The University of Southern Maine offers English for speakers of other languages (ESOL or ESL). Our courses are specifically designed to complement and provide a bridge between community based ESL programs (such as those offered at Portland Adult Education) and university-level courses. We typically advise completing at least 2 strong semesters of ESL level 5 at Portland Adult Education or another adult education program BEFORE considering classes at USM.

Students participating in the New Mainer Community Members Program typically take one ESOL course per semester as non-matriculated, or non-degree, students. After building students’ English language proficiency and strengthening their reading and writing skills to the appropriate level, USM’s ESOL Department can support students interested in transitioning to degree seeking status.

If you are interested in learning more or have questions about the New Mainer Community Members Program please contact us (, we would love to speak with you!