Northeastern vs Lehigh: A Comprehensive Analysis

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

Students talking while sitting near a school building.

Northeastern vs Lehigh: A Comprehensive Analysis

Choosing the right college can be a difficult decision for high school seniors and transfer students alike. With so many options available, determining the perfect match for one’s academic and personal goals can be overwhelming. In this comprehensive analysis, we will compare two leading universities: Northeastern vs Lehigh.

Through evaluating their location and campus facilities, admissions criteria and process, diversity and student body composition, academic programs, faculty quality, research opportunities, campus life, sports teams, career services, student success rates, campus safety measures, sustainability initiatives, and community outreach programs and partnerships, we will provide an in-depth analysis of both universities’ strengths and weaknesses.

Location and Campus Facilities: Northeastern vs Lehigh

Location is a key factor for students when considering a college. Both Northeastern and Lehigh are located in urban areas, with Northeastern in Boston, Massachusetts, and Lehigh in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Northeastern’s campus is situated among the city’s vibrant neighborhoods, providing easy access to transportation, restaurants, and cultural institutions.

Lehigh, on the other hand, is located in a more suburban environment, with a smaller campus that’s nestled in the scenic Lehigh Valley.

View of Lehigh University

Campus facilities play an integral role in the college experience. Northeastern’s campus boasts impressive facilities, including high-tech classrooms, state-of-the-art laboratories, and cutting-edge research facilities.

Lehigh’s campus also features modern classrooms and labs, as well as amenities like a student center, library, and athletic facilities. However, Northeastern’s campus is larger and more extensive, providing more resources and opportunities for students.

Another important aspect of Northeastern’s campus is its commitment to sustainability. The university has implemented numerous green initiatives, such as using renewable energy sources, reducing waste, and promoting sustainable transportation options. In addition, Northeastern has a community garden where students can grow their own produce and learn about sustainable agriculture.

Lehigh’s campus also offers unique opportunities for students, such as its Mountaintop campus. This innovative program allows students to work on interdisciplinary projects in a collaborative environment while living and working on a mountaintop campus for a full semester. This program provides students with a hands-on, immersive learning experience that is not available at many other universities.

Admissions Criteria and Process: Northeastern vs Lehigh

Admissions criteria and the application process can be daunting for prospective students. Northeastern and Lehigh both have highly competitive admissions processes, with acceptance rates around 18% and 46%, respectively.

View of Northeastern University campus

Northeastern places a heavy emphasis on academic performance, extracurricular activities, and community involvement in their application process, while Lehigh prioritizes academic achievement and personal character.

Both universities utilize a holistic approach, taking into account essays, recommendations, and demonstrated interest. Northeastern also offers an early decision option, which can improve one’s chances of acceptance.

It is important to note that both Northeastern and Lehigh have different requirements for standardized testing. Northeastern requires either the SAT or ACT, while Lehigh allows students to submit either test or take advantage of their test-optional policy. Additionally, Northeastern requires two SAT Subject Tests in addition to the SAT or ACT.

Both universities also offer various resources for prospective students, such as campus tours, information sessions, and virtual events. It is highly recommended that students take advantage of these resources to gain a better understanding of the universities and their admissions processes.

Diversity and Student Body Composition: Northeastern vs Lehigh

Diversity and inclusivity are vital components of a vibrant and well-rounded campus community. Northeastern’s student body is both diverse and international, with over 20% of undergraduate students hailing from outside the United States. Lehigh’s student body is slightly less diverse, with approximately 14% of undergraduate students representing international students.

Both universities strive to create an inclusive environment for students of all backgrounds, with initiatives and programs aimed at promoting diversity. However, Northeastern has a larger and more robust program, including an Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion and initiatives like Multicultural Student Services and a gender-inclusive housing option.

In addition to these initiatives, Northeastern also offers a variety of cultural clubs and organizations for students to join, such as the Asian American Student Union and the Black Student Association. These groups provide a space for students to connect with others who share their cultural background and promote awareness and understanding of different cultures on campus.

Lehigh, on the other hand, has a strong focus on promoting diversity in its curriculum. The university offers courses and programs that explore topics such as race, ethnicity, and gender, and encourages students to engage in discussions and activities that promote understanding and acceptance of different perspectives.

Academic Programs and Majors: Northeastern vs Lehigh

Academics are at the core of the college experience. Northeastern and Lehigh both offer a diverse range of undergraduate programs across various disciplines. Northeastern offers over 90 majors, including popular programs like computer science, engineering, and business. Lehigh offers over 60 majors, including programs in engineering, business, and the liberal arts.

two college students looking happy and reading through a book inside a library

Both universities place a strong emphasis on undergraduate education, with small class sizes and opportunities for hands-on learning and research. However, Northeastern’s co-op program, which allows students to integrate classroom learning with professional work experience, is a unique offering that sets it apart from other universities.

