Frequently Asked Pre-departure Questions

What is the weather like in Maine? Many students find the four distinct season of Maine to be a most interesting experience. Fall lasts from mid-September through November with temperatures ranging between 30° and 70°Fahrenheit (-1°to 23°C). Winter continues from December to April. Snow and icy rain are common and temperatures range from -25° to 40° F (-32° to 5° C). Winters are generally cold, but prolonged cold spells are rare. Average snowfall is 60 to 90 inches (152-228 cm) yearly. January normally has the heaviest snowfall. Spring arrives in April and lasts until mid-June. The temperatures climb to a range of 45° to 65°F (8° to 18° C). Summer begins in mid-June and last until September. Temperatures ranging from 70° to 80°(22° to 27° C) are most common. Occasionally the temperature reaches the 90° to 100° (33° to 39° C) range. Summer nights are usually cool and comfortable. Storms such as tornadoes or hurricanes are very rare but thunderstorms do occur in the summer.

What kind of clothing is suitable to Maine? Most students dress informally on campus. You will need light weight clothes for summer and heavier clothing including a warm winter coat, snow boots, hat and mittens or gloves for winter. Most of these items can be purchased economically after you arrive.

How safe is campus? Very. University of Maine Public Safety has 21 regular officers and 14 other officers in reserve. They patrol campus 24 hours a day with at least 2 officers at any given time. UMaine offers a program called walking companions where two students will walk you to your dorm at night. All residence halls are locked 24 hours a day.

Does a student need a computer? Most majors don’t require one. In addition to the academic computer laboratories, there are public computer clusters in the Memorial Union and Fogler Library. How many classes are taught by teacher’s assistants? Not many. Professors teach most UMaine classes, with the exception of English 101 and Calculus I. TA’s lead labs and run study sessions.

What is the average class size? For 100-level courses, 150 students. Math classes are all capped at 50. English and computer science courses are no larger than 25, and neither are science labs. UMaine’s 200-level courses top out around 30; 300-level courses range from 15 to 35; 400-level courses have six to 12 students. Our average student-faculty ratio is 14:1.

How easy is it to talk to a professor? Very. UMaine professors are known for working closely with undergraduates. In addition, they have office hours and often are willing to meet with students outside those office hours.

How do I get around? The campus is large but very easy to walk around. Most students live in the residence halls and are only minutes away from academic buildings and the dining halls. Some students live off campus and walk or bike to campus. Many students take the BAT bus, which travels to Bangor, Veazie, Orono and Old Town — UMaine students get free bus passes. Student who purchase cars may also purchase a parking permits for $50 per year.

What is a land-grant/sea-grant university? Land- and sea-grant universities were created by the Morrill Act, signed into law by Abe Lincoln in 1862. It gave land to states to create public universities so “average sons of average citizens” could learn the “agricultural and mechanical arts” and military sciences. UMaine offers all that — and way more — today. Oh, and these days, we call the mechanical arts “engineering.”