UMaineOnline Graduate Tuition Grants for Workforce Development in Computing

14-Jun-2020 |


  • Are you or your business facing long-term challenges in incorporating computing, data science, and information systems thinking and the ability to communicate at a technical level among staff across your organization?
  • Are you a Maine resident with at least a bachelor's degree that would like to learn computer coding but never had the opportunity?
  • Do you already have an engineering, computer science, or other highly technical degree but could benefit from formal graduate course work within an information systems specialty domain?
  • Would you like to prepare yourself with foundation knowledge and skills in coding, digital data handling, data science, and computer science that will allow you to excel in addressing computing challenges in a current or future job?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, please consider the following all-coursework, online graduate programs. These rigorous programs have been designed to accommodate students from wide-ranging academic backgrounds. Among the bachelor’s degrees possessed by recent graduates and current students in these programs include Accounting, Biology, Business Administration, Computer Science, Ecology, Economics, Education, Engineering, English, Environmental Science, Information Technology, Journalism, Library Science, Music, Natural Resources, Nursing, Resource Economics, and Sociology. Incoming students are not required to have any previous computing background. However, those with substantial computing backgrounds have the flexibility to focus on those specialty courses they most desire to complete their graduate programs. Several jump-start tuition scholarships are available for the Fall 2020/Spring 2021 academic year. Qualifying programs for the tuition grants include:

  • Master of Science in Information Systems (MSIS) 
  • Graduate Certificate in Information Systems 
  • Master of Science in Spatial Informatics (MSSI) 

  • Graduate Certificate in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) 
Potential additional graduate programs that may be operational by Fall 2020 and will qualify for the grants, include:
  • Master of Science in Data Science
  • Graduate Certificate in Data Science
  • Graduate Certificate in Computing for Educators
Regardless of whether these additional graduate programs are approved for the Fall, all of them incorporate many overlapping courses required by the existing programs and, if courses are appropriately chosen, may be transferred to them in the future if the new programs are eventually approved.

To facilitate efficient processing for Maine residents in a time of stress, GRE scores and letters of reference currently are NOT required in applying for the existing listed programs. This is on a trial basis. For the jump-start scholarships, some deference will be given to those students pursuing one of the MS degrees. However, admitted students may acquire one or more Graduate Certificates as steps along the way in acquiring their full graduate degree.

The core courses in all of the above graduate programs focus on content knowledge in coding, computer science, data handling, and data science to provide fundamental skills to enable lifelong learning on computing topics.

The elective courses in the graduate distance degrees may be drawn from numerous domains. For instance, those with business or management interests might want to pursue graduate electives in management information systems, data analytics, and related topics; those with natural sciences, physical sciences or natural resources backgrounds might want to pursue electives in geographic information systems, human-computer interaction and virtual reality; those with computer science and some with engineering backgrounds might want to pursue electives in cybersecurity, machine learning, artificial intelligence, and networking topics they may have missed during their bachelor's programs; and high school teachers desiring to teach computer science courses might want to choose electives in multiple coding courses, GIS, and effective and inclusive methods for teaching computer science. Regardless of previous degrees, numerous offerings are available to meet the distance needs of each student.

Whether your intent is primarily to gain fundamental knowledge enabling you to better contribute to problem-solving in complex information organization and societal contexts or gain in-depth knowledge in an information specialty domain, the offered graduate programs should place you on solid ground to meet future learning needs as technological changes advance.

Rolling admissions allow you to complete the graduate application immediately to begin your first online class in September 2020.

Tuition grants are available for several newly admitted graduate students living in Maine for one 3-credit course each in the Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 semesters. Graduate program admission decisions and scholarship awards (about $1,350 for each of two 3-credit courses) are made on a rolling basis. Thus, applying earlier rather than later is recommended. The first batch of tuition awards likely will be made by mid-July.

To learn more, contact a UMaineOnline Advisor at 207.581.5858 or or contact Amanda Cupps directly at or 207.581-3452

For program-specific questions, contact the Graduate Programs Coordinator, Professor Harlan Onsrud at

Apply today at