Admission & Aid

Admissions

Financial Assistance

Admissions

Admissions to the Spatial Computing graduate programs are competitive. In the admission process, the graduate faculty considers the potential of applicants to complete a program successfully and achieve a position of leadership in the private or public sectors. We generally seek an undergraduate grade point average of 3.0 or above. Exceptions are considered on a case-by-case basis. All applications are reviewed holistically – exceptional career or leadership experience may offset weak scores in some applicants. Students applying for the all-coursework graduate programs are NOT required to submit GRE scores. However, applicants pursuing a thesis based Master’s or Phd are typically expected to submit GRE scores.

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. The review committee considers both the curriculum completed and the institution attended in its assessment.

Application Process

All students apply through the Graduate School and the entire application packet including transcripts and essay must be received before a formal acceptance will be considered. Applications processed through the Graduate School are accomplished on a rolling basis and no strict deadlines apply. However, those applying for campus-wide research assistantships or scholarships should complete their application packets by January 1 for September admission. If programs are not full, applications may be accepted right up to the week before classes begin. Among other considerations, reviewers assess the potential of applicants to complete the program successfully. Conditional or provisional admission is available.

To apply, students submit:

  • A completed online application
  • Transcripts of all previous college or university work
  • Your current resume which should include contact information for three references
  • A brief essay
  • Original GRE’s (Graduate Record Exam) for thesis-based MS and PhD programs*
  • $65 application fee

* – Applicants for the MS SIE (Project Option) may submit instead the GRE Waiver Request if applicable.

For detailed application requirements, please read all the comments that immediately follow as well as the Further Admission Information

To apply for any of our Graduate Certificate Programs, students should consult:

International students also submit:

  • TOEFL or IELTS scores (TOEFL minimum of 80 or IELTS 6.5.)
  • Waived for native English speakers and students graduating from an English-speaking or ESL programs.
  • WES or ECE certified transcript translation.
  • Certificate of Finances
  • Copy of passport or visa

International applicants should also review the Office of International Programs page for more information on Visas, financial statements, and other requirements, or to contact an international advisor. All applicants are considered on a case-by-case basis.

Resume: Professional References

In addition to standard resume text that sets forth your academic and work experience to date, please provide three professional and/or academic references. Recommenders listed in your resume should be able to comment on your academic strengths, work ethic, responsibilities, accomplishments, career advancement, managerial experience, or ability to be successful in the degree program. These three references may or may not be contacted depending on circumstances. Please provide mailing address, phone, and email contact information as appropriate. A one page resume is typically sufficient and please provide no more than two pages.

Essay: Application Prompt

Submit an essay describing your motivation for pursuing the degree or certificate for which you are applying. The essay is evaluated not only for content, but also for intrinsic writing quality and strengths. Your essay should be no more than two pages.

Application Fee Waivers

Application fees are waived for:

  • Graduates of University of Maine System Schools
  • Veterans of the US Armed Forces
  • Fulbright Scholars
  • Participants in select programs (eg. IRT/McNair)

Please read as well the Further Admission Information.

Admission Requirements

MS and PhD in Spatial Information Science and Engineering: 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. For applicants pursuing the Project Option, completion of the GRE Waiver Request Application may be appropriate.

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, essay, and letters of recommendation must be received before a formal acceptance will be considered. 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.

MS Spatial Informatics and Graduate Certificate Programs: Admission to these 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. We generally seek an undergraduate grade point average of 3.0 or above. Exceptions are considered on a case-by-case basis. Students applying for these all coursework programs are NOT required to submit GRE scores or letters of recommendation. However, these submissions are still recommended.

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 and essay must be received before a formal acceptance will be considered. Much more weight is given in these applications to your essay (motivations, life experiences, ability to succeed) and transcripts as compared to research focused applicants. Applications processed through the Graduate School are accomplished on a rolling basis and no strict deadlines apply. If programs are not full, applications will be accepted right up to the week before classes begin.

Further Admission Information

Note 1: Transfer CoursesFor any of the master’s degrees, a maximum of six credit hours of graduate coursework taken prior to enrollment in the master’s program, whether at this university or another, may be counted towards the master’s degree. If the course did not count towards a completed undergraduate or graduate degree and if the student’s graduate advisory committee formally approves acceptance of the courses on the student’s Program of Study, then the credit hours may be transferred to apply toward the master’s degree.

Note 2: Residency – In order to meet the University of Maine Graduate School residency requirement, at least 50 percent of the coursework towards the degree must be taken through the University of Maine, whether on-campus or online. Almost all SIE formal courses up to and through the PhD course requirements are available on line as well as on campus. Requirements for on-campus presence for research and project work are at the discretion of the student’s first advisor and advisory committee.

Note 3: TuitionFor more information about tuition and fees please visit the Bursar’s Office webpage. Alternatively, see Tuition andFees at UMaine Online. The low in-state tuition rate remains the same whether taking courses online or on campus. Although the grad courses, programs, and instructors are essentially identical, please note that tuition and fees for out-of-state students are different for online versus on-campus programs.  All non-resident online graduate students from anywhere in the world receive the very favorable E-Tuition Rate. This remains one of the lowest nation-wide and international graduate tuition rates offered by a publicly funded U.S. land-grant, sea-grant  university. On campus students from Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont and Rhode Island qualify for the NEHBE Scholarship rate when the UMaine graduate degree is not offered in those states.

Note 4: STEM Status  International students should note that the MS and PhD SIE programs are certified as STEM programs (see U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Student and Exchange Visitor Program and CIP Code 14.3801) potentially allowing a longer post-graduation training stay in the U.S.

Note 5: Grad Certificates in Addition to an MS Students currently enrolled in a master’s degree program through the Graduate School who wish to pursue an approved graduate certificate program simultaneously in a subarea or specialization (e.g. IS, GIS, Computing for Educators, and Data Science and Engineering Grad Certificates) should apply for admission to the certificate program before one-half of the required master’s credits are completed.

Financial Assistance

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.  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. Consider talking to a Financial Aid Officer. 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.

As an online working student, does your employer support a tuition reimbursement program?
Despite the high percentage of companies offering tuition-assistance programs, average employee participation is still only around 5 percent. Under IRS rules in 2020, up to $5,250 in educational reimbursement may be written off by the company as an employee fringe benefit. Over that amount is reported as employee income and thus the employee must pay taxes on any amount the employer pays over $5,250.

Note: At an in-state graduate tuition rate, Maine employees of participating employers may take almost 12 credits per year (4 courses) online at UMaine with no cost to themselves except potentially for fees if not covered by their employer. At the out-of-state e-rate for tuition, U.S. employees of participating employers in any state may take approximately 9 credits per year online at UMaine with no cost to themselves.