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School Profile: University of Southern Maine

The University of Maine has its roots in the Gorham Academy, a preparatory school for boys that opened in 1803. At that time, Maine was still part of the state of Massachusetts. A seminary for girls was added in 1836. As free public schools grew, the need for the academy dwindled and it was closed in 1870.

As the need for qualified teachers grew in the United States at the end of the 1800s, the need for institutes of higher education designed to educate teachers also grew. During a blizzard in 1878, 700 people arrived at the former Gorham Academy for the grand opening of Gorham Normal School. The school eventually became Gorham State Teacher’s College. Enrollment grew steadily, especially after World War II as soldiers returned home and took advantage of the GI Bill.

Soon after the end of World War I, however, Portland University opened its doors on the second floor of a commercial building in downtown Portland in an effort to better educate accountants. The college closed during World War II but reopened in 1947. Eventually, Portland University and Gorham State College merged, becoming the USM.

University of Southern Maine Accreditation Details

USM is accredited by the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. The college was last accredited in 2011 and will be reviewed again in 2021. Accreditation by NEASC indicates that the college meets or exceeds criteria set forth by the organization that students receive outstanding education. It also indicates that the university is willing to correct any areas identified by the accrediting agency that may need improvement. In addition, various programs are accredited by some of the following agencies or organizations:

  • ABET
  • American Bar Association
  • American Chemical Society
  • Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business
  • Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education
  • Council Accrediting Counseling and Related Education Programs
  • Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation
  • Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Education
  • Council on Education for Public Health
  • Council on Rehabilitation Education

University of Southern Maine Application Requirements

Students who have not attempted college credit after graduating from high school are considered first-year students at USM. Those interested in attending USM can complete the Common Application, an online application at the school website or submit a paper application. There is an application fee. Students must also provide an official transcript as well as official SAT or ACT scores. A school counselor statement and a letter of recommendation should also be provided. Students are asked to submit a personal essay. Although the essay is not required, it is recommended.

Students who have attempted college credit after high school are considered transfer students. They must follow the same process as first-year students except that they must also submit official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended. Students who have completed more than 12 post-high school credits or are at least 20 years old when they apply do not need to submit SAT or ACT scores.

Adult students must complete a short application and pay the applicable fee. Students must submit official final high school transcripts that certify the date of graduation as well as official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended. Students with a gap of three or more years since their last educational experience must submit a resume. ACT or SAT scores are only required if the student has not earned 12 or more after-high school credits or they are over the age of 20.

Graduate students must apply online, paper applications are not available. In addition, all documentation must also be submitted online. There is an application fee. Students must provide a resume and official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended. One transcript must display the conferring of a bachelor’s degree or higher. Students must provide an essay as well. Some programs require the submission of official test scores, such as the GRE, GMAT or Praxis. Recommendations are required and the number required depends on the program.

University of Southern Maine Tuition and Financial Aid

Undergraduate tuition at USM for in-state residents is $262 per credit hour and $689 for out-of-state residents. Graduate tuition is $393 for in-state residents and $1,063 for out-of-state residents. Law school students pay $743 for in-state tuition and $1,112 for out-of-state tuition. Students who qualify for the New England Regional Student Program as well as Canadian students pay $419 per credit hour for undergraduate studies and $629 for graduate studies. Online tuition is $327 for undergraduates per credit hour and $491 for graduates per credit hour. The online tuition rate is only for students enrolled in an online program. Those students may only take classes online.

Financial aid is available in the form of scholarships, grants, loans and work-study. In order to qualify for assistance, students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Students who choose to take out loans to attend USM must undergo an Entrance Interview that will explain their rights and responsibilities as a borrower. The entrance interview may be conducted online.

USM Online Degree Program(s) Available

MS in Educational Psychology with a Concentration in Applied Behavior Analysis

The Master of Science in Educational Psychology with a concentration in Applied Behavior Analysis at USM is available either completely online, although students may choose to take the program in a traditional classroom setting as well. The program qualifies students to become Board Certified Behavior Analysts. Courses required for the program include:

  • Advanced Applied Behavior Analysis
  • Behavior Therapy
  • Behavioral Principles of Learning
  • Clinical Research Methods
  • Consultation in School Psychology
  • Functional Behavioral Assessment
  • Learners Who Are Exceptional in General Education
  • Physical Bases of Behavior
  • Professional Ethics in Behavior Analysis
  • Research Methods and Techniques
  • Social Foundations of Behavior
  • Special Education Regulations, Procedures and IEP Team

In order to apply for the program, students must hold a bachelor’s degree or higher from an accredited institution and have a cumulative GPA of 2.5 in their undergraduate coursework. Students must provide official GRE scores or have earned a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher in their undergraduate studies.

The University of Southern Maine offers many different programs that are available in an online setting that allow adult learners who may face obstacles that do not permit them to attend traditional classes achieve their higher education goals.

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