Lehigh and Brandeis: A Look at the Two Universities

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

a curly girl thinking while holding her pencil and notebook

Lehigh and Brandeis: A Look at the Two Universities

If you’re considering where to attend college, it’s important to evaluate different universities’ strengths and weaknesses to determine which one aligns with your academic and personal goals.

In this article, we’ll be taking a comprehensive look at Lehigh University and Brandeis University to help you make an informed decision. We’ll start with a brief overview of both institutions before diving into the specifics of their locations, student bodies, academics, and more.

Introduction: Brief Overview of Lehigh and Brandeis

Lehigh University is a private research university located in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. It was founded in 1865 and has roughly 7,000 undergraduate and graduate students.

Brandeis University, located in Waltham, Massachusetts, is a private research university founded in 1948 with approximately 5,800 undergraduate and graduate students. Both schools carry reputations for academic excellence and high research activity.

Lehigh University is known for its strong engineering programs. The university also has a highly regarded business school, the College of Business and Economics, which offers undergraduate, graduate, and executive education programs.

Brandeis University is recognized for its commitment to social justice and diversity. The university has a strong liberal arts program and is home to the Heller School for Social Policy and Management, which focuses on addressing social inequalities and promoting social justice through research and education. Brandeis also has a renowned neuroscience program, with state-of-the-art research facilities and opportunities for students to conduct cutting-edge research in the field.

Location and Campus: Comparing the Physical Environment of Lehigh and Brandeis

The locations of Lehigh and Brandeis differ greatly. Lehigh’s campus is situated on the south slope of South Mountain in the Lehigh Valley, with a mix of historic and modern buildings spread across 2,350 acres.

Group of students walking in the campus.

The campus offers picturesque views and seasonal weather changes. On the other hand, Brandeis’ campus is located 9 miles west of Boston, with a suburban feel and a mix of classic and modern architecture. It’s an especially convenient location for students interested in tapping into Boston’s cultural scene.

Lehigh’s campus is known for its beautiful natural surroundings, with hiking trails and outdoor recreation opportunities available to students. The university also has a strong commitment to sustainability, with LEED-certified buildings and a focus on reducing its carbon footprint.

In contrast, Brandeis’ campus is known for its vibrant arts scene, with numerous galleries, theaters, and music venues on campus and in the surrounding area.

Despite their differences, both campuses offer a range of amenities and resources to students. Lehigh has state-of-the-art research facilities, including a nanotechnology center and a materials research center, while Brandeis has a renowned library system and a strong emphasis on undergraduate research.

Both universities also offer a variety of extracurricular activities, from sports teams to student clubs and organizations, to help students get involved and make the most of their college experience.

Student Body: Demographics, Size, and Diversity at Lehigh and Brandeis

Lehigh has roughly 5,000 undergraduate students and 2,000 graduate students, with a slightly higher percentage of male students than female students. The majority of students identify as white, with a growing percentage of students of color.

Brandeis has a slightly smaller student body, with a balanced male-female ratio and a diverse student population. It is well-known for its commitment to social justice and equality.

At Lehigh, the student body is also diverse in terms of geographic origin, with students coming from all 50 states and over 100 countries. The university offers a variety of cultural organizations and events to celebrate this diversity, including an annual International Bazaar.

Brandeis, on the other hand, has a strong Jewish identity and is home to a large population of Jewish students. The university also has a significant number of international students, with over 40% of the undergraduate population coming from outside the United States.

Academics: Curriculum, Faculty Quality, and Research Opportunities at Lehigh and Brandeis

Both Lehigh and Brandeis offer rigorous academic programs across a range of disciplines, with faculty members who are experts in their respective fields. Lehigh has five colleges, including the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Business, the College of Education, the P.C. Rossin College of Engineering and Applied Science, and the College of Health.

Brandeis, on the other hand, has four academic divisions: Arts and Humanities, Sciences, Social Sciences, and Crellin Pauling Engineering and Applied Science. Both universities offer numerous research opportunities for students to engage in.

View of computer engineers working on a project.

Lehigh University is known for its strong engineering and business programs, with the P.C. Rossin College of Engineering and Applied Science and the College of Business consistently ranked among the top in the country. The College of Arts and Sciences also offers a wide range of majors, including psychology, political science, and biology.

Brandeis University is recognized for its strong liberal arts programs, with the Arts and Humanities division offering majors in English, history, and philosophy. The university also has a strong science program, with the Sciences division offering majors in biology, chemistry, and neuroscience.

Admissions Requirements of Lehigh and Brandeis

Lehigh and Brandeis are both selective universities with highly competitive admissions processes. At Lehigh, the acceptance rate for undergraduates is around 25%, while at Brandeis it is around 34%.

Both universities require a completed application, letters of recommendation from teachers, transcripts, essays, and test scores. Lehigh suggests that successful applicants typically have a GPA of around 3.5 or higher, high SAT or ACT scores, and rigorous high school coursework, while Brandeis also highlights an interest in social justice, intellectual curiosity, and creativity.

Aside from the standard requirements, Lehigh also offers an optional interview for applicants. This interview is conducted by a Lehigh alumni or admissions representative and is a great opportunity for applicants to showcase their personality and interests beyond what is written on their application.

