Union University was initially established in 1823 as Jackson Male Academy just after West Tennessee was settled. The academy eventually consolidated with Hall-Moody Junior College and Southwestern Baptist University to create Union University in 1927. Today, Union is a private, non-profit evangelical Christian institution rooted in the liberal arts tradition. Affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention, Union educates approximately 4,200 students from diverse faith denominations. Union University has a main 290-acre urban campus in Jackson just 70 miles east of Memphis, Tennessee’s second-largest city. Extension locations are also operated in Germantown and Hendersonville.
According to the U.S. News, Union University is the 14th best college and 12th top school for military veterans in the South. In particular, Union has America’s 161st best online graduate teaching degrees and 64th top online graduate nursing programs. Forbes ranked Union as the 83rd best college in the South with the country’s 311st most grateful graduates. Consistently, Union University is included in Kiplinger’s Best College Values. The Templeton Foundation honored Union in its “Colleges That Encourage Character Development.” Washington Monthly also crowned Union University the 240th best master’s-level institution for civic engagement.
Union University Accreditation Details
Without sanctions, Union University was re-accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) at Level VI in 2007. Union is recognized by the International Association of Baptist Colleges and Universities (IABCU). Furthermore, the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) accredits the Department of Engineering. The School of Pharmacy is approved by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE). Union’s School of Nursing aligns with the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) and Council on Accreditation of Nursing Anesthesia Educational Programs (CANAEP). The College of Education and Human Studies also satisfies the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).
Union University Application Requirements
The acceptance rate at Union University is 74 percent, so there’s a selective admissions process. Applicants to the freshmen class must be graduating from an accredited high school with a 20-credit, college-prep curriculum. Four units of English, three units of math, three units of science, three units of history, and two units of foreign language are required. Unconditional admission to Union mandates earning a high school GPA of 2.5 or higher. First-year students should rank in the top 50 percent of their class. Excluding writing, applicants must score at least 22 on the ACT or 1020 on the SAT.
Transfers must have earned at least 24 undergraduate credits at a regionally accredited college or university. For unconditional admission, incoming transfers must carry a minimum collegiate GPA of 2.3. Students must be in good standing and eligible for re-entry in their previous school. F-1 international learners can qualify by scoring at least 80 on the TOEFL iBT, 6.5 on the IELTS, or 3.9 on the iTEP. Graduate applicants must hold a bachelor’s or higher from an accredited four-year college. The master’s, DNP, and PharmD programs require a minimum undergraduate GPA of 2.75. Scores on the GRE, GMAT, and PCAT are reviewed.
Interested students should make an online account with the Union University Office of Admissions to submit the following before the March 1st deadline:
• Completed online admissions form
• Non-refundable $35 application fee
• Official, sealed academic transcripts
• College entrance exam scores
• MMR immunization records
• One or two letters of recommendation
• Current resume or CV (graduate students only)
Tuition and Financial Aid
Full-time undergraduates taking 12 to 16 credits are charged $14,660 per semester. Part-time undergrad learners will pay $975 per credit hour. Every credit over 16 will also cost $975 extra. Students must afford $505 per semester in mandatory fees. There’s a one-time orientation fee of $150. After admissions, freshmen must also pay a $200 tuition deposit. Room and board is estimated to cost $3,900 and $1,275 respectively each semester. On average, full-time graduate students at Union University pay $6,630 per term. The School of Pharmacy charges PharmD candidates $32,950 annually though.
Around 76 percent of full-time students attending Union share over $31 million in financial assistance. Money can be borrowed with Federal Perkins, Stafford, Parents PLUS, Grad PLUS, or private/alternative loans, but repayment is necessary. Free gift aid is available with the Federal Pell Grant, FSEOG Grant, Federal TEACH Grant, or Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant. In-state residents could qualify for the Tennessee Student Assistance Award (TSAA), HOPE Scholarship, or Tennessee Educational Lottery Scholarship (TELS). VA education benefits are conferred with the Post 9/11 GI Bill. Staff dependents can receive reciprocal tuition waivers. Federal Work-Study (FWS) is offered for campus employment. Awards like the Scholars of Excellence, Union Merit Scholarship, Transfer Scholarship, and First Generation Scholarship are also abundant.
Union University is split into six academic colleges to provide rigorous academics infused with Christian values and ethics. Students can currently select from 107 undergraduate and 14 graduate programs. Some unique bachelor’s degrees include Biblical Studies, Botany, Ceramics, Intercultural Studies, Medical Technology, Speech, Sports Ministry, and Zoology. There are eight fully online degrees delivered through the SREB Electronic Campus. There’s also a First Step Program for adult learners to finish a bachelor’s in 18 months. The student-faculty ratio of 10:1 allows for individualized learning and professor mentoring. Perhaps that’s why over 90 percent of freshmen return for their sophomore year.
Along Highway 45, Union’s campus is strategically located between Memphis and Nashville to offer “big city” amenities in a smaller town. Around 64 percent of the student body lives in the apartment-style residence halls. Niche recognized Union for America’s eighth “Best College Dorms.” The Union University Library has several meeting rooms surrounding the Modero coffeehouse for study groups. Worship services are offered in the Savage Memorial Chapel every Wednesday and Friday. Students can also enjoy shows in the Hartley Recital Hall and workouts in the Fred DeLay Gymnasium. Engaging in research is possible in 13 institutes, including the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center.
There’s never a dull moment on-campus thanks to the over 60 student-run clubs. Depending on their interests, students could campaign for Student Senate, sing with the Cantilena Women’s Choir, pledge Phi Lambda Sigma, or write for “The Torch.” Greek life is active at Union with three social fraternities, three social sororities, and six academic fraternities. Each year, the Scholarship Banquet draws notable speakers like George H.W. Bush, Condoleezza Rice, and Donald Rumsfeld. Student-athletes can join 11 intercollegiate varsity sports teams in the NCAA Division II Gulf South Conference. Union University also has club sports like cycling and ultimate Frisbee.