An Insightful Gaze at Lehigh University’s Ranking

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

View of Lehigh University

An Insightful Gaze at Lehigh University’s Ranking

Lehigh University, an educational icon based in Pennsylvania, has long been known for its rigorous academic programs and vibrant campus life. Lehigh University’s ranking frequently appears among the top tiers of national and international listings, signaling the institution’s unwavering commitment to academic excellence, comprehensive learning, and impactful research.

A name synonymous with quality, Lehigh has consistently held its own in the competitive landscape of higher education, owing much to its high-caliber faculty, talented student body, and impressive resource allocation.

Delving deeper into Lehigh University’s ranking reveals a multidimensional narrative of what makes this institution stand out. The ranking doesn’t merely reflect the university’s academic strength but also underlines its dedication to experiential learning, global perspective, and community-centered ethos.

As we take a closer look at Lehigh’s ranking, it is essential to understand the factors contributing to its standing and what it implies for prospective students, alumni, faculty, and the broader academic community.

Lehigh University: An Overview

Founded in 1865 by businessman Asa Packer, Lehigh University is a premier private research university nestled in the picturesque Lehigh Valley of Pennsylvania. With more than 7,000 students from across the globe, it offers an enriching, diverse, and intellectually stimulating environment. The university consists of five colleges: the P.C. Rossin College of Engineering and Applied Science, the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Business, the College of Education, and the College of Health.

Lehigh University is renowned for its rigorous curriculum, innovative research initiatives, and distinctive emphasis on experiential learning. It offers a broad spectrum of undergraduate and graduate programs across various fields, including business, engineering, sciences, humanities, social sciences, and health.

View of Lehigh University: Enriching the College Experience

Its relatively small size facilitates a low student-to-faculty ratio of 10:1, fostering an intimate, collaborative learning environment where students can interact closely with professors who are leading experts in their fields.

As a research-intensive institution, Lehigh places great importance on pushing the boundaries of knowledge. The university encourages students to engage in hands-on research opportunities, irrespective of their major. This commitment to research and innovation contributes significantly to its high ranking among national universities.

Lehigh’s scenic campus, characterized by its blend of traditional Gothic and modern architecture, spans 2,355 acres and includes four contiguous campuses: the Asa Packer Campus, Mountaintop Campus, Stabler Land Campus, and Murray H. Goodman Campus. Apart from its rigorous academics, the university is also recognized for its vibrant campus life, boasting over 200 student clubs and organizations that cater to a wide range of interests.

Moreover, Lehigh is a member of the Patriot League in NCAA Division I, and it fields teams in 25 intercollegiate sports. Its Mountain Hawks enjoy a healthy, longstanding athletic rivalry with nearby Lafayette College, culminating each year in a much-anticipated football game that represents the most played rivalry in college football history.

In all, Lehigh University is a holistic blend of academic excellence, innovative research, and dynamic campus life. Its commitment to providing a comprehensive and rewarding educational experience has solidified its reputation as a leading institution in the U.S. and beyond.

What is the Ranking of Lehigh University?

What is the ranking of Lehigh University? Rankings play a crucial role in painting a quantitative picture of a university’s academic standing, reputation, and performance. One institution that frequently finds itself within the upper echelons of these lists is Lehigh University, a renowned educational institution nestled in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

Three students using a laptop in a table.

Lehigh consistently ranked among the top national universities in the U.S., as determined by esteemed publications. In the following exploration, we will delve deeper into Lehigh University’s ranking, dissecting its position and considering the multiple factors that contribute to its impressive standing.

U.S. News & World Report

Lehigh University is ranked #51 in the 2022-2023 edition of Best Colleges by U.S. News & World Report in the category of National Universities. This ranking places Lehigh among the top institutions in the United States that offer undergraduate, master’s, and doctoral degrees​.

In addition to its overall ranking, Lehigh University also has several notable accolades in specific categories. The institution is ranked #24 in the “best value” category among national universities, which suggests that it provides a high-quality education relative to the cost of attendance. Additionally, it ranks #26 in “undergraduate teaching,” indicating a strong commitment to and effectiveness in undergraduate instruction.

U.S. News & World Report ranks universities using a variety of metrics. Factors such as undergraduate academic reputation, student retention, faculty resources, student selectivity, financial resources, alumni giving, and graduation rate performance all contribute to the rankings. Lehigh’s consistent place in the top tier of these rankings points to its strength in many, if not all, of these areas.

