ORONO — The University of Maine has once again been featured in the annual Fiske Guide to Colleges.
The publication, authored by former New York Times education editor Edward Fiske and updated annually for nearly 40 years, highlights more than 300 of the “best and most interesting” schools in the U.S., Canada, Great Britain and Ireland, according to publisher Sourcebooks. The 2023 edition includes facts, statistics and demographic information about the university, and highlights various academic programs, experiential learning opportunities; facilities and activities.
This year’s UMaine profile spotlights the Research Learning Experiences offered to first- and second-year students. Made possible by a $240 million investment into the University of Maine System by the Harold Alfond Foundation, these courses, launched in 2021, allow students to engage in research and other forms of hands-on learning at the start of their college careers.
UMaine’s profile also features the new Ferland Engineering Education and Design Center, opening in August; the Innovative Media Research and Commercialization Center, the Versant Power Astronomy Center and the internationally recognized Climate Change Institute. Additionally, the publication cited the Marine Sciences Program that “attracts top students,” the engineering programs that are “some of the strongest and most demanding on campus,” and the business, forestry, Earth and climate sciences, nursing, management, marketing, psychology, finance and various accelerated programs.
UMaine is a global leader in the development of offshore wind power, Fiske Guide noted, with a solid honors program.
“UMaine’s undergraduate experience in and out of the classroom is enriched by the breadth and depth of an R1 research university, and the other distinctive engagement opportunities at the state’s flagship institution — from hands-on learning opportunities to visual and performing arts offerings, and Division I athletics events,” says UMaine President Joan Ferrini-Mundy.
When describing the academic atmosphere, the guide reported that students defined it as “cooperative and usually relaxed,” and referenced how 41% of all classes have fewer than 20 students. One biology major told the publication, “I didn’t know professors could be so attentive, intelligent and dedicated to building their students’ knowledge.”
For athletics, the guide referenced that UMaine is the only Division I school in the state. It highlighted the hockey, football, women’s basketball, and men’s and women’s track and field teams, as well as the intramural clubs and sports programs that represent more than 35 sports.
The publication also noted the more than 200 student clubs and organizations and numerous events that contribute to campus life.
One UMaine senior told the guide that “The common thread among UMaine students is their kindness.” Another said “campus feels incredibly safe to me.”