Self-designed major… endless possibilities

Every COA student designs his or her 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
    Exploring Where the Land Meets the Sea
    College of the Atlantic students in Dr. Sean Todd’s Oceanography course hit the local mudflats in Acadia National Park for practical experience in beach profiling.
  • 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
    Designing a New Approach to Higher Ed
    Changemaker Residency is the pilot project of an experiential higher education program that aims to empower students from around the world with the tools, skills, and mindsets to create meaningful social change. The Residency was designed by Clément Moliner-Roy ’18 for his College of the Atlantic capstone senior project.