Comparing Lehigh University and the University of Rochester

August 9, 2023
By AdmissionSight

Comparing Lehigh University and the University of Rochester

If you are considering attending college in the northeast side of the US, you may be interested in Lehigh and the University of Rochester. These two universities are both notable institutions offering excellent academic programs, extracurricular activities, and facilities for students. In this article, we will take a closer look at both universities and compare them in several important areas.

Location and Campus Size

Lehigh University is located in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Its campus spans over 2,350 acres and is home to approximately 7,000 undergraduate and graduate students. The University of Rochester is situated in Rochester, New York on a 707-acre campus and is home to over 11,000 students.

Both universities are located in urban areas, which provide plenty of opportunities for students to explore the cities that they call home. However, the size of the campuses at each institution is quite different and it is up to personal preference on which setting is preferred.

Lehigh University’s campus is divided into three main areas: the Asa Packer Campus, the Mountaintop Campus, and the Murray H. Goodman Campus. The Asa Packer Campus is the oldest and most historic part of the university, while the Mountaintop Campus is home to many of the university’s research facilities. The Murray H. Goodman Campus is located on the south side of Bethlehem and is home to many of the university’s athletic facilities.

The University of Rochester’s campus is also divided into several different areas, including the River Campus, the Medical Center, and the Eastman School of Music. The River Campus is the main undergraduate campus and is located on the Genesee River.

The Medical Center is located in downtown Rochester and is home to the university’s medical and dental schools. The Eastman School of Music is located in the East End neighborhood of Rochester and is one of the top music schools in the country.

Academic Programs and Offerings

Lehigh University is highly regarded for many of its programs, particularly in engineering, business, and the sciences. The university offers undergraduate degrees in over 100 majors and fields of study across four colleges.

View of computer engineers working on a project.

On the other hand, the University of Rochester is known for its liberal arts and research programs. The university offers undergraduate degrees in over 70 majors and a wide range of graduate programs. Both universities offer a mix of undergraduate and graduate programs.

In addition to their undergraduate and graduate programs, both Lehigh University and the University of Rochester offer various opportunities for students to engage in research and experiential learning. Lehigh University has a strong emphasis on entrepreneurship and innovation, with programs such as the Baker Institute for Entrepreneurship, Creativity, and Innovation.

The University of Rochester has a renowned medical center and research facilities, providing students with opportunities to work alongside leading researchers in various fields. Both universities also offer study abroad programs, allowing students to gain international experience and broaden their perspectives.

Student Life Experience

When it comes to student life, both universities offer a variety of extracurricular activities and clubs. Lehigh University has over 200 clubs and organizations, while the University of Rochester has over 250 clubs and organizations.

Both universities offer a wide range of activities, from sports clubs to academic organizations. Both universities are also home to a number of fraternities and sororities. Additionally, both universities host a number of events throughout the year to encourage student involvement and engagement with campus culture.

One unique aspect of student life at Lehigh University is the annual “Le-Laf” rivalry game against Lafayette College. This historic football game has been played since 1884 and is a major event for students, alumni, and the local community.

The week leading up to the game is filled with spirited events and competitions between the two schools. On the other hand, the University of Rochester has a strong tradition of community service and volunteerism.

The university’s “Wilson Day” is a day of service where students, faculty, and staff come together to volunteer at various organizations and non-profits in the Rochester area. This event has become a hallmark of the university’s commitment to making a positive impact on the community.

Admission Requirements and Process

Lehigh University’s admission process is highly competitive, with an acceptance rate of around 22%. On the other hand, the University of Rochester has an acceptance rate of around 30%. Both universities require students to submit transcripts, standardized test scores, and letters of recommendation.

Close up of students smiling at the camera.

Students must also submit a personal essay describing their goals and interests. Additionally, each university has its own specific requirements for admission.

