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
    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
    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.
  • NEWS
    Takeover is Talk of Take-a-Break
    At the heart of College of the Atlantic, Take-a-Break (TAB) is the place to gather, share delicious food, converse, plan, and create. For one special month, a group of students bring new culinary, social, and historical perspectives to the dining hall as part of the annual Anthropology of Food TAB Takeover.