A student who has completed a bachelor’s degree or a degree in technology at any recognized college, university, or technical institution may be considered for admission as a graduate student.

To be considered for admission as a graduate student, the prospective student applies to the department or, in some cases, directly to the program.  The decision to admit a student normally rests with an admissions committee and/or the Departmental Chairperson or program director.  An offer of admission stands for one year following the semester for which the offer was made.

There are three categories of graduate student: regular, associate, and non-degree.  Only students so classified, or qualified Lehigh undergraduates, may register for graduate courses (those designated 400 level) and take such courses for credit.

Lehigh University Non-Discrimination Statement

Lehigh University upholds The Principles of Our Equitable Community and is committed to providing an educational, working, co-curricular, social, and living environment for all students, staff, faculty, trustees, contract workers, and visitors that is free from harassment and discrimination on the basis of age, color, disability, gender identity or expression, genetic information, marital or familial status, national or ethnic origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or veteran status.  Such harassment or discrimination is unacceptable behavior and will not be tolerated.  More information can be found on the Office of General Counsel website at .

Regular Graduate Students

Only regular graduate students are candidates for graduate degrees.  Application deadlines for admission as a regular graduate student are as follows:  fall semester, July 15; spring semester, December 1; summer I, April 30; summer II, May 30.  Departments may have earlier deadlines, please check with the individual departments to make certain of their deadlines.  The materials required for admission as a regular graduate student are consistent across the College, with a complete application consisting of the following items listed below.  Only complete applications will be processed.

1) Completed online application

2) Transcripts for all post-secondary education (unofficial are acceptable for admission review, official will be required upon admission)

3) Official record of Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores (may be waived by some departments)

4) $75 application fee (this fee will not be waived under any circumstances)

5) Two letters of recommendation

6) Internet-based Test of English as a Foreign Language (iBTOEFL) or International English Language Test System (IELTS) scores for prospective students whose native language is not English.  Full policy available on admissions website at

In order to be considered for admission as a regular graduate student, an applicant must satisfy at least one of the following conditions: satisfying one of these five conditions is necessary but not sufficient for admission as a regular graduate student. 

1) Have an undergraduate grade point average (GPA) of at least 2.75 out of 4.0;

2) Have a GPA of at least 3.00 for the last two semesters of undergraduate study;

3) Have scores at or above the 75th percentile on the GRE or other recognized exam;

4) Have a graduate GPA of at least 3.00 on a minimum of twelve hours of graduate work at other institutions;

5) Have successfully completed the probationary conditions as an associate graduate student.

If a department wishes to offer admission to a student who fails to meet any of the above five requirements, the department is required to submit its recommendation to the Associate Dean’s Office with an explanation.  Cases that cannot be resolved by the Chairperson or program director and the Associate Dean will be referred to the Graduate and Research Committee for a decision.

Associate Graduate Students

Prospective graduate students who do not qualify for regular student status may be considered for admission with associate graduate student status.  Applications for admission which are considered in the late admission period between the end of the regular admission period and the first day of classes can only be granted associate status.  However, since each department’s classification and requirements of associate status is different, you must check with the department to determine if you qualify to be considered for admission under associate status.  Applications for non-degree status are an exception (see following page).  In contrast to application requirements for admission as a regular graduate student, admission decisions for associate status may be made in the absence of letters of recommendation, and with unofficial copies of University transcripts.  However, the Registrar requires an official final transcript before grades may be released.

Individuals who are admitted to associate student status during the late admission period but who are qualified for regular student status may petition for the latter after the start of classes provided that all application documents (see requirements for regular graduate students) have been received.

Associate graduate students are allowed to take up to nine credits of coursework numbered 300 or higher before they must petition for regular student status in order to continue.  In order to be granted regular student status, they must have completed the nine credits of coursework with at most one final course mark below B-. 

Associate students will be placed on probation when they receive their first grade below a “B-“ and will be dropped for poor scholarship at the end of a term when the student is assigned either two “C”, “C-” OR “C+” grades or one grade below “C-”.  If an associate student is assigned two grades below a “B-” in the same term the student is eligible to be dropped without any term on probation.  

When the probationary period of nine credit hours is completed, associate graduate students must petition for regular student status in order to enroll for additional coursework. Such a petition requires the submission of any regular admission documents not already on file. Courses completed during a successful probationary period may count toward a graduate degree if they are part of an approved program.

