Academic Calendar - 2024

Western University Academic Calendar. - 2024

Western Main Campus

Combined Degree Program LAW/HISTORY - MA
Faculty of Law - Law Combined Programs

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 JD and MA (History) degrees were taken separately. This program is designed for students who envision a career in those areas where history and the law intersect.

The combined degree program is administered on behalf of the Faculty of Law and the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (SGPS) by the two Program Directors, one of whom is appointed by the Faculty of Law and the other by the Department of History.

Admission Requirements

Application Information

Applicants to the combined degree program must either (i) apply separately for admission to both the JD and the MA (History) programs by the deadlines established for the Faculty of Law and the History Graduate Program or (ii) having already commenced the first year of the JD program, apply for admission to the MA (History) 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 MA (History) programs.

A joint admissions committee appointed by the Faculty of Law and the History graduate program shall decide on admissions. The Department of History shall nominate one member to sit on this committee (normally the Graduate Chair or a member of the Graduate Committee of the Department).

Entrance into the combined degree program is competitive and limited. Meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee a position in the combined degree program

Module/Program Information

Year One

Students must take the first-year law program. No courses outside of Law may be taken during this year.

Years Two and Three

Students will be enrolled during the Fall term of the second year in the MA (History) program. Students will take the equivalent of 2.0 graduate level History courses, including a mandatory half-course in “Historical Methods” (History 9850/51 A or B).

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 totalling at least 33 credit hours, which must include a course or courses that satisfy the Faculty of Law writing requirements;
(c) a second language credit (normally French 9500);
(d) the equivalent of 1.0 graduate level History courses selected in consultation with the Program Directors. With the approval of the Program Directors, additional law courses may satisfy some or all of this requirement; and
(e) the cognate paper (History 9900).

Cognate paper proposals are due in February of the second year and the completed paper must be submitted by December of the third year.

Summer after Second Year

In the summer after the second year, students are expected to work on their cognate paper.

Students who successfully complete all of these requirements can normally expect to graduate with both degrees in the spring convocation.


Students in the combined degree program must meet the regular progression requirements of the MA program and must maintain at least a B- average in the JD program.

Failure to Meet Progression Standards

A student who fails to meet the progression standards must withdraw from the combined degree program. However, a student who has met the progression standards of either the JD or MA (History) program 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.

Dean’s Honour List

In Year One, students are considered for the Dean’s Honour 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 Honour List at the Faculty of Law in each of those years on the basis of those courses.

Graduation with Distinction

Students in the combined degree program are eligible to graduate with distinction from, and as determined by, the Faculty of Law.

Related Information

Exchange Programs

In exceptional circumstances, in Year Three students enrolled in the combined degree program may be able to do an exchange program offered through the Faculty of Law. This will require advanced planning because of scheduling constraints and must be approved by both Program Directors.


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.