Dual Degree and the IBE Honors Program

Lehigh University's Integrated Business & Engineering Honors Program

Details about the Five-Year Dual Degree Plan
The IBE Five Year Dual Degree Plan

After four years, students in the IBE Honors Program will receive the degree "Bachelors of Science in Integrated Business and Engineering with a major in XXX"  where XXX is one of the many business or engineering majors available to IBE students.  Even if the major field is in engineering, the BSIBE degree is an accredited business degree.  Students majoring in engineering essentially get 4 years of business and 3 years of engineering compressed into a 4 year curriculum.  Students planning to work as engineers after graduation should obtain an accredited engineering degree.  To obtain a Professional Engineering (PE) License, one must hold an accredited engineering degree.

The IBE five-year, dual-degree plan is designed for students seeking an engineering degree in addition to the BSIBE.  IBE students majoring in an engineering field may obtain a second B.S. degree in their engineering major field by completing roughly 30 additional credits.  These 30 credits are essentially the senior year curriculum for the student's engineering major field.  Roughly two-thirds of current IBE students who are majoring in an engineering field are following the dual degree option.

The detailed requirements, and the information necessary to plan a five-year dual-degree curriculum may be found here: Dual Degree Planning Document  

Planning Your Curriculum for the IBE Dual Degree Program in Engineering

This document is prepared to help students plan their curriculum for the 5-year dual degree plan in the Integrated Business and Engineering Honors Program.  Here it is assumed that the student will receive a B.S. in IBE and a B.S. in one of Lehigh's Engineering degree programs. 

IBE Major

To pursue the dual degree program, you must choose an IBE major that is consistent with your second degree.  For example, if you want a B.S. in Chemical Engineering, then your IBE major must be Chemical Engineering.  You could not do your IBE major in, say, finance or civil engineering and then complete the B.S. in Chemical Engineering in 5 years.

HSS (Humanities and Social Sciences) electives

Both the Engineering College and IBE curricula have HSS requirements.  The requirements are similar and compatible, but not exactly the same.  Thus students pursuing the dual degree option must carefully plan their HSS electives so as to meet both sets of requirements.

First, both curricula require English 1 and 2 (or 1 and 11), and ECO 1.  In addition to these basic courses, HSS elective requirements are also specified.  Courses considered to H (humanities) or SS (social science) are designated with an "H" or "SS" following the course description in the University catalogue.

The Engineering College HSS electives rules are outlined on page 35 of the University catalogue, and are summarized as follows:

     A minimum of 13 credits of H (humanities) or SS (social science) electives.
     Depth requirement : At least 8 credits in a common discipline (department) of which at least 3 credits are at the 100 level or above (intermediate language courses such as Spanish 11 or
     12 count as 100 level or above").
     Breadth requirement : At least 3 credits in a discipline (department) different from that used for the depth requirement (item 2).
     At least 3 credits of H (humanities).
     Level one language courses (e.g. Spanish 1) do not count for HSS unless a higher level language course (e.g. Spanish 2) are also taken.
     No HSS courses may be taken pass/fail.

The IBE HSS rules are as follows:

     You must take ECO 146, ECO 129, and either Comm 130/160 or SSP 135.
     You must take 6 more hours of HSS electives at least three of which must be H (humanities).

By carefully selecting your HSS electives, you can meet both requirements.  Here are two examples of how this might be done:

          Example 1  (for students that have fulfilled the language requirement):

     Take ECO 146, ECO 129, and ECO XXX
     Take Comm 130/160 or SSP 135
     Take a 3 credit H (humanities class)

   The student uses the 6 IBE HSS elective credits to take an additional ECO course (thus establishing depth), and a humanities course (thus meeting the H requirement).

   Example 2 (for students that have not fulfilled the language requirement):

     Take ECO 146, ECO 129, and Comm. 130/160 or SSP 135
     Take Spanish 11 and 12 (or another language)

   Since language courses are considered humanities, since Spanish 11 and 12 count for "100 level or above", and since language courses are 4 credits, you will have fulfilled all requirements.

The 30 Credit Hour Rule

It is a rule at Lehigh that in order to obtain a second B.S. degree, you must take at least 30 credit hours beyond your first degree.  The IBE degree requires a minimum of 137 credit hours. Engineering degrees require fewer that 137. For example, an IE degree requires a minimum of 130 credit hours. If you finish your IBE degree first, and actually graduate from the IBE program, you will need to take a minimum of 137+30=167 credit hours. If however, you do not apply to graduate, and wait to receive both your degrees at the same time (or receive your IE degree first) then you will need to take only 130+30=160 credit hours.  Thus to minimize the required number of credits, wait and app  

Presidential Scholars

IBE students entering in the Fall of 2001 or earlier are eligible for Presidential Scholarships if they achieve a GPA of 3.5 or better at Lehigh.  Students entering after Fall 2001 must achieve at least a 3.75.  The Presidential Scholars program essentially provides free tuition for a fifth year of study at Lehigh.  Interested students must investigate the exact rules and regulations of the Presidential Scholars program with the Registrar since the description provided here is only a summary.

