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MIT vs Lehigh: A Comprehensive Analysis

July 7, 2023
By AdmissionSight
Happy students walking together.

MIT vs Lehigh: A Comprehensive Analysis

Are you trying to decide between attending Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) or Lehigh University? Both are prestigious universities that offer top-notch education, but there are some differences between the two that may help you make your decision.

This article will provide a thorough comparison of MIT and Lehigh in terms of history, admissions criteria, curriculum, faculty, campus life, cost, research opportunities, athletics, career support, and alumni networks. Read on to learn everything you need to know to make an informed decision.

Introduction: Setting the Stage for a Comparison between MIT and Lehigh

MIT and Lehigh are two highly regarded universities with different cultures, locations, and academic programs. One is a private research university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, while the other is a private liberal arts college situated in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. The differences between them can make it challenging to decide which is the best fit for you.

However, by reviewing the history, admissions criteria, curriculum, faculty, campus life, cost, research opportunities, athletics, career support, and alumni networks, we hope to provide you with the information you need to make a wise decision.

MIT was founded in 1861 as a response to the growing industrialization of the United States. Its mission was to educate students in science, engineering, and technology to meet the needs of the nation’s rapidly changing economy. Today, MIT is known for its cutting-edge research and innovation in fields such as artificial intelligence, robotics, and biotechnology.

Lehigh, on the other hand, was founded in 1865 as a liberal arts college with a focus on providing a well-rounded education. Its mission was to prepare students for a life of leadership and service in a rapidly changing world. Today, Lehigh is known for its strong programs in business, engineering, and the arts, as well as its commitment to community engagement and sustainability.

The History of MIT and Lehigh Universities

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) was founded in 1861 as part of the Morrill Land Grant Colleges Act, a federal law that established land-grant colleges in each state to promote scientific and technical education. MIT’s mission has always been to advance knowledge and educate students in science, technology, and related fields.

Two college students smiling at the camera.

Lehigh University was founded in 1865 by Asa Packer, a wealthy businessman and philanthropist, who wanted to create a school that would prepare students for the industrial revolution. Packer’s vision was to provide practical education that combined theory and practice, allowing students to gain hands-on experience while developing skills in engineering, business, and other fields.

MIT has a long history of innovation and research, with many notable alumni and faculty members. In 1939, MIT professor Vannevar Bush wrote a seminal article in The Atlantic Monthly, titled “As We May Think,” which laid out a vision for a new kind of information storage and retrieval system that would eventually become the basis for the modern internet.

In the 1960s, MIT was at the forefront of the computer revolution, with researchers developing some of the first computer languages and operating systems.

Lehigh University has also made significant contributions to the fields of engineering and business. In the early 20th century, Lehigh was a leader in metallurgy and materials science, with researchers developing new alloys and manufacturing processes that helped to drive the growth of the steel industry.

In recent years, Lehigh has become known for its entrepreneurship programs, which have helped to launch numerous successful startups and spinoff companies.

Admissions Criteria: MIT vs Lehigh

Both MIT and Lehigh are highly selective universities that require strong academic records, impressive extracurricular activities, and outstanding recommendations. MIT is known for its emphasis on math and science, while Lehigh seeks applicants with diverse academic interests and intellectual curiosity.

MIT accepts a very low percentage of applicants, with an acceptance rate of around 7%. In comparison, Lehigh has a higher acceptance rate of around 20%. However, both schools require competitive test scores, with MIT requiring the SAT or ACT and Lehigh allowing students to choose between either test.

In addition to academic and extracurricular achievements, both MIT and Lehigh value community involvement and leadership experience. MIT looks for applicants who have made a positive impact in their communities through volunteer work or leadership roles, while Lehigh seeks students who have demonstrated leadership potential through activities such as student government or sports teams.

Furthermore, both universities offer need-based financial aid to eligible students. MIT has a need-blind admissions policy, meaning that a student’s financial need is not taken into consideration during the admissions process. Lehigh also offers need-based aid but takes a student’s financial situation into account when making admissions decisions.

Curriculum and Academic Programs: MIT vs Lehigh

MIT and Lehigh both offer a wide range of academic programs, with MIT focusing on science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields and Lehigh offering liberal arts and business programs in addition to STEM fields.

MIT’s curriculum is known for its rigor and intensity, with a focus on problem-solving and hands-on learning. MIT has a flexible curriculum that allows students to pursue their interests and work closely with faculty members on research projects.

Group of freshmen smiling at the camera.

Lehigh’s curriculum is also challenging but with a broader focus on liberal arts and business programs. Lehigh’s College of Business and Economics is known for its entrepreneurship program, which has been ranked among the top 25 in the country by Entrepreneur magazine.

