Each year, the Graduate Studies Committee admits a select number of students to the doctoral program. Students are selected on the basis of their demonstrated ability to complete a self-directed research project commensurate with the standards of doctoral scholarship and the availability of a suitable Faculty supervisor for their proposed research project.

All completed applications will be reviewed by the Faculty of Law Graduate Studies Committee and then forwarded to potential supervisors. Applicants are not encouraged to contact potential faculty supervisors before applying for admission.


LLM Education or Equivalent Degree

PhD applicants must hold an LLM or equivalent degree from the University of Alberta or an institution recognized by the University of Alberta. On an exceptional basis, students enrolled within the faculty's LLM program can seek permission from their supervisor and the Faculty Graduate Studies Committee to enrol in the PhD degree program.

Competitive Average Minimum

The minimum grade point average for the graduate program is a 3.0 on the University of Alberta's 4-point scale. However, the competitive GPA for the PhD program usually satisfies or exceeds 3.7 on the international grade equivalent.

English Language Proficiency

Applicants must fulfil one of the following English Language Requirements:

TOEFL: minimum 100, 25 minimum on each skill area (internet) or 600 (paper-based)

IELTS: minimum overall 7.0, minimum 6.0 on each band

PTE: minimum overall score of 68



Copies of all academic transcripts from all post-secondary institutions in the official language of instruction, accompanied with a translation (if applicable).

Official hard copies of transcripts, which are to be sealed, stamped and sent from your previous institution, will eventually be required. Further instruction will be given to successful applicants.


Chronological resume or curriculum vitae describing your academic history, scholarly achievements, and employment history.

Reference Form/Letters

Three reference forms and letters of recommendation completed and uploaded by referees directly to the online portal.

Research Proposal

Five-to-ten page description of the proposed research project, outlining the relevant legal issues, preliminary arguments, and the proposed research methodology. The proposal should include footnotes and a bibliography highlighting relevant academic sources.

Statement of Motivation

Please explain in one to two pages your motivations for applying for a law graduate program at the University of Alberta. This may include:

  • your reasons for wanting to undertake graduate studies in law in general and the PhD program in particular;

  • the reasons why you want to undertake graduate studies at our Faculty of Law at the University of Alberta;

  • your specific area(s) of academic interest;

  • your future career plans; and

  • any other information that the Graduate Studies Committee might find relevant.

Visa (International Students)

International students require appropriate visa approvals for admission and study in Canada.

A PhD does not entitle the holder to practise law in Canada. For information about the accreditation of your foreign law degree, contact the National Committee on Accreditation.


PhD applicants must apply through the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research. The online application along with required documentation MUST be received on or before 11:59 PM MST on December 1 of the year prior to admission.

Please note that as of September 1, 2021, the fee for applications to all graduate programs has increased from $100 CAD to $135 CAD. Payments can be made using a valid credit card only; we accept Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discovery Card. If you have questions about the fee, please contact grad.webadm@ualberta.caThe application fee is no longer waived for some students based on their country of origin.

Application Status

Check application status within the online system. Successful applicants will be notified by email when accepted for admission.



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