Non-Degree Graduate Students

Students who do not wish to enter a degree program may also seek admission with non-degree status.  In this case, the prospective student completes an abbreviated application form which is available online here: The admission criteria for non-degree graduate students are:

1). A bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution with an overall grade point average of at least 3.0. Applicants with undergraduate GPAs below 3.0 may be admitted with the approval of the department in which they wish to take courses


2). Evidence that the applicant is presently a student in good standing in an appropriate graduate program at an accredited institution.


3). Evidence that the applicant has received an appropriate graduate or other advanced degree from an accredited institution.

Applicants for whom English is their second language are required to demonstrate English language skills equal to those required of degree-seeking students in the College.  Internet-based Test of English as a Foreign Language (iBTOEFL) or International English Language Test System (IELTS) scores for prospective students whose native language is not English.  Full policy available on admissions website at

Admission decisions for non-degree students are made by the Associate Dean of Graduate Studies and Research in the P.C. Rossin College of Engineering and Applied Science, or other responsible officials designated by him/her for this purpose.  Unofficial transcripts will be accepted for initial admission, but final, official transcripts must be on record before the student can receive any transcript or grade report from the University or enroll for additional courses.

Non-degree students may take no more than twelve credit hours of graduate study within the College of Engineering at Lehigh.  Any transcript or other record from the University will clearly indicate the student status as non-degree.    Non-degree graduate students are not eligible for financial aid.

Non-degree students who wish to become degree-seeking must complete a formal application to the department or program they wish to join.

Lehigh University Undergraduates

A Lehigh undergraduate with a 3.0 cumulative grade point average who has achieved Junior standing may take a 400-level course for which he or she is qualified. The qualifications are defined by the department and are certified by the course instructor and department chairperson through petition to the Graduate and Research Committee. Additional information on constraints on undergraduates taking graduate level can be found in Guidelines for Undergraduates to Take Graduate Level Courses.

Lehigh undergraduate students may apply course credits taken as an undergraduate toward a graduate degree under the following conditions:

1). The course credits may not have been submitted as part of the requirements for a previous degree;

2). Courses must be at the 300 or 400 level and be approved in advance by the course instructor, Departmental Chairperson, and the Associate Dean.  A grade of “B” or better must be attained;

3). A maximum of 12 credit hours taken while an undergraduate (in 300 or 400 level courses) may be used in a graduate degree program.


A student who has not been registered in a Lehigh graduate program for a continuous period of one year must petition for readmission.  Petitions must be approved by the student’s department of study and forwarded to the Associate Dean’s Office.

Graduate Student Orientation

Graduate student orientation, teaching and research assistant training sessions are offered the week before classes begin each semester.  All new graduate students are invited to attend the orientation, which is designed to acquaint students with University resources and with members of the academic community, including administrators, faculty, staff, and fellow graduate students.   

Special training sessions are offered for all new teaching assistants.  Anyone who expects to assist with recitations or to teach a course must attend these sessions.  Lab assistants are required to attend the session on lab safety, and all teaching assistants are required to attend a session on “Attitudes, Behavior and Cultures Training.”  

For information on dates and details of this year’s Graduate Orientation Program, check the website

International Student Orientation

An orientation program specific to the needs of international graduate students will take place prior to the regular orientation.  The sessions provide practical information about visa/immigration issues, health, adjustment, programming, and living in the community.  For information on dates and details of this year’s orientation program check the International Students and Scholars website For those students who are going to be TAs, a test of presentation and speaking skills (TOPSS) is required.  For more information about ESL and the services they offer please visit their website

Health Insurance 

Starting in the academic year 2018-19, Lehigh University requires all graduate students to show proof of health insurance.  In order to make health insurance affordable and accessible, Lehigh University offers a student health insurance plan available for purchase to eligible students. Registered graduate students should enroll in the insurance plan or waive it by July 31, 2018 to ensure the earliest possible coverage. In circumstances where registration is not possible by that date, students will have ten days to enroll or waive insurance from date of registration. Please be aware that inaction will result in automatic enrollment in the student health insurance plan and a charge for the premium will be posted to your Bursar's bill.  Please note that all international graduate students in F-1 or J-1 visa status are required to purchase the insurance provided by Lehigh University.  Domestic students, however, may waive the requirement to purchase this insurance if they submit proof of coverage from another ACA-qualified plan, such as one offered by an employer, spouse, or parent. More information on the student health insurance policy, including who is required or eligible to enroll, plan benefits and details and enrollment procedures can be found on the Bursar’s website at

