University of Maine Top Questions

What are the academics like at your school?

Emma

Overall, I've found that the academics at UMaine are great; although, the level of superiority does vary from department to department with engineering probably being the best. Like most schools, the general education classes will have a few hundred students, but even as a freshmen, the classes for my major only had at most 70 students. I can't vouch for the rest of the departments, but I've always found that my professors in the business school actually care about getting to know their students and help in any way they can. For example, many of my professors require us to use name cards in class so they can get to know our names. Also, a lot my professors have had weekly study sessions outside of class and office hours if we have any questions or don't understand the material. I've found that being in the Honors program has significantly helped my education, as well. The classes only have up to 15 students, so we receive a lot of individual attention. The classes are also discussion based, and the texts are significantly different than any I would have read otherwise.

Justice

So far at my school I've tried to branch out as much as possible concerning academics. As a Psychology major, I have a lot of room for electives and a great deal of required courses to take, which gives me a good opportunity the sample what exactly is here. When I'm really committed to a course, it shows in my work, and my Professors always seem to take notice. Its manifests itself in the form of a quick comment as I pass in a paper or exam, or when they pass back a graded paper. I keep quiet mostly in classes, but I prefer to be unpredictable, just to see their reactions when they realize I'm not the slacker they might think I am. As competitive as some schools can be academically, I find very little competition among my peers. I instead feel a sense of camaraderie, like I could easily start an in-depth conversation without having initially known them at all. Then again, may it's just Psychology. Psychology might be the best program on campus, aside from engineering, and it shines through with a great deal of learned professors eager to impart knowledge. It makes a great difference when the interest is mutual, of course.

Maya

Being in the Business dept. I feel that classes are a pretty good size. As you focus your classes more on your desired major the class size tends to get smaller and smaller. I don't mind the big lecture halls all that much, the biggest thing to keep in mind in those classes is to put the effort into going and seeing your professor. If you don't go and see the professors in those bigger classes they'll have no idea who you are. It's better to have them know who you are, and honestly it makes the class more purposeful, because you feel more inclined to preform better knowing that they know who you are. I definitely feel that the way the professors structure their classes, their intention is to fully prepare us for the outside world as best as they can. One of the classes that impacted me the most was Business Law. I though that the professors involvement of her students throughout lecture and the way she put people on the spot had a very big impact on my success in the course. It always kept me on my toes and so I'd always be overly prepared, so that I could answer her questions accurately and not look foolish. In the long run it really helped me out!

Maya

Being in the Business dept. I feel that classes are a pretty good size. As you focus your classes more on your desired major the class size tends to get smaller and smaller. I don't mind the big lecture halls all that much, the biggest thing to keep in mind in those classes is to put the effort into going and seeing your professor. If you don't go and see the professors in those bigger classes they'll have no idea who you are. It's better to have them know who you are, and honestly it makes the class more purposeful, because you feel more inclined to preform better knowing that they know who you are. I definitely feel that the way the professors structure their classes, they're intention is to fully prepare us for the outside world as best as they can. One of the classes that impacted me the most was Business Law. I though that the professors involvement of her students throughout lecture and the way she put people on the spot had a very big impact on my success in the course. It always kept me on my toes and so I'd always be overly prepared, so that I could answer her questions accurately and not look foolish. In the long run it really helped me out!

Maya

Being in the Business dept. I feel that classes are a pretty good size. As you focus your classes more on your desired major the class size tends to get smaller and smaller. I don't mind the big lecture halls all that much, the biggest thing to keep in mind in those classes is to put the effort into going and seeing your professor. If you don't go and see the professors in those bigger classes they'll have no idea who you are. It's better to have them know who you are, and honestly it makes the class more purposeful, because you feel more inclined to preform better knowing that they know who you are. I definitively feel that the way the professors structure their classes, they're intention is to fully prepare us for the outside world as best as they can. One of the classes that impacted me the most was Business Law. I though that the professors involvement of her students throughout lecture and the way she put people on the spot had a very big impact on my success in the course. It always kept me on my toes and so I'd always be overly prepared, so that I could answer her questions accurately and not look foolish. In the long run it really helped me out!

