Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts

Size 105 acres (0.4 km²)
Established 1894
School type Public
Location North Adams, Mass., USA
Enrollment ¹ 1,458 undergraduate
353 graduate
Faculty ² 80 full-time
42 part-time
Campus Rural
Colors Navy and Gold
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The Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) is a public, residential, liberal arts college, which offers both undergraduate and graduate programs. It is a member of the Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges and is located in North Adams, Massachusetts. Originally established as part of the state's normal school system for training teachers, it now offers a variety of programs leading to Bachelor of Science and Arts degrees, as well as a Master of Education track. MCLA is the smallest college in the state system.

From the 1960s, the college's athletic teams were known as the Mohawks. In response to concerns about racial stereotyping, the name Trailblazers was adopted in 2002.


Founded in 1894 as North Adams Normal School; offered first instruction at postsecondary level in 1897; changed name in 1932 to State Teachers College of North Adams, added upper division curriculum, and awarded first degree (baccalaureate) in 1932; added upper graduate program in 1937; in 1960, the college changed its name to North Adams State College; in 1997, the name changed to Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA), reflective of specialty school status within the Massachusetts State College public system.


MCLA is located in North Adams, MA, 1 mile from the downtown area of 14,700, in the northwestern corner of the state, bordering both Vermont and New York. Approximate travel time from Boston is 2 ½ hours; 3 hours from New York City; 1 ¼ hours from Albany, NY and 2 hours from Hartford, CT. Located 50 miles from Albany, NY; 180 miles from New York City; 135 miles from Boston, MA


Awards on the undergraduate level B.A. and a B.S. and also confers a Masters in Education M.Ed. and a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study (CAGS). MCLA offers 15 majors 35 minors, on average 300 academic courses offered each semester (Fall/Spring)


MCLA has over 40 student clubs, 11 competitive NCAA Division III sports (men only: baseball, basketball, cross-country, soccer, golf; women only: softball, basketball, cross-country, soccer, tennis, volleyball) competes in the ECAC and the MASCAC

Institutional Structure

Governing board: Massachusetts Board of Higher Education. Extra-institutional representation: 11 members, all voting. Board of Trustees (appointed by Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts) 11 members, all voting. Composition of institution: Administrations: 12 men / 24 women. Academic affairs headed by Vice President for Academic Affairs. Business/Finances headed by Vice President for Administration and Finance. Student Affairs headed by Dean of Students. Full-Time instructional faculty 52 men / 36 women. Academic governance body, All College Committee, meets an average of 9 times per year.


Rolling Admissions plan. For fall acceptance, apply as early as Nov. 1 of previous year. Apply by Dec. 1 for early decision. Requirements: Either graduation from an accredited secondary school or GED required to be considered. Entrance tests: College Board SAT or ACT composite. For transfer students: 2.00 minimum GPA with an associate degree from an accredited two year institution or 2.50 minimum GPA without an associate degree from a two year or four year accredited institution.

College credit and advanced placement for postsecondary level work completed in secondary school. Tutoring available. Noncredit development/remedial courses offered in summer session and regular academic year.

Degree Requirements

Graduation from MCLA requires completing 120 credits of academic work. From these 120 credits, 28-40 are college-wide Core Curriculum credits also 2 credits in physical education. Another one third or more of the 120 credits is required to complete a major. Elective credits may be used to meet the requirements of a second major or minors. Of the 120 credits required for graduation at least 39 must be in upper-division courses (300-level or higher), and at least 45 credits must be earned in residence at the College, To graduate, students must achieve at least a 2.0 grade point average overall and a 2.0 in their major.

Distinctive Educational Programs

For Undergraduate: Internship, Berkshire Hills Internship Program, travel courses abroad. MCLA belongs to the Massachusetts Council for International Education (MaCIE), College Consortium for International Studies (CCIS), and the National Student Exchange (NSE). Through these associations and connections, students are sent on semester or year-long programs to colleges around the world.


Student publications, radio: The Beacon, a weekly newspaper: Spires, annually published literary magazine. Radio Station WJJW broadcasts 140 hours per week. Faculty publications: The Mind's Eye

Was the College and New England premier of the musical Reefer Madness (musical)


External links

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