This article reports the development and validation of the College Life Alcohol Salience Scale (CLASS), which assesses college students' beliefs about the centrality of alcohol to the college experience. Developed using procedures designed to increase its ecological validity, the CLASS was administered to three samples of college students (total N = 571). Its unidimensional factor structure was first established via exploratory factor analysis and parallel analysis on one sample and then verified via confirmatory factor analysis on a separate sample. Scores on the CLASS were predictably related to a nomological network of drinking and personality variables and it provided incremental validity in accounting for drinking frequency and amount, when added to drinking motive scores. The importance of assessing and developing interventions to target the types of beliefs measured by the CLASS is discussed.