Degree Requirements for Graduation
Candidates for baccalaureate degrees must meet all of the following requirements.
- They must receive acceptable grades in all courses required by their academic major
- They must accumulate the number of degree credits specified by the program in which they are registered (120 credits minimum)
- They must achieve an accumulative average of not less than 2.0 in University of Maine courses
- A minimum of 30 credits originating from the University of Maine campus is required for the attainment of any bachelor’s degree. This regulation may be fulfilled in one of two ways: 1) by taking 30 credits in the senior year or 2) by earning 30 University of Maine credit hours at the 300/400 level. The Board of Trustees approved two exceptions to this regulation in 1978:
- students who have already completed three or more years at the University of Maine when, in the opinion of the student’s dean, there is sufficient and valid reason to complete the senior year elsewhere
- Students who have completed a minimum of three years of work at the University of Maine and who have been admitted to an accredited professional school of medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine, or divinity. With the approval of their dean, these students may qualify for the appropriate bachelor’s degree at the University of Maine upon receipt of the professional degree
Students may earn a second baccalaureate degree by completing at least 30 credits beyond the number required for the primary degree, and by completing all requirements of the second degree and, if the second degree is in a different college from the first, by completing all requirements of the second college.
Students intending to complete more than one degree are required to declare their intent to the dean of their college (or to the deans of both colleges, if the degree programs are in different colleges) in writing no later than first semester of the senior year. At that time the student must declare a primary degree. The student will receive two diplomas.
Students may also complete a second degree subsequent to graduation. Students selecting this option must be readmitted by the college where the new major resides, complete at least 30 credits beyond the minimum required for the first degree, and complete all college and major requirements for the second degree. If readmitted within two years of graduation, students may apply towards the 30-credit minimum any credits previously earned in excess of the minimum number required for the first degree. Students enrolling for a second degree two or more years after completing the first one must complete at least 30 additional credits, regardless of the number of credits earned previously.
Grade Point Average is based on a student’s entire undergraduate career. A student’s GPA will continue when re-admitted to a second degree program. The original GPA is fixed at graduation and will not be adjusted subsequently.
Double majors are possible within a single baccalaureate degree. Both majors may be within the same college, or they may be in different colleges. Students may complete two different majors simultaneously with no prescribed increase in total credits beyond those required to satisfy both majors.
Students intending to complete the requirements of more than one major are required to declare their intent in writing to the dean of their college (or to the deans of both colleges, if the majors are in different colleges) no later than the first semester of the senior year. At this time the student must declare a primary major. The baccalaureate degree granted will be that associated with the primary major, and the student is required to satisfy all of the requirements imposed by that college. To complete the second major, the student need only complete the specific requirements established for that major. The primary and secondary majors will be noted both on the diploma and on the transcript, worded according to the following example: Bachelor of Science in Biology, with a second major in Art, or Bachelor of Art in Studio Art, with a second major in Biology (depending upon which is designated the primary major).
Students may also complete a second major subsequent to graduation. Students selecting this option must be readmitted to the college where the new major resides, and are required to satisfy only the specific requirements for the chosen second major that are in force at the time of readmission.
Students completing a second major via this mechanism will not receive a second, revised diploma, but the phrase “with a second major in X” will be added to the transcript to recognize the accomplishment.
Minors are sets of courses designed to provide a student with substantial knowledge of a subject area outside of their major course of study. A minor is available to any degree-matriculated student as long as the program of study for the minor does not significantly overlap with the student’s major course of study. The unit or units involved will determine how much overlap is appropriate at the time of declaration. Normally no more than one third of the requirements for the minor can overlap with the major requirements.
A student’s transcript will indicate a declared minor. However, students need to officially declare their minor with the department, unit, or school where the minor is offered. If this is not done, there is no guarantee that proper certification of the minor will appear on the final transcript. If a student begins work on a minor but fails to meet all of the requirements, there is no penalty.
