In 1795 Union College became the first college chartered by the Regents of the State of New York. The history of Engineering at Union began in 1845 when Union became the first liberal arts college to offer engineering. The first engineering department was in Civil Engineering, and was spearheaded by Union’s first engineering faculty member, W. M. Gillespie. In 1895 the Electrical Engineering program was initiated and from 1902 to 1913 it was headed by the ‘electrical wizard’ of the General Electric Company, Charles P. Steinmetz.
The curriculum begins with the Exploring Engineering course in fall term of freshman year, which is common to all engineering majors and provides students with an introduction to the engineering field. During the senior year all engineering students complete a year-long design project. Classes are small, making the atmosphere in class ideal for discussions and questions.
Union College offers an exceptional engineering education within a small liberal arts college. Class sizes are small and there are a large number of courses with associated laboratories so that students get hands-on experience. The engineering programs at Union College have excellent facilities and there are many opportunities for students to pursue research projects with engineering faculty. Students are encouraged to study abroad and about 70% of engineering students go on one of the many programs abroad that are offered. Outside the classroom, students become involved in a wide variety of clubs, honor societies, research, community service, and sports.