Academic Bulletin 2020-2021 
    Jul 21, 2024  
Academic Bulletin 2020-2021 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Course Classification and Numbering


Successful completion of Allegheny’s four-year program leads to the degree Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science. Students planning double or student-designed majors that include courses from different disciplines determine the appropriate degree in consultation with faculty.

In addition to appropriate courses and advising to prepare for law school and postgraduate study in the health professions (including medical school), the College also offers pre-professional programs in allied health fields, engineering, environmental studies, nursing and teacher certification through cooperative program arrangements; see the “Curricular Options ” section of this Bulletin for more information.

Courses offered are listed within a specific department or field. Not all courses are offered each year, and the College reserves the right to cancel or reschedule courses for enrollment, staffing, or other reasons. Changes in staffing may also be necessary. Places in courses cannot be guaranteed other than by the established registration procedures. There may be minor variation in course content or approach from the Bulletin course description if the instructor deems it appropriate. Each academic year, the courses to be offered and the semester in which they are taught is made available on-line via Self-Service.

Course Classification and Distribution Requirements

The Distribution Requirements satisfied by a course are indicated in the course description using the following letter codes:

  • CL: Civic Learning
  • HE: Human Experience
  • IP: International and Intercultural Perspectives
  • ME: Modes of Expression
  • PD: Power, Privilege, and Difference
  • QR: Quantitative Reasoning
  • SB: Social Behavior and Institutions
  • SP: Scientific Process and Knowledge

Courses for which no codes are listed do not satisfy any Distribution Requirements; these include FS courses, Junior Seminars, Internships, and Senior Projects as well as Special Topics courses numbered in the 90’s (see “The Numbering System,” below).

Students Matriculating Before Fall, 2016

Students who matriculated at Allegheny before Fall, 2016, are governed by the distribution requirement in effect at the time they entered and must take at least eight credits in each of the three divisions of the College. Of the eight credits taken in the Natural Science division, at least four must be in a qualifying laboratory course (however, students majoring or minoring in Mathematics are exempt from the laboratory requirement). In most cases, the division of a course is determined by the division of the department in which it is offered:


Art; Communication, Film, and Theatre; Dance and Movement Studies; English; Modern and Classical Languages (includes Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Latin, and Spanish); Music, Philosophy; Religious Studies.

Natural Sciences

Biochemistry; Biology; Chemistry; Computer Science; Geology; Mathematics; Neuroscience; Physics. Note, however, that MATH 159 - Precalculus  does not count toward the distribution requirement.

Social Sciences

Economics; History; Political Science; Psychology; Sociology and Anthropology.

Extradivisional and Interdivisional Programs

FS 101  and FS 102  are considered extradivisional and do not count as divisional courses. Most courses offered by interdivisional programs, including interdisciplinary courses designated INTDS, do not count for distribution; however, some courses in the following interdivisional programs may count for distribution as noted in the specific course descriptions in this Bulletin: Black Studies, Environmental Science, and Journalism in the Public Interest.

The Credit System

All courses carry four semester hours of credit unless otherwise specified in the course description.

The Numbering System

Courses are numbered as follows:

001–299: Primarily for first-year students and sophomores

  • 190–199*: Special topics, primarily for first-year students and sophomores, offered once or twice.
  • 290–299*: Special topics, primarily for first-year students and sophomores, offered once or twice.

300–589: Advanced, primarily for juniors and seniors

  • 390–399*: Special topics, advanced level, offered once or twice.
  • 490–499*: Special topics, advanced level, primarily for juniors and seniors, offered once or twice.
  • 500–539: Undergraduate internships
  • 540–549: Internship seminars
  • 550–589: Junior/Senior seminars

590–593: Supervised independent work (see specific descriptions below). On rare occasions, a course numbered in the 590 range may be a student’s only option for completing a College curricular requirement. In such cases, the instructor should contact the Registrar before the course begins and must document how the course satisfies the intention of the requirement it will be used to fulfill.

600–630: Senior Projects (see specific descriptions below)

*Note on Special Topics courses and the Distribution Requirements:

  • Students matriculating in Fall 2016 and afterwards: Special Topics courses (190-199, 290-299, 390-399, and 490-499) do not count towards the College Distribution Requirements.
  • Students who matriculated before Fall 2016: Special Topics courses count for distribution if offered by a program in one of the three divisions of the College. In particular, courses numbered 195-197, 295-297, 395-397, or 495-497 satisfy the laboratory component of the Natural Science requirement.

590 Independent Study
An independent study or research experience. The student independently pursues a topic or project of interest with guidance from a faculty member. Students meet one-on-one with the faculty mentor on a regular basis and also complete independent readings, laboratory work, or comparable activities. Credit: One to four semester credit hours. Prerequisite: permission of instructor.

591 Group Study
Group study or research with faculty guidance. A group of students meets together with a faculty member on a regular basis to pursue a topic in depth. Students typically complete a set of common readings and assignments. Credit: One to four semester credit hours. Prerequisite: permission of instructor.

592 Teaching in the Elementary or Secondary Schools
A field experience in education during which students work with teachers and students in elementary or secondary schools. Relevant readings, as well as discussions with the instructor and the supervising teacher, provide the background and context for the fieldwork. Students are required to keep a reflective journal and to complete a culminating project based on their experiences in the classroom. Credit: Two to four semester credit hours. Prerequisite: permission of instructor.

593 Peer Mentoring
Structured work to enhance learning by other students who are enrolled in a regular course. To receive academic credit, peer mentors are expected to complete assignments other than those assigned in the course and to reflect on the peer-leadership experience. Credit: One to four semester credit hours. Prerequisite: permission of instructor.

600–630: Senior Project
Registration for the senior project requires instructor permission in all cases.

  • 600. First semester of two-semester senior project. Credit: One to four semester credit hours; varies by department.
  • 610. Second semester of two-semester senior project. Credit: One to four semester credit hours; varies by department.
  • 620. One-semester senior project. Credit: four semester credit hours.
  • 630. One-semester senior project offered in a seminar format. Credit: four semester credit hours.

“Community Engaged” Course Section Designation

Courses with Section Numbers designated as “E” indicate that the course has a required community engagement component. These courses are designated as an “E” in order to help students make informed decisions about the courses that they select. The “E” courses have received this designation by fitting with the following criteria.


  • Criterion 1: Integrated Learning: The engagement activity(s) and the course content/learning objectives complement each other. The learning experience involves interactive partnership with community through students working directly with community members, organizations, and/or issues.
  • Criterion 2: Identified Community Issues and/or Needs: The engagement activity(s) implemented within the course correlates to a community need or issue – it is imperative that the community needs are identified by or in collaboration with the community partner.
  • Criterion 3: Reflection: Students reflect, through written work or other forms of evaluation, on the application of the engagement activity(s) as they relate to the course content.
  • Criterion 4: Course Pedagogies: Course utilizes an engaged pedagogy such as: Issue/Problem/ Policy-Based Learning, Service-Learning or Community-Based Learning, Action Research or Community-Based Research, Public Scholarship. 


Questions about designating a course as E should be directed to the Civic Engagement Ad hoc Committee.