Union College is a private four-year liberal arts college focused exclusively on undergraduates. We are known for outstanding programs in the humanities, social sciences, sciences, arts, and engineering and for encouraging our students to explore the intersections between and among disciplines.
Union was established in 1795 and was the nation’s first college campus constructed according to an architectural master plan. Our beautiful residential campus includes Jackson’s Garden, a certified natural wildlife habitat, and the 16-sided Nott Memorial, a historic landmark. We pride ourselves on our innovative curricular and extracurricular offerings, premier faculty, notable alumni, and outstanding opportunities for undergraduate research and experiential learning, both locally and globally.
Faculty: 209 full-time faculty; 98% have a PhD or the highest professional degree awarded in their field. Professors teach classes and lead research projects with students in all disciplines.
Average class size: 21 for introductory classes; 14 for upper-level classes
Interdisciplinary: Our interdisciplinary approach to the liberal arts challenges you to stretch your thinking and your academic horizons.
Research: At Union research infuses the academic experience. Each spring more than 500 students show off their research and creativity in all fields before their peers, professors, and visiting parents at our Steinmetz Symposium, now in its 26th year. In addition, students learn how to conduct original research through the Sophomore Research Seminar and the Senior Thesis or Capstone Project. Each summer Union funds student research with faculty on campus.
Study abroad: Union is a leader in helping students connect with the world. Union students go global with more than 50 terms and mini-terms in 40 countries. Conduct anthropological research in Fiji, learn about Italian Renaissance architecture in Florence, study engineering in Turkey, or visit alternative energy sites in New Zealand. You’ll also find great opportunities for internships and service. Nearly 60% of Union students travel abroad, one of the highest percentages among colleges and universities. Most programs are led by our own faculty.
Minerva Houses: At our seven innovative Minerva Houses, students, faculty, and staff get together for academic, social, and cultural activities. In your Minerva you can create the community you want and make things happen. A generous budget funds more than 500 student-run programs each year.
Athletics: Union has what you’re looking for to compete, stay fit, and have fun, including 26 intercollegiate sports. We have Division III sports teams (Liberty League), with Division I men’s and women’s ice hockey (ECAC Hockey), as well as intramural and recreational options, from broomball to Ultimate Frisbee. The Union men’s hockey team won the national title in 2014.
Student clubs and organizations: Explore your interests and talents in more than 100 clubs and other groups, including performance and art clubs; political, cultural, and religious and spiritual groups; the weekly student newspaper, Concordiensis; WRUC, the campus radio station; academic and honor societies; and 10 residential fraternities and sororities.
Theme houses: 13 theme houses bring together like-minded students who are devoted to the arts, cooking, literature, LGBTQ community, multiculturalism, religious diversity, sustainability, technology, and a host of other interests. Students live together and regularly share their passions with the campus community.
Service: Tutor, plant a community garden, and get involved with Big Brothers Big Sisters, after-school programs, and a unique income tax program that helps local residents. The Kenney Community Center is a hub of volunteerism, and many athletic teams, Greek groups, and Minerva Houses also sponsor service activities.
Union students from all majors go into diverse fields. Top among them are business management, communications, education, engineering, finance, health care, government, law, and technology.
We invite you to visit our close-knit campus community year-round. Take a tour, attend an open house or information session, and meet with students, professors, and coaches. Personal interviews are recommended. You’re also welcome to join one of our day programs—shadow a student, sit in on classes, check out residence halls, and live the life of a Union student.
Size: 2,200 full-time undergraduate students from 39 US states and 37 countries
Students: 19% of students are from diverse backgrounds. International students make up 8% of the student body. The student gender ratio is 53% male, 47% female.
Location: Our historic campus is set on 130 acres in Schenectady, in the heart of Upstate New York’s Capital Region. The region’s rich cultural heritage and thriving high-tech industry offer many opportunities for internships, job placements, and student-faculty research.
Admission: Typically, more than 5,500 students apply for 565 spaces in Union’s first-year class. Roughly 40% are admitted. There are two Early Decision options. Union is test optional. In 2015 the admitted student average GPA was 3.5 (A-/B+).
Costs for 2016–2017: Union’s comprehensive fee, which includes tuition, room, board, and mandatory fees, is $64,374 for the 2016–2017 academic year. The estimated cost for books and personal expenses is approximately $2,000.
Financial aid: We meet the full financial need of all admitted students. More than $43 million in scholarships is awarded each year, and more than 60% of all Union students receive financial assistance. The average financial aid award is $32,200 (need-based) and $10,000 (merit-based).
Majors and minors
• Africana Studies
• American Studies
• Art History
• Asian Studies
• Biological Sciences
• Computer Engineering
• Computer Science
• Electrical Engineering
• Environmental Policy
• Environmental Science
• French & Francophone Studies
• Gender, Sexuality & Women’s Studies
• German Studies
• Latin American & Caribbean Studies
• Managerial Economics
• Mechanical Engineering
• Organizing Theme (self-designed, following a theme across multiple disciplines)
• Political Science
• Religious Studies
• Russian and Eastern European Studies
• Science, Medicine & Technology in Culture
• Spanish & Hispanic Studies
• Studio Fine Arts
• Computational Methods
• Digital Media
• Energy Studies
• Environmental Engineering
• Film Studies
• Jewish Studies
• Law & Humanities
• Public History
• World Musics & Cultures
Joint graduate programs within Union University
• Business/Management: 5-year program (BA or BS+MBA)
• Education: 5-year program (BA or BS+MAT)
• Law & Public Policy: 6-year program (BA+JD)
• Leadership in Medicine: 8-year program (BS+MS or MBA+MD)