BCL/JD Program Structure and Requirements

The 105-credit BCL/JD program is an opportunity to learn the Civil Law and Common Law traditions within a single, integrated course of study.

Its duration is flexible: at a normal pace of 15 credits per term, the program can be completed in 7 terms or three and a half years or four years. Students who complete the program obtain a double degree of civil law (BCL) and common law (JD or Juris Doctor).

Completing the program

To be eligible for their BCL and JD degrees, candidates must complete the required number of credits within five years of initial registration in the program. Faculty regulations permit part-time study (defined as less than 12 credits to a minimum of nine credits) in very exceptional circumstances. Where part-time study is authorized, the five-year rule is extended to seven years. In computing this five-year period, any year or years spent on an approved leave of absence is not included.

Faculty of Law Academic Regulations, Resolutions and Policies

The Faculty of Law's Handbook of Academic Regulations, Resolutions and Policies describes a range of information relating to academic activities for our community. Offered as a PDF file, the Handbook covers the Faculty's academic regulations, from degree requirements to leaves of absence; our examination regulations; and policies regarding student assessment, exam language, review of final evaluations, classes on holy days, course auditing, and more.

Students are asked to keep a copy throughout their studies. Updated versions are posted yearly on the SAO's Academic Regulations, Resolutions and Policies page.

Program options

Students may enrich their program with one of our Minor, major or honours programs, or take one of our joint degree programs in Management or Social Work.

Students can also go on exchange through our Student Exchange Program, take non-course credits and outside credits, or put their learning in practice through our clinical legal education opportunities.

Accelerating the program

It is possible to accelerate the completion of the program by taking one additional course in the Winter term of first year (not applicable as of 2016), by completing Summer credits, and by taking a higher number of credits during the regular academic year, up to a maximum of 18 credits. Permission to exceed that number requires the permission of the Associate Dean (Academic) and is given only in very exceptional circumstances during the final term/year of graduation in order to meet program requirements.

Trade-offs to accelerated programs

There are trade-offs in accelerating the program. These include more limited access to small enrollment courses (as the fourth-year priority registration is lost), and the possible negative impact on academic success resulting from a heavy course load. It is possible to extend the completion of the program over four full academic years. However, to retain full-time status, a minimum of 12 credits must be taken in each term (with the exception that in their final term, students are permitted to take only the number of credits necessary to complete the program even if that is less than 12).

Extending the program can allow the meeting of other commitments on the part of students, taking full advantage of all opportunities in the BCL/JD program, including exchanges, and participating in the Faculty of Law’s advanced programs (Minors, Majors, Honours).

More generally, a lighter course load may have a positive impact on academic success.

Residency, full-time students, part-time students

  • The Minimum Residency Requirement for the BCL/JD program requires full-time attendance for at least three academic years.
  • Full-time students must register for a minimum of 12 credits in each term. The only exception is for students in their final term who may register for only the number of credits necessary to satisfy their degree requirements for graduation.
  • Students may register for a maximum of 18 credits per term.
  • Permission to exceed that maximum or to change to part-time status must be obtained from the Associate Dean (Academic). Permission will be granted only if exceptional circumstances are shown.
  • Students are expected to apply to graduate once they have successfully met all the program requirements for the BCL/JD program and completed 105 credits.
  • The Associate Dean (Academic) or Director 's (Student Life & Learning) approval is required to take courses beyond the 105 credits. Course completed beyond the 105 credits will be coded as EXTRA (not credited towards program or calculated in CGPA).
  • Due to the demanding nature of the BCL/JD Program, the Faculty does not permit students to be registered in our BCL/JD Program and another university program concurrently. In addition, the Faculty does not permit students to register in our program on a part-time basis with a view to completing other programs of studies while taking courses in our Faculty. Furthermore, the Faculty does not permit students to take leave from our program in order to complete a graduate program.

For employers: about our BCL/JD (previously BCL/LLB) program

As the McGill BCL/JD Program (previously called the BCL/LLB Program) is unique in North America, many employers request information about its structure.

Visit the Career Development Office website for more information about the competencies developed in the program and a letter from the Dean detailing the program: www.mcgill.ca/cdo/employers.

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