Office of Residential Life

Students and restaurant owners at a class outing to a local restaurant.

LLC Descriptions

Get to know each of our LLC options by browsing the descriptions below! If you have any questions, do not hesitate to email us at To jump to a specific LLC of interest, click on any of the options from the list; otherwise, scroll down to review each of our communities! Please note that TRIO and Promise Scholars, the Honors LLC, and the Russell Scholars Program are all learning communities that continue past your first semester. More information about these communities and the requirements to participate can be found by clicking the links in the descriptions below. Housing placements for each LLC for the fall 2022 semester are yet to be determined. Please check back on this site as we get closer to the fall semester for updates!


The Creativity LLC is an imaginative, stimulating community for students who draw inspiration from other artists, musicians, photographers, actors, performers, etc. You will engage with similarly creative people who love to make, design, and explore. Connecting with the USM campus community and local arts communities, you will have many opportunities to contribute your energy and talents to those communities. Prior class outings and activities included attending local theater productions both at USM and in the wider community, visiting the Portland Museum of Art and other local art galleries at USM and throughout the Portland area, enjoying food at local restaurants, apple picking, baking for Preble Street Resource Center, participating in USM's annual Husky Fest, working together to solve a local Escape Room activity, creating a radio drama program, and competing in a class Cupcake Wars bake-off. 

Creativity in the MIST

The Creativity in the MIST community offers a unique opportunity for students to explore and create in our USM Maker Innovation Studio (MIST Lab) on our Portland campus. You will get to expand your creative horizons in a Makerspace designed to present its users with readily-available materials that can act as a provocation for inquiry, as well as modern technology and items to invent with. These spaces teach students critical 21st-century skills in the fields of science, technology, engineering, art, and math (STEAM).  They provide hands-on learning, help with critical thinking skills, and even boost self-confidence.  Some of the skills that are learned in a Makerspace pertain to electronics, 3D printing, 3D modeling, coding, robotics, design, and woodworking. Makerspaces also foster entrepreneurship and can be utilized as incubators and accelerators for business startups. For more information about our MIST lab, check out their webpage! If this sounds exciting to you, join this community of peers to share your creativity and passion with them!


The Entrepreneurship LLC meets the needs of aspiring entrepreneurs and innovators. Providing experiential education through activities and outings, you will learn about the process of creating, designing, and building new products and services for both for-profit and non-profit organizations. The community consists of students from all backgrounds and majors, allowing you to share ideas and explore options and opportunities to develop your own ideas and passions. Previous class outings and activities included a semester-long design-your-own startup project, outings to local Maine businesses such as Think Tank Co-Working and Fork Food Lab, participation in the USM Internship Fair, and designing, building, and showcasing Punkin Chunkin catapults. 

First-Year Transition

The First Year Transition (FYT) LLC is for students from a variety of majors and interests who would like a broader experience as opposed to one that is focused on one topic in particular. This LLC will focus on connecting you to resources and opportunities for involvement in a variety of areas of interest or study. You will engage with your peers around what it is like to transition to college and how to make the most of your experience here at USM. This is a great LLC for those who are interested in exploring your major and career pathways and all that USM has to offer to help you excel. Examples of previous activities include apple picking at a local orchard, connecting with classmates through solving an Escape Room challenge, working with peers to find campus resources as part of a campus-wide scavenger hunt, taking in a theater or musical performance on campus, visiting our campus Planetarium on the Portland campus, enjoying dinner together at a local restaurant, engaging with the wider community by participating in a community service project, participating in, or even getting to plan, a campus-wide activity. 

First-Generation Student Experience

The First-Generation Student Experience LLC partners with two amazing programs at USM, our Promise Scholarship Program, and our TRIO College Program. As a member of this community, you will have both dedicated staff and peer support to help you make the most of your experience here at USM. This LLC focuses on empowering you with skills and resources to break down barriers that often exist for first-generation college students. In this close-knit community, you will learn the ins and outs of college and develop strong relationships with peers and mentors who will continue to support you past just your first semester at USM. In addition to the First Generation Student Experience COR 101 class, this LLC also houses students from our Success in STEM COR 101 classes, as those classes are run in collaboration with our TRIO staff. 


