Academic Catalog 2020-2021 
    Jun 13, 2024  
Academic Catalog 2020-2021 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]


The Admissions Committee is concerned with the candidate’s ability to benefit from and contribute to the academic, intellectual, and extracurricular life of the College.

Three factors are considered in evaluating each application:

  • The candidate’s record in secondary school, including grades, the challenge and quality of courses taken, and rank in class
  • The recommendations from the secondary school
  • The personal qualities and extracurricular record of the candidate

The admissions committee attempts to broaden geographic and socioeconomic distribution of the student body by giving preference to students who live or attend schools in regions not well represented in the College and to students who will broaden the range of backgrounds and lifestyles within the College community.

The candidate’s potential contribution to the Union community is also taken into consideration. Union is a close-knit community and, as such, depends heavily upon the constructive participation of each individual in the life of the College.

Application and Admission Procedures

Applications should be filed by November 1 for Early Action, Early Decision 1 and the Leadership in Medicine Program and by January 15 for Early Decision 2, Regular Decision and the 3 + 3 Law Program in the final year in secondary school. The Admissions Committee generally announces its decisions in December and at the end of March and no later than April 15.  There is a $60 application fee.

Admitted candidates must reserve places by paying the $750 admissions deposit on or before May 1. The admitted applicant then becomes a degree candidate entitled to a place in the class with all the rights and privileges of a Union student. Reservations submitted without the deposit are considered incomplete. If the degree candidate withdraws for any reason or is removed from candidacy for the degree before successfully completing three terms at Union, the admissions deposit is retained by the College in consideration of the degree candidate’s placement in the class. After the student successfully completes three terms, if all obligations of the student to the College, financial and otherwise, are satisfied, the deposit may be refunded upon withdrawal (within the specified guidelines), removal, or graduation.

Requirements for Admissions: The Admissions Committee will carefully consider applications from candidates whose preparation is unusual and who, for good reason, do not meet the norms as stated below. Normally, a minimum of 16 units (courses) of secondary school preparation are required for admission. These should include certain fundamentals such as English, mathematics, science, social studies, and a world language. The following units are recommended:

For Liberal Arts: Students should have four years of English, at least two years of a world language, and a minimum of two and one-half years of college preparatory mathematics. Students planning to major in chemistry, physics, and mathematics should have at least three and one-half years of mathematics.

For Engineering: Students planning to complete the engineering curriculum should have elementary and intermediate algebra, geometry, trigonometry, chemistry, physics, and four years of English. Although more advanced mathematics work is not required, it will prove helpful.

For the Leadership in Medicine Program: Students applying for the accelerated B.S./M.S. or M.B.A./M.D. program sponsored by Union College, Clarkson University, and Albany Medical College must present at least four years of English, one year each of biology and chemistry, and at least three years of college preparatory mathematics. A year of physics is recommended but not required.

Interviews and Group Information Sessions: Interviews are strongly recommended. Appointments may be made in advance of the proposed visit by calling (518) 388-6112 or using Personal interviews are offered weekdays from May 1 to January  31 for students who will be or are seniors. Off campus interviews are offered by alumni. Register at from August 15 to December 15.

Student-guided tours are available in conjunction with group information sessions weekdays and on many Saturdays throughout the year.  Transfers may visit and interview at any time. Contact the admissions office for daily schedules or consult

School Reports and Recommendations: The secondary school report form, requesting a recommendation from the school counselor and a transcript of the academic record, is part of the Common or Coalition Application. The transcript should include a listing of the courses in progress as well as completed courses. A report of mid-year grades is required. A letter of recommendation from a secondary school teacher who has taught the student is also expected. The recommendation may be submitted through the Common or Coalition Application or sent directly to the admissions office by the teacher. All materials must be on file with the admissions office by the deadline for the program and no later than January 15.

College Entrance Examinations: Applicants may submit standardized test scores and choose to have the scores considered with the application.  For most applicants, standardized testing is optional. The SAT and two Subject exams (in mathematics and a science) or the ACT are required for applicants to the Leadership in Medicine program. for 2020-21 admissions cycle, Subject tests are not required for the Leadership in Medicine program.  For the 3+3 Accelerated Law Program, applicants must submit either the SAT or the ACT. The November test date is the last test date available to applicants to Leadership in Medicine (for students entering the fall of 2021, December is the last test month; December for the 3+3 Accelerated Law Program. Testing is strongly recommended for U.S. residents for whom English is not a first language; the TOEFL, ACT or SAT may fulfill that requirement.

Early Action:  The deadline for early action is November 1.  Early action applications are evaluated in the same way as regular decision applications.  Students receiving offers of admission in early action may apply to other colleges and will have until May 1 to accept or decline Union’s offer.  Early action decisions will be released in the third week of December.

