Early tree buds in front of Smith House

About MCLA

We’re the public liberal arts college in Massachusetts. In every way possible, the experience at MCLA is designed to elevate you as an individual, a leader, and a communicator, fully empowered to make your impression on the world.

Make it MCLA

Student on campusLocated in the Berkshires, our area is known for its mountain ranges, hiking trails, and panoramic views. Our home town of North Adams is brimming with young, creative energy and the regional economy is booming as a result.

Our classes are taught by educators who care deeply about teaching and about seeing their students thrive on every level; personally, academically, and professionally. We engage in the most relevant conversations of our time by bringing the most celebrated thinkers and speakers to campus through nationally known public lectures hosted by MCLA.

Class on the quadMCLA graduates excel in their careers, many advancing rapidly to earn competitive salaries in exciting fields, stemming in part from the professional opportunities available to them, such as internships in major cities, leadership programs that span the globe, and undergraduate research projects. Nearly 93% of our graduates land jobs or get accepted into some of the finest grad schools in the country. 

Here for all — and focused on each — of our students, MCLA makes a lasting impression on people’s lives.

Wish you were here? We do, too. Here’s how to schedule a campus visit.


  • 1,050 students enrolled
  • Ranked a top ten college by U.S. News and World Report for 2022
  • Within a three-hour drive of both Boston and New York City
  • 85% of students receive some form of financial aid
  • 93% of alumni are employed or in grad school within a year of graduation
  • Average class size of 12
  • 100+ scholarships
  • One of the U.S. Department of Education’s 26 U.S. colleges with low tuition costs and high salaries for graduates
  • Consistently on the Corporation for National and Community Service's President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll
  • Kiplinger’s Personal Finance Magazine voted MCLA in the 100 best colleges that combine outstanding academics with an affordable cost for 2015
  • Early Action Deadline is Dec. 1; to ensure the maximum amount of financial aid and scholarships, we encourage students to apply before our priority deadline of March 1. Apply here!


Find Out More

MCLA is in North Adams, Mass., a little city in the midst of an economic resurgence. Home to incredible museums (MCLA students have interned at every single one), majestic mountain ranges, hiking trails, and some of the nation’s most notable cultural landmarks, MCLA is an incredible place to spend your college years.

Our student guides give daily tours, and we hold lots of Open House and Preview Day events. Click here to request more info, schedule a tour, and learn more about the admission process.

MCLA offers more than 80 academic programs—check them out here. Many students double-major, or choose minors and concentrations outside their primary area of study.

You’ll begin your studies with an interdisciplinary core curriculum designed to challenge you. Exposing you to a variety of subjects will help you develop a more complex way of thinking—which will prepare you to solve more complex problems. And it’s OK if you’re still figuring it out. Our Center for Student Success and Engagement will help with academic advising while you’re exploring majors, minors, and concentrations.

This must all cost a fortune, right? Nope. Unlike many small colleges, MCLA is a public institution, so we’re committed to providing a top tier education with many hands-on learning opportunities at an affordable cost. We do it so well that the U.S. Department of Education now calls us one of 26 U.S. colleges “with low tuition costs and high salaries for graduates.” Learn about the cost of attendance here.

Approximately 85 percent of our students receive some type of financial assistance, and MCLA offers more than 100 scholarships for qualifying students. Learn about financial aid opportunities here.

Living at MCLA means soaking up picturesque views of the Berkshire mountains every time you walk to class. Students live in one of our three residence areas: Hoosac Hall, Berkshire Towers, or Flagg Townhouse Apartment Complex.

First-year students live on campus and participate in a college meal plan for three years. Campus housing is guaranteed for four years. Learn more about our residence areas here.

MCLA students can study abroad in Europe, Asia, Africa, the Pacific, or the Americas and fully immerse themselves in another culture.

For a shorter experience away from home, take a Travel Course, an academic experience that takes place partially on campus and includes travel to another country.

Or, spend a semester in another state or U.S. territory through the National Student Exchange Program.

Over the four years you’re here, you can count on the Career Development office for networking techniques, resume reviews, entrance exam prep, internship placements (MCLA offers 200+ internship opportunities and counting), grad school applications, career fairs, and leads on job opportunities. And, we’ll continue to support you once you’re an alum.
If you’re like most MCLA students, you’ll want to be involved in multiple clubs and activities. We have more than 50! And you can always start your own club if what you’re into isn’t on this list.

At MCLA, our core mission is preparing you for personal and professional growth and success. That’s why we combine the academic core of a liberal arts education with so many ways to earn a degree. Whether in North Adams, or our newest location in Pittsfield, MCLA offers convenient seven-semester programs that let you complete your degree — once and for all — in just over two years.

If you’re looking to advance your career or learn some new skills, MCLA also offers graduate programs in education and business administration, as well as certificate programs in principles of accounting and network security.

If you’re up for the challenge, you’ll join a close-knit community of scholars dedicated to exchanging innovative ideas and personal knowledge. Honors students also have the option to live in our Honors Living & Learning Community.
Become a Trailblazer at MCLA, and join a proud athletic tradition devoted to individual excellence and team success. Our driving goals are for every athlete to maintain a 3.0 GPA or better, for every team to be in the top two spots in our conference, and for all athletes and coaches to work together as one. We have 14 Division III teams and plenty of intramurals too—learn more about our Athletics Department here.

Too many to count! (Although our Alumni Office keeps track.) The Berkshires are home to some powerful economic development drivers, like global aerospace and defense company General Dynamics, paper manufacturer Crane & Co, and Zogics, a manufacturer of eco-friendly facility supplies. MCLA alumni and students work at all of them.

And many of our alumni go on to prestigious organizations outside the Berkshires, often in Boston and New York City. They hold positions as diverse as manager of a traveling theater company to software developer at an athletics apparel company. We’re proud that 93% of MCLA students are employed or in grad school within a year of graduation.