School of Graduate Studies

School of Graduate Studies
School of Graduate Studies




“As part of my LL.M. studies at Queen’s, I had the great fortune of attending the Spring International Study Program in Public International Law at the Herstmonceaux Castle in the U.K. This program enabled me to get a three-course head start on my LL.M., while providing the opportunity to visit European international human rights organizations and criminal tribunals. I loved every minute of these studies and travels: this was a remarkable learning experience, a unique opportunity to embark on the path of international human rights education.”

Margaret Denike, LL.M. ‘04

Program Contact

Faculty of Law
Graduate Assistant
128 Union Street. Kingston, ON, Canada K7L 3N6

Phone: 613.533.6000 ext. 74296


Program Overview

The Queen’s graduate research program in Law is a unique program  focused on the student. We have chosen to keep our program purposefully small. The result is an intimate Law School community in which students are able to develop intellectually under the personal mentorship of some of the leading legal scholars in Canada and the world. Our  Faculty consists of leading legal scholars whose work has been influential nationally and internationally and who take seriously the responsibility of mentoring graduate students.



LLM International Law Program - Our LL.M. students have the opportunity to spend an eight week term in England at the Queen’s International Study Centre located at Herstmonceux Castle in East Sussex. Please visit LLM International  Law Program for more information.

The LLM Graduate Program in Political and Legal Thought (PLT) is a 12-month collaborative degree that allows students to specialize in social, political, and legal theory. The only course of study of its kind in Canada, the PLT Program builds on the close connections that exist at Queen’s between the Departments of Philosophy and Political Studies and the Faculty of Law. It provides an exciting opportunity for interdisciplinary engagement with leading scholars in a lively intellectual community. Please visit Political and Legal Thought for more information.

Career paths – employment opportunities

Graduates of our program pursue careers in legal education, research & policy work, law professors at Universities throughout Canada & abroad, the legal profession and the judiciary. The former Judge Advocate General of Canada is a graduate of ours, as well as the former Dean of Law at the University of Sydney in Australia, the University Lecturer in Family Law at Oxford University, and the Associate Dean of Law at the University of Dar Es Salaam in Tanzania just to name a few. We also have former grads as lawyers for the International Labour Organization, the World Intellectual Property Organization in Geneva, the Anti-Corruption Bureau in Tanzania, the Attorney General in Uganda, and the USAID Rule of Law Project in Albania.

Degrees Offered/Method of Completion

Degrees Offered

Master of Law (LL.M.): 1 year

Master of Law (LL.M.) specialization in Political and Legal Thought (PLT): 1 year

Ph.D. in Law: 4 years

Method of Completion

LL.M.: thesis and course-based options

LL.M. PLT: graduate paper option

Ph.D.: limited course work in first year, qualifying exam and an oral defence of doctoral dissertation

Fields of study and Supervisors for LLM and PhD

You will not need to engage a supervisor immediately; however we recommend that you investigate our faculty to ensure a good fit with your research topic. Teaching and supervision is available in a wide range of subject areas.

Funding, Academic Prerequisites & Deadline

Funding Information

LL.M.: merit-based funding, often enough to cover tuition costs

Ph.D.: minimum $20,000 per year + opportunities for teaching and research assistantships

Awards are available for international students, First Nations students and students from other visible minorities and incoming graduate students. Applicants are encouraged to apply for the Provincial OGS scholarships. Entering graduate students who win federal government tri-council awards are automatically provided a $5,000 (masters) or $10,000 (PhD) top-up award by Queen’s.

Academic Prerequisites

LL.M.: JD/LLB or equivalent with a minimum B+ average.

Ph.D.: LLM or equivalent with a minimum A- average.

Other Requirements

Applicants should send the following directly to the Graduate Program at the Queen’s Faculty of Law:

  • Research proposal or statement of the subject area in which the applicant would like to research: The statement should convey your understanding of the topic and research plans. Maximum length should be 500 words for LLM applicants, and 1000 words for PhD applicants.

  • A statement of your career objectives and reasons for wanting to pursue graduate studies in Law

  • One or two writing samples that demonstrate your research and writing abilities, written originally in English and, preferably, in an academic context

Test Requirements

TOEFL score (if required) of 600 (paper based) or an internet-based (iBT) total score of at least 100 and a minimum of 5.0 in the Test of Written English. Official TOEFL and TWE results must be received in the Faculty of Law by January 15.

Key Dates and Deadlines

Application Deadline: January 15 to qualify for funding. We do accept later submissions. (Applicants to the LLM International Law Program must apply by November 15).

Notification of Acceptance: After March 15.

Graduate Admissions Requirements Checklist (75KB)

Learning Outcomes & Program Milestones

Grad Maps

View the Grad Maps for this department and all graduate degrees on the Career Services website


Peter AtuparePeter Atupare
Queen's first PhD in Law
Jane ThomsonJane Thomson
Vanier Scholar