Office of International Programs

International Funding

Scholarships, Graduate Assistantships and Campus Employment

Undergraduate International Merit Scholarships

All international undergraduate students that apply to the University of Southern Maine will automatically be considered for Academic Merit-Based Scholarships.  If the student meets the academic criteria they will be awarded a merit-based scholarship at the time of admission. This means that students will find out right away if they will receive a scholarship from USM and it also means that more students will receive scholarships.

NOTE: Students who already have a Bachelor's degree or the equivalent of a U.S. Bachelor's degree are not eligible for the following scholarships. 

International Student Merit Scholarships 
Name of Scholarship GPA Requirement  Amount Availability
USM Scholar 2.75-2.99 $8,000/year Available to 1st year students only
Dirigo Scholar 3.0-3.49 $10,000/year Available to 1st year students only
President's Scholar 3.5 $12,000/year Available to 1st year and transfer students
Canadian Student Merit Scholarships
Name of Scholarship GPA Requirement  Amount Availability
USM Scholar 2.75-2.99 $2,000/year Available to 1st year students only
Dirigo Scholar 3.0-3.49 $3,500/year Available to 1st year students only
President's Scholar 3.5 $5,000/year Available to 1st year and transfer students

Scholarships will be renewable (4 years for first year students and 3 years for transfer students) provided the recipient maintains the required minimum GPA.  


Graduate Studies Scholarship Application

The Office of Graduate Studies awards several scholarships and tuition waiver awards each year. Both new and returning students are eligible to apply, however, there may be additional criteria for some awards. Students can submit the Graduate Studies Scholarship Application (a.k.a OGS Scholarship Application)  along with the required documents and will be considered for all OGS scholarships and tuition waivers. The awards are contingent upon annual available funding and range from a one year award to a four year award. Scholarships are awarded in variable amounts up to $3,000 per academic year. Tuition waivers are awarded in flexible credit increments up to eighteen credits per academic year.

In order to be eligible for this award students must be matriculated into a graduate program at USM, be enrolled in at least 6 graduate-level credits in each semester in which they receive the award, and maintain satisfactory academic progress toward their degree (minimum 3.0 GPA).

Students who have not been accepted into a graduate program can still submit a scholarship application, however, awards will be contingent upon acceptance and matriculation into a graduate program at USM. Students must submit an application for admission before applying for a scholarship.

Scholarship decisions will be based on the following criteria: GPA (minimum 3.0), demonstrated financial need, and a commitment to graduate studies. Applications are reviewed twice per year.

Graduate Assistantships


To be eligible for a graduate assistantship position, students must be:

  • Fully matriculated in a degree program at the graduate level. (They must have met all criteria for graduate student status, including completion of a baccalaureate degree); and must be
  • Registered for at least 6 credits of coursework in the semester(s) in which they will be working (master’s and CAS students), or registered for GRS 602 (masters) or GRS 701 (doctoral) and have a certificate of satisfactory progress from their program.

To apply for a Graduate Assistantship students should

  • indicate their interest on Question 16 of their graduate school application

Department Funded GA's and Externally Funded Graduate Assistantships
In addition to the program-awarded assistantships, there are additional positions provided by administrative or academic units at USM.  If you wish to be considered for these positions, send your resume to Sydney Pontau (, Coordinator of Graduate Student Programs and Services. Information about these jobs will be forwarded to you as they become available.  Be sure to check the list of currently available graduate assistantship positions. 



On Campus Employment

 International students who are DEGREE CANDIDATES may work on campus provided (1) you are maintaining F‑1 status, (2) you do not work more than a total of 20 hours per week while school is in session.  You may be employed on campus full time when school is not in session (defined as between semesters), provided you are eligible and intend to register for the next school term.  The 20‑hour‑per‑week limit on your employment, while school is in session, applies to all types of on‑campus work (graduate assistantships, resident assistant positions).

USM students enrolled in the Intensive English Language Program are not given work authorization.

International students are not eligible for federal financial aid or work-study so they must find on campus jobs that are departmentally funded. There are very few of these jobs so students cannot count on being able to locate an on campus job during their time at USM and cannot rely on this funding to help cover their costs.

For more information about employment opportunities for international students please contact Kimberly in the International Programs Office.