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
    Valentine in My Headphones: The Making of a Music Video
    Students in Intermediate Video gain real-world video composition experience - from pitch to completion - with client Todd Kitchens ’06 of the musical duo Port of Est.
  • NEWS
    Regrowing Tropical Forests Recover Fast in Tree Species Richness, but Slow in Species Composition
    A team of ecologists from Latin America, the United States, and Europe, including College of the Atlantic botany professor Susan Letcher, publish a study in Science Advances showing that natural forest regeneration may be the ideal way to bring nearly one billion acres of tropical forest into restoration by 2030, as set under the Bonn Challenge.
  • NEWS
    And the Award Goes to...
    The world’s largest annual meeting on the earth and space sciences awards Outstanding Student Presentation to College of the Atlantic’s Alba Mar Rodríguez Padilla ‘18 for her earthquake research in eastern Canada.