New frontiers for science, engineering and the liberal arts

STEM at Union

In 1845, Union became the nation’s first liberal arts institution to offer engineering, and we have been revolutionizing the integration of traditional liberal arts, science and engineering ever since.

We offer a diverse number of programs in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math). Our facilities rival professional and graduate-level resources, and our talented faculty are passionate about their teaching and research.

Union's focus on integrating the liberal arts and STEM will prepare you to understand the dynamic demands of our tech-centric society, and to address age-old questions about the human condition through courses in the arts, humanities and social sciences. We are equipping students with the knowledge, experience and wisdom to lead in emerging fields that cross disciplines, and to make an extraordinary difference in the world, now and across multiple tomorrows.

It's why students come to Union today.

Zineb Hajjaj '20 holds an aerogel window pane laser-etched with the Union College seal.
The Crochet Lab
Biology professor Nicole Theodosiou with students

Professor Chad Orzel

There are many good reasons to study STEM at Union. Chad Orzel, associate professor of physics, weighs in on a few of them. He is a popular scientific author (Breakfast with Einstein: The Exotic Physics of Everyday Objects; How to Teach Physics to Your Dog; and other books). He blogs at

Why study STEM at Union?

“Our students are engaged in research at a level that’s just not possible at many other institutions. We have facilities and equipment that are comparable to those at larger universities, such as our particle accelerator. But at those schools, the facilities are mostly controlled by graduate and post- doctoral students. Our undergrads are deeply involved in the operation of everything we have.”

Do you get to know your students?

“As with many other things at Union, the most important element of our science teaching is building relationships between students and faculty. We work so closely with students on research projects that over four years, our top students become akin to research colleagues. And because our classes are so small, we interact with our students on a variety of levels.”

What’s exciting about Union’s undergraduate research?

“It spans all disciplines. At our annual research day, Steinmetz Symposium, it’s exciting to see so many students cross academic boundaries in unexpected ways— like the electrical engineering major who created digital tap shoes and performed in the dance festival.”

What makes Union STEM students more competitive after graduation?

“I never fail to be impressed with how well our students express themselves in public. Beyond developing the ability to do a narrow technical presentation in their field, our students learn to speak with knowledge and confidence on a wide range of topics to many different audiences, whether on campus, or at local or national research conferences. These communication skills are essential in almost any line of work.”

STEM majors & minors