USM Online Frequently Asked Questions

Have questions? Please see our FAQ’s below. We are here to help!

In a USM Online Program, the degrees earned are equivalent to degrees earned through a traditional college experience. That being said, there are some differences that arise through the online mode of instruction:

Online Learning is Flexible

In an online classroom, you have the flexibility to learn anywhere there is an internet connection! There are still due dates, but you have more agency over your space and the pace of your learning.

What is an Online Classroom like? Synchronous versus Asynchronous Structure.

  • Asynchronous learning takes place online with:
    • No required online meeting times
    • No required on-campus or in-person meetings
    • Can include online proctoring if students have flexibility in scheduling times and can complete from their home
  • Synchronous learning takes place online and:
    • Has required video or audio meeting times. 
    • Courses may be a blend of synchronous meeting times and asynchronous activity that replaces course meetings.
    • Can include online real-time proctoring

Online Learning Enhances Your Tech Skills

In an online environment, you have the opportunity to interact with different platforms and digital technologies. These technology competencies can help you succeed in a competitive job market and in your career.

If you are looking to enhance your skills, change your career, or would like new leadership and networking opportunities, USM Online will give you the opportunity and resources to support you while gaining an education.

Costs vary by program and residency. Visit the Student Financial Services to see current tuition rates. However, prior credit and experience, scholarships, and other financial aid options mean many students pay less for their degree. Financial Aid counselors are ready to walk you through the process, consider your options, and find ways to bring costs down.

The time needed to complete your degree will depend on previously earned credits and practical experience. Our Admissions team and Credit for Prior Learning experts are ready to help you develop a plan for you to finish your degree.

It depends on your prior college history! We recommend working with our Transfer Affairs Office and Credit for Prior Learning (CPL) Office to learn more about how your prior degrees and experiences can transfer to the program you are interested in.

Yes! USM Online offers fully asynchronous programs, which means you can earn your degree on your time without having to worry about coming into a physical class. Since there are no required online meeting times in asynchronous programs, your classes won’t interfere with your work schedule.

  • Lower Tuition, Less Debt!
    • According to U.S. News data, “The average cost of tuition and fees in 2021-2022 for a private college was … significantly higher than the average tuition and fees at public universities and colleges[.]”
  • Student Focused Everyday
    • As a public institution, the University of Southern Maine strives to be the University of Everyone. We also have the unique advantage of our smaller class sizes, which creates a more in-depth and direct learning environment between students and instructors.
  • Diversity on Campus and in the Classroom
    • The University of Southern Maine offers a vibrant community that celebrates diversity. We also offer a large number of academic programs, so you have many options. As a student in our vibrant community, you will have access to a great range of clubs, activities, and specialized classes.

For information on our admission requirements, please refer to the Office of Admissions.