What Is the IBE Honors Program?

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Brief History and Background of the IBE Program

In 1999, a Committee of Engineering and Business faculty was formed at the behest of President Farrington to develop an interdisciplinary undergraduate Business and Engineering honors program. The Committee designed a curriculum outline and specified an honors program designed to attract top notch students to Lehigh by providing them with 6 specialized IBE courses, a challenging curriculum, caring and thoughtful advising, and strict GPA requirements. The curriculum was designed so that the  degree could be accredited by AACSB, but would fall short of ABET accreditation for engineering majors. However, it was also designed so that students could complete both IBE and ABET accredited engineering degrees in 5 years.

In early 2000, Professors Bob Storer and Steve Buell were appointed Program Co-Directors. They proceeded to develop detailed curricula that fit within the “curriculum outline” for each of the many IBE majors in the fields of engineering and business, develop the 12 credits of IBE specific courses, and recruit outstanding students to the program.  In 2018 Professor Buell retired and was replaced by Professor Rick Kish (Finance) as IBE Co-Director.


Honors Degree

Lehigh University offers a state-of-the-art honors degree program leading to the Bachelor of Science in Integrated Business and Engineering (IBE). The very demanding IBE Honors Program is a carefully planned integration of courses in business and engineering with additional requirements in mathematics, sciences, English and humanities. In addition, students are required to demonstrate proficiency in a foreign language. Graduates of the IBE Honors Program will emerge with a unique set of skills and competencies, prepared to lead the corporate world in the 21st century.

The IBE Program is offered jointly by the P. C. Rossin College of Engineering and Applied Science and the College of Business and Economics. The impetus for the program comes from University President Gregory C. Farrington who has long recognized the need for today's leaders in business and industry to have a sound foundation in both commerce and technology.

After four years and a minimum of 137 credits, students will receive a single Bachelor of Science Degree in Integrated Business and Engineering. This program meets the accreditation standards of the American Assembly of Collegiate Schools of Business (the organization that accredits Business degrees). Students enrolled in the program and in satisfactory standing are able to transfer to a dual-degree at any time, and still stay within the honors program cohort. Thus with an additional semester or two of study, the student may obtain a second Bachelor of Science degree in an engineering or business degree program in addition to the B.S. degree in Integrated Business and Engineering. The additional time necessary to complete the second degree will depend on the curriculum selected and the number of advanced placement credits. The number of additional credit hours will typically be in the range of 20 to 30, or between one and two semesters.