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807 Union St
Schenectady, NY 12308-2311
p. 518-388-6000
w. www.union.edu/

Union College

Union College Rating: 4.2/5 (6 votes)

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Union College is a private liberal arts college that was founded in 1795. In 2011, Union College was ranked among the 50 Best National Liberal Arts Colleges. The school year is split into trimesters and students have an extended winter break. Class sizes are very small, with a student to faculty ratio of 11:1. Departments at Union include Humanities, Social Sciences, Natural Sciences, Engineering & Computer Science, and Multidisciplinary Studies. The most popular majors at this school are Political Science & Government, Psychology, Economics, History, and Biological Sciences. Students can design their own majors. 60% of Union students participate in a study abroad or international travel experience.

Union College also offers accelerated professional degree programs with its partner schools. Students can graduate from Albany Law School in 6 years or get a medical degree from Albany Medical College in 8 years. There are accelerated master’s degree programs in the business and education fields as well.

Most Popular Fields of Study

Unique Programs

A few years ago, Union College implemented a new system of on-campus housing because Greek life was dominating the social environment on campus. The administration created and funded a non-residential “house system,” where all freshmen are randomly assigned to one of 7 Minerva Houses. The houses are student and faculty residence communities where students live, take classes, and participate in extracurricular activities. Each house has its own student council, which is elected each year by the house members and is led by a faculty member and a student representative.


Admission to Union College is more selective. Applicants can use the common application. Online applications require no fee. The Early Decision deadline is November 15, while the Regular Decision and Early Decision II application deadlines are on January 15. Applicants must submit official transcripts, letters of recommendation, and an essay, but standardized testing is optional.

Transfer students may apply to any of the school’s trimesters. The deadline for fall term applications is May 1, the deadline for winter term applications is November 1, and Spring term applications must be submitted by February 1. Transfer students and international students may need to use different procedures, so they should refer to the website or contact the Office of Admissions for more information about the admissions process.

Financial Aid

Union College offers a financial aid program that includes more than $40 million in aid from the school itself as well as from federal, state, institutional and other organizations. More than $32 million in scholarships directly from the school are awarded each year. More than 60% of the students at Union College receive some form of financial aid. Financial assistance comes in the form of grants, loans, scholarships, and work-study. The Financial Aid Office, which is located on the third floor of Grant Hall on the Union campus, provides information and assistance with the financial aid application process. Students and their families are encouraged to contact the office for help or guidance.

Student Financial Aid Details

Ranks 4668th for the average student loan amount.
Secrets to getting the best scholarships and financial aid in New York.


Each of the apartment-style Minerva Houses has special events such as parties, movie nights, and coffee houses. Each house also has a fully equipped kitchen so that students can prepare their own meals. Theme houses allow students who share a particular interest to live together.

Some popular places where students relax include the Jackson’s Gardens, the West Beach lawn, and the Minerva Houses. Students also frequent Ruspi’s, Gespetto’s, Pinhead Susan’s, and Manhattan Exchange for some fun nightlife. Students can grab coffee at the Starbucks on campus, perform plays at the Yulman Theater, watch movies at the Campus Center, have a drink at Chet’s (the on-campus bar), or visit the gallery in the Arts building. Some of the best places to study on campus are the Schaffer Library, the Nott, and Olin. There is a relatively new gym on campus as well.

There are more than 100 student clubs and organizations, which include more than 15 fraternities and sororities. Greek life at colleges and universities in the United States is generally believed to have been founded at Union College. Students can also do volunteer work in downtown Schenectady.

Student Enrollment Demographics

Student Graduation Demographics


Union College’s intercollegiate sports teams, known as the Dutchmen, compete at the National Collegiate Athletic Association Division III level, and participate in the Liberty League. The Union men’s and women’s ice hockey teams compete in the Division I Eastern College Athletic Conference Hockey League.

Intercollegiate athletics is offered in 25 sports. For male students, there is baseball, soccer, basketball, crew, swimming, cross-country, ice hockey, football, lacrosse, tennis, and indoor and outdoor track. For women, there is basketball, cross-country, crew, field hockey, ice hockey, soccer, softball, lacrosse, swimming, tennis, indoor and outdoor track, and volleyball.

The school mascot is a costumed man known as Dutch and the school color is garnet. Other notable teams include the women’s soccer team and the men’s football team. Intramural sports such as soccer, softball, broomball, and basketball, are very popular at Union College. The Minerva Houses also compete with each other in sports events.


Every year, Union has an event called the Steinmetz Symposium, during which classes are canceled and hundreds of students present their academic, research, or creative projects. Also, students celebrate the changing seasons each year at Springfest, which is a day of concerts that features celebrity performers like Sean Kingston and Matt Nathanson.


  • Chester A. Arthur, 21st President of the United States
  • Kate White, editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan magazine
  • Richard Templeton, CEO of Texas Instruments
  • Baruch Samuel Blumberg, Nobel-prize winning doctor who discovered the Hepatitis B virus.
  • Alan Horn, producer of Seinfeld and the Harry Potter movies
  • Rawson Marshall Thurber, director of Dodgeball and Magnum, P.I.
  • Ilene Landress, executive producer of The Sopranos

Additional School Information

Union College’s motto is “Sous les lois de Minerve nous devenons tous freres,” which means that “We all become brothers under the laws of Minerva.” The motto is in French because Union College was one of the first schools to place an equal emphasis on French as on Greek or Latin.

Union College was the first liberal arts college to offer an Engineering program, and it was also once referred to as one of the “Big Four,” along with Harvard, Yale, and Princeton.


  • Gordon, Lily, and Aaron Edelstein. Union College: Off the Record. Pittsburgh: College Prowler, 2005.
  • “Union College.” Education. U.S. News & World Report, 2011. Web. 9 May 2011.
  • Union College. Union College. 2011. Web. 9 May 2011.

