University of Southern Maine


The University of Southern Maine, also referred to as USM, is a multi-campus public comprehensive university of higher education. The institute was originally founded in 1878 as Gorham Normal School and merged with the University of Maine at Portland to become the University of Maine at Portland-Gorham. Finally, it was renamed as University of Southern Maine in 1978. Since its inception, USM functions as a major educational instrument in the overall development of economic, civic, and cultural life in southern Maine. The University has three primary campuses in Portland, Gorham, and Lewiston.


Information Summary

Ranks 10th in Maine and 1180th overall. See the entire top 2,000 colleges and universities list
Overall Score (about) 77.9
Total Cost On-Campus Attendance $22,968
Admission Success rate N/A
ACT / SAT 75%ile scores 25 / 1150
Student Ratio Students-to-Faculty 17 : 1
Retention (full-time / part-time) 70% / 31%
Enrollment Total (all students) 8,140


The University of Southern Maine is accredited by New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) to award bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in diverse areas of study. Students can choose from a wide option of majors including accounting, applied technical leadership, arts and humanities, environmental science, exercise physiology, finance, foreign languages, music education, music performance, and natural and applied sciences. The University also offers Honors programs to the students. Some of the courses include Thinking and Writing in Honors; Wisdom Stories From Antiquity; and Interdisciplinary Introduction to Logic and Mathematics.

The University of Southern Maine is organized into several schools and colleges such as College of Arts and Sciences; College of Education and Human Development; College of Nursing and Health Professions; Edmund S. Muskie School of Public Services; School of Applied Science, Engineering, and Technology; School of Business; University of Maine School of Law; and USM Lewiston-Auburn. All these academic schools and colleges are well accredited by the association bodies of the respective departments.

USM Online:

The University of Southern Maine offers online undergraduate and graduate degrees to students who find it difficult to attend regular college for higher education. USM Online is the portal through which the University offers online degree programs, certificate programs and online courses to the students across the world. USM Online is committed to offering high-quality, accredited degree programs and courses. All the online courses and programs offered by USM are accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC).

Some of the online degree programs and courses offered at USM are Minor in Leadership Studies, Certificate in Leadership Studies, Certificate in Creative Leadership and Global Strategy; Teacher Ed: ETEP (M.S.Ed.); and Certificate of Graduate Study in Nursing Education. These degrees and courses can be earned completely online, and students just need a computer and Internet connected to add these degrees to their kitty.

Most Popular Fields of Study


College Campus :: University of Southern Maine
Entrance :: University of Southern Maine


The University of Southern Maine welcomes applicants from across the United States and around the world. Students seeking admissions must send the complete application along with SAT or ACT scores. The application should also include a personal statement (essay), recommendations, individual talents, and activities. Students wishing to transfer to USM must send official transcripts from all the previously attended institutes.

The university’s student body boasts a good number of international students. It encourages applications from students across the world. In order to apply, international students must send their official secondary school transcripts, exam certificates, college level transcripts, and a completed personal statement (essay). Students whose native language is not English must take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) test.

Financial Aid

The University of Southern Maine offers financial aid to the needy and deserving students. In fact, USM offers financial assistance to more than 80 percent of students through various programs. All students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form. The University provides financial assistance through grants, scholarships and work-study programs. Grants offered at USM include Federal Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, Federal Academic Competitiveness Grant (ACG), Federal SMART Grant, Federal Work-Study, Federal Educational Loans, State Grants, and University Grants.

The university also offers a variety of scholarships to its students, which include the Creating Maine’s Future Presidential Scholarship, Charles J. Hoff Scholarship, Gertrude L. Stone Scholarship, Aileen M. Carroll ‘65 Endowed Scholarship, President’s Lewiston-Auburn Scholarship, Charles J. Hoff Scholarship, Gorman Scholars Fund, Leon and Lisa Gorman Scholarship, Phi Theta Kappa Transfer Scholarship, International Student Merit Scholarship, and the Osher Reentry Scholars Fund.

Student Financial Aid Details

Ranks 3487th for the average student loan amount.
Secrets to getting the best scholarships and financial aid in Maine.


Apart from academic education, University of Southern Maine also offers a wide range of activities and events to enrich the students’ experience. There are more than 100 student organizations on the campus. Students can either join an existing club or create a new one. Some of the student organizations include Chemistry Club, Environmental Science Student Group, Engineering Student Committee, Athletic Training Student Association, Social Work Student Organization, Multi-Cultural Students Association, Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship, and Music Educators National Conference. Students can also take part in several other campus activities and events such as theater, poetry, art galleries, Hollywood, Broadway, Off-Broadway, Indie, jazz, rock, classical, hip-hop, alternative, and opera.

