One 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 from the academic community:

  • NEWS
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    Ernie McMullen’s Lasting Impact
    Ernie McMullen retired this spring. The many skills he has taught and cultivated offer students a direct, intuitive way of interacting with their material environment, and of finding their place within it.
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    “The Jolly Mon” Comes to Life
    I sat down for a question and answer session with director Gina Sabatini and co-director Polly McAdam to discuss their upcoming play, “The Jolly Mon,” premiering May 24. Gina`s senior project is adapted from the children`s novel by Jimmy Buffett and his daughter Savannah Jane Buffett. Gina and Polly shared details about the early ideas for the play, and the casting, audition, and rehearsal process. – Marina Cucuzza
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    A Sense of Self and Place: The Community School
    Through an integrated, expeditionary curriculum, weekly outings, and town meeting-style gatherings, The Community School has found new ways to cultivate a sense of self and of place.