Each student is responsible for knowing and following the policies governing his or her course of study and for fulfilling all academic requirements for the degree sought. The faculty and the staff of the University are available to advise and assist students to understand and to meet these requirements. Students should direct questions about academic policies and degree requirements to their academic advisor or to their academic dean or program director.
Degree requirements may change over time. Generally students are responsible for meeting the degree requirements published in the catalog in effect when they entered the university. Students who change to a different major, or who are absent from the university for two or more years, must meet the program requirements in effect at the time of program change or of their return to the university.
The University of Maine seeks to prepare its students not only for rewarding careers, but also to be responsible citizens of the modern world. It does this by building each academic program on a required foundation of courses that taken together form the core of a liberal education. These courses, amounting to approximately a third of the undergraduate program, focus on:
- the natural sciences and quantitative reasoning
- effective communication skills
- the fine and performing arts
- cultural diversity and international perspectives
- western civilization
- the human impact on ecological systems
- the social structure of civilizations
The program in general education is completed by a capstone experience in the major. This experience, which may be something other than a formal course, seeks to draw together threads from many previous courses in an experience that mirrors careers typical of graduates in the discipline.
With the exception of the capstone experience, the courses fulfilling the requirements of the program in general education are the same for all colleges, enabling students to change colleges within the University of Maine without having to re-do parts of their general education curriculum.
Students completing more than one undergraduate major need complete the general education program only once, including only the capstone experience for the primary major. Exception: some departments may specifically require their writing intensive and capstone courses as part of the major, aside from their role in general education. In this case the double-major student must complete them, not because of general education policy, but because the major program requires them.
Academic honesty is very important. It is dishonest to cheat on exams, to copy term papers or to submit papers written by another person, to “fake” experimental results, or to copy parts of books or articles into your own papers without putting the copied material in quotation marks and clearly indicating its source. Students committing or aiding any of these violations may be given failing grades for an assignment or for an entire course, at the discretion of the instructor. In addition to any academic action taken by an instructor, these violations are also subject to action under the University of Maine Student Conduct Code. The maximum possible sanction under the student conduct code is dismissal from the University. Details concerning these policies and the avenues of appeal open to students can be found at http://www.umaine.edu/deansofstudents/jad/honesty.asp.