Memorial University of Newfoundland

Memorial University of Newfoundland, also known as Memorial University or MUN (/mʌn/), is a university based in St. John's, with four satellite campuses. Memorial University offers certificate, diploma, undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate programs, as well as online courses and degrees. Memorial's five campuses include St. John's, Corner Brook, and Harlow, Essex, United Kingdom.

Memorial University of Newfoundland
Latin: Universitatis Memorialis Terræ Novæ
Former names
Memorial University College
MottoProvehito in Altum (Latin)
Motto in English
"Launch forth into the deep"
EndowmentCAD$93 million[1]
ChancellorSusan Dyer Knight[2]
PresidentGary Kachanoski
VisitorHonourable Judy Foote
Academic staff
Administrative staff
2,474 [3]
Students18,256 [4]
Location, ,

47.57203°N 52.73265°W / 47.57203; -52.73265
Main: 279 acres (113 ha)
Grenfell: 185 acres (75 ha)
Harlow: 25 acres (10 ha)
MascotSammy the Seahawk

Memorial is one of the largest universities in Atlantic Canada, and Newfoundland and Labrador's only university. As of 2018, there were a reported 1,330 faculty and 2,474 staff, supporting 18,000 students from nearly 100 countries.[5] [6].

A large part of Memorial's research and development is related to oceans,[7] much of which overlaps with teaching and learning initiatives, and public engagement opportunities.

Founded in September 1925 as a living memorial to the residents who lost their lives during active service in the First World War.



At its founding, Newfoundland was a dominion of the United Kingdom. Memorial University began as Memorial University College (MUC), which opened in September 1925 at a campus on Parade Street in St. John's.[8] It was founded to honor war dead from World War I, to provide a way of educating school teachers for the local religious schools, and to offer students higher education locally. Before that, there was no path to post-secondary education on the island; students had to go to Canada or to England. Students were first admitted into a non-degree program in 1925. The original location on Parade Street in St. Johns was established with the help of a grant from the Carnegie Corporation of New York. It is the most recent of universities in Atlantic Canada.[9]

The college was established as a memorial to the Newfoundlanders who had lost their lives on active service during the First World War.[8] It was later rededicated to also encompass the province's war dead of the Second World War.[10]

The first president was J. L. Paton. It offered the first two years of university studies. MUC's initial enrollment was 57 students, rising to a peak of over 400 in the 1940s. In 1933 it merged with the adjacent Normal School and took responsibility for teacher training.

Early period

The period from the founding in 1925 until 1949 in Newfoundland was chaotic, reflecting Newfoundland's shifting economic and political situation, from the last flowering of independence, to depression and life on the dole. The 1940 discovery of Newfoundland as a strategic military asset brought a new period of prosperity. Enrollment at the university went through ups and downs during this period, reflecting the shifting fortunes of Newfoundland.[9]

Newfoundland gave up dominion status in 1934, ending self-government in exchange for British Royal Commission rule [11] as a crown colony.[12] Newfoundland remained a crown colony until it joined Canada as a province in 1949.[13]

The post-Confederation government elevated the status of Memorial University College to full university status in August 1949, renaming the institution to Memorial University of Newfoundland.[8] Memorial University was established by the Memorial University Act.[14]

The enrollment in Memorial's first year was 307 students.


In 1961, enrollment having increased to 1400, Memorial moved from Parade Street to its present location on Elizabeth Avenue (Main Campus).[8]

On 8 March 1965, the government of Newfoundland announced free tuition for first year students enrolled at Memorial University in St. John's.[15] The Faculty of Medicine of Memorial University of Newfoundland was established in 1967, and the first students were admitted in 1969. It admits approximately 80 students into the M.D. program each year, and also offers M.Sc. and Ph.D. programs.

Memorial maintains a campus in Harlow, England which opened to students in 1969. This campus has been a popular location for internships in Education, and now offers credit courses, work terms, and internships in a number of areas. The campus accommodates approximately 50 students.

