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4 College Junior

Academics: With the trimester system teachers assume that because we only have three classes we can read so much more and they hen all assign too much reading that is impossible to finish.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Freshman

Academics: Mediocre to average at best. My first term here was like high school review. I literally learned nothing in my first trimester. 10,000 dollars down the drain. YAY :/

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Academics: It's a pretty tough school but it all depends on what classes and what teachers you have. There's not too much work but you can study forever if you really want. The trimester system is great though because your schedule can be pretty chill. Three day work weeks 3 hours a day if you make your schedule well.

The teachers care about you and will meet to help you whenever they can.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Sophomore

Academics: I had a ton of work. A TON of work. The classrooms were above average, nothing spectacular though. None of my professors were fabulous, only my "Changing Ireland" class was engaging and very interesting. For the most part I found myself very dissatisfied with the quality of teachers for freshman. Even though the class sizes were very small, we did not engage in anything exciting or stimulating. Coming from the IB program in high school, I thought that was more challenging than anything this year for the humanity courses. However, in my physics, calculus, and other courses, it was extremely challenging (for everyone). The teachers do not have adequate office hours and the tutoring sessions (minus the Calc Help) are not helpful.

The teachers are all very nice. Some are harder to contact than others. Overall, they are nice people; however, that does not mean they care about you though...

4 people found this useful Report
3 College Sophomore

Academics: I am a science and language double major. I have a heavy workload. The term goes fast, but we do no have breaks to look forward to. There are many resources to help students in finding and applying to internships for winter and summer. There are also many resources for job opportunities.

2 people found this useful Report

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Student Author OverviewWhat's this?

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The academics here are challenging, which is something Union is very fond of. Since its founding in 1795, Union’s academics have been some of the strongest in the country. It’s evident from the students’ opinions that academics are the priority of the college and of the professors. College is meant to be challenging, and the professors at Union really push you to not only to perform well on tests and to succeed in the classroom, but also to truly to understand the material presented. The professors make themselves available, day or night, often giving out home phone numbers and e-mail addresses, and they are very helpful when students meet with them. Before finals, professors will usually have a few late-night study sessions for their students and extensive office hours. This comes in handy during some of those late-night cramming sessions or just when you’re freaking out before finals. Class sizes are small, which is something that enhances the classroom experience and offers students the opportunity to become more than just a number.

One difficulty is trying to find your major. Each department feels like a tight-knit family, and when you make a connection with a professor in a particular department, you’ll definitely feel some pressure towards staying in that department. Because of the trimester system, however, there isn’t that much time for many electives. Many students will concentrate on their major, and many find that most of their electives fall into one category and choose a minor based on that interest. It is also not uncommon for people to have two minors at Union. The College encourages its students to take many different classes freshman and sophomore year before declaring a major. It's not uncommon for students to have interdepartmental majors, which is combining two majors with a common link.

Facts & Statistics

Student-Faculty Ratio
Full-Time Instructional Faculty
Part-Time Instructional Faculty
Total FT Faculty
Faculty with Terminal Degree
Average Faculty Salary
Full-Time Retention Rate
Graduation Rate
Programs/Majors Offered
Academic/Career Counseling?
Remedial Services?
Class Sizes
  • Fewer than 20 Students: 70%
  • 20 to 49 Students: 29%
  • 50 or More Students: 1%
Instructional Programs
Occupational: No
Academic: Yes
Continuing Professional: No
Recreational/Avocational: No
Adult Basic Remedial: No
Secondary (High School): No
Special Credit Opportunities
Advanced Placement (AP) Credits: Yes
Dual Credit: No
Life Experience Credits: No
Degrees Awarded
Bachelor's degree
Most Popular Majors
  • Biology and Biological Sciences: 5%
  • Economics and Econometrics: 5%
  • Political Science and Government, General: 4%
  • Psychology: 5%
Special Study Options
  • Study abroad
  • Teacher certification (below the postsecondary level)
Best Places to Study
  • Jackson Gardens in Spring
  • The Nott
  • Olin
  • Schaffer Library
Tips to Succeed
  • Don't fall behind! The trimester system is brutal for slackers.
  • Get off campus often-meet nice upperclassmen who will show you cool places to hike and eat in Albany and Saratoga Springs.
  • Take advantage of the Becker Career Center, especially for summer jobs, as we get out mid-June.
  • Talk to your professors after class-most students want to hide and if you introduce yourself, most professors will remember you.
  • Try to schedule your classes on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.
Did You Know?
  • Union College was the first college to be chartered by the New York Board of Regents, and was also the first liberal-arts college to offer engineering in 1845.
  • The motto of Union College is "Sous les lois de Minerve nous devenons tous freres," or "We all become brothers under the laws of Minerva." The motto is in French because Union was among the first to introduce French on an equal level with Greek and Latin.
  • By the mid 1800s, Union was graduating as many students as any other college in America. Along with Harvard, Yale, and Princeton, it was spoken of as one of the big four.
  • Union boasts some very famous and successful alumni. Some of them are the father of Franklin D. Roosevelt, the grandfather of Winston Churchill, President of the United States Chester A. Arthur, seven cabinet secretaries, 15 United States senators, 91 members of the House of Representatives, 13 governors, 50 important diplomats, more than 200 judges, 40 missionaries, 16 generals, and 90 college presidents, including the first presidents of the University of Illinois, the University of Iowa, the University of Michigan, Vassar College, Smith College, and Elmira College.
  • The first admitted class at Union in 1795 was divided into 16 groups who were in the "Latin Class," "Class of History and Belles Letters," and "Mathematical Class." Today we would call them freshmen, sophomores, and juniors. At the time, there was no senior class or "Philosophical Class."
  • At Union's annual Steinmetz Symposium, classes are cancelled as more than 300 students present their scholarly research and creative work.
  • From 1807 to 1845, all Union students had to show competence in Greek before being admitted.
  • In the early years of Union College, the college president interviewed all prospective students.
  • Until 1970, students were addressed by faculty as "Mr. ____," never by first name. But when women were admitted, they strongly objected to being called "Miss ___," so all students quickly became addressed by their first names.

Student Polls

How strongly do you agree or disagree with each of the following statements?    Based on 17 responses

Strongly disagree
Strongly agree
  • My Gen-Ed requirements are worthwhile and meaningful.
  • It is easy to get the classes you want.
  • The academic advisers are helpful.
  • Grading is generally consistent and fair.
  • There are a variety of interesting courses to take.
  • Students are encouraged to explore a wide range of courses and topics.
  • The workload is easy to manage.
  • There are plenty of good online course options.
  • Teaching assistants (TAs) are used effectively.
  • The course scheduling/registration process is efficient and student-friendly.
  • Classrooms/labs are up-to-date and incorporate new technologies effectively.

How strongly do you agree or disagree with each of the following statements regarding the professors at this school?    Based on 19 responses

Strongly disagree
Strongly agree
  • Professors are approachable and helpful when needed
  • Professors are engaging and easy to understand.
  • Professors are experts in their field.
  • Professors are passionate about the topics they teach.
  • Professors care about their students' success.
  • Professors put a lot of effort into teaching their classes.
  • Professors use teaching assistants (TAs) effectively.

How often do you:    Based on 7 responses

  • Attend class (lectures and recitation)
  • Do all of your homework
  • Do all of your assigned reading
  • Adequately study
  • Take advantage of office hours/study sessions
  • Take notes

Where did this school rank in your list of potential schools when applying?    Based on 7 responses

  • 0% This was my dream school.
  • 86% This was one of my top choices.
  • 14% This was a school I settled for (safety school).
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