Program Facts

Key Allegheny Benefits

  • Especially strong writing and expository skills.
  • An appreciation of human institutions and the values of civilization.
  • The ability to think critically and to analyze data.
  • A broad knowledge base in the humanities, natural sciences and social sciences; in short, the sort of liberal arts background valued highly by law schools.
  • Leadership abilities and a wide range of interests, developed by over 100 co-curricular programs.

Allegheny Distinctions

  • A reputation among professional schools for a challenging academic program that produces well-prepared, articulate and successful graduate students.
  • The Senior Project, a significant independent research project or creative project undertaken by all students in the major field.
  • Pre-legal advising from First-year Orientation through Commencement, embracing the entire range of law-related careers (including legal journalism and criminal justice) and providing personal attention to each student.
  • Accessible faculty who help to fit the academic experience to each student’s particular needs and interests.
  • A curriculum that emphasizes analytical reading, writing and thinking skills throughout all four years.
  • 30 strong majors, plus double and student-designed majors.
  • A bi-annual, two-day program in Washington, D.C., linking Allegheny students and alumni for career exploration.


  • On average, over 85% of Allegheny’s law school applicants are accepted-more than twice the national average.
  • “When I went to law school, I was well prepared for the experience. I went to Penn with some tough competition [but] I had learned at Allegheny I could surmount any given challenge, even if it seemed insurmountable at times.” – Robert A. Marchman ’80, political science major; Vice President, New York Stock Exchange
  • “Allegheny did an excellent job in preparing me for law school. The academics are outstanding. The small class size and the corresponding individual attention you get from professors is a real benefit-my academic advisor and my Senior Project advisor didn’t just help me academically; they helped me plan my future.” – Susan Lipsitz ’88, English major; attorney, Bingham, Dana and Gould; Boston, Massachusetts
  • “My years as a student-the small classes and close relationships with professors and fellow students, the excellence of instruction, the broad range of curricular and extracurricular opportunities, the subtle but pervasive stimulus to seek higher goals-have had a profound effect on my life. Whatever I have achieved and whoever I am today are in many respects products of my Allegheny experience.” – Raymond Philip Shafer ’38, history major; former Governor of Pennsylvania and chairman of the U.S.-China Council

Student Research and Special Projects

  • Allegheny’s distinctive Senior Project is a plus for pre-law students in three principal ways: it demonstrates clearly Alleghenians’ superior reasoning skills (each student develops and defends an original thesis); it demonstrates their expository skills (with its written report and oral defense); and it demonstrates their ability to complete a major assignment independently.
  • Depending on a student’s major, the Senior Project can be a research paper, scientific experiment or creative work, though it always includes a written report and an oral defense.
  • Few schools give undergraduates the opportunity to demonstrate so clearly the skills and knowledge they’ve acquired and integrated over four years.
  • Pre-law students explore a wide range of topics in their Senior Project. They sometimes link projects to the law, legal history, or jurisprudence, but often do not.

Recent Senior Projects

  • Capital Punishment: Cruel and Unusual Punishment in the Post-Furman Period (political science)
  • The effects of environmental acidity on the oxygen consumption and blood pH of the Rana catesbeiana tadpole (biology)
  • The Dream, the Reality, and the Adjustment: The Effects of Women’s Historical Role on the Writing of Willa Cather and Ellen Glasgow (history)
  • Benjamin Franklin et l’alliance franco-americaine, 1778-1783 (modern languages)
  • Italian-American Literature: A Reflection of American Society (English)
  • The Centrists Hold the Key to the Wall: Supreme Court Interpretation of Separation of Church and State (political science)
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis and Pesticide Use in Agriculture (economics)
  • ‘The Explosion of Our Fine Idealistic Undertaking’: The Staff Breakup of McClure’s Magazine (English)
  • The Temporary Insanity Defense: An Exploration of the Defense and Use of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in Temporary Insanity Pleas (political science)
  • The U.S. and Japanese Auto Industries-Differences Relating to the Auto Trade Crisis of 1979 (political science)
  • Physical Attractiveness and Same Sex Friendships: An Investigation of the Information Availability Model (psychology)
  • The Social Cement of Race (political science)