The first to be founded -- in 1815 -- of the venerable North Coast Athletic Conference institutions, Allegheny today remains at the fore among the nation's colleges of arts and sciences. Keeping standards high and avoiding gimmicks or fads, Allegheny believes that its graduates' success is rooted in rigorous liberal arts preparation: experience in multiple disciplines; important historical perspective; and exceptional ability to think critically and to use the English language forcefully and correctly, in writing as well as speech.
The more than 2,100 students come from 37 states and 32 countries. The student-faculty ratio is 14/1; the average class size 22. Allegheny is a high-contact teaching institution, but faculty are also prominent practitioners of the disciplines they teach. When students discover that their chemistry professor is also a leading chemist, for example, they learn the difference between studying a subject and being part of the discipline itself. This explains, in part, the leadership positions to which Alleghenians regularly rise -- in business, government, social service, the professions, and more. Another reason is the Senior Project, a substantial piece of original research done by each student in his or her major field, which not only develops unusual self-confidence, but demands integration of the knowledge and skills developed over four years.
Allegheny is especially well-known for pre-professional education; acceptance rates to law and medical schools roughly double the national average. There is strength throughout all 30 majors, however. Further encouraged are double majors and student-designed majors, which are tailored by the student and advisor to the student's personal goals.