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Advisor's Handbook

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Since September 1995, all students initiating a baccalaureate program at the University of Maine have been required to meet certain general education requirements. Additional general requirements may be imposed by individual colleges, and each academic major imposes requirements specific to that area. Science: Students are required to complete two courses in the physical or biological sciences. This may be accomplished in two ways:

  1. By completing two courses with laboratories in the basic or applied sciences.
  2. By completing one laboratory course in the basic or applied sciences, and a second approved course that incorporates a laboratory experience and stresses the applications of scientific knowledge.

Human Values and Social Contexts: Students are required to complete 18 credits in this broad area, selected from lists of approved courses to satisfy each of the five sub-categories listed. (Courses that satisfy requirements in more than one sub-category may be counted in each appropriate sub-category.)

  1. Western cultural tradition
  2. Social context and institutions
  3. Cultural diversity and international perspective
  4. Population and the environment
  5. Artistic and creative expression

Mathematics: Students are required to complete at least six credit hours in mathematics, including statistics and computer science. No more than three of the six credit hours may be in computer science.

Demonstrated Writing Competency: Students are required to write throughout their academic careers and must demonstrate competency both at the introductory level and within their majors. To fulfill this requirement, students must:

  1. Complete ENG 101, College Composition, with a grade of C or better, or be excused from this course on the basis of a placement exam.
  2. Complete at least two writing-intensive courses, at least one of which must be within the academic major.

Ethics: Students are required to take a course or a series of courses placing substantial emphasis on discussion of ethical issues.

Capstone Experience: Students are required to complete an approved capstone experience within the major. The approved experience must be one in which the student draws upon and integrates the formal components of his or her undergraduate experience to perform at a professional level. Normally, the Capstone would conclude at the end of the student’s senior year. Students should consult closely with their academic advisor to explore the range of options available for meeting this requirement.

For complete listing of courses satisfying General Education Requirements, check then click on “General Education Requirements” on left side of the screen.


The GPA or grade point average, is a numerical average of all grades earned in a semester (the semester GPA) or over the entire university career (accumulative grade point average). The accumulative GPA is defined as quality points divided by GPA hours, carried to two decimal points. Quality points are the number of credit hours taken multiplied by the numerical value of the letter grade. The GPA hours are the sum of the course credit hours from all courses taken, except those taken on a Pass-Fail basis. Pass-Fail registrations do not affect the grade point average.


The University of Maine uses a letter-grade system ranging from A to F. Faculty members have the option of adding + (no A+) and – grades to the basic letter grades, but such fine distinctions may be inappropriate for many courses. Whatever the system used, it is important to understand that there is no University-wide equivalence between percentage grades (such as 80%) and letter grades (such as B). Each instructor makes these determinations according to the grading system described in the course syllabus. The qualitative value of the five basic letter grades is defined as follows:

The University uses a variety of grades on transcripts to designate special circumstances. These include:


Grade reports are not routinely mailed to students at the end of the semester. Students may access their grades via MaineStreet. Final grades are available as they are received and processed after exams. Considerable care is taken to ensure that all grades entered on a student’s permanent record are accurate. Any student who suspects an error in a grade should contact the instructor without delay. Records are considered to be correct if a student does not report errors to the Office of Student Records within six months of the completion of a course.



Candidates for baccalaureate degrees must:

(a) receive passing grades in all courses required by the major department,

(b) accumulate the number of degree hours specified by the program in which the student is registered, and

(c) achieve an accumulative average of not less than 2.0 in University of Maine courses.

A minimum residence of 30 credits is required for the attainment of any bachelor’s degree. Application for Degree or Certificate Form must be submitted prior to the commencement. Graduation timeline final certification of degree completion will be done within each college. Each department or college (depending on usual practice) has the responsibility to notify any student who has applied for graduation but who is taken off the graduation list before the Office of Student Records notification is sent to that student.



Contact Information

Go Blue!
The University of Maine
Orono, Maine 04469