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Requirements for admission in a graduate law program

The minimum requirements for eligibility to our graduate programs are provided below. A candidate is not necessarily admitted just because he or she meets these requirements, but a candidate who does not meet them will not be considered.

Education

Candidates for admission to our graduate law programs must possess a Bachelor of Laws degree or an equivalent law degree from an accredited university with a cumulative grade point average of 3.0/4.0, or its equivalent (upper second class).

Exceptions: Applicants for the Air and Space Law Graduate Certificate who do not hold a law degree must fulfill the following two requirements:

  • have an undergraduate university degree in another discipline, and
  • possess sufficient professional experience in the fields of Air and/or Space Law to compensate for the lack of a law degree (as determined by the Graduate Admissions Committee). Please attach a curriculum vitae.

For additional information, email the gradadmissions [dot] law [at] mcgill [dot] ca (Graduate Law Admissions Office) .

Language

Graduate level courses in Law are offered in English, and English-language abilities must be demonstrated for admission. In order to communicate fully with all law students at McGill, and to understand all course materials, the ability to speak and read French is an asset. At McGill’s Faculty of Law, all students may choose to write essays, examinations and thesis in English or French. In areas such as the study of private law in the civilian tradition or comparative private law, a reading knowledge of French is essential.

English

Proficiency in English is required for eligibility to be considered for admission to graduate study at the Faculty of Law.

Normally, applicants meeting any one of the following conditions are NOT required to submit proof of proficiency in English:

  • Mother tongue (language first learned and still used on a daily basis) is English
  • Has obtained (or is about to obtain) an undergraduate or graduate degree from a recognized foreign institution where English is the language of instruction
  • Has obtained (or is about to obtain) an undergraduate or graduate degree from a recognized institution in Canada or the United States of America (anglophone or francophone)
  • Has lived and attended university, or been employed, for at least four consecutive years, in a country where English is the acknowledged primary language.

Applicants who do not meet any of these conditions must demonstrate proficiency in English using one of the following options (the score indicated below are the minimums required for eligibility to be considered):

1) TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language):

iBT (internet based test) PBT (paper based test)  
100 overall, (no less than 25 in each of the four component scores) 600  
*The CBT is no longer being offered. CBT results will no longer be accepted as ETS no longer reports this results.
N.B. an institutional version of the TOEFL is not acceptable.

2) IELTS (International English Language Testing System): a band score of 7.0 or greater

3) MELAB (Michigan English Language Assessment Battery): a mark of 85% or higher

4) University of Cambridge ESOL Certificate in Advanced English (CAE): a grade of “A” (Excellent) 

5) University of Cambridge ESOL Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE): a grade of “B” (Good) or higher

6) Edexcel London Test of English – Level 4 – with an overall grade of “Distinction”

7) Edexcel London Test of English – Level 5 – with an overall grade of at least “Merit”

8) McGill Certificate of Proficiency in English or McGill Certificate of Proficiency – English for Professional Communication: Certificate of Proficiency awarded.

There may be a lengthy delay for registration, and the communication of results takes approximately 40 days. For all tests, the official results should be sent directly from the testing institution to McGill University. Application cannot be considered if test results are not available.

For the TOEFL and IELTS, our institutional code is 0935. You must provide this code when requesting a test report form for McGill University.

For all other tests, you must ask for an official report to be sent to:

Enrolment Services
Management of Academic Records Unit
McGill University
3415 McTavish Street
Room MS 13
Montreal (Quebec)
H3A 0C8 CANADA.

In person:

Service Point (map)
McGill University
McLennan Library Building
3415 McTavish Street
(corner Sherbrooke Street West)

Tests must be taken by December 31. Tests taken beyond this date will not be accepted and your application will not be considered. 

Graduate Record Examination (GRE)

The GRE is not required.

LL.M. program requirements

Candidates for admission to the LL.M. program must hold the degree of Bachelor of Laws, or its equivalent (e.g. J.D.), from an accredited university (as determined by the Quebec government). The candidate must have a cumulative grade point average of 3.0/4.0, or its equivalent (Upper Second Class). This standing does not guarantee admission, however; the Graduate Admissions Committee weighs the entire file. There are a limited number of places in the programs.

At the time of application, candidates should indicate whether they wish to be registered in the Faculty generally, or in the Institute of Comparative Law or the Institute of Air and Space Law. The different program requirements are set out elsewhere in these web pages.

Candidates must also indicate whether they wish to apply to the Thesis option or the Non-Thesis option. Candidates who apply to the thesis option may be offered a place in the non-thesis option.

In the case of applications to thesis programs, the Graduate Admissions Committee must consider the availability of a supervisor. If a supervisor is not available in the applicant's preferred field of study, the applicant may be refused admission or else offered admission pending a change of field of study.

D.C.L. program requirements

Only applicants demonstrating excellent academic ability will be considered for admission to the doctor of civil law (D.C.L.) program. Candidates must hold both a Bachelor of Laws degree and a Master of Laws degree. Normally a with-thesis Master of Laws is required.

Applicants not holding such a degree are generally not admitted directly to the D.C.L. program, but are required first to complete the LL.M. degree (thesis option) with distinction.

Admission decisions to the doctoral programs are always dependent on the availability of a suitable supervisor.

Candidates enrolled in the McGill Master's program may apply to the D.C.L. program before completing their Master's degree. If the application is successful, the Graduate Admissions Committee may waive in exceptional circumstance the requirement of finishing an LL.M. program before becoming a doctoral candidate.

Graduate certificate program requirements

Institute of Comparative Law

The requirements for admission to the Graduate Certificate programs in the Institute of Comparative Law are essentially the same as for the Master's programs, except that greater weight is placed on professional experience.

Institute of Air and Space Law

Candidates for admission to the Graduate Certificate programs in the Institute of Air and Space Law who do not hold a law degree may be admitted if they have earned an undergraduate university degree in another discipline [with a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0/4.0, or its equivalent (upper second class)]. They must also possess sufficient professional experience in the fields of Air and/or Space law to compensate for the lack of a law degree (as determined by the Graduate Admissions Committee).