Orientation

Frequently Asked Questions

Before Orientation  

  1. What should I do if I am having trouble setting up my e-mail account?
  2. What if I am having trouble with the website and can’t register online for my Orientation?
  3. Where do I submit my immunization records?
  4. Why do I have to take the math placement exams?
  5. Can other family members attend?
  6. Where can I find a map of the campuses?
  7. Can I take a tour of the campuses?
  8. What if I can’t attend any of the Orientation programs?

During Orientation

  1. How do I sign up for classes?
  2. What exactly will take place at Orientation?
  3. How do I find out who my advisor is?
  4. If I want to take classes just in Portland, do I still need to attend Orientation in Gorham?
  5. How do I learn about my student account and financial aid?
  6. Where do I get my campus ID card?
  7. How do I get a parking hang tag?
  8. Where am I going to live?
  9. Where do I buy my textbooks?
  10. What does it mean to be in the Admission Pathway Program or be Conditionally Admitted?
  11. Who can answer my VA questions?
  12. What if I have other questions not answered here?

After Orientation

  1. How do I get to my classes when I have them on both campuses?
  2. Is there an ATM on campus?
  3. Where do I go if I'm sick, and can I get health insurance?
  4. Where can I grab a quick bite to eat?
  5. What if I'm concerned about walking on campus at night?
  6. I have work-study funds. Where can I work?
  7. Where can I find a job while I'm going to school?
  8. How do I get involved in campus activities?

 Before Orientation

What should I do if I am having trouble setting up my e-mail account?

The Help Desk is able to walk students through how to set up their e-mail account. It is important that maine.edu email addresses are set-up and checked frequently, as USM uses email as the primary method of communication. Help Desk may also be reached by phone:  (207)780-4029

What if I am having trouble with the website and am unable to register online for my Orientation?

Contact the Orientation office at (207) 780-4604. If no one answers, please leave a message and someone will get back to you as soon as possible.

Where do I submit my immunization records?

Send or fax proof of immunizations at least 10 days before the orientation date to the Shared Processing Center; PO Box 412; Bangor, ME 04402-0412 or fax it to (207) 561-3430. 

You can find more information about the immunization requirements at University Health and Counseling Services.

Why do I have to take the math placement exams?

It is common for incoming freshman and transfer students to take a math placement exam and is based on SAT or ACT scores. Students who score a 570 or below on their SAT, or 22 or below on the ACT for math, must take a math proficiency test called Accuplacer. Students who score above a 570 on their SAT, or higher than 22 on the ACT, and do not have previous academic credit for MAT 140 (Pre-Calculus) or MAT 152 (Calculus), may take the College Level Math Test. The College Level Math Test to determine if they have adequate college-level math skill to take MAT 140 (Pre-Calculus) or MAT 152 (Calculus).

To learn more about the assessments and how to arrange an opportunity to take one, contact Academic Assessment at (207) 780-4383.

Can Other Family Members Attend?

Family members (2 maximum) are encouraged to participate in our Family Members Program. This program introduces family members to the new lives of the students. Topics discussed will include how to succeed in the classroom, financial aid, college student and family transitions, and student life at USM. Family members will also have the opportunity to ask questions, address any concerns they may have, and speak with faculty and staff. Learn more about the Family Members Program.

Where can I find a map of the campuses?
Check here for directions and maps to the campus.

Can I take a tour of the campuses?

There will be tours of the campus given during check in at Orientation. Students may take a tour another day by contacting the Office of Undergraduate Admissions. Register for a tour.

What if I can’t attend any of the Orientation programs?

If students have registered for an Orientation session and unable to attend any of the programs due to extenuating circumstances, please will need to contact the Orientation office at (207) 780-4604 to make other arrangements.

During Orientation

How Do I Sign Up for Classes?

Before attending an in-person Orientation session, students are required to attend an Advising & Course Selection meeting. During Advising & Course Selection meetings, students meet with an Academic or Faculty Advisor who will help them select courses for their first semester at USM. To schedule an Advising & Course Selection meeting students must first complete USM's Online Orientation via BlackBoard.

What exactly will take place at Orientation?

