Self-designed major… endless possibilities

Every COA student designs their own course of study in human ecology . Beyond a small core of degree requirements , there’s no set path. You give shape to your curriculum based on your interests and goals, exploring across multiple areas of study or digging deeper into a chosen focus.

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Why we take a different approach

In the words of faculty member Rich Borden: “There is a tendency, especially in the academic world, to carve life into ever smaller pieces in order to make sense of it. All too often, the people who do this come to believe that is how the world really is. The aim of human ecology is to remind us that we are part of a complex and interactive living world. Its broad mandate calls us to cross the boundaries of traditional disciplines and seek fresh combinations of ideas. This demands a different approach to education—one which invites imagination and caring for the future. This is why COA was founded, and it is what we do best.”

Stories about academics at COA:

  • NEWS
    COA Names Two Acadia Scholars
    Competitive, paid internship program places two College of the Atlantic students in Acadia National Park or Schoodic Institute for a summer of outdoor work, networking, and opportunities to develop their expertise in natural resource conservation management.
  • NEWS
    Saving Sea Turtles in the Ogasawara Islands
    A passion for marine biology leads College of the Atlantic student Grace Caltabiano ’19 on two internships to Japan’s “Galápagos of The East,” where she joins efforts to protect endangered green sea turtles.
  • NEWS
    Energy Retrofit is All-Hands Effort
    There’s plenty of opportunity to get involved with practical energy work and apply knowledge from sustainability classes as students join College of the Atlantic’s Community Energy Center for a significant energy retrofit of one of the school’s buildings.