Majors, minors and honours

The BCL/JD Program can be further enhanced by three options that students can pursue to broaden perspectives and expertise.

Each of these options entails additional credits (15 or 18 credits), rounding out the basic program to a full four years.

Consult McGill's Programs, Courses and University Regulations site for minors (in Arts, Science or Management), majors and complete course listings.

Major Concentration Programs (36 credits)

The Faculty of Law offers two designated Major Concentrations:

  1. Commercial Negotiation & Dispute Resolution
  2. International Human Rights & Development

Each Major Concentration is articulated around a synthetic “skill-set” driven by a transversal theme and inspired by a trans-disciplinary approach. Law and non-law courses are combined with the practical experience acquired during a mandatory internship to allow students to test the “skill-set” in a practical setting. The required writing of an independent essay allows students to integrate the various academic and clinical strands of their chosen Major Concentration.

The Majors are broader in scope than the Minors in that they reach back into the “basic” BCL/JD program to require students to choose, as part of their 105 credits, at least 18 credits from designated options corresponding to each specific Major Concentration. Students must complete a total of 123 credits. At least 6 of the 36 total credits for the Major must be taken in non-law courses. Students may take more than 6 non-law credits for the Major. However, the total number of non-law credits taken by students doing a BCL/JD with Major may not exceed 12 credits. Example: Students who take 6 non-law credits as part of their Major may count an additional 6 non-law credits towards their BCL/JD. Students who take 9 non-law credits as part of their Major may count an additional 3 credits towards their BCL/JD. Students who take 12 non-law credits as part of their Major may not count additional non-law credits towards their BCL/JD.

The Major Concentrations Program is open to all law students having completed two terms in the Faculty, who have a minimum CGPA of 2.70. Students must declare a Major no later than the deadline for registration for their third year. Upon the successful completion of at least 36 credits in an approved Major Concentration, and at least 6 of which must be non-law credits, students will be granted at the time of graduation a “BCL/JD with Major Concentration in [specific Major option]”. The minimum CGPA 2.70 must be maintained in order to continue in the program. The final decision by the SAO will only be made once all final grades from prior terms are submitted.

The Specialized Topics and Student Initiated Seminar courses on the Major course lists are subject to approval by the SAO as the topics of the courses vary each term.

To apply, fill out and sign the "Application to enroll in a Major Program" form found on our Forms page and email it to the [at] (subject: Application%20for%20a%20Major) (SAO) for approval.

Each Major concentration has a required 6-credit Major Internship and 3-credit Term essay:

WRIT 300D1/D2 Major Internship (6)

The internship is 6 credits, unpaid, 200 hours, and must be completed under the supervision of a lawyer in the field of Commercial Negotiation and Dispute Resolution OR International Human Rights & Development.

The internship is normally done in the fourth year of the program. Students must complete the Major Internship in the final year of their program, in either Fall 4L (3 credits) & Winter 4L (3 credits), or Winter 4L (3 credits) & Summer 4L (3 credits), or Summer 4L (6 credits). Students who wish to complete their Major Internship earlier (example: Summer 3L) must have completed at least 24 credits of the Major program in order to be eligible. The Major Internship is approximately 10 hours/week. Contact the SAO at least one semester before you wish to start your internship so that we may assist you in finding a placement. Students who are unable to complete the Major Internship over the summer or over two terms require SAO approval to complete the internship in a single term.

Internship funding: Students going abroad to do their Major Internship will be automatically considered for the David W. Binet Student International Award, awarded by the SAO. Students who already receive student aid might also qualify for a Enriched Educational Opportunity bursary.

See also the "Major Internship Mid-term and Final Report" document found on our Forms page.

International students must apply for a co-op/internship permit in order to participate in the internship. See the Office of International Student Services website for information on how and when to apply.

WRIT 491, 492, 493, 494, 495 or 496 Term Essay (3)

The essay must be written on a subject related to Commercial Negotiation and Dispute Resolution OR International Human Rights & Development. The essay is to be written in the fourth year of the program, normally in the Winter term, in order to allow the student to integrate the various academic and clinical strands of the Major. Topic must be approved by Associate Dean (Academic). See the online Term Essay Authorization Form.

Minor Programs (18-24 credits)

The BCL/JD with Minor program is open to all students enrolled in the Faculty of Law, and allows them to graduate with a Minor offered by McGill's Faculties of Arts, Science or Management upon the completion of the requirements for that Minor. Students must complete 18 credits in addition to the 105 credits needed for the BCL/JD program, completing the program with a total of 123 credits.

Note that some Science Minors are 24 credits. In such cases, law students count 6 credits of their 24-credit Minor Program towards their Law degree as non-Law credits, and graduate with 123 credits (105 BCL/JD + 18 credits from the Minor). Students completing a 24-credit Minor Program are not permitted to take any additional non-Law courses toward their program.