Minors are normally awarded at the same time a degree is conferred. Students who complete their baccalaureate but not their minor(s) requirements by graduation will be allowed to return to the university to complete the minor as long as the following criteria are met:
- The student has declared the minor by the time of graduation; and
- The student completes the requirements within a two-year period of the awarding of the accompanying baccalaureate degree
A concentration is a set of courses available only to students within a declared major. Concentrations allow a student to place substantial emphasis on an academic subfield of the discipline. All concentrations within a major must share a subset of the core courses required for the major. In addition to these core courses, a concentration consists of a set of courses within the subfield, primarily within the upper level elective category of the major (300 or 400 level courses). Concentrations may not be completed after the accompanying degree has been earned. A student’s transcript will indicate a completed concentration. However, students need to officially declare their concentration with the department, unit, or school where the concentration is offered.
The conferral of baccalaureate, masters, and doctoral degrees upon students is an important event in the life of the institution, one rich in tradition dating to medieval times. It is a celebration of student achievement in which the faculty, the family and friends of the students, and the graduates themselves together mark the end of a formal program of education and the commencement of a new stage in life. All faculty members and graduating students are encouraged to participate in the formal May ceremony each year.
Degrees with Latin honors are conferred at commencement for the following attainments of rank:
- Summa cum laude: 3.7 GPA
- Magna cum laude: 3.5 GPA
- Cum laude: 3.3 GPA
The University bases the GPA only on the student’s work at the University of Maine, and that must amount to at least 60 credits or 50 percent of the total degree credits required in the student’s program of study, whichever is greater.
Degrees designated with Honors, with High Honors, or with Highest Honors are awarded only to graduates successfully completing requirements in the University of Maine’s Honors College.
At each May Commencement the two highest-ranking baccalaureate degree candidates at the end of the previous Fall semester are designated class Valedictorian (highest) and Salutatorian (next highest). Only students who have completed at least 75 credits of UMaine coursework exclusive of pass/fail or incomplete grades are eligible for these honors. For purposes of determining Valedictorian and Salutatorian, all UMaine course grades appearing on the transcript will be averaged to compute the grade point average. All credits counting toward the baccalaureate degree must have been completed within eight years immediately preceding graduation. In the event of multiple students meeting these qualifications with the same grade point average, the two students with the highest number of UMaine credits completed at the end of the previous Fall semester, exclusive of pass/fail or incomplete grades, will be designated as Valedictorian and Salutatorian. In the event of a tie there will be co-Valedictorians.
Graduation is not automatic upon completion of all program requirements. Candidates for degrees must submit an Application for Graduation to the Office of Student Records according to the following schedule:
- by March 15, for degrees to be awarded in May
- By July 15, for degrees to be awarded in August
- by November 15, for degrees to be awarded in December
General Information and details of the application process are available at
Note: Students completing degree requirements during May Term are considered as August degree candidates.
Each college performs final certification of degree completion within 60 days after the end of the term.
Students who apply for graduation but do not meet the minimum requirements will be notified by the college or the Graduate School.
- At the time of death the student had completed all requirements of their degree program and would have qualified for graduation; or
- At the time of death the student was enrolled in their final semester, was taking the necessary courses to complete their degree requirements, and their instructors and/or advisor can show that the student was likely to complete the coursework satisfactorily
- A request for a posthumous degree is made to the chair of the student?s department by family, friends, or faculty members who have worked with the student. A death certificate and proof of their relationship to the student must be made available:
- If the above requirements have been met, the request will go to the Associate Dean of the college/Graduate School for approval;
- Provost reviews and makes recommendation to the President;
- President has final approval;
- The approved request is forwarded to the Office of Student Records.
Awarding of Posthumous Degree:
- The student’s diploma and transcript will note that the degree was awarded posthumously;
- The student’s name will appear in the commencement program, and a note that the degree was awarded posthumously;
- The President, Provost or their designee(s) will hold a private reception with the family and friends of the deceased and present the degree at the reception.