Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some most asked questions about the Research Graduate Program and their answers.

If after reviewing the FAQs below you still have further questions, please consider attending one of our Information Sessions.

You can also reach us at

Our Degrees

What is the difference between Research LLM and the LLMs offered at Osgoode Professional Development (OPD)?

The Research LLM is ideal for people who want to pursue a career in academia or for advanced specialization in specific fields of law. The Research LLM program is very research intensive and is based on a conventional supervisory model, which allows you to do your LLM under the supervision of a faculty member with the relevant expertise and whose profile would match your areas of interest.

For non-research focused LLMs offered by Osgoode Professional Development, please visit their website.

I am internationally trained lawyer and I would like to practice law in Canada, is the research stream LLM right for me?

No. The degrees offered by the Graduate Program in Law do not qualify students to practice law in Canada. Students interested in practicing law in Canada should review the licensing rules of the Law Society of the province in which they intend to practice. The Osgoode Professional Development program has some LLM programs designed specifically for internationally trained lawyers wanting to practice in Canada. Please check their website for further information.

Can I do my LLM or PhD part-time?

The Research LLM and PhD programs are full-time programs and do not admit part-time students.  PhD students in the later years of their program may request a move to part-time status.

Individuals who are interested in part-time professional LLM programs should consult the website of the Osgoode Professional Development Program.

Are students required to be in Toronto?

Students are required to be in Toronto for all classes that are conducted in person, which is the case for most of the required courses. There are some elective courses that are conducted in a remote or hybrid format allowing the student to attend remotely.

Admission Requirements

What are the eligibility requirements for admission to the Research LLM and PhD program?

LLM Program: To be eligible for admission, the candidates normally must possess an academic degree in law with at least the equivalent of a B average in the last two years of full-time study. Candidates must also possess the ability to work with legal materials in the English language.

PhD Program: To be eligible for admission to the PhD Program, candidates normally must possess a graduate academic degree in law (LLM) with a minimum of a B average in the last two years of full-time study.  Candidates must also possess the ability to work with legal materials in the English language.

Refer to the York University’s Graduate Admissions webpage for more details.

How many students are admitted each year?

Our programs (both the Research LLM and PhD) are highly competitive. Each program has space for approximately 10-12 students each year with only a few of those spaces open to international students.

Each year, we may have additional spaces for students who do not require financial assistance from the school. Please email if you do not require financial assistance.

I don’t have a law degree. Am I still eligible to apply for your graduate programs?

Research LLM: Students applying to the Research LLM program who do not have an LLB or JD may be considered on an exceptional basis. If admitted, they may also be required to take additional courses, at the discretion of the Graduate Program Director on the advice of the student’s supervisor.

PhD: As a rule, an LLM is a precondition to admission to the PhD.

I am currently in a JD/LLB or LLM program. Am I eligible to apply even before I finish my current program?

Students may apply for the Research LLM program while finishing their JD program, or the PhD program while completing their LLM. Current program completion must be achieved before the start of the applied program. When applying, you must upload your unofficial transcript showing your course enrolment and grades to date when you apply. If admitted, you must send the official transcript indicating that your degree has been conferred as soon as it is available.

I am an international applicant, is there a language proficiency requirement?

Proof of English language proficiency is mandatory for applicants whose first language is not English; who do not live in an English-speaking jurisdiction or do not have a degree from an institution that provides instruction in English.

Please check the Admissions website for the most up to date information on language requirements.

Financial Matters

How much is the tuition for the LLM and the PhD program?

Graduate tuition at York University is competitively low, as part of our commitment to access to education.  Tuition at York University is paid per term, and there are three terms per year.  You can see both domestic and international tuition rates, applicable to Osgoode’s Research programs, at the Office of Student Financial Services webpage and selecting either “Masters” or “PhD” under the Graduate column.

Every graduate student must maintain continuous registration (i.e. register and pay fees for fall, winter and summer terms) until the program has been completed.

What funding is available for students in the Research LLM or PhD?

Osgoode Hall Law School offers significant funding assistance for tuition and living expenses for almost all of our full-time graduate students.

