2024-2025 Academic Catalog 
    Jul 14, 2024  
2024-2025 Academic Catalog

Purposes and Resources

Founded in 1848, Muhlenberg College is an independent, undergraduate, coeducational institution committed to the highest standards of academic integrity and excellence.

The College is located in Allentown, Pennsylvania, the state’s third largest and fastest growing city.  The campus is situated in the residential “west end” neighborhood, approximately 55 miles north of Philadelphia and 90 miles west of New York City.  The College benefits by being situated next to one of the many large parks in Allentown’s famous park system.

Mission Statement

Muhlenberg College aims to develop independent critical thinkers who are intellectually agile, characterized by a zest for reasoned and civil debate, committed to understanding the diversity of the human experience, able to express ideas with clarity and grace, committed to lifelong learning, equipped with ethical and civic values and prepared for lives of leadership and service.

The College is committed to providing an intellectually rigorous education within the context of an inclusive and diverse campus; we strongly believe that diversity is essential to learning and to our success as a pluralistic community. Our curriculum integrates the traditional liberal arts with selected preprofessional studies. Our faculty are passionate about teaching, value close relationships with students and are committed to the pedagogical and intellectual importance of research. All members of our community are committed to educating the whole person through experiences within and beyond the classroom.

Honoring its historical heritage from the Lutheran Church and its continuing connection with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Muhlenberg encourages, welcomes and celebrates a variety of faith traditions and spiritual perspectives.

Muhlenberg Academic Learning Goals

Muhlenberg Graduates:

Intellectual Practices

  • Communicate clearly and cogently
  • Write and discuss as means of learning and discovery
  • Read texts critically
  • Reason effectively with words, numbers, and symbols
  • Locate, analyze, evaluate, and share information using emerging and established technologies
  • Create and interpret ideas using various modes of representation
  • Seek intellectual risks and grapple with ambiguity and uncertainty

Exploration, Discovery, and Integration

  • Cultivate curiosity
  • Explore and experience various modes of creative expression
  • Build a broad disciplinary and inter-disciplinary knowledge base
  • Understand that knowledge is embedded in multiple contexts (e.g., social, historical, cultural, scientific, ethical, etc.)
  • Develop and apply different modes of inquiry to pose questions and address problems

Engagement and Social Responsibility

  • Understand the multiple contexts (e.g., cultural, ethnic, racial, national, socioeconomic, religious, biological, etc.) that shape construction of human differences
  • Recognize how hierarchies and disparities shape and are shaped by institutions and social relations
  • Make principled decisions as individuals and citizens of local, national, and global communities
  • Develop a capacity to act on the basis of one’s own reasoned beliefs

The Faculty

The College’s most important resource in the fulfillment of its purposes is its faculty, drawn from the major universities of the United States and several other nations.  More than three-quarters of the full-time teaching faculty at Muhlenberg hold the Ph.D. degree, and research and scholarship are undertaken with special regard to their relationship to teaching and learning.  Every effort is made to encourage a community of productive scholars and artists who share a passion for effective teaching.

The faculty have developed an academic program that endeavors to resolve the rich complexities inherent in the liberal arts tradition: breadth versus depth, discipline versus flexibility, continuity versus change.  Muhlenberg offers wide ranging programs in the arts, the humanities, the natural and social sciences, and in professional areas such as business, education, pre-health (pre-medical, pre-dental, pre-nursing, etc), pre-theological studies, and pre-law.  Flexibility is provided with sensitivity to the individual needs of the student through course options and opportunities for independent study, research, and internships, as well as through a plan for self-designed majors.  Through a process of long-range planning and constant review, the College strives to keep the curriculum vital and current with the rapidly changing intellectual world.  The excellence and integrity of the Muhlenberg program have been recognized by Phi Beta Kappa and by some 14 additional national honoraries.

The Muhlenberg Tradition

The name Muhlenberg College was adopted in 1867 - 19 years after the College was founded - in honor of the patriarch of the Lutheran Church in America, Henry Melchior Muhlenberg.  The sons of Henry Melchior Muhlenberg made important contributions to the early life of our country.  General John Peter Gabriel Muhlenberg wintered at Valley Forge with George Washington; Frederick Muhlenberg was the first speaker of the United States House of Representatives; Henry Ernst Muhlenberg was one of the most eminent early American scientists and the first president of Franklin College, now Franklin and Marshall College.  All of these men were clergymen who symbolized the relationship of the church to the life of the mind and the life of public service.

