Muhlenberg College

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#T-82, overall score 53.33/100

Fun Fact:

The Liberty Bell was hidden from the British in Allentown during the Revolutionary War.

Why should Jewish students attend Muhlenberg College? Muhlenberg College Hillel is a student-led, staff-supported organization. We are Muhlenberg College’s largest and most active student club that offers two to three weekly Shabbat services; Friday night dinners; holiday dinners; social, religious and community service programs. We are also a very active presence on the Muhlenberg College campus, working closely with other religious group on campus as well as programming and collaboration with other student life offices. — Rabbi Melissa B. Simon, Jewish Chaplain and Hillel Director, Muhlenberg College


  • Location: Allentown, Pa.
  • Region: Mid-Atlantic
  • Campus type: Small city
  • Public/Private: Private
  • Liberal Arts: Yes
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 2,408
  • Jewish undergraduate enrollment: 613
  • Jewish population share: 25%
  • Student origin: 29% in-state / 71% out-of-state
  • Student newspaper: The Muhlenberg Weekly
  • NCAA Division: III
  • NCAA team: Mules
  • Ultimate Frisbee teams: Flying Squirrels

What Students Say:

“People genuinely care about each other here and want everyone to succeed. Students like to be involved in a lot of different things and people are just nice.”

COST & AID Score: 0/15

  • Score: 0/15
  • Tuition: $50,830
  • Room & board costs: $11,420
  • Average annual scholarship/grant package: $24,029
  • Average loan debt: $31,063
  • Scholarship for Jewish students: No

ACADEMICS Score: 8.33/20

  • Score: 8.33/20
  • Acceptance rate: 48%
  • Student/faculty ratio: 11:1
  • Median SAT range: 1140-1340
  • Jewish Studies program: Yes
  • Jewish Studies major: Yes
  • Hebrew major: No

ISRAEL Score: 12.33/20

  • Score: 12.33/20
  • Size of Birthright trip: 33
  • School-approved study abroad program in Israel: Yes
  • Israel Studies center: No
  • Israel-related clubs: Mules for Israel, IAC Mishelanu
  • BDS vote in last four years: Never introduced

SAFETY Score: 10/33/11

  • Score: 10/33/11
  • Anti-Semitic incidents in 2017: 0
  • Campus crime rate: 4.98/1,000 students (medium low)
  • City crime rate: 32.24/1,000 people (medium low)
  • LGBT center: Yes

JEWISH LIFE Score: 23.58/34

  • Score: 23.58/34
  • Hillel: Muhlenberg College Hillel
  • Chabad: Chabad Student Center
  • OU-JLIC: No
  • Jewish fraternities: ZBT
  • Jewish sororities: None
  • Can you get kosher food on the school meal plan? Yes
  • Chicken soup hotline: Yes
  • Hillel Friday night services: 3
  • Average Shabbat attendance – Hillel: 100
  • Average Shabbat attendance – Chabad: 150
  • Synagogues within 10 miles: 4 (1 Orthodox, 2 Conservative, 1 Reform)
  • Eruv: On campus
  • Where do Jewish students come from? Most Muhlenberg students come from the East Coast, and many Jewish students are from Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey. However, there are students from all over the country and the world, with growing numbers from California, Florida, Illinois, Washington state and Israel, to name a few. There is a strong number of students who participated in a gap-year program, as well.
  • Kosher food details: Kosher food is widely available at Muhlenberg College. Its campus has two Kosher sections in its dining hall, run by Sodexo and under Star K and Star Dairy supervision. Kosher food is available seven days week (including holidays, and Kosher for Passover food). There is both a meat and a dairy side. Kosher food under Star K supervision is served at Muhlenberg College Hillel for Shabbat, holidays and programs.

What Students Say:

“One of the best parts of Muhlenberg’s Jewish community is that there are so many different options and opportunities for being involved. There are many different prayer service options throughout Shabbat, Israel related clubs, learning opportunities and more”…“It would be really nice to have even more events both social and learning for all types of students because right now, events are pretty much focused on Shabbat and holidays”…“Everyone cares about what you are doing, rather than how you are doing it. If you just go to Hillel, or just go to Chabad, or go to both (which many people do!), the one thing that matters is the fact that you are engaging in the Jewish community; not about how much you do with it.”

Do you attend this school? Do you want to tell us more about what life there is like? Take our survey here, and your feedback could be featured in next year’s guide! And if you’re a student or campus professional, join our online community Jewish Campus Confidential, and apply to become a Forward Campus Ambassador.

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