Online Schools & Colleges in Maine

Maine might be sparsely populated, but it offers a great deal of higher education opportunity. Public institutions, including the University of Maine and the Maine Community College System, serve the largest share of the state’s student population. Private institutions, such as the distinguished Bowdoin College, also have a significant presence. Online education has become a priority: Today, all seven University of Maine campuses offer online classes and degrees, and the Maine Community College System recently invested nearly $7 million in programs of its own. Many private institutions have also followed suit in adding online learning options. Embracing online education has begun to trickle down to the K-12 level, with the 2014 launch of Maine’s first virtual charter school, the Maine Connections Academy.

Maine Online Colleges and Universities

Although there are no exclusively online schools in Maine, most of its colleges and universities offer distance-learning options. University College is a virtual campus connecting students with online classes and degrees from all seven campuses of the University of Maine. The Maine Community College System has also invested millions of dollars in moving courses, certificates and degrees online, but because it does not maintain a virtual campus like University College, prospective students must visit each school’s individual website to review their options. Private institutions, from small liberal arts colleges to targeted career schools, further diversify the online options in Maine.

Community Colleges in Maine

The Maine Community College System is made up of seven distinct campuses, including Eastern Maine Community College in Bangor and Northern Maine Community College in Presque Isle. These two-year institutions offer certificates, associate degrees, continuing education programs and technical training in a number of high-demand fields. Some students attend community colleges to earn academic associate degrees before transferring to four-year programs; others focus on occupational training and certificate programs designed for workforce entry. The system recently invested millions of dollars in expanding its online learning options, but campuses manage their own programs. Visit individual school websites to learn more.

SCHOOL NAME ADDRESS CITY SEE PROGRAMS
Central Maine Community College 1250 Turner Street Auburn +
Kennebec Valley Community College 92 Western Ave Fairfield +

Four-year Institutions in Maine

The University of Maine System, the state’s largest degree granting institution, is comprised of seven university campuses, plus eight additional outreach and career training centers. Its flagship campus in Orono is a major research institution serving thousands of students each year, though the University of Southern Maine is a close second in total enrollments. All institutions offer both traditional and online courses and degrees. Prospective students can visit University College, the system’s virtual campus, to review their online learning options. Many University of Maine programs earn high marks in regional and national rankings from publications like U.S. News & World Report, The Princeton Review and Forbes.

Search School Name
City
School Type
Degree Levels
5 Results
SCHOOL NAME TYPE ADDRESS CITY SEE PROGRAMS
University of New England Private not-for-profit 11 Hills Beach Rd Biddeford +
University of Maine Public 168 College Avenue Orono +
University of Maine at Augusta Public 46 University Dr Augusta +
Saint Joseph's College of Maine Private not-for-profit 278 Whites Bridge Rd Standish +
Husson University Private not-for-profit 1 College Circle Bangor +

Private Colleges in Maine

There are several private institutions licensed to operate in Maine. These schools range significantly in size, programs and overall focus, but each serves fewer than 3,500 students per year. Private colleges also account for most of the state’s oldest institutions: Bowdoin College, Colby College and Bangor Theological Seminary were all founded before 1815. Maine’s most recent private addition, Andover College, is a targeted career college offering specialized training fields like business, criminal justice, legal studies and allied health. Some online schools in Maine are hosted through private colleges.

Best Online Schools in Maine for 2017

Universities and colleges that offer online learning options are growing in popularity, and many schools offer fully online programs so they can service more students. In Maine, students can choose from vocational, technical and two- and four-year degree options that are available completely online. But choosing a school and a program can be a challenge, especially when there are so many options. We’ve done the research for you to bring you the best online schools in Maine for 2017. Check them out below.

York County Community College
Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
35%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
17
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
Ranking SCORE 98.13
Read more

Online classes at York County Community College, both fully online and hybrid, follow the school's traditional 15-week semester schedule or the more concentrated accelerated schedule. The college offers an online readiness quiz for students who are unsure if distance learning is right for them. Prospective students are also encouraged to take a sample class with a guest login on Blackboard, which is the learning management system used to deliver online education at York County. Students can access Blackboard through a PC or a Mac, and there is a corresponding mobile app, as well.