Early Decision: A significant number of Union’s applicants request early decision. The College recommends this program to all candidates who have decided that Union is their first choice college. Early decision candidates are favored in evaluation.  A candidate who wishes to be considered for early decision must check the appropriate space on the application for admission.  An early decision application carries with it the commitment that the candidate will enroll if admitted. Regular applications to other colleges may be filed - with the understanding that these will be withdrawn if the candidate is admitted to Union.

Applications and requests for early decision must be received by the College by November 1 for Option I or January 15 for Option II. All other forms and credentials, including the Early Decision Agreement, must also be received by November 15 or January 15, respectively. Early Decision candidates will be notified of the decision by December 15 for Option I and by February 7 for Option II. Candidates not offered admission under the Early Decision Program may either be deferred to the regular applicant group and reconsidered or denied admission.

Early Admission: In recent years, a number of high school students have expressed an interest in accelerated completion of high school requirements and early admission to the College. The admissions committee will consider candidates for early admission providing that, on the basis of high school achievement, they have demonstrated the potential to do college-level work. Interviews are required of candidates requesting early admission.

Deferral:  Union College allows any student who has paid the enrollment deposit to defer entry for one year at a time (gap year) for reasons such as athletes, health, military service, community service, travel and work.  The deferral may be renewed for a second year.  Requests to defer must be received by July 1 and submitted to the Director of Admissions, Ann Fleming Brown, at browna@unionedu for approval.  Students who choose this option commit to attending Union in the year after the gap year.  Students also agree not to apply to other colleges during the gap year.  Students my take courses at another institution, but must not be fully matriculated.  Union accepts up to four AP results, IB results and/or college classes for credit.  Applicants for financial aid must submit the updated CSS Profile and FAFSA by January 15 of the gap year.  Merit scholarships are guaranteed at the same level for the following year.

International Students

In addition to the application requirements described above, applicants who are citizens of other countries must be proficient in reading, listening, writing, and speaking English as English is the language of instruction at Union. The Admissions Committee strongly recommends that all international students (for whom English is not their first language) submit the results of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or IELTS examination. The SAT or ACT is also strongly recommended for international applicants.

Limited financial aid is available to non-U.S. citizens. Union expects international applicants to be able to contribute a minimum of $7,500 (USD) each year toward the cost of attending. All aid is determined by the College’s evaluation of a family’s financial contribution. To apply for aid, non-U.S. citizens must submit the International CSS Profile. Canadian citizens are required to file the CSS PROFILE form with the appropriate agency before February 1. Additional information is available at

Transfer Students

Union welcomes the applications of students wishing to transfer from other two-year and four-year colleges. In making its decisions, the admissions committee considers college work completed and the recommendations of appropriate officials at the college presently attended. Students should arrange for transcripts of all college work, a college report, a secondary school transcript and recommendations to be submitted to the Admissions Office. An interview is recommended, but not required.

Financial aid for transfer students is limited and depends on the economic need of the student. Candidates applying for financial aid must submit the College Scholarship Service’s PROFILE Form and the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) Form to their respective processing agencies.

The admissions process for transfer students follows a separate timetable. For admission to the fall term, transfer applicants must submit their completed applications by April 15. For entry into the winter term, the deadline is November 1; while for the spring term, the date is February 1. Applicants are notified of admissions decision on a rolling basis. Admission for spring and winter terms is on a space available basis only.

Union has articulation agreements with Berkshire County Community College in Pittsfield, MA; and SUNY Schenectady County Community College in Schenectady, NY (for children of homeowners in the College Park neighborhood).

Visiting Students

Occasionally, non-matriculated students may wish to attend the Union on a full-time basis. These students are considered visiting students. They may take courses full-time at the College for a maximum of two trimesters, at which time they must apply for transfer admission and be admitted before continuing their studies. The Registrar’s Office is the entry point for Visiting Students.  High school students who wish to take a course or courses at Union should inquire about that possibility at the Registrar’s Office.

Admissions Timetable

Application Deadlines:

Regular decision deadline is January 15.

Early action deadline is November 1.

Early decision deadlines are November 1 or January 15.

Leadership in Medicine deadline is November 1.

3+3 Accelerated Law Program deadline is January 15.

Transfer applications should be filed by April 15 for Fall term, November 1 for Winter term, and February 1 for Spring term.

Entrance Examinations: Standardized testing is optional for most applicants. If the candidate submits testing, the SAT and SAT Subject Tests or the ACT must be completed by January of the senior year (by November/December for accelerated programs).

Interviews: Individual interviews are strongly recommended and must be completed by the end of January.  Register at

Financial Aid Applicants: Applicants must file the College Scholarship Service’s PROFILE Form and the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) with the appropriate agencies no later than February 1. Citizens of other countries file the International CSS Profile.

Candidate Reply Date: Accepted candidates reserve places in the first-year class by May 1.

Admissions Office Hours: Weekdays, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Selected Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., April, July through November.

Campus Tours: Weekdays from the Admissions Office and on selected Saturdays, April, July through November.