University ID Card

Incoming graduate students must obtain an identification card. Graduate students must wait one day after registering for classes to obtain a university ID card at the ID Office, located in Christmas-Saucon Annex (Bldg. 14A). However, no ID cards will be released prior to one (1) month before the start of classes for the semester the student is registered for, with the exception of those students living in university housing.  The process for submitting a photo for your ID card can be found on their website at


You may be eligible for one of the various types of parking permits available to graduate students.  Permits are issued by Parking Services (622 Brodhead Avenue, (610) 758-7275).  You can learn more about the types of permits and how to obtain them on the Parking Services website at


Registration Procedure

Registration is scheduled to begin in November and April at a time designated on the university calendar. Students should check with their departments for registration and semester class schedules. Graduate students register using the online system after consultation with their adviser. A course adviser will discuss course selections with students and provide the registration PIN.  New graduate students should consult their home department or program for information regarding the registration process.

Schedule Limitations

All graduate students using Lehigh University resources and facilities must be registered.  Graduate students who are full-time employees of the university may register for, at most, two courses per semester with appropriate approval.  Half-time graduate student employees of the university (e.g., half-time teaching assistants or half-time research fellows) may not take more than ten credits of graduate work in any one semester.  Graduate students under contract to devote not more than one-third of their time to university employment may take a maximum of twelve credits in any one semester.  Graduate students who are employed elsewhere and can give only part of their time to graduate work must restrict the size of their course load accordingly.  The maximum registration in a summer session is two concurrent courses and no more than 14 summer credits across all summer sessions.

Full-time Status

In order to maintain full-time enrollment status, a graduate student must ordinarily register for a minimum of nine credits each semester. Full-time students may not be employed full-time. After fulfillment of degree credit hour requirements full-time status may be maintained with fewer than nine credit hours under select circumstances.  In such cases, status must be certified by the department and by the Associate Dean of Graduate Studies and Research using the Graduate Student Request for Full-Time Certification form.  This form should be completed, approved and submitted to the Registrar’s office no later than the tenth day of classes during the fall and spring semesters.

Full-time status for a graduate student is important for at least three reasons: (1) eligibility for financial aid or deferment of student loan payments; (2) compliance with visa requirements for international students, and (3) for university and national graduate enrollment data.

Auditing a Course

With the consent of the Associate Dean, instructor, adviser, and the Chairperson of the department concerned, a graduate student may audit one or more courses outside the approved program of studies for the intended degree.  A student who has attended a course as an auditor shall not be given an anticipatory examination for credit in that course and may not register for the course for credit in the future.  The course will not count for credit towards any graduate degree.

A graduate student desiring to audit a graduate course should complete a graduate student petition form requesting this.  Tuition fees for auditing are the same as for a regular course.

If a graduate student wishes to attend selected portions of graduate courses, he or she may do so with the prior approval of the course instructor and the advisor.  Non-degree graduate students are not permitted to audit courses.

Late Registration Penalties

Registration after the designated period during the prior term for continuing full-time graduate students or between the second and tenth day of class during the fall and spring semesters, and the second and fifth day of class during the summer sessions will require a late registration fee. Students who have not completed the registration process by the tenth day of the regular academic semester or by the fifth day of the summer session will not be permitted to attend class.

Doctoral students registering for maintenance of candidacy that do not need full time certification may do so at any time during the semester without a late registration fee.  If full time certification is required you must follow regular registration requirements.

If payment of tuition is an award from the Department or Dean’s Office, registration must be done no later than the tenth day of class.

Degree Registration

A student must be registered in the semester in which the degree is conferred.

Tuition Awards

Once registration is complete, fellowship and scholarship holders will need to have their tuition awards approved.  Students for whom tuition is some form of Lehigh’s employee benefits should go to the Office of Human Resources (306 South New Street, Suite 437, 758-3900).  Research assistants,whose tuition is paid for by research projects, are to have their tuition award forms forwarded by their departments to the Office of Research and Sponsored Programsfor approval.  Other graduate students must pay their tuition bills through the Bursar’s Office.  Receipts will be issued upon request.

Additional Services Provided by the Registrar

In addition to maintaining student academic files, the Registrar also handles requests for transcripts.  All transcript orders must be submitted via the internet, regardless of when you attended Lehigh University.  Please visit the Registrar’s website for complete instructions:

Graduate Student Petitions

The right of petition is open to all students at all times.  The Graduate Student Program Petition form must be prepared completely and signed by the student’s advisor, department faculty graduate coordinator, department chairperson, and associate dean of graduate studies.  The form is then submitted to the Registrar for final action.  Following is a partial list of situations that require approval through a graduate petition:

•    Change of status from an associate to a regular graduate student

•    Readmission as a graduate student following an absence of one year

•    Removal of an incomplete (N) grade after one calendar year has elapsed

•    Changing members of the doctoral committee

•    Extension of time to complete master’s or doctoral degree requirements

A petition is a request for a change or exception to be made to University policy and procedure, and therefore is evaluated on an individual basis.

