Pre-Health Professions

Allegheny is especially well known for the undergraduate preparation of successful health professionals. Our graduates do more than gain admission to professional school; they perform exceptionally well once there, and they fashion fulfilling careers.

Academic Program

Under Allegheny’s distinctive curricular plan, each student integrates three main elements into a personalized four-year experience: the Freshman/Sophomore Seminars, a strong major and minor, and electives. As a result, pre-health professions students create precisely the program balance that professional schools seek, and that leads to success.

A Strong Foundation in the Natural Sciences

Professional schools do not insist on huge numbers of science courses. But they do expect to see quality performance in eight semesters of biology, chemistry and physics (with labs), and they sometimes require one year of math (through calculus). Alleghenians can take these 8-10 courses either in or outside their majors.

Highly developed communication skills

Professional schools always seek evidence of writing, reading and discussion skills (they expect at least one year of English). All Allegheny students take a sequence of three “FS” seminars emphasizing written and oral communications skills, two in the freshman year and one in the sophomore year. Further study in English can be pursued in electives, minors and majors. Throughout the Allegheny years -even the freshman year-small classes and an active learning dynamic develop discussion skills.

A Solid Background in the Humanities and Social Sciences

All health professions schools value highly – and some even require – experience in these other divisions of knowledge, in which all Alleghenians complete at least seven courses.

Study in Depth (A Disciplinary Major)

All 30 Allegheny majors develop skills for acquiring, synthesizing, applying and communicating information-that are crucial in professional school. The climax of an Allegheny major, the Senior Project, plays a very important role. NOTE: Contrary to popular belief, professional schools do not require students to have majored in science; they encourage study in any field that is personally stimulating.

Independent Study and Research (Including the Senior Project)

Students who have started “a lifelong habit of self-education” and have challenged themselves academically are well prepared for professional school. Allegheny’s Senior Project is enormously helpful in both regards. It is a major piece of original research, designed by each student with faculty guidance, that demonstrates the ability to complete a major assignment, to work independently, to analyze and synthesize information, and to write and speak persuasively (all projects include a written report and an oral defense).

Recent Senior Projects

  • Processing of Two Mutants of the Fourth Hairpin Loop of Human U2snRNA (Biology)
  • Effects of Inspired CO2 on Respiration of Sprague Dowley Rats in Different Stages of Development (Biology)
  • Thermodynamic Magnesium (II) Binding Studies of (GGCGAGCC)2 and (GGCAGGCC)2 (Chemistry)
  • Surface Area Analysis of Airborne Organic Particles by a B.E.T. Gas Adsorption Method (Chemistry)
  • Applying the Ethical Guidelines of Rogen and Paul to Dr. Timothy Quill in the Case of Diane (Religious Studies)
  • The Exponential Mapping (Mathematics)
  • The Effects of Prayer on Coping with and Healing from Cataract Surgery (Psychology)
  • The multidisciplinary approach to chronic pain management: Physical and psychological components (Psychology)
  • The Effects of Varying Amounts of Colostrum on Growth Rates of Jersey Calves (Biology)

Even before the Senior Project, Allegheny encourages Independent Studies-advanced work done in a field of special interest, beyond the scope of scheduled courses-as well as research with faculty.