All Minors offered in the Faculties of Arts and Science are open to law students. Consult the Faculty of Arts and Faculty of Science sections of the Undergraduate Programs Calendar to determine the requirements for individual Minors. See below for information on the Minors in Management.

Students may enroll in a Minor after completion of two full-time semesters in the Faculty and must declare a Minor no later than the deadline for registration for their third year. Students must have a minimum CGPA of 2.70 to apply and SAO will review the student's entire record including the minimum CGPA before approving the application. Students must first meet with an SAO consultant before meeting the host department about adding a minor and reviewing program requirements. Students must meet with an advisor from the appropriate Department/Faculty to select the courses required to complete the Minor, and have the advisor sign their application form. Upon submission of the completed form to the [at] (subject: Application%20for%20a%20Minor) (SAO) at the Faculty of Law, pending approval, the Minor will be entered onto the student's transcript. Students are responsible for registering for their Minor courses on Minerva. Students may not take more than 6 non-law credits per term. The minimum CGPA 2.70 must be maintained in order to continue in the program.

To apply, fill out and sign the "Application to enroll in a Minor Program" form found on our Forms page and email it to the [at] (subject: Application%20for%20a%20Major) (SAO) for approval. The final decision by the SAO will only be made once all final grades from prior terms are submitted.

Once a Minor has been declared, students are expected to complete it. If a student abandons or fails to complete the Minor, no credit taken toward the completion of a Minor may be transferred to count toward the BCL/JD, except as 6 non-law credits.

Minors in Management

The Minors in Management for Non-Management Students given through the Desautels Faculty of Management provide an opportunity for students to develop a variety of managerial skills that will serve them throughout their chosen careers. The total number of additional credits is 18 credits. Upon successful completion of the minor, a Law student will graduate with a total of 123 credits.

There is an application process as the minor has limited enrolment. The deadline to apply is June 1 each year. The CGPA cut-off for non-management students can be found on the Faculty of Management's page on Management minors for non-management students.

Honours Program (15 credits)

The Honours program aims to provide within the BCL/JD program a space in which advanced legal research of the highest quality can be pursued. It represents a bridge to the pursuit of graduate studies in law.

Alternatively, it offers a unique opportunity for advanced research for those students who cannot proceed to graduate studies, for financial or other reasons. At its core is the research and drafting of an extended written project, the Honours Thesis, to be completed over a period of one and a half academic years.

The goal is to provide students with an opportunity to produce a substantial work of publishable quality.

The Honours program thus represents a concrete instance of including in the undergraduate program the special vocation of the McGill Faculty of Law for research and academic excellence.

Admission to Honours

There is no automatic admission to the Honours program, and space is limited due to resource constraints. Students who have completed two years of full-time studies in the Faculty of Law may apply for admission. Selection will be based on the candidate’s academic record in the Faculty, the strength of the research proposal, and the availability of supervision.

A minimum law CGPA of 3.00 is required, but it is expected that students admitted will in fact have a higher law CGPA. The minimum CGPA 3.0 must be maintained in order to continue in the program.

To apply, complete and sign the "Honours application form" found on our Forms page and submit it to the SAO for approval. Students will be informed of the result of their application shortly thereafter.

Research project

Students wishing to apply must develop a research project in consultation with a member of the Faculty and submit a thesis proposal of approximately 1200 words. The Honours thesis is expected to be approximately 30 000 to 35 000 words in length (including footnotes and bibliography), and is graded on a Pass/Fail basis by the supervisor and another examiner. The standard for obtaining a Pass reflects the goal of the Honours program: to produce a substantial work of publishable quality.

Course Sequence

The sequence for students wishing to participate in the Honours program is as follows: In the Fall of the third year, interested students submit an application for admission to the Honours program based on a research project developed in the previous months with the assistance of a Faculty member.

Students admitted to the Honours program register for the course Honours Thesis 1 (3 credits) either in the Winter or Summer term of their third year. In their fourth year, students in the Honours program normally register for the courses Honours Thesis 2 (6 credits) in the Fall term and Honours Thesis 3 (6 credits) in the Winter term. These 15 credits are above the 105 credits required for the BCL/JD students who graduate with the degree of BCL/JD (Honours) will have a total of 120 credits.

A student having successfully completed the Honours program will be awarded the degree of BCL/JD (Honours) upon graduation.


WRIT 450 Honours Thesis 1 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

WRIT 451 Honours Thesis 2 6 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

WRIT 452 Honours Thesis 3 6 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

Progress reports

Progress reports are required to be submitted to the SAO by the student and supervisor at the end of each of the terms in which the student is registered for Honours Thesis 1 and Honours Thesis 2. See our Forms page to download the WRIT 450, 451 and 452 report templates.

Thesis Submission

The thesis must be submitted by the end of the fourth academic year, by the submission deadline. Students are encouraged to submit at an earlier date in the event the thesis is sent back for further revision by the supervisor or co-examiner.

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