Union Institute & University

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Union Institute and University was brainstormed in 1964 when the presidents of nine liberal arts schools, including Goddard, Sarah Lawrence, and Antioch, met for a conference. By 1970, the Union Graduate School was applying the UK tutorial system to deliver master’s and doctoral degrees. During the 1980s, financial troubles left only the University Without Walls network surviving though. Union Institute and University now serves 1,599 post-grads at an average age of 35 as a nonprofit, doctoral-level distance learning college. Previously in Montpelier, Union relocated to Cincinnati, Ohio, with satellites in Florida and California. The 15,500 UI&U alumni include Portia Simpson-Miller, Melissa Archer, and Phillip Lopate.

Although Union Institute and University is unranked on the U.S. News & World Report, it’s named America’s 20th best online college, 154th safest school, and 274th top college location on Niche. College Factual declared Union the 87th most diverse university and 26th most popular criminal justice school countrywide. LGBT-Colleges.com placed UI&U 29th nationally for welcoming all sexual orientations. PayScale recognized Union Institute and University for a median mid-career salary of $66,500. Washington Monthly crowned Union the 242nd best American university for social mobility and 242nd top Midwestern value. TheBestSchools.org congratulated UI&U for Ohio’s ninth best online education. In 2016, Union landed in Victory Media’s top 25 percent of  Military Friendly universities.

Union Institute and University Accreditation Details

In 2017, Union Institute and University had its decade-long regional accreditation renewed under president Roger H. Sublett from the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association (HLC-NCA). This CHEA-recognized agency covers Union’s 16 baccalaureate, eight master’s, and five doctoral degrees from Brattleboro to Sacramento and online. Union participates in the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA). Certain UI&U online degrees also hold programmatic approval from the:

  • Council on Social Work Education
  • National Board for Certified Counselors

Union Institute and University Application Requirements

Don’t be fooled by Union Institute and University’s least selective fall 2016 acceptance rate of 100 percent because admission criteria are enforced. Online master’s candidates must have completed an accredited four-year bachelor’s at U.S. or foreign institutions. International students must prove English proficiency with a minimum 79 TOEFL iBT, 6.0 IELTS, or 54 Pearson score. Post-grads missing curriculum prerequisites could take up to 12 credits in eight-week modules via the Accelerated Bridge Program. Union generally requires an undergrad GPA of 3.0 or better, though probationary admission is available. Scores for the GRE/GMAT are wholly optional. The Clinical Mental Health Counseling Master’s of Arts also mandates an interview to judge therapeutic potential.

Union Institute and University’s Graduate School has rolling admission until three weeks before the January, May, or August start date. Prospective post-grads create a MyUnion account to submit confidential free applications online. If necessary, extra materials could be mailed to440 East McMillan Street in Cincinnati, OH 45206 or emailed to admissions@myunion.edu. Online master’s degrees typically suggest sending the following:

  • Official transcripts from all previous colleges
  • Contacts for three professional references
  • Résumé or curriculum vitae of experience
  • English proficiency testing if applicable
  • Typed, 500-word professional goals essay
  • Completed FAFSA form via code 010923

Tuition and Financial Aid

Ranked #1 in Ohio by Best Value Schools, Union Institute and University has affordable online master’s education. Currently, M.A. students are paying $748 per credit with an $88 technology fee each semester. The Clinical Mental Health Counseling M.A. is an exception, charging $810 per credit with an $88 technology fee and $158 LiveText fee. The hybrid M.S. in Healthcare Leadership and M.S. in Organizational Leadership programs presently bill $545 per credit. Graduates taking Professional Studies Certificate courses pay $460 each credit. Tuition totals are quite competitive; for instance, the 36-credit Master of Arts costs $27,280.

The NCES reports that 67 percent of full-time Union students share $2.65 million in annual financial aid for packages averaging $3,811 apiece. Online post-grads could qualify for borrowing low-interest Direct Unsubsidized, Grad PLUS, and Health Professions loans. The Federal Work-Study program at UI&U provides campus or community employment for at least $8.15/hour. Deferred payment plans let online graduates afford tuition in monthly installments. Post-9/11 G.I. Bill benefits are applied through the Yellow Ribbon program for veterans. Active-duty spouses and dependents also reduce their tuition by $350 per credit. Online learners might earn institutional funds, including the Henderson Educational Leadership Scholarship, Karin Blair Scholarship, Wallace Scholarship, Agnes Rettig Scholarship, Bates Award for Social Activists, Virgina Ruehlmann Women in Union Fellowship, and Christine R. Day Scholarship.

Online Degrees Available

At Union Institute and University, the CampusWeb platform empowers busy adults to complete five 100 percent online and three limited-residency master’s programs. The latter have face-to-face sessions twice yearly in Cincinnati for hybrid formats. Thanks to the 10:1 faculty-student ratio, all UI&U courses stimulate active discussions with accomplished industry-practicing professors. Online Union post-grads may receive Writing Center tutoring, IDEA disability accommodations, and career services for job alerts. Three sample online master’s programs are:

Master’s of Art in History & Culture

Directed by Dr. Elden Golden, the Master’s of Art in History and Culture at Union Institute and University embeds experiential learning into 16-24 months of full-time online instruction where post-grads master the art of studying past written or archaeological evidence. Before the graduation capstone, the 36-credit degree infuses wide-ranging electives from anthropology and museum studies to feminist scholarship and art history.

Master’s of Art in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

Boasting 100 percent NCMHCE credentialing in 2017, Union’s Master’s of Art in Clinical Mental Health Counseling is a hybrid, six-term graduate program where the therapeutic skills for aptly treating mental illnesses are prioritized. Coordinated by Arlene Sacks, Ed.D., the 60-credit curriculum squeezes three blocks of internship experience between mandatory online courses like diagnostic appraisal, human growth, psychopathology, and helping relationships.

Master’s of Art in Literature & Writing

From Geoffrey Chaucer to Toni Morrison, the Master’s of Art in Literature & Writing immerses online Union post-grads in rigorous review of the written word for exploring the powerful influences of English composition. Taking 16-24 months full-time, the 36-credit curriculum chaired by Sarah Bergh, PhD, spans courses like creative writing, literary theory, disciplinary foundations, and research methods until the culminating thesis paper.

Related Resource: 30 Most Affordable Top Master’s in Library Science Online Degree 2018

Other online offerings at Union Institute and University include the Bachelor’s of Social Work, Bachelor’s. in Emergency Services Management, Master’s of Art in Creativity Studies, Master’s of Art in Health & Wellness, Ph.D. in Educational Studies, and Ph.D. in Humanities & Culture.