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**

* – Applicants for the MS SIE (Project Option) may submit instead the GRE Waiver Request if applicable. Although encouraged, GREs are not required for the all coursework MS Spatial Informatics or Graduate Certificates in GIS, Information Systems, or Computing for Educators.
** – Although encouraged, letters are not required for the MS Spatial Informatics or Graduate Certificates in GIS, Information Systems, or Computing for Educators.

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.

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.

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. 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.

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.