UCLA and Lehigh: A Comparison of Two Top-Ranked Universities

July 19, 2023
By AdmissionSight
smiling woman inside university

UCLA and Lehigh: A Comparison of Two Top-Ranked Universities

If you are a high school senior or college transfer student, you are undoubtedly considering different universities and weighing all the pros and cons. Two universities that might be on your radar are UCLA and Lehigh.

UCLA and Lehigh are two well-known universities in the US. UCLA is in Los Angeles, California, while Lehigh is in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

Introduction to UCLA and Lehigh

Both universities offer a diverse range of academic programs and extracurricular activities to their students, but there are also many differences between the two institutions. In this article, we will explore and analyze the various aspects that differentiate these two excellent universities.

One major difference between UCLA and Lehigh is their campus size. UCLA has a sprawling campus that covers over 400 acres, while Lehigh’s campus is much smaller, covering only 2,350 acres.

College students walking in the campus.

This difference in size can impact the overall student experience, as larger campuses may offer more opportunities for exploration and a wider range of facilities, while smaller campuses may provide a more intimate and close-knit community.

Brief History of UCLA and Lehigh

UCLA was founded in 1919 as the Southern Branch of the University of California and became the University of California, Los Angeles in 1927. Lehigh University, on the other hand, was founded in 1865 and is one of the oldest private research universities in the United States. Both universities have a rich history and have made significant contributions to the field of higher education.

UCLA has a long-standing reputation for excellence in research and innovation. It is home to numerous research centers and institutes, including the California NanoSystems Institute and the Institute for Digital Research and Education. Lehigh University, on the other hand, is known for its strong engineering and business programs.

It has produced many successful alumni, including Lee Iacocca, the former CEO of Chrysler Corporation, and Robert A. Dahl, a prominent political scientist and author.

Location and Campus Size Comparison of Both Universities

Location is a significant factor to consider when choosing a university. UCLA’s location in Los Angeles provides students with access to a diverse range of cultural events and opportunities.

Group of students walking in the campus.

The campus is impressive, spanning over 419 acres. Lehigh University, however, is located in Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley and has a campus that spans over 2,350 acres, making it significantly larger than UCLA.

Despite the difference in size, both universities offer beautiful campuses with state-of-the-art facilities. UCLA’s campus is known for its iconic Bruin statue and the stunning Royce Hall, while Lehigh University’s campus boasts a beautiful botanical garden and the historic Packer Memorial Church. Both universities offer a variety of outdoor spaces for students to enjoy, including parks, gardens, and sports fields.

Admission Requirements and Acceptance Rates at UCLA and Lehigh

The admission requirements at UCLA and Lehigh are demanding, and admission is incredibly competitive. UCLA has an acceptance rate of 14%, while Lehigh has an acceptance rate of 24%.

Applicants have to submit their official high school transcripts, ACT or SAT scores, and letters of recommendation. While both universities maintain high admission requirements, Lehigh has a slightly higher acceptance rate than UCLA.

UCLA and Lehigh also consider extracurricular activities and community involvement when evaluating applicants. UCLA values leadership and community service, while Lehigh looks for students who have demonstrated a passion for their chosen field of study. Both universities also offer early decision and early action options for applicants who are committed to attending their institution.

Once accepted, students at both universities are expected to maintain a high level of academic performance. UCLA has a graduation rate of 91%, while Lehigh has a graduation rate of 89%.

Both universities offer a wide range of academic programs and resources to support students in their academic pursuits, including tutoring services, study abroad programs, and research opportunities.

Comparison of the Academic Programs Offered by UCLA and Lehigh

Both universities offer a wide variety of academic programs to their students. UCLA offers over 125 undergraduate programs and over 300 graduate programs across various fields like the arts, humanities, social sciences, physical sciences, life sciences, engineering, and technology.

Close up of students smiling at the camera.

Lehigh offers over 100 undergraduate programs and more than 50 graduate programs, with its academic focus on engineering, business, and the natural sciences.