Nataliya

In my mind, the academics are the most important part of the college. The good quality of education at UMaine is aimed to educate the students as well as maintain a good name the school. All the professors that I took classes with are always eager to help acquiring knowledge in the particular discipline. The professors have pictures of the students to learn the students’ names faster and encourage participation. Also the professors place an emphasis on teambuilding and teamwork. Furthermore, as long as the students express desire to learn, the professors are open to scheduling outside class meetings and appointments. The students are motivated and excited about the academics. You can find people getting together outside of class to work on projects and assignments. Moreover, you can encounter intellectual conversations in the dining halls concerning classes or other “hot topics” related to the academics. My major is business, but I have also taken a couple of classes at the computer science department. The most unique class, I have taken was an on-line class. I had never taken on-line classes before, so at first I felt uncertain about how to handle the class and whether my approach was correct. The professor made the class a piece of cake. She announced her office hours for students to come in and ask questions; moreover, she always timely replied to the students emails answering every question in detail. The Business School has a special place in my heart. I enjoy the classes and support the activities that are organized by the school. Homecomings, job fairs, and volunteering projects link the school with the community. Besides, the Marketing Association and Spiffy (the Finance Association) gather the students with similar interests and prepare them for the future career challenges. The academic requirements are fair enough to not make classes too easy, but at the same time avoid overchallenging average-performing students.The Business School gives the students an opportunity not only to study the theory, but also stimulates the students to apply their knowledge in practice. As a result, most projects and assignments are designed to reflect real-life situations. Some of the tasks to be accomplished during the course could be called “mini-internships”. For instance, in Marketing Research class, we did a project that called for working with the real company. At the end of the semester, the class presented the findings to the client. Working for the actual company was an exclusive and rewarding opportunity.

Caleb

Academics at UMaine are very respectable. All of my teachers know me by name and are very helpful when I am in a bind or just need to chat. I am a Political Science major and I always smile when I see my adviser being quoted on NPR or by the AP. Classes are usually either a lecture hall format (usually for intro courses) or classroom oriented. Class room sizes are usually 25-40 students per. In my experience, class discussion is encouraged, and can sometimes be so lively that it carries on into the hallway after class. Also, if you can handle waking up, or like to learn from the comfort of your dorm, UMaine offers a large variety of online courses.

Ashlee

Most of my professors actually do know my name. Mostly because I'm done with the huge 100-level classes, or I took CLEP tests to skip them anyway. I was also in the Honors College my first two years and that created wonderful opportunities to get close to professors and other classmates. Academics aren't cut throat at all, but many students do strive to have perfect or near perfect GPA, but also many students never pick up a book, so you will see both sides of the coin here. It is not uncommon to see a student talking to a professor in the Union or coffee shops, however these are usually the professors of upper level or Honors classes. I am a Psychology major and I have to say, when I first started here we had a great program with great professors and research. But it has definitely gone down hill with many of our best professors leaving to work at other schools, and we've yet to replace many of them. Education requirements here are not unreasonable, but they also aren't the best either. No school has perfect requirements though, Gen Eds are always a pain. And if you take the first 4 classes of the Honors curriculum you will be excused from most Gen Eds. Our professors definitely stress getting a job for the most part, but it does depend on your program. For example if you're an Engineering major you will be working towards a job from day 1. If you're more of a liberal arts major you will get to detail your studies how you'd like and learn for the sake of learning if that's what you want.

Ronnie

The class sizes are great. Since I've started taking classes within my major, my class size have decreased dramatically. My professors know my name and when I see them outside of class, they even greet me! My favorite class by far was Women's Studies. It was a closely knit group that after the first couple of weeks, students and the professor were able to speak freely about their opinions without judgment. My least favorite class however was Biology 100. I'm not much of a science person but I utilized my free tutoring and the free drop in study sessions and was able to pass the class. Typically, students study quite frequently. Fogler, the library is constantly busy and full of knowledge-seeking students. The school's academic requirements really make you strive to have a well rounded education. Ive taken countless classes outside of my major and have loved learning new things that I otherwise wouldnt have taken. UMaine really wants you to be successful which is why they're constantly have job fairs aimed at graduating students that way they can put their major to work and will be happy with their outcome.

