Union College (Kentucky)

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Union College
Old Classroom Building, Union College.jpg
Pro Deo Et Homine
Motto in English
For God and Mankind
AffiliationUnited Methodist Church
PresidentMarcia Hawkins, Ph.D.
Location, ,
ColorsOrange and Black

Union College is a four-year private college located in Barbourville, Kentucky. The college, founded in 1879, is affiliated with the United Methodist Church. Union College is a small liberal arts college in the Appalachian Mountains. At the time of the college's founding, Barbourville was a thriving and progressive town of 450 citizens and three brick buildings. Today, the town's population is just over 3,100.

Union's approximately 825 undergraduate students represent 27 states and 9 countries. The student body is predominantly caucasian (82.3 percent) with African Americans making up the second largest ethnic grouping (12.24 percent). The ratio of male to female students is 27:23.[3]

The college's academic program fulfills the goal of a liberal arts education. The undergraduate liberal arts curriculum makes available a body of knowledge drawn from the applied sciences, humanities, natural sciences and social sciences. Majors and areas of study in pre-professional, technical and skills-oriented fields enhance postgraduate employment opportunities.

Union's 100-acre (0.40 km2) campus is in southeastern Kentucky. The newest of the college's 20 buildings include a technology center, academic center and student apartment building. Approximately 44 percent of the students live in three residence halls and the apartments on campus. Dozens of student organizations, such as the Union College Social Players Guild, offer many opportunities for participation in a wide range of extracurricular activities. Union's full-time campus minister organizes various religious activities, including weekly voluntary chapel services. Union's teams are known as the Bulldogs and Lady Bulldogs. The college offers 21 varsity sports as a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA).


Approximately 17 miles (27 km) east of Interstate 75, the city of Barbourville sits in the Appalachian Mountains surrounded by four state parks filled with falls, lakes and streams. The campus itself includes more than 100 gently rolling acres covered in overhanging elms, mountain laurel and Georgian architecture. The Wilderness Road spans the east side of the campus, and Cumberland Gap National Historical Park is approximately 30 miles (48 km) away.

Majors and degrees[edit]

Union College offers the Bachelor of Arts and the Bachelor of Science degrees. Majors are available in accounting, biology, business administration, chemistry, Christian ministry, criminal justice, education (elementary, middles grades, physical, secondary and special), English/communication, health, history, history/political science, mathematics, nursing, psychology, recreation management, religious studies, sociology and sports management.[4]

In addition to majors in the pure disciplines of biology, chemistry, mathematics and their education counterparts, Union has programs in place for professional and health science careers. These programs combine the advantages of the small private college and those of the large university and include dentistry, medicine, optometry, pharmacy, physical therapy, law and veterinary medicine.

The college also offers Master of Arts in Psychology and Education. The Department of Psychology offers master of arts degrees in General, in both traditional and online formats, Clinical, Counseling and School Psychology. The Graduate Education Program offers the Master of Arts degrees in Elementary Education P-5, Health/PE P-12, LBD (Special Education) P-12, Middle School 5-9, Principalship, Reading and Writing Endorsement P12, Secondary 8-12 and Rank I degrees in Elementary Education P-5, LBD (Special Education) P-12, Middle School 5-9, Reading and Writing Endorsement P-12, Supervisor of Instruction P-12.

Additionally, new programs at the Masters level include Master of Business Administration, Master of Science in Administration, and Master of Science in Athletic Administration.

Academic program[edit]

The college operates on a two-semester calendar, with a May interim session and two summer terms. Students must successfully complete a total of 120 semester hours to earn a bachelor's degree, including 35 hours of required core classes from the four major divisions of study.[5]

Study Abroad Program[edit]

Union College is a cooperating member of the Kentucky Institute for International Studies (KIIS). The college joins with a number of other Kentucky colleges and universities to provide summer study opportunities in ten different locations. The programs in Argentina, France, Spain, Mexico, Germany, Austria, Italy and Ecuador are open to all Union College students, who may earn credits toward their degree at Union.