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
Kennebec Valley Community College
Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
38%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
34
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
Ranking SCORE 89.36
Read more

Distance learners at Kennebec Valley Community College can access their coursework 24 hours a day, seven days a week. For those who prefer some in-class instruction, hybrid courses are available. Prospective students who are unsure if distance education is right for them are encouraged to take a readiness quiz that assesses their likelihood of success. Students will access all of their coursework through the Blackboard learning management system. Blackboard tutorials and instructional resources are available through the school's website. There is also a help desk available for students having any technical issues.

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
Central Maine Community College
Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
22%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
46
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
Ranking SCORE 86.73
Read more

The online learning program at Central Maine Community College is designed around the realities of the local job market. The distance learning effort is part of Maine's Rural Initiative, which extends high-quality education to remote areas. Fully online degrees are offered in criminal justice, human services, general studies, and medical coding and electronic health records. Some courses are synchronous, others are asynchronous and some include a combination of both. Courses come complete with a syllabus, audio or video lectures and class discussions. Students have access to coursework 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and will have opportunities to communicate with both classmates and instructors.

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
1 University of Maine
Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
78%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
237
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
59%
Ranking SCORE 99.77
Read more

More than 500 undergraduate and graduate degrees, minors, and certificates are offered by University of Maine. UMaineOnline, the online education extension of the University of Maine, allows prospective students to search and register for classes, and even take a practice course to determine if online learning is a good fit. The online programs at UM provide both students with resources like an e-library, virtual classrooms, chat support, and other support services. UMaineOnline encourages students to "Think 30," which means to complete 30 credits per year, thus completing the degree sooner (4 years) and reducing debt.

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceNo
2 University of Southern Maine
Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
63%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
116
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
30%
Ranking SCORE 95.49
Read more

Whether students are completing a previously started degree, seeking graduate education, or starting a bachelor's degree from scratch, University of Southern Maine offers online programs that fit their needs. The school also offers certificate programs to working professionals who want to advance their career and credentials. The online programs the school offers involve the areas of business, communication, leadership, liberal studies, and psychology, among others. Courses are offered through Blackboard, and are taught by the same professors who teach on campus. Though a computer is required, specialized software and equipment are not.

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
3 Saint Joseph's College of Maine
Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
97%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
61
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
51%
Ranking SCORE 94.14
Read more

With over 100 online bachelor's, master's, doctorate, and certificate programs, Saint Joseph's College of Maine provides a career-focused education with the convenience of distance learning. The school designs its courses to develop graduates who are experts in their fields. The online programs available at SJCM include accounting and finance, business administration, criminal justice, education, information technology, pastoral studies, and nursing. The school offers career services like career advising, employment placement, networking, and internships to help students find work and create strong professional relationships. Other resources include personal advising, tutoring, technical support, and an online library.

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceNo
4 University of Maine at Machias
Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
87%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
15
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
29%
Ranking SCORE 92.43
Read more

The University of Maine at Machias campus reaches out to students all over the world by offering distance degree programs. Degrees available online include a B.A. in psychology and community studies, B.S. in business and entrepreneurial studies, and B.C.S. in college studies. Other certification courses are also available. Former in-state students of UMM who are living out-of-state may readmit to complete their degree online at the in-state rate. Loans, scholarships, and financial aid are available through the school's website. The University of Maine at Machias is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges and the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education.

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
5 University of Maine at Presque Isle
Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
79%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
25
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
37%
Ranking SCORE 91.52
Read more

The online courses offered at the University of Maine at Presque Isle provide the same quality education and experience as in-person classes. Some of the current online course offerings can be found on the MaineStreet Portal, the class search tool for Maine's Public Universities. Subjects include English, history, and psychology. UMPI has partnered with the University of Maine at Augusta and University College to provide an online elementary teacher preparation program, which provides students with a bachelor's degree and teacher certification. All instructors at UMPI have a master's degree, and 90% of them have doctoral or terminal degrees.