Additionally, both universities offer graduate programs for students looking to further their education. Northeastern offers over 150 graduate programs, including master’s and doctoral degrees, in fields such as health sciences, education, and law. Lehigh offers over 50 graduate programs, including master’s and doctoral degrees, in fields such as engineering, business, and the arts.

Faculty Quality and Teaching Style: Northeastern vs Lehigh

Faculty quality and teaching style can greatly impact the quality of education at a university. Both Northeastern and Lehigh boast highly qualified and experienced faculty members.

Northeastern’s faculty includes numerous Fulbright, Guggenheim, and National Science Foundation award winners. Lehigh’s faculty includes numerous National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and American Academy of Arts and Sciences members.

Both universities utilize a combination of lecture-based and discussion-based courses. Northeastern places a greater emphasis on experiential learning and practical applications of classroom content, while Lehigh places a greater emphasis on lecture-based courses. However, both universities offer opportunities for independent research and access to cutting-edge technology and resources.

Additionally, Northeastern and Lehigh both prioritize small class sizes and individualized attention for students. Northeastern’s average class size is 22 students, while Lehigh’s average class size is 23 students.

This allows for more personalized instruction and opportunities for students to engage with their professors and peers. Both universities also offer office hours and other resources for students to receive extra help and support outside of class.

Research Opportunities and Funding: Northeastern vs Lehigh

Research can be a significant aspect of a university’s academic profile, providing students with access to valuable hands-on experience and exposure to cutting-edge technology and advancements. Northeastern and Lehigh both offer extensive research opportunities and robust funding options.

Northeastern has been recognized as a top research institution, with funding and partnerships with leading organizations, such as the National Science Foundation and NASA. Lehigh also has a strong reputation for research, with partnerships with organizations like the Air Force Research Lab and NASA. Both universities offer numerous research opportunities for undergraduate students.

Students sitting on the chairs while talking.

In addition to the research opportunities and funding options available at Northeastern and Lehigh, students can also benefit from the universities’ state-of-the-art research facilities. Northeastern’s Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Complex (ISEC) is a cutting-edge research facility that houses advanced labs and equipment for research in fields such as nanotechnology, robotics, and biotechnology.

Lehigh’s Mountaintop Campus is another unique research facility that provides students with access to specialized labs and equipment for research in fields such as materials science and environmental engineering.

Furthermore, both Northeastern and Lehigh offer research programs that allow students to work on real-world projects with industry partners. Northeastern’s co-op program, for example, provides students with the opportunity to work on research projects with companies such as Amazon, Microsoft, and Pfizer.

Lehigh’s Integrated Product Development (IPD) program is another example of a research program that allows students to work on interdisciplinary projects with industry partners, developing solutions to real-world problems.

Campus Life and Extracurricular Activities: Northeastern vs Lehigh

Campus life and extracurricular activities can greatly enhance the college experience, providing opportunities for personal growth, socialization, and exploration. Northeastern and Lehigh both offer a wide range of extracurricular activities, clubs, and organizations.

Northeastern boasts over 400 student organizations, with options ranging from academic clubs to political groups, and recreational clubs. Lehigh has over 200 student organizations, including academic, service, cultural, and recreational clubs. Both universities also offer a variety of cultural events, lectures, and performances.

Participating in extracurricular activities can also help students develop important skills that can be useful in their future careers. For example, joining a debate team can improve critical thinking and public speaking skills, while volunteering for a community service organization can enhance leadership and teamwork abilities.

Additionally, extracurricular activities can provide opportunities for networking and building connections with peers and professionals in various fields.

Sports Teams and Facilities: Northeastern vs Lehigh

Sports can be an integral part of the college experience, providing opportunities for physical activity, community building, and school spirit. Northeastern and Lehigh both have competitive Division I athletic programs.

View of sports equipments.

Northeastern is a member of the Colonial Athletic Association, with strong programs in basketball, hockey, and baseball. Lehigh is a member of the Patriot League, with strong programs in football, basketball, and wrestling. Both universities offer impressive athletic facilities, including stadiums, arenas, and training centers.

In addition to the varsity sports programs, both Northeastern and Lehigh offer a variety of intramural and club sports for students to participate in. These programs allow students of all skill levels to stay active and engaged in sports, without the commitment of a varsity team.

Furthermore, both universities have a strong tradition of supporting their athletic teams, with dedicated student sections and fan bases. The energy and excitement at games and events can be contagious, creating a sense of community and school pride that extends beyond the sports arena.

