The MA Legal Studies is made up of seminar-style courses offered in the Department and in other disciplines, combined with one of two large research projects: either a Master’s Research Essay (MRE) or a Master’s thesis.

For a Master’s Thesis, the candidate will complete:

  • 3.0 credits of course work, and
  • 2.0 credit thesis and oral examination

For a Master’s Research Essay, the candidate will complete:

  • 4.0 credits of course work, and
  • 1.0 credit research essay

Required Courses

All students are required to take LAWS 5000 and LAWS 5001. These courses provide students with a common theoretical and interdisciplinary framework for the program. In addition, students are encouraged to take 0.5 credit in a related discipline, in consultation with the supervisor of graduate studies.

All students must obtain satisfactory grades in their course work; make satisfactory progress in their research; maintain a close working relationship with their thesis supervisors; and attend seminars on current research and related topics. Each student may be required from time to time to present a seminar on his/her research.

Coursework-Only Options

Students interested in pursuing the MA in Legal Studies will now be able to choose from a thesis, research essay and coursework-only option. Faculty in the Department of Law and Legal Studies come from a wide variety of backgrounds – law, history, sociology, anthropology, communications and political science – offering students access to a diverse, interdisciplinary pool of resources. Students have until July 15 to be considered for admission and funding if space and funds are still available. Earlier applications are strongly encouraged. For more information, please email: lawgrad@carleton.ca.


Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Affairs

Department of Law and Legal Studies


1) M.A. – Student Forms

2) M.A. Thesis & Research Essay Forms

Graduate Registration

Office Hours

Our Graduate Office provides potential and in-program students with information on program and degree requirements.  Students are welcome to make an appointment to discuss any administrative concerns they may have regarding the Legal Studies program with the Graduate Administrator.

For an appointment with the Graduate Supervisor,  Professor Megan Gaucher, you are encouraged to contact her directly at megan.gaucher@carleton.ca to schedule an appointment.

How to Register

Registration for the coming academic sessions must be completed via Carleton Central.  Registration dates and deadlines are available at: http://carleton.ca/registrar/registration/

All students are assigned time tickets for registration according to the last two digits of their student numbers. Some Legal Studies graduate level courses will be available only to Legal Studies graduate students.

For information regarding registration and related issues, please review the Graduate Student Handbook.

New Students

Congratulations on a successful application to a very unique program here in Canada!

We are pleased that you have chosen our program for your continued studies and aim to provide you with an intellectually stimulating and congenial environment in which you will feel both challenged and supported as you work towards the completion of your Master’s degree

We sincerely hope that your time spent in the program and in Ottawa will be extremely rewarding, filled with new experiences, new and long-lasting friendships and of course academic success culminating in the completion of the Master of Arts in Legal Studies program.  If there is anything we can do to assist you towards the realization of your goals, please let us know.  The Department of Law and Legal Studies has many resources from which to draw from.  Faculty, staff and senior students in the program would be happy to help you as you begin your graduate studies and throughout your stay here at Carleton University.

Special Meetings

MA Orientation (Mandatory) 

Tuesday September 5, 2023
9:30 – 10:30 am
D492 Loeb Building
This session will be held in person

TA Information


Carleton University offers a Teaching Assistants Orientation for new TAs each fall.

Date: Friday September 15, 2023
Time: 9:30 am – 11:00 am
Location: D492 Loeb Building

CUPE 4600

As a Teaching Assistant for Carleton University, you will be a member of a Union (CUPE 4600).  You are strongly encouraged to review the CUPE 4600 collective agreement – this will outline the rules and regulations, rights and responsibilities that pertain to you.

The collective agreement is available online at the CUPE 4600 website.

Graduate Law and Legal Studies Association

The Graduate Law and Legal Studies Association (GLSA) is the department’s student association. The GLSA’s mandate is to facilitate the participation of Legal Studies graduate students in the department and university community, to foster a sense of community among MA and PhD graduate students, and to advocate for the rights and priorities of LAWS graduate students within the department and university. Learn more about the GLSA.

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