Through the admission process we hope to get to know you as an individual: What are you passionate about? What do you hope to learn and experience in college? Why do you think COA might be a good fit for you?

Each application is reviewed holistically by several members of our admission committee, which includes faculty, current students, and admission staff. We are specifically looking for evidence of:

  • Strong academic preparation and achievement
  • Intellectual curiosity and a love of learning
  • Desire to be part of a small college community with a focus on human ecology
  • A tendency to seek out intellectual and personal challenges
  • Ability to thrive in a self-directed environment
How to apply

COA accepts the Common Application for undergraduate admission.

Your application will be considered complete when we have the following:

  • A completed application form and $50 fee
  • At least two teacher recommendations
  • Official transcripts of all academic work
  • School report and counselor recommendation (first year students only)

We accept Early Decision and Regular Decision applications; be sure to get all of your application materials in by the appropriate deadline! If you’re an international applicant, a transfer student, or a home-schooled or non-traditional student, use these links for more information and answers to frequent questions.

Interviews

Admission interviews, though not required, are strongly encouraged.  To arrange an interview in person, over Skype, or on the phone, please contact the admission office.

Graduate admissions

Visit the graduate program pages to learn about the requirements and process for applying to our M.Phil program.

Essays

In addition to the standard Common Application essay, we ask for your responses to the following two short-answer essay questions—you’ll find them on our Common App member page, and your responses should be around one to two paragraphs:

  • A​t COA, we know that grades on a transcript tell only one part of your story. In one to two paragraphs, please describe one or more aspects of your educational background that may not be evident from your transcript alone. For instance, you might describe a class or educational experience that inspired or influenced you, or difficult circumstances that may have impacted your grades.
  • College of the Atlantic is, in many ways, not a typical college. COA’s self-designed program, our close-knit community of 350 students from around the world, and our engaged and interdisciplinary curriculum tend to attract students who are looking for a different kind of educational experience. Please describe, in one or two paragraphs, what you’re looking for from your college experience and why you think COA could be a good school for you.
Want to tell us more about yourself?

If you wish, you are welcome to submit examples or a portfolio of writing, art, music, or another form of expression not easily conveyed through the Common App. Send materials to inquiry@coa.edu, and please include a brief explanation and/or captions of your work to provide context. Dropbox, Google Drive, web URLs, and email attachments are all acceptable formats.

Standardized testing optional

COA is SAT/ACT optional. Our CEEB code is 3305.