Graduate Admissions

Graduate Admissions - Application Instructions and Deadlines by Program

APPLICATION INSTRUCTIONS and DEADLINES by PROGRAM

Please refer to the following instructions when completing the application process:

Submit supporting application materials to:

University of Southern MaineOffice of Graduate AdmissionsP.O. Box 9300Portland, ME 04104-9300

If we receive application materials such as test scores or recommendations before your application arrives, we will keep them in a holding file to add to your folder once the application is submitted. If you choose to collect all application materials yourself and mail or deliver everything to us at once, do not open any official transcripts or recommendation letters. Once submitted, all application materials become USM property and will not be returned.

 

 

Adult and Higher Education

Deadlines: May 1for fall; October 1 for spring; February 1 for summer.

Standardized Test Requirement: None.

Essay: Candidates should provide an integrated essay of approximately 1,000 words that includes:

  1. Brief autobiography, referencing study in master's degree andn related experience, professional training, and credentials
  2. Overall goal to be accomplished through the program
  3. Future aspirations and professional development needs
  4. Tentative list of proposed coursework for the 36 credit hour credential

The admissions process requires a formal interview. Candidates to be interviewed will be selected on the basis of the above information. During the interview, issues relating to the following topics will be covered: a) self-awareness; b) awareness of social issues; c) awareness of others as persons; d) communication skills; and e) commitment to the field.    

 

American and New England Studies

Deadlines: February 15 for fall scholarship consideration and March 15 for fall application cycle; October 15 for spring application cycle.

Standardized Test Requirement: Graduate Record Examination or Miller Analogies Test. Please note official test scores often take several weeks to reach the Office of Graduate Admissions, applicants should plan to take any admission test two months prior to an application deadline.

Essay: Type a brief essay (300-500 words) discussing the academic interests and goals that you hope to pursue in the ANES program.

 

Applied Medical Science

Deadlines: February 15 for fall scholarship consideration and June 1 for fall application cycle; October 1 for spring application cycle.

Standardized Test Requirement: Graduate Record Examination general test is required GRE subject test in biology or chemistry are recommended but not required. Please note official test scores often take several weeks to reach the Office of Graduate Admissions, applicants should plan to take any admission test two months prior to an application deadline.

Essay: Type a brief essay (300-500 words) stating your reasons for pursuing graduate study, your professional goals, and how you think this program of study will contribute to these goals. You may include a statement of any special interest you would like to pursue in your study.  

 

Biology

Deadlines: February 1 for fall application cycle and October 15  for spring application cycle.

Standardized Test Requirement: Graduate Record Examination general test is required GRE subject test in biology is recommended but not required. Please note official test scores often take several weeks to reach the Office of Graduate Admissions, applicants should plan to take any admission test two months prior to an application deadline.

Essay: Type a brief essay (300-500 words) stating your reasons for pursuing graduate study, your professional goals, and how you think this program of study will contribute to these goals. You may include a statement of any special interest you would like to pursue in your study.

Please note: The Admission to the M.S. program in biology is competitive and has two basic requirements. First, applicants should have earned a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution, preferably in some area of biology, with a minimum GPA equivalent to 3.0. Second, admission is also dependent upon a faculty member agreeing to serve as the primary faculty advisor to the student. Therefore, before applying to the program, students must become acquainted with the research interests of individual faculty in or adjunct to the Department of Biological Sciences and contact those faculty members to discuss the possibility of working with them in the M.S. program in biology and identify the faculty member(s) in their essay.

 

Business Administration (MBA)

Deadlines: Rolling admission with priority filing deadlines of August 1 for fall admission and December 1 for spring.

Standardized Test Requirement:  Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT). (Note: Candidates with terminal degrees normally are not required to take the GMAT. However, the LL.B. from outside the United States is not an acceptable terminal degree, a condition which may also exist for other non-U.S. degrees.)  Please note official test scores often take two or more weeks to reach the Office of Graduate Admissions, applicants should plan accordingly.

Essay: In a brief essay (300-500 words), please state your reasons for pursuing graduate business education, your professional goals, and how you think this program of study will contribute to these goals.  Make sure to touch on the following points, as applicable: performance in outside activities, evidence of creativity and leadership, and record of accomplishment.

 

Certificates of Advanced Study

Deadlines vary by program. Please consult the Graduate Catalog.

A brief essay (500-700 words) which includes the applicant’s reason(s) for pursuing advanced graduate study: the proposed focus of the applicant’s program, including specific courses if known; and an explanation of how the proposed program fits the applicant’s personal and professional goals.

