As the flagship school for the University of Maine System, the University of Maine in Orono is a premier public college in the Pine Tree State. The school was founded in 1865. Over the course of its 150-year history, the University of Maine has developed a wide number of academic programs at varying levels. It now offers 90 undergraduate degrees, 80 graduate-level degrees and 30 doctoral programs. The school has been featured in several publications ranking the top schools for 2016, including The Princeton Review, and has been recognized as one of the top 50 green colleges by The Princeton Review as well. Over 11,000 students attend the university, most of them pursuing undergraduate programs. Students here can take advantage of a beautiful campus, which was designated as an arboretum in 2003; more than 200 student organizations and clubs; and 16 dedicated interdisciplinary research centers and institutes.

University of Maine Accreditation Details

The University of Maine is institutionally accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Inc. In addition, several of the school’s individual colleges and programs hold program-specific accreditation. Business administration programs, for instance, are accredited by AACSB – The International Association for Management Education. All social work programs offered by the school hold accreditation from The Council on Social Work Education. For those interested in careers involving forestry, the University of Maine also holds accreditation from The Society of American Foresters for its forestry program.

University of Maine Application Requirements

Applicants to the school have three convenient options for applying: the Common Application used by many schools across the country, the UMS online application portal, and the school’s own mobile-friendly application. Students should indicate their first and second choices for programs when applying, but the school does allow applicants to mark “undecided” on the application. First-year and transfer students need to submit the following:

  • A completed application
  • A personal essay
  • Official high school or relevant transcripts
  • Standardized test scores from the ACT or SAT, which is waived for certain transfer students
  • A recommendation, only required of first-time students

Most applicants will pay $40 for the application, but current and former military students can apply for a waiver of this fee. Additionally, students who submit by the early action deadline of December 1 do not have to pay the application fee.

Graduate students should review the program requirements for their intended major and submit an application through the school’s graduate college. It should be noted that graduate applicants have a higher application fee of $65 for online applications and $75 for paper versions. There’s an additional $10 fee per added program. All graduate applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree.

Undergraduate online applicants can print and mail a paper application, or use the school’s online portal to apply. Graduate students also may mail in or submit an online application. For students older than 25, the University of Maine offers a shorter application form directly online.

The school recommends that students apply by March for programs starting in the fall and November for programs starting in the spring. This will allow prospective students enough time to register for classes. The nursing program only admits new applicants in the fall.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Tuition and fees vary by residency and enrollment status. Undergraduate Maine residents pay a base rate of $286 per credit hour, not including fees. The school’s fees fluctuate based on partial or full enrollment. Graduate residents pay $429 per hour with varying fees as well. Nonresidents will pay substantially more for undergraduate and graduate programs. For online programs, students pay the following fees:

  • Undergraduate Maine resident: $279 per credit hour
  • Graduate Maine resident: $418 per credit hour
  • Undergraduate nonresident: $908 per credit hour
  • Graduate nonresident: $1,361 per credit hour

There are also additional fees associated with online programs at the university, including an E-Tuition rate charged to nonresident students who are enrolled in a fully online program. Certain programs are exempted from this fee, so students should review program information carefully before applying.

Students here can apply for various forms of financial assistance to ease the burden of paying for college. The University of Maine also offers a unique form of financial assistance in the form of a flagship scholarship. This scholarship awards out-of-state students a credit that matches their resident state’s flagship tuition rate, effectively making it so that students would pay the same rate at the University of Maine as they would at their home state’s flagship school. To qualify, students must meet one of two tiers:

  • Tier 1: a GPA of 3.0 as well as a score of 1120 or higher on the Evidence-Based Reading and Writing and Math, or an ACT Composite of 22 or higher
  • Tier 2: a GPA of less than 3.0 and a score less than 1120 on the Evidence-Based Reading and Writing and Math, or an ACT Composite of less than 22

The school offers a chart for how much a student will receive based on residence and academic tier. Tier 1 students receive higher financial awards, but all incoming students for fall 2017 will receive some form of assistance if they apply for the award on time and meet the requirements. For more information on other scholarships and financial assistance, students should consult with the University of Maine’s financial aid department.

Online Degrees Available

For students who want a more flexible schedule combined with the rigorous academic challenges of a traditional degree program, the University of Maine offers a wide variety of online programs: 15 graduate-level degrees, 15 graduate-level certificates, two bachelor’s degree programs, four undergraduate minors and one undergraduate certificate.

Highlights of the school’s online offerings include the Master of Social Work, a program that has been continually accredited by the Council on Social Work Education since 1991; the Master of Education in Special Education with a concentration in Early Intervention, a program designed for people who want to become a state-certified Teacher of Children with Disabilities; and the Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, a program taught by internationally-recognized faculty in an academically stimulating environment. The political science program requires 120 hours.

Graduate-level programs vary, but the master’s in social work requires 63 or 46 credits depending on standing while the early intervention specialty requires 36 credits. At the University of Maine, students benefit from diverse course offerings, plenty of on- and off-campus activities, and a host of degree options for different interests and career goals.