The Health LLC is a great fit for students with academic interests ranging from nursing, athletic training, and exercise science to public and community health. It is also an ideal community for students interested in developing and maintaining a healthy body, mind, and spirit!  Wellness encompasses the emotional, physical, intellectual, social, environmental, and spiritual aspects of collegiate life and beyond. Programming and community-building activities will focus on helping you to lead a balanced and active life as well as engaging you with the health of the communities that you belong to. The Health LLC explores resources and tools to support you in your own health and wellness goals, and how these goals contribute to academic success as well. Previous activities and outings included kayaking with Portland Paddle, exploring health-related majors such as health sciences and nursing through departmental presentations, attending USM or local sporting events, exploring our local indoor trampoline parks, rock climbing at an indoor rock gym, connecting with local fitness centers, exploring healthy eating options on-campus and in the wider community, engaging with a variety of self-care activities such as yoga and meditation, and learning about Health Services on campus and ways to take care of your own health throughout the semester.


The Honors Living Learning Community is for intellectually curious students, with diverse backgrounds and interests, who have been invited to join the USM Honors Program. Living in Honors housing provides you with convenient access to Honors-specific events and organizations.

Students with a 3.5 or higher GPA at the high school or transfer level are invited to join the Honors Program. Students who accept the invitation to join the Honors Program may choose to live in Honors housing in Anderson Hall (first-year) or Philippi Hall (upper-class). Living in Honors housing is encouraged but not required.

For more information about the Honors Program visit

Honors First-Year Students will take an Honors COR class that connects with an Honors seminar class. The activities and outings that students will participate in during their COR vary widely depending on the topic of the seminar course. If you have any questions about the COR offerings and typical activities for a specific topic area, please don't hesitate to contact us at or at 207-780-5240. For questions about the Honors seminar course offerings, please contact the Honors department or connect with your academic advisor.


The Rainbow LLC, which was the first of its kind at a Maine college or university, is for students who wish to live together on a community floor seeking to celebrate and support the lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans*, queer, questioning, intersex and asexual (LGBTQIA+) community at USM. As part of the Rainbow LLC, you will engage in educational and social programming opportunities geared towards increasing knowledge and understanding of sexual orientation and gender identity and expression. You may participate in training opportunities around creating safe spaces, addressing and reducing hate and bias language and incidents, and will have the opportunity to engage in community leadership opportunities. Previous class outings and activities include participating in USM Safe Zone training to learn how to create safe spaces on campus for LGBTQIA+ community members, attending the Maine Youth Summit & Queer Trans Conference, visiting the Equality Community Center in Portland, volunteering with local non-profits who provide resources and support for LGBTQAI+ individuals, engaging with theater or art exhibits or shows related to topics around gender or sexuality, and connecting with other students and community members over dinner at local restaurants. If you would like to live on the Rainbow Floor as a first-year student but wish to take a different LLC COR lab class, or would like to live on a different floor but take the Rainbow lab class, please contact Erica Leighton at

Russell Scholars Program

The Russell Scholars Program (RSP) is an inclusive LLC composed of students and faculty who work together to help you achieve your academic goals. Classrooms, a study lounge, and faculty offices are located on the first floor of the residence hall that you live in. Every student is assigned an RSP faculty mentor who supports them throughout their USM experience. Regardless of your academic major, you are eligible to become a Russell Scholar as long as you are accepted as a full-time, residential student in your first year. In RSP, you take the required core and/or elective courses you need for a broad education, in addition to courses in your major field of study. RSP is pleased to have students from all four years in the program who continue to take RSP courses as their schedules permit and who take leadership roles in welcoming new students. Russell Scholars value connection, collaboration, and community — attributes prized in personal and professional life. For more information about RSP, check out their webpage!

Social Justice

The Social Justice Living Learning Community (LLC) is for students interested in a variety of social justice issues. You will have the opportunity to discuss, explore, and engage with a number of experiences and topics related to inequalities and barriers, equity and inclusion, and systemic power imbalances in our society such as racism, classism, sexism, heteronormativity, and more. Emphasizing collaboration with the greater Portland community, you will participate in a variety of activities, discussions, and opportunities that allow you to meaningfully explore these issues, and connect with other students with a similar passion for social justice. Previous class outings and activities included attending theater productions that relate to social justice topics, participating in USM Safe Zone training to learn how to create safe spaces on campus for LGBTQIA+ community members, developing and implementing a passion project over the course of the semester related to a social justice topic that is important to each individual student, attending guest lectures or events with social justice educators or advocates, and engaging in community service events or activities to engage with our local community and social justice advocates.