 

Community Planning and Development

Deadline: Rolling admissions;  February 1 for tuition waiver consideration

Standardized Test Requirement: Graduate Record Examination. Please note official test scores often take several weeks to reach the Office of Graduate Admissions, applicants should plan to take any admission test two months prior to an application deadline.

Type a brief essay (300-500 words) stating your reasons for pursuing graduate study, your professional goals, and how you think this program of study will contribute to these goals. You may include a statement of any special interest you would like to pursue in your study.  

 

Computer Science

Deadline: March 1or fall; October 1 for spring application cycle.

Standardized Test Requirement: Graduate Record Examination. Please note official test scores often take several weeks to reach the Office of Graduate Admissions, applicants should plan to take any admission test two months prior to an application deadline.

Essay: Type a brief essay (300-500 words) stating your reasons for pursuing graduate study, your professional goals, and how you think this program of study will contribute to these goals. You may include a statement of any special interest you would like to pursue in your study.  

 

Counseling

Deadline: November 15 for fall.

Standardized Test Requirement: Graduate Record Examination or Miller Analogies Test. Please note official test scores often take several weeks to reach the Office of Graduate Admissions, applicants should plan to take any admission test two months prior to an application deadline.

Essay: Candidates to the master’s program should provide a narrative, preferably typed, in the form of a brief autobiography that relates the applicant’s experiences that have led to an interest in counseling and application to the counselor education program. Candidates are also asked to address the following statement: “As counseling professionals, we are constantly seeking areas in ourselves that bear examination and change. As future practitioners, you will be witness to a wide variety of client experiences.” Please discuss areas in yourself that may block your ability to empathically listen to client experiences that are different than your own. The entire narrative, including the autobiography and the statement, should be limited to three typewritten, double-spaced pages which will be evaluated in terms of clarity of expression, grammatical construction, and other facets of English composition, as well as the quality of responses.

 

Creative Writing (MFA)

Deadlines: February 1 for summer residency; September 1 for winter residency.

Standardized Test Requirement: None.

Essays: 1) Please submit a one to two-page essay describing your writing background, your reasons for attending the M.F.A. program, and your goals following graduation.

2) Additionally, all applicants need a 500-750 word statement discussing the work of at least three writers in the genre in which you are applying who have influenced your own writing. This statement may involve close readings, critical analysis, and/or a more personal discussion of why and how you value these writers. Ideally, it should convey a sense of the literary heritage in which you situate your own work and of your skill as a reader.

Writing Sample: Applicants to the Stonecoast MFA in Creative Writing are required to submit a writing sample of your fiction, poetry or nonfiction.  (Popular Fiction for this program does not include romance or children's literature.)  Submitted material should be clearly marked to indicate applicant's name and the specific genre in which a student is applying. Send copies only, not originals.  For Fiction, submit a short story or novel excerpt, maximum of 20 pages. For Poetry, submit a maximum of ten poems. For Creative Nonfiction, submit an excerpt from a memoir, a personal essay or a piece of literary journalism, a maximum of 20 pages. (Creative Nonfiction for this program does not include book reviews, letters, feature journalism or job-related documents such as memos, legal briefs, etc.) For Popular Fiction, submit a piece of science fiction, fantasy, horror, a mystery, or a thriller, maximum 20 pages.

Click here for special Instructions for International MFA Students.

 

Educational Leadership

Deadline: Rolling with priority filing deadlines of May 1for fall; October 15 for spring; March 15 for summer.

Standardized Test Requirement: None.

Essay: Type a brief essay (300-500 words) stating your reasons for pursuing graduate study, your professional goals, and how you think this program of study will contribute to these goals. You may include a statement of any special interest you would like to pursue in your study.

Please note: Educational Leadership program applicants should submit evidence of at least three years of teaching experience.

 

Educational Psychology

Deadline: Rolling with priority filing deadlines of May 1 for fall; October 1 for spring; March 15 for summer.

Standardized Test Requirement: Graduate Record Examination or Miller Analogies Test. Please note official test scores often take several weeks to reach the Office of Graduate Admissions, applicants should plan to take any admission test two months prior to an application deadline.

Essay: A narrative essay that answers this question: “Why do you seek training in applied behavior analysis?” This narrative is evaluated in terms of clarity of expression, grammatical construction, and other facets of English composition, as well as the quality of information given about the following: how the study of behavior analysis aligns with your professional goals and your understanding of and commitment to the field of applied behavior analysis.

