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Doctoral Program - FAQ

Can I transfer credits into my doctoral program?

Transfer credits are assessed by the student’s program committee upon completion of a Program Study form, usually in the first year of study. Typically, full credit is given for master’s degrees and other post-baccalaureate work up to the Graduate School’s limit of 45 semester credits. Depending on the relevance of the coursework and the direction of the student’s interest, however, credits above the 90 post-baccalaureate minimum may be required by the committee.

What financial assistance is available and how do I apply?

A list of funding opportunities for graduate study are available here. In addition, the University of Maine Office of Student Aid can provide information about various federal, state, and university aid programs to assist University of Maine students finance their education.

For full-time graduate students, there are also opportunities for assistantships in residence halls and various offices on campus for which students apply directly. In addition, each year the Higher Education faculty can nominate a limited number of interested and qualified students to compete for the graduate assistantships that are awarded for the following academic year. Applicants interested in competing for assistantships should indicate their intent on the appropriate item on the back page of the Application for Graduate Study. Assistantships are awarded for research and teaching projects which require a time commitment of approximately 20 hours per week. Graduate Assistants also enroll for a minimum of 6 credit hours each term during the period of their appointment. Graduate Assistants receive a stipend for a nine month, academic year appointment. They also receive tuition waivers for up to 9 credit hours each semester (and for the summer following the academic year of their appointment).

How do I apply for a Graduate Assistantship?

For full-time students, there are also opportunities for assistantships in residence halls and various offices on campus for which students apply directly. In addition, each year the Higher Education faculty can nominate a limited number of interested and qualified students to compete for the graduate assistantships that are awarded for the following academic year. Applicants interested in competing for assistantships should indicate their intent on the appropriate item on the back page of the Application for Graduate Study . Assistantships are awarded for research and teaching projects which require a time commitment of approximately 20 hours per week. Graduate assistants also enroll for a minimum of 6 credit hours each term during the period of their appointment. Graduate assistants receive a stipend for a nine month, academic year appointment. They also receive tuition waivers for up to 9 credit hours each semester (and for the summer following the academic year of their appointment).

Do I really have to submit Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores with my application?

Yes, in accordance with Graduate School policy, we require official GRE scores of doctoral applicants along with application materials in order to review materials.

How strongly do you weigh the GRE in your admissions decisions?

The faculty in the Higher Education program examine GRE scores as part of the admissions decision but we only consider these scores as one part of the total admissions package. In addition, we also consider prior professional experience, undergraduate and master’s level work, the consistency between the applicant’s goals and those of the program, and communication skills as demonstrated in the application essay and interview.

Is there a specific GRE score you are looking for?

We typically look for a combined score of at least 1000 and 5.0 on the analytic writing portion of the test but we may also consider the balance demonstrated by a strong GPA, success in other graduate experience, and/or strong background experience.

How important are my letters of recommendation in the admissions process?

Letters of recommendation are an important of your application. Please be sure the majority of your letters are written by faculty and/or academic advisors who can speak to your classroom engagement and attest to your level of academic preparedness for graduate studies. At the doctoral level, at least one letter should speak to your professional promise in the field.

Are there opportunities for students to get involved in local and national associations?

Yes! We highly encourage student participation in local organizations such as the Student Development Association or Graduate Student Government here on campus, local professional associations such as MASAP , and national associations like ACPA, NASPA, ASHE, and AERA. We encourage doctoral students to take advantage of opportunities for policy and research mentoring programs in ASHE and AERA, the two key national research associations for the field.

On average, how long does it take to complete the doctoral program?

The Graduate School specifies a limit of four years for coursework and four years for the dissertation. Full-time students can anticipate completion within five to six years. Part-time students vary in pace depending on work and family demands and may require the full duration allowed by the Graduate School. Many part-time students require additional time for the completion of the coursework and exceptions to the Graduate School regulation are routinely granted with advisor approval.

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Education and Human Development
5766 Shibles Hall
Orono, ME 04469
Phone: (207) 581-2412
The University of Maine
Orono, Maine 04469
207.581.1110
A Member of the University of Maine System