Using the Catalog
The Lehigh University Catalog lists degree requirements, rules for graduation, and other policies and procedures affecting students at Lehigh University. The University normally updates the Catalog on an annual basis, to reflect changes in course descriptions, degree programs, and academic guidelines. Most policies and procedures, aside from degree requirements, are governed by the language in the current Catalog.
Understanding Catalog Years and Graduation Requirements
In order to be eligible to graduate, a student must complete requirements defined in a specific Catalog. In general, students follow the requirements for graduation listed in the Catalog current at the time they matriculate, that is, at the time they first enroll as a degree-seeking student at Lehigh. Previously non-matriculated students who then matriculate at Lehigh University will be governed by the graduation requirements of the Catalog in effect at the time of their matriculation. Graduation requirements for the academic colleges are listed in the individual sections of the Catalog.
With the departmental advisor’s consent and approval from their college dean's office or college advising office, students may elect a later Catalog under which to fulfill the degree requirements; they may not elect an earlier Catalog, nor use a combination of requirements from different Catalogs. Should a student receive an exception to combine requirements from different Catalogs, the University’s electronic degree audit system may not accurately reflect a student’s progress toward the degree; in these cases, it is particularly important for the student to be sure that the student’s college and a written record of the specific Catalogs that will govern a student’s degree requirements, and it is particularly important for the student to understand these degree requirements and seek advising on these requirements as necessary.
Students returning to the University after an extended period without enrollment should meet with an advisor before selecting courses upon their return or readmission, to confirm which graduation requirements apply to them, because academic policies and procedures may have substantively changed during the period of their absence. When courses required in an older Catalog are no longer offered, or in other special cases, course substitutions may be made with the approval of appropriate department chairs, departmental advisors or deans.
In addition to the academic and semester-hour requirements for graduation in the several colleges and curricula, all students also must meet the residence requirements of the University (either a minimum of ninety semester hours, or at least sixty of the last seventy-five semester hours) and complete all work to be credited toward a baccalaureate degree within an eight-year period. If the work is not completed within this period the student may petition for an extension. No Catalog more than 8 years old may be used under any circumstances. Should a student maintain continuous enrollment under a Catalog older than 8 years, then the advising office of the college in which the student is enrolled, in consultation with the student’s departmental advisor, will determine which Catalog will govern degree requirements.
The University reserves the right at any time to make changes deemed necessary in the regulations, fees, courses, or programs described in the Catalog, and to cancel any course if registration does not justify its continuance or if qualified faculty members become unavailable. The University will make efforts to give notice of all substantive changes as appropriate. The Catalog is ordinarily updated annually.