Nicole

Since the University of Maine is a big university, introductory level classes are rather large and they generally feature four multiple choice tests that are 50-80 questions that are graded by machines on bubble sheets. These classes can really test your will power because attendance is rarely taken, participation is hard to monitor and there are few assignments. However, as you progress into upper level courses your classes get smaller, your professor know you well by name (especially within your department) and you earn well-deserved credit for your academics. Professors are good about offering extra credit, study sessions before exams and if your course is big and demanding often times there will be a Teacher's Assistant (TA) to offer even more availability than your teacher could provide. The University of Maine offers a nice big variety of courses and majors and by your senior year you will have the opportunity to take courses that you want to take, not fulfilling any general education requirements. The faculty at UMO is highly esteemed and compassionate towards helping you succeed.

Kara-Beth

I feel that we have a great academic program. Everyone participates in classroom discussions and everyone is passionate about school. The teachers are more than willing to help and I've found that also true with other faculty members like the receptionists in the dean's or program offices to the burser's office.

Jordan

As far as academics go, I like the way UMaine provides for us students. Almost all professors learn your names in class since there are not TOO many huge lecture halls. It is often a good student-teacher ratio. Class participation is often necessary in many classes as discussion is often important. Even when going out for dinner or lunch, you hear many intellectual conversations about classes or competitive arguments. The most unique class I have ever taken is also my most disliked class. I took Intro to Astronomy and it just was not my thing. However, it was very interesting and there were many resources that could have been used (that I didn't use) to make it an awesome class). I think overall, the school is geared toward getting you a job post college over anything else. Most majors are forced to take classes that set students up for the "real world." As a whole, I find that the academics are quite strong at UMaine.

John

Professors tend to take a interest in every students progress here at the University of Maine! However many find it hard to learn every students name because they see so many students throughout a day. I feel that the more effort you put in to making sure the professor notices you, the more they will remember your name. The students at this university are friendly but very competitive in the classrooms considering that every person in your major could be fighting for the same job. This creates a very competitive atmosphere but also allows many to see how it will be later on in the real world!

Sydney

Almost all of my professors have gotten to know me by name. I love establishing relationships with them because it enhances my learning, they all hold office hours and are fairly easy to get ahold of. Class participation may be more common in some classes versus others, but either way there is always participation. I really love my major, mainly because of the people that are in it. The Director of the department knows me really well and helps guide me. I have a lot of good friends within my major, and I really like the professors. I wouldn't want to go anywhere else, because I feel so taken care of by my department, I feel another school may not be able to offer as much one-on one advice and oppourtunities.

Christine

Coming from the Honors College, I know a lot of students that are highly motivated, pre-med, pre-vet, or planning on attending grad school immediately after college. That being said, most of my friends are NOT members of the Honors College and range in academic ability from 2.5 all the way up to 4.0. Academics is very much a personal choice at UMaine. Being the state school, a lot of people expect to coast, and a lot do and still graduate. But visit the library during finals week and don't expect to find a single open seat. When the grades really matter, it is not unusual to overhear someone talking about their all-nighter and how it isn't their first time. UMaine I think is really special in regards to class sizes as well. Freshman year I had a lot of big lecture classes, which is expected, but I never figured that my German class would only have 15 students and that I would get to know my teacher so well. And now in my sophomore year, my biggest class size is 50 students; and I personally know 3 out of my 5 teachers. Just wait, soon you will be invited over your teachers house for a HOME-COOKED MEAL (big deal).

Hillary

I feel like the academics here are beneficial and give a lot of opportunities to students to do research and get involved in their fields, without being to overbearing. At first your classes are large but as you get more involved in your major the class size gets smaller and smaller and you are able to build closer relationships with your professors. Also, all professors are required to have office hours where they are able to be accessible to their students or you can make a separate appointment with them if you are struggling.

