Minimum Requirements

Three sudents sit at a long table with laptops and papers


These requirements are minimum requirements. Applications that meet these requirements then go through a comprehensive review for academic excellence, academic research capacity, and ability of the candidate to contribute to the graduate program.

LLM in Law and Society

The minimum requirements for admission to the LLM in Law and Society program are:

  • Juris Doctor (JD), Bachelor of Laws (LLB), or equivalent law degree from an authorized degree-granting institution (Canadian or international).
  • Average of B (minimum of 5.0/9.0 GPA) calculated from final two years of law degree program. Most successful applicants have at least a B+ average (a minimum 6.0/9.0 GPA), high Upper 2nd class standing, or equivalent.
  • A thesis proposal and research interests that align with the interdisciplinary Law and Society focus of our program.

Applicants who obtained their law degree outside of Canada should review the minimum requirements for international applicants hereIf you have concerns about the calculation of your equivalent GPA due to undergraduate grading standards at your law school, you may wish to submit an official document showing your class ranking, or ask the dean or another administrator at your institution to submit a supplement to your transcripts.

  • Applicants who already have or who are in the process of completing an LLM from an institution (Canadian or international) should normally apply to the PhD program. 
  • Applicants who have a law degree and a master’s degree in a field other than law may choose to apply to the LLM or PhD program.

PhD in Law and Society

The minimum requirements for admission to the PhD in Law and Society program are:

  • Sufficient undergraduate and graduate educational background in law.
  • Average of A- (7.0 GPA), first class standing, or equivalent in a master's degree.
  • A dissertation proposal and research interests that align with the interdisciplinary Law and Society focus of our program.

English Language Proficiency

Applicants to the LLM and PhD program whose first language is not English must provide proof of English language proficiency before the application deadline.

  • If you have a recognized degree from a designated English-speaking country your application will normally be exempted from the language proficiency requirements.
  • If you have a recognized degree from an institution where the language of instruction is exclusively English you may receive a waiver from the Graduate Admissions and Records Office. 
  • If your transcript does not state that the language of instruction is English, you must ask your school to send a supplemental letter confirming the language of instruction.
  • If you have work experience in English within the last three years, visit the language proficiency page to confirm if you were living in a "designated English-speaking country" and review all allowable exceptions to the requirement.

You must otherwise provide unofficial results of the iBT TOEFL or IELTS test by the application deadline in order to be eligible to receive an offer of admission. Scores older than two years from the date of planned entry will not be accepted.

The law graduate program minimum requirements are higher than the University of Victoria's:

  • The minimum acceptable iBT TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) score for acceptance is 100 (with no score of less than 20 on each component of the test).
  • The minimum acceptable IELTS (International English Language Testing System) score is an overall score of at least Band 7.0 with no score of less than 7.0 on each component of the test.
  • Duolingo tests are not accepted.