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Frequently Asked Questions

Apply to UMaine


Application Checklist

   Steps to Apply   

We hope that you find the answers to your questions here, but if not, please reach out to our office via email to or by calling 207.581.3291.

Before Applying   Application Materials   Online Portal Account   Financial Documents   Admission Timeline         Other Q’s & A’s

What are the application deadlines?

Deadlines are program-specific, but in general, applicants who are interested in financial assistance should submit applications no later than January 15 of the current year for fall admission.

For the programs with rolling admission, the Graduate School recommends that students apply a minimum of 2 months before the first day of the semester. Please check with the program to which you are applying, to see if they have an earlier deadline.

How do I pay the application fee?

The application fee can be paid with a credit card through the online application portal at the time of submission. Payments submitted via check need to be received and processed in our office before the application can be submitted.

Can my application fee be waived?

The Graduate School waives application fees for the following populations:

  • IRT Scholars
  • McNair Scholars
  • Current and former US Armed Forces members/dependents
  • Alumni and current students from a University of Maine System institution

How do I apply to more than one program?

To apply to more than one program, you are required to submit a separate application. Applicants interested in applying to another program should contact the Graduate School to see if they qualify for a fee waiver.

I need to change my program term and/or campus, how do I do that? 

Depending on what stage your application is in, you can either change the program, term, or campus yourself, or reach out to the Graduate School staff to update on your behalf.

  1. If you have not yet submitted your application:
    1. Navigate to your online application portal
    2. Select the ‘finish application’ button on the application you’ve started
    3. Select the left side menu icon
    4. Select the ‘update application type’ button
    5. Confirm that you would like to update your responses
    6. Answer the application type, campus, program, and term questions
    7. Select ‘update application’
  2. If you have submitted your application, email Jessica Ouellette (

I’ve made a mistake on my application, but it’s already submitted, should I submit another? 

No. To avoid delays in processing, we highly encourage all applicants to email the revision (including revised documents if applicable) to and we will make the requested revision if appropriate.

I accidentally withdrew my application, should I start another one?

No. Email Jessica Ouellette ( and request that your application be re-opened.


What is the best way to get in touch with a potential faculty advisor?

Prospective students applying to doctoral and thesis-based master’s programs are encouraged to make email contact with faculty members with whom they would like to study. Steps to reaching out to faculty are listed below. It is recommended that these steps are completed either prior to or concurrently with the admissions process, typically two to three semesters before your intended start date. Refer to the Graduate School website for your chosen program’s application deadline

  1. Review faculty listings and identify up to five individuals whose research interests you.
  2. Email the top two to three faculty members that you would like to work with – you can see a sample email here.
  3. If faculty respond indicating their interest in working with you, schedule a follow-up phone call or video chat.
  4. If you get a response that indicates they are not currently taking on students, revisit your faculty list, and reach out to other professors.
  5. If you need assistance connecting with faculty, email

What are some things to consider when preparing to contact a potential graduate advisor for the first time?

Here are a few tips on preparing your introductory email to a prospective advisor:

  • Keep your email brief
  • Be confident and not arrogant about your education and work history
  • Include your GPA if it is strong
  • Share meaningful highlights of your research experience
  • Describe your personal connection or passion for your field of study
  • Demonstrate that you have researched the program and faculty
  • Be cognizant of the timing during the academic year and wait three to four weeks before following up.

Below is a template letter to give you an idea of how to format an introductory email

Professor [NAME],

My name is [NAME] and I am very interested in working with you during my graduate career in the [PROGRAM] program. Your research on [SUBJECT] is the finest I’ve read in the field and it would be my honor to help you continue your work. [DESCRIBE YOUR PERSONAL CONNECTION TO WORK HERE]. I am a [YEAR IN COLLEGE or CURRENT WORK POSITION] at [PLACE] studying [SUBJECT] and I have [AMOUNT OR TYPE OF] research experience. Please see my attached CV for more details on my education and work history. I’m happy to share any additional information you might need.

Please let me know if you plan on taking new advisees for the [SEMESTER] semester. I look forward to hearing from you soon.



I have attended a University of Maine System institution, or am currently enrolled at a UMS institution, what transcripts are required for my application?

The Graduate School will obtain all University of Maine System (UMS) institution transcripts. If you transferred from another institution outside of UMS and the courses are listed on your UMS transcript, you may be asked to request official transcripts to be sent by the program to which you are applying. Unofficial transcripts are accepted for admission review, however, official transcripts must be submitted upon admission.

Are GRE or GMAT scores required?

Testing requirements vary from program to program, consult the program listings to find out if your program requires standardized examinations for admission.

The Graduate School’s program page indicates that GRE scores are not required for my selected program, but there is a section within the application to provide scores, what do I do?

