Frequently Asked Questions at USM LAC

The answers to many questions people have about USM LAC may be found here. Simply click on the question to expand the answer.

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Advising & Academic Support

  • Where can I find out more information about Advising at USM LAC?
  • Advising Services is now the Student Success Center at USM. More information regarding advising services at USM may be found here. 

  • Who is my advisor and why do I need to speak with this person?
  • Students in programs based on this campus (except nursing students and those who are admitted as GO students) are assigned a faculty advisor during their first semester of matriculation. The Student Success Center will send you a letter to inform you of this in September or in January for spring semester matrics. Your faculty advisor will be available to assist you to select courses to meet degree requirements, plan your academic program, explore independent study options and internship opportunities, and to help you achieve your educational goals. We strongly encourage you to contact your faculty advisor shortly after she or he has been assigned to you.
    For more information about how your advisor can support you, click here.

  • Does USM LAC offer career services?
  • Student Success Advisors can work with you on an individual basis. Primary areas of assistance include: developing a career plan; help with resumes and cover letters; exploring internet resources; assessment inventories (Self-Directed Search, Strong Interest Inventory, and the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator,); and developing job search strategies using labor market information. Students can also do self-exploration using “CHOICES”, a computer-based career exploration program installed on computers at the College, at no cost. A collection of career related books and resources are available in the Library. For further information regarding career services see Janet Etzel in Student Services or call her at 753-6519, or email at

  • Are Veteran's services available?
  • If you are a veteran, you may be eligible for the Veterans Education Benefit Program. To determine your eligibility contact the VA Regional Office at 1-800-827-1000. USM’s Veterans Affairs Office cannot make the determination of your eligibility. Once you have determined your eligibility and then have questions about your benefits, Click here. Additional veteran’s services are available at the Veterans Center located at 29 Westminster Street, Lewiston, ME 04240. (783-5306).

  • How do I get a copy of my transcript?
  • Academic transcripts and other registrar-related services on the Lewiston campus are provided through the Student Success Center. A transcript request form is needed which you may obtain at the office or download at and fax it to 753-6555 or mailing it to Transcript Dept., USM LAC, 51 Westminster Street, Lewiston ME 04240. Please allow 5-10 days for your transcript request to be processed. Students may also access their grades and academic history via Mainestreet.

    Students from other University of Maine System campuses who are taking courses at USM should complete a transcript request form to transfer their USM grades to the appropriate campus.  Click here for USM’s Registrar’s homepage.

  • I have questions about transferring credits.
  • Courses completed at other institutions are considered transfer credits. Once the credits are transferred and posted, the grades from these courses will be recorded on the student’s USM transcript, but they will not be computed into the cumulative grade point average or count toward determination of Dean’s List eligibility. Students who wish to take courses from other institutions must check with their advisor to insure the course(s) meet core or major requirements and will transfer accordingly. Consult the catalog or USM website under transfer policies for more information.

  • I am ready to graduate! What do I need to do?
  • In order to graduate, you must submit an “Application for Degree” through MaineStreet This should be completed by the beginning of the semester in which you plan to graduate. Consult the catalog on our website at or speak with your advisor for more detailed information on graduation requirements. Please remember that the USM catalog states: “Responsibility for successfully completing the requirements of the program rests with the student.” There are USM (university) requirements, Lewiston-Auburn College requirements, and the requirements of your major to consider. All must be fulfilled in order to graduate.

    Graduation with distinction is based on the student’s grade point average (GPA) at the University of Southern Maine. Students must complete at least 60 hours (with a minimum of 45 hours graded A through F) at USM in order to qualify. Graduation with distinction categories are (a) at least 3.80 for summa cum laude; (b) at least 3.60 and less than 3.80 for magna cum laude; and (c) at least 3.40 and less than 3.60 for cum laude. For purposes of wearing honor cords at commencement: (gold cords, summa cum laude; blue cords, magna cum laude; and white cords, cum laude) a student must meet the GPA requirements previously listed, and be registered for enough credits to meet the 60 hours at USM requirement. In the event a student meets the graduation with distinction GPA requirement at USM, but fails to meet the 60 hour requirement, distinction will be determined by a calculation of the student’s GPA for the last 60 hours wherever they were completed.

  • How do I make the Dean's List?
  • To make the Dean’s List, you must take 12 credits or more in one semester and have a grade point average of 3.4 or higher. Students who attend both the fall and spring semesters on a part-time basis and complete a total of at least 12 credit hours are eligible for the Dean’s List at the end of the spring semester. Dean’s List students whose names are in USM’s Public Directory will have their names released to the news media. The names of students who have requested that their names be excluded from the Directory will not be released.