It is important to note that Lehigh University places a strong emphasis on extracurricular activities and community involvement in its admission process. They also offer interviews for interested applicants, which can provide an opportunity for students to showcase their personalities and interests beyond their application materials.

The University of Rochester, on the other hand, values academic achievement and intellectual curiosity in its applicants. They also offer an optional interview for applicants, which can provide additional insight into their character and potential fit for the university.

Faculty and Class Size

Both universities boast excellent faculties. Lehigh University has a student-to-faculty ratio of 9:1, and a total of 747 full-time faculty members. The University of Rochester has a student-to-faculty ratio of 10:1, and a total of 951 full-time faculty members. Both universities have a mix of adjunct and tenured professors, and class sizes vary depending on the course and program.

Lehigh University has a strong emphasis on undergraduate education, with a majority of classes taught by full-time faculty members. This allows for more personalized attention and mentorship opportunities for students.

The University of Rochester, on the other hand, has a larger graduate program and a higher percentage of classes taught by adjunct professors. This can provide students with more diverse perspectives and real-world experience from professionals in their field.

Both universities also offer opportunities for students to conduct research with faculty members. Lehigh University has a dedicated Office of Undergraduate Research, which provides funding and support for students to pursue independent research projects.

The University of Rochester has a strong focus on interdisciplinary research, with many faculty members collaborating across departments and schools to tackle complex problems.

Alumni Network and Career Opportunities

Both universities are highly regarded by employers and have strong alumni networks. Lehigh University alumni are employed by top companies such as Goldman Sachs, Amazon, and Google, while University of Rochester alumni have worked for companies such as NASA, Microsoft, and Deloitte.

an adult employee demonstrating to a group of students

Both universities offer career services and have extensive networks of alumni who work in various industries around the world.

Additionally, both universities have partnerships with various companies and organizations, providing students with internship and job opportunities. Lehigh University has partnerships with companies such as IBM, Johnson & Johnson, and PwC, while University of Rochester has partnerships with companies such as Xerox, Wegmans, and the Mayo Clinic.

These partnerships not only provide students with valuable work experience, but also often lead to full-time job offers upon graduation.

Research Facilities and Opportunities

Both universities offer ample research opportunities for students. Lehigh University has a number of interdisciplinary research centers, including the Center for Photonics and Nanoelectronics and the Institute for Cyber Physical Infrastructure and Energy.

The University of Rochester has several research centers, including the Simon Business School and the Rochester Center for Brain Imaging. These research opportunities provide students with hands-on experience and prepare them for careers in their field after graduation.

Additionally, both universities have state-of-the-art research facilities that allow students to conduct cutting-edge research. Lehigh University has a Materials Characterization Facility, which houses advanced equipment for analyzing the properties of materials at the atomic and molecular levels.

The University of Rochester has a Laboratory for Laser Energetics, which is one of the largest university-based laser facilities in the world. These facilities provide students with access to advanced technology and equipment, allowing them to conduct research that pushes the boundaries of their field.

Campus Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives

Both universities are committed to diversity and inclusion on campus. Lehigh University has a Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity Council and offers a number of programs and initiatives to promote a more inclusive campus culture.

Students smiling at the camera together.

The University of Rochester has a Diversity and Inclusion Program and offers a range of resources for underrepresented minority students and LGBTQ+ students.

At Lehigh University, one of the initiatives to promote diversity and inclusion is the Bias Response Team. This team provides support and resources to students who have experienced bias incidents on campus. Additionally, Lehigh offers a Multicultural Resource Center, which provides programming and support for students from diverse backgrounds.

The University of Rochester has a strong commitment to promoting diversity and inclusion in its curriculum. The university offers courses and programs that explore issues related to race, gender, sexuality, and other forms of identity. The university also has a Diversity Advisory Council, which works to ensure that the university’s policies and practices are inclusive and equitable for all members of the community.