Memorial established the Institut Frecker in St. Pierre in 1973, to offer one-semester French immersion programs. It was housed in a building provided by the archdiocese of St. Pierre until 2000. Now known as the Programme Frecker, it is currently run from the FrancoForum, a language teaching facility owned by the government of St. Pierre. The program is partly supported by the governments of Canada and Newfoundland and Labrador.

In September 1975 a campus was opened in Corner Brook; it was first renamed Sir Wilfred Grenfell College in 1979 and renamed again in 2010 as Grenfell Campus, Memorial University of Newfoundland. Currently 1300 students attend Grenfell, which offers full degree programs in several disciplines, including Fine Arts, and partial programs, which can be completed at the main campus, in many other subjects.

In 1977, the Memorial University of Newfoundland Educational Television Centre implemented the Telemedicine project.

In 1992, the Institute of Fisheries and Marine Technology in St. John's became affiliated with Memorial University as the Fisheries and Marine Institute of Memorial University of Newfoundland. Today it is named the Marine Institute of Memorial University of Newfoundland. It offers both degree and non-degree programs.


In 2008, the university's hiring process for incoming presidents came under scrutiny for political interference by the province's education minister, Joan Shea.[16]



Motto, shield, and arms

The university's motto is Provehito in Altum (Launch forth into the deep). The shield of arms bears a representation of the sea, books, and a cross. The Arms of Memorial University have as their central element a cross moline. Alan Beddoe designed the coat of arms for the University.[17]


Schools and faculties

Memorial has seven faculties (Arts, Business Administration, Education, Engineering, Medicine, Nursing, and Science) and six Schools (Graduate Studies, Music, Pharmacy, Human Kinetics, Recreation, and Social Work). These offer a wide variety of undergraduate and graduate degree programs.

Memorial's Faculty of Business Administration is recognized as a leader in Canadian business education, offering programs at undergraduate and graduate level, including a bachelor of commerce, international bachelor of business administration, bachelor of business administration, master of business administration, master of employment relations and PhD degrees.

Students can choose to specialize in the following engineering disciplines: Civil Engineering, Computer Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Ocean and Naval Architectural Engineering (combined degree), Engineering Management,[18] and Process Engineering.[19]

The St. John's campus is home to the Faculty of Medicine co-located within the Newfoundland Health Science Center General Hospital. The Faculty of Medicine grants undergraduate and graduate degrees in medicine, while also providing residential and advanced training. It is one of only four medical schools in Atlantic Canada (the others are Dalhousie University Faculty of Medicine, University of New Brunswick Medical Training Centre and Université de Moncton Medical Training Centre.

The Department of Biochemistry has a dietetic program accredited by the Dietitians of Canada and the university's graduates may subsequently become registered dietitians.

Queen's College, an affiliated College of Memorial University, offers diploma and degree studies in theology, pastoral studies, church history and related programs. It is an associate member of the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada, and has 166 students.[20]

The university operates the Bonne Bay Marine Station in Gros Morne National Park.


Research at Memorial University spans across six faculties and six schools on the St. John's campus, three schools at Grenfell Campus, and three schools at the Marine Institute, covering a broad range of basic, interdisciplinary, and applied research topics. It also includes specialized centres in marine learning that study ocean technology, aquaculture, sustainable fishery and offshore safety. Over 40% of Memorial's research is ocean-related (68% in the Faculty of Science alone).[21]

Memorial University recently joined with Dalhousie University and the University of Prince Edward Island to form the Ocean Frontier Institute, a collaborative research initiative aimed at harnessing the vast potential of the world's oceans. Memorial University is a member of the University of the Arctic, an international cooperative network of universities, colleges, and other organizations concerned with education and research in Arctic region. Memorial is also a member of the International Association of Universities, Universities Canada, Association of Commonwealth Universities, Canadian Virtual University and the Canadian Bureau for International Education.