 

Extended Teacher Education Program (ETEP)

Deadline: January 9 first round deadline; March 8 second round deadline, then rolling until May 31

Standardized Test Requirement: Praxis I. Please note official test scores often take several weeks to reach the Office of Graduate Admissions, applicants should plan to take any admission test two months prior to an application deadline.

Please note: ETEP applicants should consult the ETEP Handbook for Prospective Students. Additionally, a Program Selection Form is required.

Leadership Studies

Deadline: Rolling admissions with priority filing deadlines of August 1for fall; December 1 for spring.

Standardized Test Requirement: None.

Type a brief essay (300-500 words) stating your reasons for pursuing graduate study, your professional goals, and how you think this program of study will contribute to these goals. You may include a statement of any special interest you would like to pursue in your study.

 

Literacy Education

Deadline: May 1 for fall; October 1 for spring; March 1 for summer.

Standardized Test Requirement: None.

Essay: Type a brief essay (300-500 words) stating your reasons for pursuing graduate study, your professional goals, and how you think this program of study will contribute to these goals. You may include a statement of any special interest you would like to pursue in your study. 

Please note: Literacy Education program applicants should submit evidence of current teacher certification.

Music

Deadline: Rolling admissions with priority filing deadlines of August 1for fall; December 1 for spring.

Standardized Test Requirement: None.

Type a brief essay (300-500 words) stating your reasons for pursuing graduate study, your professional goals, and how you think this program of study will contribute to these goals. You may include a statement of any special interest you would like to pursue in your study.

Please note: Applicants with specific concentrations should visit the Graduate Catalog or the Music website to find additional application requirements.

 

Nursing (MSN)

Deadline: RN-MSN, BSN-MSN, and CAS – April 1 for fall admission cycle; October 1 for spring admission cycle. Nursing OPTIONS deadline: November 1 for summer admission cycle.

Standardized Test Requirement: Graduate Record Examination or Miller Analogies Test. Please note official test scores often take several weeks to reach the Office of Graduate Admissions, applicants should plan to take any admission test two months prior to an application deadline.

Essay: Please develop a 500 word essay which addresses the following topics and is reflective of the USM School of Nursing philosophy (below).

  1. Your understanding of the nurse practitioner role, and your reasons for becoming a nurse practitioner.
  2. Your professional development goals that will be supported by the Master of Science degree.
  3. The experiences, capacity and abilities you bring to the role of scholar in a master’s program.

The philosophy of the USM School of Nursing is built on the concept of community, supporting a value-based caring nursing practice that includes ethics, social justice, and personal and community empowerment within a holistic, nurturing, and health promotion framework.

Our educational model emphasizes critical thinking, articulate communication, and understanding interdisciplinary care strategies within changing economic and health care systems. Our philosophy supports multiple ways of knowing, emphasizes reflective evidence-based nursing practice and promotes lifelong learning.

Please note: Applicants to the School of Nursing must submit:

(a) A completed Program Selection Form; and
(b) Evidence (photocopy) of Registered Nurse licensure status, including: the number, state, date of issuance, and active/inactive status of each license held (if applicable).


Doctorate of Nursing Practice (DNP)

Deadline: March 15 for fall admission

Standardized Test Requirement: Graduate Record Examination or Miller Analogies Test. Please note official test scores often take several weeks to reach the Office of Graduate Admissions, applicants should plan to take any admission test two months prior to an application deadline.

Essay: The completed DNP application must include an essay describing your motivation for pursuing this degree and the vision you have for your role as an advanced practice nurse. The essay is an important part of the application since it demonstrates your ability to think, organize ideas, and express yourself well in writing. Special essay instructions: maximum 3 typed double-spaced pages.

  • Discuss your specific career goals for pursuing the DNP.
  • Identify prior experiences that have contributed to your decision to apply to a DNP program.
  • Discuss how the goals, objectives, and curriculum of USM’s program will enable you to meet your post-DNP career goals.
  • Identify a specific clinical problem or issue that could be the focus of your capstone project .

 

Occupational Therapy

Deadline: October 1 for fall admission.

Standardized Test Requirement: None.

Essay: Please submit a cover letter that introduces yourself, describes why you are interest in Occupational Therapy, and outlines the strength and experiences you bring to the Occupational Therapy profession. You may consult the MOT application instructions for further assistance.

Please note: All applicants must complete a total of 15 hours of job shadowing or work experience with an occupational therapy practitioner in one or more settings. An evaluation form for verification of this experience is available. It is the applicant's responsibility to make arrangements for this experience at one or multiple facilities; you should print copies of the form and submit the evaluation(s) as part of your application materials.

 

Professional Educator

Deadline: Rolling with priority filing deadlines of May 1for fall; October 15 for spring; March 15 for summer.

