Jun 21, 2024  
2021-2022 Graduate Catalog 
2021-2022 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]


Graduate Programs

The Office of Admissions oversees the application process for all graduate programs at the University of Southern Maine (except the University of Maine School of Law).

Please send all application materials to:

Application Processing Center, University of Maine System, PO Box 412, Bangor ME 04402-0412.

Electronic transcripts or other application materials can be emailed to edocs@maine.edu . Please be sure the applicant’s name is on all emailed documents, not just in the body of the email.

The Office of Admissions can be reached at (207) 780-5670 or admitusm@maine.edu Deadlines for admission vary by program.

The following policies and procedures apply generally; consult the particular degree program for specific information.

To be admitted to graduate study, an applicant must have received a baccalaureate degree or the equivalent from a regionally accredited college or university and show promise of ability to pursue advanced study and research in the appropriate program.

Required Submissions

  • A completed application, available online at http://usm.maine.edu/apply
  • Applying to USM is free.
  • Letters of recommendation (number determined by individual program). Recommendations are easily submitted using the online application form. Applicants are asked to provide the name and email address for each of recommender during the application process. Once the application is submitted, an email will be automatically generated to the applicant’s recommenders directing them to fill out the electronic letter of recommendation. References should be from individuals who are qualified, through direct experience with the applicant’s academic or professional work, to comment on ability to undertake graduate study in the chosen profession.
  • A current resume.
  • Official transcript(s) of all previous undergraduate and graduate work, excluding the seven campuses of the University of Maine System. The Office of Admissions can access University of Maine System transcripts provided the credits were earned in 1986 or later. If transfer credit shows on the degree transcript, the applicant must also request a transcript from the original credit-awarding institution. A transcript is official when it comes directly from the institution. If an applicant is submitting an official transcript, it must be in a sealed envelope from the institution indicating that it is an official document. If the envelope has been opened prior to arriving at the Office of Admissions, it is no longer considered an official transcript. Institutions that send electronic transcripts should send them directly to the Office of Admissions at edocs@maine.edu .
  • An essay or goal statement. Please check the Office of Admissions’ website under Graduate Degree Application: http://usm.maine.edu/apply.
  • Official, valid score(s) from standardized tests required by the program (e.g., Graduate Record Examination, Miller Analogy Test). Test scores are valid for varying numbers of years, depending on the test. (Please note that it often takes six weeks for test score reports to be received from the testing agency.) For some programs, self-reported test scores, received by the application deadline, may be used for purposes of application review, but no admission decision can be made until official test scores have been received from the testing agency.
  • English Proficiency Test Scores. Official English proficiency examination scores may be required from international applicants and/or applicants whose primary language is not English, unless the applicant has received a degree from an English-speaking institution. USM accepts the following score reports sent directly from the testing agency: TOEFL scores of 79 or higher on the internet-based test, 550 or higher on the paper-based test, or 213 or higher on the computer-based test; or IELTS scores of 6.5 or higher will be considered for a graduate program. Some programs may have a higher TOEFL or IELTS score requirement.
  • Any other materials as defined by the school or college. Please check the website of the specific program, or contact the Office of Admissions at admitusm@maine.edu.
  • USM requires official college transcript evaluations from an agency that is a current member of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES) as indicated on their website: http://naces.org/members.html. Evaluations done by the agency must be course-by-course evaluations and provide verification the degree the applicant holds is equivalent to a bachelor’s degree from the United States.

For additional policies and procedures governing application to a particular school or college at USM, please refer to the program description in this catalog under each of the respective schools or colleges. University policy does not permit the conditional admission of international students to graduate programs or certificates. However, exceptions to this policy may be made on a program by program basis in consultation with the Director of Admissions.

Submission of Application

All documents relating to an application for admission to graduate study are to be sent to the Office of Admissions via the Application Processing Center, University of Maine System, PO Box 412, Bangor, ME 04402-0412. Electronic transcripts and other applications can be sent to the Processing Center at edocs@maine.edu. Upon receipt of the electronic application, the Office of Admissions sends all applicants instructions on activating a University of Maine System account that will allow applicants to monitor the status of their application. Applicants are responsible to monitor this account and ensure that all supporting materials arrive at the Office of Admissions and are postmarked by the application deadline. Once all materials are received, they will be forwarded to the appropriate graduate unit for review. Criteria for application review may be determined by individual schools, colleges, or programs. The Office of Admissions must determine that an application has met the criteria for final admission. Final action on the status of the application is taken by the respective graduate program. Notification of final action is made by the Office of Admissions. All documents relating to an application become the property of the University of Southern Maine.

