Admission & Aid

Application for Admission

For formal admission to the graduate program, applicants need to supply:

  • Application
  • Application Fee
  • Original Transcripts
  • Original GRE’s (Graduate Record Exam)
  • Original TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language)
  • Three Letters of Recommendation
  • Video (See below)

We highly encourage all applicants to Apply Online on the Graduate School website. Please note that even though you enter details about people supplying reference letters it is up to you to contact those parties. Also note that you can pay the application fee by credit card but that information typically must be conveyed by phone call. For a quick consultation with a faculty member on your application or to receive an initial indication of whether you are likely to be admitted, contact the Graduate Coordinator.

We encourage international applicants to submit, in addition to the complete application package, a video of approximately 8 to 10 minutes, in which they describe their research interests, their background and experience in doing independent research, and their future goals. (See details below under Graduate Assistantship Opportunities).

Admission Requirements

Admission to the University of Maine Spatial Information Science and Engineering graduate programs is competitive. In its admission process, the graduate faculty considers the potential of applicants to complete the program successfully and achieve positions of leadership in the private or public sectors. For all of our graduate programs we are generally seeking students that score at the mean or above on the verbal, quantitative and analytical segments of the GRE exam and in the 50th percentile or above on the exam overall. We generally seek an undergraduate grade point average of 3.0 or above. Exceptions are considered on a case-by-case basis.

At a minimum an applicant must have a four-year U.S. bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university, or a four-year international equivalent. Within their curriculum, all applicants should have completed a university course in Algebra as a minimum math prerequisite for admission. Previous programming courses or experience are recommended but not required. The review committee considers both the curriculum completed and the institution attended in its assessment.

All students apply through the Graduate School and the entire application packet including transcripts, test scores and letters of recommendation must be received before a formal acceptance will be issued typically. Applications processed through the Graduate School are accomplished on a rolling basis and no strict deadlines apply. However, to be considered for on-campus Fall admission, completed applications should be received typically 8 weeks prior to the beginning of the term. Those applying for campus-wide research assistantships or scholarships should complete their application packets by January 1 for September admission.

For further admission requirements consult the Graduate Catalog > Admission.

Note 1: Students applying for Graduate Certificate programs are NOT required to submit GRE scores. Students that successfully complete a graduate certificate program in Information Systems or Geographic Information Systems (both offered on-campus and by distance) that includes the foundation courses of SIE 505, 507, 515, 525 and 550 in their certificate programs and receive a B or better in all of these courses are not required to submit a GRE score for admission to the full non-thesis MS programs in Information Systems (offered on-campus and by distance), Spatial Informatics (offered by distance only) and Spatial Information Science and Engineering – Project Option (offered on campus only). The 5 foundation courses automatically count towards the 10 courses required for the full MS degree. Graduate Certificate students are typically ineligible for financial aid through the financial aid office and ineligible for teaching and research assistantship positions.

Note 2: Students pursuing a non-thesis graduate degree may request a GRE Waiver Request and, if they qualify in the opinion of the graduate coordinator, may be granted a waiver. This request must be submitted directly to the program address as indicated on the form and NOT to the graduate school.

Graduate Assistantship Opportunities

Incoming accepted graduate students are automatically included in the pool of applicants considered by faculty members for teaching and research assistantships in the School. Assistantships automatically pay tuition costs and some health costs in addition to a monthly stipend. Such funding opportunities may arise at any time before or during an academic year as new funds are confirmed by funding agencies or the university.

Funding is available for graduate research assistants on a wide variety of research projects. Such funding is generated by individual faculty members as well as by groups of faculty. You may want to contact individual faculty regarding their current and imminent projects. We encourage all applicants who seek funding through graduate research assistantships to submit, in addition to the complete application package, a video of approximately 8 to 10 minutes, in which they describe their research interests, their background and experience in doing independent research, and their future goals. This movie may be uploaded to a video hosting site such as YouTube.com or SciVee.tv with the url link forwarded to us or may be burned to a CD and mailed in (please provide in QuickTime format if mailed on CD) as part of your graduate application. (Note: Do NOT attempt to e-mail the large movie file). Alternatively, a simple video cassette tape will be accepted. Submission of a video is particularly important for prospective graduate students whose first language is other than English. Alternatively, professors with research funding may request a Zoom interview with you that may also be recorded for viewing by other potentially interested professors.

Additional Financial Support Options

Graduate tuition and fees are posted by the UMaine Bursars Office.  Self-funded on-campus students from most New England States and all of Canada pay the NEBHE graduate tuition rate which is about half the rate of out-of-state tuition. Distance students from anywhere in the world pay a highly reduced graduate tuition e-rate which is one of the lowest offered by any public land grant university in the U.S.

For general information on the range of grants, loans and scholarships available from Federal and other sources for graduate students, contact the Office of Student Financial Aid. Note: Those seeking a Graduate Certificate rather than a full graduate degree are ineligible for most grants, loans, assistantships, and scholarships.

University-wide assistantships and scholarships are often available for SCIS students but only those students who have their complete graduate applications submitted by  January 15 are typically placed by the School into the pool of those considered. All full-time students are eligible to apply.

Many students are supported through jobs on campus in various technical and administrative support roles. Openings are regularly posted at student employment.