Lehigh and Pomona: A Comprehensive Look at the Two Universities

August 11, 2023
By AdmissionSight

Lehigh and Pomona: A Comprehensive Look at the Two Universities

If you’re trying to decide between Lehigh and Pomona, you’re not alone. Both of these universities offer excellent academic programs. They also offer exciting extracurricular activities and a vibrant campus culture.

However, there are some crucial differences between the two universities that you should keep in mind when making your decision. Here’s a comprehensive look at the two universities and how they compare:

Academic Programs: A Side-by-Side Comparison

Lehigh University and Pomona College both offer a wide range of academic programs, but there are some significant differences between them.

Lehigh University offers more than 100 undergraduate majors in areas such as engineering, science, business, and humanities.

Pomona College, on the other hand, has a stronger focus on liberal arts and offers over 45 majors in fields such as natural sciences, arts, humanities, and social sciences.

Both universities have excellent faculty members who are experts in their fields and encourage hands-on learning.

Additionally, Lehigh University has a strong emphasis on research and offers numerous opportunities for students to engage in research projects with faculty members.

Pomona College, on the other hand, has a unique program called the “Signature Program” which allows students to design their own interdisciplinary majors and pursue their academic interests in a more personalized way.

Campus Culture: How Lehigh and Pomona Differ

One of the most significant differences between Lehigh University and Pomona College is their campus culture.

Lehigh is located in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, and has a more traditional campus with a distinct campus culture, while Pomona is located in Claremont, California, and has a more relaxed, laid-back campus culture.

While Lehigh has a strong Greek life presence, Pomona has a more diverse range of student organizations and clubs that reflect its liberal arts focus. Both universities offer excellent opportunities for students to get involved, but the cultural differences between the two are worth considering.

Another notable difference between Lehigh and Pomona’s campus culture is their approach to academics.

Lehigh is known for its strong engineering and business programs, while Pomona is renowned for its liberal arts curriculum. This difference is reflected in the academic atmosphere on each campus, with Lehigh students often prioritizing internships and job opportunities, while Pomona students tend to focus more on intellectual exploration and research.

Student Life: Dorms, Dining, and Extracurriculars

Lehigh and Pomona both offer excellent facilities for students, including comfortable living spaces, healthy dining options, and plenty of extracurricular activities.

a group of students hanging out inside a room

Lehigh provides students with 18 on-campus residence halls, including traditional dormitories, apartment-style living, and themed-living communities.

On the other hand, Pomona has eight on-campus residence halls where students live in fully furnished rooms that share communal bathrooms.

Dining options at Lehigh include student-run coffee shops, cafes, and kosher and halal food options, while Pomona has a more extensive selection of vegan and vegetarian meal options. Regardless of which university you choose, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to explore new interests and connect with your peers.

Location Matters: The Pros and Cons of East Coast vs. West Coast

Location can be an important factor to keep in mind when deciding between Lehigh and Pomona.

Lehigh is located in Pennsylvania, on the East Coast, while Pomona is located in California, on the West Coast. Lehigh’s location gives students access to big cities such as Philadelphia and New York, while Pomona is located in the heart of Southern California, giving students easy access to attractions such as Disneyland and Venice Beach. When deciding on a university, make sure to think about which location makes the most sense for you and your interests.

Another factor to consider when deciding between the East Coast and West Coast is the climate.

The East Coast experiences all four seasons, with hot summers and cold winters, while the West Coast has a more mild climate with warm summers and cool winters. This can be an important consideration for students who prefer a certain type of weather.

Additionally, the cost of living can vary greatly between the two coasts, with the West Coast generally being more expensive. It’s important to weigh all of these factors when making a decision about where to attend university.

Admissions Process: The Similarities and Differences

Both Lehigh and Pomona have competitive admissions processes, but there are some differences to keep in mind.

Close up of students smiling at the camera.

Lehigh has an acceptance rate of around 22%, while Pomona’s acceptance rate is much lower at only 6%.

Both universities require standardized test scores and essays as part of their application process, but Lehigh also requires an interview as part of their process. Make sure to review each university’s admission requirements before applying.

Another difference between the admissions processes of Lehigh and Pomona is the approach to extracurricular activities. While both universities value extracurricular involvement, Pomona places a greater emphasis on community service and civic engagement.

In fact, Pomona requires applicants to submit a supplemental essay specifically about their involvement in community service. Lehigh, on the other hand, values a well-rounded applicant with a variety of interests and experiences. Keep this in mind when highlighting your extracurricular activities in your application.

Alumni Network: Who Has the Stronger Network?

When choosing a university, it’s worth considering the strength of the alumni network.

Lehigh boasts a robust alumni network, with more than 86,000 alumni across the globe, many of whom are leaders in their fields.

Pomona College has a much smaller alumni network but includes highly accomplished alumni in various fields, including actress Gwyneth Paltrow and Nobel laureate economist Paul Samuelson.

Both universities have passionate alumni who are dedicated to supporting current students.

Lehigh’s alumni network is not only large but also highly engaged. The university has a strong alumni association that offers various programs and events to connect alumni with each other and with current students. Lehigh alumni are known for their willingness to help fellow alumni and current students with career advice, job opportunities, and mentorship.

On the other hand, Pomona College’s smaller alumni network allows for more personalized connections. The college has a tight-knit community of alumni who are deeply involved in the college’s affairs.

Faculty and Staff at Lehigh and Pomona

Faculty and staff play a crucial role in creating a positive learning environment for students. Lehigh and Pomona both have excellent faculty members who are passionate about their fields of study and dedicated to teaching their students.

