Frequently Asked Questions


The two most common ways to find out information about Allegheny College, if the answers in this FAQ do not help, are to search for “Allegheny College” and the subject of your query (e.g. ”Allegheny College”, student housing) or to call the Maytum Learning Commons at 814-332-2898.

Summer Orientation and Welcome Weekend

How do I access the most up-to-date information regarding New Student Summer Orientation and Welcome Weekend?

Students, parents and families can access the Orientation website for the most up-to-date information on New Student Summer Orientation, Welcome Weekend, and parent and family resources. On this site, students, parents and families will find Allegheny Bound action items (important forms, housing information, registration and class information), move-in information, a tentative schedule for Orientation, an Orientation checklist, and much more. This information is also in the booklet you received in the mail when you deposited.

Do I have to attend Summer Orientation?

Yes. All new students are required to attend one of the Summer Orientation overnights.

I cannot log in to the Summer Orientation Registration Form. How do I access it?

To complete the Summer Orientation Registration Form, you must be logged into your Google account. Your login information came with the booklet you received in the mail following your deposit. If you have any questions, please email

Please note: If you see a “You need permission” message when you browse to an Allegheny form, you are logged into a non-Allegheny Google account.  You will need to log in to your Allegheny Google account to access the form. There are a few ways to do this.

One recommended way, which also works on mobile devices, is to use a private browsing session.

  1. Open your browser and launch a private/incognito window.
  2. Browse to the form in that new window.
  3. When prompted, log in using your Allegheny Google account.  You will now be able to see the form.

You will also be able to browse to your other Allegheny Google services (like Gmail and Drive) in that private/incognito window for as long as you keep that window open.

Do my parents, family or guardians have to come to Summer Orientation with me?

We encourage all parents and family members to participate in the Parent & Family track of Summer Orientation and Welcome Weekend to learn about the resources available to students and to them as families who will inevitably support and guide their student from home.

What if I cannot make it to Summer Orientation?

Students with extenuating circumstances may complete this form to request an exception from attending a Summer Orientation session. Exceptions will be granted only in very limited cases of significant hardship; please note that requesting an exception does not guarantee that a student will receive it.

What if I am an international student and cannot attend Summer Orientation?

International students will receive all of their information during International Student Orientation August 16–24.

I want to change my Summer Orientation reservation; how do I do this?

The student must email as soon as you know you need to make the change. Because sessions are filled on a first-come, first-served basis, we cannot guarantee that space will be available in other sessions.

When do I register for classes and what other support do I receive?

First-Year Course Registration happens over the phone July 15–26. An advisor will walk you through the process over the phone and help your register for courses. Students will receive a personalized email on July 6 with a specific day and time for their First-Year Course Registration appointment.

When can I move in?

Please note: Students eligible to move in before August 24 will be notified; other
early arrivals are not permitted.

  • Aug. 13: Football Team Move-in
  • Aug. 16: Early Move-in (Cross Country, Field Hockey, Golf, Men’s Soccer, Volleyball, Women’s Soccer, Access Allegheny, and First-year International Students)
  • Aug. 20: Bonner Program Move-in
  • Aug. 22: New Transfer Students Move-in and Orientation
  • Aug. 24: Fall Move-in

Email and Technology

How do I access my Allegheny email?

Shortly after submitting their enrollment deposit, you will receive a booklet in the mail that includes information on setting up your Allegheny email account. Please note that email, Sakai and WebAdvisor accounts all use the same login.

Why can’t I log into WebAdvisor?

Staff from Help Desk will be available at Summer Orientation to assist students who cannot sign into Sakai or WebAdvisor. Reminder: students use the same username and password for these sites that they use to log in to their email account (without the If students do not remember their initial login, they should call the Learning Commons at 814-332-2898. If a student has changed their password but no longer remembers it, they will need to call the InfoDesk @Pelletier (814-332-3768).

Is it better to bring a Mac or a PC to Allegheny?

