Experiential Learning


  • Internships provide both academic credit and practical experience over a 15-week semester. Recent placements have included:
  • Meadville Medical Center (Administration, Laboratory, Mental Health Center, Pathology, Physical Therapy and Emergency Room)
  • Community Health Services (Family Planning of Western Crawford County)
  • Physician Assistants in private medical practices (orthopedic and family practice)
  • Nursing homes in the area


Externships let students observe area health professionals – family practitioners, dentists, cardiologists, orthopods, surgeons, orthodontists, and others – over briefer periods to investigate possible careers.

Tamarack Wildlife Rehabilitation Center sponsors externships with local vets for pre-veterinary students.

Other Special Opportunities

  • Special research experience is easily arranged in the summer and during the school year, both on-campus and off. Allegheny faculty continually conduct important research, usually with student assistance, and alumni provide good contacts in the “outside” world. Often, Alleghenians’ research is of sufficient quality to be published in professional journals and presented at professional meetings.
  • Meadville Medical Center Primary Care Preceptorship: 20 hours per semester with family practice residents and other hospital staff.
  • Experiential Learning term: 3-week health professions opportunities in medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine, physician assistant and physical therapy.
  • Workshops are offered throughout the year on medical school application, externship opportunities, MCAT preparation, etc.
  • Guest lectures on topics such as neuroanatomy, forensic pathology and medical ethics occur on a regular basis. Alumni are often the speakers.
  • The Pre-Health Club sponsors speakers and programs in various areas of health care. Local health professionals participate.
  • Representatives of health professions schools (University of Pittsburgh, University of Rochester, MCP Hahnemann School of Medicine) regularly visit campus to describe their institutions’ programs.
  • Our students are routinely invited to special admissions programs at Jefferson Medical College and Penn State, Hershey.
  • Leadership opportunities are provided by more than 100 student groups, committees and athletic teams.
  • Volunteer opportunities include specific service groups and scores of special projects each year. Alleghenians contribute over 25,000 hours of service to the community each year.
  • Typically, two Allegheny students are accepted each year by the Penn State Primary Care Scholars Program (only 30 students altogether are selected for the program).
  • MCP Hahnemann School of Medicine has a program providing early assurance of admission to Allegheny students (up to two per year).

The Jefferson Program

Under the Physicians Shortage Area Program (PSAP), certain Allegheny students who intend to practice family medicine may qualify for the following:

  • Preferential admission to Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia;
  • Special premedical advising from Jefferson faculty.

Qualifying students have rural or small-town backgrounds or family ties, and they intend to practice in non-metropolitan areas (preferably in Pennsylvania). A maximum of 24 applicants are admitted to the PSAP each year, with special consideration given to graduates of six Pennsylvania colleges and universities, including Allegheny. (Seven students have been accepted into the program over the past three years; four are currently attending Jefferson.)

Dual-Degree Programs

When strong students have begun their planning early, they may be able to complete their Allegheny degrees at other institutions, even as they earn professional degrees or certification. They thus acquire both a solid liberal arts foundation and professional training in less than the usual time-just three years at Allegheny, then one to four years at the second institution. These cooperative programs are formalized (others may be arranged):

  • Medical Technology (3-1 program with Rochester General Hospital; bachelor’s degree and certification)
  • Nursing (3-4 program with Case Western Reserve University; bachelor’s and doctorate)

NOTE: Early planning is essential; students must complete Allegheny’s requirements and the prerequisite courses for the second institution. Good grades are important; admission to the second school is not automatic.