Tuition, Financial Aid, and Scholarships

Lehigh University’s tuition for undergraduate students is around $55,170 for the 2021-2022 academic year, while the University of Rochester’s tuition for undergraduate students is around $58,160.

Both universities offer a range of financial aid and scholarship opportunities for eligible students. Both universities also offer work-study programs to help students offset the cost of tuition and living expenses.

Additionally, Lehigh University offers a program called the Lehigh Promise, which guarantees that students from families with an annual income of $75,000 or less will receive full financial aid to cover tuition, room, and board.

The University of Rochester also offers a similar program called the Rochester Promise, which guarantees full tuition coverage for students from families with an annual income of $60,000 or less. These programs aim to make higher education more accessible and affordable for students from low-income families.

Student Support Services and Resources

Both universities offer a range of student support services and resources, including academic advising, tutoring programs, mental health services, and career counseling.

a female psychologist on a session with a patient

Additionally, both universities have libraries with extensive collections and resources for students to use in their research and coursework.

Moreover, both universities have student organizations and clubs that cater to various interests and hobbies. These organizations provide opportunities for students to meet new people, develop leadership skills, and engage in extracurricular activities. Students can also participate in community service projects and volunteer work through these organizations.

Furthermore, both universities have state-of-the-art facilities and equipment for students to use. This includes computer labs, science labs, art studios, and athletic facilities. Students can access these facilities and equipment to enhance their learning experience and pursue their interests outside of the classroom.

Student Organizations and Leadership Opportunities

Lehigh University has over 200 clubs and organizations that cover a range of interests and activities. The university also has a variety of leadership opportunities, including student government, academic clubs, and athletic organizations.

The University of Rochester has over 250 clubs and organizations that offer students a range of opportunities to connect with one another and engage in extracurricular activities. The university also has a number of leadership programs and opportunities for students to become involved in student organizations on campus.

Additionally, both universities offer opportunities for students to create their own clubs and organizations based on their interests and passions. This allows students to take initiative and lead their own groups, fostering a sense of community and belonging on campus. These student-led organizations often collaborate with other clubs and organizations, creating a diverse and inclusive environment for all students.

Campus Technology Infrastructure

Both universities have extensive technology infrastructure to support their students and faculty. Lehigh University has a dedicated Computing Center and provides students with access to high-speed internet, software, and online resources.

The University of Rochester also has a Computing and Information Systems department and provides students with access to software, cloud storage, and other tools to support their academic work.

In addition to the Computing Center, Lehigh University also has a state-of-the-art Digital Media Studio that provides students with access to multimedia equipment and software. This facility allows students to create and edit videos, podcasts, and other digital media projects.

The University of Rochester has recently invested in upgrading its wireless network infrastructure to provide faster and more reliable internet access across campus. This upgrade has also included the installation of new wireless access points in outdoor areas, allowing students to stay connected while enjoying the campus green spaces.

Facilities for Performing Arts, Music, Theatre, etc.

Both universities have facilities for the performing arts, including music and theatre. Lehigh University has the Zoellner Arts Center, which hosts a variety of performances and events throughout the year.

The University of Rochester has the Eastman School of Music, which is renowned for its programs in music performance and music education. Both universities offer a variety of opportunities for students to participate in the performing arts.

At Lehigh University, the Zoellner Arts Center is not only a venue for performances but also a hub for creativity and innovation. The center offers workshops, masterclasses, and artist residencies, providing students with the opportunity to learn from and collaborate with professional artists.

The University of Rochester’s Eastman School of Music is not just a school, but a community of musicians. The school offers a wide range of ensembles, from orchestras and choirs to jazz bands and chamber groups, allowing students to perform and collaborate with their peers.


In conclusion, both Lehigh University and the University of Rochester offer excellent academic programs, extracurricular activities, and resources for their students. However, each university is unique in its own way. It is important for prospective students to consider their own interests and needs and make an informed decision about which university is the best fit for them.

Segue to AdmissionSight

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