Career Services and Alumni Network: Northeastern vs Lehigh

Career services and alumni networks can greatly impact a student’s post-graduation opportunities. Northeastern and Lehigh both offer extensive career services, resources, and support, including job fairs, networking events, and resume workshops.

Both universities boast a strong alumni network, with opportunities for students to connect with successful graduates in various fields. Northeastern’s co-op program also provides students with valuable professional experience and connections.

Additionally, Northeastern and Lehigh have partnerships with various companies and organizations, providing students with access to exclusive job and internship opportunities. These partnerships also offer students the chance to participate in industry-specific events and workshops, further enhancing their skills and knowledge in their desired fields.

Cost of Attendance and Financial Aid Options: Northeastern vs Lehigh

The cost of attendance and financial aid options are significant considerations for many students when choosing a college. Northeastern and Lehigh both have a higher than average tuition cost, with Northeastern’s tuition being slightly higher than Lehigh’s. However, both universities offer generous financial aid packages, including need-based and merit-based scholarships, grants, and loans

Graduation cap on banknotes

It is important to note that the cost of attendance goes beyond just tuition. Students must also consider the cost of housing, meal plans, textbooks, and other expenses. Northeastern and Lehigh both offer on-campus housing options, but the cost of living on campus can be quite high.

However, there are also off-campus housing options available near both universities that may be more affordable. Additionally, students should research and apply for external scholarships and grants to supplement their financial aid packages.

Student Success Rates and Graduation Statistics: Northeastern vs Lehigh

Student success rates and graduation statistics can provide valuable insight into a university’s academic rigor and support programs. Northeastern and Lehigh have impressive graduation rates, with over 85% of students graduating within six years.

Both universities also offer extensive support programs designed to promote academic success, including tutoring, mentoring, and academic advising. Northeastern’s co-op program also provides students with valuable professional experience, increasing their competitiveness post-graduation.

It is important to note that while graduation rates are a useful metric, they do not necessarily reflect the quality of education or the success of individual students. Other factors, such as student engagement, faculty support, and access to resources, also play a significant role in student success. Therefore, it is important to consider a variety of factors when evaluating a university’s academic programs and support services.

Campus Safety Measures and Security Protocols

Campus safety and security are critical concerns for both students and parents. Northeastern and Lehigh both prioritize the safety and security of their campus communities, with extensive safety measures and security protocols.

Northeastern has its own police force, 24-hour emergency response services, and a Blue Light System. Lehigh also has its police department, 24-hour emergency response services, and shuttle service for students traveling on campus at night.

In addition to these measures, both universities have implemented safety training programs for students, faculty, and staff. Northeastern offers self-defense classes and active shooter response training, while Lehigh provides emergency preparedness training and bystander intervention workshops. These programs aim to empower individuals to take an active role in promoting campus safety and security.

Sustainability Initiatives and Environmental Impact: Northeastern vs Lehigh

Sustainability and environmental impact are increasingly important considerations for many college students and parents. Northeastern and Lehigh both have strong environmental initiatives and programs.

Group of diverse students working as a team.

Northeastern has been recognized as an environmentally friendly university, with initiatives like sustainability education, a green office certification program, and a LEED-certified dormitory. Lehigh has its Office of Sustainability, which promotes eco-friendly practices and initiatives around campus.

Both universities also have implemented sustainable transportation options. Northeastern has a bike share program and encourages the use of public transportation, while Lehigh has a shuttle service that runs on biodiesel fuel and offers carpooling options for students and staff. These initiatives not only reduce carbon emissions but also promote a healthier lifestyle for the campus community.

Community Outreach Programs and Partnerships

Community outreach and partnerships can provide valuable opportunities for students to engage with their local and global communities, promoting philanthropy and civic engagement. Northeastern and Lehigh both have numerous community outreach programs and partnerships.

Northeastern’s community outreach programs include partnerships with local schools, hospitals, and non-profit organizations. Lehigh’s community outreach initiatives include a variety of volunteer and service programs aimed at promoting social change and addressing social justice issues.


In summary, Northeastern and Lehigh are both leading universities that offer exceptional academic opportunities and campus experiences. Both universities have unique strengths and weaknesses, and choosing between them should be primarily based on one’s academic and personal goals.

Through evaluating their location and campus facilities, admissions criteria, diversity, and student body composition, academic programs and majors offered, faculty quality and teaching style, research opportunities and funding, campus life and extracurricular activities, sports teams and facilities, career services, student success rates, campus safety measures, sustainability initiatives, and community outreach programs and partnerships, we hope to have provided a comprehensive analysis of both universities.

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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 to learn more about what we offer.


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