Do you learn better by doing? Are hands-on labs and projects easier (and more fun) for you to understand rather than reading and memorizing theories? Do you like to take things apart to see how they work only to put them back together in a better way? If so, the UMaine School of Engineering Technology may be the place for you!


What is the UMaine School of Engineering Technology?

The UMaine School of Engineering Technology (SET) on the Orono, Maine, campus offers electrical, mechanical, surveying, and construction engineering majors. All four of these programs have an emphasis on hands-on learning and experimentation with lab-driven classes focused on applied reasoning and real-world problem-solving skills.

UMaine SET students may also pursue minors in business, mathematics, and renewable energy, further increasing their chances of finding a job and future career in their field of interest.

The reputations of the UMaine SET, its professors, and students are top notch. The professors have industry experience, meaning they had successful careers out in the field and returned to campus to teach the next generation of engineers. The students have enthusiasm, hands-on knowledge, and internship experience.


How is the School of Engineering Technology different from a “traditional” engineering program?

The main difference is in the approach to learning. At UMaine SET, the focus is on application—applying learned principles by doing. The students in the SET tend to learn engineering concepts more easily when they can test, experiment, and see results right away by physically working with their hands.

Students who graduate from SET apply for the same jobs as those students who graduate having received an engineering education based on a more theoretical curriculum. One undergraduate engineering path is not better than the other—it’s about finding where you’ll be more confident and comfortable learning to best prepare yourself for a successful, rewarding career.

Veteran engineers are looking to retire and pass along their careers-long expertise to the next generation. Paired with an ever-growing need for engineers in manufacturing industries, businesses and organizations are actively seeking out UMaine engineering students resulting in a 100% job placement rate after graduation.


How does the School of Engineering Technology work?

Students are in one of the four available programs for four years much like a “traditional” undergraduate college program. Their studies consist of learning engineering principles and theories and applying them with in-class labs and team and individual projects. Students at the SET can apply for summer internships and co-ops to gain even more practical knowledge and industry experience.

Mechanical and electrical engineering students can expect to work on a Capstone project starting in their junior year and completing it during their senior year. For three semesters they concept, design, build, and test a project of their choosing—yes, anything they want! Prior capstone projects have included automation, the restoration of unfunctional machinery, as well as agricultural machinery.


Is the School of Engineering Technology for me?

If you’ve read this far and are feeling encouraged or inspired, it’s possible you’re well suited for an education with the School of Engineering Technology! Here are other ways to reflect on if engineering is for you.

The School of Engineering Technology is for those who:

  • Are curious by nature
  • Learn by doing rather than reading or memorizing
  • Are motivated by seeing results immediately
  • Like to solve problems in their own way
  • Always looking to improve or design something
  • Like to take things apart to see how it works, why it works, and how it could be built better, before putting it back together
  • Look for creative and innovative solutions
  • Can apply math, science, and physics principles to projects and problems
  • Like to figure things out for themselves rather than take it at face value

You may be an engineer if you regularly find yourself asking these questions:

“What if…”
“I wonder…”
“I bet we could do…”
“How come…”
“Can I make this better/faster/more efficient?”

However, these aren’t exhaustive lists of “what an engineer is.” If you’re thinking you may want to study engineering, but are looking for more information check out our blogs How Do I Know Engineering Is For Me? and 5 Things To Know Before Studying Engineering. You can also stop by the UMaine Pulp and Paper Foundation’s office and chat with Jen and Carrie—they’re engineers who love to help students.

Visit the School of Engineering Technology’s website where you can apply for acceptance, for scholarships, watch video tours and learn more about the available programs.