Submission of the electronic application is the first step in the application process. Once this happens an account is generated that allows applicants to check on the status of their application and monitor the receipt of supporting materials. Applicants are encouraged to not wait until the deadline to submit their application. Submitting the application at the deadline means an applicant may not have the ability to check on their application and determine what Admissions has received or what is still missing.

Applicants can submit their application without the essay, which can be sent later via email attachment (PDF format is preferred) to edocs@maine.edu . Please be sure that the student’s full name is on the document and also in the subject line of the email.

Applicants are encouraged to submit an online application early and to send supporting documentation to complete the application prior to the program deadline.

International Student Applications

Official English proficiency examination scores may be required from international applicants and/or applicants whose primary language is not English, unless the applicant has received a degree from an English-speaking institution. The University of Southern Maine accepts the following score reports sent directly from the testing agency. TOEFL scores of 79 or higher on the internet-based test, 550 or higher on the paper-based test, or 213 or higher on the computer-based test; or IELTS scores of 6.5 or higher will be considered for a graduate program. Individual graduate programs may have higher score requirements. Please check the program website to determine if a higher score is required. International students who received their undergraduate degree from an English-speaking institution may apply for a waiver of this requirement. Please contact the Office of Admissions for more information on submitting a request for a waiver.

Transcripts from universities outside of the United States must be translated into English and must be accompanied by verification that the degree received is equivalent to a United States bachelor’s degree. Please see information for international students on the Office of Admissions website at: https://usm.maine.edu/office-of-admissions for a list of agencies that can provide this verification and for further information about this requirement. Some universities in Canada and the U.K. are exempt from this requirement. Please contact the Office of Admissions for clarification.

Application Deadlines

Applications for admission and all supporting material must be postmarked by the deadlines set by the individual graduate programs. Please refer to the Office of Admissions’ website for a list of deadlines: https://usm.maine.edu/apply

Deadline for Enrollment

An applicant admitted for full-time or part-time study must register in that semester for which he or she has been admitted unless other arrangements are formally made with the program to which he or she has been admitted. The Office of Admissions must receive written notification of any such arrangements.

Application to Graduate Certificate Programs

Candidates must submit all application materials directly to the Office of Admissions via the Application Processing Center, University Processing Center, PO Box 412, Bangor, ME 04402-0412. Electronic transcripts and other application materials can be emailed to ecods@maine.edu. Candidates for admission must submit:

  • Online application for Certificate Program;
  • Official transcripts or copies of official transcripts from all colleges and universities from which you received a degree;
  • Current resume;
  • Personal statement; and
  • Additional or other special admission requirements specified by program.

The application for certificate programs is available online at the Office of Admissions website at http://usm.maine.edu/apply. Please note, students who are enrolled solely in a graduate certificate program are not eligible for Federal financial aid.

New England Regional Student Program (RSP)

In cooperation with the New England Board of Higher Education (NEBHE), the University offers undergraduate and graduate programs of study at reduced rates of tuition to qualified candidates from the New England states. Because the listing of programs varies from year to year, candidates should check the most up-to-date listings. The following schedule represents the fields of study available at the University in the New England Regional Student Program (RSP) for 2020-2021. Further information is available at nebhe.org/tuitionbreak.

USM’s current graduate listings are available at https://usm.maine.edu/office-of-admissions

Immunization Law

Maine state law requires all individuals born after December 31, 1956, who plan to enroll in a degree program or plan to take twelve or more credits, to show proof of immunity against measles, mumps, rubella, diphtheria, and tetanus before registering for classes.

Immunization records must be on file with Student Health Services before students will be allowed to register for classes.

Specific information about immunization requirements is sent with admissions packets, and is also available in most departments, at Student Health Services, and online at http://www.usm.maine.edu/uhcs. The Immunization Hotline number is (207) 780-4504.


A student previously registered in a graduate program who has failed to maintain continuous enrollment or who has withdrawn or been withdrawn from the program, or a student who has failed to matriculate in accordance with the enrollment deadline and who wishes to resume studies, must file an application for readmission to graduate school by the regularly published deadlines for the semester or summer session and register during the usual registration period. The application for readmission is to be accompanied by official transcripts of any work attempted in the interim and any other relevant or required updated material.

The re-application form is only to be used within two years of the original application. If more than two years have passed, applicants must complete a new application. The re-application form can be found online at http://usm.maine.edu/apply.

