Allegheny College Launches Four Innovative New Majors

Allegheny College, one of the nation’s oldest and most innovative four-year colleges where multidisciplinary learning breaks the conventional mold, has announced four new programs designed to expand its academic offerings in areas where there are workforce needs for innovation and talent cultivation. The new majors and minors in Software Engineering, Data Science, Industrial Design, and Public Humanities will be fully implemented fall 2023 and are part of a plan to reframe liberal arts education to prepare students for jobs of the future. The new programs provide a depth of knowledge and expertise within the liberal arts approach to teach analysis, communications, problem-solving and collaboration across subjects.

“These new programs individually and collectively highlight our distinctive interdisciplinary approach to the liberal arts and emerging technologies,” said President Ron Cole, Ph.D. “While many colleges and universities have been only cutting courses, programs and services, we are determined to focus on making Allegheny College more compelling to Gen Z students and today’s employers by connecting student interests with the demands of the 21st-century marketplace.” 

Allegheny College’s four new programs are listed below:  

  • Software Engineering Major and Minor expands on the College’s strong track record in emerging technologies to enable students to take a more active role in economic development. The program focuses on the knowledge and skills that teams and individuals need to develop and maintain large-scale software systems. Students apply engineering principles and industry-standard software tools to design, implement, test, release and enhance software for real-world customers.
  • Data Science Major and Minor builds on the offering from the College’s informatics program, focusing on the study of integrated principles and methods to analyze complex big data for decision making, prediction, modeling and data management. Students examine social and human contexts and ethical implications of how data are collected, analyzed and utilized in diverse areas.
  • Industrial Design Major complements the College’s Art, Science and Innovation programs. In this major, not typically offered at an undergraduate level in a liberal arts context, students work at the intersection of art, design and practical problem-solving to produce innovative products that engage with emerging technological and cultural trends to develop design solutions. Technologies explored include robotics, artificial intelligence, modeling software, and production techniques such as 3D printing and CNC machining.
  • Public Humanities Major and Minor takes an intersectional approach unique for the undergraduate level, to educate students for a life, not just a job. This major and minor responds to student interest in the humanities and engages diverse audiences in dynamic conversations about democracy, art, history, technology, well-being, sustainability, sovereignty, cultural heritage and social change. Students pursuing the Public Humanities prepare for careers in non-profit organizations, social activism, digital content creation, urban design, museums, archives, library science, public arts administration, historic preservation and national park services. 

The depth of Allegheny College’s new programs is unique among liberal arts colleges. At colleges specializing in computer science, design or technology, the complementary benefits of liberal arts skills that employers seek — problem-solving, multi-perspective thinking, communications and collaboration — are often missing. These new programs firmly position Allegheny College as leading the way among liberal arts colleges in STEM programs and defining multidisciplinary technology education into the future in its cohort.

About Allegheny College

Allegheny College, founded in 1815, is one of the nation’s oldest and most innovative four-year colleges where multidisciplinary learning breaks the conventional mold. It is one of the few colleges in the United States with a unique requirement to choose both a major and minor for graduation, to provide students with a cross-disciplinary path in the sciences and humanities for educational depth and intellectual growth. Located in Meadville, Pennsylvania, Allegheny College is one of 40 colleges featured in Loren Pope’s “Colleges That Change Lives.” In its 2022 rankings, U.S. News & World Report recognized Allegheny College in its Top 25 Best in Undergraduate Teaching and one of the Most Innovative National Liberal Arts Colleges.