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Submitted by amabel on Fri, 08/14/2015 - 9:52am

Graduate Programs in Natural Resources, Energy and Environmental Law

The Faculty of Law at the University of Calgary is internationally recognized for its strength in examining the relationship between society and our environment, both in terms of defining the interests we claim in the world around us in the natural resources and plant and animal life, and in shaping the consequences of using those resources.

The Faculty has an endowed Chair in Natural Resources Law and a Law Library with strong holdings in this program area. Faculty resources are complemented by the internationally-renowned Canadian Institute of Resources Law (CIRL), which has an ongoing program of natural resources, energy and environmental law research both nationally and internationally.

Energy law, environmental law and more!

The study of energy and environmental law encompasses legal aspects of our transition to a low carbon economy, mining law, renewable energy law, water law, administrative law, adapting to climate change and regulating GHG emissions, regulatory theory, taxation, corporate law, economics, contract law, international trade and investment law, Aboriginal law, tort law, environmental ethics, pollution control, waste management, environmental impact law, intellectual property, human rights law and legal theory. >>view brochure

Take a look through our Theses Archive to see what our students researched while completing their LLM with us. >>LLM Theses Archive

Please note that an LLM does not entitle the holder to practice law in Canada. For information about the accreditation of foreign degrees, contact the National Committee on Accreditation.


Meet some of our alumni

Dan Wilson: Dan pursued his LLM with UCalgary Law to achieve two goals: to increase knowledge of international law and development and to enhance his ability to teach. >>read more

Annethe Rodriguez: Annethe earned her LLM in 2013, one of the steps she needed to have her JD from Mexico accredited in Canada. Find out what it took to pursue her dream of practicing law in Canada. >>read more

Kofi Owusu: On May 8, 2014, LLM student Kofi Owusu (supervised by Professor Sharon Mascher) successfully defended his thesis titled "Regulation of Operational Pollution from Offshore Oil and Gas Activities in Ghana: Lessons from Norway." >>read more

Chidinma Thompson: Chidinma Thompson earned her PhD from the Faculty of Law in 2013. Chidinma has been practicing law with the energy regulation and litigation team at Borden Ladner Gervais LLP in Calgary since 2009. >>read more

Cecilia Low: Cecilia Low, LLM'11 was recently appointed as a part-time hearing commissioner for the Alberta Energy Regulator. >>read more

Master of Laws (LLM)

Since 1988, students studying natural resources, energy and environmental law have come to the University of Calgary from around the world to pursue their thesis-based LLM degree. 

In September 2007 we added a course-based LLM stream to our graduate programs to better meet the needs of lawyers engaged in private, corporate and government practice in the natural resources, energy and environmental law sectors of the economy. The course-based LLM will also appeal to international students trained in civil law legal systems seeking an introduction to the common law and an opportunity to take courses and seminars on a variety of natural resources, energy and environmental law topics.

Thesis-based LLM

Our thesis-based LLM emphasizes the research and writing of a thesis. It is a full-time program that requires students to complete four half courses, two of them compulsory. This program is intended for law students who have demonstrated strong potential for advanced research and writing in a common law system on a specific legal issue and who are interested in an academic or research career. Students are only admitted in the Fall term (September). Applicants must have a law degree prior to applying to the program.


Curriculum - Thesis-based LLM

Graduate students enrolled in the thesis-based LLM program must take both Law 703: Graduate Seminar in Legal Research & Methodology and Law 705: Graduate Seminar in Legal Theory, and two elective courses in natural resources, energy or environmental law or a related area. View descriptions of all courses.

Thesis

Students must complete a substantial research thesis in the area of natural resources, energy or environmental law. The thesis will be approximately 100 to 125 pages (30,000 to 38,000 words) in length, exclusive of the bibliography, and prepared under the supervision of a faculty member or other suitable person appointed by the Graduate Program Director. The thesis must be orally defended in accordance with the Faculty of Graduate Studies' requirements. The thesis should demonstrate the student's familiarity with the work published on the subject of the thesis and the student's ability for independent analysis. The student should aim for an original contribution of publishable quality.

Residence

Two terms in residence is required, normally consecutive terms and normally from September to April.

