Allegheny's tagline is "unusual combinations." It's common to meet an English major who minors in biology or a physics major who minors in dance. Because Allegheny wants students to be well-rounded graduates, the College embeds the "unusual combinations" mantra into the curriculum by requiring students to major in one area of study and minor in another. For example, a student with a major in English could not minor in art because both studies are in humanities. Students wanting to work around that system can design their own major (such as cinematic storytelling or sustainable agriculture) and pick classes appropriate to that major.
At Allegheny College, academics are first priority. Classes can become quite competitive, but that doesn’t keep students from working together. Schoolwork often becomes a kind of social event, where people get together to study, work on homework, or proofread papers. The professors also fit into this academic and social hybrid, going out of their way to help students both in and out of class. It is clear that most instructors love teaching and really want to share what they know with students. Professors also look at students as friends by providing them with advice or just listening to their problems. While the College excels in all areas of study, it has a history of excellence in science, churning out many students who go on to attend grad school for biology or biochemistry, as well as medical school. With many students pursuing pre-med at the beginning of their academic careers, the natural science program is tailored to start with challenging courses to weed out pre-med students who aren't prepared to put in the work. Every major, though, is academically challenging and requires an incredible amount of work and commitment.