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 coordinator.
Degree Requirements for Graduation
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 the change or of their return to the university.
Candidates for baccalaureate degrees must meet all of the following requirements:
- Receive acceptable grades in all required courses and credits, including General Education, college and major courses. The student elected Pass/Fail option is not allowed for courses used to fulfill program requirements for the major, for the minor, for the college, or for general education. This restriction applies only to courses put on Pass/Fail by the student and not to courses where the department offers the courses on a Pass/Fail grading basis.
- Accumulate the number of degree credits specified by the program in which they are registered (120 credits minimum).
- Achieve a cumulative grade point average of not less than 2.0 in University of Maine courses.
- Earn a minimum of 30 credits originating from the University of Maine with at least 15 of those credits at the 300 level or higher.* There are two exceptions to this policy:
- students who have already completed three or more years at the University of Maine (minimum of 90 credits of University of Maine courses) when, in the opinion of the student’s academic program faculty in consultation with 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 the academic program faculty in consultation with the student’s dean, these students may qualify for the appropriate bachelor’s degree at the University of Maine upon receipt of the professional degree.
*An academic department may require that some minimum number of courses be completed within that department to earn a University of Maine degree in that discipline. These departmental residency requirements are noted in the description of each academic program elsewhere in this catalog.
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.
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 who had declared the second major prior to graduation may continue to follow the catalog requirements in effect for that major if they have no break from the university or return within two years.
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.
Change of Major
University of Maine degree candidates planning to change majors should contact the academic program in which enrollment is sought. Students who have a 2.0 or better cumulative UMaine GPA are normally admitted to the program they are seeking to enter, but certain programs have special admission criteria.
Students who have less than a 2.0 cumulative UMaine GPA may be admitted to their program of choice contingent on previous course work and related factors, or be referred to either the Undergraduate Advising Center in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences or to the Bachelor of University Studies (BUS) program in the Division of Lifelong Learning for information about alternative pathways to completing a UMaine degree.
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.
Valedictorian and Salutatorian are the highest honors awarded to students by the University of Maine. Each student will be recognized for outstanding academic achievements and for contributions to the University or wider community.
To be considered for these awards, all candidates must meet the following eligibility criteria:
- Students must have completed at least 75 credits of coursework at the University of Maine, exclusive of pass/fail or incomplete grades.
- Students must have a minimum of at 3.8 GPA at the end of the fall semester prior to graduation.
- All credits counting toward the baccalaureate degree must have been completed within six (6) years immediately preceding graduation.
- Students must file for the previous August, or previous December or May graduation by published deadline.
In addition to the above listed criteria, the candidates will be evaluated upon the strength, breadth, and rigor of their academic achievements, evidence of intellectual promise, character, service and other accomplishments.
Celebration of Academia
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.
Application for Graduation
Graduation is not automatic upon completion of all program requirements. Candidates for degrees must submit an Application for Graduation according to the following schedule:
- by February 1, for degrees to be awarded in May
- By July 15, for degrees to be awarded in August
- by October 1, for degrees to be awarded in December
General information and details of the application process are available at http://www.studentrecords.umaine.edu/graduation/
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.