The University of Southern Maine (USM) offers you the rare combination of academic excellence with affordability and the flexibility to fit into your lifestyle. Over the course of the academic year, choose from over 2,000 undergraduate and graduate courses, with more than 650 available online. Whether you join us for a single course or enter into one of our 50+ degree programs, you'll be taking steps toward a brighter future.
1. I'd like to take a course. Am I eligible?
USM welcomes all learners! USM students, students from other colleges and universities, interested adults, senior citizens, and qualified high school students are all welcome to register for courses. You do not have to apply or be enrolled in a degree program.
2. What courses are offered at USM?
USM is known for its wide range of high quality academic offerings aimed at cultivating intellectual inquiry and personal growth in all its students. You can search for courses via the course search on MaineStreet.
3. What if I have questions about which course(s) to take?
Get answers from our Advising Office at 207-780-4040 or 1-800-8004USM ext. 4040.
4. How do I register for a course?
*By phone: call USM Registration Services at 207-780-5230.
*Online: via MaineStreet Student Self-Service for current students.
*In person: visit Registration Services at 140 Luther Bonney (Portland Campus) or107 Bailey Hall (Gorham Campus) or visit one of our Advising Centers in Portland, Gorham, and Lewiston-Auburn College.
If you've never taken a course at USM before, give us a call at 207-780-5230 or 1-800-8004USM ext. 5230. We'll create a record for you in our system so you can register for courses during the open registration period.
5. When can I register for a course?
Open registration for all students begins just after the priority registration period for current (matriculated) students. Find upcoming registration dates here.
6. I have just been accepted to USM, how can I register for a course?
Newly admitted undergraduate degree-seeking students, including first-years, transfers, and readmitted students register for their first semester of USM courses during required Advising & Course Selection (ACS) appointments. To learn more about the steps required to schedule your ACP appointment, please visit Next Steps for Admitted Students.
7. If I register for a course, when will payment be due?
*Fall: August 15
*Winter: within 10 calendar days of registration
*Spring: January 15
*Summer: May 15
If you register after those dates, payment will be due no later than 10 days after registration. For more information about payment deadlines, click here. Payment plans are available, offering 3, 4, or 5 installment plans for Spring or Fall Terms, 4 installments for Winter Term, and 3 or 4 installments for Summer Term. Payments are due monthly. Find more information about payment plans here.
8. How many courses or credits can I take?
You can take up to 18 credits in the Fall, Spring, and Summer Terms, and a maximum of 4.5 credits during Winter Term. More credits may be allowed with special permission.
9. How can I tell if the course I want to take is still available or has any prerequisites?
You can check availability by calling Registration Services at 207-780-5230 or locating your course on MaineStreet course search. Generally, course prerequisites follow MaineStreet course descriptions.
10. Can I still register after courses begin?
Students can self-add courses that are 12 or more weeks in length through the end of the first week of the semester, if there is space available and the student has satisfied all necessary requirements for the class. In situations where the student is unable to self-register, an instructor's signature or departmental permission is required. For classes that are less than 12 weeks in length, the self-add period is 7% of the class length (1 day for each 2 weeks of the class length).
11. If I take a condensed course, what should I expect?
A condensed course is a course that's shortened from our typical 15 weeks to 4 or 7 weeks, or sometimes even less. The requirements are generally the same, just in much less time - it's an intensive term.
12. What is a pop-up course? Pop-Up Courses are dynamic, short-term classes. Lasting one day, one weekend, or just a few weeks, these experiential courses bring students and faculty together to explore new ideas and different approaches to the critical issues of our time. Learn more about pop-up courses here.
13. What is GPACU?
The University of Southern Maine is a member of the Greater Portland Alliance of Colleges and Universities (GPACU). This alliance provides cross-registration and other opportunities for eligible students. GPACU benefits students by broadening course offerings and improving the effectiveness and efficiency of its participating schools. Learn more about GPACU here.
14. You're registered! Now what?
If you're a new student, you must activate your USM e-mail account, where you'll receive a notice of registration containing next steps. Current students will also receive the emailed notice of registration.
15. Where will my course meet?
Check your course on MaineStreet Self-Service or call Registration Services at 207-780-5230.
16. How will I know if I'm registered for the course I want to take?
If you register in person or by phone, you'll get immediate verbal confirmation. If you register online with MaineStreet, you'll be able to see the course on your course schedule.
17. After the course, how do I access my grades?
Grades are not mailed to students, nor can they be provided over the phone (due to FERPA regulations). Students can check their grades using MaineStreet Student Self-Service or by requesting a transcript (see below). Grades are generally posted by faculty within 7 days of the end of the course.
18. How can I get a transcript?
For your convenience, USM offers 5 different ways for you to get a transcript of your grades. Get full details.
19. Are my courses transferable to another college or university?
USM is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE). To find out if your university will accept transfer of a USM course, check with your home institution. This information is usually available from the registrar's office or your academic advisor.
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20. What does my course (or courses) cost?
Tuition for both undergraduate and graduate courses is charged per credit hour. For a full listing of tuition and fees, see our Tuition & Fees page.
21. How can I pay? USM accepts cash, check, money orders, Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express for payments. Visit our Payment Methods page for more information.
22. Can I apply for financial aid?
Eligible students can apply for financial aid for Fall, Spring, and Summer Classes. Visit our Applying for Financial Aid page or contact Student Financial Services for more information at (207) 780-5250
23. What is USM's refund policy?
Visit our Payment Deadlines page for the refund policy and additional information.
24. How Students Can Add Self To A Course Waitlist Interested in taking a course which has a Waitlist? Here is a tutorial to help!