Lehigh and Emory Universities: Which is the Right Fit for You?

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

a curly girl thinking while holding her pencil and notebook

Lehigh and Emory Universities: Which is the Right Fit for You?

Choosing a university is a major decision that can impact your academic and professional trajectory for years to come. When it comes to upper-tier institutions, Lehigh University and Emory University are two options that often come up in discussions. But which university is the better fit for you? In this article, we will conduct an in-depth analysis of Lehigh and Emory and compare various aspects to help you make an informed decision.

Location and Campus Overview: Lehigh vs. Emory

When it comes to location, both Lehigh and Emory universities have their unique advantages. Lehigh is located in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, which is about an hour and a half drive from New York City and Philadelphia.

Compared to Emory, Lehigh’s campus is relatively compact and easy to navigate. Emory, on the other hand, is in Atlanta, Georgia, which presents many urban opportunities for students, including cultural landmarks, music, and food.

Emory’s campus is massive and is considered one of the most picturesque college campuses in the United States. It is also home to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which can prove to be beneficial for students looking to intern or work in the public health sector.

Another advantage of Lehigh’s location is its proximity to the Pocono Mountains, which offers students opportunities for outdoor activities such as hiking, skiing, and camping. Additionally, Bethlehem is a historic town with a rich cultural heritage, which provides students with a unique experience to explore and learn about the area’s history and traditions.

Emory, on the other hand, is located in the heart of Atlanta, which is a hub for business and industry. This provides students with numerous internship and job opportunities in various fields, including finance, technology, and media.

Academics and Course Offerings: A Comparative Analysis

When it comes to academics, both Lehigh and Emory universities have world-class offerings in their respective fields. Lehigh is a research institution that offers over 100 undergraduate programs across four colleges: Arts and Sciences, Business, Education, and Engineering.

View of computer engineers working on a project.

In contrast, Emory, a liberal arts institution, provides diverse course offerings that span over 70 undergraduate programs. Emory’s standout programs include History, Law, Medicine, and Business.

Lehigh University is known for its strong engineering programs, with the P.C. Rossin College of Engineering and Applied Science consistently ranked among the top engineering schools in the country. The university also offers unique interdisciplinary programs, such as the Integrated Business and Engineering Honors Program, which combines business and engineering coursework.

Emory University, on the other hand, is renowned for its research in the field of healthcare. The university is home to the Emory School of Medicine, which is consistently ranked among the top medical schools in the country.

Emory also offers a variety of programs in the humanities, including a highly-regarded Creative Writing Program and a Department of Philosophy that is known for its strengths in ethics and political philosophy.

Admissions Process and Selectivity: Which University is Easier to Get Into?

Both Lehigh and Emory universities are competitive schools, with acceptance rates of 22% and 16%, respectively. Admission is based on a holistic review process and takes into account factors such as grades, test scores, extracurricular activities, and personal essays.

However, there are some differences in the admissions process between the two universities. Lehigh University offers an Early Decision option, which allows students to apply early and receive a decision by December.

This option is binding, meaning that if a student is accepted, they must attend Lehigh. Emory University, on the other hand, offers both Early Decision and Early Action options, but neither is binding.

Additionally, while both universities have similar acceptance rates, the selectivity of the two schools can vary depending on the specific program or major a student is applying to. For example, Emory University’s nursing program is highly competitive, with an acceptance rate of only 5%. It’s important for students to research the acceptance rates and selectivity of their desired program before applying to either university.

Cost of Attendance and Financial Aid: A Comprehensive Comparison

At Lehigh, the cost of attendance for the 2021-2022 academic year is $75,890, with room and board costing an additional $15,590. Emory’s total cost of attendance for the 2021-2022 academic year is $78,696, with an additional $16,622 for room and board. Both universities are committed to providing students with financial aid through grants, scholarships, and work-study programs.

Group of students walking in the campus.

Lehigh University offers a variety of need-based and merit-based scholarships to help students cover the cost of attendance. The university also provides work-study programs that allow students to earn money while gaining valuable work experience. Additionally, Lehigh offers a payment plan option that allows families to spread out the cost of attendance over several months.

Emory University also provides a range of financial aid options, including need-based grants and merit-based scholarships. The university’s Office of Financial Aid works closely with students and families to help them navigate the financial aid process and find the best options for their individual needs. Emory also offers a variety of payment plans and loan options to help students cover the cost of attendance.

Student Body Diversity: How Do Lehigh and Emory Compare?

Both universities are committed to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion on their campuses. At Lehigh, 40% of undergraduate students are from underrepresented minority groups, and Emory’s undergraduate population is made up of 38% minority students.

Lehigh University has a strong commitment to increasing diversity among its faculty as well. Currently, 25% of Lehigh’s faculty are from underrepresented minority groups, and the university has implemented several initiatives to further increase diversity among its faculty.

Emory University has also taken steps to promote diversity and inclusion beyond its campus. The university has established partnerships with local organizations to provide mentorship and educational opportunities for underrepresented minority students in the surrounding community.

Career Opportunities After Graduation: A Look at Post-Graduate Employment Rates

After graduation, both Lehigh and Emory students have access to extensive career resources. In 2021, 96% of Lehigh graduates were employed or attending graduate school within six months of graduating, and 92% of Emory graduates were employed or attending graduate school within six months of graduating.

a young man shakes someone's hand after being interviewed

Furthermore, the top industries that Lehigh graduates entered were finance, consulting, and technology, while Emory graduates pursued careers in healthcare, education, and business. Both universities also have strong alumni networks that provide mentorship and job opportunities for recent graduates.

