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Union College
Pro Deo Et Homine
Motto in English
For God and Mankind
TypePrivate college
Religious affiliation
United Methodist Church
Academic affiliations
PresidentMarcia Hawkins, Ph.D.
Location, ,
United States
Orange & Black
Sporting affiliations

Union College is a private college in Barbourville, Kentucky. The college was founded in 1879 and is affiliated with the United Methodist Church. Union's approximately 825 undergraduate students represent 27 states and 9 countries.[3]

Union's 100-acre (0.40 km2) campus is in southeastern Kentucky. Approximately 44 percent of the students live in three residence halls and the apartments on campus.


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.


Union College offers the Bachelor of Arts and the Bachelor of Science degrees.[4] The college also offers Master of Arts in Psychology and Education. Additionally, new programs at the Master's level include Master of Business Administration, Master of Science in Administration, and Master of Science in Athletic Administration.

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

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.


Union College's ranking in the 2022-2023 edition of U.S. News & World Report's Best Colleges is Regional Universities South, #103-135.[6]

Academic facilities

The Weeks-Townsend Memorial Library contains more than 160,000 books, periodicals, government documents, media materials and on-line reference and full-text databases.[7] 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.[8] 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.

Financial aid

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]


Main article: Union Bulldogs and Lady Bulldogs

Union College's athletic teams are called the Bulldogs and Lady Bulldogs. The college is a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), primarily competing in the Appalachian Athletic Conference (AAC) for most of its sports since the 2002–03 academic year;[9][10] while its men's & women's bowling and archery teams compete in the Mid-South Conference (MSC), which they previously competed as a full member from 1995–96 to 2001–02.

Union competes in 22 intercollegiate varsity sports: Men's sports include baseball, basketball, bowling, cross country, football, golf, soccer, swimming & diving, tennis and track & field; while women's sports include basketball, bowling, cross country, golf, soccer, softball, swimming & diving, tennis, track & field and volleyball; and co-ed sports include archery and cheerleading. Former sports included men's lacrosse, co-ed cycling and co-ed 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.[11]

Notable alumni


  1. ^ center, member. "Member Center". Archived from the original on 2015-11-09.
  2. ^ 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.
  3. ^ a b c "Union College (KY)". Retrieved 26 November 2013.
  4. ^ "Undergraduate Programs".
  5. ^ "Academic Catalogue & Resources | Union College". Archived from the original on 2017-10-25.
  6. ^ "U.S. News & World Report best Colleges Union College (KY)". U.S. News & World Report. September 12, 2022.
  7. ^ "Library & Information Resources".
  8. ^ "Student Support Services at Union College - The Academic Resource Center". Archived from the original on 2003-02-24.
  9. ^ "Schools". NAIA.ORG. NAIA. Retrieved 16 March 2016.
  10. ^ "Members". Appalachian Athletic Conference. Retrieved 16 March 2016.
  11. ^ "Union College".

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