St. John's, Newfoundland
Institutional and Administrative Co-ordinator
Dr. Steven B. Wolinetz
Department of Political Science




General Information

Memorial University

Memorial University College was opened in 1932 and was elevated to the status of a degree granting institution in 1950. The university has a population of over 17,000 full-time and part-time students, spread over three major campuses and a number of regional colleges around the province.

Memorial University's St. John's campus is situated in the heart of the capital of Newfoundland and Labrador, the most easterly province in Canada. This campus has a student population of approximately 15,000. In addition to the 50 university buildings, the campus also includes the Health Sciences Centre, which houses not only the Faculty of Medicine, and the Nursing and Pharmacy schools, but the largest hospital in the province.

Memorial University of Newfoundland Homepage

The City of St. John's

St. John's, with a metropolitan population of 200,000, offers all the amenities expected of a provincial capital and does so with the friendliness and charm for which Newfoundlanders have become famous. While the city offers accessibility to centres of commerce, culture and government it is also only a stone's throw from expanses of breathtaking coastlines and uninhabited wilderness.

St. John's can be reached by air through the St. John's International Airport, only a ten minute drive from the campus. There are regular direct flights from London, England. Otherwise one can fly direct to Toronto, Montreal, or Halifax and transfer to a domestic flight. As an island the air option is preferable to the land and ferry option, for this is usually almost as expensive and very time consuming.

City of St. John's Hompage

MUN also keeps a list of St. John's websites of interest.

Facilities and Student Services on the St. John's Campus


The University Library

The main library for the St. John's campus is the Queen Elizabeth II library. It holds over 1.6 million volumes over 5 floors. It also contains the Centre for Newfoundland Studies, which collects all published material pertaining to Newfoundland and Labrador, as well as manuscript materials. The Government Documents section is a depository collection of Canadian government documents along with an extensive collection of documents from other countries and international organizations. The Library is supported by electronic databases and search facilities.

Memorial's Libraries

Council of the Student's Union

Every undergraduate student registered at MUN is automatically a member of the student's union. The CSU is the elected governing body of the Union. It's offices are in the Thomson Student Center. It provides a number of services such as:

  • Information and Services Centre/Post Office
  • Copy Centre
  • Cameramun
  • Health insurance
  • The Muse (a weekly newspaper)
  • The Breezeway (the campus bar)
  • CHMR-FM (MUN radio)
  • Legal Aid
  • Food court and franchises
  • Pharmacy
  • Banking Machines

The CSU also provides assistance to student's who need it, such as emergency financial relief, assistance with academic issues, assistance with student aid, among other things.

The CSU Homepage

Computer Facilities:

Memorial has a number of computer labs. The vast majority of computers on campus are connected to MUNet, a high speed computer network. The Department of Political Science also has a limited computer facility.

Exercise Facilities:


  • The Aquarena houses an Olympic sized swimming pool, track and field facilities, a weight room and aerobic exercise machines. Aerobic classes are also offered.
  • There is a weight room and an aerobic fitness centre located in the Physical Education building. There are squash courts and a smaller pool here also. A large variety of exercise classes are offered and held here as well.

The International Student Centre

Of interest to exchange students might be the International Student Centre. Run solely by international students the ISC is partially funded by the CSU. Its offices are on the second floor of the Thompson Student Centre. It can be reached at (709) 737-2002.

The International Student Centre Homepage

The International Student Advisor

All exchange students should meet with the International Student Advisor after arriving at Memorial. The office is located in A3039 of the Arts and Administration building. (telephone (709) 737-7593)

Here you should, among other things, make arrangements to purchase health insurace. Purchasing it here is relatively inexpensive - currently $156 per semester for full coverage.



Student Accommodation

There are a number of options for student accommodation at Memorial. Each exchange student has to take responsibility for finding accommodation on or off the campus. The University will attempt to assist in this through the Student Housing Office.

On-Campus Housing

All on-campus housing is in high demand, so apply early.