Leave of Absence

Graduate Leave of Absence Policy

During the course of graduate study, students may find themselves in circumstances that require them to interrupt their graduate work.  When these occasions arise, the University allows students to request a leave of absence for either personal or medical reasons.  The information provided below is designed to assist students in making a smooth transition away from graduate study and then back again. 

Students are required to submit the Leave of Absence Request form to the Office of Graduate Student Life.  If the student is eligible, the Office of Graduate Student Life will then notify the academic adviser, program director, department chair, graduate associate dean of the appropriate college and the registrar.  In order to enhance their successful return to graduate school, students are strongly encouraged to meet with their advisers to discuss their plans and to keep the lines of communication open.

Please note that a “withdrawal” indicates the student intends to discontinue graduate study, whereas a “Leave of Absence” indicates that the student intends to return at a specified later date.  This policy address leaves after which the student intends to return and resume his or her studies.

Important Information about Requested Leaves of Absence:

  • Only students who have successfully completed at least one semester of graduate work and are in good academic standing are eligible for a leave of absence.  Students in their first semester who request a leave will need to petition for readmission.
  • Funded students who are requesting a leave due to the birth or adoption of a child should apply for a Graduate Student Parental Leave.  Students can access information and the form here:

The University will grant a leave of absence for up to one year.  If more time away is required, students may request a second year of leave.  Should students require more than two years away from the University, they will be required to apply for readmission to the program at the end of their time away.  A leave that commences during the semester will count as an entire semester away in terms of total leave time allowed.

  • An approved leave of absence extends the time-to-degree deadline for the length of the approved leave, but only up to the university-mandated maximum of two years.
  • While on leave, students are not registered with the University.  This has important implications:
  • The student may not submit work, take exams, propose or defend theses or dissertations, or use faculty time.
  • The student will not have access to University services, including the Health and Counseling Centers, the Fitness Center, and Library and Technology Services. This means the student’s Lehigh email account will be suspended and he or she will be unable to use library services.  However, the College Dean’s Office may request that the email account and library privileges remain active during the term of the approved leave, up to a maximum of two years.
  • Funded students cease to receive stipend payments from the start of the approved date of the leave.  Students receiving funding provided to the university by external grants or contracts should consult with their funding-related adviser/supervisor about applicable rules, procedures and possible limitations.  While those who have provided financial support for students who go on leave will do their best to support those students when they return and resume their studies, it is not possible to guarantee such support will be available when the student returns.
  • Immigration status may be affected for international students.  Please consult the Office of International Students and Scholars:
  • Students living in campus housing will need to make other living arrangements, since only registered students in good standing are eligible for such housing.  Unfortunately, Residential Services also cannot guarantee space upon the student’s return.
  • Students requesting a leave for medical or psychological reasons must include documentation from their health provider which indicates a recommendation for the leave and expected time away.  The documentation is submitted to --and is only available to-- the Director of Graduate Life. Such documentation remains kept confidential.
  • Students who need to be absent within the semester (no more than a few weeks in duration) must consult with their professors about the possibility of making up missed classwork and, if applicable, work related to their funding support.  In these circumstances, students do not need to submit an official Leave of Absence request.  Students may consult the Director of Graduate Student Life with questions and concerns.
  • To formally request a leave of absence, students must complete the form at the following link:

Important Information about Involuntary Leaves of Absence:

  • The University may require an involuntary leave of any student who appears to have a serious physical, psychological or emotional disorder which offers reasonable cause to believe he or she may be a danger to self or others, or may disrupt proper activities of the University community and its members, or may be unable to look after his or her affairs adequately.  An involuntary leave of absence is included in the maximum leave of two years.  
  • Time-to-degree deadlines are not extended for students who are suspended due to Code of Conduct violations.

Returning from Leave/Resuming Graduate Studies

When ready to resume graduate study, students are required to complete the Graduate Readmission Form, available at the following link:    Returning students are encouraged to contact their program adviser as early as possible to discuss registration.  Returning students may only re-enroll for a full semester or summer session.  In order to meet this requirement, such students need to be aware of registration deadlines. 

