Liberal Arts (A.A.)

students in a literature class

Liberal Arts Program Overview


The goal of Berkshire Community College's (BCC) Liberal Arts program is to develop students' foundational knowledge and skills through a wide variety of academic disciplines, preparing them for a successful transfer to a four-year institution, lucrative opportunities in the workforce, and informed engagement in their communities. Through the study of subjects like history, science, languages, mathematics, and the arts, this program fosters independently motivated, complex thinkers who are able to affect positive change in the overlapping contexts of community, politics, family life, the workplace and society.

This program is eligble for MassTransfer

If you are a student who:

  • Wants to prepare for an ever-changing job market: The Liberal Arts program gives you transferable skills that employers value across many fields.
  • Plans to transfer to a four-year institution: Our program gives you the flexibility to explore your options, focus your interests, and gain foundational knowledge in a wide range of disciplines.
  • Is interested in creating social and political change in your community: The program gives you the theoretical, historical, civic and social knowledge to impact community life.
  • Isn't sure about a specific career path: This program provides you with a solid foundation and time to explore courses in the arts and sciences.
  • Appreciates interdisciplinary learning: The program provides you with a framework for developing connections between a wide range of fields.

Apply Now

View program in BCC's College Catalog

Contact Us

Fully Online Option

Contact Charles Park, Program Advisor, for details!

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  • Suggested Full-Time Schedule

    Semester 1

    • Introduction to Liberal Arts
    • Composition I
    • World History to 1500
    • Mathematics
    • Natural / Physical Lab Science

    Semester 2

    • Composition II
    • World History since 1500
    • Behavioral / Social Science
    • Natural / Physical Science (no Lab)
    • Elective
    • Environmental Awareness (1-credit)

    Semester 3

    • Literature
    • Communication
    • Behavioral / Social Science
    • Elective
    • Elective

    Semester 4

    • Liberal Arts Capstone
    • Literature
    • Humanities/Fine Arts
    • Elective
    • Elective
    • Health Fitness (2 credits or 30 hours)
  • Suggested Part-Time Schedule

    Semester 1

    • Introduction to Liberal Arts
    • World History to 1500

    Semester 2

    • Composition I
    • Mathematics

    Semester 3

    • Composition II
    • World History since 1500

    Semester 4

    • Natural/Physical Lab Science
    • Communication

    Semester 5

    • Literature
    • Elective

    Semester 6

    • Behavioral/Social Science
    • Natural/Physical Science (no Lab)

    Semester 7

    • Literature
    • Elective
    • Health Fitness (1 credit or 15 hours)

    Semester 8

    • Behavioral / Social Science
    • Elective
    • Health Fitness (1 credit or 15 hours)

    Semester 9

    • Humanities/Fine Arts
    • Elective
    • Environmental Awareness (1-credit)

    Semester 10

    • Liberal Arts Capstone
    • Elective
  • Online Degree Pathway

    Courses listed below are frequently offered in a fully online format. While most online courses are fully asynchronous, some may require a limited number of synchronous meetings; review individual section syllabus or contact instructor for more details.

    This liberal arts pathway is eligible for Mass Transfer. If you are planning to transfer to a four-year college or university, you may also want to check with your transfer institution to ensure all recommended courses will transfer.

    Requirements and Recommended Courses

    Available Online Pathway Courses Alternatives
    Liberal Arts 6 LAR-101: Introduction to Liberal Arts
    LAR-285: Liberal Arts Capstone*
    No Fall/Spring
    Composition 6 ENG-101: Composition I
    ENG-102: Composition II*
    Yes All
    Mathematics 3 MAT-102: College Algebra
    MAT-113: Introductory Topics in Math
    MAT-123: Introduction to Statistics
    Yes All
    History 6 HIS-121: World History to 1500
    HIS-122: World History since 1500
    No All
    Communications 3 COM-104: Introduction to Interpersonal Communication
    COM-105: Introduction to Oral Communication
    COM-107: Oral Communication in Business
    COM-108: Communication of the Mass Media
    Yes All
    Humanities and Fine Arts 3 FAS-171: Pre-Renaissance Art History
    FAS-172: Renaissance to Modern Art
    HUM-121: Introduction to Humanities
    MUS-110: American Popular Music
    MUS-145: World Music
    PHL-102: Introduction to Philosophy
    THR-101: Introduction to Theatre
    THR-106: Fundamentals of Theatre Design
    THR-111: History of Theatre and Drama I
    Yes All, Intersession
    Social/Behavioral Science 6 GEO-125: World Geography
    GOV-105: US Government
    PSY-107: Introductory Psychology
    PSY-204: Human Growth and Development*
    PSY-207: Social Psychology*
    SOC-105: Introductory Sociology
    SOC-136: Sociology of the Family
    SOC-219: Gender and Justice*
    Yes All
    Natural/Physical Science
    (no lab)
    3 BIO-175: Brain, Mind, and Behavior
    CHM-110: Chemistry in Your Life
    Yes All
    Natural/Physical Lab Science 4 SCI-114: Introduction to Forensic Science (+SCI-114L) Yes Fall/Spring
    Environmental Awareness 1 ENV-127: Environmental Awareness No Fall/Spring
    Literature* 6 ENG-215: Introduction to Literature
    ENG-217: Women's World Literature
    ENG-245: Modern Fiction
    ENG-255: Multi-Ethnic American Literature
    ENG-297T: Science Fiction
    Yes All
    Additional Electives 15 BUS-107: Fundamentals of Business
    BUS-139: Personal Finance: Money Management
    CIS-102: Fundamental Computer Literacy
    ECO-211: Principles of Microeconomics
    ECO-212: Principles of Macroeconomics
    HIS-118: US History Since 1865
    HIS-238: History of the Holocaust
    PSY-210: Psychology of the Mass Media*
    Yes All
    Health Fitness
    (2 credits or 30 hours)
      AHS-103: Nutritional Awareness (1 credit)
    PSY-122: Women and Self Esteem (1 credit)
    PSY-127: Developing Resiliency (1 credit)
    Log 15-hours at any gym (1 credit)
    Log 15-hours at BCC gym (1 credit)
    Log 30 hours at BCC gym (2 credits)
    Yes Fall/Spring
    Total Credits 62      
  • Expected Program Outcomes