Carl

All of the administration in my college. which is engineering, I have found to be very approachable and helpful. From professors to advisors to TA's, they have all contributed in some way to my two years of academic success so far at UMaine. From the perspective of other colleges, based on what I hear from a lot of friends, they feel the same way. Job fairs are happening on campus every year and they attract a lot of student's attention. SO, it is not only just a typical College with athletics and academics to get a degree, there are also opportunities on campus and in local areas to also begin a working career or establish a path to one.

Kimberly

My freshmen and sophomore years I felt like a lost student--just following the schedule of my classes and working a LOT. Professors at that point in the game don't take the time to remember your name unless you visit in their office a lot. Classes like biology, A+P, chemistry, etc tend to be about 300 students and fill up fast! As a nursing student, my classes began to shrink, and at this point all of my classes are with the same group of 24 students. My favorite class was taken with my fiance, Beginner modern dance 1 and 2. The nursing major at UMaine is hard. As if there isn't enough real work to be done, you will also then get nailed with unusual amounts of busy work. My non-nursing friends would tend to be frustrated with me because I never had time to just hang out. You need to maintain at LEAST a 3.0, which may have changed to 3.2 GPA for nursing students, and you cannot get below a 75 average on any nursing exams in order to pass a course. I warn you, be prepared to lose almost ANY spare time if you plan on graduating in 4 years with a nursing degree. I'd say they do try to prepare you to pass the NCLEX exam after graduating, but you may sometimes feel as though the professors don't care about you, but about the NCLEX pass rate percentage of the previous semester's students.

Jesse

Most of my professors at the University of Maine treated me like a high schooler who needed to be kept in line. 1.) My grades were based more on showing up and producing work 2.) Professors acted unprofessionally towards me and were unjustifiably pompous 3.) I learned very little real knowledge. It was too antiquated and subjective for my taste. On the flip side, there are some genuinely talented teacher at the University, too. They're just hard to find.

Lauren

Most professor's are really easy to get in touch with. The professor's who are on "the 10 year plan" and who can't be fired are TERRIBLE. Most advisors and professor's are really personable, not so much in the science department as the liberal arts.

Cassie

I am a music major, which inherently does not include very much "studying" in the traditional sense. Most of the students in my department spend our "study" time in practice rooms becoming proficient on our instruments, observing area classrooms to gain educational perspectives, or sitting in, and even directing, choral or band rehearsals. Each department has a different kind of academic environment, and UMaine has a lot of different departments and areas of study, so our academic life is very diverse.

Cassandra

The big controversy going on around campus is the proposed budget cuts, which would potentially cut some academic programs. UMaine is a great place because it offers such a variety of majors and minors. UM specializes in Engineering and Nursing, but every college within the University is good!

Brent

Being a biology major, I was given the opportunity to attend "The Schoodic Experience" a few days prior to the beginning of my first semester. This was completely worth my time as I met a few professors I currently have on a personal basis before even being exposed and perhaps intimidated in an academic setting along with hundreds of other students. One of the biggest reasons why I chose to attend UMaine was because of their affiliation with the New England College of Optometry in Boston. They have a 3+4 (year) deal with this college which allows you to finish school an entire year early, saving you time and money.

Heather

The class sizes here at UMaine are typically large in your first year because you are fufilling a lot of your general education requirements. However, the further you get into your major, the smaller your class sizes get and the closer you will get to your professors. I have found that the professors are extremely willing to work with you if you have the initiative to contact them first. I am in the Biology department as well as the Social Work Department. Although they are polar opposite majors, the advisors are willing to still make it feasible to graduate in four years. The professors are very engaging in conversation and genuinely passionate about their research and their students.

