May 24, 2018  
2017-2018 Academic Catalog 
  
2017-2018 Academic Catalog

Admission Policy



Muhlenberg College is committed to the ideal of excellent standards of scholarship.  The College selects students who give evidence of ability and scholastic achievement, seriousness of purpose, quality of character, and the capacity to make constructive contributions to the College community. Evidence of integrity and ethical behavior is important in the admission decision.  Careful consideration is given to each applicant as a scholar and as a person with the object being to assemble a class that is academically talented and diversified.

Admission Requirements

Admission to Muhlenberg is based upon a thorough review of each candidate’s scholastic performance records and personal qualities.  There is no precise admissions “formula;” various factors are carefully considered in each decision made by the Admission Committee.  The following credentials are of primary importance:

Secondary School Record

The minimum requirement is the satisfactory completion of a secondary school college preparatory program of at least 16 Carnegie units.  These units should include four of English, two (preferably three) of one foreign language, three of mathematics, two (preferably three) of science, two of history, and major academic electives.  Exceptions to these requirements will be considered on an individual basis in cases of documented learning disability, home schooling, or other exceptional situations.

The Admission Committee recognizes and encourages secondary school enrollment in accelerated and advanced placement courses.  The strength of an applicant’s four year secondary school program and achievement is of utmost importance in each admissions decision.

Standardized Tests

Results of the SAT-I or ACT (with writing) and SAT-II Subject Tests are evaluated in conjunction with the applicant’s secondary school record.  Test results are requested as an additional indication of potential for academic success at the college level.  Non-U.S. citizens for whom English is not the first language should submit results of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).

In the spring of 1996, the Muhlenberg faculty and Board of Trustees voted to make the SAT and ACT an optional part of the admissions process. Students choosing not to submit the SAT or ACT are required instead to provide a graded paper with the teacher’s grade and comments on it.  Such students also are required to interview with a member of the Admission staff.  Students wishing to be considered for non-need merit awards and/or honors programs at Muhlenberg must submit the results of SAT or ACT testing.  Additional details regarding Muhlenberg’s optional standardized testing policy are available from the Office of Admission and are included in each application packet.

Personal Qualities

While the strength of an applicant’s academic preparation is of primary consideration, the Admission Committee is also very interested in each applicant as an individual.  Muhlenberg College is a small community that thrives upon the variety of contributions made by its members on all levels.  The College, therefore, seeks students who will contribute to the campus personally as well as academically.  Evidence of an applicant’s personal qualities is considered through the breadth and depth of extracurricular pursuits, the personal essay, and the recommendations from the student’s school advisor and two teachers of major academic classes.  A personal interview with a member of the Admission staff is also helpful in this regard.

Application Procedures

As a charter member, Muhlenberg College participates in the Common Application program along with over 300 other selective colleges and universities across the country.  Muhlenberg uses this form exclusively as the required application for admission.

Candidates should begin their applications during the fall of their senior year in secondary school.  The complete application file must include the following:

Application for Admission (Common Application Form), completed in detail by the applicant and accompanied by the non-refundable $50 application fee;

Secondary School Transcript, including seven semesters (10 trimesters) and showing rank in class (if available);

School Report, completed by the applicant’s guidance counselor, college advisor, or headmaster;

Teacher References, completed by two instructors who have taught the applicant in major academic subjects; and

Standardized Test results, forwarded to the College from the College Entrance Examination Board or American College Testing Agency.  All candidates are encouraged to take the SAT-I or ACT (with writing).  Additional subject tests are encouraged as a supplement to a student’s high school record and other standardized test scores.  These other tests should be chosen with academic experience and interest in mind and may be helpful in placing students into advanced levels of Muhlenberg work.  Some students may also wish to be considered for admission under Muhlenberg’s optional standardized testing policy (see “Standardized Tests”).  Details of that program are available from the Office of Admission and are included in each application packet.

The SAT or ACT normally should be taken at least twice - in the junior year and again in November or December of the senior year.

It is the applicant’s responsibility to see that the above-listed credentials are received by the College.  The preferred deadline for applications is FEBRUARY 15.

Inquiries concerning admission and application procedures should be directed to the Dean of Admission and Financial Aid, Muhlenberg College, 2400 Chew Street, Allentown, PA 18104-5586.

Personal Interview

Muhlenberg believes that an interview with a member of the Admission staff is of value both to the applicant and to the College.  A personal interview is strongly recommended for all applicants and required for students who choose not to submit the SAT or ACT.  Arrangements for all appointments should be made well in advance of the intended visit by calling the Office of Admission at 484-664-3200.  Interviews are conducted for seniors until February 15; juniors may plan their visits after April 1.

Campus tours are available in conjunction with the interview appointment or separately.  Arrangements may be made by calling the above listed number.

Early Decision

The Admission Committee will make a formal early commitment of acceptance to candidates whose qualifications indicate strong promise for successful college performance.  Muhlenberg subscribes to the “first choice” option of the Early Decision Plan Agreement of the College Entrance Examination Board.  This agreement stipulates that Early Decision candidates may file regular decision applications at other colleges with the understanding that they must be withdrawn if accepted under the Early Decision Plan at Muhlenberg.  When filing an application for Early Decision, applicants must sign the Early Decision commitment form (included in the application packet) stating that they will abide by the provisions of the Early Decision agreement.  It is strongly recommended that students wishing to be considered for Early Decision make arrangements for a personal interview with a member of the Admission staff by January 15.