Female teacher talking to her students.

Lehigh has a larger faculty, with approximately 700 full-time and part-time faculty members, while Pomona has a smaller faculty, with approximately 200 full-time and part-time faculty members.

Regardless of which university you choose, you’ll have access to dedicated and knowledgeable faculty and staff members.

However, there are some differences in the faculty and staff structures between the two universities. Lehigh has a higher student-to-faculty ratio, with approximately 9 students per faculty member, while Pomona has a lower ratio of approximately 8 students per faculty member. This means that students at Pomona may have more opportunities for one-on-one interactions with their professors.

In terms of staff, both universities have a range of support services available to students, including academic advising, career services, and health and wellness resources.

However, Lehigh has a larger staff, with approximately 1,500 full-time and part-time staff members, while Pomona has a smaller staff, with approximately 500 full-time and part-time staff members. This may impact the availability and accessibility of certain support services at each university.

Career Services: Which University Offers Better Opportunities?

One crucial factor to consider when choosing a university is career services. Both Lehigh and Pomona have excellent career services programs that help students prepare for life after graduation.

a young man shakes someone's hand after being interviewed

Lehigh has a dedicated Career Services Center that provides students with resume and cover letter reviews, interview preparation, and job search strategies.

Pomona offers a similar range of services but also has a strong focus on helping students find meaningful internships and research opportunities.

Additionally, Lehigh’s Career Services Center hosts numerous career fairs and networking events throughout the year, connecting students with potential employers and alumni in their desired fields.

Pomona, on the other hand, offers a unique program called the Internship Program in which students can receive funding to pursue internships in a variety of industries, including non-profit organizations and government agencies. This program not only provides valuable work experience but also helps students build their professional networks.

Tuition and Financial Aid at Lehigh and Pomona

Costs are another important consideration when choosing a university. Tuition and fees for Lehigh University are approximately $57,000 per year, while tuition and fees for Pomona College are approximately $54,000 per year.

However, both universities offer generous financial aid programs to help students cover the cost of tuition. Make sure to explore each university’s financial aid options before making your decision.

It’s important to note that the cost of attendance goes beyond just tuition and fees. Other expenses such as room and board, textbooks, and transportation can add up quickly.

Lehigh University estimates that the total cost of attendance for one year is approximately $75,000, while Pomona College estimates a total cost of attendance of approximately $72,000 per year. Keep these additional expenses in mind when comparing the affordability of each university.

Graduate School Programs and Opportunities

Lehigh and Pomona both offer graduate school programs in various fields for students who want to continue their education.

Lehigh University offers over 75 graduate programs, including master’s and doctoral degrees in areas such as engineering, business, education, and law. Pomona College, on the other hand, has a joint program with Claremont Graduate University, allowing students to earn a master’s degree in select fields while simultaneously earning a bachelor’s degree from Pomona.

Additionally, both Lehigh and Pomona offer various opportunities for graduate students to engage in research and professional development. Lehigh’s Office of Research and Graduate Studies provides funding and resources for graduate students to conduct research and present their findings at conferences.

Pomona’s Career Development Office offers workshops and networking events for graduate students to connect with alumni and professionals in their field. These opportunities allow graduate students to gain valuable experience and enhance their skills as they prepare for their careers.

Study Abroad Programs at Lehigh and Pomona

Both Lehigh and Pomona offer excellent study abroad programs that allow students to explore different cultures and gain life-changing experiences.

Lehigh offers semester-long exchange programs in over 20 countries, including Italy, Japan, and Spain. Pomona has even more extensive study abroad programs, with options in over 30 countries, including China, France, and South Africa.

Regardless of which university you choose, you’ll have the opportunity to see the world and gain a global perspective.

In addition to the semester-long exchange programs, both universities also offer short-term study abroad programs during the summer and winter breaks. These programs range from two to six weeks and provide students with the opportunity to study a specific subject in a foreign country.

For example, Lehigh offers a summer program in Costa Rica where students can study tropical ecology and conservation, while Pomona offers a winter program in Japan where students can study the Japanese language and culture. These short-term programs are a great way to gain international experience without committing to a full semester abroad.

Research Opportunities for Students at Both Universities

Lehigh and Pomona both offer outstanding research opportunities for students who are interested in pursuing academic research.

A group of students gathered around a table working on a project

Lehigh has a strong research culture, with opportunities for students to participate in faculty research projects and even receive funding for their own research endeavors.

Pomona has a similar commitment to undergraduate research, with opportunities for students to collaborate with faculty mentors and present their research at academic conferences. If you’re interested in research, both universities offer excellent opportunities to get involved.

Additionally, both Lehigh and Pomona have research centers and institutes that provide students with unique opportunities to engage in interdisciplinary research. Lehigh’s Center for Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology, for example, offers students the chance to work on cutting-edge research projects in materials science and engineering.

Pomona’s Pacific Basin Institute, on the other hand, provides students with opportunities to conduct research on environmental issues in the Pacific Rim. These research centers and institutes are just a few examples of the many resources available to students at both universities.


Overall, both Lehigh University and Pomona College offer excellent academic programs, exciting extracurricular activities, and a vibrant campus culture.

When deciding which university to attend, make sure to consider your own interests, the university’s location, and the differences between the two universities. Regardless of which university you choose, you’ll have a wealth of opportunities to learn, grow, and succeed.

Segue to AdmissionSight

At AdmissionSight, we firmly uphold the conviction that every student is entitled to the chance to pursue their dreams at their preferred college. Our mission is to equip you with the expert advice and unwavering support you need to secure a place at the schools you aspire to attend.

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.


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