Jonathan

Academic life at UMaine, like any college campus, is completely what you make of it. If you want to get lost in the crowd of an introductory class, its possible. But that's not how it has to be, or even how it ought to be. Some of my first year professors still waive to me in the hall, and others still know my name, two years later. Classes tend to be larger in your first year, capping out around 350 people. But its hard to stay anonymous as the years go on, as classes get much smaller. This semester I have a class of 3 students, a class of 8, a class of 12, and a lab of 12. College is also about learning outside the classroom, and I've really enjoyed the opportunity to work in a lab doing independent research since my first semester here. And hey, education is about moving to the next step. UMaine has long traditions with lots of graduate schools and medical schools. They helped me to get into Tufts University School of Medicine a year early, so I have no complaints.

Emma

Most professors I've had are really friendly and try really hard to get to know their students and learn a majority of the classes names! My favorite class is my Equine classes I get hands on experience with the horses at the whiter farm! my least favorite was statistics cause I am horrible with numbers! the professor was really wonderful though doing his best to help me! In most of my classes people participate in class a lot! There are always students studying in the library so there is a lot of good studying going on! I love my major the professors are amazing the classes are wonderful and the students really participate in class a lot! I have chatted with my professors outside of class a few times in passing.

Erika

There is a variation in class sizes at UMaine (and that's good!). You can be in a lecture class of 300 students, but that is mostly for introductory level classes. The class sizes get smaller as you take harder classes. Professors will know your name if you take the initiative to go up to them after class or go to their office hours. Students at UMaine are constantly in the library. Studying is up to the student, and students here are definitely studious! You can often find students discussing classes, homework, and the quality of professors everywhere you go.

Abigail

I know all my professors. The first year I didn't really know one of my professors, but that was because is was a 100 level class, which a lot of first years take. After that, though, I have many smaller classes where we have a lot of discussions. I'm also in honors where gives me more opportunities to talk to the professors. My major allows me to really pick and choose the classes I want to take, which I like.

Derek

I feel very tied in with my classmates and able to communicate one on one with my professors if need be. I in fact have built friendships with professors within my major and minor programs. My favorite class I have ever taken is a class called Characterization for Actors. It is a class that actors and non-actors take and gives a student the opportunity to be more in touch with sense memory. This has a diverse range of applications and works very well for anyone going into any sort of authoritative or administration-type career. It helps you to separate your feelings from your role as well as connect with emotions you might normally be closed off to.

Charity

There are a wide variety of class sizes at Umaine. Some are larger, and some are smaller. In all of my classes this semester I have a personal/friendly relation with the professor. My printmaking professor individually works with students, to help us push our work more. My capstone adviser teaches his class as a discussion based class, and individually meets with students to discuss our term topics. I have never had trouble getting extra help from professors either, even in big classes. There are also teaching assistants, who can help if you need more.

Alex

The professors at the university of Maine are among the best in the nation. Not only are they superior in the since of their own academic knowledge, but they also strive to build connections with their students. I play basketball with a few of my old professors and keep in touch with many of them on a consistant basis.

Mary

I'm on a first name basis with all of my professors. In my department they really go above and beyond to put you into hands on situations.

Katie

Most of my professors know my name and all recognize me outside of class. You can participate in class or just listen and still get so much out of lectures and labs. I find there is a great combination of study and play. After my classes I know my friends and I can get into great debates and discussions about the meat of a topic or issue. Students are willing to help others and do better because of it. Professors are great about meeting with you outside of class and helping you with material. If you don't meet all the requirements for your first choice major, there is the Foundations program with the best advisers on campus and you can still graduate in four years because you've have that extra support and preparation. I'm in the Maine Business school and it is rated among the top 1000 in the world for quality and faculty. There is so much opportunity to get experience and even study abroad all over the globe. You learn and you prepare for the world. You are ready to get out there when it's time to graduate.

Alex

As a journalism major, I had the chance to write for the newspaper, work with the television channel and do a little radio. I felt that academically I could really excel because I was allowed to try a little of everything.

Kristen

The academics at UMaine are as rigorous as you want them to be. The Honors College provides a similar experience to a small, liberal-arts college with the benefits of being on a university campus. Undergraduate research is a huge focus, and students work closely with professors — not just grad students like at many large campuses.

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