  • How do I check my grades?
  • You may check and print your own grade report anytime through Mainestreet. Please note that printed grade reports are not automatically mailed to students.

  • What is academic probation/suspension?
  • If your academic record does not meet minimum University requirements, you may be placed on academic probation. Please consult your advisor or the catalog for more specific information.

  • When is the Student Success office open?
  • All department and office schedules are available online


Financial Aid & Scholarship Information

  • Where can I find out more information about Financial Aid?
  • Complete financial aid services are available on the Lewiston-Auburn campus. The Financial Aid Office is located in the Student Success office. Please contact this office with any financial aid questions, concerns, or problems. Their phone number 753-6597 or you may email Financial Aid is available to qualified students in degree programs who have financial need. To be considered for financial aid, you must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). We encourage students to apply on-line at  The processing time for on-line applications is approximately two weeks. Our priority deadline for filing this form is February 15. The earlier you apply, the sooner you will know if and for what you qualify. You may be eligible for loans, grants, scholarships, or work study.  More information is available online at:

  • Are there scholarships available?
  • Yes! A variety of scholarships are available to students through USM. These are usually awarded on the basis of academic achievement or personal and professional interests. Some of these scholarships are exclusively for USM LAC students. More information on scholarships is made available at the start of the spring semester, and most USM scholarships have an application deadline of the last Friday in February. Scholarship recipients are then awarded the funds during the following academic year. Students are also encouraged to pursue scholarship opportunities through outside organizations such as civic or cultural groups and businesses. Please speak with someone in Financial Aid for more information.


Registration & Billing Information

  • What is MaineStreet ?
  • "MaineStreet" is the road to online access in the University of Maine System.  Through the MaineStreet portal, faculty, staff, students, and prospective students will find the University System's enterprise-wide administrative computing system. You can register for classes, pay your bill, check your grades, to name a few things. Please visit MaineStreet for more information or call us at 753-6536 for more information.

  • How do I register for classes?
  • Students can register for classes online with MaineStreet or by calling 753-6536 or in person at the Student Success office. Please be sure to meet with your advisor prior to registering.

  • Does USM offer a payment plan?
  • Yes! USM offers installment payment plan options each semester. Each installment payment plan has a non-refundable per semester enrollment fee.

    To enroll in one of the payment plans, you must complete a Billing Worksheet form and forward it to the Student Billing Office in Gorham or Student Success office in Lewiston with the initial payment and by the payment due date. Students receiving financial aid must submit a Billing Worksheet form to the Student Services office or the Student Billing Office (Portland) by the payment due date to avoid any late charges.

  • How do I add a class?
  • Students may add a course during the first week of the semester. For late afternoon, evenings, and weekend courses that meet once a week, an add form will be accepted through the day following the second class meeting. Your charges will increase if the total number of credit hours increases. Payment for additional credit hours is due at the time of registration. Matriculated students must consult their advisor before adding any courses. Students can obtain a “Course Add Form” at the Student Success Office or the Registrar’s Office and return the completed form to the Student Success office in Lewiston or the Registrar’s office on the Portland or Gorham campus.

  • How do I drop a class?
  • During the first two weeks in the semester, students may drop a course using Mainestreet or in person at Student Services. Students can obtain a “Drop Form” at Student Success Office or Registrar’s Office. Please return the completed form to the Student Success office. You have the first two weeks of the semester to drop a course from your schedule with no grade notation and receive a 100% refund. You do not need the instructor’s signature to drop a course during this period. After the first two weeks, you may receive an automatic grade of "W" but no refund will be made for a drop. If a student drops a course after the deadline of 100% refund, the date the notification is received in one of the above offices determines if the charges will be reduced. If a student stops attending a class, and does not officially withdraw by the end of the eighth week of the course, a failing grade will be assigned. The “W” notation may be obtained after the eighth week under unusual circumstances if so determined by the instructor and the dean. Remember – a course is not considered dropped simply because a student stops attending. Be sure to drop a class even if you add another one to replace it.

  • What if I need to withdraw from all of my courses?
  • A student may drop all courses by completing a Semester Leave Form available at This form is also available at the Student Success office. Please return the completed form to Student Success office or any major registration site. Students may fax the “Semester Leave” form to 753-6555 or the USM Registrar’s Office at 780-5517, or return by mail. The date of withdrawal is established by the date the Semester Leave Form is received by the Student Success office, Registrar's Office, or the date the letter of withdrawal is postmarked to withdraw.