Faculty Quality and Teaching Methodologies: Lehigh vs. Emory

Both universities have excellent faculty and a commitment to providing quality education. At Lehigh, 94% of classes have 50 or fewer students, which allows for small class sizes and personalized attention from professors. Emory also emphasizes small class sizes and has a student-faculty ratio of 8:1.

However, the teaching methodologies at the two universities differ. Lehigh places a strong emphasis on experiential learning, with opportunities for students to engage in hands-on projects and research. Emory, on the other hand, focuses on a more traditional lecture-based approach, with an emphasis on critical thinking and analysis.

Another difference between the two universities is their approach to faculty research. At Lehigh, faculty members are encouraged to pursue research in their respective fields, with many opportunities for funding and support. Emory also values faculty research but places a greater emphasis on interdisciplinary collaboration and community engagement.

Campus Safety and Security Measures: Which University is Safer?

Both Lehigh and Emory take the safety and security of their students very seriously. Both universities have their own police departments, and students are encouraged to take precautions while on campus. Lehigh has a relatively low crime rate, and Emory is considered to be one of the safest campuses in the United States.

Lehigh University has implemented several safety measures to ensure the well-being of its students. The university has installed emergency call boxes throughout the campus, which can be used to contact the police department in case of an emergency. Additionally, the university offers a free shuttle service to students who need to travel on campus after dark.

Emory University has also taken several steps to enhance campus safety. The university has a comprehensive emergency management plan in place, which includes regular training and drills for students and staff. Emory also has a network of security cameras installed throughout the campus, which are monitored 24/7 by the police department.

Reputation and Rankings: A Comparative Study of Lehigh and Emory

Both Lehigh and Emory are well-respected universities and are ranked highly by academic publications. U.S. News and World Report ranks Lehigh #49 and Emory #21 among national universities.

However, when it comes to specific programs, the rankings may differ. For example, Lehigh’s engineering program is ranked #44 by U.S. News and World Report, while Emory’s business program is ranked #20. It’s important to consider these program-specific rankings when choosing a university and determining which one may be the best fit for your academic goals.

Alumni Network and Support Services: Which University Offers Better Resources?

Both universities offer extensive resources for alumni, including career services and networking opportunities. Lehigh has an active alumni network with over 80,000 graduates, and Emory has a global network of over 150,000 alumni.

a business woman looking at the camera while her colleagues are at her back

However, Lehigh University also offers a unique program called the Alumni Mentor Network, which connects current students with alumni in their desired career fields. This program provides students with valuable insights and guidance as they navigate their career paths.

Emory University, on the other hand, has a robust alumni giving program, with over 30% of alumni donating to the university each year. These donations help fund scholarships, research, and other initiatives that benefit current and future students.

Research Opportunities for Undergraduates: A Comparison of Lehigh and Emory

Both Lehigh and Emory universities provide undergraduate students with the opportunity to participate in research projects across various disciplines. Lehigh offers programs such as the Mountaintop Initiative, which provides students with the opportunity to work on interdisciplinary research projects.

Emory is home to various research centers and institutes, including the Center for AIDS Research, the Center for Humanitarian Emergencies, and the Center for Behavioral Neuroscience.

In addition to the Mountaintop Initiative, Lehigh also offers the Summer Scholars Program, which allows students to conduct research with faculty mentors during the summer months. This program provides students with a stipend and housing, allowing them to fully immerse themselves in their research projects.

Emory also offers research opportunities through its Office of Undergraduate Research, which provides funding and support for students to conduct research in their field of interest. The university also hosts an annual Undergraduate Research Symposium, where students can present their research findings to the Emory community.

Campus Culture and Tradition: What Makes Each University Unique?

Lehigh has a strong Greek life culture, and its annual Le-Laf rivalry game against Lafayette College is a significant event. Emory, on the other hand, has a rich academic and cultural tradition, with notable alumni such as former President Jimmy Carter and novelist Alice Walker.

Group of students working together and talking.

Another university with a unique campus culture and tradition is the University of Texas at Austin. The university is known for its iconic tower, which stands at 307 feet tall and is lit up in orange during special events. The university also has a strong sports culture, with its football team, the Texas Longhorns, being a major source of pride for students and alumni alike.

Sustainability Initiatives on Campus: How Do Lehigh and Emory Compare?

Both universities have made a commitment to sustainability and have implemented various initiatives to reduce their environmental impact. Lehigh has programs such as the Eco-Reps program, which promotes sustainable living practices among students, and Emory has a goal to be carbon neutral by 2025.

Additionally, Lehigh has implemented a composting program in its dining halls, diverting food waste from landfills and turning it into nutrient-rich soil for campus gardens. Emory, on the other hand, has installed solar panels on several buildings, generating renewable energy and reducing their reliance on fossil fuels. Both universities continue to explore new ways to promote sustainability and reduce their environmental impact.


After a thorough comparison of various aspects of Lehigh and Emory universities, it is clear that both institutions offer unique advantages that match different students’ needs. Ultimately, your choice between the two should depend on your academic and personal preferences. We hope this article has provided you with valuable insights that can help guide you in your decision-making process.

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