Standardized Test Requirement: None.

Essay: Teaching is a learning profession. "When teachers stop learning, so do their students." (Roland Barth). How do you envision yourself as a teacher and a learner in the Professional Educator program?

Please note: Professional Educator program applicants should submit evidence of at least three years of teaching experience.

 

Public Health

Deadline: Rolling admissions;  February 1 for tuition waiver consideration

Standardized Test Requirement: Graduate Record Examination. Please note official test scores often take several weeks to reach the Office of Graduate Admissions.

Type a brief essay (300-500 words) stating your reasons for pursuing graduate study, your professional goals, and how you think this program of study will contribute to these goals. You may include a statement of any special interest you would like to pursue in your study. 

 

Public Policy and Management

Deadline: Rolling admissions;  February 1 for tuition waiver consideration

Standardized Test Requirement: Graduate Record Examination. Please note official test scores often take several weeks to reach the Office of Graduate Admissions.

Type a brief essay (300-500 words) stating your reasons for pursuing graduate study, your professional goals, and how you think this program of study will contribute to these goals. You may include a statement of any special interest you would like to pursue in your study.  

 

School Psychology (Psy.D.)

Deadline: December 1 for summer admission cycle.

Standardized Test Requirement: Graduate Record Examination. Please note official test scores often take several weeks to reach the Office of Graduate Admissions, applicants should plan to take any admission test two months prior to an application deadline.

Essays: 1) The USM School Psychology Program embraces a behaviorally-based model for assessment and intervention.  Briefly describe your understanding of behavioral theory and how comfortable you are working with that model. 2) Describe what is meant by the term "evidence-based practice."  What role should evidence-based practice play in the delivery of school psychological services?
Please note: Psy.D. in School Psychology program applicants are required to complete two additional components beyond the standard University application to graduate study. In addition, applicants must submit a Documentation of Professional Experiences in table form.

The Psy.D. program requires an interview of all finalists as part of the admissions process. You will be contacted if an interview is required. Interviews will be held as follows:

Friday, February 6, 2015

Friday, February 27, 2015 (snow date)

Social Work (MSW)

Deadline: October 15 for fall admission cycle.

Standardized Test Requirement: None.

Essay: In an integrated essay format (approximately four to six pages in length), using headings and not an outline, please address the following questions:

  1. What are the reasons you want to be a social worker?
  2. How do the mission and goals of the M.S.W. program at the University of Southern Maine School of Social Work fit with your career goals? 
  3. Describe your experiences with diversity, discrimination, and/or oppression.
  4. What social issue is of particular concern to you, and why?

Please note: Social Work applicants should submit a Program Selection Form.

Special Education

For those applying to the In-Service strand (gifted and talented, teaching all students, self-design in special education), additional admission requirements include:

Deadlines: Rolling admission with priority filing deadlines of May 1for fall; October 15 for spring; March 15 for summer.

Standardized Test Requirement: None.

Application Deadline: Rolling with priority deadlines: May 1 for fall matriculation, October 15 for spring matriculation.

Special Essay Questions:

Describe why you are enrolling in this program.

a.  What goals do you have for yourself by obtaining a master's in Abilities and Disabilities Studies in this concentration?

b.  What is at least one aspect of your teaching that you feel you will strengthen through earning this master's degree?

Describe your past experience with youth, either in teaching or in another capacity.

a. What did you learn about youth through this experience?

b.  What did you learn about yourself through this experience?

For those applying to the Pre-Service strand (teaching students with mild to severe disabilities), additional admission requirements include:

Application Deadline: Rolling with priority deadlines: October 15 for spring matriculation; March 1 for summer matriculation, May 1 for fall matriculation.

  • Praxis I exam passed based on Maine’s standards
  • Special Essay Question    

Special essay question:

A free appropriate public education for students with disabilities represents our democratic society’s commitment to educating all its children.  A teacher lives out this commitment in his/her daily instruction and professional activities as an educator.  Please describe what you think it means as a teacher to provide equitable learning opportunities for all students, including those with disabilities.

 

Statistics

Deadline: January 15 for tuition waiver consideration; March 15 for fall admission cycle; October 15 for spring admission cycle.

Standardized Test Requirement: Graduate Record Examination. Please note official test scores often take several weeks to reach the Office of Graduate Admissions, applicants should plan to take any admission test two months prior to an application deadline.

Type a brief essay (300-500 words) stating your reasons for pursuing graduate study, your professional goals, and how you think this program of study will contribute to these goals. You may include a statement of any special interest you would like to pursue in your study.