Muhlenberg owes much of the distinctiveness of its character and the quality of its life to the historic and continuing relationship with the church.  The College believes that its religious background enhances the community of learning within which the search for beauty and truth may flourish.  These associations serve to remind us that truly liberating education is not merely a quest for salable answers in the marketplace of ideas but a process through which people acquire self-understanding, a sensitivity to the values inherent in our Western heritage and in other cultures, and an ability to improve the quality of human life.

Diversity Within Community

The College is committed not only to nurturing a sense of shared community but also to developing a greater diversity among its members. To that end, the College’s Statement on Diversity, Equity, Inclusivity, and Belonging outlines our values and commitments as individuals and as a community towards achieving the goals of diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging.  

Muhlenberg enjoys the benefits of extraordinary diversity of race, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexuality, ability, age, socioeconomic class, nationality, language and citizenship status within its community.  This provides opportunities for dialogue and understanding truly unique among church-related institutions.

Lehigh Valley Association of Independent Colleges

The extensive network of colleges in the Lehigh Valley is another significant resource for Muhlenberg.  Five other liberal arts institutions are located within a few miles of the campus: Cedar Crest College, DeSales University, Lafayette College, Lehigh University, and Moravian University.  Muhlenberg and these institutions form a nationally recognized cooperative organization, the Lehigh Valley Association of Independent Colleges (LVAIC).  Through faculty exchanges, cross-registration, joint sessions locally and overseas, cooperative cultural programs, and other kinds of inter-institutional cooperation, LVAIC expands opportunities for Muhlenberg students.  (See “LVAIC Cross-Registration .”)

Accreditations and Approvals

Muhlenberg’s academic program is accredited by all of the important and appropriate agencies, including the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, 3624 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104, 267-282-5000, the Department of Education of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and the New York State Board of Regents to award associate’s degrees, bachelor’s degrees, and master’s degrees. 

The Muhlenberg Department of Chemistry is approved by the American Chemical Society Committee on Professional Training.

Muhlenberg College is approved for veterans’ education by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Education, Division of Veterans/Military Education.

Muhlenberg College offers a teacher licensure program that is approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Education to offer coursework leading to licensure.

The college is also a member of the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education, the American Association of Colleges of Teacher Education, the College Entrance Examination Board, the Pennsylvania Association of Colleges and Universities, and the National Collegiate Honors Council.

Non-Discrimination Policy

Muhlenberg College does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national or ethnic origin, sex, sexual orientation, disability, or age in the administration of any of its programs or activities, including admissions, financial aid, and employment.

All inquiries regarding this policy and complaints of discrimination in violation of this policy may be directed to:

Vice President, Human Resources
Third Floor, The Haas College Center

Complaints will be handled in accordance with the appropriate procedures established for resolving such complaints as set forth in student, faculty, and staff handbooks.  In addition, inquiries concerning the application of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sex) may be directed to the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education.

College Facilities

Muhlenberg College’s 82-acre main campus contains residential, athletic, study, social, performance, and laboratory spaces, including significant architectural works such as Egner Memorial Chapel, Baker Center for the Arts, Trexler Pavilion, and a sustainability award winning building Fahy Commons for Public Engagement and Innovation. The sculpture “Victor’s Lament”, by abstract expressionist Mark di Suvero, is displayed prominently on the front lawn of the campus.

As a testament to the traditional Lutheran sign of welcome, most of campus is adorned with Muhlenberg’s famous red doors, always open to visitors and friends alike.


Trexler Library houses the College’s primary collections of information resources including print and electronic books, journals, videos, recordings, government documents, special collections, and research databases.  The collection of approximately 240,000 print books/1.5 million ebooks, 16,000 multimedia items/210,000 streaming, 16,000 multimedia items, 137 research databases, and access to over 140,000 print and electronic journals, is designed to meet the general instruction and research needs of our Muhlenberg students.  In addition to the on-site collections, students and faculty have access to the collections the five other colleges of the Lehigh Valley Association of independent Colleges, with combined holdings of more than 1.75 million volumes, as well as to libraries worldwide. The OCLC-based interlibrary loan system widens the borrowing circle to worldwide access for free or at low cost. Trexler Library’s membership to the consortium, Partnership for Academic Library Collaboration and Innovation (PALCI), provides students and faculty direct borrowing privileges in more than 70 academic and research libraries within the Commonwealth and the surrounding area. The OCLC-based interlibrary loan system widens the borrowing circle to worldwide access for free or at low cost.

