Funding and Entrance Fellowships

Support for incoming graduate students comes in various forms: Faculty Fellowships, awards established by alumni, Graduate Excellence Fellowships, major competitive fellowships, awards to reduce international fees (differential fee waivers), and research assistantships with professors and research centres. While funding is guaranteed to incoming DCL students, there are limited funding opportunities for LLM students.

Funding guidelines for incoming DCL and LLM students

DCL candidates

As of Fall 2020, all students will receive funding equivalent to their tuition plus $17,500 CAD for three years. Students are responsible for paying all other student fees (student society fees, student services charges, copyright fee, dental insurance, health insurance, etc.).

LLM candidates

Funding for LLM students is limited and will not be sufficient to cover tuition, fees, and living expenses. Funding decisions are only made after admission; requests for funding are not considered in making admission decisions.

Any student who wishes to be considered for funding must indicate so on their application. Once funding decisions are made in the spring, no further funding will be available to students. Fellowship recipients are selected by the Graduate Studies Admissions Committee, Fellowships Selection Committees, and the Associate Dean on the basis of academic excellence. As funding is very limited, you should plan your affairs on the basis that you will not receive funding.

Master's students should also look into the McCall MacBain Scholarships, which are destined for Master's Programs at McGill University.

External funding

All graduate students are encouraged and expected to apply for all external scholarships and fellowships for which they are eligible. For a list of graduate student funding opportunities, consult McGill University's Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies website. LLM students are encouraged to apply for external McCall MacBain Scholarships.

Important: The funding packages of students receiving external awards (SSHRC, FQRSC, Vanier, etc.) may be reduced in order to distribute financial support more widely to the graduate student community, all while recognizing the effort undertaken to obtain external funding.

Law entrance fellowship with a competitive selection process

The Faculty of Law oversees applications for one entrance fellowship; the deadline to apply and complete the application form for this fellowship is December 20. Please consult the sections below for detailed information:

O’Brien Fellowships for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism

The O'Brien Fellowships were established in 2005 through a very generous gift from David O’Brien (BCL’65), for outstanding graduate students studying in the area of human rights and legal pluralism in the Faculty of Law.

These renewable entrance fellowships are awarded annually by the Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies upon recommendation of the Faculty of Law. Fellows become members of the Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism.

Application deadline

December 20


  • Candidates must be registered in the LLM or DCL program in the Faculty of Law of McGill University in the academic year.
  • Only candidates with an outstanding academic record will be considered.
  • There is no restriction based on citizenship or age.

Selection criteria

  • Academic excellence.
  • Originality of the proposed research in the field of human rights and legal pluralism.
  • Availability of supervision in the Faculty of Law.
  • Diversity of candidates and topics.

Application procedure

Applicants must submit an O’Brien Fellowship application by email ( [at] to the Graduate Studies Office of the Faculty of Law by the deadline for application for admission to the LLM or DCL program.

Download and fill out the application form: O'Brien Fellowship Application Form [.docx]

See the 2021 call for applications [.pdf].

Value and tenure

Value: maximum of $35,000 per annum for DCL students, renewable twice (if eligibility is maintained); maximum of $25,000 per annum for LLM students, tenable for 1 year.


Renewal for doctoral students is subject to both maintaining good standing in the program and providing a satisfactory tracking report.

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