Our School of Education and Human Development, a division of the College of Management and Human Service, offers degree and certificate programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels, as well as continuing education programs, that are designed with your professional development and career success in mind.

The University of Southern Maine’s (USM) reputation for excellence in education programs was established with the founding of our predecessor institution, the Gorham Normal School, in 1878.

Here, we believe that your success is integrated with the success of the greater community. That’s why we’re dedicated to promoting and supporting equity and excellence in education and human development through our academic programs, community partnerships, research, and professional continuing education.

Our undergraduate and graduate degrees and certificates — many of which are offered partially or fully online — lead to careers in the following fields:

  • Adult and higher education
  • Counseling
  • Educational and school psychology
  • Educational public policy
  • K-12 school leadership
  • Teaching:
    • General K-12
    • Literacy education
    • Special education
    • English to speakers of other languages

Our Faculty

Our faculty is deeply supportive of our students. In addition to sharing expertise in their discipline, our faculty offers guidance in selecting courses and career planning. As continuing practitioners in their fields, many faculty members are actively engaged in research. They hold memberships and board positions in state and national associations, are frequently published, and regularly present at national conferences.

Graduate Programs: Flexible Scheduling & Online Program Options:

  • Each graduate program can be completed on a part-time or full-time basis.
  • Online course options are offered in all graduate programs.
  • Our online programs offer reduced e-tuition for out-of-state students, and Maine residents continue to benefit from the lower in-state rate. 
  • All on-campus graduate courses are held in the afternoons, evenings, and on weekends.

Our Campuses

Undergraduate and graduate students studying in our on-campus programs will attend courses on both our urban Portland campus and our residential Gorham campus. Our students commute easily between the Portland and Gorham campuses via the WiFi-enabled METRO Husky Line. Beyond the Classroom.

Our ideal location in Southern Maine allows us to offer practicum and internship experience in a variety of urban, suburban, and rural schools, government agencies, mental health settings, and non-profit organizations.

With strong partnerships in diverse settings throughout the region, we work with students to select practicum and internship sites that align with their location, their schedule, and their career paths.

Our Alumni: A Community of Lifelong Learners

Our alumni hold leadership positions in K-12 schools, higher education, government, human resource, and mental health settings. They are regularly honored with nominations and awards for both statewide and national recognition, such as Maine Superintendent of the Year, Maine Teacher of the Year, Maine High School Principal of the Year, Maine School Counselor of the Year, Maine School Psychologist of the Year, the Presidential Award for Excellence, and the National Educator Award.

The School enrolls approximately 600 students each semester, and upon graduation, they join an active network of nearly 13,000 alumni (and 52,000 total from the University as a whole!).

We continue to serve our alumni and the K-12 community through the Professional Development Center, which offers both academic credits and continuing education unit (CEU) credits for professionals to meet recertification requirements.

Partnerships and Research

Our community partnerships, such as our External Advisory Council and the Southern Maine Partnership, enrich the work of our students, faculty, and the community. Our education policy research provides critical information about the state of education and human resource development in Maine. Learn more.

State Approval and National Accreditation

Our undergraduate and graduate educator preparation programs are state approved and nationally accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). Our Counselor Education program is nationally accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Education Programs (CACREP). Learn more.

Mission and Values

The School of Education and Human Development is firmly grounded in USM’s rich history. The University dates back to the Gorham Normal School, established by the state of Maine in 1878 to educate teachers and establish teaching norms. Today, the School has a mission of preparing educators and human development professionals for responsible service that is as relevant to society today as it was more than a century ago.

Learn more about our Mission and Core Values.