    Information Literacy

    • Navigate rapidly growing information environment through use of digital technology, purpose-driven inquiry, and research.
    • Locate, evaluate, and effectively use information from a broad range of discipline-appropriate sources.

    Scientific Literacy

    • Comprehend, interpret, and present scientific data and draw conclusions based on scientific reasoning and evidence.
    • Engage in lab and field work to understand experimental design and analyze and interpret data.
    • Develop environmental awareness through an understanding of our place in nature as a species, our effect on the environment and the renewable and non-renewable resources we rely on, and the ecological services we need to protect.

    Critical, Creative, and Strategic Thinking

    • Form relevant, focused, grounded, and challenging questions that guide academic inquiry.
    • Consider, analyze, synthesize, and respond to diverse viewpoints in a variety of academic settings.
    • Develop innovative strategies for problem solving using original and predictive thinking.
    • Work independently and collaboratively to solve problems.
    • Extrapolate from known material to predict outcomes and create scenarios.

    Quantitative Reasoning

    • Use and develop formulas to analyze data in a variety of fields and real world situations.
    • Translate English into mathematical expressions, equations, and inequalities.
    • Solve equations for an unknown quantity in order to understand complex situations.
    • Analyze and interpret the relationships among data sets via graphs, tables, and equations.

    Written and Oral Communication

    • Write with clarity and purpose, demonstrating an awareness for rhetorical context and audience.
    • Present clearly reasoned and persuasive academic arguments with effective use of evidence in a variety of discipline-specific formats.
    • Effectively and constructively communicate ideas in individual, small, and large group settings.

    Global Awareness and Historical Context

    • Demonstrate knowledge of world cultures and histories.
    • Cultivate familiarity with major artistic, philosophical, and literary movements throughout history.
    • Understand roots and causes of contemporary issues and cultural and social structures.
    • Develop a sense of personal awareness in the context of historical movements and structures and their influence on contemporary life.
    • Develop an awareness and understanding of community needs and problems, both locally and globally.
    • Develop a foundational understanding of physical, emotional, psychological, and intellectual wellness.
  • Job Growth and Wages

    According to a survey conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), students who major in Liberal Arts reported a median starting salary of $41,800, with potential job titles including fundraiser, editor, secondary school teacher, public relations specialist, human resources manager, broadcaster, writer, and many more.

    Transfer Schools

    • MCLA (Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts)
    • Westfield State University
    • University of Massachusetts at Amherst
    • Mildred Elly School
    • University of Massachusetts at Lowell
    • Elms College
    • University of Colorado Denver
    • Amherst College
    • University of Vermont and State
    • Agricultural College
    • Williams College
    • Keene State College
    • Smith College
    • Mount Holyoke College
    • Northeastern University
    • New York University
    • Salve Regina University
    • Cornell University
    • Wentworth Institute of Technology
    • Michigan State University
    • Fordham University
    • Haverford College
    • Clark University
    • Warren Wilson College
    • Oberlin College
    • The New School
    • University of Oregon
    • University of Michigan-Law
    • Massachusetts College of Art

    Transfer Degrees

    • Anthropology
    • Area Studies
    • Behavioral and Social Sciences
    • Communications
    • Economics
    • Education
    • English
    • Foreign Languages
    • General Studies
    • Liberal Arts
    • Geography
    • Geology
    • History
    • Linguistics
    • Mathematics
    • Media
    • Music
    • Nursing
    • Peace Studies
    • Philosophy
    • Physical Education
    • Physics
    • Psychology
    • Radio and Television
    • SciencevTheatre Arts


As a young student having recently graduated high school, I chose the Liberal Arts Program because I did not have a specific academic or career path in mind for my future. The thing I love most about the program is that it has allowed me to take all different sorts of electives that peak my interest. From there I was able to discover a passion for things I had never taken classes in before, like sociology and American Sign Language. Now I plan to pursue a bachelor's in sociology upon transfer to a four-year school. Overall, the Liberal Arts Program has enabled me to discover my perfect educational path while simultaneously strengthening such interdisciplinary skills as critical thinking, time management and communication.

Carly Holmes, Class of 2019

Carly Holmes presenting at Civil Rights Movement Then and Now