The combined JD/MSc (Geology or Geophysics) program allows students to complete both the JD degree and the MSc (Geology or Geophysics) degree in three academic years instead of the four years required if the degrees were taken separately. The program is designed for students who envision a career in those areas where the earth sciences and the law intersect. The course load for the MSc (Geology or Geophysics) degree is the same as that for the Accelerated MSc (Geology or Geophysics) offered by the Department of Earth Sciences.
The combined degree program is administered on behalf of the Faculty of Law and the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (SGPS) by two Program Directors, one appointed by the Faculty of Law and the other appointed by the Department of Earth Sciences.
Applicants to the combined degree program must either (i) apply separately for admission to both the JD and the MSc (Geology or Geophysics) programs by the deadlines established for the Faculty of Law and the Geology or Geophysics Graduate Programs or (ii) having already commenced the first year of the JD program, apply for admission to the MSc (Geology or Geophysics) program by the deadline established by the program. In either case, the application must indicate the student’s intention to pursue the combined degree program.
Applicants must meet the entrance requirements for each of the JD and the MSc (Geology or Geophysics) programs.
A joint admissions committee appointed by the Faculty of Law and SGPS shall decide on admissions and admissions policy. The Department of Earth Sciences shall nominate one member to sit on this committee (normally its appointed Program Director).
Entrance into the combined degree program is competitive and limited. Meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee a position in the combined degree program.
Students must take first-year Law. No courses outside of Law may be taken during this year.
Years Two and Three
The Program Director appointed by the Department of Earth Sciences will designate the MSc program courses that the students in the combined degree program must successfully complete. Courses will include the Graduate Seminar (GL 9580 or GP 9580), a Combined Field Course in Geology or Geophysics and five additional courses (the same course load as for the Accelerated MSc (Geology or Geophysics) degree) chosen by the student in consultation with the Program Director.
Students will be enrolled during the Fall term of the second year in the MSc (Geology or Geophysics) program. Students will take 4 of the required MSc courses, including GL 9580 or GP 9580. In early September of the second year or late April or May of the second year, students must complete the two-week Combined Field Course.
Beginning in January of the second year, students will return primarily to the JD program. Over the balance of the second year and the third year, students must take:
(a) the three compulsory upper-year Law courses;
(b) additional Law courses totaling at least 33 credit hours, which must include a course or courses that satisfy the Faculty of Law writing requirements; and
(c) the remaining two required courses for the MSc program.
Supplementary fees are payable for the Combined Field Course under the Program and Supplemental Fee Schedule published by the Registrar's office. Bursaries are available that may cover these costs for all students in the combined degree program.
Students who successfully complete all of these requirements can normally expect to graduate with both degrees in the spring convocation.
Summer after Second Year
The MSc program in Geology or Geophysics normally requires a four month research project to be completed in the summer after MSc course work is completed. For a student in the combined program, this component of the MSc program will be completed in the summer after Year Two with an experiential learning module consisting of any one of the following:
(a) a 6-8 week summer placement with a law firm (preferably one that practices mining or natural resources law) and a 6-8 week summer placement with a corporation working in the earth sciences, or
(b) a 12-16 week summer placement with a law firm (preferably one that that practices mining or natural resources law), or
(c) a research project for a firm working in the earth sciences, or
(d) a research project with a faculty member in the Department of Earth Sciences.
Students in the combined degree program must meet the regular progression requirements of the MSc program and must maintain at least a B- average in the JD program.
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 MSc (Geology or Geophysics) 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.
In Year One students are considered for the Dean's Honor List at the Faculty of Law. Students who take Law courses totaling at least 12 credit hours in each of Years Two and Three are considered for the Dean's Honor List at the Faculty of Law in each of those years on the basis of those courses.
Eligibility to graduate with distinction for each degree is determined by the Faculty of Law.