The University of Maine, established in Orono in 1865 under the provisions of the federal Morrill Act, is celebrating its 150th anniversary in 2015. As Maine’s land grant institution and sea grant college with a statewide mission of teaching, research and community engagement, the university extends the resources of its learning community to address the educational, economic, cultural and social needs of Maine.
Through its five-year strategic plan, the university aspires to be the most distinctively student-centered and community-engaged of the American research universities. It has seven Signature Areas of Excellence in education and research - forestry and the environment, marine sciences, STEM education, climate change, advanced materials for infrastructure and energy, College of Engineering and Honors College. UMaine’s Emerging Areas of Excellence focus on the Graduate School of Biomedical Science and Engineering, Northeastern Americas humanities, data science and engineering, sustainability solutions and technologies, aging research and finance education.
The University of Maine is one of the nation’s major public institutions of higher education, and the state’s center for research and graduate education. Maine’s flagship university enrolls 11,286 undergraduate and graduate students from across the U.S. and more than 65 countries. The University of Maine offers doctoral degrees in 35 fields, representing the humanities, sciences, engineering and education; master’s degrees in 70 disciplines; 90 undergraduate majors and academic programs. The research and scholarship of UMaine faculty members and graduate students greatly enrich the undergraduate experience. As a research university, UMaine offers undergraduates opportunities to be active participants in research, working with the university’s world-class scholars.
The university has the state’s largest mix of nationally and internationally recognized faculty, researchers and scholars, representing some of the most respected minds in their fields. Among the state’s public universities, UMaine awards 37 percent of all four-year degrees, 47 percent of all master’s degrees, and 82 percent of Maine’s Ph.D.s and Ed.D.s. More than 1,600 students graduate from the university annually, joining approximately 105,000 alumni.
The University of Maine has the Maine Business School and five colleges - College of Engineering; College of Natural Sciences, Forestry, and Agriculture; College of Education and Human Development; and College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. UMaine’s Honors College offers one of the oldest honors programs in the country.
The university’s commitment to lifelong learning goes beyond its academic degree programs to include its statewide outreach through University of Maine Cooperative Extension and other public service programs and departments, its involvement in public schools, and its accessibility through continuing education opportunities.
The University of Maine conducts nationally and internationally recognized research, and is in partnership with the private and public sectors to stimulate and support the state’s economic growth and development. The university makes an impact on Maine’s quality of life through basic and applied research in venues from the Gulf of Maine and Maine’s forestlands to the high-tech laboratories.
The University of Maine is also home to unique cultural facilities. The Collins Center for the Arts on campus is one of the state’s premier performing arts facilities, attracting some of the world’s most prestigious artists to the region. The university’s School of Performing Arts and Department of Art are two of the strongest cultural forces in the academic arts in the state. The Museum of Art has the largest fine arts collection owned by the citizens of Maine. The Hudson Museum has one of the finest collections of pre-Columbian artifacts in North America. Page Farm and Home Museum celebrates Maine’s history of farms and farming communities. The university also is the home of the state’s largest library and the new Emera Astronomy Center, with the state’s largest planetarium and telescope.
Annually, thousands of people travel to the university to be part of its learning community, to enjoy the natural beauty of the campus, and to take advantage of opportunities ranging from Division I sports events to internationally renowned speakers and theater programs. The university is committed to developing and sustaining a multicultural and pluralistic educational community that encourages the full participation of all its members. UMaine also promotes environmental stewardship on campus as part of its leadership in sustainability, with substantial efforts aimed at conserving energy, recycling and adhering to green building standards in new construction.