Life After COA

Graduation 2009Wonder what our students do after graduation? The answer: As many things as you can imagine.

COA's emphasis on field research, independent study, interdisciplinary thinking and job internships serves our students well. Our graduates include leaders and decision-makers in many different fields. Among them: the former president of Common Cause, senior conservation specialists at the World Wildlife Fund and the co-founder and president of Newman's Own Organics. Other COA graduates have become marine biologists, composers, restauranteurs, lawyers, entrepreneurs, teachers, organic farmers, artists, writers, social workers, doctors, veterinarians, molecular geneticists and public policy experts.

Maine Senator Chellie PingreeWhat do they have in common? They care about the world, think critically and understand the deep and abiding connections between ideas, people and the multiple worlds in which we engage. Their experiences at COA often encourage students to create their own niche in the world, whether as an entrepreneur, educator, artist or physician. They know they will live in tomorrow's world, not yesterday's, and they want to help shape the world in which they will live.


  • 30% of COA graduates pursue careers in hard science, such as environmental engineering, conservation biology, or health care.
  • 37% go into education or public service
  • 20% work in art-related careers.
  • 55% of COA graduates attend graduate school within five years of graduation, which puts COA among the top schools in the country in the number of students who pursue higher degrees.

Alumni Spotlight

"Looking back, it seemed like COA was more like a graduate school for undergraduates."

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Alumni Spotlight

"I firmly believe that Human Ecology is the most important concept for everyone to understand in order to make this world a sustainable place for all life."

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Alumni Spotlight

"I was looking for a community that shared my values, that really cared about learning, and was engaged with the world."

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