About

See what students say:

Academics

Located in beautiful Bar Harbor, Maine, the College of the Atlantic is a “really small school” that offers students a strong “interdisciplinary approach to learning.” The institution strives to shape its students into “more creative...and critical thinkers” and really allows every undergrad to “construct [their] own unique path.” One way they accomplish this is through the school’s “inclusive governance system” which lets undergrads “have a say in things going on at the school,” including things like approving new classes or reviewing internships. COA undergrads applaud the many different academic opportunities that allow for “hands-on, in the field experience through coursework, work-study, internships, [and the] senior project.” Additionally, a number of individuals get to participate in “student research through local lab partners or the islands program” as well. Another advantage of a COA education? The fact that “if you have an interest that there aren’t classes in, the school will help you design in-depth independent studies and pair you with knowledgeable mentors.” With seemingly endless learning opportunities, it’s no wonder many believe they “receive an incredible education beyond [their] expectations.” The professors at COA are “incredibly kind and educated.” As this undergrad explains, “All of them are nice and will do their best to help if you ask.” Students “get to know [their] professors personally,” so it comes as no surprise that many agree “every meeting [and] conversation leaves [them] feeling energized and excited” about what they are studying.

Student Body

The student body at College of the Atlantic is generally composed of a “unique combination of activists, oddballs, nature lovers and otherwise passionate and unusual people.” And they certainly come together to form a community that is “welcoming [and] kind” and rooted in “compassion...for people, plants, animals and the planet.” COA undergrads also make a point of highlighting how diverse their peers are, “in terms of having [both] international students [and] lots of queer students.” One individual highlights that the school is “a very transgender-friendly place” as well. And a classmate quickly adds, “I’ve never felt more able to freely explore...and find out who I want to be and how I want to express myself. As a queer person coming from a very conservative background, COA was like a breath of fresh air.” Beyond background and sexual orientation, many students here are “eager to [learn] more and share their knowledge [with] others.” This is underscored by a student who says, “I have met people who are passionate about a million things I’d never even thought to care about, whether than be phylogeny, herring gulls, sewing, or subjectivity.” But when it comes down to it, what COA undergrads appreciate most about their peers is the fact that they “pay attention to others and their needs.”

Campus Life

Prepare to be busy if you end up attending the College of the Atlantic. After all, “there’s always a hundred activities and meetings happening every day.” And a good number of undergrads here “spend time serving on committees” as well as “take on jobs on campus.” In terms of events and extracurriculars, students “love going to open mics and hearing what [their] peers have created” or checking out the work of the “many artists on campus.” Then again, there’s no denying that COA students are an incredibly outdoorsy lot and can often be found frolicking in nature or nearby Acadia National Park, which is “right next to campus.” Indeed, the outing club is quite active and students frequently “get to hike, cross country ski, boulder, ice skate, canoe, sea kayak, backpack, camp and build saunas.” And there’s a backpacking leadership program, too. One participant reveals that it has “allowed me to lead a week-long freshmen orientation trip on the Appalachian Trail for two years in a row.” And if that weren’t enough, there’s still plenty of ways to bond with your peers in more casual settings. Undergrads here maintain a “strong culture of cooking and eating together” with many “[spending] most of their time in the dining halls” and “generally hang[ing] out with friends.” You’re also bound to stumble upon students simply “mak[ing] music [or] watch[ing] movies.”

Contact & Visit

Campus Visits Contact

Contact
Donna McFarland
Associate Director of Admission

Address
Office of Admission
105 Eden Street
Bar Harbor, ME 04609

Phone
800-528-0025

Email
inquiry@coa.edu or visit@coa.edu

Experience College Life

Most Popular Places On Campus
Thorndike Library
Blair Dining Hall (aka Take-A-Break, or TAB)
The pier
Turrets
George B. Dorr Museum of Natural History
College of the Atlantic is located on the shore of Frenchman Bay, next door to the mountains, forests, beaches, and trails of Acadia National Park. We welcome visitors during any season, and offer regular tours of campus on weekdays at 10:00 am and 2:00 pm.

Most Popular Places Off Campus
Acadia National Park
Cadillac Mountain
Kayaking Frenchman Bay
Shopping/dining in Bar Harbor
Sand Beach
Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park provide a wealth of opportunities for visitors. Whether you like to hike, bike, or kayak, enjoy good food, go on a whale watch, or attend a cultural event, the spring/summer/fall season in Bar Harbor is lively and engaging. The Abbe Museum, located downtown, focuses on Native American culture and history of Maine, and there are many local galleries, marine museums, and more. Downtown Bar Harbor is just a short walk from campus, and has a full range of amenities and services.

Campus Tours

Campus Visiting Center
Monday - Friday
8-4
800-528-0025

Campus Tours
Appointment Required: Yes
Dates: Year-round
Times: 10:00am, 2:00pm
Average Length: 1 hour

On Campus Interview

Campus Interviews
Yes

Information Sessions
Available

Times
by appointment

Faculty and Coach Visits

Dates/Times Available
N/A

Arrangements
Contact Admissions Office

Advance Notice
1 week

Class Visits

Dates/Times Available
Academic Year

Arrangements
Contact Admissions Office

Overnight Dorm Stays

Overnight Dorm Stays
Available

Arrangements
Contact Admissions Office

Limitations
High school seniors and transfer students

Transportation

Types of Transportation Available to Campus
Regularly scheduled flights are available to Bar Harbor Airport and to Bangor International Airport. Bus service is available to Bar Harbor, Bangor, and Ellsworth, though service to Bar Harbor is limited in winter. Taxis are available year-round.

Driving Instructions to Campus
Driving from the south, take Interstate 95 north to Interstate 395 in Bangor (exit 182A). Follow Interstate 395 to Re 1A Ellsworth (Exit 6). From Ellsworth, follow Rte 3 east to Bar Harbor. Keep left after crossing the bridge onto Mount Desert Island. College of the Atlantic is on the ocean side of Rte. 3, about 19 miles from the Ellsworth shopping district, eight miles from the head of Mount Desert Island and one-quarter mile beyond the Nova Scotia Ferry Terminal. Turn left at the COA entrance and park in the provided areas. The admission office is located on the first floor of Kaelber Hall, under the arch to the right.

Local Accommodations
Nearby year-round accommodations include: Atlantic Oceanside Hotel Acacia House B&B Acadia Inn Elmhurst Inn Quimby House Inn

Admissions

Applicants: 405
Acceptance Rate: 76%
Average HS GPA: 3.65







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