Villanova vs Lehigh

Hey! So I am a high school grad and was accepted to Lehigh and Villanova! I am looking to major in political science and minor in economics and maybe computer sciences. Not sure 100% yet for minors, and might depend on school!!

Ok so my question for any individuals who are informed on the matter are as follows:

Which university would better suit an individual pursuing law school and a career in politics? Does anyone have any tips or ideas?

Stats bc everyone always asks:

SAT: 1370
GPA: 3.8
Rank: 5
7 separate top leadership positions in clubs such as president of school, SADD, captain of Mock Trial, baseball and golf Captain

Thank you!!

Villanova has a law school that is well regarded.

For law school admission, they are equivalent. (The fact that Villanova has a law school is irrelevant.) I am not familiar with poli sci. Choose the one that sounds like a better fit for other factors. If you’ve visited, the one where you felt most at home. Cost is typically a consideration.

On a stats basis the law school may be irrelevant - but if there is a law school a few short blocks from the undergraduate buildings (and as I recall that’s the case at Villanova) you certainly have more ready access to talk to profs there. I’m sure the law school profs know the undergraduate profs so might be able to help with law related undergraduate internships etc.

As with most issues, there’s some nuance …

Neither undergraduate college has been a launching pad for political careers. The only prominent politician whom I know of who graduated from either as a undergrad is former and now disgraced governor of Connecticut, John Rowland (Villanova).

Where a politician obtained an undergraduate degree is largely irrelevant to their success. Hopefully our political leaders are smart and knowledgeable. You can become well informed and well educated at either of these schools. Compare the departments of political science at the 2 schools. I think Villanova’s is particularly strong? Villanova seems to have a more extensive study abroad program (I could be wrong, so check) and developing an understanding of international affairs could be a helpful background in government. Because of the success of its basketball program, Villanova has higher name recognition among the general public outside PA right now, for whatever that’s worth.

To me, the critical questions have to do with why you want to go into politics/government in the first place. Where do you want to make your mark? What kind of public service do you want to do while you’re an undergrad? What area of expertise do you want to develop? (Many politicians have a special interest area for which they advocate and are knowledgeable about.) What is your passion? What are your leadership skills and where do you want to lead people? Politicians neeed to be knowledgeable about business and economics. How does that fit into your vision?

When you can answer those questions and others like them, the choice of college may become more clear. Those answers will describe what you want to get out of college, and then you can see which of the two schools can better prepare you in those areas.

Very thoughtful analysis! ^^^

Lehigh is one of very few universities with observer status at the UN. Lots of opportunities and plenty of alums are active in politics.

Have you visited both?

Thanks everyone for all the comments!! Appreciate them a lot!!


I was able to visit Villanova once for a tour, and I live within an hour of Lehigh. However, due to COVID-19 complications I was never able to visit the campus on a tour!

Bill Marsh:

I concur, Villanova does have an excellent political science program, but Lehigh’s program is very good in its own right.

My concern is not with what others have done before at these schools, but the opportunities the school will provide for me to allow me to go to a storied law school.

Those are some very good questions I will be asking myself. I will be asking—and answering—those to myself before I make my decision, and perhaps throughout my college experience itself.

I definitely did not expect such a thorough answer, thank you very much!!

Jolynne Smith:

Very interesting incite to talk to professors and such. I will keep that in mind no matter where I go!

You’re welcome.

You are to be congratulated for your high achievements which have gained you admission to two such quality institutions. Either should serve you well.

Best of luck with your decision and in achieving your long term goals. Lord knows that in this era of polarization and divided government we need excellence in public service, people who are in it to improve the country and the lives of its citizens rather than to exploit their position for personal gain and fortune. God speed!

Admission to top law schools is almost entirely college GPA and LSAT. Either one can get you where you want to go. Good luck!

People get into politics for one of two reasons: To do something or to be someone.

Since you have not mentioned a cause or a mission, you want to enter politics in order to be someone.

Lehigh is great for engineering, finance & accounting.

Villanova is solid for business.

Although close in distance, the campus cultures are different. Lehigh’s social life is dominated by fraternities. Lots of parties & lots of drinking. Beautiful campus. Lots of school spirit.

Although I am not sure about the present, in the past Villanova had large groups of students who knew one another in their Catholic high school. Lots of school spirit for basketball team. Less alcohol cosumption than at Lehigh.

As for law school, either school is fine.

As for politics, best to just stay out of trouble & stay active as a member of the political party which matches your idiology.

Villanova is Catholic and has easy access to Philadelphia. Easy access to internships without relocating.

Lehigh is in the Allentown/Bethlehem area, sort of remote and has a very strong Greek presence.

Is any of that relevant?

Villanova is Catholic, and as part of its mission is very service oriented. That doesn’t answer your question, but I think this is relevant to what your experience there would be like.

Thank you for your incite! That is possible, but not the case. I believe our country needs to be better represented by individuals who care for the country rather than for monetary gain, or just being “someone”. I don’t look at politics as a way to “make it big” but rather a way to give back with skills I believe I possess. Whether or not that happens is yet to be seen. Hopefully one day I will have made the change I aspire to.

If you have any other incite on these institutions I’d love to hear about it!! Thank you once again!

Thank you!! I appreciate the congratulations but I believe there is always more to do!! I’ll make sure to inform you of my decision!

I agree!! There is no better time than now to depolarize the nation and start working together!

Thanks again!

I always appreciate any new perspectives I can receive! Great point with the internships and such!

Thank you!