Combined J.D./MA

Desk in library with law book and gavel.

Contacts: Professor Allyson May (History) and Professor Rande Kostal (Law)

The combined JD/MA (History) program allows students to complete both the JD degree and the MA (History) degree in three academic years instead of the normal four years required if the degrees were taken separately. This program is designed for students who envision a career in those areas where history and the law intersect, or who want to know more about how each field influences the other. Students may choose to deal with the intersection in a variety of ways: they may simply pursue a degree in each field; they may take complementary courses in both, e.g. courses on environmental history and environmental law, or on the history of genocide and human rights law; or they may work specifically on the history of the law.

The Program

The first year of the program is spent exclusively in the Faculty of Law. In the fall of the second year students will enrol in the MA program and take the equivalent of 2.0 History courses. Over the balance of second and third year students must complete a further 1.0 History courses, and the balance of their Law courses. The MA cognate paper must also be completed by December of third year. In the summers after first and second year students may also pursue summer placements with relevant institutions, agencies or individuals, though such placements are not required and cannot be guaranteed.

Application Information

Applicants to the combined degree program must apply separately for admission to both the JD and the MA (History) programs. A student who has already begun the first year of the JD program may apply for admission to the MA (History) program for the following year.

Standard Program Timeline

Year 1 Courses Notes
Sept - Dec JD  
2Jan (4 weeks)
3Feb (2nd week) – Apr (3rd week)
First week of February is Law Reading Week
May - Aug Option of a summer placement  
Year 2 Courses Notes
Sept - Dec MA 4  courses
Jan JD 2JD - 5 days/wk (AM or PM)
Feb - Apr MA
MA cognate proposal by Feb 28
JD 3 courses equiv.
MA 0-2 courses3
Second week of May  – Aug Cognate
Year 3 Courses Notes
Sept - Dec JD + MA Cognate submitted by Dec 15
Jan JD 2JD - 5 days/wk (AM or PM)
Feb - Apr MA
MA 0-2 courses3
May-June Graduation + Bar exams  
July or Aug Start Articles  

0 JD admission – with any prior Bachelors degree
1 MA admission with Bachelor degree: 4 courses +2 courses which may be fulfilled by approved Law courses + cognate + language.
2Jan term (Law: either 8:30-11:30 AM courses or 1-4PM)
3 May be fulfilled by approved Law courses

Failure to Meet Progression Standards

A student who fails to meet the progression standards must withdraw from the combined degree program. If that student has met the progression standards of either the JD or MA (History) program, he or she will be allowed to continue in that program. Such a student must complete all the academic requirements of the individual program in order to graduate from that program.


Tuition fees for combined degree programs are set by the University. Contact the Office of the Registrar, Western Student Services building, room 1120, (519) 661-2100, or at for details.