About the Program

The Bachelor of University Studies (B.U.S.) is UMaine’s degree completion program for busy adults. Many adults who have some higher-education experience but haven’t completed their bachelor’s degree find that life circumstances or interests make traditional, full-time study difficult. This program is available part-time and on-campus and online to accommodate the needs of working adults.


The B.U.S. program allows students to develop a program of study that encompasses their interests and makes maximum use of their existing transfer credits. The program is available both on-campus and 100% online.

  • Students must complete a minimum of 120 credits.
  • Students must earn a minimum of 30 credits originating from the University of Maine with at least 15 of those credits at the 300 level or higher.
  • A UMaine cumulative GPA of a “C” (2.0) or better is required for graduation.

Core Courses

In addition to the general education requirements, the following courses are required (7 credits):

  • UST 100: Introduction to the Bachelor of University Studies (1 credit)
    Offered in an online format in six-week sequences
  • UST 300: Core Course in University Studies (3 credits)
    Meets upper level Writing Intensive requirement in the major
  • UST 499: Senior Capstone (3 credits)
    Meets General Education Capstone requirement

Program Tracks

Select one of four existing tracks (24 credit hours):

  • Self-Designed Track
  • Labor Studies Track
  • Leadership Studies Track
  • Maine Studies Track

Program Tracks

With its multiple track options, the B.U.S. program provides an opportunity both for students who would benefit from an individually-designed interdisciplinary program of study, as well as for students who would prefer a more prescribed curriculum.

Graduate Studies Pathways

Complete your undergraduate degree while preparing for a master’s degree.



  • High School diploma or equivalent (e.g., GED)
  • 18 credits of college-level courses from an accredited college or university*
  • An undergraduate grade point average (GPA) of “C” (2.0) or higher

Admissions Materials

  • Completed application
  • Official academic transcripts from all institutions attended
  • An interview with a B.U.S. adviser to discuss your goals and objectives

Fresh Start Policy

Students requesting readmission after an absence of five or more years may be treated as external transfers in the determination of credits and grade point average. Credit is allowed for all University of Maine courses passed at the level of C- or higher. All grades remain on the academic transcript but are removed from the calculation of the accumulative grade point average. To be eligible for fresh start, students must have a minimum of 30 credits remaining toward degree completion and must complete those 30 credits in residence at the University of Maine. Students receiving a fresh start are ineligible for Valedictorian or Salutatorian awards.  For more information, contact the Associate Dean or Director of the School or College you are readmitting into. Fresh Start may impact a student’s eligibility for financial aid due to the Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy. Information is available at http://umaine.edu/stuaid/policies/sap/.

*Please contact a B.U.S. advisor to discuss the transferability of credits not earned at the University of Maine.

WABI features EMCC, UMaine partnership to bring transfer opportunity to EMS students

Blue bear paw with Apply Now

Learning Outcomes

  1. Written Communication:  Students will demonstrate effective writing skills across different audiences.
    • Uses relevant content to demonstrate expertise in the subject matter.
Explores ideas within the content which expands the framework.
Effectively communicates the thesis complexities by using research findings.
  2. Critical thinking: Students will demonstrate critical thinking skills by addressing a variety of issues.
    • Uses credible sources to convey subject insights.
    • Analyzes and evaluates the existing sources to support relevant points as a whole.
    • Explains the importance of the concept relationships and how they support real-world outcomes.
  3. Lifelong Learning: Students will build on their prior knowledge and thereby create further educational directions.
Uses prior experience as a foundation to understand core beliefs and explore educational direction.
    • Uses self-reflection to ascertain important points germane to developing a professional direction.
    • Defends a claim/ belief that is not previously part of the learning process and develops them to create an expanded understanding.


Who is this program for?

The program is designed for individuals who have discontinued college or university programs and now wish to finish their degree. The B.U.S. is also for those who do not desire to commit to a single academic area in order to declare a major. With a carefully designed study plan, a student may use the B.U.S. to pursue a number of academic interests in relative depth and to gain some exposure to other areas.

What makes this program different from traditional B.A. and B.S. programs?

The Bachelor of University Studies degree differs in two major respects from traditional B.A. and B.S. degrees. Each student in consultation with a B.U.S. advisor will design a program leading to their specific educational goals, This degree is designed to be flexible and adaptable to the needs of the individual student.

What can I do with a B.U.S. degree?

Our graduates are prepared for a number of paths, including pursuing new career opportunities and graduate school. The purpose of the degree is to complement the student’s interests and career goals, including pursuing a graduate degree.

Do prior credits transfer?

Credits from other institutions may be transferred if they were earned at a regionally accredited institution or from educational programs recognized by the University of Maine System. A B.U.S. advisor can provide further details about transferability.

What is the Prior Learning Assessment (PLA)?

Often, adults enter or re-enter UMaine after years in the workforce, the military, and a wealth of other life experiences. In recognition of the skills and learning obtained in these areas, UMaine offers a variety of PLA options including a portfolio review, CLEP and DANTES exams, and military credits. To learn more, visit the DLL Advising Center website.