Seward Fellows

Union College offers an honors program for students already enrolled at the college. The Seward Interdisciplinary Fellows program lets students develop their own program of study exploring connections among disciplines.

Normally, students apply during fall of their sophomore year. They may be from any discipline but must have demonstrated excellence in their first year at Union College. Current Union Scholars may apply as well. Seward Fellows build an interdisciplinary “Seward Organizing Theme” minor that includes a faculty-supervised independent project. The program includes the privilege of taking extra courses.

The Seward Organizing Theme Minor has at least seven courses chosen from at least two departments, including a two-term independent study project. Students may double count at most one of these courses towards their major. Proposals will be evaluated according to the coherence and academic rigor of the proposed plan of study, and according to the ability of the student to complete the proposed course of study. Students are encouraged to seek out the advice of a faculty member in putting together their proposals.

NOTE: THE SEWARD ORGANIZING THEME MINOR SHOULD NOT BE CONFUSED WITH THE ORGANIZING THEME MAJOR OR THE FORMER ORGANIZING THEME MINOR. Please send all queries about the Seward Organizing Theme minor to the director of the Scholars Program and not the Organizing Theme committee. 

Who is eligible: Students with sophomore status.
Required GPA: 3.5

  • Seward Fellows may take one extra course each term at no extra cost, starting in the winter term of the sophomore year, provided that they maintain a GPA of 3.4 or better. These courses can be used to accelerate graduation.


  • Two-term independent study project (ORT 295H and ORT 296H for one course credit) in the junior year related to the minor. (This takes the place of the Scholars Sophomore Project and follows the same rules.)
  • Maintain GPA of at least 3.4
  • Presentation of completed research at a public meeting or symposium. All Seward Fellows are strongly encouraged to make a presentation at the Steinmetz Symposium.
  • Additional course work. Seward Fellows need 38 courses  to graduate, rather than the Union standard 36 courses. The Seward Independent Study Project and Advanced Placement courses may be used to fulfill this requirement.
  • Seward Fellows are not required to take Honors Preceptorial FYP100H or Scholars Research Seminar SCH150.

* Unless otherwise noted, Seward Fellows are required to fulfill all requirements of the Scholars Program.

Application due: November 1, 2015.

How to apply: Submit to Margaret Tongue, Director of Union College Scholars Program, Becker Hall, Room 102, the following information:

  1. Name
  2. Class
  3. Major (or state “undeclared”)
  4. GPA as of August 31, 2015
  5. 1-2 page double-spaced essay describing the theme of your Seward OT minor topic and the proposed independent research associated with it.
  6. Tentative list of classes you plan to take as part of your minor (give course numbers, titles and terms offered)
  7. A letter or email from a Union faculty member which confirms he/she has read your proposal and agrees to serve as your advisor for the Seward OT minor and independent research project.