Union College

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Union College is a private, liberal arts college located in the upstate NY city of Schenectady. The picturesque campus is home to just over 2,000 students. The small campus combined with its competitive academics makes Union a magnet for students who are searching for the feel of a tight knit community. It is the oldest planned college campus in the United States and is known by most for its unique 16-sided Nott Memorial building.


Stay: The Landing |  Breakfast: Peter Pause

Lunch: Clinton's Ditch  | Dinner: Johnny's

Visitor Information: Tour Union College

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Transportation: Union is located 25 minutes west of Albany, three hours west of Boston and three hours north of New York City. The campus is just 15 minutes from Albany International, with taxi and rental car services available at the airport. Union is also easily accessible by Amtrak and Megabus, both located on State Street, approximately a 10-15 minute walk or short taxi ride from campus.  

Stay: The Landing is the newest and most popular hotel in town, located adjacent to the Rivers Casino on the banks of the Mohawk River, less than a ten-minute walk to campus. The Courtyard by Marriott at Mohawk Harbor is also located at the same development as the casino. Before The Landing opened, the Glen Sanders Mansion, a historic inn located along the Mohawk River, just a couple of miles from campus was most families top choice. Other popular options include a new Homewood Suites across Freemans Bridge in Glenville and The Doubletree.  Further away in Albany, book a room at  The Morgan State House Inn, an elegantly restored 19th century brownstone, or the more conventional Renaissance Albany Hotel. 

Coffee: Start your morning at Ambition Bistro on Jay Street. The quaint storefront and vintage decor make this a popular spot; students also head back to Ambition at lunchtime for excellent sandwiches. Another student favorite is The Happy Cappuccino, also located on Jay Street serving coffee and baked goods. 

Breakfast: Most students will tell you that Peter Pause has the best breakfast in Schenectady. Open only on weekdays, this informal eatery located in a quaint home is both delicious and reasonably priced, making it a go-to for both students and locals alike. Perreca’s Bakery is a great option for homemade pastries and bread.

Lunch: Clinton’s Ditch is perfect if you are looking for an outdoor patio, offering pizza, burgers, and steaks. Head to Katie Obyrnes, an Irish Pub where classic American menu items have playful Irish names. Located just off of Jay Street, Pizza King is a good option for quick pizza - dine in or order to go. If you are really hungry Bombers Burrito Bar is your place for huge burritos and margaritas.  Gershon’s is considered by many to be the best deli is Schenectady. Adjacent to Perreca’s bakery is More Perreca's, serving authentic Italian plates such as chicken parm and spaghetti and meatballs. 



Casual: Schenectady has some standout Italian restaurants; Johnny’s, Cornell’s, and Ferrari’s are student and parents favorites. Looking for a fun experience, don’t miss Centre Street Public House and Beer Garden  a gastropub with a large selection of craft beers. Wolff’s Biergarten is a more recent addition to the city’s food scene, an authentic German beer garden specializing in German beer and wursts.  Wolff’s was voted one of America’s best soccer bars and they stream live games on their TV’s—heaven for fans! 


A Step Up: When parents are in town reservations are hard to come by at Angelo’s Tavolo, book your table in advance. At Duke’s Chophouse, in the new casino, the focus is on steaks and seafood with a large outdoor patio with lovely river views. Aperitivo Bistro is located on State Street next to the historic Proctors Theater, serving Italian small plates, pizza, pasta, and larger entrees. 

Late Night Snacks: You’ll find most of the student body at the Rathskellar, open late night on Fridays and Saturdays. The subterranean snackbar and casual hangout is located right on campus just below the Old Chapel.

Local Attractions: Explore Schenectady with a walk down Jay Street, running perpendicular to State, it’s a pedestrian-only cobblestoned street and where students go for restaurants, art, entertainment, and shopping. Plan your visit on a Thursday during the summer months and enjoy Jazz on Jay. Also noteworthy is Proctors Theater, an old vaudeville theater, featuring Broadway shows among other performances. Check their calendar to see if any shows, educational programming, or community events are taking place while you’re in town.

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Continue Your Tour: Saratoga Springs and Skidmore are less than an hour away, click here for our Daytripper itinerary.

Why Union?


The Schenectady social scene is about frat parties, although the school is slowly getting rid of them, and house parties. If you like skiing, it’s only an hour drive to Stratton where students can get a special season pass. I took of every Tuesday and Thursday in the winters and skied.
— Timmy
The trimester schedule is very unique as it gives you the opportunity to really focus on your specific classes. If you can handle quick trimesters then it is very cool educational experience
— Zach






School Colors


Acceptance Rate

36% (2016)

Common Application


Supplement Essays


Early Action/Decision

Early Decision









Admissions Office

807 Union Street
Schenetady, NY 12308

(p) (518) 388-6112

Sports Divisions

NCAA Division III

Greek Life


Noteworthy Alumni

Chester A. Arthur

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