D.C.L. Individual Development Plan

Individual Development Plans provide graduate students with support for individualized planning related to academic and professional development, facilitating their transition into a wide variety of careers.

Below provides the typical academic trajectory of D.C.L. students throughout their program of study, indicating clear guidelines on progress. (The information provided may not reflect every student's experience.)

Year 1 (DCL 2)

  • Complete required coursework (Theoretical Approaches to Law and Legal Research Methodology); students are also encouraged to take other courses such as Legal Education Seminar and Communication 1 and 2
  • Submit a detailed proposal and justification of the thesis and an analytic literature review
  • Meet with supervisor for Planning and Tracking meeting (evaluation and objectives) in May
  • Re-submit finalized proposal and literature review in August
  • Complete nomination form for comprehensive exam committee members in August

Year 2 (DCL 3)

  • Oral comprehensive examination covering the proposal and literature review in the Fall term (successful completion of the comprehensive examination is a prerequisite to continuing in the doctoral program)
  • Develop theoretical chapters of thesis, working with supervisor and thesis advisory committee
  • Planning and Tracking meeting with supervisor and thesis advisory committee

Note: Each year, after completing the comprehensive exam, students are required to meet with their supervisors and thesis advisory committees to discuss their progress over the past year and complete progress tracking forms.

Year 3 (DCL 4)

  • Demonstrate significant progress in thesis research, analysis, and writing
  • Complete the first DCL Research Seminar
  • Planning and Tracking meeting with supervisor and thesis advisory committee
  • Option: submit thesis

Year 4 (DCL 5)

  • Submit and defend thesis (on submission of the written thesis, students are required to defend the thesis before a jury of experts, including the thesis supervisor)
  • Revise and submit final thesis

Research Seminars

DCL Research Seminars are non-credited courses. Students must register for the first seminar in their third year of the program; they must register for the second seminar prior to submitting their thesis. Students are advised to consult with their supervisors and committees as to the timing of the second seminar.

Thesis Submission

Initial thesis submission

For information regarding initial thesis submission and related forms, see Initial e-Thesis submission. Also consult Thesis guidelines in preparation of your thesis. When securing your thesis examiners, please consult the Policy on securing thesis examiners.

Defense and final submission

Your defence will be scheduled by the Graduate Programs Office at the Faculty of Law, and will depend on the availability of all participants. For more information, see Doctoral oral defence.

Following a successful defence, doctoral candidates are informed of the deadline for final submission of the dissertation. For more information, see Final thesis submission.

Candidates for doctoral degrees must complete the degree by the end of DCL 7 (Year 6). Consult the Time Limitation Policy for additional details.