The Early Decision application deadline is February 15.  Notification will be sent from the Admission Committee between December 1 and March 1 provided all application materials are received by the February 15 deadline.  Those candidates not accepted under the Early Decision plan but whose credentials warrant further consideration will be deferred to the regular decision applicant group where full review will again be made at a later date when additional information is available.

For the class entering in Fall 2017, 278 seats were filled via Early Decision.

Notice of Admission

Muhlenberg grants admission to regular decision candidates by April 1, contingent upon the successful completion of their senior year.  The College subscribes to the National Candidate’s Reply Date of May 1 for confirmation of enrollment.

Enrollment Confirmation

In order to confirm their enrollment, students accepting the College’s offer of admission must submit a non-refundable $400 reservation deposit (to be credited to the first semester’s tuition) by the May 1 Reply Date.  Students must also return a signed honor pledge indicating their commitment to abide by Muhlenberg’s Academic Integrity Code.  This code, which embraces all areas and activities of the academic life of the College, stands as an emblem of the personal integrity and honest dealing which Muhlenberg expects from each of its students.  In addition, students must return a signed pledge indicating their commitment to abide by the College’s Social Code.  Both of these codes are mailed to students at the point of acceptance. Students wishing to obtain copies of the codes in advance of acceptance can do so by requesting copies from the Office of Admission.

Advanced Placement

Students who obtain an Advanced Placement (AP) score of 4 (well qualified) or 5 (extremely well qualified) will receive a course unit credit in the appropriate discipline that will apply toward one of the 32 course units required for graduation and satisfy the corresponding general academic requirement at Muhlenberg.  Some academic departments apply AP credits toward their major requirements; some do not.  Students who later choose to or are required to register for the equivalent course will lose the AP credit.

Students who obtain an AP score of 3 (qualified) on the following tests may be exempted from an introductory course and may opt to enter an advanced course (if available), but no course units are earned: Biology and Physics (A.B. degree candidates only).  Subject to departmental review, students who obtain an Advanced Placement score of 3 (qualified) on other AP tests may in some circumstances receive a course unit credit or course exemption.

International Baccalaureate Program (IB)

Muhlenberg College will award course units and the fulfillment of general academic requirements for courses and exams taken through the International Baccalaureate Program as follows:

Anthropology: 1 course unit equivalent to ATH 112 - Cultural Anthropology  for a score of 6 or 7 on the higher level exam.
Biology: 2 course units equivalent to BIO 150 - Principles of Biology I: Organisms & Populations  and BIO 151 - Principles of Biology II: Cells & Organisms  for a score of 6 or 7 on the higher level exam.
Business: 1 course unit for a score of 6 or 7 on the higher level exam.
Chemistry: 1 course unit equivalent to CHM 100 - Introductory Chemistry  for a score of 6 or 7 on the higher level exam.
Economics: 1 course unit for a score of 6 or 7 on the higher level exam; students must consult the department chair about equivalent course and about enrollment in additional economic courses.
English: 1 course unit for a grade of 5 or better on the higher level exam.
Foreign Languages: Language A1: 1 course unit equivalent to Language 204 for a score of 6 or better on the higher level exam.
Language B: 1 course unit for Language 204 for a score of 6 or better on the higher level exam.
History: 1 course unit for a score of 6 or 7 on the higher level exam.
Mathematics: 1 course unit equivalent to MTH 121 - Calculus I  for a score of 6 or 7 on the higher level exam.
Music: 1 course unit equivalent to MUS 111 - Music Theory I  for a score of 6 or 7 on the higher level exam.
Philosophy: 1 course unit for a score of 5 or better on the higher level exam; 1 course unit for a score of 6 or better on the standard level exam.
Physics: 2 course units equivalent to PHY 121 - General Physics I  and PHY 122 - General Physics II  for a score of 6 or 7 on the higher level exam; 1 course unit equivalent to  PHY 100-110 - Physics for Life  for a score of 5 on the higher level exam.
Psychology: 1 course unit equivalent to PSY 101 - Introductory Psychology  for a score of 6 or 7 on the higher level exam.
Theatre: 1 course unit for a score of 6 or 7 on the higher level exam.

Some departments count IB credit toward their major requirements; some do not.  Please consult with the appropriate department chair.  Students who later chose to or are required to register for the equivalent course will lose the IB credit.

Admission of Transfer Students

The College accepts a limited number of transfer students for entrance in both semesters of the academic year.  Transfer candidates must submit a formal application, a transcript of previous college work, a statement of honorable dismissal from their previous institution, a complete secondary school record, two teacher references, and results from all College Entrance Examination Board tests previously taken.  All appropriate forms are included with the application materials.  In addition, an interview is required of all transfer applicants and must be completed by the appropriate application deadline.

A minimum of 16 courses must be successfully completed through Muhlenberg toward the 32 course units required for a degree from the College. Each course completed at another institution is evaluated individually as to its transferability.

Applications for transfer must be filed by the preceding June 15 for fall semester entrance and by December 10 for spring semester entrance. Decisions regarding transfer applications are usually announced during the months of May/June and December/January.  If the current semester’s grades are required for evaluation, the applicant will be so informed and the admission decision will be made as soon as possible after receipt of the grade report or transcript.

Community Colleges

Agreements with Lehigh Carbon Community College and Northampton Community College allow students to apply for admission to Muhlenberg at the time of admission to the community college.  Upon completion of their work at the community college, students accepted into this program who have earned a grade point average of 3.00 or greater and who meet all other requirements, may enroll at Muhlenberg to pursue a bachelor’s degree. The completion of degree requirements is facilitated through the joint counseling provided.  Regulations governing transfer work apply (see “Transfer Courses ”).