Office of Admissions

Transfer to USM

Transfer to the University of Southern Maine (USM) where you can choose from a wide spectrum of affordable, flexible degree programs, including six that are achievable fully online. Our transfer process makes it possible to continue on your current academic path or explore new directions.

Please email us, call us at 207-780-5670, or schedule a meeting with an admissions counselor if you have any questions.

We consider any applicant who has attended one or more postsecondary institutions beginning the summer following their high school graduation, or high school equivalency credential completion, a transfer student.

There is no fee to apply. Application process details are available on our Apply to USM page in the “Adult & Transfer Applicants” section.

A 2.0+ cumulative grade point average (GPA) for any completed college and/or university coursework is required, with more emphasis placed on your most recent coursework. However, specific majors may set higher GPA requirements for admission consideration.

Applicants who wish to schedule a 30-minute meeting on a Transfer Tuesday can get an in-person admission decision, provided your application and all supporting materials have been submitted at least three days before your appointment.

We consider grades of C– or higher in coursework completed at regionally accredited colleges and universities for transfer credit.

Grades of P, S, and CR are accepted when a transcript indicates that the equivalent grade is a C– or higher.

USM operates on a semester system. Credits transferred from quarter or unit system schools will be converted to semester credit hours.

Once you are admitted, the Transfer Affairs staff in the Office of Admissions completes an official Transfer Credit Evaluation of your previously completed college coursework. This process usually takes several weeks. When your report is available in MaineStreet, you will receive an email.

To estimate how your earned credits could transfer to USM before you apply or before your official Transfer Credit Evaluation is ready, we offer the following tools:

  • Transfer Course Equivalencies
    • You can access this tool on the MaineStreet login page below the User ID and Password fields. There is no need to sign in.
    • If you have a MaineStreet User ID and Password, sign in and follow these steps.
      • Select Student Center.
      • Look for the “Transfer Equivalencies” section toward the bottom of the page and select View Transfer Equivalencies.
      • Follow the prompts to discover how your existing credits from other colleges and universities transfer to academic programs in the University of Maine System.
      • Contact our Technology Support Center if you need help.
  • Transfer Guides for Maine colleges and universities
    • The University of Maine System created transfer guides that show you how coursework at other Maine colleges and universities may fit into one of our degree programs.

If your college, university, or specific course is not available in either tool, or you have questions regarding the transfer credit evaluation process, email the Transfer Affairs staff in the Office of Admissions or call 207-780-5340.

While all of our bachelor degree programs require a minimum of 120 credits, admitted transfer students must complete at least 30 of their last 45 credits at USM to earn a bachelor’s degree with transfer credit.

Transfer credits are not calculated into your USM grade point average (GPA). However, grades from other colleges and universities will appear on your USM transcript.

All of our students must complete the following core curriculum requirements. Transferred courses that satisfy these requirements are indicated in the “Core Requirements” column on your official Transfer Credit Report.

COURSE TYPE CREDITS
Entry Year Experience (EYE)* 3
College Writing 3
Quantitative Reasoning 3
Creative Expression 3
Cultural Interpretation 3
Socio-Cultural Analysis 3
Science Exploration (with laboratory) 3 or 4
Diversity 3
International 3
Ethical Inquiry, Social Responsibility, and Citizenship 3
Advanced Electives (three courses) 9
Engaged Learning 3
Capstone (in major) 3

*Students transferring 24 or more credit hours (excluding test credits) are exempt from completing the Entry Year Experience requirement.

Core curriculum requirements are waived — except for the capstone — for students who have earned the following degrees from a regionally accredited institution:

  • An Associate of Arts degree in Liberal Studies or Liberal Arts.
  • A bachelor’s degree
    • We evaluate courses applicable to your new degree and/or prerequisites for transfer credit. All other courses are grouped into a block of additional credits.

The Office for Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) helps students earn college credit for work, life, and military experience through standardized exams, credential review, and portfolio assessment.

With the help of the Maine Community College System, we have mapped out paths from many of their associate’s degree programs to our bachelor’s degree programs. If your degree is not among those listed, you still have the opportunity to transfer your earned credits — see the “How can I find out if my credits will transfer?” section on this page.

If you’re currently completing coursework for your associate's degree from a Maine community college, we urge you to do the following:

  1. Review our Transfer Agreements to make sure you’re fulfilling both your community college requirements as well as the outlined USM requirements.
  2. Finish your associate’s degree to take full advantage of our established Transfer Agreements.

We also nurture an additional innovative partnership with Southern Maine Community College (SMCC), Central Maine Community College (CMCC) and York County Community College (YCCC) — called ConnectED Pathways — to streamline transfer paperwork for students from selected academic programs.

Once admitted, transfer students must complete a minimum of 30 credits at USM to earn a bachelor's degree.

Some students transfer to a four-year institution before completing their associate’s degree and can still get their previous achievements recognized through a Reverse Transfer Agreement. This process transmits academic credits for coursework completed by a transfer student at a four-year institution back to the community college they initially attended to satisfy the requirements for an associate’s degree.

All University of Maine System institutions hold Reverse Transfer Agreements with all Maine Community College System (MCCS) institutions. Under this agreement, transfer students could be granted an associate’s degree by combining credits from USM with credits previously earned from an MCCS institution.


A tabletop featuring a laptop keyboard and an open notebook with a smartphone and pen resting on top.

Transfer Tuesdays

Students interested in transferring to USM can get an instant, in-person admission decision from a counselor on any of our campuses in Portland, Gorham, or Lewiston. Your counselor will sit down with you during a 30-minute interview to review your application and all supporting materials. Learn more.