In 2009, Memorial University launched Yaffle to provide researchers and community partners an opportunity to connect and exchange ideas, expertise, research interests and publicly engaged activities in an open and accessible way. Yaffle is managed by the Leslie Harris Centre of Regional Policy and Development at Memorial University.

Research Impact

Out of 50 universities in Canada, Research Infosource ranked Memorial University the 20th most research-intensive for fiscal year 2016, with a sponsored research income of $91.178 million, averaging $93,500 per faculty member.[22] Times Higher Education ranked Memorial University 17th among Canadian universities for subject-normalized total citations.[23]

According to Memorial University's President's Report 2017, Memorial's total research funding for fiscal year 2016-17 was over $100 million.[24] Memorial is the seat of 20 active Canada Research Chairs, and 13 sponsored research chairs.[25]

Research Centres and Institutes

Memorial University operates and manages over 30 research units. Some fall under the direct authority of their respective faculties or schools, while others have a pan-university mandate or multi-organization consortium.

Below is a sample of the more prominent units:[26]

  • Maritime History Archive
  • Institute of Social and Economic Research
  • Folklore and Language Archive (MUNFLA)
  • Digital Research Centre for Qualitative Fieldwork
  • The J.R. Smallwood Foundation for Newfoundland and Labrador Studies
  • English Language Research Centre
  • The Centre for Risk, Integrity and Safety Engineering (CRISE)
  • Ocean Engineering Research Centre (OERC)
  • Hibernia Enhanced Oil Recovery Laboratory
  • Autonomous Oceans Systems Laboratory
  • Centre for Applied Ocean Technology, Marine Institute
  • Centre for Aquaculture and Seafood Development (CASD), Marine Institute
  • Centre for Fisheries Ecosystems Research, Marine Institute
  • Centre for Marine Simulation (CMS), Marine Institute
  • Centre for Sustainable Aquatic Resources (CSAR), Marine Institute
  • Offshore Safety and Survival Centre (OSSC), Marine Institute
  • Lewisporte Regional Fisheries and Marine Centre
  • Craig L. Dobbin Genetics Research Centre
  • Support for People and Patient-Oriented Research and Trials (SUPPORT) Unit
  • Health Research Unit
  • eHealth Research Unit
  • Primary Healthcare Research Unit
  • Newfoundland and Labrador Centre for Applied Health Research
  • Janeway Pediatric Research Unit
  • Research Centre for the Study of Music, Media and Place (MMaP)
  • Bruneau Centre for Excellence in Choral Music
  • Boreal Ecosystem Research Initiative, Grenfell Campus
  • Environmental Policy Institute, Grenfell Campus
  • Bonne Bay Marine Station
  • Ocean Sciences Centre
  • Nursing Research Unit
  • SafetyNet
  • Ocean Frontier Institute (OFI)
  • North West River Research Station, Labrador Institute

Research Awards and Honours

Fellows of the Royal Society of Canada29
RSC College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists4
Trudeau Fellows2
Canadian Academy of Engineering Fellows16
Canadian Academy of Health Services Fellows11
Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Impact Awards Gold Medal1
Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Insight Award1
Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Talent Awards1
Arctic Inspiration Prize2

Exchange programs

Presently, Memorial has 134 student programs, exchanges and research partnership agreements in 40 countries. Memorial has an International Student Advising Office to assist international students with housing, health insurance, academic and career options. Memorial also has an international campus in Harlow, U.K., and is one of only two universities in Canada with a foothold in the United Kingdom.