Both MIT and Lehigh offer a variety of extracurricular activities and opportunities for students to get involved on campus. MIT has over 500 student-run clubs and organizations, including a robotics team and a solar car team. Lehigh has over 200 clubs and organizations, including a student-run newspaper and a community service club.

Both schools also offer study abroad programs, internships, and research opportunities to help students gain real-world experience and prepare for their future careers.

Faculty at MIT vs Lehigh: Who’s Who?

Both MIT and Lehigh boast accomplished faculty members with expertise in a range of fields. MIT has a large and diverse faculty, comprising more than 1,000 professors and researchers. Many MIT faculty members are leaders in their fields, including Nobel laureates, MacArthur fellows, and members of the National Academy of Sciences.

Lehigh also has a distinguished faculty, with a student-to-faculty ratio of around 9:1. Lehigh’s professors are known for their personalized approach to teaching, and many have extensive experience in industry and business.

MIT’s faculty includes some of the most renowned researchers and scholars in the world. For example, Noam Chomsky, a professor emeritus at MIT, is considered one of the most influential linguists of the 20th century. Another notable faculty member is Shafi Goldwasser, a professor of electrical engineering and computer science who won the Turing Award in 2012 for her contributions to cryptography.

Lehigh’s faculty is also known for its commitment to research and innovation. Many professors have received grants from prestigious organizations such as the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health. In addition, Lehigh’s faculty members are actively involved in interdisciplinary research, collaborating with colleagues across departments and schools to tackle complex problems.

Campus Life at MIT vs Lehigh: Similarities and Differences

Both MIT and Lehigh offer students a rich campus life with many opportunities to get involved in clubs, organizations, and activities. MIT has more than 500 student organizations, including special-interest groups, sports teams, and cultural organizations. Lehigh similarly has more than 200 clubs and organizations, including Greek life, service groups, and academic societies.

MIT’s campus is located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, close to Boston, a diverse and vibrant city that has many cultural and entertainment options. Lehigh’s campus is situated in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, a small town that offers students a safe and cozy environment.

A young man inside the library smiling at the camera

Another similarity between the two universities is their commitment to research and innovation. Both MIT and Lehigh have state-of-the-art research facilities and offer students opportunities to work on cutting-edge projects with renowned faculty members. Additionally, both universities have a strong focus on entrepreneurship, with programs and resources available to help students turn their ideas into successful businesses.

However, there are also some differences between the campus life at MIT and Lehigh. MIT has a reputation for being highly competitive and intense, with a rigorous academic curriculum and a demanding workload. In contrast, Lehigh is known for its strong sense of community and collaboration, with a more balanced approach to academics and extracurricular activities.

Cost of Attendance: MIT vs Lehigh

The cost of attending MIT and Lehigh varies depending on several factors, including financial aid, scholarships, and room and board expenses. However, both schools are expensive, with tuition and fees alone costing more than $50,000 per year. Additionally, students may need to pay for textbooks, supplies, transportation, and other expenses, which can add up quickly.

That being said, both universities offer generous need-based and merit-based financial aid to help students afford the cost of attendance. In fact, both MIT and Lehigh meet 100% of demonstrated financial need for accepted students.

It is important to note that the cost of attendance can also vary depending on the student’s chosen major or program. For example, some majors may require additional fees for specialized equipment or materials. Additionally, students who choose to study abroad or participate in certain extracurricular activities may incur additional expenses.

Despite the high cost of attendance, both MIT and Lehigh have a strong reputation for providing high-quality education and preparing students for successful careers. Graduates from both universities often go on to work for top companies in their respective fields and earn competitive salaries.

Student Organizations and Clubs at Both Universities

MIT and Lehigh have lively and varied student organizations. MIT has clubs such as the Game Development Club and the Rocket Team, while Lehigh has the Writers’ Club and the Robotics Club. These organizations offer many opportunities for students to get involved in activities unrelated to their majors, make friends, and develop leadership skills.

Additionally, both universities have a strong presence in cultural and diversity clubs. MIT has organizations such as the Black Students’ Union and the Asian American Association, while Lehigh has the Latin American Student Association and the Muslim Student Association.

These clubs provide a space for students to celebrate their cultural heritage, learn about other cultures, and promote diversity and inclusion on campus.

Research Opportunities at MIT vs Lehigh

MIT and Lehigh both have a strong emphasis on research, with many opportunities for students to gain hands-on experience and work on cutting-edge projects.

MIT is known for its extensive research programs, which are conducted in state-of-the-art facilities. MIT’s research spans many areas, including artificial intelligence, nanotechnology, climate change, and transportation. Lehigh also offers research opportunities in fields such as bioengineering, biomechanics, and environmental science.