Students can bring either a Mac or a PC. Information Technology Services recommends that students bring a laptop computer equipped with Microsoft Office. Students can buy steeply discounted copies of MS Office for either the Mac or Windows operating system through Go to for more information about recommended computers.

Course Registration and Academics

Why do I have to take a First-Year Seminar (FS)?

Becoming highly proficient in the written and oral communication skills required for success in the academic, professional, and business worlds is a central focus of an Allegheny education, and the FS curriculum is a large part of that work. The Junior Seminar and Senior Project in your major will build on the skills you learn in FS 101, 102, and 201.

Is there work assigned before classes begin in August?

Our new students will read a book this summer before arriving on campus. The book has been thoughtfully reviewed and selected by faculty, staff, and students. This year’s book is Tales of Two Americas: Stories of Inequality in a Divided Nation, and you will receive a free copy of it at Summer Orientation. Please read it in time for Welcome Weekend.

In Tales of Two Americas, some of the literary world’s most exciting writers look beyond numbers and wages to convey what it feels like to live in a divided nation. Their extraordinarily powerful stories, essays, and poems demonstrate how boundaries break down when experiences are shared, and that sharing these stories can help to alleviate a suffering that touches so many people.

How many credits can I register for?

Students can register for up to 18 credits during First-Year Course Registration. At the beginning of the fall semester in August, students may enroll for up to 20 credits. Students who want to take more than 20 credits must get permission from their academic advisor when they arrive for Welcome Weekend in the fall.

Do I have to take 18 credits? Can I take fewer?

No, students do not have to take 18 credits. The typical course schedule is 16 credits, but only 12 credits are required to be considered a full-time student. Student-athletes are required to take at least 12 credits so that they can maintain their eligibility.

NOTE: there are students who are conditionally admitted and may take only up to 14 credits.

How do I sign up for music lessons and choir?

There are classes in both instrumental and voice instruction that receive credit (usually one-hour lessons weekly for one credit). These are offered at the beginning, intermediate, and advanced levels. You sign up for these the same way you sign up for any other class during the add period. There is an extra fee.

Symphony, orchestra, choir, and other ensembles also receive credit, but require an audition. Check the Music Department handout for details.

I want to take Chemistry, but I forgot to take my math placement test. Can I still register for Chemistry and take the placement test as soon as I finish registering?

Unfortunately, no. Unless the student is exempt from the placement test (exempt students received a 4 or 5 on the AP Calculus test and/or already received college credit for Math 160), the student must take the placement test before proceeding with registration for a Chemistry course.

I am certain I want to major in a certain subject, why shouldn’t I sign up for only courses in that department?

A well-rounded schedule is essential to developing broad skills. We have found that employers and graduate schools look for the breadth of experience that Allegheny’s liberal arts approach provides.

Do I need to buy books for these classes now? Where do I find out what books I need?

After First-Year Course Registration, students should go to the Allegheny College Bookstore website, where they can find a link to the MBS book-ordering site. Please note that you must order your books online. There will not be textbooks available for purchase in the bookstore when students arrive in August.

Are there any required courses (Math, Foreign Language, etc.)?

Students must complete one course (four credits) in each of eight categories to fulfill the Distribution Requirements. This represents a foundation in various areas upon which students will build as they take classes in their major(s) and minor(s). Courses can “double count” for these requirements, and many courses will satisfy two of the eight requirements. When taken in the appropriate department, courses may also “double count” toward both the Distribution Requirements and the student’s major or minor. These courses must be taken for a grade (not “credit/no credit”) in order to count for Distribution Requirements.

How many students will be in each of my classes?

This will vary depending on the course. Introductory sections of math and science can have as many as 35–40 students. Higher-level classes have a much smaller enrollment. Some classes have as few as six students!

Is there a physical education requirement?

There is no physical education course required for graduation.

Can I decide to try out for a sport after I get to Allegheny?

Yes. If there is an interest in participating in high level varsity athletics, students can reach out directly to the coach of that program. There also are many intramural and club sport options, so you can be involved in a sport without the commitment to a full competitive schedule.