University rankings
Global rankings
ARWU World[27]501–600
QS World[28]701–750
Times World[29]501–600
U.S News & World Report Global[30]657
Canadian rankings
ARWU National[27]19–20
QS National[28]25
Times National[29]19–21
U.S News & World Report National[30]22
Maclean's Comprehensive[31]7

In October 2019 Maclean's ranked Memorial University seventh out of 15 Canadian universities in its comprehensive university category.[31]

Campuses and facilities

Memorial University has four main campuses and two satellite campuses across three regions of Newfoundland and Labrador, and in two countries (Canada and England). The main campus in St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador is split by Prince Philip Drive where the northern section is bounded by Pippy Park, and the southern section is largely surrounded by residential areas. [32]

St. John's campus

The largest campus is located in St. John's. Prince Philip Drive runs east–west through the main campus, with Westerland Road bordering it to the west, Elizabeth Avenue to the south and Allandale Road to the east. The majority of the academic buildings are located south of Prince Philip Drive; the Arts and Administration building, Science building, Chemistry and Physics, Mathematics, Music, Education, Physical Education and the Bruneau Centre for Research and Innovation. The University Centre is home to the food court, bookstore, campus bar ("Breezeway"), and the CHMR-FM campus radio station.

Libraries and Archives

The Memorial University Libraries contain collections of university Archives, Fine Arts from the 1880s to present; Human History and Natural Sciences.[33] Memorial University of Newfoundland Folklore and Language Archive collection consists of manuscripts, tapes, records, photographs and artifacts pertaining to Maritime Provinces, specifically Newfoundland and Labrador.[34] The Queen Elizabeth II Library contains 1,072,588 monographs, 104,587 maps, 5,655 audio-visual titles and 9,081 journal titles. The Commons, located on the main floor of the library, has computers available for use by students as well as a Digital Media Centre.

Marine Institute

The Marine Institute is a marine polytechnic institution located on Ridge Road in St. John's within Pippy Park, north of the city. It has unique facilities such as a full ship's bridge simulator and the world's largest flume tank.[35] It offers degrees, diplomas, certifications and industry training for the maritime sector.

Grenfell Campus

Grenfell Campus is a 185-acre (75 ha) site in Corner Brook. It has approximately 1400 students, 156 faculty, 235 staff and offers programs in the Arts, Fine Arts, Business, Science, Resource Management and Nursing.

It had been referred to as Sir Wilfred Grenfell College until September 10, 2010.


The Harlow Campus, located in Old Harlow, Essex, England consists of the Maltings, which can accommodate 30 students and Cabot House which can accommodate 10 students.[36] A former schoolhouse and a teacher's cottage have been converted into a lecture facility and an apartment and a former shop has been converted into apartments. Memorial's Harlow Campus is not a school unto itself. Rather, professional schools and academic departments at Memorial use the Harlow Campus to deliver special programs. Harlow offers courses in Biology, Business, Drama & Performance, English Cultural Landscape, Fine Arts (both Theatre and Visual Arts), Faith, Love & Lore and History & Political Science.[37]

Signal Hill Campus

In 2013, Memorial University purchased the former Battery Hotel located on Signal Hill, overlooking St. John’s harbour. The hotel was a landmark property with a long history within the cultural life of the province. To transform the space from hotel to a university campus, a number of necessary upkeep and maintenance jobs were performed while Memorial conducted a province-wide public consultation to seek input from the Memorial University community and its public partners.

Emera innovation Exchange
Signal Hill Campus opened to the public in September 2018. A large portion of the campus, the Emera Innovation Exchange, serves as Memorial’s innovation and public engagement hub to facilitate university-community collaboration. The campus houses several public-facing university organizations, a large conference centre, and graduate student living accommodations. Current tenants are the Harris Centre, Gardiner Centre, Genesis, Office of Public Engagement, Office of Strategic Operations (Signal Hill Campus) and Conference Services, MUN Pensioners' Association, Newfoundland Quarterly and Business & Arts NL.

Conference Centre
The Conference Centre on Signal Hill Campus is a convening space within the Emera Innovation Exchange. It houses several distinct convening spaces, each with full AV connectivity. The Conference Hall overlooks St. John’s harbour and can be divided into three separate venues, or combined as one larger venue with the capacity to host up to 450 people. The Atrium, a multifunctional event space spread over two levels and connected by a seated staircase, was designed to serve as a venue for public events and presentations. YAFFLE Connect, a space operating as a physical manifestation of the Yaffle application, Memorial’s online connecting tool, was designed with small meetings, co-working sessions, dialogues and debates in mind. There are also eight meeting rooms on the lower level of the Atrium and a dining room with a built-in kitchen for private lunches or small dinner receptions.