You have the option to provide GRE scores regardless of whether the program may require them. This space is present in case you have already taken the exam and you would like to provide your scores. The Graduate School encourages applicants to only provide scores if it will enhance your overall application.

Do I need to take the TOEFL or IELTS?

Official English proficiency examination scores are required from international applicants unless the applicant has received a degree from an English-speaking institution.

I am an applicant from outside the U.S.A. and Canada, do I need my transcripts to be reviewed by a professional credential evaluation service?

Yes. Students applying to UMaine who have previously attended an institution outside of the U.S.A. or Canada need to contact a professional credential evaluation service to obtain a professional course-by-course evaluation of all university-level work from a professional credential evaluation service with NACES membership. See the list of Credential Evaluation Agencies.

Are letters of recommendation required?

Letters of recommendation are required by the Graduate School, but they may not be a requirement for the program to which you are applying. If required, the contact information for references will be requested within the online application and recommendations should be submitted electronically by the reference.

Do letters of recommendation need to be received in your office before I can submit my application?

No, you can submit your application before your letters are received. You should try to have all the supporting materials submitted by the deadline for your program. You’ll be able to track the progress of your supporting materials once you submit your application.

Can I submit unofficial transcripts or test scores as part of my application? 

Yes, most programs will review your application with unofficial transcripts and/or test scores. Official copies will be required upon admission.


How do I start an application?

First, be sure that you have created an account for the online application portal by entering your name and email address. You’ll receive an activation email (check your junk or spam folders) and can start your application. The application will save as you go.

If you’ve already created an account, sign in and select the ‘Start a New Application’ button.

I can’t remember my password, how do I reset it?

If you can’t remember your password, use the reset password page to send a temporary password link to the email address you used to create the account.

I didn’t receive the email to activate my account, what do I do now?

Reach out to us via email at and we can help to get your account activated. We ask that you refrain from creating another account, but if you do, let us know so that we can combine the two accounts.

My University is not listed in the application in the drop-down menu. What do I do?

We encourage applicants to perform different searches for abbreviations or spelling out the name, or in some cases searching by state to find their institution.


I’m an international student, when should I send my declaration of finances documentation?

We encourage international students to submit financial documentation as soon as they are able. Financial documentation is only required for those who do not receive university funding.

How do I obtain my I20?

I20’s are issued to international applicants who have been admitted to the University once the Graduate School has received a notification from the program coordinator of the proposed university funding or financial documentation paperwork from the applicant.

How long does it take to receive my I20?

Total processing time for I-20 paperwork is at least 6 weeks. Admitted international students seeking an I-20 should submit their completed paperwork no later than 6 weeks prior to the start of the semester to allow time for processing, completion, and shipping of documents.


When can I expect my application checklist to be updated?

Please allow 1-2 weeks for credentials to be received and for the processing of your application. This time frame may be shorter if you submit a complete application and possibly longer during peak application periods (December – February). Continue to log into your application dashboard to track missing supplemental materials.

Note: The materials submitted become the property of the University of Maine and are not returned to the applicant.

When can I expect a decision regarding my application?

This will depend on the time of year the application is submitted, the specific program and deadlines, and the timing for the faculty committee review. Most decisions for an applicant looking for fall admission should be sent out to applicants by late March. Spring applicants should receive a decision by early December.

What does it mean if I have been waitlisted?

If you have applied to a professional program it likely means that your program is filled to capacity and you may be admitted if space opens up. If you applied to a research program, it likely means that your program is waiting on funding availability or an advisor match. Either way, you will want to follow up with your program coordinator for more information.

How do I accept an offer of admission?

Replying to an offer of admission can be done through the applicant portal once the decision letter has been prepared.

How long do I have to accept an offer of admission?

The Council of Graduate School suggests applicants searching for fall admission have until April 15 of the given year to confirm the offer of admission.

May I defer my offer of admission?

You may request to defer your offer of admission through the applicant portal by declining the original offer of admission and selecting the ‘Defer my admission’ option in the drop-down menu. We will forward your request along to the admitting program for their review and approval before we change your admission date.

I accepted my offer of admission, but I need to defer to a future term. What do I do?

If you have already confirmed your offer of admission through the applicant dashboard, complete this form to request an admission deferral. We will forward your request along to the admitting program for their review and approval before we change your admission date.

I was not offered admission and want to reapply next year. How do I reapply?

Applicants who wish to reapply can do so by submitting a new application and the $65 application fee in the online application portal.

OTHER Q’s & A’s

How do I find out about assistantships?

UMaine offers Teaching Assistant and Research Assistant positions through individual programs, as well as internships and assistantships in academic and non-academic units. For more information, click here.

What are the housing options at your University if I attend?

The University of Maine offers two options for on-campus housing for graduate students in Stodder Hall and in University Park. The Commuter and Non-Traditional Student Programs offers a searchable list of off-campus housing options.