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  • Writer's pictureAlison Merzel

School Spotlight: Union College

Updated: May 8, 2023

If you aren't familiar with this liberal arts college located in the capital region of New York state in Schenectady, it is absolutely worth a closer look. Students looking for an interdisciplinary education, blending humanities with the arts, social sciences and STEM fields, will find outstanding opportunities at Union College.

Here are 5 Fun Facts about Union College:

1) Union is a residential college, with 92% of students living on campus for all four years. First-year students looking to build an even closer knit community can opt to live in one of seven Minerva Houses, academic and social residences that have their own student-run council and faculty advisor. Upper classmen who wish to connect over similar interests can opt to live in a Theme House, covering topics like the arts, civil liberties, literature, service, sustainability, LGBTQ+ and more.

2) Union's academic calendar offers three 10-week trimesters, giving students more opportunities to explore from a variety of courses spanning 58 majors and minors. 75% of Union students study more than one discipline. Union has three engineering programs accredited by ABET. Over 600 courses are offered in the arts. Through the Organizing Theme major, students can design their own academic program. Any student who achieves a 3.3 GPA at the beginning of a term may add a 4th course for free.

3) Union offers some interesting combined degree programs, like the 3+3 Accelerated Law Program, giving students the chance to earn a B.S. or B.A. in 3 years followed by a JD degree in conjunction with the Albany Law School. The Leadership in Medicine (LIM) program is an 8 year program that earns students a B.S., a M.S. or MBA in Healthcare Management from Clarkson University, and an M.D. from the Albany Medical College.

4) Union has a high success rate of helping students find internships and full-time employment following graduation. The Becker Career Center is a great resource for student. 85% of students complete at least one internship. Union's location in the "Tech Valley" and in the capital region of New York State facilitates some of these opportunities and makes it easy for students to pursue interests in government or politics.

5) Student at Union are described a passionate, involved, and self-motivated. Union offers 26 athletic teams - all are part of Division III Liberty League, with the exception of men and women's ice hockey, which is a Division I sport. Students can choose from over 100 clubs and organizations and there truly is something for everyone with clubs ranging from Philosophy Club to Big Brothers/Big Sisters to Beekeeping Club and Hip Hop.

With about 2,200 students, you get to know your classmates and professors, but always find a new face. I got to hear a presentation by Vernon Castillo, Senior Associate Dean of Admissions and Rachel McNeil, the Assistant Dean of Admissions, who is the admissions representative for Ohio and is a Union alumna. Rachel shared that you will always find a familiar face in a crowd at Union and one you have never seen. Her best friend from college was someone she met her senior year and she never felt like the size was too small. The campus has so many opportunities that it is only a benefit for those who want to dive in.

Union is currently offering limited on-campus tours over the weekend and numerous virtual opportunities to connect with admissions.

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