2014-15 Catalog

Admission Guidelines

The total undergraduate and graduate enrollment of Lehigh University is regulated by action of the Board of Trustees, with a resulting limitation in the number of candidates who can be admitted each year to the various divisions of the university.

Because of the limitations on enrollment, the Office of Admissions, under the leadership of the Vice Provost of Admissions and Financial Aid, conducts a selective review of candidates for admission. Several criteria are used in an attempt to predict a student’s ability to successfully complete four years of rigorous study at Lehigh University.

The material that follows pertains to undergraduates. Graduate students should consult Admission to Graduate Standing.

The admission policy of the university is designed to enroll students with a variety of backgrounds. The course work or units required for admission represent the equivalent of the usual four-year college preparatory curriculum with certain specific courses required for enrollment in certain programs within the university. Evidence of academic growth, ability to learn, and motivation are examples of qualities that may not be reflected in the accumulation of units. Such qualities are also considered by the Committee on Admissions.

Minimum subject matter requirements

Foreign Languages 12
Social Science2
Laboratory Science2
College Preparatory Mathematics3
Elective Subjects3
Total Credits16

Only in exceptional cases, and for otherwise well-qualified candidates, will the Committee on Admissions waive the Foreign Language requirement for admission to any one of the three undergraduate colleges.

Students planning on enrolling in the P.C. Rossin College of Engineering and Applied Science must have studied mathematics through trigonometry, and should have studied chemistry, physics and mathematics through pre-calculus. Calculus is strongly recommended. Students planning to enroll in the College of Business and Economics must have completed mathematics through trigonometry, but also should strongly consider taking pre-calculus and calculus. Candidates for the College of Arts and Sciences preparing for a Bachelor’s of Science degree must also take math through trigonometry.

Minimum course work requirements can be misleading since most students who gain admission to Lehigh University exceed the minimum course work. Strength of preparation may be difficult to assess since each individual comes from a different background. However, the Committee on Admissions will be aware of things such as (in no particular order):

  • Rank or relative rank in class
  • The student’s grades within the context of the school environment
  • Evidence of improvement or deterioration in grades during the secondary school career with particular attention paid to performance in senior year courses
  • The quality of performance in courses that relate to the student’s anticipated area of study
  • The difficulty of courses taken with special attention given to courses recognized as accelerated by national academic organizations
  • Comments and recommendations from the principal, headmaster, guidance counselor, teachers, or other professional educators within the school system
  • Performance on standardized testing
  • Extra-curricular/work experience with particular emphasis placed on demonstrated leadership
  • Demonstrated interest in Lehigh University