1. Union Home
  2. Summer Program

July 2019

We are no longer accepting applications for the 2018 summer program.



Four weeks. Four courses. Explore the intersections of liberal arts and STEM.

The Union College Summer Program gives talented high school students the opportunity to live, learn and think like a college student in a welcoming, supportive environment. Students explore cutting-edge technologies, learn the ethical and cultural ramifications of technology, and develop essential oral and written communication skills. Prominent faculty work closely with small classes (15 or fewer students) to guide students through the scientific and technical spaces where ideas intersect and new solutions emerge. A small, highly selective independent college in upstate New York, Union College has world-class programs in the liberal arts and engineering.

Summer Program highlights include:

  • Hands-on workshops on microcontrollers using the Arduino platform
  • Ethics in engineering and technology
  • Introduction to data analytics and visualization
  • Entrepreneurship and its historical content
  • Focus on oral and written communications skills


Union College is consistently named among the top 50 colleges in the U.S. Those who study on our campus during high school, no matter what their interests or possible career choices, will reap many rewards, including:

  • intensive scholarly experience through college-level courses with accomplished professors
  • a personal letter of commendation from the Dean of Summer Sessions upon successful completion
  • an orientation and campus tour for program participants and their parents
  • seminars on how to navigate college resources and the application process
  • a faculty adviser to answer questions about the curriculum
  • exposure to current Union students and their research
  • tours of outstanding labs and sophisticated research equipment
  • co-curricular activities that introduce the campus and surrounding areas


Summer Program participants take all four courses each week, with one day devoted to an academic field trip. Weekends are reserved for recreational excursions, such as trips to New York City and Boston. (Note: Courses will not be credit-bearing.)

Explore controversial cases with ethical and technological dimensions while learning to communicate confidently and effectively. Find out the best ways to make a case, argue a point and win a debate. Understand the needs, state of mind and emotions of your listeners. Present your thoughts in an organized fashion, both orally and in writing.

This course will guide students through the process of developing hardware and software for embedded systems. You’ll work in teams to complete guided exercises and design projects as you discover the exciting world of embedded microcontroller systems.

Learn to manipulate and analyze the vast data universe, gain experience in programming, and get the satisfaction of creating data products. Work with data and write statistical code from Day 1 in this hands-on course, which is all about generating insights from big data.  

What makes a great entrepreneur or entrepreneurial project? Study the biographies of successful entrepreneurs, learn about different kinds of entrepreneurship, and consider the social consequences of entrepreneurship. This course examines the meaning and impact of entrepreneurship during the Renaissance, Industrial Revolution and Modern World.


Union College Summer Program participants enjoy: 

  • shared rooms in secure, supervised residence halls that are close to academic buildings and facilities
  • three full, healthy meals a day, designed to appeal to many different food preferences
  • free use of campus facilities, including athletic courts, fitness center, and a swimming and diving pool
  • 24/7 campus safety patrols, a campus-wide emergency notification system and walking escorts 


The Union College Summer Program is geared toward rising high school juniors and seniors. 

Requirements include: 

  • online application
  • high school transcript
  • letter of recommendation from an English teacher
  • English language assessment (TOEFL, Duolingo, IELTS) for non-native speakers
  • personal essay


Cost of attendance is $5,700. This covers:

  • tuition, course fees and all course materials
  • housing on campus
  • a daily meal plan (breakfast, lunch, dinner)
  • library privileges and lab fees
  • all field trips

The program fee does not include travel expenses to Union, visa costs, of the cost of health insurance, books, additional meals or spending money. Students may wish to bring funds for incidentals, shopping and personal items. Our campus Bookstore carries a range of food, clothing, books and other items, and Union is just a short walk from downtown shops and restaurants.

Currently there is no financial aid available.

The Union College campus

Downtown Schenectady, N.Y.


Our campus is, in a word, idyllic. In addition to the beautiful historic buildings, you’ll find a peaceful respite in Jackson’s Garden, the oldest cultivated garden on an American college campus. This certified wildlife habitat is home to more than 100 species of rare plants, trees and shrubs. Students and faculty relax, eat, stroll and study in the garden.

Upstate New York is a particularly beautiful place to be during the summer months. Downtown Schenectady, a 10-15 minute walk from campus, has a lively mix of restaurants, cafés, shops and theaters, and a popular weekly greenmarket. Schenectady (Ska-NECK-ta-dee) comes from the Mohawk word for “near the pines,” and refers to the pine plains between Albany and the Mohawk River. There are miles of hiking and biking trails near campus, and a bike sharing program offers an easy, fun and affordable way to get exercise while exploring the local community.

Schenectady is also within easy reach of major East Coast cities, a short drive from Albany International Airport, and minutes from bus and train stations. Many taxi and rideshare services provide local transport, and there is regional bus transportation to and from major metropolitan areas.