Despite their differences in academic focus, both universities have a strong commitment to research and innovation. UCLA is home to numerous research centers and institutes, including the California NanoSystems Institute and the Institute for Society and Genetics.

Lehigh is also known for its research programs, with a focus on areas like sustainable energy and materials science. Both universities provide ample opportunities for students to engage in research and gain hands-on experience in their fields of study.

Faculty Members Comparison of UCLA and Lehigh Universities

Faculty members at both universities are highly esteemed and respected in their respective fields. UCLA has over 3,800 faculty members, while Lehigh has over 800 faculty members.

UCLA’s faculty comprises many outstanding scholars and researchers, including Nobel Laureates, National Medal of Science winners, and MacArthur “genius” fellows.

Lehigh’s faculty has also made significant contributions to their respective fields, with recipients of the National Science Foundation’s prestigious CAREER awards and the Sloan Research Fellowship awards.

Despite the difference in the number of faculty members, both universities have a low student-to-faculty ratio, ensuring that students receive personalized attention and guidance from their professors.

UCLA has a student-to-faculty ratio of 18:1, while Lehigh has a ratio of 9:1. This means that students at both universities have ample opportunities to engage with their professors, participate in research projects, and receive mentorship.

Student Life at UCLA vs Lehigh University: A Comprehensive Overview

Student life is an essential aspect of the university, and both institutions provide students with ample opportunities to engage in extracurricular and social activities. UCLA has over 1,000 student organizations, ranging from cultural societies to sports clubs, and hosts many events and activities throughout the year.

Multiracial students talking while walking.

Lehigh has over 100 student organizations, with a similar range of offerings. However, Lehigh’s campus is more highly residential, with nearly 99% of students living on-campus.

Another significant difference between student life at UCLA and Lehigh University is the location of the campuses. UCLA is located in Los Angeles, California, which provides students with access to a diverse range of cultural and entertainment opportunities.

Students can explore the city’s museums, theaters, and restaurants, and enjoy the sunny weather year-round. In contrast, Lehigh University is located in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, which is a smaller city with a more relaxed pace of life. Students can enjoy the natural beauty of the surrounding area, including hiking trails and parks.

Furthermore, both universities offer a variety of resources to support students’ academic and personal growth. UCLA has a comprehensive student health center, which provides medical and mental health services to students. The university also offers academic support services, such as tutoring and study groups.

Similarly, Lehigh University has a health and wellness center, which provides medical and counseling services to students. The university also offers academic support services, such as writing and math centers, to help students succeed academically.

Campus Housing Options Comparison of Both Universities

Both universities offer campus housing to their students, with residence halls, apartments, and suites available. UCLA’s housing can accommodate over 16,000 students, with a range of options from traditional dormitories to off-campus apartments.

Lehigh’s housing has a more traditional feel, with dormitory-style residences for first-year students and apartment-style accommodations for upper-level students.

Additionally, UCLA offers themed housing options, such as the Global Citizenship Floor and the Gender, Sexuality, and Society Floor, which provide students with a unique living experience centered around a specific theme or interest.

Lehigh, on the other hand, offers a variety of special interest housing options, including the Arts House and the Sustainable Living Community, which allow students to live with others who share similar passions and hobbies.

Both universities also offer on-campus dining options for their students. UCLA has over 30 dining locations, including cafes, food courts, and restaurants, with a variety of cuisines available.

Lehigh has several dining halls and cafes, with options for students with dietary restrictions and preferences. Additionally, both universities have meal plans available for students who choose to live on campus.

Sports Programs and Extracurricular Activities Comparison of UCLA vs Lehigh University

UCLA is known for its exceptional athletic programs, with the Bruins having won over 118 national championships across various sports. Students can participate in various sports clubs, and intramural sports, and have access to many athletic facilities.

Lehigh also has a strong athletic program, with Division I varsity sports teams and sports clubs available to students. Students at Lehigh can take part in outdoor programs, including rock climbing, hiking, and skiing.