Academic facilities[edit]

The Weeks-Townsend Memorial Library contains more than 160,000 books, periodicals, government documents, media materials and on-line reference and full-text databases.[6] Library functions, including the public catalog access (OPAC), circulation and reserves are fully automated through the Sirsi Unicorn Collection Management System. The 20-seat computer lab is the center of campus access to the Internet, including email and the World Wide Web. The college also has a variety of computers accessible to students. The library and Centennial computer labs each contain 20 workstations and a laser printer connected to the campus network. A third lab, the Hensley lab, provides the same type of access with 17 computers. The labs are open a variety of hours each week to support the academic programs and provide student access to the campus network.

The Academic Resource Center (ARC) provides free services to Union College students in several academic support areas.[7] Individual tutoring is available in a variety of subject areas in both upper and lower division classes. Students may work with a tutor to review for classes, refresh study skills, or prepare for professional examinations such as GMAT, LSAT, MCAT, GRE and NTE. Each semester, courses that have been deemed academically challenging are selected for Supplemental Instruction (SI). Students attend group study sessions, which are held a minimum of three times a week with a student leader who has already excelled in that particular course. The SI leaders model good study strategies and encourage collaborative learning.

The Sharp Academic Center is one of the primary classroom facilities on campus. Named for alumnus and Nobel Laureate Phillip Allen Sharp, the Sharp Academic Center was added to a remodeled dormitory, providing classroom and office space. Currently, the offices include the Office of the President, Office of the Academic Vice President, Student Support Services, the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, and the Department of History.

The Ramsey Center is an additional classroom and laboratory space on campus. Named for Kenneth and Sarah Ramsey, the Center was remodeled from the former Knox County Hospital. This building houses the Department of Natural Sciences, the Psychology Department, and the Edna Jenkins Mann School of Nursing.


Tuition for the 2014–2015 academic year was $22,980; on-campus room and board was $6,975.[3] Books and supplies are estimated at $900 per year.

Financial aid[edit]

In 2014–15, 96% of Union's undergraduate students received financial assistance. Students wishing to be considered for aid must file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by March 15. The Federal Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant and Federal Work-Study programs of the federal government are sources of aid. Non-need-based academic scholarships range from $1,000 to full tuition. Kentucky residents may apply for the Kentucky State Tuition Grant.


The faculty numbers 104 and the student-to-faculty ratio is 16:1.[3]


Union College men's and women's teams are known as the Bulldogs and Lady Bulldogs respectively. The college is a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), primarily competing in the Appalachian Athletic Conference (AAC), while competing in the Mid-South Conference for football. Men's sports include baseball, basketball, bowling, cross country, football, golf, soccer, tennis, swimming, track & field and lacrosse; while women's sports include basketball, bowling, cross country, golf, soccer, softball, swimming, tennis, track & field and volleyball; coed sports include cheerleading, cycling, and dance. Intramural sports vary according to student request. The college recently completed new tennis courts, a softball field, and refurbished the baseball, soccer and football fields.

Union College men's basketball also recently won their first NAIA division II national title in the 2016–17 season. This marked the schools third team national championship, the first two were earned by the cycling team in 2002 and 2012. [8]

Other student groups[edit]

There are 23 registered non-athletic student organizations[3] that encompass the following:

  • Academic Groups
  • Literary Magazine
  • Minority Student Groups
  • Religious Groups
  • Singing Groups
  • Social Services Group
  • Student Union
  • Theater Program
  • Appalachian Wilderness Club

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ a b c As of fall 2016. "Student headcount by level: All independent institutions (2006-16)" (PDF). Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education. Commonwealth of Kentucky. Retrieved 4 March 2018.
  2. ^ center, member. "Member Center". Archived from the original on 2015-11-09.
  3. ^ a b c d e "Union College (KY)". princetonreview.com. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
  4. ^ "Undergraduate Programs".
  5. ^ https://www.unionky.edu/academics/academic-catalogue-resources
  6. ^ "Library & Information Resources".
  7. ^ http://www.unionky.edu/Acad/SpecPrg/ARC.asp
  8. ^ http://www.gounionbulldogs.com/SIDHelp/splashPage/9.php

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 36°52′13″N 83°53′17″W / 36.87028°N 83.88808°W / 36.87028; -83.88808