Timing

The minimum time for completion is 12 months and the maximum is 36 months from the date of initial registration. Students typically need at least 15 to 18 months from initial registration to complete and defend their thesis. Some students complete the program in a shorter period, many take longer.


Course-based LLM

The course-based LLM is aimed at lawyers who wish to explore one or more topics within our areas of specialization at advanced levels, and at international students who wish to develop an understanding of Canadian legal processes and laws affecting the natural resources sectors. Students in our course-based LLM complete six half courses and a major research paper. The course-based LLM may be taken on a full- or part-time basis. Students are only admitted in the Fall term (September). Applicants must have a law degree prior to applying to the program.


Curriculum - Course-based LLM

Students enrolled in the course-based LLM program must take Law 703: Graduate Seminar in Legal Research & Methodology and five elective courses in natural resources, energy or environmental law, or a related area. View descriptions of all courses.

Major research paper

Students must complete a major research paper, approximately 50 to 60 pages (15,000 to 18,000 words) in length, prepared under the supervision of a faculty member or other suitable person appointed by the Graduate Program Director. The paper must reflect extensive research on a topic and it must propose a solution to a problem or present a critical evaluation of an area of the law. The paper will be evaluated on a Pass/Fail basis by the supervisor and one other person appointed by the Graduate Program Director. In the event of a disagreement between the supervisor and the other appointee, the Graduate Program Director shall determine whether the paper is a Pass or Fail after reading the paper and then consulting with the supervisor and other appointee. For further details, please see the Major Paper Requirements.

Residence

Because the course-based LLM may be taken on a part-time basis, no period of residency is required.

Timing

Students must complete the course-based LLM within 60 months from the date of initial registration. Students completing the program on a full-time basis are expected to complete the program within one calendar year of initial registration. 

Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Natural Resources, Energy and Environmental Law

This program is intended for lawyers who wish to supplement or update their knowledge in the areas of natural resources, energy and environmental law. The certificate is offered only to those with a law degree. Students may be admitted to this program in either September (Fall term) or January (Winter term). 

Program requirements

  • The completion of four courses in the area of natural resources, energy or environmental law or a related area, including at least one with a research paper evaluation and including at least two courses at the graduate level.
  • All courses require the approval of the Graduate Program Director.
  • All courses must be completed within three years from the date of initial registration.

There is no residency requirement for this program.


Curriculum - Post-baccalaureate certificate

Students enrolled in the Post-baccalaureate certificate program must take four elective courses in the areas of natural resources, energy or environmental law, or a related area.

Residence

Because the Post-baccalaureate certificate program is intended to be taken on a part-time basis, no period of residency is required.

Timing

Students must complete the program requirements within three years from the initial date of registration.


If you are interested in applying to the certificate program, an online form is available from the Faculty of Graduate Studies' application page. For further information, please contact Eunice Wong at 403.210.8718 or lawgrad@ucalgary.ca.

Master of Science in Sustainable Energy Development

The University of Calgary’s Master of Science in Sustainable Energy Development (SEDV) is an interdisciplinary graduate program providing a balanced education related to energy and environmental management. A combined offering through the Faculties of Graduate Studies, Business, Engineering, Law and Environmental Design, SEDV is an unprecedented program designed for professionals and students who have an interest in or seeking a broad-based and comprehensive education focusing on sustainable energy.

Click for more information about the SEDV program.

Click for more information about applying to the SEDV program.

Course Descriptions

Transferring between programs

Transfers can be made in the following ways:

  • Course-based LLM to thesis-based LLM
  • Thesis-based LLM to course-based LLM
  • Post-baccalaureate certificate to course-based LLM
  • Course-based LLM to Post-baccalaureate certificate

Students must apply for a transfer with the Graduate Program Director, providing the appropriate supporting documentation. The Graduate Program Director, in consultation with the Graduate Committee, will determine the application on merit and consideration of available resources and spaces in the program. If an application is successful, credit will be given for any course eligible in the new program.

Timing of an application for a program transfer

A full-time LLM student may apply for a program transfer after completing one term of courses, including Law 703, for applications from the course-based LLM to the thesis-based program. Part-time students may apply for a transfer after completing two terms of courses, including Law 703, for applications from the course-based to the thesis-based LLM program.

