Coastal Year Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Coastal Year?

Admitted University of Maine (UMaine) students in certain science majors have the opportunity to study on the University of Maine at Machias (UMaine Machias) campus for their first year, and then transition to the UMaine campus after a year or stay at UMaine Machias for the remainder of their degree. The benefits of the coastal year include smaller class sizes in your first year, access to the Downeast Institute and other great facilities, and the significantly lower cost.

What programs at UMaine and UMaine Machias are included in the Coastal Year Program?

There are six UMaine programs in the College of Earth, Life, and Health Sciences that integrate well with UMaine Machias’ Division of Environmental & Biological Science programs. They are listed below.

UMaine Program UMaine Machias Coastal Year Program
Biology Integrative Biology
Botany Integrative BiologyBotany Minor
Ecology and Environmental Sciences Integrative Biology  – Environmental Science Minor
Marine Science Marine Biology
Wildlife Ecology Integrative Biology – Wildlife Biology Concentration
Zoology Integrative BiologyZoology Minor

Are the UMaine Machias Programs hands on?

Yes! Absolutely! UMaine Machias is known for being hands on and getting students experience in their majors from the beginning. Many of our science courses have you in the lab or out in the field in the first week. This can be anything from whale watches, to lab dissections, to research in local salmon or shellfish hatcheries. We do not just prepare you to be successful while in college, but we give you experiences and real world connections to help you be successful after college. We work with programs such as the Downeast Salmon Federation for trying to revive the salmon populations in Maine, UMaine Machias Marine Science Field Station at The Downeast Institute, Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, Allied Whale which helps stranded marine mammals, and many more local programs.

Are UMaine and UMaine Machias the same thing?

The University of Maine at Machias (UMaine Machias) is a regional campus for the University of Maine (UMaine) flagship located in Orono. We are a smaller campus rurally located on the coast of Downeast Maine. Our students get the smaller campus education while also having the opportunities and benefits from the UMaine flagship campus.

How would I transfer to UMaine after a year at UMaine Machias?

You would not be transferring, you would be transitioning. Rather than make students transfer and go through the transfer application process, there would be a simple form you fill out with our Office of Student Records office that says you wish to go to the UMaine flagship campus in Orono and they make sure you have kept up your Grade Point Average (GPA) and are in good standings with the University. You would transition into the major you were originally admitted to at UMaine.

If I say I am interested, is that a commitment to the coastal year program?

No, saying you are interested in the coastal year is not a commitment. It simply means that you will get a financial aid package for the UMaine Machias campus, to aid in your decision. If you do decide to commit to the coastal year, you can let UMaine Machias admissions know and we will get you enrolled in the program.

Important Contacts

Accessibility Office:

UMaine Student Accessibility Services

Counseling Services:

Stacey Cherry

Financial Aid:

Teresa Blyther

Health Services:

Eastport Health, Pediatric Clinic
Sennett Hall, University of Maine at Machias

Student Success:

Lori McBrine

Business Office:

Barbie Holmes

Early College:

Christy Alley

Information Technology (IT) Services:

Jon Stence

Student Life:

Hope Shore

Student Records/Veterans Affairs:

BJ Marshall and Bill Weaver