Frequently Asked Questions - Undergraduate Programs

How did Union Institute & University begin?

Union Institute & University began as education for working adults in 1964. A consortium of traditional colleges and university presidents was interested in creating programs to help working adults complete their college degrees. The consortium evolved into a free-standing, independent university offering its own unique bachelor degree programs to working adults.

Will Union Institute & University’s undergraduate program qualify me for a graduate degree?

Yes. Many Union Institute & University graduates go on to earn their master's or doctoral degrees at graduate colleges across the country. Because of the opportunity to individualize their undergraduate degree programs, students are often able to complete necessary graduate prerequisites within their undergraduate degrees.

Do I need an AA degree or other college credit to apply?

No.  We only require a high school diploma or GED to apply, so you are free to get started on your bachelor’s degree right away…with or without previous credits.

How much of my prior college and university credits may I transfer to Union Institute & University? Is there a "time limit" on my prior credits?

You may transfer academic credits earned at other regionally accredited colleges and universities. These credits are not subject to any time limitation at Union Institute & University, but if enrolled in the Bachelor of Science program, they must be applicable to your program of study.

Do other universities accept credits from Union Institute & University?

Credits earned at Union Institute & University are generally transferable to other regionally accredited institutions. But universities and colleges set their own degree and residency requirements, which is why transferability of credit may differ according to the institution.

How long will it take to complete my bachelor's degree?

Your time in the program will depend on several factors: how many credits you have from other regionally accredited colleges and universities; the amount of prior learning assessment credit that you are able to validate; and the number of credit hours you take each semester at Union Institute & University. Currently, most students complete their degree in less than two years (16-20 months), although this varies according to individual circumstances. To assist adult students in completing their degrees on a timetable that best accommodates their needs, Union Institute & University offers its academic programs on a three-semester per year format.

Can I keep my job and get my undergraduate degree at the same time?

Most Union Institute & University students work full time. Union Institute & University's program of study is designed especially to suit adults who have career and family commitments. Classes are scheduled to fit the busy lives of working adults. Most courses are one to one, and individually guided, to allow students the flexibility to communicate with faculty at times which are convenient for them.

Is financial aid available to students at Union Institute & University?

Yes. A full range of federal and state financial aid programs, including grants and loans, are available to Union Institute & University students who are eligible for them. Additionally, a growing number of scholarships are available. Union Institute & University's Financial Aid Office assists students with the application process.

How is Union Institute & University’s program accelerated?

Faculty experienced in guiding adult students through independent study can help most working adults earn a bachelor’s degree in less time than it would take in a traditional college program. Students can accelerate their program and still gain a high-quality education through the following:

Prior learning:

Union Institute & University can award credit for college-level, documented learning gained through prior experience. There is no need for students to spend time sitting through classes that teach them what they already know. Although prior learning must be documented and evaluated by the faculty, this process can be less time consuming than taking conventional college classes.

Flexible scheduling:

Rather than take courses merely to fill out class time requirements, students schedule their own meeting times with faculty, at a comfortable pace that fits into their busy lives. By avoiding the rigid time schedules of campus-based courses, the student is usually able to take a greater course load each semester than would otherwise be possible because of work and family commitments.

How does the cost of attending Union Institute & University compare with that of traditional universities?

Union Institute & University’s tuition is attractive, compared to most other private colleges and universities, and is a worthy investment considering that many Union Institute & University graduates increase their salaries considerably after graduation. In addition, Union Institute & University allows students to complete more courses while working full-time than they could at traditional institutions, enabling them to save money by completing their degrees more quickly.

How do I get the books for my study?  Does the University supply them?

Union Institute & University does not supply the textbooks for any program. Students are encouraged to use our virtual bookstore that may help you in finding affordable purchase choices as well as buy-back options.

It is up to each student to find their own book for their studies; however, books may be borrowed from the Union Institute & University Library which offers 50,000+ electronic, full text periodical subscriptions via 230+ online databases. In addition to our electronic journals, students are also provided a growing collection of 150,000+ E-books and 5,000+ full text Union Institute & University doctoral dissertations, all of which are accessible through the online catalog. Additionally, the Dissertations and Theses database offers 1,200,000+ online, full text dissertations and theses from universities across the country.

Additionally, you may opt to borrow through our inter-collegiate library loan service or from your own local library.  Books for your study may also be purchased or, perhaps, if your study is something you have a great interest in, you may already have suitable books on your bookshelf. 

I don't live near any of the college's academic undergraduate centers. May I still participate in the undergraduate degree program?

Absolutely. Union Institute & University has designed our programs to meet the needs of national and international students. You may study online or at a distance. All courses are taught in English.