Trexler Library offers a contemporary and gracious facility combined with a variety of seating and study spaces to meet the needs of individual and group work. The library also houses the Writing and Information Consultation Center, a video-viewing classroom, accessible multimedia stations, library instruction classrooms, a One-Button Studio, collaboration labs, and seminar rooms. Students may borrow various technology, such as Chromebooks, webcams, presentation remotes, sound machines, DVD players, and more. The Library is open over 100 hours per week with additional hours provided during exam periods. Course-integrated instruction pairs librarians with instructors to combine information gathering and evaluating skills into the curriculum with the goal of increasing lifelong information literacy among the Muhlenberg community. Students also have access to unique resources in our Special Collections and College archives.


The Egner Chapel is one of the finest modern Gothic college churches in the nation. Its stained glass windows and vaulted interior provide appropriate settings for worship, meditation, concerts, weddings, and academic convocations. The 50-rank, 2,600 pipe organ was originally installed in 1983 and extensively refurbished in 2014. It is used in worship, teaching, and musical performances.


The Baker Center for the Arts was created for Muhlenberg by Philip Johnson, a renowned architect. The 220-foot, glass-covered galleria bisects the structure, serving as a thoroughfare, gathering place, and a unique site for displaying the arts. The main level contains the Empie theatre/auditorium complex, a lecture/recital hall, galleries, class and seminar rooms, the Art Department office and slide library, and studios for drawing, painting, and sculpture. The upper level contains the Music and English Departments, faculty offices, music studios, music and theatre rehearsal rooms, and the music listening room, with the department’s collection of recordings and scores.

The musical facilities include Steinway grand pianos for performance and teaching and a Schlicker practice organ, as well as numerous practice studios with pianos. The electronic-music studio includes sophisticated analog and digital synthesizers and recording equipment.


The striking Trexler Pavilion houses the Department of Theatre and Dance. Architectural features of this contemporary structure include a curved glass wall which encompasses lobbies on two levels and a pedestrian bridge which connects to the Baker Center for the Arts. The building includes three performance spaces: a 365-seat proscenium theatre with balcony, a student-run experimental theatre, and a dance studio theatre. Other building spaces include a costume shop and dressing rooms, rehearsal rooms, a scenery shop, and departmental offices.


The 10,000 square feet Rehearsal House, specifically the smaller studio, provides space for coaching sessions between professors and small groups of students outside of regular class time. Music Department offices are also located here, along with a performance studio and a new electronic-music studio.

The Rehearsal House also features a spacious lobby on each floor and seating space around the studio entrances for students to come to study or just hang out. A circular outdoor amphitheater cut into the hillside in front of the house is equipped with outdoor lighting for staging performances and informal gatherings.


The Seegers Union provides a hub for integration of the tools for teaching and learning and a venue for educating the whole student. The Student Life Suite incorporates Student Activities, Student Leadership Development and Greek Life, and Community Service and Civic Engagement. Student organizations also have spaces for SGA, MAC and SHARE offices, a club resource room, lounge, meeting space, project rooms and a leadership center.

This “heart of the campus” also supports the dining program and is home to five distinctly unique dining operations, a state of the art, centralized production kitchen, and a thriving catering program. The new Robert and Ilene Wood Dining Commons offers a high quality restaurant style experience designed to enhance Muhlenberg’s strong sense of community. Housed within the Robert and Ilene Wood Dining Commons, the Food Gallery features the Noshery, our kosher meat and dairy platforms under Star-K Certification. Adjacent to the Campus Restaurant, the Mule Express program supports meal-plan members for a quick, fresh meal on the go. Retail operations in Seegers Union include the Generals Quarters food court, including sushi, Southwestern, ‘Bergers Grill, as well as “kosher to go”, and our popular coffee kiosk.

Seegers Union is also home to the ‘Berg Bookshop, student mailroom, the Student Media Center, Academic Resource Center, Office of Disabilities Services, Career Development, and Muhlenberg Dining Services.


A “Science Street” runs from Trumbower through Shankweiler and into the New Science Building. Various research neighborhoods are located along the “street” with clusters of offices, research spaces, and teaching labs grouped to facilitate the sharing of instrumentation amongst researchers with common interests. The neighborhoods are centered around a “living room” area where students and faculty can meet and informally continue conversations begun in class as well as share the latest research results.

The 47,362 square foot New Science Building adjoins the 36,400 square foot John V. Shankweiler Biology Building housing biology laboratories and biology faculty, chemistry laboratories, mathematics classrooms, a fourth-floor greenhouse and the Acopian Center for Ornithology. A main sciences corridor extending from the west end of the New Science Building, through the Shankweiler Building and a 4,750 square foot Harry C. Trexler sciences tower, connects via raised walkways to the Trumbower Science Building, which houses the Departments of Chemistry, Physics, and Mathematical Sciences. In addition to modern laboratories, lecture halls, and classrooms, the complex contains special student, faculty, and research facilities. The seamlessly interconnected complex of science buildings now totals nearly 150,000 square feet.


