Jul 18, 2024  
2024/25 Combined UM UMM Undergraduate Catalog 
2024/25 Combined UM UMM Undergraduate Catalog

Degree Requirements for Graduation

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.

Substitutions and Waivers of Academic Requirements

Course Substitutions

In some cases, a department may determine that a student has/will fully satisfy an academic requirement based upon a combination of one or more alternative courses or other academic experiences resulting in credit hours (e.g., internships, prior learning assessment, credit by examination, etc.). This may include cases where a similar, but not directly equivalent, course (e.g., a seminar from a related department) is approved due to scheduling needs, the required content is spread across multiple courses taken externally, or changes in curriculum have moved the required content to new courses.

Course Waivers

Course waivers excuse a student from completing a specific course requirement without expectation that an equivalent course has/will be completed in its place or reduce the credit hours required for a requirement (e.g., reducing a course from three credits to two). Approved waivers apply only to the relevant requirement, and do not lessen the overall credits required for graduation as noted in the Catalog. In effect, approved waivers create an elective slot equal to the number of waived credit hours within the degree plan, with any specific requirements for fulfilling that elective slot (e.g., courses within the same subject area, at the same level, etc.) subject to approval by the student’s academic department.

In cases where a requirement has/will be satisfied by any combination of alternative coursework and/or credit-granting academic experiences a course substitution request, not a waiver, is the appropriate course of action.

Non-Course Waivers

Waivers may also be requested for requirements not based on specific courses. Examples may include major-specific GPA requirements, college/department residency requirements (not overall UMaine residency), or other requirements specific to a college, department, or major.

For reasons of academic integrity, waiver requests to decrease the minimum number of credits required to earn a degree below the number stated in the Catalog cannot be approved. For double major students, the number will be the one required for the larger of the two majors.

Considerations for Substitutions and Waivers

The following additional considerations apply to substitutions and waivers:

  •  All substitution and waiver requests are submitted to, and reviewed by, the Office of Student Records before being processed.
  •  Substitution requests require notations detailing which course(s) are being applied to meet the relevant requirement(s) and must be approved by the relevant Associate Dean.
  •  Waiver requests must include a detailed justification for the requested action and require approval by both the relevant Associate Dean and Associate Provost.
  •  In the event a student changes elements of their degree plan (e.g., change of major or minor), existing substitutions and/or waivers may be voided, as noted below. For any voided items, updated forms may need to be submitted.
o   Those specific to a program or requirement that has been dropped are voided.
o   Those specific to a program or requirement that has been changed to a version from a newer Catalog may be voided, depending upon what changed between versions.
  •  The enrollment process within MaineStreet does not recognize courses that were not completed due to waivers or substitutions as satisfying course prerequisites, so students must seek   overrides when enrolling in any courses where a waived or substituted course serves as a prerequisite.

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.  

Students changing their major to one that leads to licensure should visit the UMS State Authorization & Licensure page to learn more about their specific program and the licensure requirements in other states and territories, in addition to the contact information needed to inquire further into the licensure requirements associated with this program.

Any student has the right to select graduation requirements from a later catalog than the one in effect at the time of initial matriculation. No student may select requirements from an earlier catalog.

Candidates for baccalaureate degrees must meet all of the following requirements:

  1. 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. 
  2. Accumulate the number of degree credits specified by the program in which they are registered (120 credits minimum).
  3. Achieve a cumulative grade point average of not less than 2.0 in University of Maine courses.
  4. Earn a minimum of  25% of the credits required for the degree using coursework 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.

*This requirement is 30 credits for a typical 120 credit degree program, but will be higher for all programs where the minimum number of credits required to graduate exceeds 120. Students should refer to the entry for their major in this Catalog, and consult with their advisor, to verify the correct value for their degree plan.

**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.

Note:  Effective Fall 2023, courses completed at the University of Maine at Machias shall count towards residency and GPA.  

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 https://studentrecords.umaine.edu/students/graduation/

Note: Students completing degree requirements during May Term are considered August degree candidates and students completing degree requirements during Winter Term are considered May degree candidates.

Graduation Timeline
The Office of Student Records 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.

Dual Degrees

Students may earn a second baccalaureate degree by completing at least 30 credits beyond the number required for the degree with the lesser number of credit hours, the UMaine General Education requirements, all requirements of each degree program, and all requirements of each college. Unique writing in the major and capstone courses are required for the second degree program, in addition to those completed for the first degree and General Education.

In cases where both programs involved in a dual degree allow the Honors Thesis course (HON 498/499) to fulfill the capstone requirement, or list a common course option in their catalog text, students may request to satisfy both capstone requirements by completing a single course. Such a request must be approved by both degree program coordinators.

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). 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. Students may apply any credits previously earned in excess of the minimum number required for the first 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.

* The readmission requirement is waived in cases where a student both: 

  1) Declared the dual degree prior to graduating with only one degree, and

  2) Enrolls in coursework for the second degree in the immediately following academic year semester (i.e. fall or spring) 

Double Majors

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 unless your program of study requires the completion of the minor.

Minors are awarded at the same time a degree is conferred. Students who complete their baccalaureate but not their minor(s) requirements by graduation will not be allowed to return to the university to complete declared minors.


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.

Latin Honors

Degrees with Latin honors are conferred 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. Calculation of the University of Maine credits earned is based on credits earned as of the end of the fall semester prior to the spring semester valedictorian-salutatorian selection process. 

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.