College of the Atlantic Top Questions

What is your overall opinion of this school?


We're extremely small, there's no getting around that. You either love it or hate it (and sometimes both), but most students tend to enjoy such an intimate community (why would you be here if you didn't). The campus is small, but beautiful, and Bar Harbor is a nice town, albeit dead and lonely in the winter.


COA is a tiny school of a little over 300 students on an island. Come prepared to make your own fun and don't expect to be able to have any element of anonymity; it won't happen. At COA the relationship with faculty and staff is unique in that many will tell you they work for the students. We do not offer tenure and every few years each faculty member will be reviewed by the students. Ultimately if enough students are dissatisfied with a professor's performance, they won't be there anymore. Nothing at COA will be handed to you. All students are expected to ask for what they want/need and while there is some help along the way, no one will be holding your hand guiding you through a predetermined curriculum. If that is what you need, do not come here. Expect people to laugh at you when you tell them you go to a school with one major: human ecology. They will ask you what the hell it is and how in the world are you going to do anything with it. On the contrary, our alumni do in fact do things with it. There is a lot of opportunity to change things at COA. If you see a problem, come up with a plan to fix it and take your ideas to the right people, you will be heard. That's the best part about COA, students who are motivated and self disciplined will be able to do things they would never get the opportunity to do at any other college.