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
6 University of New England
Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
100%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
45
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
58%
Ranking SCORE 91.12
Read more

Pursuing an online degree at the University of New England allows distance learners to enroll in courses like applied nutrition, social work, public health, and education, as well as meeting science prerequisites for the health professions courses. The graduate degrees and certificate programs are ideal for working professionals and post-baccalaureate students. Courses are learner-centered and taught by professional faculty. Student financial services, career planning, and academic advising are just some of the resources available to UNE students. UNE is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges Commision on Institutions of Higher Education.

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
7 Husson University
Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
90%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
52
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
41%
Ranking SCORE 90.33
Read more

Achieving a degree online is practical and affordable through Husson University. The school provides online courses in both undergraduate and graduate degree programs in business, software development, marketing, biotechnology, and management. HU is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, with select programs in the College of Business accredited by the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education. They also have an online RN-BSN program for registered nurses which is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education and approved by the Maine State Board of Nursing. Admission information is available on the school's website.

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
8 University of Maine at Fort Kent
Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
86%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
15
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
38%
Ranking SCORE 88.61
Read more

University of Maine - Fort Kent campus provides opportunities to students around the country by offering online programs for various associate's and bachelor's degree programs, as well as certification programs for working students. Students may interact with their instructors using interactive television and compressed video technology, as well as standard email correspondence and forums on the e-learning platform. Fields of online study include accounting, law enforcement, criminal justice, and security. Students enrolled in online programs are required to participate in an online orientation to help integrate the learning and communication methods.

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
9 Maine Maritime Academy
Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
29%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
9
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
74%
Ranking SCORE 87.30
Read more

The Maine Maritime Academy offers an online master of science degree in international business and logistics and that is designed for working professionals. With course titles like accounting and finance, strategic supply chain management, and strategic global marketing, the program prepares graduates for hundreds of different career paths. The program is delivered through Canvas by Instructure, an online learning platform. Consisting of nine 4-credit hour courses, the program is divided into trimesters and must be completed in four years. MMA is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. The program accepts applicants year-round.

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes
10 University of Maine at Augusta
Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
26%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
27
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
13%
Ranking SCORE 86.73
Read more

Dedicated to transforming the lives of its students, the University of Maine at Augusta provides online programs and individual courses in the fields of business, liberal studies, information and library science, justice studies, and software development. The school offers online programs in associate's, bachelor's, master's, minors, and certificate degrees delivered completely online. This means that students do not need to go to the campus to take the lessons. Some courses require an internship as part of the curriculum, so it is important to verify with an academic counselor if the class is compatible with the student's location and schedule.

  • Additional Benefits:
  • Placement ServicesYes
  • Counseling ServicesYes
  • Credit for ExperienceYes

Online Maine Colleges

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Maine K-12 Online Schools

Maine began offering online education to K-12 students with the 2014 implementation of the Maine Connections Academy, the first fully-online charter school in the state. Initial student enrollment was capped at 297 students in grades 7 and 8, but the school is expected to open its virtual doors to students up to grade 12 in the coming years. Other opportunities are available through the Maine Online Learning Program. Nine approved providers administered courses through the program, which served 1,700 students during the 2013-14 term. Online university courses are available to students in grades 11 and 12 through the University of Maine’s Academ-e program.

Maine Online College and University Spotlight

University of Southern Maine

The University of Southern Maine offers a variety of fully-online degrees and certificates. Students can earn online bachelor’s degrees in areas like applied technical leadership, business administration, communication, organizational studies and liberal studies. Online master’s students have three programs from which to choose: the MS in Adult and Higher Education, MS in Special Education and MA in Leadership Studies. USM also offers online undergraduate and graduate certificates.

USM students enrolled in traditional campus-based degree programs still have access to online courses in dozens of disciplines, which are available year round. Online students still have access to a number of USM support services, from advising, tutoring and library services to tech support and learning assessments.

For more information on online education at USM, go to http://usm.maine.edu/online.

Washington County Community College

Washington County Community College does not offer full online degree programs, but it does host several online courses in areas like business, science, education and technology. Students new to distance learning can take a workshop to learn more about these programs before enrolling in a course. The school’s website also provides a “Distance Education Sampler” to give prospective online students an idea of how courses work and how to navigate the necessary software.

WCCC also offers hybrid classes, which combine the benefits of in-person and online learning. All classes have weekly assignments that students can complete any t=me during the week. Instructors will provide specific course details.