    Note: Withdrawal from the second week through the eighth week of class receives an automatic grade of "W". After the eighth week of classes, a grade designation will be determined by the instructor.

    IMPORTANT! Failure to comply with withdrawal policy may result in a failing grade and financial liability. It is important that you complete and submit the proper forms for withdrawal. Please consult an advisor.


Computing and Library Information

  • What is the USM Card and how do I get one?
  • The USM CARD (which is issued at the Student Success office) serves as your official student identification. It also serves as your library card and your pay-for-print card in the computer labs. You may also choose to use the CARD for on-campus purchases and dining services (Bookstore, Café L-A). Your USM CARD is issued for the duration of your stay at USM. If you change your name or status (i.e., become a USM staff member), USM will reissue a replacement card at no charge with the return of your current USM CARD. Upon graduation, USM will issue you an alumni card at no charge as long as you return your current USM CARD.

    • The magnetic strip on the back of the card is encoded with user information that when passed through a reader checks account balance or assigned privileges.

    • The barcode on the front of the card is utilized for University of Maine System library access. The red number printed below the barcode is for your use in accessing on-line library services. Your barcode must be activated at one of the library circulation desks to allow complete library privileges.

    Please inquire at Student Success office for more information or visit the Card Services web page at

  • Do I have an email account with the University? Why is it important that I read my student email?
  • Most University information will is now communicated to students via their University assigned email account.

    In order to meet the academic and administrative needs of the University community, the University of Southern Maine has established email as an official and primary means of communication to all of its students, accepted and/or enrolled. In some cases, email may be the only form of communication. Official University assigned email accounts are created for all accepted and/or enrolled students usually in the form of Students are responsible to read all information sent to them via their University assigned email account and the University has the right to expect that such communications will be received and read in a timely fashion. It is imperative that students understand that a majority of University information will be communicated to them via their University assigned email account.
    Students are responsible for activating their assigned University email account. The Account Activation web site has been designed for this purpose. Confidential information will not be sent via email.

  • Where can I get more information about the library?
  • For the library's current schedule, you can call 753-6540 or check the USM Libraries web pages

    The Lewiston campus library maintains a growing collection of over 16,000 volumes, more than 200 print subscriptions (with access to over 5000 in electronic format), and 800 videos and DVDs.

    Books from other campuses are easily ordered online through the University of Maine System’s shared catalog known as URSUS, and articles can be obtained through interlibrary loan when not available full-text online. Your USM card serves as your library card.

    Brief tours of the library and its services are available to students at any time.  Many classes schedule a one-hour orientation to the library databases and services, but if no visits are scheduled in your classes, please do not hesitate to stop by for an individualized session.

    The Library is open to all University of Maine faculty, staff, and students, and the general public is invited to use the resources. Courtesy cards for extended services are available for purchase.  USM Alumni are invited to apply for a free card.

  • Where can I get more information about the computer lab?
  • USM LAC has a variety of growing computer resources available to students. PC and Mac computers are available to all students. Both color and standard printing options are available. Per page printing costs are posted in the computer lab. The computer lab is an open facility and features computers with a user-friendly menu for general purpose and specific software applications. Student workers and staff are available to assist students with technical support.
    The computer classrooms feature state-of-the-art microcomputers and an interactive video system. The College offers many computer classes, ranging from non-credit courses in basic instruction, to for-credit courses in microcomputer applications, database management, and spreadsheets. Computer lab hours are posted and regularly updated. 

  • Does it cost to print something in the library or computer lab ?
  • To help offset the rising cost of printing and to discourage waste, a per-page fee is charged for printing in the University’s computer labs and libraries.  Printing is facilitated by funds deposited on your USM Card or on cards purchased at a “Cash Value Center” machine (one is located near the side entrance to the Computer Lab). More information about the USM card may be found online at:


Student Help & Assistance and Information

  • Does USM LAC offer academic support for students with disabilities?
  • The University of Southern Maine complies with the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 which mandate the elimination of discrimination against persons with disabilities through clear, strong, consistent, and enforceable standards. These laws identify persons with disabilities as a protected class and extend legal protection to them. In its quest to provide the greatest possible educational opportunities and maintain academic standards, USM is committed to ensuring access for qualified individuals with disabilities. The University provides reasonable accommodations and auxiliary aids to students with disabilities to make academic programs and courses accessible to them. If you have a documented disability and wish to receive academic support, contact our liaison, Jim Bradley in the Student Success office for referral processes, or call Heather Dilios, Accomodations Coordinator at 780-4706, or 1-800-800-4876, ext. 4706.

