Maine Studies degrees are useful for those who plan to work in Maine, including teachers, social workers, business people, policy makers, and government employees. However, they would also be of interest to anyone fascinated by the places, people and stories of the Pine Tree State.
There are two degree options for students at the undergraduate level: the Minor in Maine Studies and the Maine Studies Track within the Bachelor of University Studies (BUS) degree. Both degrees recognize the value of a multidisciplinary approach to understanding Maine issues, and offer courses from a number of departments including Anthropology, History, English, Art, and others.
The Minor in Maine Studies
Offered through the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS), the Minor in Maine Studies offers students the opportunity to explore Maine’s cultural, historical, and physical landscapes as part of their academic career. Students in BA degrees in CLAS are actually required to have a minor, and this one makes perfect sense for those wishing to learn more about their home state, or where they are living while a student at UMaine.
As an added bonus, students can apply six credits from their minor toward their major, or vice versa. This means, for example, that a History major who has taken two Maine-related courses, like History of Maine and History of the Maine Woods, can also apply these toward the Maine Studies Minor. Other departments with two or more Maine-related courses in their curriculum include ANT, ENG, WGS, FAS and NAS.
In terms of requirements, students in the Maine Studies Minor must take 18 credits in Maine-related courses, including MES 101, Introduction to Maine Studies, and MES 201, The Maine Coast. At least 12 credit hours must be University of Maine courses, with up to six transfer credits allowed. Students may take courses on campus, online, or both. There are also experiential (field) courses available, as well as independent studies courses.
Students interested in the Maine Studies minor can use the Contact Us page for more information. They can also speak with their regular academic advisor, or the advising office within their college. This page from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences has more information about choosing and adding a minor.
To make the process even easier, we have created a Declaration of MES Minor Form that shows you exactly what you need to fill out (the boxes in yellow), and has the “Add Minor” information already completed. You can fill out this form quickly and bring it to your advisor or mail it to Maine Studies, c/o Maine Folklife Center, 5773 South Stevens Hall, for the department’s signature.
The Bachelor of University Studies (BUS)
The Bachelor of University Studies is an interdisciplinary, online degree offered through UMaine’s Division of Lifelong Learning. It is mainly geared toward students who are returning to college and are comfortable with distance learning (although many on-campus courses are available). Here is an overview of the BUS degree on the Division of Lifelong Learning (DLL) website.
The Maine Studies Track within the BUS involves 24 credits of Maine-related courses, including MES 101, MES 201, and HTY 210.* Students are then able to select nine credits of Maine-related electives, which can include additional MES courses as well as courses from a wide range of other departments. Students may also be able to use transfer credits toward this degree.
BUS graduates wishing to move on to a master’s degree can generally apply at least six credits of their Maine Studies courses toward the MAIS degree, Maine Studies Track. More information about that program can be found here. We currently have several students in the MA degree who first completed their BUS degree with the Maine Studies Track. Both the undergraduate and graduate MES tracks can be completed online.
*Note: The BUS curriculum for the Maine Studies Track was modified for 2017-18 and subsequent years. Please be sure to work with your advisor in DLL to make sure that you are following the right curriculum when scheduling your courses each semester.