See what students say:


The two main campuses of mid-sized, "cost-effective" University of Southern Maine are about 10 miles apart, and they bridge "a country town and a city." (There's also a satellite campus in the Lewiston-Auburn area—Maine's twin cities.) Highlights at USM include a "very reputable" and "very demanding" nursing program as well as "extremely strong" business programs. Lectures can be "big" at the lower levels, but "smaller classes" "and one-on-one time with professors" become more readily available as you get into higher-level courses. The faculty here is a mixed bag. "Some professors are fantastic while others are atrocious," sums up a biology major. There are plenty of "really insightful," "knowledgeable, fun, inspiring, and devoted" professors who "provide critical feedback that affords room for growth" and are "quite passionate about their subject matter (even on the topic of algebra!)." However, other faculty members "show a clear lack of enthusiasm" or are just "kind of boring." Also, though course schedules are "flexible," the advising process "could use improvement," too. "It is really hard to register for classes or to have a question answered," protests a social work major.

Student Body

The typical student at USM is a local, either from one of the surrounding towns or Portland proper. Beyond that, though, "there is no typical student at USM." There are thousands of traditional college-aged students. "Commuters who attend part-time" and older students with jobs and families are a large percentage of the population. "Every class is a mix of fresh-faced dorm dwellers, nerdy brains, arty alterna-kids, returning veterans, nontraditional adult students," and international students. "In just my group of friends," observes one student, "there is an African-American athlete, a nice girl from a mill-town, an aspiring rock star, an electrical engineering major, a stoner, and a girl who works full time at the mall." "Everyone is friendly," but the student population is disparate and "not particularly united." "One of the weaknesses of USM appears because of the environment created by the commuter-based population," elaborates one student. "There's not a lot of community, but I'm not sure they can do much about that."

Campus Life

The first thing you want to know about life at USM is that you are going to have to deal with two campuses here. The majority of the younger, traditional students live on the Gorham campus, but many classes occur on the Portland campus, "a good 30to 40-minute drive or bus ride" away. "Shuttle buses are available at no charge," but "commuting between two campuses can be a huge pain." On the plus side, "USM really offers every type of college life if you know where to look." "The Gorham campus is where the dorms are," and it offers a more "traditional undergrad experience." "There are constantly events being held." "The performing arts community is huge and fun." You'll also find a nominal frat scene and a smattering of parties, though "a lot of people leave on the weekends because everyone lives very close and still have friends in their home towns." The "commuter campus" in Portland has a more urban feel. Students tell us that Portland is "the coolest city in Maine." It's got "oceanfront scenery," "an old New England feel," "great night life," "fabulous restaurants," and "one of the best arts scenes in New England." "You honestly can't not have fun here" but, in the event, Boston is "less than two hours" away. Skiing and snowboarding as well as "hiking, biking, climbing, fishing, and the beach" are also nearby.

Contact & Visit

Campus Visits Contact

Julia Gurney
Associate Director of Admissions for Visits & Events

Office of Undergraduate Admission
37 College Ave.
Gorham, ME 04038



Experience College Life

Most Popular Places On Campus
Art Gallery
Costello Sports Complex
Russell Theater and Concert Hall
Southworth Planetarium
WMPG Radio Station

Most Popular Places Off Campus
Portland's Old Port District
Casco Bay Cruise Lines
Portland Head Light / Ft. William's State Park
LL Bean, Freeport, ME
Portland Museum of Art
6. Sebago Lake 7. Sunday River Ski resort 8. Area Beaches: Scarborough, Crescent Beach State Park, Higgins Beach, Ferry Beach

Campus Tours

Campus Tours
Appointment Required:
Average Length:

On Campus Interview

Campus Interviews

Information Sessions

Selected Fridays

Faculty and Coach Visits

Dates/Times Available
Academic Year

Contact Admissions Office

Advance Notice
3 weeks

Class Visits

Dates/Times Available
Academic Year

Contact Admissions Office

Overnight Dorm Stays

Overnight Dorm Stays
Not Available

Contact Admissions Office

Only accepted students are invited to overnight programs


Types of Transportation Available to Campus
Portland International Jetport is approximately 5 miles from campus. Taxis or rental cars are available at the airport; call 207-774-3941 to make arrangements. New England Transit buses serve Portland. Amtrak round trip to Boston.

Driving Instructions to Campus

Local Accommodations
In the town of Gorham, there is Pine Crest Bed and Breakfast (207-839-5843), located on Route 114. This is a quaint old home within half a mile of the Gorham campus. The Portland Regency in the Old Port (20 Milk St.; 207-774-4200 or 800-727-3436) is a small hotel in the heart of the lively Old Port District. A 10-minute drive from the Portland campus, the Regency provides valet parking and has a well-equipped health club. Also located in the city of Portland, the Eastland Hotel (157 High St.; 207-775-5411 or 800-333-3333) is at Congress Square, near the Arts District. Nearby as well is the Holiday Inn by the Bay (88 Spring St.; 775-2311 or 800-HOLIDAY). Located beyond the downtown area, are the Double Tree Hotel (1230 Congress St.; 207-774-5611 or 800-222-TREE) and Holiday Inn-Portland West (81 Riverside St.; 207-774-5601 or 800-HOLIDAY).


Applicants: 4,774
Acceptance Rate: 88%
Average HS GPA: 3.28



Tuition & Aid

Student Body

Campus Life

Articles & Advice