Funding to help meet the financial needs of graduate students is comprised of one or more of the following internal and external funding sources: fellowships, teaching assistantships, graduate assistantships, scholarships and awards, and research assistantships.

All full-time students who receive funding support from York can expect a standard funding package of approximately as listed on the York Graduate Fellowship webpage. Funding packages for Master’s students do not include a Teaching Assistantship, while packages for PhD students do.

All graduate student funding is contingent on continuous registration as a full-time student, continued satisfactory academic performance, and fulfilment of any funding-related employment obligations.

Please visit the Faculty of Graduate Studies website for more information, including internal and external scholarship opportunities.  Many of our students receive significant fellowships and scholarships to assist with the cost of their education.

Are there any scholarships and/or awards available for students?

Students can apply for scholarships and bursaries throughout the year. Depending on the source of the funding, some scholarships may be paid on top of the funding package (which will provide more total funds to the student overall), while other may be treated as part of the funding package (which will not increase the total funding to the student).

More details on graduate funding can be found on the Faculty of Graduate Studies website.

International applicants are also strongly urged to explore other possibilities, particularly the Commonwealth Scholarships offered by your own government to promote study abroad.

Application Process

How do I apply and what do I need to submit?

Please refer to the instructions provided here.

Please note that the application requires you complete two Supplementary Information Forms: 1. the Supplementary Information Form (Research), and 2. the Supplementary Information Form (Grad Studies) found within the application on MyFile.

I’ve submitted the wrong document; how can I fix this?

You may re-upload a correct version using MyDocServe.

When is the deadline to apply?

Refer to the deadlines listed here.

Do I need to find a potential supervisor before I apply?

No. However we do ask you to review the list of Faculty Supervisors as well as the list of Research Assistant Positions to see if the research and scholarship of any Osgoode faculty members aligns with your research interests.  We ask each applicant to identify three potential supervisors in the Supplementary Information Form component of the admissions application.

All students are assigned an individual supervisor before beginning the program, a process which takes into account the research interests of faculty and student, and the existing supervision, teaching and service load of the Faculty member.  Applications are only accepted if, among other things, a faculty member who considered the file has expressed interest in acting as supervisor. The fit between an applicant’s planned thesis or dissertation topic and the expertise of available supervisors is a very important aspect of the admissions process.

Can I send my official transcripts on behalf of my educational institution(s)?

No. However, as part of the admissions process you can upload unofficial transcripts into your admissions application. Upon acceptance into the program, you will be required to have official transcripts sent directly from the educational institution.

Will my recommendation letters be deemed official if I send them on behalf of my references?

No. Applicants must provide contact information for their referees via MyFile, the online admissions portal. York University will then send a request for a reference directly to your referee.

What is York’s institutional code?

York’s institutional code is 0894.

When and how will I receive the decision on my application?

Check the status of your application on your MyFile account, where you uploaded your admissions documents.

File review and decision-making will begin as soon as files are complete. All supporting documentation (e.g transcripts, references etc) should be uploaded as early as possible, and before the application deadline. Decisions will be made on a rolling basis and applicants should receive notification in the early spring.

What is a conditional offer of admission?

Students admitted with a conditional admission offer must meet the condition within the approved timeline to get their admission condition waived or they will be blocked from registering.

During the admissions application process, applicants can upload unofficial transcripts to their application. Once admitted to the graduate program, applicants are required to submit their official transcripts.

I was not successful in a past application. If I want to reapply, what should I do?

Review the admissions requirements to ensure that you meet them. It is recommended that you improve you application and prior to reapplying.

You can consider the following:

  • Actively involve yourself in your field of study and improve your grades if your GPA is low
  • Update your resume/ CV with any new accomplishments since last applying
  • Consider revising your writing sample ensuring that it is representative of your writing ability
  • Consider revising/strengthening your research proposal and gather feedback from your peers
  • Make note of the application deadlines and give your referees enough notice
  • Attend one of our Information Sessions where we can share tips on strengthening your application
  • If you would like to use previous reference letters, please email after applying.