About USM

The University of Southern Maine is northern New England's outstanding public, regional, comprehensive university, dedicated to providing students with a high-quality, accessible, affordable education. From our campuses in Portland, Gorham, and Lewiston-Auburn, USM offers baccalaureate, master's, and doctoral programs, providing students with rich learning opportunities in the arts, humanities, politics, health sciences, business, mass communications, science, engineering, and technology. Our students will be the artists, business people, engineers, health care workers, public servants, teachers and others whose talents will fuel our economy—and shape tomorrow's world. The University is comprised of five academic units:

·         College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences

·         College of Management and Human Service

·         College of Science, Technology, and Health

·         Lewiston-Auburn College

·         University of Maine School of Law

USM History


On December 26, 1878, 700 people braved a snowstorm to hear 14 speeches, one of which clocked in at more than one hour, at the opening of Corthell Hall, the first university building in Gorham. The Gothic-style building was constructed at a cost of $23,170, and dedicated to the education of teachers, who were in short supply. (By comparison, USM's new residence hall, complete with apartment/suite style quarters, carries a $21 million price tag.)

Some 40 years later, soon after the end of World War I, Portland University opened on the second floor of a commercial building, located just off Monument Square in downtown Portland. The university was established in response to the lack of educational opportunities for accountants.

·         These two events share two things in common:

·         They celebrated the openings of institutions envisioned as doorways leading to successful careers, and

Both celebrated the openings of institutions that morphed into the University of Southern Maine. USM's history has many twists and turns, but there's one thread running through the past 130 years: inspired teaching that transforms lives.

Mission Statement

The University of Southern Maine, northern New England’s outstanding public, regional, comprehensive university, is dedicated to providing students with a high-quality, accessible, affordable education. Through its undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs, USM faculty members educate future leaders in the liberal arts and sciences, engineering and technology, health and social services, education, business, law, and public service. Distinguished for their teaching, research, scholarly publication, and creative activity, the faculty are committed to fostering a spirit of critical inquiry and civic participation. USM embraces academic freedom for students, faculty, and staff, and advocates diversity in all aspects of its campus life and academic work. It supports sustainable development, environmental stewardship, and community involvement. As a center for discovery, scholarship, and creativity, USM provides resources for the state, the nation, and the world.

Contributed by Anonymous
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