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Graduate Student Handbook

Graduate Student Life

The Graduate Life Office exists to enhance the academic, personal, and professional development of Lehigh graduate students through providing a range of programs, activities, events, and workshops, as well as other services. Visit the website here.

Disability Support Services

In accordance with federal legislation, specifically Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act, Lehigh University recognizes the special needs of students with physical, sensory and learning disabilities.  The director of Facilities Services, in conjunction with Disability Support Services office, coordinates services for students with physical disabilities.  Disability Support Services office also coordinates academic support services for students with learning disabilities and other cognitive and sensory disorders and works in conjunction with faculty members to provide appropriate classroom accommodations for students with diagnosed learning disabilities.  Students requesting accommodations must present the university with current and comprehensive documentation.  For more information, contact Disability Support services, 610-758-4152, Williams Hall Suite 301 (https://studentaffairs.lehigh.edu/disabilities).

Health & Wellness Services

The university offers health services to all students through the Health Center in Johnson Hall.  During the fall and spring semesters, providers are available to see patients from 8:15 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. Monday through Friday.  Providers include nurse practitioners and physicians.  The health center is closed on Saturday and Sunday.  During breaks, hours are shortened.

The Health Center staff treats a variety of health problems, including illnesses and injuries.  Gynecologic care is available by appointment.  Allergy injections can be administered.  Some minor surgery is performed at the Health Center.  While many laboratory studies can be done at the Health Center, students are referred to local facilities for X-rays.  Patients are referred to local medical and surgical specialists when indicated and more seriously ill students are sent to a general hospital.

There is no charge for most of the care provided to students.  Some exceptions are as follows: referrals to physicians, hospitals, or other medical facilities outside the student Health Center, and medications not carried by the Health Center which require prescriptions.  A low-cost university-sponsored insurance plan is available (see below), and this complements the services of the Health Center.  Expenses covered include costs for services that are not available at the Health Center, such as X-rays, laboratory studies, consultant fees, and medications not stocked by the Center.  Hospital expenses are also covered.  Please consult your insurance carrier or physician if your plan is of the managed care/preferred provider type.  For more information on Health Center services, visit: https://studentaffairs.lehigh.edu/content/health-wellness-center

Health Insurance

Fall Term: Health Insurance for Graduate Students

Graduate students who are required by University policy to have health insurance are automatically charged the premium for the Lehigh University Student Health Insurance Plan at the start of Fall term.  

Students are required to either Waive or Confirm Enrollment in the Health Insurance Plan by the deadline.   

Spring Term: Health Insurance for Graduate Students

New or readmitted students who enter Lehigh University in the Spring term are NOT automatically enrolled in the Lehigh Student Health Insurance Plan, but are still required to have health insurance.  If you meet eligibility requirements and have comparable coverage from a domestic insurance company with claims paid in the United States, you may choose to not purchase the Student Health Insurance Plan.  However, if you are eligible and do not have health insurance,  you are required to enroll in the Lehigh Student Health Insurance Plan by completing the Enrollment Form in the Bursar's Office by the published deadline.  

A brief summary is provided below:

Eligibility:

  • Graduate students enrolled in a degree seeking on-campus based program and registered for nine (9) or more credits, and graduate students registered for dissertation credits are required to have health insurance and are eligible to enroll in the Lehigh University Student Health Insurance Plan.   
  • Note: Students must actively attend classes for at least 31 days after the date for which coverage is purchased to remain eligible for coverage. Courses offered through a Distance Education program do not fulfill the Eligibility requirement.  

Graduate students who are eligible and required to have health insurance are required to select one of the two following options:

  • Waive the insurance offered by Lehigh: Students who have comparable coverage from a domestic insurance company with claims paid in the United States are eligible to opt out of the mandatory Student Health Insurance Plan by submitting an online Waiver Form. If you waive coverage, you will not be eligible to enroll in the  Spring Semester Only  policy unless you have a Qualifying Event as described in the Student Health Insurance Plan brochure.  
  • Confirm enrollment in the Lehigh University Student Health Insurance Plan: Students who are not waiving the Student Health Insurance Plan and wish to enroll in the plan offered by Lehigh University need to complete the enrollment confirmation by submitting an online Enrollment Form. This will activate your policy earlier enabling you to obtain prescriptions and medical services sooner. 

