Degree Requirements

Combined Juris Doctor (JD) / Master of Arts (MA) in Philosophy Program

The combined Juris Doctor/Master of Arts in Philosophy (JD/MA) program, offered by Osgoode Hall Law School and the Department of Philosophy at York University, provides students with the opportunity to develop skills and acquire knowledge at the intersection of the naturally related disciplines of law and philosophy. It is the only program of its kind in Canada, and draws on Osgoode’s existing strength in legal theory and the Department of Philosophy’s recognized strength in moral, political, and legal philosophy.  The program is ideal for students who wish to pursue either further post-graduate study and ultimately an academic career, or opportunities in a variety of careers in legal practice.

Note: Students applying to the JD/MA program, please use the drop down and click on JD/MA.

Admissions Requirements

Students must apply and be admitted separately to each of the JD and MA (Philosophy) programs, normally in the same year, before starting either program.  Alternatively, students registered and enrolled in the JD program may apply to the combined program in the first year of their JD studies, by applying and being admitted to the MA in Philosophy. This second option is possible only during the first year of JD studies and in accordance with the admission deadlines for the MA in Philosophy. In either case, admission will be based on the criteria and processes currently in place for each of the two programs.

Upon admission to the combined program, students will meet with the co-directors (Professors Michael Giudice in Philosophy and Francois Tanguay-Renaud in Law) to develop a plan of study that maximizes the synthesis of the two disciplines through appropriate selection of courses and research topics.

Deadline to apply to the JD program is November 1, 2017.  For information on applying to the JD program, please visit Osgoode - Joint and Combined Programs.

Program Structure and Requirements

Students admitted to the combined program will be expected to complete all requirements within four years of full-time study.  All students in the combined program will follow a common path, as follows:

In Year 1, students will be registered in the JD program and complete the regular first year of JD studies. To view Year 1 requirements, please visit Osgoode - Juris Doctor/Master of Arts in Philosophy.

In Year 2, students will be registered for three terms of full-time study in the MA in Philosophy, they will receive MA funding. Students will follow the requirements of the Master’s by Major Research Paper (MRP option). This option requires students to complete 18 credits in course work in philosophy at the graduate level (including PHIL 5800 3.0, Core Theoretical Philosophy 1 and PHIL 5802 3.0, core Practical Philosophy 1) and a supervised MRP.  All course work for the MA must be completed during Year 2.  Before the end of Year 2 students will meet again with the program co-directors to identify a MRP topic. The co-directors will also identify a committee of two professors, one from Philosophy and one from Law, to supervise the MRP. The expectation is that students will begin working on the MRP during the third term of Year 2, and continue working on it throughout Years 3 and 4. The topic of the Major Research Paper, to be approved by the co-directors, will be situated appropriately at the intersection of law and philosophy (broadly conceived), and will consist of an original piece of scholarly writing of some 60-70 pages.

In Years 3 and 4, students will return to Osgoode to complete the final two years of the JD.  In addition to completing the MRP, students will be required during the final two years of the JD program to take one additional half course (3 credits) in philosophy at the graduate level. The MRP will count for 6 credits towards the JD and the additional philosophy course will count for 3 credits toward the JD.

Successful completion of the combined program will be validated by the issuance of two parchments, one for the JD and one for the MA, and transcripts issued in relation to the two programs will include a clear statement of the nature of the combined program.

PLEASE NOTE: Students in the first-year program at Osgoode Hall Law School who have applied — or are applying — to join the JD/MA (Philosophy), are ineligible to accept an offer from any Osgoode clinical or intensive program for the following year until they confirm that they have withdrawn their application to the JD/MA (Philosophy). Osgoode's Assistant Dean, Students or Associate Dean (Students) may grant an exemption to this policy, with the consent of the Academic Director(s) of the Osgoode Clinical or Intensive program(s) concerned and only if the application for an exemption is received prior to the student accepting the offer with the clinical or intensive program. No applications for exemption will be entertained once the student has accepted the position.