According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Maine had a as of November 2019. This rate indicates that the number of available jobs exceeds the number of job seekers. In this situation, employers often must raise salaries and improve benefits to attract the best talent.
Some of Maine's largest employment sectors -- including education, healthcare, and management -- feature careers with average annual salaries that range from These salaries compensate for Maine's relatively high cost of living. In the state's largest city, Portland, the cost of living by 13%.
To start a new career in an in-demand field, you need to possess an education beyond high school. Fortunately, you can earn a degree or certificate at one of the best online colleges or universities in Maine.
Online learning presents many advantages for both recent high school graduates and individuals who work full time or raise a family.
Many online programs use asynchronous curriculums, where courses do not have set meeting times. Online learning software also connects students with valuable support services such as tutors and professors' virtual office hours.
Additionally, online learners can save significant money. Many schools offer in-state tuition rates to distance learners, while students avoid paying for on-campus housing, commuting, childcare, or other miscellaneous campus fees.
This guide highlights the top 10 online colleges and universities in Maine. Each profile includes valuable information such as popular degrees and certificates, student support services, and financial aid opportunities. The embedded links below can also take you to each school's website, where you can further your research and find contact information.
Each of the following institutions holds accreditation from the New England Commission of Higher Education.
Saint Joseph's College of Maine
Graduation Rate: 59%
The state's sole Catholic college, offers online associate, bachelor's, and master's programs across a dozen fields.
Popular undergraduate majors at this top online Maine college include RN-to-BSN, social work, and interdisciplinary studies. The interdisciplinary studies program allows learners to complete a custom minor. Additionally, learners can also earn one of 15 certificates entirely online in topics such as theology and school leadership.
SJC's Academic Center for Excellence (ACE) provides students with multiple support services. ACE runs the First-Year Experience, which helps freshmen hone valuable critical thinking and study skills. Online learners can also work with an ACE tutor over the phone or through video conferencing. Other ACE services include career advising and multiple guides on how to write a resume and prepare for an interview.
SJC uses rolling admissions, and new online courses start at four points throughout the year. No program requires standardized test scores. Online learners earning a degree may qualify for institutional scholarships or grants.
University of New England
Graduation Rate: 59%
The delivers numerous online graduate programs and certificates in areas such as education and public health. The university features 17 undergraduate prerequisites in the natural sciences, a perfect choice for learners who need additional training before applying to a graduate program. Standalone courses include anatomy, genetics, and medical terminology. All programs and courses use an asynchronous curriculum.
UNE's multitude of student resources help learners succeed academically and apply a degree, certificate, or course toward a fulfilling career. New learners can access Blackboard tutorial videos and read the latest articles on the UNE Online blog. All writing and academic support also takes place entirely online.
Prospective students interested in prerequisite courses do not participate in the normal application process. Graduate programs require a minimum 3.0 undergraduate GPA.
University financial aid advisors work with students to research and apply to outside financial aid opportunities.
University of Southern Maine
Graduation Rate: 33%
Students at the can choose from more than three dozen online degrees and certificates. Bachelor's program options include business administration and applied technical leadership. Maine teachers can increase career and salary potential by earning a master's in special education or counseling. Additionally, certificates in creative leadership and leadership studies allow busy professionals to hone valuable skills.
Online academic and faculty advisors work with students to select courses and answer questions related to course loads and graduation requirements. These advisors can also approve course substitutions, if necessary. Career preparation at this top online Maine university includes a career-aligned curriculum that helps graduates find a job with a local employer.
Undergraduate applicants can submit the Common Application, and USM considers transfer credit on a case-by-case basis. All learners pay the same tuition rate regardless of residency.
Incoming students may qualify for one of many merit-based scholarships. As USM limits awards, the university encourages learners to seek outside financial aid.
Graduation Rate: 66%
is an excellent choice for prospective students interested in sustainability science. The college's six online bachelor's programs train the next generation of environmental emergency managers, climate change scientists, and wildlife conservation experts. Unity accepts up to 90 transfer credits, allowing some degree-seekers to earn a bachelor's degree in just one year.
Online learners receive one-on-one academic and career advising from a professor mentor. Additionally, this top online Maine college's Career Development Apartment helps students find internships and job placements throughout Maine. Each program's website offers information on the latest job trends, a valuable tool for learners nearing graduation.
Prospective degree-seekers can apply for one of eight annual start dates. Unity accepts GED scores, and high school graduates should possess a minimum 2.0 GPA. Transfer credit should also reflect a minimum 2.0 GPA.
University of Maine
Graduation Rate: 58%
The largest institution of higher education in Maine, the offers online undergraduate degrees in three fields: political science, surveying engineering technology, and university studies. Degree-seekers in the university studies program can create a custom major. Additionally, this top online Maine university delivers over 50 online graduate degrees and certificates in areas such as instructional technology and spatial informatics.