To learn more about online learning at Washington County Community College, visit http://www.wccc.me.edu/academics/programs/online-courses/.

Kennebec Valley Community College

Most of Maine’s community colleges offer online courses, but Kennebec Valley College is one of the few with full online degree programs. KVCC students can earn online associate’s degree programs in mental health technology, business administration, liberal studies and pulp and paper technology. Some courses, including science classes, may have on-campus requirements.

Kennebec Valley Community College delivers online courses through the Blackboard learning system, which students use to access all aspects of the virtual classroom. KVCC’s hybrid courses require that students attend one or more in-person class sessions. The school also offers help desk services to address technical issues that distance learning students may encounter.

For more information on Kennebec Valley Community College’s online programs, visit http://www.kvcc.me.edu/Pages/Off-Campus-Programs/Online-Learning-Overview.

University of Maine

The University of Maine offers a number of online courses, but most fully-online degrees and certificates are graduate-level programs. The exception is the online bachelor’s degree in university studies, an interdisciplinary program that students can tailor to their academic and career interests. Online master’s degree programs are available in fields like engineering, business, education, information systems and bioinformatics. Online graduate certificates are offered through five academic departments. Admission requirements for graduate degree programs include a bachelor’s degree and three letters of recommendation. Some graduate programs may require students to submit Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores.

Online courses may be delivered through Blackboard or thorough FirstClass, the university’s intranet service that allows students to view lectures and communicate with peers and professors. To utilize Blackboard and FirstClass, the university recommends that students download Firefox, QuickTime, Adobe Reader and Flash Player.

For more information on specific degree programs and other online offerings through UMaine Online, visit http://umaineonline.umaine.edu.

University of Maine at Augusta

The University of Maine at Augusta has a comprehensive roster of online degree programs, including associate and bachelor’s degree programs in areas such as business administration, justice studies and public administration. Students can also pursue online certificate programs in secondary education, paralegal studies and human resource management. In 2014, U.S. News & World Report ranked the university among the top online schools in the country.

All of UM’s online courses are hosted through Blackboard, FirstClass and WebCT; however, some programs may require students to take exams at proctored test sites. The University of Maine at Augusta also offers a variety of distance learning options for students residing in Maine, including asynchronous courses, also known as delayed viewing or self-paced courses. The university also offers ITV courses, which allow students to watch videotaped courses at home or at a University of Maine center. Also offered at University of Maine centers, compressed video courses are either synchronous or asynchronous and include two-way audio and video conferencing.

For a complete list of online and distance learning programs at the University of Maine at Augusta, visit http://www.uma.edu/dlo.html.

Best Online Post-Secondary Schools in Maine

Best for Future Service Members

Maine has a strong military service legacy, with hundreds of active duty military personnel serving in the state. According to a 2014 Washington Post analysis of data from the Department of Veterans Affairs, its one-in-10 per-capita veteran population is among the highest in the nation. Online schools in Maine provide exceptional support to service members, starting with the flexibility to study amidst deployments and relocations. Some offer tuition discounts, on-site and virtual support centers, and programs that allow veterans and active-duty personnel to convert military training into college credits. The University of Maine System staffs a Veteran and Military Support Leadership Team that focuses solely on helping service members succeed. These initiatives enable schools like UM Augusta to earn official military-friendly status and high rankings on lists like U.S. News & World Report’s best distance learning programs for military. Here are the online schools in Maine that go above and beyond to support military service members, veterans and their families.

College
Name
Tuition City ROTC - Army ROTC - Navy ROTC - Air Force
University of Southern Maine$7,590 Portland Yes No Yes
University of Maine$8,370 Orono Yes Yes No
Husson University$14,190 Bangor Yes Yes No

Best for Personal Attention

Online schools in Maine offer flexibility with which campus-based programs simply cannot complete. This is a significant perk for students who work full-time, live in rural communities or are otherwise limited in college options. But what about personalized learning? Can online students still connect with instructors and each other? Using collaborative technologies like video conferencing, live chats and cloud-based project management tools, they can. Live-streamed lectures, virtual office hours and limited class enrollments also help restore the spontaneity and real-time support students expect from traditional courses. These online schools in Maine earn blue-ribbon status for personalized attention.

