Office of International Programs

University of Southern Maine Overview

Southern Maine is a destination that will exceed your expectations!

USM  has a diverse student population with students of all ages, cultures and backgrounds which bring distinctive perspectives to our academic community and enrich the residential and campus experience for all. USM has a great deal to offer students looking for the American experience including small classes and engaged learning opportunities outside of the classroom that are typically available only at large, national, urban universities.

Plus USM offers students the best location in the state with a bustling city campus located in Portland, Maine and residence halls and classrooms in Gorham, Maine which offer the more traditional college experience. Rated as one of the safest cities in the US, Portland joins the list of top college cities and the metropolitan area is ranked 20th among small cities in an analysis of the best places for college students.

Payson Smith Hall on the USM Portland Campus


USM students learn in classes that excite them, taught by professors who know them.  The average undergraduate class size is 25 students with a student faculty ratio of 15:1. Graduate class sizes are typically even smaller. Students enjoy internships and engaged learning experiences outside of the classroom that are typically available only at large, national, urban universities. USM offers baccalaureate, masters, and Ph.D. degree programs, providing students with rich learning opportunities in the arts, humanities, politics, health sciences, business, mass communications, science, engineering, and technology


USM offers a unique blend of academic and residential life opportunities, with several living-learning communities from which to choose.  USM enrolls 7,879 full and part time undergraduate students and 2,130 graduate and law students which come from diverse cultural, social and economic backgrounds.   Students can choose from more than 100 clubs and organizations and 22 men’s and women’s NCAA Division III intercollegiate athletic teams.  Social life on campus includes concerts, dances, performances, exhibitions, and special events.   Throughout the academic year USM’s Outdoor Recreation Club regularly offers opportunities to experience the beauty of Maine through weekend camping and ski trip or day excursions  to participate in snow tubing or white water rafting – all at very affordable prices.  These programs are a great way for our students to take in Maine’s breathtaking scenery with other USM students and enjoy all that Maine has to offer!  

USM offers students the perfect mix of rural and urban experiences with campuses in Portland, Gorham and Lewiston-Auburn. Transportation between Portland and Gorham is provided by the University during class periods and in a more limited capacity on weekends.  Helpful staff members are committed to helping students make the most of their educational experience at USM.

We hope that you will find the University of Southern Maine a welcoming home away from home!