IBE students are eligible for the Presidential Scholars program as are all Lehigh undergraduate students. Students are eligible for free tuition for one year following their graduation with a Bachelor's degree.  This means that you should first obtain a degree before becoming a Presidential Scholar.  This obviously conflicts with the plan laid out in the section above titled "The 30 Credit Hour Rule". However, it appears that there is precedent for granting Presidential Scholarships to students that have not received a degree provided that they have met the requirements for a degree. The bottom line is that students should petition for Presidential Scholarship eligibility if they have met the requirements for the IBE degree, but have not yet applied for or received the degree (because of the 30 credit hour rule strategy outlined above).

"Double Dipping" Free Electives

The IBE curriculum and the various engineering curricula both contain free elective requirements.  To minimize the total number of credit hours in the dual degree program, you should "double dip" the free electives.  Perhaps "cross-dip" is a better term. Suppose you seek a second degree in Industrial Engineering. Then you can use IBE required courses as your IE . free electives, and IE. required courses as your IBE free electives.  Here are two examples:

     IE Free electives (6)           IBE freshman workshop (3), IBE seminars (1+1+1)
     IBE Free electives (6)        IE 154, IE 222

     ECE free electives (12)      Acct 151, Acct 152, Mkt 111, Fin 125
     IBE free electives (6)         ECE 202, ECE 203

Further Analysis

The analysis below shows the required courses and credit hours needed to complete a second engineering degree given an IBE degree with major in the corresponding field.  This analysis is fairly complicated, so please read it carefully.  You should also have your curriculum plan checked by your IBE major advisor once you have declared a major.  We assume that HSS electives are satisfied by the specified IBE HSS electives (see above).

In computing the minimum additional credit hours (over and above that of the IBE degree), we take into account the Lehigh minimum of 30 credit hours past the first degree.  We assume 30 hours past the degree with minimum credits, which is always the engineering degree.  Thus the minimum additional credit hours is the maximum of:  

     Credit hours required in engineering degree program + 30 - 137
     Hours needed for additional courses to complete requirements for the engineering degree  

We also assume that free electives can be "cross-dipped" as discussed above.  Also note that all prerequisites for courses required to complete the second degree appear either in the IBE major, or in the additional courses required list (we checked).

In the table below, the column "Required New Course Hours" counts the credit hours of the additional courses required for the second degree.  For some programs, it is the 30 credit hour rule that establishes the minimum additional credit hours.  In these cases the column "extra hours" shows hours that are free electives needed to meet the 30 hour rule.

In other cases, it is the additional required courses for the engineering degree that establish the minimum additional credit hours.  In this case, the extra hours are zero. In the pages that follow the summary table, the additional courses by major required for each engineering major are listed.

Degree Requirements
Area Credits Details
English Composition and Literature 

Engl 1 and 2 Composition and Literature I and II 
Humanities and Social Science 


Must include Comm 130/160 Public Speaking, or
SSP 135 Human Communication 
May be used to help satisfy foreign language requirement 

Engr 1 Engineering Computations, or 
CSc 11 Introduction to Computing 
Math and Science Core 


Math 21, 22, 23 and 231 Calculus I, II and III and Probability and Statistics 
Physics 11, 12, 21 and 22 Introductory Physics I and II 
Chem 25 Introductory Chemical Principles 
Engineering Core 


A coherent set of engineering courses developed for each particular major 
Business and Economics Core 


A coherent set of business and economics courses including: 
Acct 151 and 152 Introduction to Financial Accounting and Managerial Accounting 
BIS 111 Introduction to Information Systems 
Eco 1, 129 and 146 Principles, Money and Banking, and Applied Micro Analysis 
Fin 125 Introduction to Finance 
Law 201 Legal Environment of Business 
Mgt 243 Management of Organizations 
Mkt 111 Contemporary Marketing 


Specific major in business or engineering 
Integrated Courses in IBE 


Freshman Seminar (1 credit)
Freshman Workshop (3 credits)
Sophomore Lab (1 credit)
Junior Lab (1 credit)
Senior Project (6 credits)
Free Electives 

May be taken from any department in the University 
Summer Internships 

At least one professional internship is required 
Other internships, including an international internship, are strongly encouraged 


This is a minimum number of credits 
The actual number of credits taken would depend upon advanced placement credits 

It should be noted that the IBE Honors Program has a language requirement. Students must achieve proficiency at the sophomore level in the language of their choice. Students with no previous experience in a second language may need to take 16 foreign language credits (4 courses, each at 4 credits). Students may devote six credits of humanities and social science electives, and 6 credits of free electives to language courses. Thus students with absolutely no foreign language background may need an additional four credits above the 137 required for graduation.

Detailed Curriculum Information by Major

Click below for more detailed curriculum information for these majors available from the Rossin College of Engineering and Applied Sciences, and from the College of Business and Economics: