Union College’s focus on experiential learning, research and study across disciplines encourages students to explore, question, think creatively and take risks.
Research is a high point of Union’s academic program. Students have the opportunity to engage in hands-on research experiences that many larger universities reserve for their graduate students. Each year, all students who have participated in research can share their work at the Steinmetz Symposium, an academic tradition for 25 years. Parents, professors and classmates enjoy hundreds of presentations and exhibits by student researchers.
How can students spend their time outside the classroom? We offer many choices. One highlight is our Minerva House system, an innovative approach to bridging the gap between social life and intellectual life. The program is totally inclusive. All students are members of a house during their four years on campus. Each house has its own student-run governing council and a generous budget for academic and social events.
We also offer a rich Greek life experience to those students who want to pursue a fraternity or sorority. Beginning in their sophomore year, students can choose from among 20 Greek organizations, 10 of which have campus housing.
Living & Dining
Ninety percent of Union students live on campus all four years, in residence halls, theme houses, campus apartments and Minerva houses. After the first year, housing is determined through a lottery system based on seniority, and students can select their roommates. Dining at Union also features an array of options and venues, from the main resident dining halls, the student-run Ozone Café and the sushi bar to kosher, vegetarian and ethnic fare. Students keep a declining balance or debit account that can be used in all Union dining locations and for vending services.
At Union, student life is rich and varied. In addition to Minerva activities, students can select from more than 100 clubs and organizations. They can share their culture while learning about others, and they can take part in academic societies designed to teach about their prospective careers. There are also a host of opportunities for volunteering and leadership. The Kenney Community Center connects students to programs in the local community, from America Reads to Habitat for Humanity.
A city that has seen vibrant changes over the past decade, Schenectady combines fascinating history with world-class culture. New restaurants and businesses have moved downtown, many of them near Proctors Theater, creating a lively environment for students and the community.
Careers after Union
Union is ranked #8 among the nation’s liberal arts colleges for return on investment by PayScale.com. This year, 60 percent of our graduating seniors went on to employment, 30 percent pursued further education, and 10 percent chose to travel, volunteer or work as Union Minerva Fellows. Students are pursuing careers at General Electric, IBM, Hearst, ESPN and the Peace Corps, as well as in academics, entertainment, law, medicine, the military and their own entrepreneurial ventures.
Applying to Union
- Use the Common Application (www.commonapp.org) or Coalition Application (www.coalitionforcollegeaccess.org)
- Early Action applications are due Nov. 1, with decisions given in December
- Early Decision I applications are due Nov. 1, with decisions given in December
- Early Decision II applications are due Jan. 15, with decisions given in about one month
- Regular Decision applications are due Jan. 15, with decisions expected by late March
- For students applying for financial aid, the CSS profile and the FAFSA are due the same day as the application, as listed above.
The Class of 2026
- Union received 8,458 applications
- 575 students
- 24% domestic students of color
- 10% international
- 13% first generation college students
- 30% Early Decision students
- SAT middle 50%: 1330-1470
- ACT middle 50%: 29-34
Union Students at a Glance
- 2,050 full-time undergraduates from 40 states and territories and 50 countries
- 45% women and 55% men
- 23% domestic students of color; 10% international
- Student-faculty ratio is 9:1
- The eight most popular majors are economics, psychology, biology, mechanical engineering, political science, biomedical engineering, history and neuroscience.