Insider’s Guide

Insider’s Guide

Welcome to graduate school at the University of Maine!

Right now you may feel overwhelmed by your new surroundings and the new routine you need to learn. This insider’s guide is designed to help you learn the lay of the land and take those first few steps on the road to a happy and productive graduate career. Why is there a need for this guide? We have found that even the most comprehensive orientations offered by academic departments tend to leave out lots of essential information on how to live, work, and perhaps even play in the greater Orono region. We hope that this guide will fill in the gaps by providing pieces of information, helpful hints, and sage advice from your fellow graduate students. It should serve as an excellent reference document for beginning your career at UMaine.

Other Sources of Information

No concise guide can cover everything you need to know about graduate school. It helps to know where to turn when you have more questions. Your advisor and fellow students are excellent resources for hints on what courses to take and how to follow departmental procedures. Your department should also have a Graduate Coordinator who can answer your questions. And remember that no one knows more about how to get things done than your departmental administrative assistant. For concerns outside your department, turn to the knowledgeable Graduate School staff. From the processing of your application to the printing of your diploma, the Graduate School oversees all aspects of your graduate education. They are located in the first floor of Stodder Hall and can be reached by calling 581-3291. They maintain a folder for news and announcements on FirstClass and a web site at The Graduate Student Government (GSG), your graduate student government organization, is another important source of information and resources. The GSG provides a number of services you can read about in this guide. Both their FirstClass folder and web site ( contain information and contacts. Their office is on the first floor of Stooder Hall of the Graduate Center and their telephone number is 581-4548.

Sections of the Guide


  • Welcome from the President
  • Welcome from the Graduate School

Your First Semester

  • tips and tricks from current graduate studenst

Adventures in Adminstration

  • Obtaining a MaineCard
  • Registering for classes
  • Student bills
  • Grade and course schedule
  • Parking
  • Payroll issues
  • Buying your books

Graduate Student Health Care

Other Helpful Organizations & Services

  • Graduate Student Government
  • Equal Opportunity Office
  • Cutler Health Services
  • Counseling Center
  • Computing Resources
  • Computer Clusters
  • E-Mail
  • Computing Help
  • Purchasing a Computer
  • Career Center
  • Office of International Programs

Living in and Around Orono

  • Housing
  • On-Campus Options
  • Off-Campus Living – how to find it and where to live
  • Options for Out-of-Town Visitors
  • Dining
  • Food Shopping
  • Laundry
  • Entertainment
  • Music and Nightlife
  • Festivals
  • Movies
  • Sports
  • Recreation – On Campus/Local
  • Recreation – Off Campus

Getting What You Came For

  • Dealing With Your Advisor
  • Dealing With Your Committee
  • Things We Wish Others Had Told Us Early On

Appendix: General Policies and Financial Information from the Graduate School

  • General Policies
  • Course Levels
  • Grades and Credits
  • Registration
  • Transfer Credit
  • Time Limit
  • Residence Requirement
  • Advisory Committee
  • Program of Study
  • Foreign Language Requirement
  • Final Examination
  • Application for Graduation
  • Faculty as Candidates for Advanced Degrees
  • Requests for Exceptions to Regulations
  • Withdrawal Procedure
  • Grievance Procedure
  • Financial Support