College
Name
STUDENT-TEACHER-RATIO UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS TUITION TYPE CITY
Thomas College 18 to 1 1,061$22,160 Private not-for-profit Waterville
University of Maine at Presque Isle 17 to 1 2,068$6,600 Public Presque Isle
University of Maine at Augusta 17 to 1 6,656$6,510 Public Augusta
Husson University 16 to 1 2,807$14,190 Private not-for-profit Bangor
New England School of Communications 15 to 1 566$12,532 Private not-for-profit Bangor
Saint Joseph’s College of Maine 15 to 1 2,246$29,000 Private not-for-profit Standish
University of Maine at Farmington 15 to 1 2,340$8,352 Public Farmington
University of Southern Maine 15 to 1 9,255$7,590 Public Portland
University of Maine at Machias 14 to 1 1,367$6,660 Public Machias
University of Maine at Fort Kent 14 to 1 1,769$6,600 Public Fort Kent
Maine Maritime Academy 13 to 1 946$8,800 Public Castine
University of New England 13 to 1 4,753$30,750 Private not-for-profit Biddeford
Unity College 12 to 1 605$23,000 Private not-for-profit Unity
University of Maine 12 to 1 10,069$8,370 Public Orono
College of the Atlantic 11 to 1 422$37,152 Private not-for-profit Bar Harbor
Maine College of Art 10 to 1 369$29,380 Private not-for-profit Portland
Bates College 10 to 1 1,900$44,040 Private not-for-profit Lewiston
Colby College 10 to 1 1,994$42,460 Private not-for-profit Waterville
Bowdoin College 9 to 1 1,911$43,676 Private not-for-profit Brunswick
Bangor Theological Seminary 3 to 1 NR$ Private not-for-profit Bangor

Best for Women in Technology

Tech is cutting-edge by nature, but a persistent gender disparity is still evident. Studies show that women remain significantly underrepresented in fields like engineering and technology. This gap means women are missing out on the field’s high-pay, high-demand benefits, and research suggests its roots can be traced straight to the classroom (traditional or virtual).

Many colleges are actively working to reverse this trend, including online schools in Maine. These programs may hire more female instructors who can serve as role models, or host mentorship programs for young women in tech. Student and professional organizations for female tech majors with a strong virtual presence can also help, as can optional on-site conferences and networking events. Which programs really excel in these areas? According to our research, the following online schools in Maine offer top-notch support for tech-aspiring women.

College
Name
TUITION + FEES CITY WOMEN IN TECH DEGREES AWARDED TOTAL ENROLLMENT TYPE
University of Maine at Augusta$7,448 Augusta 100 1,773 Public
University of Maine$10,594 Orono 58 8,693 Public
New England School of Communications$13,482 Bangor 32 507 Private Not for Profit
University of Southern Maine$7,776 Portland 7 5,284 Public
Maine Maritime Academy$11,525 Castine 5 923 Public

Best Schools Fighting for Families

Maine is a state brimming with outstanding social work programs, with children serving as the basis of these programs. Students seeking a career in child and family welfare need hands-on experience and quality instruction. These programs offer clinical settings and fieldwork, giving students the job exposure they need to gain the experience necessary to be successful after graduation. These innovative schools offer some of the best social work programs available. We’ve compared schools to provide this list of four-year, accredited universities with superior social work programs.

College
Name
CITY SOCIAL DEGREES AWARDED WOMEN MEN TUITION & FEES TOTAL ENROLLMENT
University of Maine Orono 118 101 17 $10,594 8,693
University of Southern Maine Portland 118 93 25 $7,776 5,284
University of New England Biddeford 61 53 8 $31,870 4,566
Bates College Lewiston 20 12 8 $44,300 1,769
University of Maine at Presque Isle Presque Isle 20 13 7 $7,300 851
Bowdoin College Brunswick 16 10 6 $44,118 1,773
Colby College Waterville 9 6 3 $44,320 1,815
Saint Joseph’s College of Maine Standish 7 4 3 $30,030 1,253
University of Maine at Farmington Farmington 5 5 $9,367 2,085