Undergraduate academic reputation plays a substantial role in the ranking. This metric reflects the views of top academics about the quality of undergraduate programs at other universities. Lehigh’s strong standing indicates a high level of respect for its undergraduate programs among educators nationwide.

Student selectivity is another influential factor. Lehigh University is known for its selective admissions process, which tends to attract high-achieving students. High SAT/ACT scores, low acceptance rates, and a significant percentage of freshmen who graduated at the top of their high school class contribute positively to this metric.

Faculty resources also weigh into the rankings. This aspect considers factors such as faculty compensation, the percentage of faculty with the highest degree in their fields, the student-faculty ratio, and the proportion of faculty who are full-time. Lehigh University, with its strong emphasis on faculty quality and student-faculty interaction, scores well in this category.

Financial resources, measured by spending per student on instruction, research, student services, and related educational expenditures, are also crucial. Lehigh’s robust financial standing enables it to invest in resources that enhance education, which in turn boosts its ranking.

Finally, alumni giving, a reflection of the satisfaction of past students, is a testament to the university’s ability to provide a satisfying and enriching educational experience, thereby influencing its ranking positively.

Times Higher Education World University Rankings

The Times Higher Education World University Rankings for 2023 places Lehigh University in the 601–800th range. Moreover, Lehigh University placed 61st in the US College Rankings 2022.

It’s important to note that the Times Higher Education (THE) ranking is one of the most respected and referenced university rankings in the world. It evaluates universities across several performance indicators grouped into five areas: Teaching (the learning environment); Research (volume, income, and reputation); Citations (research influence); International outlook (staff, students, and research); and Industry Income (knowledge transfer).

In these areas, Lehigh University has a strong reputation. Its commitment to providing a rigorous and high-quality teaching environment contributes positively to the Teaching category. Furthermore, Lehigh University is a research-intensive institution, underlining its performance in the Research and Citations categories. The university’s focus on innovative research, as well as the high citation rate of the papers produced by its faculty, reflect the significant impact and influence of the research conducted there.

Lehigh also maintains a diverse and inclusive campus with students, faculty, and staff from various countries, contributing to its International Outlook score. The university’s partnerships with industry and focus on practical, real-world application of knowledge are factors that might enhance its performance in the Industry Income category.

QS World University Rankings

In the 2023 QS World University Ranking, Lehigh University falls in the 591-600th range globally.​

The QS World University Rankings is one of the most widely recognized and trusted university rankings in the world, assessing universities based on several indicators: Academic Reputation, Employer Reputation, Faculty/Student Ratio, Citations per Faculty, International Faculty Ratio, and International Student Ratio.

Lehigh’s strong academic reputation is recognized broadly, underscored by a faculty comprising leading scholars and researchers in their fields. This, coupled with a low student-faculty ratio, promotes a highly engaging and dynamic learning environment.

The citations per faculty indicator measure research intensity. As a research-intensive institution, Lehigh encourages its students, regardless of their major, to engage in hands-on research opportunities. This commitment to research and innovation contributes to its research impact.

Lehigh University also has a diverse student body, with a notable proportion of international students, which contributes to the university’s internationalization metrics in the rankings.

The Employer Reputation category, a measure based on a global survey of employers regarding the quality of graduates, is another area where Lehigh is likely to perform well. Lehigh’s strong focus on experiential learning and career services, combined with a curriculum designed to foster transferable skills, helps its graduates to be competitive in the job market.

Why Do College Rankings Matter?

Why do college rankings matter? College rankings play a significant role in shaping the perceptions of educational institutions worldwide, and Lehigh University is no exception. They matter for Lehigh University for several reasons, all contributing to the university’s reputation, appeal, and overall performance.

Firstly, college rankings help validate the quality of education provided by Lehigh University. They serve as an acknowledgment of the institution’s commitment to academic excellence, innovative research, and a comprehensive educational experience. A high ranking signifies the effectiveness of Lehigh’s educational strategies, reflecting well on its curriculum, faculty, facilities, and student services.

Secondly, rankings significantly influence the decisions of prospective students and their parents. Students often refer to rankings to shortlist potential colleges or universities for their higher studies. High rankings help Lehigh University attract a diverse, talented, and ambitious pool of applicants from across the world. This influx of high-quality students further elevates the academic environment and reputation of the university.

Female student explaining something to her classmate.

Thirdly, college rankings impact the view of potential faculty members. Academics seek affiliations with high-ranking institutions to enhance their career prospects, engage in cutting-edge research, and collaborate with high-caliber colleagues. Therefore, high rankings enable Lehigh to recruit and retain top-tier faculty members, which, in turn, ensures that students receive an outstanding education.