The George T. Ettinger Building houses the Departments of History; Languages, Literatures, and Cultures; Political Science; and Accounting, Business, Economics, and Finance. The four-floor structure also houses the Walter and Margaret Berger Learning Center, the Office of Information Technology, numerous computer laboratories, a state-of-the-art language learning center, and the Price-Waterhouse accounting classroom.


Moyer Hall houses the Psychology, Education, Philosophy, and Religion Studies Departments. Psychology laboratories, departmental reading rooms, and faculty offices are included within a two-story atrium. The Institute for Religious and Cultural Understanding is also located on the second floor. The main level includes Miller Forum, a large space to be used for lectures, conferences, and other special events.


The Haas College Center, formerly the Haas Library, is a campus and community landmark housing the president’s and deans offices and Admissions, Alumni Relations, Financial Aid, Registrar, Business/Finance/Treasurer, Human Resources, and Development. The Center contains public spaces including a tiered conference room, several meeting rooms, and a spacious lobby used for ceremonial occasions.


The Life Sports Center is now the largest building complex on the Muhlenberg campus, with a 40,000 square feet on three levels. This is the home of intercollegiate athletics as well as fitness, recreational, and intramural activities, and includes a large coed weight room, spacious cardiovascular fitness area, coaches’ offices, locker rooms, a new athletic training facility, and a juice bar and food venue. Conference rooms, classrooms, and suites for College Health Services and College Counseling Services are here as well. The Center houses a tournament-size basketball court with seating for 3,500; a 32,000 square foot multi-use field house for tennis, indoor jogging, and other activities; a six-lane, 25-meter swimming pool; racquetball and squash courts; a Pilates Center; and a wrestling room. A state-of-the-art AstroTurf GameDay Grass 3D synthetic turf field for football, lacrosse, and field hockey and an 8-lane all-weather track are adjacent to the Center. Six new all-weather tennis courts, soccer fields, sandpit volleyball courts, and basketball courts are also located on campus.


Ten residence halls provide a variety of traditional residence hall and suite-style student living options.

Muhlenberg owns thirty-one small residences in the adjacent neighborhoods, comprising the Muhlenberg Independent Living Experiences (M.I.L.E.) houses and available as an option to students meeting special criteria Four fraternities and three sorority houses complete the housing options.


The Hoffman House is host to meetings and other events for Muhlenberg faculty, staff, and guests. The facility includes an all-purpose room, several lounges, a seminar room, a kitchen, and three guest rooms.

The John Peter Gabriel House contains the Muhlenberg Evening College and the Division of Graduate and Continuing Education.

The Leffell Center for Jewish Student Life, formerly Hillel House, is designed to serve the needs of Jewish students (nearly one-third of all students) and a vibrant Hillel community, the largest student organization. A Shabbat dining room seats over 300, and the Center includes a dedicated sanctuary, an institutional kosher kitchen, student and staff office spaces, and a student lounge. The space is also home to the Sociology and Anthropology Department and available to all Muhlenberg students, regardless of faith tradition.

Studio 22 is a 4,000 square foot Sprung Structure of tensioned fabric and clear-span structure. The building is configured as a single, very large classroom and multipurpose space, utilized for on-screen acting, theater, and dance studio space.

Walson Hall, formerly Old Commons is home to WMUH and the Department of Media and Communication. In addition to faculty offices, it contains a television studio, post production facilities, and digital laboratories.


The Conrad W. Raker Biological Field Station and Wildlife Sanctuary, a 40-acre wooded tract situated 15 miles north of the campus, is used by biology classes for field study. A section of Jordan Creek within the preserve provides added opportunity for aquatic biology studies. Students and staff also conduct research on varied aspects of plant and animal biology and, with the recent addition of an astronomical observatory, on astronomy and astrophysics projects as well.

The Lee and Virginia Graver Arboretum, a 50-acre tract located 20 miles northeast of campus, offers a diverse array of field research and other educational opportunities for Muhlenberg students. Its natural wooded area consists of Pennsylvania native plant species, a wildflower habitat with over 300 species, more than 3,000 rhododendrons, hundreds of azaleas, and other broadleaf evergreens and an unusual collection of conifer tree species. Its 12-acre research facility is also used for activities and meetings.