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
    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
    COA, UMaine Seek Sweet Spot
    A $500,000 grant to study small- and medium-scale honey and maple syrup production in Maine is awarded to College of the Atlantic and the University of Maine by the United States Department of Agriculture.
  • NEWS
    Maine Residents Carry Differing Messages to Paris Climate Talks (BDN)
    Mainers from a number of organizations including the Sierra Club and students from the College of the Atlantic join President Barack Obama and thousands of others in Paris for the 21st United Nations Conference of the Parties.