Tuition and Fees

Information on Graduate tuition and general fees can be found on the Faculty of Graduate Studies website, which also includes the payment plan form and the University of Calgary Graduate Studies calendar.

Graduate students taking Faculty of Law courses need to keep in mind that there are two types of differential fees that may apply:

  1. those that are also paid by JD students for law courses, i.e., the difference between what other U of C students and law students pay per course
  2. differential fees paid by graduate students on international visas

The information from the Faculty of Graduate Studies includes information for both types of differential fees.

Scholarships & Fellowships

Faculty of Law Graduate Scholarships are generally only given to full-time students in the thesis-based LLM program. Fellowships are generally available to recent graduates. 

The Faculty of Graduate Studies also has a number of scholarships for which students can apply, and an open scholarship competition each spring for which the Faculty of Law puts forward recommendations. For more information, see the Faculty of Graduate Studies' Awards page and their Graduate Awards database

Faculty of Law Graduate Scholarships

Graduate Scholarships from External Organizations

Faculty of Law post graduate (LLM) fellowships

Graduate Program Admissions

A maximum of ten new students may be admitted to the thesis-based LLM stream each September. Between 10 and 20 new students may be admitted to the course-based LLM stream each September. There is no limit to the number of Post-baccalaureate certificate students admitted each year (September or January).

Admission Requirements

Applicants to either LLM program or the Post-baccalaureate certificate program must meet both the Faculty of Graduate Studies and the Faculty of Law admission requirements.  

Faculty of Graduate Studies admission requirements

a) All applicants must hold a bachelor's degree or equivalent from a recognized institution with a minimum GPA of 3.00 (out of 4.00) in the final two years. Attainment of this standard will ensure consideration of the candidate, but in no way guarantees admission which is competitive in nature and limited to the number of available places.

b) When English is not the native language, a minimum TOEFL Internet (ibT) score of 100, of which the combined reading, listening and writing component must be 75. The minimum of score for the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is 7.0 with a reading and writing band minimum of 7.0. The successful completion of Tier 3 of English for Academic Purposes (EAP) Program will fulfill the English language requirement. 

Faculty of Law admission requirements

In addition to the Faculty of Graduate Studies admission requirements, the Faculty of Law requires a first academic degree in law (GPA of 3.00 as above, or an upper second from universities following that grading scheme).

Application form

Online application forms for all of our programs are available from the Faculty of Graduate Studies' Admissions site

Letters of Reference package

Application fee

The non-refundable fee for applying to a graduate program is $125 CDN for Canadian citizens and permanent residents and $145 CDN for international students. 

Application deadlines

  • Thesis-based and course-based LLM applications are accepted for September admission only (Fall term) and the deadline to apply is December 15.
  • Post-baccalaureate certificate applications are accepted for September and January admission. The deadline for September admission is December 15; the deadline for January admission is July 15
  • Deadlines are firm for international students, but may be flexible for Canadian students.

For more information, contact:

Eunice Wong
Graduate Program Administrator and Administrative Assistant
403.210.8718
lawgrad@ucalgary.ca

Professional Development Opportunities

The University of Calgary offers many professional development opportunities for graduate students across campus, including programs offered by the Taylor Institute for Teaching & Learning and the Haskayne School of Business.

Transformative Talent Internships

Do you ever wonder how you'll use your graduate degree once you're finished school? An internship during your graduate program can help you discover your options while enhancing your skills.

A Transformative Talent Internship is a skills internship.

A skills internship will:

  • Enhance skills developed in your graduate program
  • Give you valuable experience for your CV
  • Open networking opportunities
  • Allow you to see what career options your degree opens for you

Find out more about Transformative Talent Internships on the Faculty of Graduate Studies website.

Living on Campus

In September 2015, the University of Calgary opened one of its newest residence buildings - Crowsnest Hall. With room for more than 300 students in a variety of studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments, students, Crowsnest Hall is designed to meet the educational and social needs of our graduate students.

For more information about living on campus, visit Residence Services.

Contact Information

For more information about any of our graduate programs contact:

Eunice Wong
Graduate Programs Administrator and Administrative Assistant
403.210.8718
lawgrad@ucalgary.ca