Brandeis, on the other hand, requires applicants to submit a graded writing sample from a high school class. This requirement allows the admissions committee to evaluate the applicant’s writing skills and academic potential.

It is important to note that both universities have holistic admissions processes, meaning that they consider a variety of factors beyond just grades and test scores. They also take into account extracurricular activities, leadership experience, community service, and other achievements. Therefore, it is important for applicants to showcase their unique strengths and experiences in their application materials.

Student Life and Extracurricular Activities

Both Lehigh and Brandeis offer a range of extracurricular activities and opportunities for students to get involved on campus. Lehigh has over 200 student organizations, including Greek life, sports teams, musical ensembles, and academic clubs.

Group of students working together and talking.

Brandeis has a similarly diverse range of options, with over 300 student groups devoted to everything from religious affiliation to political activism. Housing options at both universities include traditional dorms, apartments, and living communities.

Aside from the numerous student organizations, Lehigh and Brandeis also offer a variety of social events and activities for students to participate in. Lehigh hosts an annual music festival, as well as weekly movie screenings and game nights.

Brandeis has a vibrant arts scene, with frequent theater productions and art exhibitions. Both universities also have active student government associations that organize events and advocate for student interests.

When it comes to housing, Lehigh and Brandeis both offer on-campus options for students. Lehigh has a variety of residence halls, including traditional dorms and suite-style living. Brandeis has a similar setup, with options ranging from traditional dorms to apartment-style living. Both universities also offer off-campus housing resources and assistance for students who prefer to live off-campus.

Sports Programs Offered at Lehigh and Brandeis

Lehigh and Brandeis both have Division III athletics programs, offering a range of sports for students to participate in as athletes or spectators. Lehigh is part of the Patriot League and has a strong football program with a record of over 800 wins. It also has multiple championship-winning teams in other sports, such as basketball and wrestling.

View of a coach using a whistle during practice.

Brandeis is a member of the University Athletic Association and has had success in a range of sports, including track and field and soccer, and has been represented at the Olympic games. Both universities boast excellent facilities for athletics and fitness training.

In addition to the sports programs and facilities, Lehigh and Brandeis also prioritize the well-being and safety of their student-athletes. Both universities have dedicated athletic trainers and medical staff to provide care and support for injuries and overall health.

They also have strict protocols in place for concussion management and prevention. Student-athletes at Lehigh and Brandeis can feel confident that their physical and mental health is a top priority for the athletics department.

Career Opportunities

Lehigh and Brandeis offer students a range of opportunities to prepare for their future careers. Both universities have strong programs for internships, research opportunities, and networking with alumni to help guide students on their career paths.

Lehigh has a career center that provides career counseling and resources to students, as well as a network of over 85,000 alumni. Brandeis offers a wide range of career resources, including a career center, academic advisement, and a strong alumni network.

Both universities have strong job placement rates for graduates, with many students finding positions in their desired fields soon after graduation.

Lehigh and Brandeis also offer students the opportunity to participate in career fairs and networking events, where they can meet with potential employers and learn about different industries. These events provide students with valuable experience in networking and interviewing, as well as the chance to explore different career paths.

In addition to traditional career paths, both universities also offer resources for students interested in entrepreneurship and starting their own businesses. Lehigh has a Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, which provides resources and support for students interested in starting their own ventures. Brandeis offers a minor in Entrepreneurship, as well as a variety of resources for students interested in social entrepreneurship and nonprofit work.

Cost of Attendance at Lehigh and Brandeis

The cost of attending Lehigh and Brandeis can vary depending on several factors, including whether you are an in-state or out-of-state student, your program of study, and your financial need.

Group of students walking in the campus.

As of the 2021-2022 academic year, Lehigh’s tuition and fees are approximately $56,000 per year, while Brandeis’ tuition and fees are approximately $58,000 per year. Both schools have financial aid programs to help offset costs and offer scholarships to qualified students.

It’s important to research all options for financial aid and scholarships to make an informed decision about which university is the most affordable for you.

Additionally, it’s important to consider the cost of living in the surrounding areas of each university. Lehigh is located in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, which has a lower cost of living compared to Waltham, Massachusetts, where Brandeis is located.

This means that even though Brandeis has slightly higher tuition and fees, the overall cost of attending may be higher due to the higher cost of living in the area. It’s important to factor in all expenses when comparing the cost of attendance between universities.


Choosing between two highly-regarded universities like Lehigh and Brandeis can be a challenging decision, but it’s important to weigh all the factors that matter most to you. Location, campus environment, academics, student life, athletics, career opportunities, and cost of attendance are just a few of the many factors to consider.

By taking the time to research both institutions and visiting their campuses, you’ll be able to make an informed and confident decision about where to study and grow during this exciting phase of your life.

Segue to AdmissionSight

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With a seasoned team of college admissions specialists, we’ve spent over a decade guiding students like you toward their academic goals. We want to emphasize this – our expertise and insights are your secret weapon to success.

We take immense pride in being a beacon of trust and reliability in the realm of college admissions guidance. Our triumph is reflected in the achievements of our students, many of whom have carved their paths at some of the country’s most esteemed colleges.

Don’t let your future hinge on uncertainty. Reach out to AdmissionSight today to arrange a complimentary consultation and embark on the journey towards realizing your dreams. With our expert mentorship and steadfast support, the sky’s the limit.

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