1. Program Completion Options
  2. In-Program Second Language Proficiency Test
  3. Summary of Program Requirements
    1. Research Essay
    2. More information

The Norman Paterson School of International Affairs and the Common Law Section of the Faculty of Law at the University of Ottawa offer a combined Master of Arts in International Affairs and Juris Doctor degree (MA/JD). The benefit of the combined program is the integration of legal training and graduate studies in international affairs.

Please Note: Students must apply separately to the Faculty of Law, Common Law Section, at the University of Ottawa and to the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs, and be accepted by both institutions in accordance with the normal admission requirements of each program. Interest in pursuing the combined program must be specified in each application.

The minimum requirement for admission into the NPSIA Master’s portion of the combined MA/JD program is a minimum of a 4 year Bachelor’s degree in a discipline related to international affairs. Under current practice, at least a high honours standing (B+ or 77% GPA) is normally required for consideration for admission to the program.

NOTE: Students completing the French JD program are exempt from the in-program language requirement but are encouraged to continue their language training while in the MA portion of their program. French JD program students typically have to register for their Internal Law thematic course while in Year 2. Please be sure to speak with your program administrators from both programs to ensure proper registration.

The program requirements for the Carleton University portion of the M.A./JD program are completion of 5.0 credits as set out below.

Program Completion Options

Field Designation: Students completing 3 field courses from their designated field will graduate with an MA in International Affairs, including a field designation. Students who do not complete 3 field courses from their designated field will graduate with a general MA in International Affairs.


In-Program Second Language Proficiency Test

All students must provide proof of second language proficiency prior to the completion of their program. Language proficiency can be demonstrated by one of the following options:

For more information regarding the language requirement, please contact Cristina Trevisan  , NPSIA Language Advisor, Cristina.Trevisan@carleton.ca

For more information regarding the Modern Languages Unit at the School of Linguistics & Language Studies, please see: http://www.carleton.ca/slals/modern-languages/, or contact Gillian Bose.


Summary of Program Requirements


Research Essay

The Research Essay counts as 1.0 credit and the Thesis 2.0 credits towards the required Carleton University 5.0 credits, for the Master of Arts in International Affairs degree. Students may also receive 3.0 University of Ottawa credits for their Research Essay or Thesis work. These credits are recorded as a Law School “Directed Research”, and reduce the Law School course work of combined program students by a half-year course relative to regular JD students. Students wishing to take advantage of this credit “double counting” must enroll in a Directed Research CML 3351 in the term of Years 3 or 4 during which the Research Essay/Thesis will be completed or substantially completed. Be sure to speak to your program administrators to make sure you can successfully register and double count these credits.


Timing of Research Essay

As noted above, by virtue of the double counting of credits for NPSIA courses taken in Years 3 and 4, students bear a lesser course load in Year 2 of the joint program than would otherwise be the case. Accordingly, students who undertake the Research Essay are strongly encouraged to begin their Essay during Year 2 and to complete their project in Year 3.

Students who prolong or delay their Essay to Year 4 sometimes experience difficulties in completing their project before Law School graduation date. Further, those who begin projects in Year 2 often find their material out-dated by Year 4, a development that may necessitate substantial revisions.


Completion of Research Essay

Students undertaking the Research Essay and who do not complete the essay by Law School graduation may still receive their JD, assuming they have fulfilled all JD degree requirements.

However, students who do not complete their Research Essay by the end of Year 4 may be ineligible to receive law school credit through Directed Research CML 3351 unless they first confirm that their Law School co-supervisor is prepared to assign a grade for a work-in-progress, rather than a completed paper.

In the absence of such an understanding, students who fail to complete their Research Essay by the end of Year 4 may find themselves 3.0 JD credits short of degree requirements. Students who have completed the JD portion, but not the M.A., will be required to register in their Research Essay, at Carleton, each term until it is completed.


More information

For questions concerning admission at the University of Ottawa, and the Joint Program, please contact the Admissions and Liaison Officer at comlaw@uottawa.ca.

For questions concerning admission to the Norman Paterson School, please contact international.affairs@carleton.ca