Students who take a leave from graduate study without requesting an official leave of absence will be required to petition the Standing of Graduate Students (SOGS) committee for readmission if they’ve been away from the University for more than one year.  Unapproved leaves count toward the two-year leave maximum.

If you have any questions about this policy or its application, please contact the Director of Graduate Student Life, Kathleen Hutnik, either by email> or telephone 610-758-3648.


Application for Degree

Candidates for Masters and Doctor of Philosophy degrees must fill out an online application for degree (found by logging into the student portal and accessing Banner self-service).  Below are the filing deadlines for May graduation and to receive the degree in September or January.  Degree applications filed late will incur a fee of $50.

Graduation Date

File Application By


February 1

Receive Degree

File Application By



October 1

July 1

Registration Requirements

A student must be registered in the semester in which the degree is conferred. If a student is not registered for a course, he/she must register for maintenance of candidacy. Candidates for September degrees do not need to be enrolled during the summer preceding the degree if they were enrolled in both the fall and spring semesters of the previous academic year.


Prior to the awarding of a degree, graduate students must receive clearance from the University.  In particular, the following obligations must be satisfied:

1).  Students must complete all coursework; including any incomplete grades that they have received;

2).  Theses and dissertations must be cleared by the appropriate authority.  Theses are cleared by the Registrar’s Office while dissertations are cleared by the Associate Dean’s Office;

3).  All financial obligations must be cleared with the Bursar.  Tuition fees, bookstore charges, library fines, and/or motor vehicle fines must all be paid prior to graduation;

4).  All library books must be returned.

Please see RAS page for additional information:


Tuition and Fees

Tuition and fees for the P.C. Rossin College of Engineering and Applied Science can be found on the Bursar's website here.  These may increase on a yearly basis.

Tuition Payment

Graduate students who register at least six weeks prior to the start of classes will receive an email notification to their Lehigh email account that their tuition bill is ready to view online at the Student Account Suite. Students that register less than six weeks prior to the start of classes will most likely not have a tuition bill generated prior to the start of classes. To remain in good standing, tuition charges must be paid prior to the start of classes even if the student has not received a tuition bill because of his/her late registration for classes. Students can review their current account balance online 24/7 by logging into the Student Account Suite or the Campus Portal. Information about the various payment options is available at the Bursar’s Office web site at

Tuition Employer Deferment Information

If your graduate tuition at Lehigh University is reimbursed to you by your employer, you can request a deferment of the payment of your graduate tuition. You may defer your tuition until a date later than registration, which is specified by the Bursar's Office each semester, or until the date of the reimbursement from your company, whichever is sooner. A new deferment form must be completed and submitted and a deferment fee paid EACH semester you wish to defer your tuition.

To receive a deferment, print a copy of the Graduate Tuition Deferment Request and complete all student information, as well as the Payment and Deferment Calculation and sign the form where indicated. There is a $50.00 fee each time you wish to have your tuition deferred . The deferment fee and any other charges on the student account must be paid in full by the payment due date for that semester in order to complete registration. The deferment is for your tuition only.

Please visit the Bursar’s website for more information:

Tuition Refunds

A student in good standing who formally withdraws or drops a course(s) before 60% of the semester has been completed is eligible for a tuition refund. Academic fees are non-refundable after the first day of classes. The “first day of classes” is considered the first day of the semester, not the first day a particular class meets. Courses not following standard semester dates will have percent-of-semester-completed refunds based on dates for that specific course. Online courses percent-of-semester-completed are based on access availability, not if/when student first accessed course material. No tuition refunds will be made for courses of one week or less after the first day of class.

Full tuition refunds will be granted for registration cancellations only when a properly authorized withdrawal or add/drop form is received in the Registrar’s Office prior to the start and including the first day of the classes.  Properly authorized cancellation and add/drop forms received after the first day of classes will be recognized based upon the calendar day in which they are received by the Registrar.  A student suspended or expelled from the University will not be granted a tuition refund.

Living Accommodations

The university maintains graduate housing on three on-campus locations available for residents — Saucon VillagePacker House and 230 West Packer. Additionally, Lehigh's Affiliated housing complex, SouthSide Commons. Saucon Village Apartments, provides units generally on a yearly lease basis.  For more information you can contact Residential Services at (610) 758-3500 or  We also suggest viewing the Graduate Student Life office video on graduate student housing.  This video as well as links to other helpful videos can be found on the GSL website in the “Resources” section found here: