Graduate Admissions

Western Law welcomes applications from Canadian and international graduate students. Please read the following information carefully when preparing your application. More detailed information about our graduate degrees can be found on our Graduate Programs page. We look forward to welcoming you into our scholarly and collegial community.

Please be sure to read the Elements of a Complete Application at the bottom of this page. Only complete applications will be considered by the Graduate Admissions Committee.

Applications for admission in September 2018 to all programs will open in early October 2017. Click the "Apply Now" button below to go directly to the application portal.


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Applicants for the LLM program must have completed a JD or equivalent with a minimum average of B (74%) in the last two years of full-time study.

Applicants for the MSL program must have completed a 4 year Bachelor's or higher degree with a minimum average of B (74%) in the last two years of full-time study.

Applicants to the PhD program will typically have a Master’s degree in law with a B+ (78%) average. Students from disciplines other than law may be considered if they demonstrate adequate preparation in legal theory and methodology (at least three full-course equivalents above the first-year JD/LLB level including one seminar).

Applicants to Western Law's new Graduate Diploma in Mining Law, Finance, and Sustainability (GDip) must have completed a Bachelor's Degree with a minimum average of B (74%) in the last two years of full-time study. The Bachelor’s Degree should be in a discipline that is relevant to the program, such as Geology, Geophysics, Engineering, Geography, Environmental Science, Indigenous Studies, Anthropology, Political Science, or equivalent. 

Admission is competitive and meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee admission. Admissions decisions will take into account, among other things, the availability of faculty who are willing to supervise the applicant’s intended area of research. Students are encouraged to contact our faculty directly to identify potential supervisors.

Financing Your Graduate Studies

Western Law offers competitive funding packages for graduate students.

Application Deadline 

Applications  are normally due by January 15 for admission in the following fall term. Late applications may be considered at the discretion of the Graduate Admissions Committee.

The Elements of a Complete Application

(a) Transcripts

As part of the online application process, you will be asked to upload unofficial copies of your transcripts for preliminary assessment of your application; however, if you are offered admission you are required to provide one official academic transcript* from each post-secondary institution you have attended. These documents should be mailed directly to The School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.

Past or current students of The University of Western Ontario must upload unofficial transcripts or a copy of the Web Academic Report for their academic history at Western, but will not be required to submit official transcripts. This information will be obtained internally.

*Western considers a transcript official only if it is received in a university envelope that is sealed and signed (or stamped) on the flap by the official person in the office issuing the transcript. If the transcript and degree certificate are not in English, a certified translation must also be included. (Non-English transcripts from institutions within Canada do not require a translation.)

(b) English Language Proficiency

Applicants whose first language is not English must furnish evidence of their proficiency in the use of the English language by a satisfactory achievement within the last two years in one of the following:

  • The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). The minimum acceptable score for the Faculty of Law for applicants to all graduate programs is 109 for the internet-based version, with a minimum score of 25 for writing and speaking skills, 267 (computer-based) or 630 (paper-based). [Western's TOEFL ID is 0984].  Application forms and additional information may be obtained from the TOEFL website.
  • The International English Language Testing Service (IELTS) of the British Council.The minimum acceptable score for the Faculty of Law is 8.0 out of 9. The IELTS is offered in 6 test centres in the US and 3 in Canada. Information on IELTS may be obtained from the IELTS website.
  • The Michigan English Language Assessment Battery (MELAB) of the University of Michigan. Students must have at least 85 on each of the sections and an overall score of at least 91. Arrangements to write MELAB may be made online.

Applicants will self-report test scores as part of the online application; however, official test scores must, without exception, be received before admission will be given.

(c) Graduate Record Examination (GRE)

The Graduate Record Examination is required for all applicants to the MSL program (not required for applicants to LLM or PhD programs). Applicants who present evidence that their previous professional programs or graduate programs have required the GRE, GMAT, MCAT or other, similar, standardized tests will normally have the requirement for the GRE waived. [Western's GRE ID is 0984]

Applicants may self-report test scores as part of the online application; however, official test scores must be received before admission will be given.

(d) Writing Sample

Every applicant must provide a sample of academic writing, such as a research paper, thesis or a published journal article. For application to the LLM or PhD programs, the subject matter of the academic writing sample must be legal.  For application to the MSL or GDip programs, the subject matter of the academic writing sample may be the applicant’s choice.  This writing sample should be uploaded as part of the online application.

(e) Thesis Statement

If you are applying for the thesis-based LLM or MSL program, you must provide a clearly articulated outline of approximately 200 words describing the topic on which you would intend to write your thesis.

Applications for the project-based LLM or MSL do not require a thesis statement. Instead, we ask that you submit a short statement describing your intended area of research.

All PhD candidates are required to submit a statement of 500-750 words detailing their area for a potential dissertation topic.

This is a critical document that will facilitate finding a match with a faculty supervisor in our program. Students will only be admitted if there is capacity to supervise their topic. Students must indicate one or more areas of specialisation around which their interests are centred.

This thesis statement or research statement must be uploaded as part of the online application.

Applications for the Graduate Diploma in Mining Law, Finance, and Sustainability do not require a thesis or research statement; however, the Graduate Admissions Committee would appreciate a short statement from you describing why you are interested in pursuing this program.

(f) Resume

Your resume should include your academic history, awards and scholarships, publications, and any work or volunteer experience related to your planned research or which demonstrates your preparation for graduate studies.

(g) The online application and references

As part of this online application process, you will be asked to pay the application fee; you will be asked to provide biographical information and contact information; you will be asked information about your reasons for applying to our graduate program.  The system will also ask you for the names and contact information of those persons whom you wish to use as your academic references.  Western Law requires two letters of reference which speak to your scholastic ability.

Western’s School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies will send a reference form and information directly to each of your referees. Your referees can then submit their references for you directly back to Western using the electronic system. No paper reference letters are required.  If, however, your referee prefers not to deal with the electronic process, we will provide a copy of our required reference form to your referee.  Your referee will then be responsible for forwarding the reference to lawgrad@uwo.ca or to the Graduate Programs Assistant at the address above.

If, after completing your online application to one of our graduate programs, you wish to change or update information which pertains to your referees, you may access the reference system online. You will require your Login ID and Access Key as provided to you in an email titled "Your Application to Graduate Studies; Important Information," which should arrive 2-3 days after you’ve submitted your application.

(h) Proof of Citizenship/Permanent Residence Status

If you are claiming Canadian citizenship but were born outside Canada, you will need to provide proof of Canadian citizenship; if you are claiming status as a permanent resident of Canada, you will need to provide proof of status; if you have changed your name, you will have to provide proof of that name change, such as a marriage certificate or other legal change of name documentation. This evidence, if required, will be submitted through the online application system.

Applications to the graduate programs are submitted online through the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (SGPS). Official transcripts, language test and GRE results (if required) must be sent directly to SGPS by the issuing institution, at the following address:
Graduate Admissions
School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies
International and Graduate Affairs Building, Room 1N07
Western University
1151 Richmond Street
London, Ontario Canada N6A 3K7