Graduate Program

Our program offers a Maine Studies track within the Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies (MAIS), a degree offered by the University of Maine Graduate School through the Division of Lifelong Learning (DLL). This degree allows students, many of whom take their classes online, the opportunity to design an individualized program with classes drawn from MES as well as other departments and programs, including English, Anthropology, History, Education, and others. This interdisciplinary program will sharpen students’ research and critical thinking skills while deepening their understanding of Maine. The degree can also enhance students’ careers in areas such as teaching, libraries, government, business, historic preservation, tourism, and social services.

Students in the program can explore a variety of Maine-related topics, including local and regional history, environments and resources, politics and public policy, education, immigrant history and culture, Wabanaki culture, women’s lives and experiences, folk art, folklore, and oral history, to name just a few. With the support of an advisor and their academic committee, students design an individual Program of Study, which includes a Master Project that ties together their interests with independent research and the production of a written document, media production, or other project. To see a list of recent graduates with their Master Project topics, click here.

photo of Tasha Raymond
MAIS graduate Tasha Raymond completed a master’s project based on her experiences as a modern Maine homesteader.

For more information on the MAIS degree and the Maine Studies track, see below or check out the program description on the UMaineOnline website. For those thinking of applying, here is more information about that process from the UMaine Graduate School. We also highly recommend contacting the DLL Advising Center, who can answer many questions of a general nature and help you with the application process. If those are too many options, just CONTACT US to get started!

Degree Requirements

With the guidance of an academic advisor, students complete 30 graduate credit hours, including:

• Two required interdisciplinary seminars (6 credits total):
– IDS 500 – Exploring Interdisciplinary
– IDS 500 – A Sense of Place: Maine and Regional Identity

• 15-21 hours of graduate-level electives including MES courses or classes from other programs. At least 15 credit hours must be Maine-related courses as identified by the Maine Studies Program Coordinator. Up to two classes may be at the 400 level, and up to three classes may be taken in a single discipline. A sample list of MES graduate courses and courses from other departments that may be used can be found HERE.

• 3-6 hours of IDS 699, Master Project in Liberal Studies, near the end of the academic program. Master Projects can involve a written thesis or other type of project, as approved by the student’s advisory committee. Recent examples include: a Maine literature course for high school students; a map about the Franco-American history of the Lewiston-Auburn area; a video documenting a service learning project by an alternative high school class in Bangor; and a description of life as a modern Maine homesteader, which will be published by the Maine Folklife Center.