#5
Top STEM school for women (USA Today College Guide)
Majors & Minors

Searching for extrasolar planets, observing how galaxies form and evolve, modeling nuclear reactions, contemplating the origin of the Universe — Union College astronomy is all of this and more.

There is no better place to pursue astronomy than Union College. Here, your physics and astronomy classes will be small and personal, with labs taught by full-time faculty rather than by graduate students, and instruction that is truly characterized by individual attention. 

Research facilities

Our state-of-the-art equipment is comparable to what might be found at larger institutions. We have a 20-inch optical telescope equipped with CCD cameras and a spectrograph and a 7.5-foot radio telescope – both used by students. Four of our faculty members pursue astrophysics research, with specialties in galaxy evolution, active galactic nuclei, star formation and stellar nucleosynthesis.

Other learning opportunities

Astronomy students enjoy the opportunity to work with professors on cutting-edge research funded by the Department of Energy and National Science Foundation research grants.

Some of the best education a young scientist can obtain occurs outside the classroom. The Physics and Astronomy Department provides a variety of extracurricular opportunities with this in mind. Independent research with a faculty colleague is required for the degree in physics or astronomy, and many of our majors go well beyond the minimum requirements, spending summers at Union or at observatories or national laboratories doing research. The results of these student research projects have been presented at national and international conferences, and in student-coauthored articles for scientific journals.

Careers after Union

Here's a look at what some of our alumni have been doing since graduating:

  • Astronomy educator, Astronomical Society of the Pacific
  • Graduate student, University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Creative technologist, Primacy
  • Ph.D. student in astronomy, Yale University
  • Fulbright researcher, Germany
  • Ph.D. student in astrobiology, Penn State