Founded in 1864, the University of Maine at Farmington began as Maine’s first public normal school – a French-originated system of teacher training that prepared schoolteachers with two years of in-classroom learning. The Western State Normal School did not stay small for long, however, as the demand for full, 4-year liberal arts education was strong. UMF was unusual for the era, becoming one of the first normal schools to incorporate liberal arts education for a strong, well-rounded classical grounding; most teacher training schools focused on memorizing lessons and disciplining students. Through the school’s first century, growth in curriculum and student body continued until the teacher’s college became part of the University of Maine System. Today, UM Farmington is ranked by U.S. News & World Report as a top 10 regional college in the North, and a top college for veterans.
Academic ProgramsThe University of Maine at Farmington is designated as Maine’s public liberal arts college, focused on teacher education and on preparing promising students for graduate schooling, professional schools, or careers. As a liberal arts university, UMF’s curriculum is developed around the classical humanities and sciences, dedicated to giving students a full foundation of adaptable, critical knowledge for future schooling and in a variety of fields and disciplines. While the university has graduate and professional programs, UMF is primarily an undergraduate, residential campus, with traditional-aged students who are independently motivated, hard-working, and curious – the right kind of student for leadership.
UMF focuses on programs and a curriculum that emphasizes community, service, and the social contract. Teacher education is still central – Farmington is home to one of New England’s most acclaimed education programs, and seven UMF alumni have been named Maine’s Teacher of the Year. Farmington’s graduate programs are Master of Science in Education degrees. Health science and human services are also key parts of UMF’s curriculum, including pre-professional programs in pre-chiropractic and pre-health sciences. While UMF is rigorous, it’s also effective; a 13:1 student:faculty ratio gives students the support to build a 74% retention rate and one of the highest graduation rates in Maine.
Student LifeThe University of Maine at Farmington is a largely undergraduate, residential university; while graduate students and commuting students are common, most students live on campus or in Farmington, one of Maine’s cultural centers. With just over 1600 students, UMF’s student body is small and close-knit, with two-thirds of the population composed of women. The vast majority of students are from Maine, with some other states and international students represented, and UMF attracts many of Maine’s highest-achieving high school graduates with their reputation for support and challenge.
Farmington is one of the nation’s most-loved small college towns, located in the foothills of the Maine mountains, and outdoor recreation and adventure are popular options for UMF students. From skiing and snowboarding to hiking, camping, and kayaking, the region around UMF has it all for the outdoor enthusiast. The town is also known for arts, literature, and music, with a thriving creative scene sustained by the university. Many on-campus, student led clubs and organizations keep students active and build community, from performance and entertainment to professional development and personal growth. The UMF Beavers compete in NCAA Division III sports, as well as skiing and snowboarding.