Top Maine Colleges

Learn about the Top Colleges and Universities in Maine

Water lovers take note -- you'll be hard-pressed to find a Maine college that isn't located near a lake, river, or the Atlantic. Several of my top picks for the state have ocean-front campuses. Maine is particularly strong when it comes to liberal arts colleges, but you will also find a couple comprehensive universities and public institutions on my list. The selected schools range in size from a few hundred students to over 10,000, and the admissions standards vary greatly. My selection criteria include retention rates, four- and six-year graduation rates, value, student engagement, and notable curricular strengths. I have listed the schools alphabetically rather than forcing them into any kind of artificial ranking (indeed, trying to rank a school like the College of the Atlantic with the University of Maine would be an exercise in ridiculousness).

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Bates College Quad
Bates College Quad. reivax / Flickr
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Bowdoin College
Bowdoin College. sglickman / Flickr
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Colby College
Colby College. bonimo / Flickr
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College of the Atlantic
College of the Atlantic. The Udall Legacy Bus Tour / Flickr
  • Location: Bar Harbor, Maine
  • Enrollment: 348 (338 undergraduate)
  • Type of Institution: environmental liberal arts college
  • Distinctions: one of the country's best colleges for sustainability (campus is carbon-neutral); 10 to 1 student / faculty ratio; average class size of 12; beautiful ocean-front location; test-optional admissions
  • For acceptance rate, test scores, costs and other information, visit the College of the Atlantic profile
  • GPA, SAT and ACT graph for COA admissions
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The State of Maine - Maine Maritime Academy's training ship
The State of Maine - Maine Maritime Academy's training ship. nightthree / Flickr
  • Location: Castine, Maine
  • Enrollment: 1,028 (991 undergraduates)
  • Type of Institution: public institution
  • Distinctions: curricular focus on engineering, management, science and transportation; ocean-front location; fleet of 60 vessels including the 500-foot State of Maine; strong engineering and co-op programs
  • For acceptance rate, test scores, costs and other information, visit the Maine Maritime Academy profile
  • GPA, SAT and ACT graph for MMA admissions
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Sebago Lake in Maine
Sebago Lake in Maine. Lizard10979 / Flickr
  • Location: Standish, Maine
  • Enrollment: 2,581 (1,719 undergraduates)
  • Type of Institution: private Catholic liberal arts college
  • Distinctions: attractive location on Sebago Lake; 12 to 1 student / faculty ratio; average class size of 17; strong study abroad and internship programs; good online options for graduate programs; nearly all students receive grant aid
  • For acceptance rate, test scores, costs and other information, visit the Saint Joseph's College of Maine profile
  • GPA, SAT and ACT graph for SJC admissions
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The University of Maine at Farmington
The University of Maine at Farmington. Wesley Fryer / Flickr
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University of Maine
University of Maine. NightThree / Wikimedia Commons
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University of New England College of Pharmacy in Portland
University of New England College of Pharmacy in Portland. BMRR / Wikimedia Commons
  • Location: Biddeford, Maine
  • Enrollment: 7,794 (3,800 undergraduates)
  • Type of Institution: private university
  • Distinctions: 540-acre campus with 4,000 feet of ocean-front property; 13 to 1 student / faculty ratio; a second 41-acre campus in Portland; strong programs in biological and health-related fields; good grant aid
  • For acceptance rate, test scores, costs and other information, visit the University of New England profile
  • GPA, SAT and ACT graph for UNE admissions
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Brown University
Brown University. Photo Credit: Allen Grove

If you're interested in colleges in Maine, you may also like some of these 25 top New England colleges and universities. More »

Cornell University Sage Hall
Cornell University Sage Hall. Photo Credit: Allen Grove

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