All incoming learners complete an in-depth orientation that covers topics such as IT requirements, academic resources, success tools, and financial aid opportunities. Students can reference the orientation at any time if they have questions. Learners can also call or videoconference with an academic advisor during university business hours.
Prospective undergraduates age 25 and older can complete the Adult Online Short Application. This top online Maine university accepts the Common Application from younger applicants.
Incoming degree-seekers may qualify for one of seven first-year and transfer scholarships. Maine's Top Scholars scholarship awards full tuition and fees for four years.
Graduation Rate: 55%
Learners at can choose from online bachelor's and master's programs in five academic fields: business, technology, healthcare, liberal studies, and psychology. Uncommon degrees available at this top online Maine university include a bachelor's in healthcare administration and an MBA in biotechnology and innovation.
All programs use an asynchronous format, and Husson's generous transfer credit policy helps some learners earn a bachelor's in just 12 months.
Husson offers a suite of student services, including an informational blog accessible by both current and prospective degree-seekers. Recent posts cover healthcare marketing strategies, the latest psychological research into lying, and an introduction to biotechnology.
First-time applicants submit high school transcripts or GED scores and ACT or SAT scores. Graduate programs require one recommendation letter and a statement of purpose.
Degree-seekers can register for a tuition payment plan.
University of Maine at Fort Kent
Fort Kent, ME
Graduation Rate: 35%
The features eight online associate and bachelor's programs. Popular healthcare bachelor's programs include allied health and an RN-to-BSN track. The university also features a self-designed major where degree-seekers work with a faculty advisor to create a custom curriculum. Additionally, the associate in general studies at this top online Maine university transfers seamlessly to other in-state public colleges and universities.
Student support services at UMFK include tutoring services, IT support, and an online library. In addition to advising sessions, learners can use MaineStreet software to create a course wish list and view a degree progress report.
UMFK accepts the Common Application, and transfer credit must reflect a minimum 2.0 undergraduate GPA. In-state students save approximately 80% on tuition compared to out-of-state learners.
Incoming students may qualify for an institutional or departmental scholarship.
University of Maine at Augusta
Graduation Rate: 17%
In addition to traditional online undergraduate degrees and certificates, the also offers five undergraduate programs designed for students who already possess a bachelor's degree. These programs, available in areas such as cybersecurity and justice studies, build upon learners' prior education and omit many general education courses.
Other popular bachelor's degrees at this top online Maine university include interdisciplinary studies and computer information systems.
The Department of Learning Success connects on-campus and online learners with tutors and academic success coaches. The department also posts study guides and strategies, mental health resources, and links to writing style guides. Additionally, UMA participates in the federal TRIO program to provide first-generation college students with additional academic resources at no extra cost.
UMA does not charge an application fee and accepts the Common Application. The university charges a reduced out-of-state tuition rate to online learners. Incoming freshmen and transfer students interested in financial aid should submit UMA's General Scholarship Application.
University of Maine at Machias
Graduation Rate: 32%
Degree-seekers at the can select from three online bachelor's programs: psychology and community studies, business and entrepreneurial studies, and college studies. The college studies program allows students to design a custom bachelor's degree. Additionally, this top online Maine university delivers four certificates, one of which qualifies licensed Maine teachers for a special education endorsement.
The UMM Learner Resources website provides a host of information that helps distance education students succeed academically. Valuable tools include math and writing guides, time management tips, and an orientation for online learning. Online learners can also speak to an advisor over the phone or through Skype.
UMM does not charge an application fee, and returning students who once qualified for in-state tuition continue to do so no matter where they live currently. Freshmen and transfer degree-seekers can receive up to $4,000 per year in automatic merit-based scholarships. These scholarships renew as long as recipients maintain a minimum 2.5 GPA.
University of Maine at Presque Isle
Presque Isle, ME
Graduation Rate: 29%
The offers three traditional online bachelor's programs in English, history, and psychology.
The university also delivers nine specialized bachelor's programs that appeal to both accelerated and part-time learners. These Online YourPace degrees -- in areas like accounting and liberal studies -- feature eight-week courses and allow students to complete courses faster if they can prove content mastery. Online YourPace courses do not have weekly deadlines, which can benefit degree-seekers with additional responsibilities.
Online learners at this top online Maine university use MainStreet software to access Blackboard, the university's library portal, and student support services. Additionally, all degree-seekers benefit from faculty and professional advisors who provide career mentoring and course scheduling assistance.
Application requirements include high school transcripts or GED scores and a recommendation letter from a high school teacher. Transfer applicants should possess at least 60 transferable credits. Incoming freshmen with a minimum 3.0 high school GPA and 25 ACT score receive $4,000 per year in automatic merit scholarships.