The Harbour Wing and Tower areas of Signal Hill Campus are dedicated to graduate student living accommodations. There are 87 furnished rooms available, each of them single occupancy with a private washroom. Kitchen and lounge facilities on each floor are common areas shared between about 15 students.

Botanical Garden

The university operates the Memorial University of Newfoundland Botanical Garden. The collection consists of perennial and annual plants, aquatic plant, spruce, fir, and alder trees. The garden is located at Oxen Pond along Mount Scio Road in the suburbs of St. John's and was founded in 1972.[38] The park has adopted the Twinflower (Linnaea borealis) as its emblem.

Student body and campus life

There are over 17,000 students currently enrolled in full and part-time studies at Memorial University. This number includes both undergraduate and graduate students. Approximately 85% of students are from Newfoundland and Labrador.

International students

There are currently 2,744 full-time and part-time international students enrolled at Memorial, hailing from 119 different countries around the world.[39] International students comprise 15 per cent of the student population.[40]

Campus housing

The department of Student Residences provides on campus housing at the St. John's campus in three residential complexes; Paton College, Macpherson College and Burton's Pond. The Paton College dormitories offer traditional dormitory style accommodations for approximately 1000 students in nine residences, called "Houses", and named after prominent Newfoundland and Labrador or Memorial University people; Including Barnes, Blackall, Bowater, Burke, Curtis, Doyle, Hatcher, Rothermere and Squires. Macpherson College consists of two "halls", Shiwak Hall and Cluett Hall, which house 250 students each, and were officially opened in 2013. The four "courts" of Burton's Pond apartments accommodate a total of 500 single students in four bedroom apartments, and provide a more independent lifestyle on campus. Small family apartments are available for students with a family, in Baltimore Court.[41]

Sports, clubs, and traditions

Memorial's sports teams, the Memorial Sea-Hawks (formerly The Beothuks), are part of the Atlantic University Sport (AUS) league of U Sports. There are varsity teams inmen's and women's basketball, cross-country, soccer, swimming, volleyball and wrestling.

Memorial University also has student media including a radio station, CHMR-FM, and a newspaper, The Muse.

Cultural impact

Postage stamp

On January 1, 1943 and again on March 21, 1946, Canada Post issued 'Memorial University College' based on a design by Herman Herbert Schwartz. The 2¢ / 30¢ stamps were perforated 12 and were printed by the Canadian Bank Note Company, Limited.[42][43]

