At USM, academic excellence finds expression in the four pillars of our academic vision:
A Focus on Relationships
In order to learn, students must feel connected to their community. At USM we put the student at the center of all we do, focusing on relationships between students and their faculty members, advisors, coaches, student life professionals, supervisors, community partners, tutors, and peers, among many others. Students work closely with expert advisors trained in best advising practices. Our faculty of nationally recognized scholars, researchers, and artists guide student research and internships, practice experiential and high impact teaching, train peer tutors, and lead student travel experiences. At USM, high-quality academics exist within a culture of mentoring and care.
A Future-Forward Curriculum
USM provides foundational education and learning opportunities for intellectual risk-taking and self-maturation through rigorous and free inquiry, research, and creativity. At USM students acquire habits of mind, skills, and enduring dispositions that transcend academic disciplines and foster confidence and agency, preparing them to contribute meaningfully to their professional and cultural communities. These include but are not limited to design, imagination, innovation, digital and data literacy, leadership, multimodality, collaboration, and entrepreneurial thinking.
The Integration of Learning and Work
At USM we understand the working student, and we value student work. Our academic programs integrate student work with academic learning in a way that is responsive to students’ complex lives. Campus employers help students make meaningful connections between their work and their academic experiences. USM teaches students to think critically about the work they do and equips them with the knowledge and skills to pursue rewarding careers and meaningful, prosperous, and fulfilling lives.
A Mission of Service and Citizenship
USM is a diverse community where learning is experiential. A USM education is characterized by community-based and service learning and by internship opportunities in Portland, Gorham, Lewiston, and beyond. Students, faculty, and staff members develop deep ties with community partners and businesses to address social and economic challenges. USM’s engagement with local communities at home and abroad enables students to develop cross-cultural understanding, a global outlook, and adaptability to diverse settings. USM seeks to meet workforce needs, contribute to economic growth, enrich civic participation, and enhance the quality of life in Maine and around the world.