Liberal Arts (A.A.)

students in a classroom laughing as they work

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.

View program in BCC's College Catalog

Contact Us

Nell McCabe, Program Advisor

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Learn More

  • 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
  • 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