All Lehigh International students on an F-1 or J-1 visa regardless of number of registered credits are required to enroll in the Lehigh Student Health Insurance Plan unless you already have health insurance coverage under a family member’s U.S. plan or a foreign government insurance plan.  

If you are covered under a family member's U.S. plan or foreign government insurance plan, contact Lehigh's Office of International Students & Scholars (610) 758-4859 to verify if you qualify to waive the Lehigh Student Insurance Plan.

If you waive the insurance coverage by July 1st, the charge will be reversed on your July Fall semester billing statement. If you do not waive the insurance coverage by August 1st, the insurance premium will be due immediately. Students who do not waive or pay for the insurance policy fee will have their academic records closed and may be in jeopardy of having their registration dropped.

Please see the Bursar's Office for the most current information on health insurance.

University Counseling and Psychological Services 

(UCPS) is located on the top floor in Johnson Hall and offers, free of charge, a wide range of services related to the personal, interpersonal, and psychological needs of all Lehigh students.  All contacts are confidential, unless someone is in imminent danger, and information is released only with informed consent.  Clinical and counseling psychologists are available during the day, Monday through Friday, and appointments may be made in person or by calling 610-758-3880.  An on-call counselor is available to assist with emergencies that arise after hours by dialing 610 758 3880, selecting “0” on the keypad, and talking to the counselor on call or go to the nearest Emergency Room if you need immediate assistance.

Following initial contact, graduate students are generally seen for one or two sessions lasting approximately one hour, to assess needs, interests, or concerns.  Questions may be resolved in a few meetings, or a mutual decision may be made to continue working on and exploring the issues in short term psychotherapy.  Whereas some concerns will be met best within one-to-one meetings, group psychotherapy is often the modality of choice.  Referrals to outside professionals or agencies are made when appropriate.  UCPS aims to provide services to students from international and multicultural communities. Staff are prepared to discuss a variety of concerns, including those related to cultural and gender identity.

Visit the website here.

Religious Activities

Religious activities at Lehigh are under the supervision of the University Chaplain.  Information about worship opportunities, religious groups on campus, and religious calendars are available on the Chaplain's web page (www.lehigh.edu/~incha/incha.html; 610-758-3877).  The Chaplain's Office arranges Protestant, ecumenical and interfaith services, while the Newman Center Association chaplain arranges Roman Catholic masses (610-758-4148).  Jewish services are arranged through the Hillel Society (610-758-4896), with most services held at the Jewish Student Center on Summit Avenue.  Religious services for all the world’s major religions take place in the area.  There are Christian, Jewish and Muslim services both on campus and in the community, and there are Hindu and Buddhist temples in the community.

Contact the University Chaplain’s office for information about worship opportunities in the Lehigh Valley (610-758-3877).  The Chaplain's web page announces programs and religious activities for the Lehigh community, including sponsored lectures (Chaplain's Forum), community service opportunities, and special events as they arise.  The Newman Association and Hillel Foundation sponsor cultural activities and social events.

Athletic Facilities

Students are eligible to use the range of athletic facilities available at Taylor Gymnasium and on the Goodman Campus.  Call Taylor Gymnasium (610-758-4320) for hours of operation.  You will need an ID card in order to register to use the facilities.  For more information, go to: www.lehighsports.com/

Legal Services

Legal Services & Lawyer Referrals:

The University does not provide legal advice or offer legal services for students. The Bar Association of Northampton County and the Bar Association of Lehigh County offer lawyer referral services that provide an initial consultation for a modest fee and referrals to local attorneys.

Northampton County Attorney, Referral & Information Service, 155 South 9th Street Easton, PA 18042. Call (610) 258-6333 or visit http://www.norcobar.org

Lehigh County Lawyer Referral Service, 1114 W. Walnut St. Allentown, PA 18102. Call (610) 433-6204 or visit http://www.lehighbar.org