Orientation is a time when students and family members will learn more about the University. Students will have the chance to learn about campus life, academics, and financial responsibility while parents and family will have the chance learn how they can help support their student in their transition to USM and college life. Students will also be able to get a parking pass (if needed), visit the bookstore and purchase text books, and their student ID cards.

How do I find out who my advisor is?

At the beginning of the Academic term, each new student with a declared major will be assigned both a Professional Academic Advisor and a Faculty Advisor.  Undeclared students will be assigned a Professional Academic Advisor who will help them explore.  Once assigned, students will be able to see their assigned advisor(s) on the Student Center page in MaineStreet.  To learn more about our advising model, you can visit the Advising Center.

If I want to take classes just in Portland, do I still need to attend Orientation in Gorham?

Students can register for classes that are scheduled on any USM campus regardless of where they have their Orientation or Advising & Course Selection meeting. However, it is helpful and important to see both campuses because it is not a guarantee that all classes will be on one campus.

How do I learn about my student account and financial aid?

Students can learn about their student account and financial aid as part of the Online Orientation in BlackBoard. Students may also check the following sites for more information.

Student Financial Services Offices
101 Bailey Hall, Gorham campus

137 Luther Bonney Hall, Portland campus

51 Westminster St., Lewiston-Auburn Campus


Call (207) 780-5200 for more information.

Financial Aid Offices
101 Bailey Hall, Gorham campus

137 Luther Bonney Hall, Portland campus

51 Westminster St., Lewiston-Auburn Campus

 

Call (207) 780-5250 for more information.

Where do I get my campus ID card?

At the end of Advising & Course Selection meetings, and once students have signed up for classes, they will have an opportunity to have their picture taken for their USM ID card. The card provides an array of services, such as printing, acts as a key to residence halls, entrance to the gymnasiums, holds Husky Bucks for meal plans, and connects students to discounts at local businesses. 

If a student was unable to attend an in-person Advising & Course Selection meeting or was unable to get their card at that time, they may get an ID card any at one of the Campus Card Offices, providing that they have registered for classes.  Campus Card Offices are located at Luther Bonney Hall on the Portland campus; Upton Hall Basement on the Gorham campus; or in Student Success at the Lewiston/Auburn campus.  Photo identification or passport is required. 

How do I get a parking hang tag?

Parking hang tags will be available for pick-up during Orientation.

After August 15th, if you are registered for classes, you can bring your car registration with you when you go to Campus Card services for your ID. You can conveniently get your parking hang tag in the same office. If you come another day besides your Orientation, bring a copy of your student bill or schedule, your USM student ID card, and your car registration to the Parking Garage office located in the Portland parking garage (207) 780-4718. Learn more about Parking and Transportation.

Where am I going to live?

If you wish to live on campus in the Gorham residence halls contact the Office of Residential Life, 100 Upton Hall, Gorham or call (207)780-5240. If you are looking for off-campus housing, there are listings at both Residential Life in Gorham and the Division of Student and University Life in Portland (207)780-4035. A representative from Residential Life will be at Orientation to answer any questions you may have.

Where do I buy my textbooks?

To buy books for classes students may consult the Course Materials section of Bookstore website or bring a copy of their schedule to the bookstore located in the Woodbury Campus Center (207)780-4070.  Learn more about the USM Bookstores.

To best serve the interests of all USM students, the Bookstore is proud to offer pre-paid order pickup on all 3 USM campuses, free of charge. Orders may be picked up at the Gorham Campus Library located in Bailey Hall during regular Gorham library hours. Orders may also be picked up at the Lewiston-Auburn Campus Library during regular LAC library hours. Please note that all orders are put together in Portland and require transit time between campuses. A photo ID is required when picking up orders.

What does it mean to be in the Admission Pathway Program or to be Conditionally Admitted?

The Admissions Pathway Program(APP) and Conditional Admission are two separate academic support programs.

APP is offered through the University of Southern Maine’s English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) Department. It was formerly known as The English Language Bridge (ELB) program. Students in the APP program are nonnative English speakers and multilingual writers who have met USM’s admission requirements, except that their TOEFL or SAT scores fall below the required level. All APP students meet with an academic advisor to select courses to promote that student’s academic success. Students in the APP program take both ESOL and regular classes during their first semester or year at USM. Once students have achieved proficiency in academic reading and writing, they may declare their choice of major. Students enrolled in APP are not 

Conditionally Admitted students participate in an academic program focused on growth and academic success. Students accepted to this program will have a personalized Academic Support Plan, offering several key elements to intended to help them succeed in their transition to college. Their plan will include a developmental approach to advising, courses to strengthen academic performance, and carefully selected course schedules.

