Our new residence hall is open to these groups:

  • USM and UMaine system graduate students
  • Maine Law students
  • Any matriculated second-year, third-year, or fourth-year USM undergraduate students (limited availability for second-year students)

Students can apply for an academic year contract or a 12-month contract. More details can be found here.

Hall Features

Portland Commons houses 577 students in a variety of room types. The top floors will house our graduate and law students. The floors are mixed-gender. The first floor boasts a half-acre semi-private courtyard for studying and group gatherings, a variety of study and meeting rooms, a comfortable common gathering space with a full kitchen, and indoor bike storage. In addition, to these features, Portland Commons is on track to be the second-largest Passive House building at a university in the United States.

  • Passive House is one of the world’s most aggressive green building standards. 
  • The building will use less than half of the energy than a comparable residence hall built to modern code
  • The Passive House standard will mean it also has superior air quality with a steady supply of fresh air
  • The tight thermal envelope will make for a quieter, more thermally comfortable residence hall

Room Features

All rooms within Portland Commons have in-suite restrooms. There is a multitude of room types available for students to select from.

  • Single with ensuite bathroom
  • One-person efficiency apartment
  • Two-person single pod
  • Two-person single apartment
  • Four-person double apartment
  • Four-person single apartment

All bedrooms have a full XL or twin XL bed (double apartments), an individual closet, a desk, a chair, and a bureau. Apartments include a shared kitchen with a stove and oven, a full-sized refrigerator, a microwave, and a kitchen sink. Apartments for 2 or more students also have a couch, end table, and a tv-stand. More details on the amenities in each room type are detailed below in the Room Types, Amenities, & Rates section.

Hall History

Portland Commons is the first residence hall located on the Portland campus. Many years ago there was “Portland Hall”, which was located in downtown Portland, but this is the first residential building on the Portland campus.

What makes Portland Commons a great place to live

Portland Commons sits on the corner of Durham and Bedford Streets, spanning approximately 218,000 square feet, and adding an aesthetically pleasing cornerstone to our campus gateway. 

While meeting leading-edge Passive House sustainability standards, the new Hall also features large glass panels in the first floor common areas, illuminating and activating the sidewalk and making our campus a more welcoming and engaging place.

The four wings of the Hall — two reaching five stories in height and two reaching eight stories in height — form a parallelogram that encloses a half-acre semi-private residential courtyard.

Room Types, Amenities, and Rates

For rates as well as meal plan rates and details, please visit our Room and Board Rates page. Meal plans are required for all residential students unless they are living in an apartment with a full kitchen and email usm.reslife@maine.edu to opt out of the meal plan.

Overhead view of single suite room with double bed, desk, and bathroom.
Single with ensuite bathroom
Overhead view of one person efficiency apartment with double bed, kitchen, and bathroom
One-person efficiency apartment
Overhead view of a two-person single suite with single bedrooms and a shared restroom and entryway with a closet.
Two-person single pod
Overhead view of a two-person, two-bedroom apartment with a shared kitchen, bathroom, common area, closet, and washer and dryer.
Two-person single apartment
Overhead view of a four-person double apartment- 2 bedrooms with 2 twin beds, desks, chairs, closets, and bureaus, two shared bathrooms, and a shared common room, closet, kitchen, and washer and dryer.
Four-person double apartment
Overhead view of a 4-person, 4-bedroom apartment with two shared bathrooms and a shared common room, kitchen, and washer and dryer.
Four-person single apartment