The Lehigh ChBE Bachelor’s-to-Master’s Accelerated Degree Program enables students to complete both a BS and ME degree in 5 years by integrating their undergraduate and part of their graduate studies. The result is a cost savings of up to 40% and time savings of nearly 7 months in comparison to independent completion of standard 30-credit master’s degree programs at Lehigh or elsewhere. Such savings are realized by completing up to 12 credits (i.e., 4 courses) of graduate-level coursework during the third and fourth years of undergraduate study, reserving these credits for the ME degree. The remaining credits of the 30-credit ME degree are completed in just one postbaccalaureate year.

Program at a glance: Build, expand, deepen, develop, strengthen

  • Earn a Bachelor (BS) and Master of Engineering (ME) degrees in just 5 years
  • Reserve up to 12 credits of 300- and 400-level coursework during your BS for your ME degree
  • Save up to 40% on ME degree costs by leveraging undergraduate tuition for graduate coursework
  • Enjoy a 7-month time savings in comparison to completion of an independent ME degree
  • Open to Lehigh undergraduates in ChBE as well as other engineering disciplines or the sciences

A unique opportunity to build new skills, expand existing ones, deepen fundamental understanding of advanced engineering topics, develop tools to independently tackle complex engineering problems, and strengthen versatility of professional credentials

Earning a master’s degree allows students to build new skills, expand existing ones, deepen fundamental understanding of advanced engineering topics, and develop tools to independently tackle complex engineering problems. Our accelerated BS/ME program is open to Lehigh ChBE bachelor’s students as well as to students pursuing technical BS degrees in other engineering disciplines (e.g., mechanical, bio, materials, computer) or sciences (e.g., chemistry, physics, biology, math). We have an established track record for successfully shepherding all admitted students through our graduate program, no matter their technical background. Our accelerated BS/ME program offers a unique opportunity for all students to expand their interdisciplinary learning and strengthen the versatility of their professional credentials for pursuing careers in energy, materials, the environment, pharmaceutics, food, chemicals and beyond.

Program requirements

  • Earned cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 by the end of the fifth undergraduate semester
  • Consultation with Director of ChBE On-Campus Master’s Programs (contact
  • Submission and approval of necessary petitions for enrollment in 400-level coursework as an undergraduate
  • Completion of up to 12 credits of 300- and 400-level coursework with a grade of ‘B’ or better during the junior and senior year (distinct from coursework fulfilling BS requirements; overload petition possible for 300-level courses only).
  • Petition to reserve relevant 300-/400-level courses for graduate degree prior to completion of BS
  • Submission of formal application to the ChBE ME program before postbaccalaureate year
    Deadlines: July 15 for fall admission, December 15 for spring admission

Credit requirements for the ME degree

To earn a master’s degree, the following advanced course level requirements must be met through credits reserved during undergraduate study and those completed in the postbaccalaureate year:

  • Not less than 30 credit hours of graduate work at 300- or 400-level
  • Not less than 18 credit hours of coursework at the 400-level
  • Not less than 18 credit hours in the field of Chemical Engineering
  • Not less than 15 credit hours of 400-level coursework in the Chemical Engineering field

Tabulated below is a standard progression of courses taken (and reserved) in the 3rd and 4th years of undergraduate study and in the 5th year of postbaccalaureate graduate study. The table also tracks how these courses fulfill the degree requirements listed above and highlights the flexibility in choosing advanced undergraduate (300-level) and graduate (400-level) elective courses for customizing the degree.

Common recent Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering electives (CHE 3##/CHE 4##)

  • Separation Processes
  • Biotechnology I & II
  • Quantitative Biology
  • Biochemical Engineering Laboratory
  • Numerical Methods for Scientists and Engineers
  • Fundamentals of Air Pollution
  • Energy: Issues & Technology
  • Electrochemical Engineering
  • Introduction to Polymer Science
  • Physical Polymer Science
  • Engineering in Medicine
  • Data Driven Modeling for Chemical Sciences and Engineering
  • Fundamentals of Functional Nanoporous Materials
  • Rheology of Soft Materials
  • Heterogeneous Catalysis and Surface Characterization
  • Metabolic Engineering
  • Molecular Modeling and Simulation
  • Soft Materials: Mechanics & Physics

Common disciplines offering electives taken by our ChBE Master’s students

Students have access to a range of 300- and 400-level electives offered in the sciences (Chemistry, Biology, Physics, Mathematics), other engineering disciplines (Materials Science and Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Bioengineering, Electrical Engineering, Industrial and Systems Engineering, etc.), and Lehigh’s Technical Entrepreneurship Program.

Variations on the common course progression

Intervening summer: Graduate elective courses may be offered during the summer. Master’s degree programs may be initiated in the intervening summer between the 4th and 5th years of study. The maximum registration in a summer session is two concurrent courses and no more than 14 summer credits across all summer sessions. Students interested in starting their dedicated graduate studies in the intervening summer must apply for summer admission into the master’s program and consult with the Director of ChBE On-campus Master’s Programs regarding this option.

Credit limitations

While university policy sets the maximum per-semester credit limit for graduate students at 18 credits, it is much more commonplace for students to take 9-15 credits per semester given the technical load of graduate courses. The university course registration system restricts course registration to 10 credits or less and requires a petition to overload that is assessed based on student work responsibilities and workload.

Maintaining good standing in the Bachelor’s-to-Master’s accelerated degree program

  • A grade of “B” or better must be earned in courses taken during undergraduate study that are reserved for meeting requirements of the master’s degree.
  • No course with a grade below a “C‐” may be included in the graduate degree program.

More than four grades (regardless of number of credits) below “B‐” terminates the student’s eligibility for continued