Smith house in spring

About MCLA

Powerful Results

MCLA Students

Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts students are community-minded, idea-driven, and motivated. MCLA graduates become scientists, business people, inventors, artists, sculptors, actors, managers, engineers, journalists, and more.

MCLA’s liberal arts education provides essential preparation for professional and civic life. As Massachusetts’ designated public liberal arts college, MCLA is committed to helping students develop the critical thinking and communication skills that employers seek in today’s complex global economy.

We offer the ideal environment for learning, growing, and developing leadership skills. If you’re an enterprising student with a big idea, MCLA can help you make it happen—among other accomplishments, our students are starting their own clubs, creating their own gallery shows, designing virtual reality labs to help others learn chemistry, and pitching their business ideas to successful entrepreneurs.

All that creative and academic support—plus a strong, supportive, inclusive community—is what makes MCLA a special place. Come see for yourselfschedule a visit today.

Find out more

+ Where is MCLA?

MCLA is in the beautiful Berkshires of Western Massachusetts in the city of North Adams. The campus is in the middle of a vibrant, storied old city on the rise. North Adams' arts community is anchored by the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (it’s the largest museum of its kind); the campus is in walking/driving distance from dozens of hiking, biking and ski trails; and Mount Greylock, Massachusetts’ highest peak, is just a few minutes away. (We hear the Ilvermorny School of Witchcraft and Wizardry is located there, so you might feel a little magic in the air when you visit campus.)

+ What majors are offered?

Teacher helping student

MCLA offers more than 50 areas of study—everything from business to biology—plus programs that can help you complete your degree in less time. Learn more about our academics here.

If you’re not sure what major you should choose, that’s fine! Our Center for Student Success and Engagement can help you figure it out.

MCLA also offers graduate programs in business and education, and degree completion programs designed for busy adult learners.

+ What is the cost of attendance?

MCLA is committed to access and affordability. Find out about the cost of tuition here.

Approximately 85 percent of our students receive some form of financial assistance, primarily a combination of grants, loans, and part-time employment. There are also a number of alternative loan and payment plans that let you take advantage of an incredible education - without incurring incredible debt. Find out more about financial aid here.

+ What do the residences on campus look like?

Students walking in from of Berkshire Towers

Our three residence areas house more than 1,000 students. Each residence area is supervised by a Residence Director and a team of Resident Advisors. First-year students entering the College live on campus and participate in a College meal plan for three years. MCLA guarantees housing for four years. Find out more about campus housing and take a video tour of each option.

+ What opportunities are there for me to study abroad?

MCLA students in Japan

MCLA is affiliated with International Studies Abroad (ISA), CISabroad, and the Semester At Sea program, which allow students to travel and study in many different universities around the world. Scholarship opportunities are available.

MCLA is also a member of the National Student Exchange. Through this organization, students may study at participating colleges within the United States and its territories (Puerto Rico, Guam, the Virgin Islands) and Canada. Students pay tuition to MCLA and room and board to the host college.

You can also take a travel course—or a Spring Breakout trip—to a long list of locations all over the world.

+ How can I access internship opportunities?

There are more than 200 internship opportunities available to you as an MCLA student, as well as opportunities for undergraduate research. Plus, our Career Services Office identifies employment opportunities and offers career exploration, assisting you with resume building and preparation for life after college. Take a look at this list of recent internship placements.

+ What clubs can I join?

MCLA has 51 clubs! Hang out with other lovers of anime or Shakespeare. Spin new songs on WJJW, the college radio station. Learn to step with NeXXus or hit the slopes with the ski club. And if any of those options don’t seem to fit, you can always start a club of your own.

+ What does MCLA's Honors Program offer?

Teacher in front of students in classroom

Our honors program is a group of passionate students who work together through the same academic curriculum. They're intellectually engaged with each other and the world, they love books, writing, and learning for their own sake, and they crave intellectual challenges. Students who aspire to become honors students, regardless of their past academic records, may request an interview with the program director. Find out more about our honors program here.

+ How do I join an athletic team?

MCLA basketball player

MCLA offers 13 Division III athletic teams. Our athletics department is like a close-knit family who play hard and study hard, too. Here’s how to contact our coaches or ask about athletic recruitment.

We also have intramural teams for those who want to take a break from academic work, make new friends, and compete in a friendly atmosphere. Intramural programs are organized so that people of all abilities can compete in the multitude of activities offered.

+ What successful careers do MCLA grads have?

Dr. Birge and graduating student

MCLA alumni are making a difference in their communities across the world. Take a look at this list of recent grad school acceptances and job placements to get an idea of the wide impact our alumni have on their world and their professions.

We’re proud of our alumni, so we check in with them regularly and share their success stories. Take a look at some of our most recent alumni stories.

+ When can I visit?

We’d love for you to visit any time! Call or email an admission counselor to schedule a tour and request more info, or attend one of our preview days.


  • Kiplinger’s Personal Finance Magazine voted MCLA in the 100 best colleges that combine outstanding academics with an affordable cost for 2015.
  • MCLA was for four consecutive years named as a Top Ten Public Liberal Arts College by U.S. News and World Report.
  • In 2016, the U.S. Department of Education recognized MCLA as one of 26 U.S. colleges with low tuition costs and high salaries for graduates.
  • MCLA consistently appears on the Corporation for National and Community Service's annual President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll.
  • A member of COPLAC (Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges), MCLA is recognized for championing the cause of liberal arts education of superior quality in the public sector, providing students of high ability and from all backgrounds access to an outstanding education.
  • In 2016, MCLA was awarded a $2.177 million Title III “Strengthening Institutions Program” grant from the U.S. Department of Education to increase retention and graduation rates of students. Read more about the grant here.
  • MCLA is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC), Inc. through its Commission on Institutions of Higher Education. MCLA received our reaccreditation by NEASC in April 2014.