In addition to sports programs, UCLA offers a wide range of extracurricular activities for students. The university has over 1,000 student organizations, including cultural clubs, academic clubs, and community service organizations. Students can also participate in the student government, Greek life, and various performing arts groups.

Lehigh also has a vibrant student life, with over 200 student organizations, including academic clubs, cultural clubs, and special interest groups. The university also hosts various events throughout the year, such as concerts, lectures, and festivals.

Furthermore, UCLA and Lehigh both offer opportunities for students to study abroad. UCLA has over 130 programs in 40 countries, allowing students to immerse themselves in different cultures and gain valuable international experience.

Lehigh also has study abroad programs in over 30 countries, with options for semester-long programs, short-term programs, and internships abroad. Studying abroad can enhance students’ academic and personal growth, and provide them with a unique perspective on the world.

Career Opportunities for Graduates from Both Universities: An Analysis

Both universities have a robust career services department, with many resources available to students and alumni. UCLA’s career center provides job-search assistance, and resume writing, and hosts career fairs and other employer events.

Lehigh’s career services include career counseling, resume writing, and cooperative education programs. Graduates from both universities have gone on to work for prestigious companies and organizations, with UCLA alumni including Francis Ford Coppola, James Franco, and Jack Black, while Lehigh alumni include Lee Iacocca, the former CEO of Chrysler, and Daniel Dae Kim, a successful actor and producer.

Additionally, both universities have strong alumni networks that provide valuable connections and opportunities for graduates. UCLA’s alumni network includes over 500,000 members worldwide, with active chapters in major cities across the globe.

Lehigh’s alumni network is similarly extensive, with over 80,000 members in all 50 states and over 100 countries. These networks offer mentorship, job leads, and networking events that can help graduates launch successful careers in their chosen fields.

Tuition Fees, Financial Aid, and Scholarships at UCLA vs Lehigh University

Tuition fees and financial aid are an essential aspect of university education. UCLA and Lehigh are both private universities, with tuition fees being on the higher end of the spectrum.

Group of students walking in the campus.

However, both universities provide a range of financial aid and scholarship packages to students based on financial need and merit. UCLA’s financial aid office provides various loans, work-study programs, and grants to students, while Lehigh provides need-based and merit-based scholarships to its students.

In addition to financial aid and scholarships, both universities offer various resources to help students manage their finances. UCLA has a financial wellness program that provides workshops and one-on-one counseling sessions to help students with budgeting, debt management, and financial planning.

Lehigh also has a financial literacy program that offers workshops and online resources to help students make informed financial decisions.

Student Diversity Comparison between UCLA and Lehigh University

Student diversity is increasingly becoming a crucial aspect of university education. UCLA has a diverse student population, with over 40% of its student body being composed of students from ethnic and racial minority groups.

Lehigh’s student body is not as diverse, with only 22% of its students identifying as students of color. Both universities, however, strive to provide a welcoming and inclusive environment for all their students, regardless of background.

It is important to note that student diversity goes beyond just race and ethnicity. Both UCLA and Lehigh have a significant international student population, with students from over 100 countries represented at UCLA and over 80 countries represented at Lehigh.

Additionally, both universities have active LGBTQ+ communities and provide resources and support for students of all gender identities and sexual orientations.

Overall, while the level of diversity may differ between the two universities, both UCLA and Lehigh prioritize creating a diverse and inclusive community for all their students.

Final Verdict: Which University is Better, UCLA or Lehigh?

Ultimately, the decision of which university to attend depends on various factors, including location, academic programs, student life, and other personal preferences.

Both UCLA and Lehigh offer excellent educational opportunities to their students. While UCLA may be a better choice for students who prefer a diverse campus and a wide range of academic programs,

Lehigh may be an ideal choice for students interested in business, engineering, or the natural sciences. Regardless of the decision made, both universities provide students with a world-class education and a valuable university experience.

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.

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

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