Jul 24, 2024  
2024/25 Combined UM UMM Undergraduate Catalog 
2024/25 Combined UM UMM Undergraduate Catalog

University Studies

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Minimum number of credits required to graduate: 120

Minimum Grade requirements for courses to count toward major: C or better in UST courses

GPA requirements to graduate: 2.0

Required Course(s) for fulfilling Capstone Experience: UST 499  

Contact Information: Barbara Howard, Director, 122 Chadbourne Hall, (207)581-3143; howard@maine.edu

The Bachelor of University Studies (B.U.S.) is UMaine’s degree completion program for 21st century adults. Many adults who have some higher-education experience but no bachelor’s degree find that life circumstances or interests make a traditional major and/or on-campus study difficult. Often family, job, and other responsibilities do not allow for full-time study. For these students, the B.U.S. program provides an excellent opportunity to develop a program of study that encompasses their interests and makes maximum use of their existing transfer credits. The program is accessible through online and/or on-campus coursework. The program can be full-time or part-time depending on the needs of the student. 

The B.U.S. curriculum can be self-designed, or students may select another track (24 credit hours). The B.U.S. program offers the following track options:

  • Labor Studies Track
  • Leadership Studies Track
  • Maine Studies Track
  • Self-Design Track

With its multiple track options, the B.U.S. program provides an opportunity both for students who would benefit from an individually-designed multidisciplinary program of study, as well as for students who would prefer a more prescribed curriculum.

Admission to the B.U.S. program is offered to adults with at least 18 college credits from regionally accredited institutions with a grade point average of 2.0 or better who wish to develop a flexible and accessible degree program to advance their goals. Potential candidates are encouraged to discuss with the program director how their educational background may be evaluated through transfer evaluation and the Prior Learning Assessment policy of the University. After they confirm their admission to the degree program, students with relevant prior learning experience will be connected with appropriate evaluators, and discuss the possibility of converting such experience to college credit.

In their first semester, B.U.S. students take a required (online) one credit course-UST 100: Introduction to University Studies-in which they have a chance to explore their goals, refresh their knowledge about essential resources and college success skills, explore the UM curriculum, and draft a proposed plan of study, either self-designed using existing UMaine courses of with one of the existing tracks listed above.

Students work with an advisor to articulate their goals leading to specific educational outcomes that will work well with their current life circumstances. Maintenance of a 2.0 GPA is required to remain in good standing as a degree candidate. 

Students may be suspended from degree candidacy for failing to complete an approved plan (Self-design Option students) or falling below the required grade point average. These students may be reinstated to degree candidacy after one semester upon approval of a plan and improved academic standing, as long as they meet all other requirements.

For an appointment or for further information, call (207) 581-3143 or visit the web page: https://umaine.edu/universitystudies/

Required courses:

CLAS Pathway

Bachelor of University Studies, CLAS Pathway information regarding this pathway is located under the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Self-Designed Track

The Bachelor of University Studies Self-Designed Option provides an opportunity for students to benefit from a custom tailored, interdisciplinary program of study. Many students with interests in an interdisciplinary approach to professional, personal, or civic goals are looking for a focus that encourages them to develop a program of study that encompasses their interests. B.U.S. students in the individualized track have the option to pursue an academic minor in a variety of academic subjects.

The Self-design option must be approved by an interdisciplinary faculty committee. Approval of the plan within two semesters of admission and maintenance of a 2.0 GPA is required to remain in good standing as a degree candidate.

Labor Studies Track (24 credits)*

The Labor Studies Track (24 credit hours) is structured to be taught online with a focus on creating dialog with students about the theories, ideologies, and beliefs that support, and are interwoven within the framework of, the labor movement and the practical skills involved in running labor organizations and representing employees. Students develop an understanding of these foundational pieces and build upon them using an interdisciplinary approach.

Faculty Coordinator: Marc Cryer

Leadership Studies Track (24 credits)*

The interdisciplinary Leadership Studies Track consists of 24 credit hours and provides students with in-depth knowledge of leadership theory, ethics, skills, and context-based issues, as well as practical, experiential training applicable to nearly any area of study or social setting. The track prepares students for diverse, real-life experiences as citizen leaders in local, state, national, and global communities.

Faculty Coordinator: Richard Powell

Leadership in Communities/Groups/Orgs Elective (9 credits)

Select three courses from the following list:

Maine Studies Track (24 credits)*

The Maine Studies Track (24 credit hours) offers students the opportunity to pursue the study of Maine through courses in history, literature, women’s studies, and Native-American studies. The program recognizes the value of interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary approaches to understanding historical and contemporary issues such as developing Maine’s economy, protecting its environment, and appreciating the cultures of the state’s diverse population.

Required Courses (6 credits)


In addition to the required course above, students choose electives from the two lists below to complete a total of 24 credits in the track.


Courses with an asterisk preceding the number of credits identify the course is being offered online.


* All Bachelor of University Studies’ students in tracks or the Self-design option must complete all other BUS program requirements, University general education requirements, and all other UMaine graduation requirements.

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