The University has a strong Greek presence. There are several on-campus fraternities and sororities governed by the Inter-Fraternity Council and Greek Women’s Council. The Greek organizations include Alpha Xi Delta, Kappa Delta Phi, Phi Mu, Kappa Delta Phi, Delta Chi, Phi Kappa Sigma, and Sigma Nu. The Greek clubs organize a wide a variety of events and activities on the campus.

The Student Government Association works like the voice of the student body and encourages students to get involved in campus activities. It also organizes several events and activities for the recreation of the students. Some of the events include Premedical & Health Student Society Meeting, Sociology Club Weekly Meeting, Bootcamp, Recovery in Action (REACT) Weekly Meeting, Fencing (Blade Society), and Veterans Student Organization Meeting.


The Donald L. Garbrecht Law Library, named in the honor of a Law Librarian, houses more than 335,000 volumes, shelved in open stacks. The library has an all-inclusive collection of federal and state statutes and law reports, along with a comprehensive compilation of Canadian and British Commonwealth statutes and law reports. The library resources include Blackboard, HeinOnline, Electronic Exams, and Nello.

Housing & Dining:

The University of Southern Maine offers several housing options for students to call their home, meet new people, interact and build life-long friendships. Each of the on-campus residence halls is looked after by a live-in professional Resident Director, supported by a student assistant. The residence halls at USM include Anderson Hall, Dickey Wood Hall, Philippi Hall, Robie Andrews Hall, Upton Hastings Hall, Woodward Hall, and Upperclass Hall. Some of the general facilities offered at the residence halls include wireless internet access, laundry facilities with online monitoring, TV lounges, vending machines. There are also recreation facilities available for the resident students.

The University also offers summer housing facilities for students who wish to stay on-campus for their USM summer courses. The summer housing session usually runs from May 15 to August 19. Students can choose from a wide variety of single and double occupancy rooms. Some of the general facilities offered at the halls include microfridge units, high speed internet access, 24-hour staff coverage, common kitchens, bathrooms, and furnishings.

USM offers an array of dining programs, products, services, and locations to enhance the living and learning experiences of the faculty members, staff and students. Gorham campus restaurants include Residential Restaurant – Real Food on Campus, Bailey Hall Café, Husky Hideway Snack Bar, Brooks Convenience Store, and Ice Arena Concessions. Portland Campus is home to The Food Court at Woodbury Campus Center, Luther Bonney P.O.D. Mini Mart, Law School Café, and City Sandwich – Coffee By Design. The Lewiston – Auburn College Campus includes LA Café that is the perfect place for students to gather together for a break.

Points of Interest:

There are several points of interest located in and around the campuses of the University of Southern Maine. Some of them are the Cumberland County Civic Center, Portland City Hall’s Merrill Auditorium, and Bubba’s Sulky Lounge, which is the Portland landmark with two dance floors and a live band.


Portland’s Arts District is known for its vibrant and live entertainment. Students will enjoy checking out the Empire Dine and Dance that serves up diverse music and comedy acts. SPACE is an alternative arts venue worth visiting. It was founded by former USM students to offer a full schedule of displays as well as performances.

Student Enrollment Demographics

Student Graduation Demographics


University of Southern Maine sponsors men’s and women’s teams in more than 20 intercollegiate sports such as cross country, field hockey, golf, soccer, tennis, ice hockey, volleyball, indoor track, cheering and wrestling. The athletic teams are nicknamed as the Huskies. They compete in the Little East Conference, recognized as one of the most competitive Division III conferences in the United States. USM is also a member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) and the Little East Conference (LEC). The Costello Sports Complex is home to a gymnasium, a field house, an ice arena, a fitness center, and a learning center. There are also several USM ball fields which include baseball field, softball field, soccer field, and Paula D. Hodgdon field. Other sports facilities include Gorham HS tennis courts, sable oaks golf club, and twin brook recreation area.

Intramural Sports:

The intramural program offers an opportunity to the students, faculty members and staff to compete with each other in a fun environment. The USM community can participate in a variety of recreational sports and programs which includes flag football, dodgeball, co-ed soccer, basketball, volleyball, broomball, ultimate frisbee. Students can also join the sports clubs created to present a unique campus experience.


USM graduates have gone on to earn fame and reputation in their respective fields of professions. Some of the most notable alumni include Tony Shalhoub, an eminent actor; Lois Lowry, a prominent novelist; Raymond Stevens, a notable research scientist; and Walter Mattson, former president of the New York Times.

Additional School Information

USM was considered among the “Best Northeastern Colleges” by the Princeton Review for five consecutive years.

Eminent publications such as Frommer’s Travel Guides, Organic Gardening Magazine, and Outside Magazine have regarded Portland as one of the best American states offering abundant recreational, cultural, and educational opportunities.


University Of Southern Maine. 2011.

Bibber, Joyce K. University of Southern Maine: The College History Series. Arcadia Publishing, 2001. Print.

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