View of students talking to each other.

One of the advantages of conducting research at MIT is access to a vast network of industry partners and collaborators. MIT has strong ties with companies such as Google, Microsoft, and IBM, which provides students with opportunities to work on real-world projects and gain valuable industry experience. Lehigh, on the other hand, has a strong focus on interdisciplinary research, with many projects involving collaboration between different departments and fields of study.

Both MIT and Lehigh offer undergraduate and graduate research opportunities, with many programs designed to support students throughout the research process. MIT’s Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) provides students with funding and mentorship to conduct research in any field, while Lehigh’s Mountaintop Initiative offers a unique summer research experience where students work in teams to solve real-world problems and develop innovative solutions.

Athletics Programs Available at MIT vs Lehigh

MIT and Lehigh both have robust athletics programs, with many opportunities for students to participate in sports and fitness activities. MIT is a member of the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) and competes in Division III sports including baseball, basketball, fencing, and track and field. Lehigh, on the other hand, is a member of the Patriot League and competes in Division I sports such as football, basketball, and wrestling.

Despite the difference in division, both MIT and Lehigh offer a wide range of sports and fitness activities for students to choose from. MIT has a strong focus on individual sports such as fencing and track and field, while Lehigh places a greater emphasis on team sports like football and basketball.

Additionally, both schools have state-of-the-art athletic facilities that are available to students. MIT’s Zesiger Sports and Fitness Center features a 50-meter pool, squash and racquetball courts, and a rock climbing wall. Lehigh’s Goodman Campus includes a football stadium, a basketball arena, and a fitness center with cardio and weightlifting equipment.

Career Support for Graduates of MIT vs Lehigh

MIT and Lehigh both offer strong career support services and resources to help graduates find employment. MIT has an extensive alumni network, with many graduates going on to become leaders in their fields. The MIT Career Development Center provides students with job search assistance, career advising, and networking opportunities.

Lehigh also has a robust career center that provides students with access to internships, job fairs, and career counseling. Lehigh graduates have gone on to become successful entrepreneurs, business leaders, and researchers.

a group of student working together

However, there are some differences in the career support services offered by MIT and Lehigh. MIT’s career center focuses more on connecting students with job opportunities in the technology and engineering industries, while Lehigh’s career center offers a wider range of resources for students pursuing careers in business, finance, and other fields.

Additionally, Lehigh’s career center has a strong emphasis on helping students develop their networking skills and build professional relationships, which can be invaluable in today’s job market.

Alumni Networks: MIT vs Lehigh

Both MIT and Lehigh have influential alumni networks, with many graduates making significant contributions to their professions and communities.

MIT’s alumni base is known for its contribution to technology and innovation, with many graduates leading successful startups and corporations. The MIT Alumni Association also provides opportunities for alumni to connect with each other and stay involved in the MIT community.

Lehigh’s alumni network is similarly strong, with graduates working in many fields, including business, science, engineering, and education. The Lehigh Alumni Association helps graduates stay connected with each other and with the university, through events, networking opportunities, and other activities.

Despite the similarities in their alumni networks, there are some notable differences between MIT and Lehigh. For example, MIT has a higher percentage of alumni who go on to pursue advanced degrees, particularly in STEM fields. On the other hand, Lehigh has a strong tradition of alumni giving, with many graduates donating generously to support the university’s programs and initiatives.

Conclusion: Which University is Right for You?

MIT and Lehigh are both excellent universities that offer high-quality education and many opportunities for students to grow and develop both academically and personally. Choosing between the two can be a difficult decision, but by considering factors such as location, academic programs, research opportunities, and campus culture, you should be able to determine which university is the best fit for your needs and interests.

At the end of the day, the decision comes down to personal preference and what you want to get out of your college experience. However, by reviewing the information provided in this article, we hope you have a better idea of what both MIT and Lehigh have to offer and can make a well-informed decision. Good luck with your college search!

It’s important to note that both MIT and Lehigh have strong alumni networks that can provide valuable connections and opportunities after graduation. MIT alumni are known for their contributions to the fields of science and technology, while Lehigh alumni have made significant impacts in business and engineering.

Additionally, both universities offer a variety of extracurricular activities and clubs for students to get involved in, from sports teams to community service organizations. These opportunities can help students develop leadership skills, make new friends, and explore their interests outside of the classroom.

If you’re set on getting into a world-class college but aren’t sure how to make it happen, we can help! AdmissionSight is a leading college entrance expert with over a decade of experience helping students just like you get into the schools of their dreams.

At AdmissionSight, we focus on offering a wide range of services, all aimed at helping students perfect their applications to catch the attention of admissions officers. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation and learn more about what we offer.

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