Paton College

Paton College provides double accommodation in all-male, all-female, or co-ed residences connected by tunnel to the major buildings on campus. A compulsory meal plan is included in the fees for this accommodation. Application forms are available from:

Student Housing Office
9-309 Hatcher House
Memorial University of Newfoundland
A1B 3P7

Cost: $672 + meal plan per semester

Meal Plan:

19 meals/week: $1228

14 meals/week: $1178

10 meals/week: $1078

Burton's Pond

For students over age 19 a group of apartment buildings on campus, collectively called "Burton's Pond" are available. Four students live in each apartment, each of which is self-catering. Application forms are available from:

Burton's Pond Apartments
2009 Corte Real Court
Memorial University of Newfoundland
St. John's, Newfoundland
A1B 3S7

Cost: $825 per student, per semester

All costs quoted for the above on-campus housing are as reported in the 1996-97 MUN Calendar and are subject to change.

Off-Campus Housing

Listings of apartments, rooms, houses, etc. for rent are available in the CONTACS office (room 3036 in the TSC). Follow this link to see average prices for off-campus housing.

While on-campus housing can be arranged in advance, off-campus housing is very difficult to arrange if one is not in the city.


Off-Campus housing averages

These averages were calculated on the basis of what Off Campus Housing has listed. Different areas of St. John's have different rates of rent, but due to the lack of variety of listings, averages could not be tabulated that way.

* pou = plus own utilities

** All prices are in Canadian dollars. For current exchange rates: Foreign Exchange Rates

Boarding Houses

7 day week, 3 meals a day


1 bedroom, pou
1 bedroom including utilities
2 bedroom, pou
$520/month or $260/bedroom
2 bedroom, including utilities
$535/month or $267.50/bedroom
3 bedroom, pou
$700/month or $233/bedroom
4 bedroom, pou
$692/month or $173/bedroom

Houses to Rent

Utlities included

Houses to Share

Utilities included

Apartment Buildings

Bachelor apartment
1 bedroom apartment
2 bedroom apartment



Academic Programme

Fall Semester lectures begin September 4, (orientation a couple of days before this) and end on December 3. Exams end December 17.

Winter Semester lectures begin January 8, and end on April 8. Exams end on April 22.

Please refer to 1997-98 University Diary


Courses at Memorial are coded according to level. For example a Political Science 4xxx would be a fourth year course. This implies only the level of the course and not that only fourth year students can take it. Many courses have prerequisites however, and for exchange students the designation of prerequisite equivalents must be dealt with.

Follow this link to the Department of Political Science

Each Political Science course has a more specific numerical designation. Courses are categorized by their general subject area:

y0xx Courses in Political Methods

y1xx Courses in Political Theory

y2xx Courses in International Politics

y3xx Courses in Comparative Politics (Industrialized)

y4xx Courses in Comparative Politics (Developing)

y5xx Courses in Political Behaviour

y7xx Courses in Canadian Politics

y9xx Courses specifically for Honours Essay research

Students on the exchange program are permitted to take third or fourth year courses in Political Science or second, third or fourth year courses in related disciplines such as History, Geography, Sociology and Economics. All courses are semesterised, although a select number of courses are linked across two semesters.

Follow this link to see the list of Political Science courses that are applicable to exchange programme students

Grading System

Individual instructors may, during the semester, give marks in either percentage or letter form. The final grade is reported in three ways. First as a percentage mark in five point intervals, second as a letter grade, and thirdly as a grade point. Memorial operates on a three point scale grade point system, detailed below:
% Letter Grade Grade Points

65-75 B 2
55-60 C 1
50 D 0
< 50  F 0

More detailed academic information, and information about other departments, can be found in the University Calendar. Otherwise your own programmeme co-ordinator should have a copy of the 1996-97 MUN Calendar.



Cost of Living

St. John's is not a very expensive place to live in comparison to major Canadian cities or European cities, but is more expensive than most American cities. The Value Added Tax (officially the Harmonized Sales Tax) is 15% and is levied on all goods and services with the exception of groceries.

Below we have created a standard basket of goods to give you an idea of how much things cost here in relation to other places. The standard basket contains:

Cost of Standard Basket in various currencies:




Employment Possibilities

Some students may wish to work to supplement their other sources of income. Students from outside of Canada can only work on campus, but there are a number of possibilities here. The most common form of student employment during the semester is the MUCEP grant. Under a MUCEP grant the student can either get $500 a semester to do 80 hours of work, or $250 to do 40 hours. A MUCEP student can be expected to do anything from painting to research assistance. The Department of Political Science regularly applies for a number of these grants, but there is some competition. If you are interested you are strongly encouraged to apply for them at the Student Employment Office at Coughlan College very shortly after the semester begins. The deadlines for these jobs tend to be rigid and they are early.

Return to Exchange Handbook