Notable faculty and alumni

See also


  1. "Consolidated Financial Statements of Memorial University of Newfoundland (March 31, 2017)" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on January 16, 2018. Retrieved 2018-01-15.
  2. "Chancellor". Memorial University.
  3. "Consolidated Financial Statements, Memorial University of Newfoundland" (PDF). March 31, 2017. Retrieved Jan 15, 2018.
  4. "Fact Book 2018: Fall Semester Enrolment - 1965 to 2018" (PDF). Memorial University of Newfoundland Centre for Institutional Analysis and Planning. Retrieved 2019-02-21.
  5. Memorial University of Newfoundland. "Newfoundland and Labrador's University". Retrieved 2019-02-21.
  6. "A\J's Annual Education Guide (2017/2018) | A\J – Canada's Environmental Voice". 2017-02-14. Retrieved 2019-02-21.
  7. Memorial University of Newfoundland. "Newfoundland and Labrador's University". Retrieved 2019-02-21.
  8. Collins, Alice (March 4, 2015) [1st pub. 2012]. "Memorial University of Newfoundland". The Canadian Encyclopedia. Retrieved March 24, 2019.
  9. MacLeod, Malcolm (1989). "3. Parade Street Parade: The Student Body at Memorial University College, 1925–1949". In Paul Axelrod, John G. Reid (ed.). Youth, University and Canadian Society: Essays in the Social History of Higher Education. Kingston, Ontario: McGill-Queen's Press - MQUP. p. 51. ISBN 978-0-7735-0709-8. OCLC 900264597. Retrieved 5 September 2019.
  10. "History of Memorial University". Archived from the original on 2008-06-16. Retrieved 2008-05-30.
  11. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  12. "Giving up self-government in Newfoundland - CBC Archives".
  13. British North America Act, 1949 (12, 13 & 14 G. 6, c. 22)
  14. "RSNL1990 Chapter M-7 - Memorial University Act". Legislative Assembly of Newfoundland. Retrieved 2015-02-28.
  15. Pound, Richard W. (2005). 'Fitzhenry and Whiteside Book of Canadian Facts and Dates'. Fitzhenry and Whiteside.
  16. "Profs, politicians attack Burke over MUN hiring". 2008-06-30.
  17. "Alan B. Beddoe Fonds (MG30-D252)" (PDF). National Archives of Canada. 1979. p. 10. Retrieved March 19, 2019.
  18. "Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science | Master of Engineering Management". Retrieved 2015-02-28.
  19. "Accredited Engineering Programs in Canada by Institution". Engineers Canada. Retrieved March 25, 2019.
  20. "Queen's College Faculty of Theology". The Association of Theological Schools. Retrieved March 25, 2019.
  21. "Memoral University - We Are Here". Retrieved 2018-03-26.
  22. "Canada's Top 50 Research Universities List 2017" (PDF). Retrieved 2018-03-26.
  23. "World University Rankings 2018". Retrieved 2018-03-27.
  24. "President's Report 2017: Out in the Open". Retrieved 2018-03-27.
  25. "Memorial University's Research Chairs". Retrieved 2018-03-27.
  26. "Memorial University – Research Units". Retrieved 2018-03-27.
  27. "Academic Ranking of World Universities 2019". ShanghaiRanking Consultancy. 2019. Retrieved 16 August 2019.
  28. "QS World University Rankings - 2020". QS Quacquarelli Symonds Limited. 2020. Retrieved 20 June 2019.
  29. "World University Rankings 2020". Times Higher Education. TES Global. 2019. Retrieved 14 September 2019.
  30. "Best Global Universities in Canada". U.S. News & World Report. U.S. News & World Report, L.P. 21 October 2019. Retrieved 27 October 2019.
  31. "Canada's best Primarily Undergraduate universities: Rankings 2020". Maclean's. Rogers Media. 3 October 2019. Retrieved 4 October 2019.
  32. "Memorial University of Newfoundland". Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada. 2012. Archived from the original on 2012-08-25. Retrieved 2015-02-28.
  33. "About Our Libraries". Memorial University of Newfoundland. Retrieved March 25, 2019.
  34. "About MUNFLA". Memorial University of Newfoundland. Retrieved March 25, 2019.
  35. "Facilities - Flume Tank". Fisheries and Marine Institute of Memorial University of Newfoundland. Retrieved 11 December 2016.
  36. "Harlow Campus | Cabot House". Retrieved 2017-04-11.
  37. "Harlow Campus | Study at Harlow". Retrieved 2017-04-11.
  38. "Botanical Garden - Welcome". Memorial University of Newfoundland. Retrieved March 25, 2019.
  39. "Memorial University: Factbook 2017 – Table 14A" (PDF). Retrieved 2018-03-27.
  40. "Memorial University: Factbook 2017 – Table 1" (PDF). Retrieved 2018-03-27.
  41. "Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada Profile". Archived from the original on 2008-04-10. Retrieved 2008-05-30.
  42. "1943 Memorial University College". Retrieved March 25, 2019.
  43. "Memorial University College (1946)". Retrieved March 25, 2019.


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