  • I need HELP! Does USM LAC offer tutoring?
  • There is help available in both writing and math.

    Tutoring in mathematics, algebra, and statistics is available in LearningWorks, located in the South wing.  Hours of availability will be posted. Call the Student Success office at 753-6536 for more information.

    USM LAC is committed to ensuring that all students develop their critical thinking and writing skills. Courses emphasize “writing across the curriculum,” where thinking and writing are an integral part of applying what you learn.
    Staff in our Writing Center are available at scheduled times throughout the academic year and assist with all elements of the writing process. If you need assistance with your writing, or if you want feedback on a paper you have written or are writing, they can help you. They can offer suggestions and guidance with word and sentence structure, grammar, idea development/focus, punctuation, editing and revision, and can give you overall feedback and help. The Writing Center is located in the LearningWorks Room 185, located in the south wing. Sign up for regular tutorials (half hour sessions) online. The Writing Center is open and free of charge to all USM students.

  • Is personal counseling available?
  • Confidential, free, short-term, personal counseling and referral services are provided to USM LAC students by a certified and licensed counselor from the USM Counseling Center. If you are experiencing difficulties due to personal, family, emotional, or social concerns, our counselor may be able to help. If longer-term help is needed, the counselor may refer you to outside resources. Workshops and a support group may also be offered during the semester. Please schedule an appointment by calling 753-6685. All information in counseling, including the fact that the student is receiving services, is held in strict confidence. **Counseling is not available at USM LAC during the summer. If you need assistance please contact the Office of Counseling at 780-4050.**

  • How do I get involved with student groups on campus?
  • A number of student organizations at USM LAC are committed to serving the recreational and co-curricular interests of students.  The Student Government Association (SGA) has the primary responsibility of determining how student organizations and activities will be funded.  It also acts as a liaison between the student body, staff, and faculty.

    All activities and programs offered by these groups are funded by the activity fees paid by USM LAC students.  You are strongly encouraged to explore the possibility of joining one or more of these organizations.  To learn more about what they have to offer, please stop by the SGA office, locate don the second floor near the upstairs lounge, for more information.


Other campus information

  • How do I find out if classes are cancelled when the weather is bad?
  • The USM LAC Emergency Information Line is 753-6595
    The decision to cancel classes in the event of inclement weather will be made by 6:30 a.m. for day classes. In the event of deteriorating conditions, a decision will be made during the day for cancellation of evening classes. Announcements naming USM’s Lewiston-Auburn College specifically will be broadcast on radio stations and television channels. A cancellation notice will be posted throughout the campus, recorded on the information line, and placed on the USM LAC web page.

     Please DO NOT call the main phone number; The USM LAC Emergency Information Line is 753-6595
     Common sense dictates, however, that students should decide for themselves whether or not they are able to travel to and from their campus.

  • Where can I get information about the bookstore?
  • The bookstore stocks all textbooks needed for classes held on the Lewiston campus. The Bookstore also carries school supplies, greeting cards, snacks, imprinted clothing and giftware, and a variety of reference books.  Special orders are also welcome.
    The bookstore conducts a used book buy-back during finals week of the fall and spring semesters. Hours for the bookstore including extended hours and buy-back times are posted in advance in the bookstore and are on their web page.

  • How do I stay up to date and keep track of everything that is going on?
  • USM@LAC is a community email list available to anyone with a valid email account. USM@LAC keeps you up to date on current events, announcements, news, workshops, meetings and program announcements for the Lewiston campus. It is a great way to stay informed about what is happening on campus. To subscribe or for more information, please visit: You will also find out how you may subscribe to the USM E-Alert system where storm cancellation and postponement announcements are also posted as well as emergency announcements pertaining to the campus. USM respects your privacy and does not share your email address with anyone.

  • Can my campus group post information through the USM@LAC list?
  • If your USM LAC group has information that you would like announced on the USM@LAC list please visit for complete policies and submission form.

  • I have questions about campus diversity & equity.
  • It is the policy of the University of Maine System to comply with applicable laws prohibiting discrimination on the grounds of race, color, religion, sex, national origin or citizenship status, age, disability, or veteran’s status in employment, education and all other areas of the University System. It is also the policy of the University of Maine System not to discriminate or tolerate discrimination against any individual on the basis of sexual orientation. USM’s Office of Campus Diversity and Equity seeks to provide equal access and inclusiveness for underrepresented groups in the USM community through multicultural programming, minority student and professional development and community outreach. A representative from this office will be at USM LAC on a part-time basis to provide programming and assistance to students and faculty on this campus. The Office of Campus Diversity and Equity is dedicated to cultivating a university that is equitable in all of its endeavors.

