
  • Pavlich, Dennis (Property law, law of trusts, western idea of law, education law, condominium law in British Columbia, academic freedom, environmental justice)
  • Perrin, Benjamin (Constitutional Law, Criminal Law, International Criminal Law, Victims of Crime, Human Trafficking and Child Sexual Exploitation)
  • Potter, Pitman Benjamin (Chinese topics, humanitarian law, Chinese Law and Politics, International Law, Human Rights, Comparative Law, Globalization, law and society )
  • Reynolds, Graham (Copyright Law, Intellectual Property Law, property law, Intellectual Property and Human Rights, Technology and Access to Justice)
  • Sarfaty, Galit (International Law, Human Rights, Regulatory Governance, Law and Development Organizational Culture, Corporate Sustainability )
  • Sarra, Janis (Corporate finance, banking law, corporate governance, securities law, contracts, commercial insolvency law, economics)
  • Sheppard, Anthony (Evidence-electronic records, Remedies-injunctions and other civil remedies, Real Property Law, Income Taxation., Creditors' Remedies, Evidence, Equitable Remedies, Taxation)
  • Stacey, Jocelyn (Administrative Law, Environmental Law, Public Law, Regulatory and Legal Theory, Disaster Law)
  • Stewart, James (Comparative Criminal Law, Moral Philosophy, Legal Pluralism, Theory of Criminal Law, Corporate Accountability, International Criminal Justice, International Humanitarian Law, Human Rights)
  • Tremblay, Regine (Family Law, Family Mediation, Children Law, Private Law, Civil Law, Comparative Law, Feminist and Queer Theories)
  • Wood, John (Corporate social responsibility, Sustainability, Globalization, Transnational Governance, Voluntary Standards, Climate Change, Environmental Law)
  • Young, Margot (Constitutional Law, Law, constitutional law, equality law, social welfare law, international rights protection,, women’s right, Housing rights)

Pages

Recent Doctoral Citations

  • Dr. Stefan Ulrich Pauer
    "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." (November 2019)
  • Dr. Brendan Hans Naef
    "Dr. Naef studied the challenges of regulating multinational corporations operating in fragile states. He argued that home states must take steps to control their corporate citizens abroad and showed how traditional readings of international law permit them to avoid doing so. His proposed solution lies in reconsidering customary international law." (November 2019)
  • Dr. Susan Bazilli
    "Dr. Bazilli interviewed global women's activists on how transnational feminist movements use international human rights law. Her research illustrates how autonomous women's organizations address violence against women and other rights issues. Her research will be used by feminist activists in the ongoing struggle for gender equality." (May 2019)
  • Dr. Kurt Daniels Mundorff
    "Dr. Mundorff used a wide array of historical materials and legal documents to examine the role played by the concept of "culture" in the original meaning of the Genocide Convention. He argued that current interpretations of the Genocide Convention, which exclude considerations of culture, are legally and historically untenable." (May 2019)
  • Dr. Bingyu Liu
    "Dr. Liu examined the social and environmental performance of Chinese state-owned companies in Kenya. Findings revealed the promises and limitations of China's state-centric corporate social responsibility approach to shape Chinese companies' behaviour overseas. This research contributes to the regulation of sustainable investment in Africa and beyond." (May 2019)
 
 

September 2021 Intake

Application Open Date
01 September 2020
Canadian Applicant Deadline
01 December 2020
International Applicant Deadline
01 December 2020
 

Supervisor Search

 

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