General Curricular Requirements

The elements of Allegheny’s curriculum work together to provide students with a cohesive program in which all four of the Institutional Learning Outcomes listed below may be achieved. In particular, the SWS program, the junior seminar, and Senior Project progressively develop students’ abilities to read and listen critically, formulate their ideas, and become more effective writers and speakers.

Allegheny’s educational program is designed so that its graduates are able to:

critically and creatively

clearly and persuasively
as speakers and writers

multiple ways of understanding
to organize and evaluate evidence,
and to interpret and make sense
of their experiences and
the experiences of others

their knowledge and learning
to engage in informed debate,
and to analyze and solve problems

What makes an Allegheny education special is the spine of classes that will take you from the first day of your first semester to the last day of your last semester — our seminar sequence. You will start with a seminar, SWS 105 in your first year. This course represents a first opportunity to engage with the Institutional Learning Outcomes as specified in the Allegheny College Academic Bulletin.

After your first-year seminars, you will then take:

A sophomore seminar (SWS 205) that introduces you to the specific modes of writing, speaking and research in an academic discipline

A junior seminar (numbered 550 to 589) that is either a capstone course for your minor or a preparation course for your Senior Comprehensive Project

And finally, after several years of hard work, a Senior Comprehensive Project (numbered 600 to 630), a significant piece of independent study, research, or creative work mentored by one or more faculty members.

The experience of writing their “Comp” is what Allegheny graduates remember decades later, and you’ll be preparing for that from the first day you step into the classroom.

To progress from Matriculation to Commencement, you will also need to complete a major, a minor, a set of distribution requirements that proclaim our values as an educational institution, and at least 128 credits with a minimum GPA of 2.0 cumulatively and in each major and minor.

(Please see the Academic Bulletin for full details or ask an advisor!)