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Study in Maine, United States

State overview

Located in the New England region up in America’s northeastern corner, Maine is known for its scenery, particularly it rocky coastline and beautiful waterways. Islands, ice-sculpted bays and deep-water harbours make Maine’s coastline a huge tourist attraction, and a perfect place for graduate students to escape the stresses of university life.

However, there is more to Maine than water. More than 90% of the state is covered in forest, giving Maine its nickname of ‘the pine state’. Filled with moose, bald eagles and deer, this is a wildlife lovers paradise.

Education profile

Maine has one public university system – the University of Maine – which has six branches across the state. As well as several other public institutions, Maine has more than 10 private universities.

You can study a graduate program in Maine at the following institutions:

Professional, or ‘terminal’, masters are designed to lead to employment rather than further study. Popular courses include: Master of Business Administration (M.B.A) and Master of Library Science (M.L.S.).

Academic masters, however, are generally designed to lead the way into doctorate/PhD study. Popular courses include: Master of Education (M.Ed.), and Master of Engineering (M.Eng.).

Both last between one and three years, depending on the subject.

Doctoral degrees are the most advanced level of higher education, and usually take between four and eight years to complete, which includes the time it takes to write and present a dissertation. 

Immigration and visas

You will need to apply for a non-immigrant visa if you want to study a postgraduate course in Maine, and must do before arriving.

The most common kind of student visa is the F-1 visa, which entitles the holder to study at any US accredited college or university.
To apply for a student visa for a graduate program in Maine you will need to fill out an application form (found on the US Embassy website) and send appropriate documentation, such as evidence of financial standing and proof of university acceptance and academic qualifications, as well as possibly attending a visa interview at the US Embassy in your home country.

Life in Maine

Maine’s two largest student cities are Portland and Augusta, with the Portland area home to more than a third of Maine’s population. A centre of educational excellence, Portland was named the ninth most educated city in the US by Men’s Health.

Maine’s cuisine is unsurprisingly dominated by seafood, with Portland home to many renowned restaurants and bars. Particular delicacies of Maine include lobster, sea cucumbers and clams.

Life in Maine has a laidback feel, with downtime focused around the great outdoors, whether this is hiking in the forests, canoeing on a lake or exploring its 3,500 miles of coastline.

Working in Maine

Maine’s economy is now largely dependent on tourism, with outdoor activities and associated touring programs becoming increasingly popular. Tourists come to Maine for hunting (particularly deer, moose and bears), fishing, skiing, snowmobiling and hiking.

Beyond tourism, Maine industrial output consists mainly of manufacturing. Successful industries include electronics, leather, textiles and bio-technology. The state is also a centre of naval shipbuilding, with iron works in Bath and a naval shipyard in Kittery.

Commercial fishing has traditionally been a mainstay of Maine’s economy but has declined in recent years, with only lobstering and groundfishing remaining.


The easiest way for postgraduates to settle into life in Maine is to look for housing through your university. Most institutions will provide dedicated graduate housing on a first-come first-served basis. The benefits of university housing include being able to meet other students, living close to the campus and 24-hour support.

However, if you do decide to look for private housing in Maine, you should still speak to your university first. They will be able to advice you on good areas to live, reputable estate agents and associated living costs.

Weather and climate

Maine has a continental climate with warm, humid summers and cold, snowy winters, which can be especially severe in the northern parts of the state. The main summer months are between June and August, when temperatures can reach 25C, while winter lows between December and February can drop as low as an icy -15C.

What to do next

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