University of Southern Maine in Portland

About the University of Southern Maine in Portland

The University of Southern Maine (USM) is a public school located in the city of Portland, Maine. Founded in 1978, notable programs of USM include their Honors program and the Russell Scholars program, both of which have received national recognition. The University of Southern Maine in Portland is ranked 118th by U.S. News & World Report on its 'Regional Universities (North)' list for 2012. USM was also recognized as a top school by The Princeton Review, making its 'Best in the Northeast' list in 2011.


The University of Southern Maine has three campuses. In addition to the main campus in Portland, students may also take courses at the Gorham and Lewiston-Auburn campuses. The university has 13 colleges and schools where students can choose from more than 115 undergraduate and graduate programs of study. There are a total of 9,564 students enrolled, including 7,561 undergraduates and 2,093 graduate students.

Registered nursing is one of the most popular programs of study at USM, followed by psychology, English language and literature, and social work. Students attending the University of Southern Maine can enjoy numerous cultural and recreational activities including visiting the University of Southern Maine Arboretum and the Southworth Planetarium. Entertainment and community offerings include the student newspaper, known as The Free Press, and WMPG Radio.


Deadlines for filing and submitting an application depend on the semester in which students wish to enroll. USM officially starts to review applications for the fall semester in late November, which are then processed and accepted on a rolling basis. September 1 is the application deadline for enrolling during the spring semester. Students must include an official high school transcript and either SAT or ACT test scores.

Admitted students may wish to explore the option of applying for advanced standing since USM may allow AP (Advanced Placement) and IB (International Baccalaureate) credits to be applied toward a degree. Advanced standing is handled through USM's Prior Learning Assessment Office.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Full-time students that were residents of Maine paid $7,590 for in-state tuition, $9,287 for room and board, and $1,310 in fees during the 2011-2012 academic year. The tuition rate for an out-of-state full-time student was $19,950. Options for financial aid include work-study, scholarships, educational loans, and grants. About 80% of the students that attend the University of Southern Maine receive some form of financial aid.

The University of Southern Maine provides students with the option of signing up for a payment plan that requires 3, 4, or 5 payments each semester. USM also has merit scholarships available and interested students must apply by February 1 to be considered.

School Type Public, 4-year**
Degrees Offered Associates, bachelor's, postbaccalaureate certificate, master's, post-master's certificate, Ph.D., and professional doctorate programs **
Religious Affiliation None**
Academic Calendar Semesters*
School Setting Small city**
Student Body 7,561 undergraduate students and 2,093 graduate students in Fall 2011*
Student Housing 7 residence halls*
Schools and Programs 13 colleges and schools; 115 undergraduate and graduate programs of study*
Student-Faculty Ratio 15:1*
Most Popular Fields of Study by Degree Level (Number of Recipients) In 2011:
Bachelor's: registered nursing (164), psychology (69), English language and literature (56) and social work (51)**
Undergraduate Graduation Rates 33% in 6 years**
Admission Rate 78% admitted in Fall 2010**
Entering Class Size 847 in Fall 2010***
First-Year Retention Rates 66% for full-time students; 49% for part-time students for 2010-2011**
Average SAT Scores of Admitted Students Middle 50% SAT scores: 440-550 in critical reading, 440-550 in math for Fall 2010**
Undergraduate Application Due Date Fall semester is rolling admissions starting in late November; spring semester deadline is September 1*
Decision Notification Date Decision notifications begin October 1*
Tuition Undergraduate tuition and fees for 2011-2012: $7,590 for in-state residents and $9,287 for out-of-state students*
Financial Aid Sources Available (Percent of Students Receiving it) During 2010 to 2011: Federal grants (53%), state and local government grants or scholarships (38%), student loans (75%), school grants or scholarships (41%)**
Percent of Students Receiving Some Form of Aid 80% for 2011-2012*

Sources: *University of Southern Maine in Portland, **IPEDS Data Center, National Center for Education Statistics, College Navigator, ***U.S. News & World Report.

School Contact Information

  • Address: Office of Undergraduate Admission, University of Southern Maine, PO Box 9300, Portland, ME 04104-9300
  • Phone: (207)-780-5670
  • Website:

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