Your English and Religious Studies classes this semester are inspiring. The Environmental Studies and Biology classes you took last year were rigorous and thorough. Your study abroad experience in Turkey last summer was team-taught by Philosophy and Geology professors. They combined rich discussions about influential literature that has shaped knowledge at the intersection of Western and Eastern cultures – from Homer to Socrates to Thales and Rumi – with fieldwork placing those writings in the context of the geographic and geological landscapes of their time.

Your Allegheny professors know you’re talented. But how do you demonstrate to future employers, graduate schools, or professional programs how all of these experiences add up to a solid education? In other words: how do you get them to pick your application out of a pool of talented people?

Bring the Pieces of Your Allegheny Experience Together

A Concentration will help you to tell a clear story that weaves together your in-the-classroom and out-of-classroom experiences. You might think of these as separate things. But by linking them, you can develop a powerful narrative about who you are and how your interests, skills and experiences set you apart. Whether in an essay for a graduate or professional school application or in a face-to-face interview with a potential employer, you won’t just be answering questions—you’ll be sharing something unique – your story.

Your story might capitalize on your civic engagement experience, underscoring the way in which you brought disciplinary knowledge to bear on a problem in the community. Your story may focus on leadership and your ability to mobilize resources effectively to build a school or health facility in the developing world in a way that isn’t culturally insensitive and counterproductive. Your story could illustrate the unexpected insights your senior project will bring to work being done both outside your discipline and outside of the academy.

Possible Concentrations:

  • Inequalities
  • Law and Policy
  • Peace and Conflict
  • Science and Society
  • Food Studies
  • Health and the Human Condition

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Prof. Patrick Jackson
(814) 332-2779

Prof. Eric Boynton
(814) 332-3621

About Allegheny Concentrations

Concentrations help students explore the complexity of real world problems by encouraging students to learn across disciplines. That means you’ll cross boundaries between departments and across traditional majors and minors, linking your academic work to opportunities in career education, internships, study away, civic learning and community engagement.

You will…

  • learn to interpret issues in our increasingly global world
  • explore topics from economic, political, social, technological, cultural and other perspectives
  • develop approaches to big, complicated problems in the midst of real ambiguity
  • engage unexpected dilemmas

…and make important connections between your coursework, out of classroom activities, and the complexities of the world.

Possible Concentrations

Make the most of the opportunities Allegheny has to offer. Find your specific pathway by engaging one of these concentrations, weaving your way through any number of them, or striking out and designing your own.


The Inequalities Concentration emphasizes collectivity and envisions participants working together to critique existing structures of power. This concentration will help you identify, examine, and analyze systemic inequalities, provide you with the insight to question inequalities across curricular and co-curricular experiences and to explore strategies for social change, and serve as a springboard to learn, think, and act collectively toward a more just and equitable future across structural differences.

Law and Policy

The Law and Policy Concentration provides opportunities for you to explore law and policy from theory to practice. Through integrated courses and collaborative learning experiences, including campus and community workshops, lectures, independent research and internship opportunities, you will be exposed to critical and complex challenges confronting our world – from criminal justice reform, human rights, climate change, severe poverty and income inequality – while exploring opportunities for careers in fields that reflect your personal interests.

Peace and Conflict

The Peace and Conflict Concentration explores the causes and consequences of conflict dynamics on the individual, community, state, and international levels. It examines approaches to nonviolence, reconciliation and sustainable peace. You may for example, investigate problems related to refugee movements, the mental health consequences of conflict, the role of mediators in peace negotiations, the role of journalism and the media in wars and conflicts, the role of literary texts in shaping public awareness of conflict and its impact on individuals and societies, the role of climate change in armed conflicts, or the ethical dilemmas inherent in international interventions. You’ll be encouraged to explore and investigate a specific aspect of peace and conflict of interest to you.

Science and Society

The Science and Society Concentration addresses the need for responsible, scientifically-literate citizens who can connect what happens in the laboratory with the world outside. You may, for example, examine questions such as: how much testing and scrutiny should new, life-saving pharmaceuticals receive before they become commercially available? How can we protect endangered species as they migrate across international borders – while preserving the traditions of cultures that hunt them? How can encryption technology be used to balance the individual’s right to privacy and our collective need for security in an increasingly unstable world?

Food Studies

Global issues related to food – such as nutrition and health, agricultural sustainability, identity, policy, and access to markets—are among the most vital and imperative issues for humanity to grapple with, especially in the context of climate change, economic and geographic inequalities, and population growth. These issues are highly complex because food is intimate, personal and culturally meaningful to every individual on the planet. This concentration will help you develop an appreciation of the complexities of the global food system and envision future possibilities for engaging global food problems.

Health and the Human Condition

This Concentration seeks to explore the diverse meanings of health and disease across cultures, geography, and history. This exploration includes issues of physical and mental illness, health and well-being, ideas about the body, and social justice as they manifest in different domains such as art, science, politics, and economics. Health and the Human Condition engages multiple disciplinary perspectives, including anthropology, psychology, gender studies, philosophy, sociology, economics, history, environmental science, political science, religious studies, literature and the arts, among other areas.