Information Summary

Ranks 6th in New York and 42nd overall
See the entire top 2,000 colleges and universities list

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Contributed Photos

building :: Union College field :: Union College Nott Memorial :: Union College

Campus Crime Statistics

  Incidents per 100 Students
Aggravated assault N/A N/A
Murder & Non-Negligent Manslaughter N/A N/A
Rape 1 0.05
Robbery 1 0.05
Arson N/A N/A
Burglary 6 0.27
Larceny N/A N/A
Vehicle theft N/A N/A
Arrest N/A N/A

Local Crime Statistics

  Incidents per 100 People
Aggravated assault 382 0.58
Murder & Non-Negligent Manslaughter 4 0.01
Forcible Rape 43 0.06
Robbery 204 0.31
Arson N/A N/A
Burglary 904 1.36
Larceny 2,011 3.03
Vehicle theft 183 0.28

Demographics – Main Campus and Surrounding Areas

Reported area around or near Schenectady, NY 12308-2311
Surrounding communitySmall city (inside urban area, pop. under 100,000)
Total Population13,346 (13,346 urban / N/A rural)
Households5,832 (2.25 people per house)
Median Household Income$33,105
Families3,173 (2.94 people per family)

Carnegie Foundation Classification

Baccalaureate Colleges — Arts & Sciences
UndergraduateArts & sciences focus, no graduate coexistence
Undergraduate PopulationFull-time four-year, more selective, lower transfer-in
EnrollmentExclusively undergraduate four-year
Size & SettingSmall four-year, highly residential

General Characteristics

Title IV EligibilityParticipates in Title IV federal financial aid programs
Highest offeringBachelor's degree
Calendar SystemTrimester
Years of college work requiredN/A
Variable Tuition
Religious AffiliationN/A
Congressional District3620

Special Learning Opportunities

Distance LearningN/A
ROTC — Army / Navy / Air Force  —   /   / 
Study Abroad
Weekend College
Teacher Certification

Student Tuition Costs and Fees

Ranks 67th for total cost of attendance
  In District In State Out of State
Effective as of 2014-09-19
FT Undergraduate Tuition $46,314 $46,314 $46,314
FT Undergraduate Required Fees $471 $471 $471
PT Undergraduate per Credit Hour $1,544 $1,544 $1,544
FT Graduate Tuition N/A N/A N/A
FT Graduate Required Fees N/A N/A N/A
PT Graduate per Credit Hour N/A N/A N/A
Total Cost of Attendance — On-Campus $60,150 $60,150 $60,150
Total Cost of Attendance — Off-Campus w/out Family $48,285 $48,285 $48,285
Total Cost of Attendance — Off-Campus with Family $50,595 $50,595 $50,595

Student Tuition Cost History and Trends

Prior year cost comparison
  In District In State Out of State
Published Tuition & Fees $43,602 $45,219 $43,602 $45,219 $43,602 $45,219
  Cost (regardless of residency)
Effective as of 2014-09-19
Books & Supplies $532 $542
On-Campus – Room & Board $10,671 $11,070
On-Campus – Other Expenses $1,245 $1,269
Off-Campus w/out Family – Room & Board N/A(N/C)
Off-Campus w/out Family – Other Expenses N/A(N/C)
Off-Campus with Family – Room & Board $3,107 $3,157

Admission Details

Effective as of 2014-09-19
Application Fee RequiredN/A
Undergraduate Application FeeN/A
Graduate Application FeeN/A
First Professional Application FeeN/A
Applicants 5,725 (3,027 male / 2,698 female)
Admitted 2,134 (1,085 male / 1,049 female)
Admission rate 37%
First-time Enrollment 559 (291 male / 268 female)
FT Enrollment 559 (291 male / 268 female)
PT Enrollment N/A (N/A male / N/A female)
Total Enrollment2,246

Admission Criteria

 = Required,   = Recommended,   = Neither required nor recommended
Open Admissions
Secondary School GPA / Rank / Record  /   / 
College Prep. Completion
Formal competency demoN/A
Admission test scoresN/A
Other testsN/A

Admission Credits Accepted

Dual Credit
Life Experience
Advanced Placement (AP)

Athletics - Association Memberships

Sports / Athletic Conference Memberships NCAA
NCAA Football Conference Upstate Collegiate Athletic Association
NCAA Basketball Conference Upstate Collegiate Athletic Association
NCAA Baseball Conference Upstate Collegiate Athletic Association
NCAA Track & Field Conference Upstate Collegiate Athletic Association

ACT Test Admission

91st for 75pctl scores
Applicants submitting ACT results 22%
Verbal scores (25/75 %ile) 26 / 32
Math scores (25/75 %ile) 27 / 32
Cumulative scores (25/75 %ile) 28 / 31

SAT Test Admission

83rd for 75pctl scores
Applicants submitting SAT results 45%
Verbal scores (25/75 %ile) 590 / 680
Math scores (25/75 %ile) 630 / 720
Cumulative scores (25/75 %ile) 1220 / 1400

Student Services

Remedial Services
Academic / Career Counseling
PT Cost-defraying Employment
Career Placement
On-Campus Day Care
Library Facility

Student Living

First-time Room / Board Required
Dorm Capacity1,944
Meals per Week19
Room Fee$6,285
Board Fee$5,178

Faculty Compensation / Salaries

Ranks 318th for the average full-time faculty salary.
Effective as of 2014-09-20
Tenure system N/A
Average FT Salary $94,088 ($99,003 male / $82,259 female)
Number of FT Faculty 212 (124 male / 88 female)
Number of PT Faculty 247
FT Faculty Ratio 0.9 : 1
Total Benefits $8,777,653

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