Health Professions

Health Professions

The Health Professions office at Union provides specialized advising and other services to students who are interested in pursuing a health profession after graduation. Our primary goal is to provide support so that students can navigate a process that can be complicated, in part because there are many different health-related career options.

Whether you’re considering a career as a doctor, pharmacist, physical therapist, advanced practice provider or allied health professional, one of your first steps should be to contact the admissions office to learn more about the opportunities at Union.

Advisers who help students realize their potential—and their goals

Our faculty and staff are available to assist you from day one. We serve as mentors and coaches, available to discuss the many career options available and the opportunities—in research, volunteer service, internships, and more—here at Union. We are here to answer your questions about all aspects of the professional school application process and to help identify tools to help you build a portfolio for success. For students applying to doctoral programs in medicine, preparation includes a comprehensive evaluation by our Health Professions Advisory Committee, based on the same criteria used by U.S. medical colleges

Clinical, research and leadership opportunities

As a small, top-ranked liberal arts college in an urban center, Union offers significant advantages, including easy access to:

  • Community-based learning opportunities in unique settings, ranging from an in-home palliative care program, community and rehabilitation hospitals, to programs for those with disabilities.
  • A local teaching hospital, within walking distance, where students can attend grand rounds.
  • Research opportunities that include funded opportunities as well as those for credit through academic departments. Research can occur on campus or in the community with healthcare agencies.
  • Student Groups that connect you with your peers and help develop leadership skills. Groups include the Pre-Health Society, Red Cross Club; Union College EMS; Best Buddies; subject-related clubs, such as the biology and chemistry clubs; Colleges Against Cancer and community outreach-related organizations like Project Sunshine, which coordinates visits to a local brain injury center.

Study abroad experiences that focus on healthcare

Study abroad is an excellent way to develop an understanding of other cultures and to prepare for a future of caring for an increasingly diverse patient population. Health professions students can take advantage of any term abroad, including:

  • Study abroad programs in England, Ireland, Italy and Greece that offer possibilities for classes or research opportunities for health and pre-medical studies.
  • Our National Health Systems summer term during which students travel with a faculty mentor to learn about and compare health care delivery sites in the U.S., Canada, England and the Netherlands. This program addresses primary, secondary and tertiary care, community health care and special populations. Lectures in each country cover the historical, political, cultural, economic and social factors that shape the health care system.
  • A summer mini-term in Tianjin, China, hosted by Tianjin University of Traditional Medicine, one of the oldest and most renowned schools of its kind. Up to 15 participants focus on understanding the theoretical foundations and practices of traditional Chinese medicine. The program includes classes, seminars, clinical and pharmacy visits, and travel to key sites within China.

Professional school Acceptance information

Union graduates have earned places in the nation’s top health professions programs. Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Tufts University School of Medicine, University of Connecticut School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine, New England College of Optometry, and Duke University Physician Assistant Program are among the highly respected institutions that have accepted Union graduates in recent years. For a complete list, click here.

Early acceptance programs with Albany Medical College

For high school students applying to Union College:

Union's Leadership in Medicine program offers early acceptance to Albany Medical College for select students. In this program, students are not required to take the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT). The Leadership in Medicine Program is designed for students who want to play a leadership role in 21st-century medicine. The program offers the opportunity to earn bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in eight years as follows:

  • B.S. from Union College
  • M.S. or M.B.A. from Clarkson University
  • M.D. from Albany Medical College

Applicants must hold US citizenship or be a US permanent resident; residents of foreign countries will not be considered for this program.

Read more Leadership in Medicine information here or contact the Union College Admissions Office at (518) 388-6112 or

For students currently attending Union College:

Albany Medical College (AMC) offers an MD Early Assurance Program (EAP) that enables successful Union College students to bypass the MCAT and the regular application process. Students apply to Albany Medical College at the end of sophomore year and, if accepted, are assured admission to AMC’s MD program two years later. This assumes the student stays in compliance with academic and professional conduct standards.

Please note: Applicant must be a current Union College student. Applicants must hold US citizenship or be a US permanent resident; residents of foreign countries will not be considered for this program.

Read more about the Early Assurance Program here or contact the Health Professions Office at (518) 388-6300.

A flexible trimester system

Union uses a trimester calendar, which runs from September through mid-June. Students typically take three courses per 10-week trimester. This system provides the opportunity to take a greater variety of courses and gives students more flexibility in scheduling. That is especially important for health professions students, whose schedules often include a term abroad, internships, research, and community service—all of which will strengthen your application to professional programs.