Fourthly, rankings can influence the decisions of donors and investors. High rankings can demonstrate that a university effectively utilizes its resources, which can reassure donors and attract more funding. This additional funding can then be invested back into the university for academic programs, research, infrastructure, and scholarships, further enhancing its offerings and reputation.

Lastly, high rankings also enhance the value of a degree from Lehigh University for its alumni. The reputation of the granting institution plays a significant role in the job market. Employers often regard graduates from highly ranked universities as high-quality candidates, enhancing job prospects for Lehigh alumni. Additionally, alumni can take pride in their affiliation with a highly-ranked university, which can encourage alumni engagement and giving.

However, while rankings do matter, they don’t tell the whole story. They may not fully capture the unique strengths of a university, its campus culture, or the experiences of its students. Therefore, while Lehigh University’s ranking attests to its excellence, it should be considered alongside other factors when evaluating the university.

What is the Benefit of Lehigh University’s Ranking in College Application?

What is the benefit of Lehigh University’s ranking in college application? The high ranking of Lehigh University significantly benefits college applications in various ways. These benefits extend not only to the institution itself but also to prospective and current students, as well as alumni.

Attracting High-Quality Applicants: One of the most immediate benefits of Lehigh University’s ranking is its appeal to prospective students. High rankings are often associated with academic excellence, renowned faculty, state-of-the-art facilities, and vibrant campus life – all of which are attractive to ambitious students. Therefore, a high-ranking university like Lehigh is likely to draw a large pool of talented, high-achieving applicants, making it a more competitive and intellectually stimulating environment.

Professor teaching someone using a laptop.

Credibility and Recognition: Lehigh University’s ranking adds a stamp of credibility and recognition to a college application. When admissions officers from graduate schools or employers see ‘Lehigh University’ on a resume, they immediately associate it with the high-quality education and rigorous academic training the institution provides.

Networking Opportunities: A high-ranking institution typically attracts not only high-caliber students but also esteemed faculty and distinguished alumni. Being part of such a community can offer students valuable networking opportunities. These connections can lead to internships, job offers, and collaborations that can significantly enhance a student’s career trajectory.

Research Opportunities: High-ranking institutions like Lehigh University often emphasize research and innovation. Students here have opportunities to work with professors on groundbreaking research, access state-of-the-art laboratories and facilities, and attend academic conferences. These experiences can enrich their college applications, especially for those intending to pursue graduate studies.

Students using a computer in a room.

Internships and Job Prospects: Top-ranking universities typically have strong relationships with various industries and employers who recognize the value of their graduates. This increases the chances of securing internships and job placements. Furthermore, Lehigh University’s ranking enhances the reputation of its career services, which are designed to support students in their career exploration and job search process.

Global Exposure: Lehigh’s high ranking also implies a certain level of global prestige. This reputation attracts a diverse body of students and faculty from different cultures and backgrounds, thereby enriching the university experience with global perspectives and connections.

While Lehigh University’s ranking can certainly enhance a college application, it’s important to remember that it’s just one of many factors students should consider when choosing a university. Factors such as course content, extracurricular opportunities, culture, location, and financial considerations should also play significant roles in this decision.


Lehigh University’s ranking reflects its dedication to academic excellence, student success, and the creation of a nurturing and innovative learning environment. Its consistent position among the top national universities is a testament to its quality, credibility, and impact. Nevertheless, while these rankings offer a helpful snapshot, prospective students should use them as one of many tools in their university selection process, not the sole determinant.

Despite the rigorous competition in the higher education sector, Lehigh University continues to establish itself as a leading institution through its commitment to excellence and its consistent performance in various ranking parameters. Its proven track record and the tangible success of its students and alumni make it an attractive choice for prospective students from across the globe. While the future of higher education may be unpredictable, one thing is certain: Lehigh University will continue striving for the pinnacle of academic achievement and student success.

Remember, at the end of the day, the right university for you is not just about rankings but about where you feel you will learn, grow, and thrive. Lehigh University offers an environment for all three, which has allowed it to maintain its high standing. As you embark on your college search journey, consider not just the rankings but also the culture, community, and opportunities each university provides.

Want to learn more about your chances of getting into Lehigh University? You’ve come to the right place. At AdmissionSight, we have over 10 years of experience guiding students through the competitive admissions process.

AdmissionSight can help you put your best foot forward when applying to college this fall. Contact us today for more information on our services.


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