  • I'm hungry! Where can I get something to eat?
  • Café L-A is operated by USM Dining Services.  The Café features a varied menu of sandwiches, light dinners, soups, daily specials, baked goods, coffee, and beverages. The Café is open for breakfast, lunch, and late afternoon dining during the fall and spring semesters.  It offers an expanded menu including pizza, pasta, deli sandwiches and sides, burgers, omelets, and melts.  The Café also includes an “Express Station” containing sandwiches, salads, and meals ready-to-go. Cafe hours of operation vary throughout the year and the Cafe may be closed during the summer months.

    The Café also accepts the USM Card for students and staff who wish to use their cards for food purchases.  A casual catering menu is available for small group meetings and student activities. The Café also provides full catering services for larger functions held on campus. For more information please stop by the cafe and speak to the manager.

  • What about safety on campus?
  • Students, faculty and staff are strongly encouraged to report any incidents that occur on campus such as vandalism, theft, accidents, assault, etc. Please call the Lewiston Police Department immediately to report a crime or emergency, but make sure you also notify the Student Success office here at USM LAC. Informing us helps to improve campus safety and enables us to comply with campus safety and crime reporting requirements. In addition, please notify the Student Success office if a court has granted you a protection order.

    Emergency procedure guidelines are posted in each classroom. These guidelines are intended to educate and instruct the community on campus on what to do in the event of an emergency situation. These emergency response procedures, developed by the campus safety and security committee are also available online on the USM LAC Safety & Security page.

  • What is someone needs to contact me about an emergency while I am in class?
  • Occasionally, an emergency will arise, where a student must be contacted while they are in class. Due to FERPA regulations, we are prohibited by law to give out personal information to anyone.  Please be sure that you inform anyone who may need to reach you about our process for doing so. Due to confidentiality laws we cannot release information without prior written consent from students. To insure a speedy contact (for emergencies only), please make sure that your child‑care providers or family know: your class schedule with day and time, name of course you are taking, instructor’s name, and room number. In emergencies, our staff will make every effort to contact you. The phone number to call between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. is 753‑6500.  After these hours, the number to call is the library, at 753‑6540.

  • Is there someplace I can find out more information about the exhibits in the Atrium Art Gallery?
  •  The Atrium Art Gallery, located in the expansive hub of the main building, presents diverse exhibitions celebrating traditional arts as well as new artistic visions. Highlighting Maine artists, year-round solo and group exhibitions include painting, drawing, photography, sculpture, and contemporary crafts. A biennial exhibit, in an open-juried format, focuses on work by artists in Androscoggin, Franklin, and Oxford counties. The Gallery is open to the public free of charge. Contact Robyn Holman, Director of Exhibitions, 753-6554, or by e-mail, , for more information. Hours and exhibit information are both posted on their website.

  • Help! I've lost something!
  • Lost and Found is located in the Student Success office. Items that have not been claimed or picked up by the end of each semester will be donated to area charitable organizations.

  • Is there an ATM on campus?
  • There is not an ATM available on the Lewiston campus at this time. There are various ATM's located on Lisbon Street as you drive into Lewiston.

  • Where can I find out more information about USM's Franco-American Collection?
  • The purpose of USM's Franco-American Collection is to preserve, enhance, and make accessible an ongoing collection of textual, visual and audio materials, and artifacts. It is designed to spur interest in and appreciation of the study of local Franco-American culture and history on the part of students, faculty, and the community at large. The Madeleine Giguere Reading Room which houses the Collection is open to the public at various times throughout the semester. A complete list of hours is available on their webpage. The materials, including books, in the Reading Room do not circulate but may be photocopied for a nominal charge per page. Contact them at 753-6545 or email,, for more information.

  • I want to save money on gas. Does the city bus route go by the campus?
  • The city bus service comes directly on campus! All current USM students get a free bus pass! Passes may be obtained int he Student Success Office. The Lisbon Street Bus leaves the Oak Street Bus Station every 30 minutes between 6:00-8:30 a.m. and 3:45-5:15 p.m., and hourly between 9:45 a.m. and 2:45 p.m., dropping passengers off at USM. More information about the bus including a link to their system schedule and route is available on our website.

  • I didn't find an answer to my question. Now what?
  • There's lots of ways to contact us! Please visit our contact page for a complete list


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