Lehigh University is an American private research university located in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. It was established in 1865 by businessman Asa Packer and has grown to include studies in a wide variety of disciplines. Its undergraduate programs have been coeducational since the 1971–72 academic year. As of 2014, the university had 4,904 undergraduate students and 2,165 graduate students. Lehigh is considered one of the twenty-four Hidden Ivies in the Northeastern United States.
The university has over 680 faculty members; awards and honours recognizing Lehigh faculty and alumni include the Nobel Prize, Pulitzer Prize, Fulbright Fellowship, and membership in the American Academy of Arts & Sciences and the National Academy of Sciences.
The university has four colleges: the P.C. Rossin College of Engineering and Applied Science, the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Business and Economics, and the College of Education. The College of Arts and Sciences is the largest college today, home to roughly 40% percent of the university’s students. The university offers a variety of degrees, including Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, Master of Arts, Master of Science, Master of Business Administration, Master of Engineering, Master of Education, and Doctor of Philosophy.
Located in the Lehigh Valley, the university is a 70-mile (110 km) drive from Philadelphia, and an 85-mile (137 km) drive from New York City. Lehigh’s average class size is 27 students; 80% of classes have fewer than 35 students. The undergraduate student-to-faculty ratio is 10:1.
Lehigh University offers undergraduate enrolment in all colleges but the College of Education: the P.C. Rossin School of Engineering and Applied Science, the College of Business and Economics, and the College of Arts and Sciences. Students are able to take courses or major/minor in a subject outside of their respective college. The university operates on a semester system.
Graduates of Lehigh’s engineering programs invented the escalator and founded Packard Motor Car Company and the companies that built the locks and lockgates of the Panama Canal. Other notable alumni include Roger Penske and Lee Iacocca. Tau Beta Pi, the renowned engineering honour society, was founded at Lehigh.
Notable alumni include Lee Iacocca (long-time CEO of Chrysler Corporation), Pongpol Adireksarn (deputy prime minister of Thailand), Richard Hayne (co-founder of Urban Outfitters), Joe Morgenstern (Film critic and Pulitzer Prize winner), Dr. Harry J. Buncke (“father of microsurgery”), Stephen J. Benkovic (notable chemist and National Medal of Science recipient), Jesse W. Reno (inventor of the escalator), and Robert Durst (suspected serial killer and the subject of The Jinx, a 2015 HBO miniseries). Faculty members include Joanna B. Michlic (professor of Polish-Jewish history) and Norman Melchert (Selfridge Professor of Philosophy from 1962 until his retirement in 1995.)