Frequently Asked Questions

Getting to Know Us

Is the UNE Academy of Digital Sciences a class? A certificate program? A degree?
The UNE Academy of Digital Sciences is a series of innovative, blended (online and offline) learning courses designed to give learners at all levels the professional digital skills that are most in-demand by local and national employers. Our collaborators are some of Maine’s best known businesses, including Idexx, Unum, FieldStack, MaineHealth and L.L. Bean. Learners who complete a course receive a UNE certificate of completion and the opportunity to meet with area employers.

How long will each course take to complete?
Courses are offered in eight-week sessions. However, within the eight-week window, the courses are designed so that you can advance at your own pace. All the learning material, assessments and projects for each course are accessible from the first day of each session. You set your own pace for learning and engagement, while receiving academic and course support from the Academy. Learners should be able to complete each course on nights and weekends, if necessary, or in about 2-3 weeks studying full-time. We estimate the total time required for each course is about 60 hours.

Each UNE Academy course is similar in length to a college course, and targeted closely to what's needed in the profession. Two of our Fundamentals courses will provide as much career-relevant experience as a typical first-year college student would receive in the first two courses in their major.

According to a recent survey of Project>Login employers, more than two thirds of  paid interns in computing and IT positions are hired for continuing work.

Are there pre-requisites to taking UNE Academy courses?

The first course that will be available is “Digital Sciences Essentials” requires only your curiosity about digital science and digital learning. However, before registration, we require you complete our Find Your Fit survey and talk with a UNE Academy specialist.

The four subsequent “Fundamentals” courses (see below) cover a more advanced curriculum and will require the successful completion of either the “Essentials” course or an online assessment test prior to registration.

Is the UNE Academy for undergraduates preparing to enter the workforce or people who are already working?
The UNE Academy is designed to support the success of learners at all levels—whether you are a student, a professional looking for change or advancement, or an experienced professional, such as a recent immigrant looking for a brush-up or refresher course. The “Essentials” course is general enough to help anyone use digital tools and techniques to solve problems in more complex and effective ways, while the “Fundamentals” courses allow interested learners to dive deeper into particular areas of focus and learn professional skills.

What will the courses cover?
The “Essentials” course provides an overview of the UNE Academy’s four main career development areas, and more in-depth “Fundamentals” courses are offered in each of these areas:

  • Development and Programming
  • Interaction and Interface
  • Analysis and Data
  • Project Management

The “Essentials” overview is designed to give you a brief introduction to the subject matter. For beginners, especially, this is an excellent opportunity to explore and assess your interest in the digital professions try before making a larger investment of time and money.

By the end, we want you to have a positive experience and have a better idea of what your next steps are, whether your takeaway is “That was great and I want to learn more,” or “That was great, but a digital career is not for me.”

Each “Fundamentals” course is a deeper dive, designed to give you employer-ready, professional-level skills in that area.

What will I do in a UNE Academy course?
In addition to engaging online learning modules from world-class instructors, you’ll take on real-world projects with each course, supported by mentors who are accomplished local professionals.

Through the project component of each course we ensure that you are able to apply your learning to real-world tasks that are relevant to the needs and requirements of leading Maine businesses. Your mentor will guide you through your work to make sure it is up-to-date and applicable to what’s going on in today’s business world.

You will also have the ability to meet professionals other than your mentor at regularly scheduled events and meetings that you can attend in person on UNE's Portland campus and virtually online. 

How do I learn more?
Academy specialists are available to help you with any and all questions you may have. We are your resource and are here to help guide you through the process of becoming a successful Academy learner at UNE, from first inquiry through registration and throughout the entire learning course into your role as an Academy Alumni.

Academic Calendar

Session 1

  • Registration opens: December 14, 2016
  • Registration closes: January 11, 2017
  • Term begins: January 23, 2017
  • Term ends: March 17, 2017

Session 2

  • Registration opens: February 15, 2017
  • Registration closes: March 15, 2017
  • Term begins: March 27, 2017
  • Term ends: May 19, 2017

Session 3

  • Registration opens: April 19, 2017
  • Registration closes: May 17, 2017
  • Term begins: May 29, 2017
  • Term ends: July 21, 2017

Session 4

  • Registration opens: June 21, 2017
  • Registration closes: July 19, 2017
  • Term begins: July 31, 2017
  • Term ends: September 22, 2017

Session 5

  • Registration opens: August 16, 2017
  • Registration closes: September 13, 2017
  • Term begins: September 25, 2017
  • Term ends: November 17, 2017

Session 6

  • Registration opens: October 18, 2017
  • Registration closes: November 15, 2017
  • Term begins: November 27, 2017
  • Term ends: January 19, 2018

Before You Register

Be sure to read our policies and procedures, which includes our Academic Calendar, Prerequisites, Registration Information and Technology Requirements.

