Honors Program

Honors Alumni

Here's what our students say about USM Honors

"The Honors Program was an experience unlike any other. Going into college,I had the mistaken idea that I would be a nameless body in an over‑crowded lecture hall. That was not the case at USM, and it certainly was not the case with the Honors program. The classes were small enough to foster a discussion‑based class format. This style of education allows you to take control of what you get out of your classes.

There is much more to the program than just small class sizes. The faculty were, and continue to be, friendly, knowledgeable, and attentive. The Honors staff come from several different disciplines. This wealth of knowledge fosters one the main ideas of the Honors Program,cross‑discipline learning. That means talking about Ancient Greek philosophy and modern politics while taking part in a classroom feast. That means talking about what makes you human while you are growing mold in Petri dishes. That means talking about the evolution of the board game while you are writing a paper about smartphones.

The Honors Program has taught me many things, and this became abundantly clear when I finished my Honors thesis. Over my four years at USM, the program showed me how to be a better reader, writer, and questioner. When it came to writing my thesis, I was a little taken aback by the freedom that I was given in regards to my topic. However, the process was invigorating, because it proved to me that I had learned how to take information from all over and make it my own. When I left high school, Idreaded writing but no longer. The Honors Program has taught me how toexpress myself through my writing, and for this, I am incredibly grateful." Eric Rollins (Class of 2013)


"I still pinch myself when I think about all of the experiences I have had as a result of my time at USM, and how many of them were enhanced by completing the Honors Program. Honors challenged me to think creatively, bring my writing to a higher level and truly appreciate the diversity of our world and seeing things from a different perspective. These skills served me well as I made my way through working on Capitol Hill for Senator Collins, trying my hand at market research, obtaining a full scholarship to pursue my M.A in Diplomacy and International Relations at the Whitehead School and living and teaching in Oslo, Norway on a Fulbright grant. I couldn't be happier to have ended up back at USM, teaching international relations in the History and Political Science Department and running the Maine Model UN Program, programs I was heavily involved in as a USM student.

 I look back on my time in Honors with nothing but fondness, from the supportive and challenging class discussions and assignments down to the Thesis process. I was thrilled to be able to serve as Thesis Advisor to recent Honors grad Hannah Corbin, who achieved great success in her study of international relations, contribution to the Model UN program and completion of the Honors Program. I’m grateful to be able to give back to a program that gave me so much." Julia Edwards (Class of 2005)


"My first experience at USM was in the Honors House. I knew immediately that this program was the place for me. The courses encouraged me to challenge my beliefs and improve my writing. Looking back, without the knowledgeable staff of the Honors Program teaching me, my writing wouldn't be where it is today, and intellectually I wouldn't be the same person that I have become. I feel incredibly privileged to have taken part in such an eye-opening program.

Currently I am working with Lone Wolf Documentary Group in South Portland as an Assistant Editor. My credits include such specials as Confederate Flying Machine for National Geographic, Underwater Universe for History Channel, and the upcoming Titanic at 100: Mystery Solved! also for the History Channel.” Franklin Kendrick (Class of 2010)


 "There is something to gain from every opportunity and every experience we participate in. The Thesis workshop is not about grading, but offering new concepts/direction. I was amazed to look back at where my thesis started and where I ended up. Honors is less about superior talent/ intelligence, and more about opening our minds to new opportunities and higher levels of thinking. I've completed the thesis and the program, and for anyone approaching this opportunity, I wish you the best. It's such an amazing journey that will strengthen your academic experience."
Carissa O'Brien (Class of 2007)


"Everyone who enters the Honors classroom, with the discipline and open-mind it takes to undergo the academic tour-de-force, is going to end up somewhere they never expected to be on their own intellectual voyage." Frederick Greenhalgh (class of 2006)
To listen to Frederick's Thesis, an original radio drama called "Day of the Dead".


"I see Honors as my academic parent figure, and any success I have reflects directly on the merits of the program."
Joe Swanson (class of 2004; 2003 National Collegiate Honors Council Portz Scholar; Candidate for the Rhodes Scholarship)


"The Honors House provides students with a community that respects comprehension and grants the opportunity for experiences to take with us on whatever challenge we decide to face."
Nick Allanach (class of 2003; graduate of The New School's Graduate Faculty for Political and Social Science)


Where do Honors students go after graduating? Our alumni have  gone on to the following graduate schools (to name just a few): 

  • Boston College
  • Brandeis Pre-Med
  • Dartmouth College
  • Edinburgh University, Scotland
  • Georgetown University
  • Goddard College
  • Harvard, School of Education
  • Kent University, U.K.
  • Kingston University, U.K.
  • The New School
  • Northeastern University
  • Northwestern University
  • Pennsylvania State University
  • Seton Hall University
  • Smith College
  • Syracuse: Newhouse School of Public Communications
  • University of Colorado, Chemistry
  • University of Florida
  • University of Maine School of Law
  • University of Malta
  • University of Massachsetts, Amherst
  • University of New Mexico
  • University of Oregon
  • University of Southern Maine
  • University of Vermont Law School
  • Vanderbilt
  • William & Mary Law School

Graduates have taken their experiences and knowledge to a variety of leadership and civic roles in the U.S. and abroad including the Peace Corps, internships on Capital Hill, as well as important careers in law, education, counseling, social work, and the creative arts.