Classification of Admissions

Regular admission is granted to a student who has a record of high scholarship and about whom there is no question of ability to carry on graduate study.

In some instances, conditional admission may be granted to a student who does not meet the established requirements or standards, provided there is sufficient evidence to show that the student is capable of doing satisfactory graduate work. Prospective students should consult the specific graduate program for further information. A program that admits a student conditionally determines the conditions that the student must meet. If a program determines that a student has not met these conditions, the student may be withdrawn from the program.

Transfer Credit

Transfer credit is credit earned for coursework prior to matriculation into a graduate program at the University of Southern Maine. Credit may be received for coursework completed at the University of Southern Maine or at another institution. Such credit is normally approved only at the time of admission and request for approval must be included as part of the admissions application. The University of Southern Maine strongly suggests that no more than nine transfer credits be allowed. However, the amount of transfer credit is determined by each graduate program. Transfer credit will not be approved for: 1) courses that would not have received graduate credit at the University of Southern Maine, 2) courses that exceed time limits prescribed for a particular degree program, 3) courses in which a grade lower than a B was received, and 4) courses that are inappropriate for inclusion in the student’s program of study. Some programs have more specific policies regarding transfer credit. Please consult the program sections of this catalog for degree program policies. To facilitate the evaluation of transfer credits for courses taken at institutions other than the University of Southern Maine, the applicant should include a copy of the course description taken from the institution’s catalog that was in effect the year the course was taken.

Appeal of Admissions Decisions

Applicants may appeal an admissions decision by submitting a written appeal to the chair or director of the appropriate program within ten working days of receipt of the admission decision letter. The appeal will be reviewed by the chair or director, or the appropriate graduate program admissions committee, and the chair or director will notify the student of action taken on the appeal, within ten working days of receipt of the appeal. For further information about the appeal process, please contact the Director of Admissions at (207) 780-5670.

Full-Time or Part-Time Status

Full-time registration is for six or more degree credits; part-time registration is less than six degree credits.
Note: For the purpose of eligibility for graduate assistantships, financial aid, or Veterans’ benefits, credits required for full-time status may differ. Please consult the Office of Graduate Studies, the Office of Student Financial Services, or the Veterans’ Services Office for current requirements.

Matriculation in a Second Program

Occasionally students seek to pursue a second program, either after graduating from their first program, or prior to completing the first program. In either case, the student must apply for admission to the new program. All courses, grades, and quality points taken at the graduate level will be recorded on one transcript. The new program will determine which courses will count toward graduation. Typically a maximum of nine credits may count toward both degrees.

Professional Licensure and Certification Notice

Students who are pursuing degrees leading to application for professional licensure or certification, and/or who will be participating in clinical placements, internships, or practica through their USM program should be aware that their host facility may require a criminal background check, fingerprinting, or drug screening. In such situations, each student is responsible for obtaining and paying for the background check or other screening process and for delivering required documentation to the facility. Although the University will make reasonable efforts to place admitted students in field experiences and internships, it will be up to the host facility to determine whether a student will be allowed to work at that facility. Students should further be aware that a criminal record may jeopardize licensure by the state certification body. Students may consult the certification body corresponding to their intended occupation for more details. Successful completion of a program of study at USM does not guarantee licensure, certification, or employment in the relevant occupation.

Email Communication Policy

In order to meet the academic and administrative needs of the University community, the University has established email as an official and primary means of communication to its students, accepted and/or enrolled. In some cases, email may be the only form of communication. Official University-assigned email accounts are created for all accepted and/or enrolled students usually in the form of FirstName.LastName@maine.edu. Students are responsible for reading all information sent to them via their University assigned email account. The University has the right to expect that such communications will be received and read in a timely fashion.

It is imperative that students understand that a majority of University information will be communicated to them via their assigned email account. Confidential information will not be sent via email. If the University needs to convey sensitive information to the student and the information cannot be conveyed using the password-protected student self-service venue, the University will send the information via United States Postal Service. The University reserves the right to notify students via email when any action on the student’s part may be necessary. Some actions can be accomplished using the University’s Student Information Systems, made available through special password-protected links. Students should activate their assigned email accounts at http://mail.maine.edu.

For assistance in activating your University account, visit http://usm.maine.edu/computing or contact the HelpDesk at (207) 780-4029, or help@maine.edu. The complete E-mail Communication Policy can be found at http://usm.maine.edu/computing.