Then, before you register, complete our Find Your Fit survey of interests and experience. We recommend you talk with an Academy specialist before registering to understand the best fit between you and our courses.

Contact us at or (207) 221-4001.


Once you’ve spoken with a UNE academy specialist, you will be given access to our Registration Portal, where you can pay the $1,450 course fee via credit card. This fee covers one 8-week course, including all instruction, mentoring and support.

A learner can extend the same course for up to an additional 8 weeks for an additional $725.

If a learner withdraws during the first week of the course, 40% of payment can be refunded. If a learner withdraws during the second week of class, 20% of payment can be refunded. After the second week of classes, no refund is available. Courses start on Mondays, so learners have to drop by 11:59 p.m. on the first or second Sunday night. There is no refund for withdrawals after the second week.

If you have further questions regarding UNE Academy courses, don’t hesitate to reach out to us via email at or give us a call at (207) 221-4001.

Technology Requirements

Learners will be expected to maintain their own technology resources. If you should have any questions about these Technology Requirements, please get in touch. We will be happy to walk you through any details.

General Computer Requirements


  • Laptop, or other portable device, with details specified below
  • Audio speakers or headset with microphone
    • Headsets might provide better sound quality if you find it difficult to hear your course through your speakers
  • Webcam or built-in camera with microphone


  • Current web browser (latest version as of the term start date)
  • Software capable of word processing, spreadsheet manipulation and presentation
    • Examples: Microsoft Word, Pages, LibreOffice, or Google Docs           


  • Access to reliable internet speeds of 1.5 Mbps download and upload

Computer Proficiency Requirements

During your courses, your mentors, counselors, and fellow learners will be there to support you. However, you will need basic computer literacy to participate comfortably in an online learning environment. At minimum, you should have proficiency with the following:

  • Using a keyboard and a mouse
  • Sending and receiving email
  • Using software capable of word processing, spreadsheet manipulation and presentations, such as Microsoft Office (Word, PowerPoint, Excel) or similar suites like Google Apps or Open Office alternatives
  • File management
  • Installing and updating software
  • Accessing the internet using a browser such as Chrome or Firefox, and performing general use and troubleshooting while online
  • Browsing for files to attach and upload; extracting zipped files

Mac Computer Requirements

  • Mac OS X-compatible processor or higher
  • Mac OS X Version 10.9
  • 2 GB of RAM required (higher is recommended)
  • 4 GB free hard drive space
  • Internet service provider (ISP); broadband connection strongly recommended
  • Microsoft Office for Mac 2008 or higher (to include Word, Excel and PowerPoint), Apple iWork, or LibreOffice (free and available for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux)
  • Safari 7, Google Chrome or Firefox (latest version) are recommended for most courses. Other browsers may allow classroom access, but not all functions are guaranteed to operate correctly
  • Malware Protection Software is strongly suggested

Windows Computer Requirements

  • 2.0 GHz processor or higher
  • Windows XP or higher required
  • 2 GB of RAM required (higher is recommended)
  • 4 GB free hard drive space
  • Internet service provider (ISP); broadband connection strongly recommended
  • Microsoft Office 2007 or higher (to include Word, Excel and PowerPoint) or LibreOffice (free and available for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux)
  • Windows: Firefox (latest version) or Google Chrome (latest version). Other browsers may allow classroom access, but not all functions are guaranteed to operate correctly
  • Malware Protection Software is required

Linux Computer Requirements

  • 2.0 GHz processor or higher
  • Any Linux distribution that will allow the Firefox browser and LibreOffice productivity suite
  • 2 GB of RAM required (higher is recommended)
  • 4 GB free hard drive space
  • Internet service provider (ISP); broadband connection strongly recommended
  • LibreOffice (current version)
  • Firefox (latest version) is recommended. Google’s Chromium browser on Linux has known functionality issues with Blackboard. Other browsers may allow classroom access, but not all functions are guaranteed to operate correctly
  • Malware Protection Software is suggested