Who can answer my VA questions?

USM's Veterans Services is an on-campus resource for veterans, servicemembers, and their families. Transitioning from combat to the classroom can be challenging and so can navigating the U.S. government benefits known as the GI Bill®. USM Veterans Services is here to help. 

What if I have other questions not answered here?

Questions about Orientation may be directed to: usm.orientation@maine.edu or by calling (207) 780-4604

After Orientation

How do I get to my classes when I have them on both campuses?

USM offers a free shuttle bus between campuses. The bus stops at Bailey Hall in Gorham and at the Woodbury Campus Center in Portland, plus a few stops at the Maine Mall. See the complete bus schedule or call the USM Police Department at 780-5211 for more information.

Is there an ATM on campus?

For convenient banking, automated teller machines are located inside the Woodbury Campus Center and the Brooks Student Center. The University Credit Union (UCU) has a branch office located on the lower level of the Brooks Student Center.  Banks and ATMs are also within walking distance from both the Portland and Gorham campuses.

Where do I go if I'm sick, and can I get health insurance?

Health Services is managed by University Health and Counseling Services and is located on the Gorham campus at 125 Upton Hall. Counseling Services are offered on all three campuses. Most illnesses seen on college campuses are treatable and usually not severe. It may surprise you that USM’s Health Services provides many services on the Gorham campus. You can make an appointment to be seen for various acute illnesses, and we also provide birth control, STD/I testing, smoking cessation, travel and other immunizations, lab services, free condoms and basic primary care.

Health Services will bill your health insurance, so please bring your insurance card to your appointment with you.  Copays will be charged in accordance with the requirement of your health insurance plan.  If an in house lab or medication is ordered that can not be charged to your insurance then the charge will be billed to you direct

The University of Maine System's seven campuses require proof of health insurance as a condition of enrollment for all students fitting the following criteria: 

  • Undergraduate students taking 9 or more credit hours
  • Graduate or Law students taking 6 or more credit hours
  • All USM School of Nursing students enrolled in ANY clinical coursework
  • All USM Athletic Training Program students enrolled in ANY clinical coursework
  • All USM students enrolled in the Occupational Therapy Program
  1. If students do not want the insurance and do not waive out by the deadline, they will be automatically charged the amount of $1,692.00 and enrolled in the plan.
  2. The charge is not refundable.
  3. Students and families will be contacted several times to remind them of the process, starting at orientation and throughout the open enroll/waive period.
  4. This is an active process that must be completed each year.
  5. Please take note that if you do not fall into one of these categories, this DOES NOT apply to you and you will not be eligible to enroll or waive out of the insurance.

CLICK HERE FOR POLICY/COVERAGE INFORMATION

Where can I grab a quick bite to eat?

Eat-in cafeterias are located on the Portland campus in the Woodbury Campus Center and in Gorham at the Brooks Student Center. Vending machines are located throughout the campuses and snack bars can be found in Luther Bonney Hall and the Law Building in Portland. In Gorham, they are located in Bailey Hall and the lower level of the Brooks Student Center. Contact Dining Services at (207) 780-4039 to learn more about meal plan options.

What if I'm concerned about walking on campus at night?

Emergency call boxes can be found in the parking lots and campus courtyards. The USM Police Department will also escort students across campus or to the parking lots. For general questions, please contact (207) 780-5211. For emergencies, dial 911.

I have work-study funds. Where can I work?

Many departments and offices on campus have positions for work-study students. USM uses an eRecruiting system to post all of our student jobs. Career Services can assist students in accessing the job search site.

Where can I find a job while I'm going to school?

Career Services can assist you in accessing the job search site for off campus jobs. Learn more about the Career Network.

How do I get involved with campus activities?

USM offers a variety of activities, clubs, organizations and interest groups, and ways to get involved. Students can learn about the various options by visiting the Student Involvement & Activities website. If you are interested in joining or starting a student organization, contact the Board of Student Organizations (BSO) (228-8502),