The University of New England (UNE) is a private, coeducational university with campuses in Biddeford, Maine, Portland, Maine, and Tangier, Morocco. The Biddeford campus sits on 540 acres, the Portland campus on 40 acres, and the Tangier Campus on 3.7 acres. During the 2014-2015 academic year 10, 371 students were enrolled in UNE’s campus-based and online programs.
UNE’s institutional history dates to 1831, when Westbrook Seminary opened on what is now the UNE Portland Campus. The UNE Biddeford Campus was founded in 1939 when College Séraphique opened as a high school and junior college for boys of Quebecois decent. In 1952, that institution became a four-year liberal arts college named St. Francis College. In 1978, St. Francis College merged with the New England Foundation for Osteopathic Medicine to become the University of New England. In 1996, the University of New England merged with Westbrook College. In 2014, UNE opened a campus in Tangier, Morocco.
UNE is the largest private university in the state of Maine and the largest educator of healthcare professionals for Maine. It is organized into six colleges that combine to offer more than 70 undergraduate, graduate, online, and professional degrees. Known predominantly for its programs in the sciences and health sciences, UNE also offers degrees in the marine sciences, environmental science, business, education, the humanities, and many other subjects. Its College of Osteopathic Medicine is the only medical school in Maine, and its College of Dental Medicine is the only dental college in northern New England.
In 1939, a boys-only high school and junior college called the College Séraphique was founded in Biddeford by Father Decary and the Franciscan friar of St. Andre's parish.
In 1952, the school changed its name to St. Francis College and began granting bachelor's degrees with state approval in 1953. The high school program was phased out by 1961, and the college was first accredited in 1966.
The school became co-educational for the first time in 1967 and the Franciscans withdrew from the administration of the college in 1974.
To survive dropping enrollment, St. Francis College entered into an agreement with the New England Foundation for Osteopathic Medicine to establish the New England College of Osteopathic Medicine on the same campus, and in 1978 the two merged under the new name of the "University of New England". In 1996, Westbrook College merged with the University of New England. The merger took place under the terms of the original 1831 Westbrook charter, and the combined institutions became Westbrook College before changing the name back to the University of New England. The campus of the former Westbrook College is now known as the UNE Portland Campus.
In December 2010, the university received the largest gift in its history - $10 million from the Harold Alfond Foundation to build the Harold Alfond Forum on the Biddeford Campus, and to support interprofessional healthcare workforce education.