Frequently Asked Questions


What are some good reasons to study Physics, Engineering Physics, or Astronomy at the University of Maine?

  • We have the only ABET accredited engineering physics program in New England.
  • We offer B.A. and B.S. degrees in physics, and flexible programs to match individual interests and goals.
  • Over twenty undergraduates held physics or engineering related summer research jobs on campus last summer.
  • An undergraduate degree in physics or engineering physics from the University of Maine provides strong preparation for a variety of careers. Some examples are:
    • Lori Cole ’97 became an audio engineer at Walt Disney World;
    • Scott Zoldi ’94 earned a Ph.D. in Physics at Duke University;
    • Scott Burgess ’86 is the physics teacher at John Bapst Memorial High School, Bangor, Maine;
    • Duncan Moore ’69 became the Associate Director for Technology in the Office of Science and Technology Policy, Executive Office of the President;
    • Colby Chandler ’50 became the CEO of Eastman Kodak.
  • We offer placement in industrial or government co-op positions and opportunities for student exchange/study abroad.
  • We offer over twenty undergraduate courses in physics and astronomy each semester. Electives in many areas are offered regularly, including physics of materials, biophysics, optics, and astrophysics.
  • We have a year-long senior project course that provides an opportunity to do research with faculty.
  • We have the only Ph.D. program in physics in Maine, and some undergraduates take advantage of graduate course and seminar offerings.
  • We have an active Society of Physics Students, which offers help sessions for first-year students, and a chapter of Sigma Pi Sigma, the national honor society for physics.

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I’m in high school and interested in attending the University of Maine. How do I begin?

Submit the following required documentation to the Admissions Office:

  • A completed application for undergraduate admission with appropriate application fee;
  • An official high school transcript (sent by the high school at your request);
  • Official SAT or ACT scores (sent by the testing agency) — first year students only; and
  • A recommendation from your guidance counselor — students currently in high school only.

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Is there a special process if I’ve had some college classes?

Submit these documents to the Admissions Office:

  • A completed application for undergraduate admission with appropriate application fee;
  • An official high school transcript (sent by the high school at your request);
  • An official college transcript (sent by the institution at your request); and
  • A recommendation from academic advisor or an instructor (encouraged, but optional).

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What opportunities are available to me in the Department of Physics and Astronomy?

Look at our Student Opportunities section. You will find much information about professional organizations, research opportunities, internships, studying abroad, and potential careers!

Online Undergraduate Application

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Are there other resources available to me?

  • Personal interviews are encouraged, but not required. Interviews last about one half hour, and can be scheduled through the Admissions Office.
  • Student-guided tours can be arranged through the Visitor’s Center in Chadbourne Hall. This is a good way to see the University and ask specific questions. To schedule a tour, call the Center at 207-581-3740 or the Admissions Office at 1-877-486-2364 (which is toll-free) or (207) 581-1561. When leaving a message, please give your name, address, telephone number, number of people in your party, and the date and time you would like to visit us.
  • Open House programs are offered each semester, sometimes on multiple dates. The programs offer the chance to listen to university faculty and administrators, as well as preview many student organizations.

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What should I choose to be my major?

Take the time to explore what interests you, and what you have an aptitude for. If you find something fun, you are much more likely to excel in this area.

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What type of degree should I work towards?

Once you’ve decided on a major, look at the different degree programs offered by that department. For instance, The Department of Physics and Astronomy offers 3 undergraduate majors (B.A. in Physics, B.S. in Physics, B.S. in Engineering Physics), as well as 2 minors (Physics and Astronomy) which can be individually concentrated in one of several areas of basic or applied science.

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How can I pay for my schooling?

The University of Maine is committed to providing financial assistance to qualified applicants on the basis of need, academic excellence and special talent. Scholarships, grants, loans and work programs are available to eligible students.

  • Students interested in student loans should submit a FAFSA by February 15th to ensure on-time receipt. The FAFSA code is 002053. This form is required for all federally subsidized loans.
  • Contact the Office of Student Financial Aid for more detailed information.
  • Contact the Department of Physics and Astronomy for scholarship information. Each semester the department awards its own scholarships.

The average cost of attendance for Undergraduate Students at the University of Maine (academic year 2012-2013).

Expense In-State Out-of-State NEBHE
Tuition & Misc. Fees $10,594 $27,454 $14,794
Books $1,000 $1,000 $1,000
Room & Board $9148 $9148 $9148
Travel & Misc. $2,200 $2,200 $2,200
  $22,942 $39,802 $27,142
*based on 15 credit hours per semester

Tuition and Fees: Budget amounts are based on 30 credit hours for undergraduates ($279/credit hour for Maine residents, $419 for New England Regional (NEHBE) and Canadian students, and $841 for non-Maine residents). Tuition charges billed to the student will be based on actual enrollment.

Room & Board: Amounts listed here are representative of the cost of a double room on campus in a dorm which is open during breaks, and a meal plan; actual charges will be based on the student’s room selection. Students living in a campus residence hall are billed on a semester basis by the university for their room and meal plan. The same figure is used for students living off-campus (but not with parents), and they should include their room and board expenses in their year’s estimate of expenses.

Books & Supplies: Textbooks, notebooks, pens and other miscellaneous school supplies are included in this category. Actual costs will vary based on the number and type of courses.

Travel & Miscellaneous: This category includes average expenses for necessary trips home when school is not in session, as well as laundry, clothes, medical and other personal expenses. Actual costs vary depending on each student’s needs and lifestyle.

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The Clery Act

Please take note: A recent change in a federal law, The Clery Act, requires universities to disclose to prospective students our three-year statistics regarding campus crime, including public property within, or immediately adjacent to and accessible from the campus. This report includes our policies for campus security, such as those concerning alcohol and drug use, crime prevention, the reporting of crimes, sexual assault, and other matters. You can obtain a copy of this report by accessing the following website, http://www.umaine.edu/security, or by contacting the Director of Public Safety, University of Maine, 375 College Ave., Orono, ME 04473, (207)581-4053.