First-Year Preregistration

First-Year Preregistration

The Union academic experience offers an enormous variety of opportunities. We encourage you to take full advantage of our curriculum to construct a balanced program of study. Explore a variety of disciplines to build on the interests you have already developed and discover new areas of study that will inspire you. To assist you in this process, do review this site.

Course Preregistration is your chance to tell us about yourself — your general areas of interest and, if you know, what specific plans you have for a major and course of study while at Union College. It is also how you will register for your first set of classes.

What You Need to Do…

All incoming first-year students will be asked to complete an Advising and Registration form. This form includes sections for language study, areas of interest, and course preferences­­ as well as a few other questions, including your housing preference.

Transfer student registration information can be found here.

Where is the Advising and Registration Form Located?

The Advising and Registration form is available in the Applicant Portal.

Please keep in mind that you have until May 15 to complete the survey. You may change your responses at any point until the deadline.

NOTE: You will want to check your Union College email periodically since we will be communicating with you now and throughout the summer.

What Union Will Do For You …

The completed Advising and Registration form will be our roadmap for assigning you to your academic advisor, your First Year Preceptorial, and your Minerva House. We will also refer to your form responses when we determine what courses to assign you to for your first term on campus. We use your form responses in place of the usual course registration process only once during your time at Union, as you prepare to attend Union College for the first time.

We'll let you know who your academic advisor is in mid- to late-June. Fall course schedule information will follow in early- to mid- August. You will have an opportunity to request changes to your course schedule after you arrive for orientation, but before classes begin.

Things to Keep In Mind as You Complete Your Advising and Registration Form

You will be taking three courses in the fall. Aside from Preceptorial, the courses for your first term (two or three depending on your Preceptorial assignment) will be assigned based on your ranking on this form, your interests in various areas of study, and the availability of the courses throughout the academic year. Please rank courses in order of preference; we will do our best to accommodate you.

While a few majors require particular courses in your first term, it is generally a good idea to explore a variety of courses. The following two websites contain helpful information regarding the coursework that first-year students should consider depending on the major(s) they are interested in:

Major-Specific Advising Tips for First-Year Students

Majors at Union: Quick Guide to Opening Course Sequences

Keep in mind that after you arrive on campus you will be selecting courses twice more for the academic year: once prior to winter term and once prior to spring term.

If you have questions, check the “key contacts page” or email

The survey questionnaire also links to our Honor Code tutorial. Be sure to complete the tutorial, as your pre-registration will not be finalized until you have done so.

Transfer students: refer to additional information about registration and transfer credits in your deposit acknowledgement letter from the Office of Admissions, and at our Transfer Student webpage.

Questions? or (518) 388-6234

Placement Exams


ALL students must take the Mathematics Placement Exam for placement in the appropriate math course. One Quantitative and Mathematical Reasoning (QMR) course is required of every student. You MUST take the Mathematics Placement Exam by July 15.

If you are not planning on taking Calculus, you should not sign up for Mathematics in the Fall, rather you should explore your interests first. The Mathematics Department offers interesting non-Calculus alternatives to take later on. You should take the exam before the July 15 deadline regardless of your plans for fall term.


The College has a two-course science requirement. At least one of these courses must have a laboratory component. Many of you will fulfill this requirement during the first year by taking the standard introductory science courses. You are certainly encouraged to explore these courses in Biology, Chemistry, Geology and Physics if you are interested in learning about these subjects.

The science departments offer specially designed Common Curriculum science courses for students whose main interests lie outside of the sciences and engineering. There is no need to take a science course your first term, unless you see one listed that is of particular interest. Spaces in these courses may be limited.


ALL students contemplating a science major, a pre-health track in any major, or a Mechanical Engineering or Biomedical Engineering major — as well as all students in the LIM program — must take the Chemistry Placement Exam. The placement exam is on-line through Union’s Nexus page here. You MUST take the exam by July 15.

If you do not have access to the internet, please call my office at (518) 388-6234 so that we can forward you hard copies of the exams.

First-Year Preceptorial

This is a required course for all students. Students will be placed in these courses first, after the May 15 due date for the Advising and Registration form in the applicant portal.

  • You will select six fall FYP and six winter FYP sections.
  • Your survey responses allow us to connect your housing selection to your FYP.

For More Information on First-Year Preceptorial please visit:

FYP Mission and Learning Outcomes

Common Curriculum

The Common Curriculum embodies Union’s commitment to build intellectual foundations, explore the Liberal Arts, and create dynamic connections across boundaries as you discover new interests and contribute to humanity. The courses in the Common Curriculum create the essential foundation of a Union Education in the Liberal Arts. Through them you begin to find the creative intersections of ideas that contribute to society and touch lives.