Declaring a Major
Every student is required to file a declaration of major with the Registrar no later than the end of the sophomore year. ("Liberal Arts" and unspecified "Engineering" are not majors). This decision can be changed, but a late change of major may require extra courses or terms.
Combined Degree Program
Combined Undergraduate Degree/ Graduate Degree (either MBA, MAT, Mechanical, Electrical Engineering or Computer Science) programs are available in conjunction with Union Graduate College. Students who decide to enter such a program should apply no later than the end of the winter term of the senior year. Students must have a grade point average of at least 3.0. This type of program normally requires a fifth year of study.
In some circumstances, it is possible for up to three undergraduate courses taken in fulfillment of undergraduate degree requirements at Union College to be credited toward the master's degree from Union Graduate College upon approval by the student's graduate department chairman or program director.
For more information, contact:
Rhonda Sheehan, Admissions Director and Registrar
or the appropriate Graduate School Academic Advisor:
School of Management (MBA and MBA in Healthcare Management)
Joanne Fitzgerald, VP Enrollment Management
Leadership in Medicine (Graduate portion of studies)
Joanne Fitzgerald, VP Enrollment Management
School of Education (MAT)
Pat Allen, Dean
School of Engineering and Computer Science (MS)
Electrical, Mechanical, Computer Science and Engineering Management
Bob Kozik, Dean
In addition to the formal interdepartmental majors the college offers, other interdepartmental major combinations of two fields may be arranged, but they will be approved only if the student presents a clear and sufficient rationale for the scholarly relationships among the various components of the major. These normally require 8 courses from each department. Computer Systems, Electrical Engineering or Mechanical Engineering may not be used as a component of interdepartmental majors. Students should consult the catalog for specific departmental ID requirements. In particular, Senior Writing Experience requirements vary from department to department.
Interdepartmental Thesis: When appropriate, students can do a two-term thesis to satisfy both departments with one term double-counting.
Interdepartmental Honors: To earn Departmental Honors, students must qualify in both departments. See "Honors" below for the college-wide requirements.
Students may pursue two departmental majors, but they will not earn two degrees and will receive only one diploma noting both majors. Double majors will be awarded to those undergraduates who fulfill all the degree requirements for two curricula and who have met the conditions for each major. Normally an overlap of at most three courses is allowed for the two majors.
Students who choose to double major with one of the majors as engineering will have the option of earning two bachelor's degrees but must earn five years of credits. (For more information, contact the appropriate engineering program head.)
Double Major Thesis
A student pursuing a double major in two departments, both of which require a two-term thesis, will write two separate theses, one for each major. Under certain circumstances, if both departments give written approval, the student may write one three-term thesis combining the two disciplines to fulfill the thesis requirements for both majors, with one term double counting. Alternatively, in some cases, if both departments give written approval, the student may write one two-term thesis combining the two disciplines to fulfill the thesis requirements for both majors, with two terms double counting.
Organizing Theme Majors
The student with a well-defined intellectual curiosity in a particular topic involving multiple disciplines may develop and request permission to pursue an "Organizing Theme" major. Such a major, which calls on students to make significant use of at least three departments (two if one of the departments used is an engineering department) encourages the exploration of thematic connections across disciplines.
An Organizing Theme major requires the approval of the advisor and a faculty committee established by the Dean of Studies. It may be proposed no sooner than the third term of the freshman year and no later than the second term of the junior year. To find out more about the Organizing Theme major and the application process, see the Organizing Theme Web page or contact Professor Michelle Chilcoat at chilcoam@union..
Students may declare up to two academic minors. Students are expected to declare a minor in the sophomore or junior year and must have the approval of the department involved. Minors vary in their requirements and students should contact the particular departments to be informed of these requirements; most minors consist of six courses. A minimum cumulative index of 2.00 must be attained in courses used to satisfy the minor requirements.
At minimum, 18 courses must be taken to constitute a major and a minor. For students who wish to declare two minors, the minimum is 23. Thus students who declare minors requiring 7 or more courses from within the department (not cognates) can double count courses for the major providing the total number of courses taken for one major and one minor is at least 18; students who declare two six-course minors can double-count courses (not cognates) taken for the major and the two minors providing the total courses taken for the major and two minors is at least 23.