Unity College was founded in 1965 by the town leaders of Unity, hoping a college would turn their economically ailing town around. Originally called Unity Institute of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the school Unity created is one of the most unique in the world – a sustainability-focused institution that proudly calls itself America’s Environmental College. Unity was the first full, 4-year college to build its curriculum around sustainability science, and its 225 acre campus on the shores of Lake Winnecook provides the ideal location for Unity’s research and experiential learning. U.S. News & World Report has named Unity the #16 regional college in the north, as well as a top 10 pick for veterans, and a top 10 best value.
Academic ProgramsUnity College is dedicated to doing higher education differently – by putting the earth first. Unity was the first college in the nation to completely end dependence on fossil fuels, and many of Unity’s building are LEED-certified for sustainability. But Unity is also known for its excellent student support; each student is assigned a one-on-one mentor, and a 15:1 student:faculty ratio means that students have the opportunity to build real relationships with their professors. A close-knit campus environment gives students a strong network of support between peers as well. Experiential learning is central to the curriculum; more than three-quarters of the student body graduate with research, internship, coop, or some other hands-on learning experience.
With 17 environmental-focused majors, Unity College has more options than any other college for students interested in a sustainability-related career, with unusual options not available anywhere else. Every major at Unity has an environmental element, from Conservation Law Enforcement to Adventure Therapy. Several education options are available for prospective teachers, such as Adventure-Based Environmental Education, along with more conventional science programs such as Marine Biology, Wildlife Biology, and Parks & Forest Resources. Unity’s curriculum is highly interdisciplinary, reflecting the complexity of sustainability science, and online master’s degrees help Unity extend their reach even beyond Maine.
Student LifeUnity College’s student body stands at just over 700, with an even number of men to women. Around three-quarters of the student body lives on-campus, one of the most beautiful in the world, with LEED-certified buildings and even the first passive-energy student housing in the US. While there are no fraternities or sororities at Unity, student life is energetic and varied, with some of the most eccentric and creative student-led organizations and clubs, including Primitive Skills and Naturalist Living, Chess on Ice, and Sugarmakers – a club that taps maple trees to make sugar and syrup.
Of course, with its environmental focus, Unity has an active Outdoor Adventure Center, making the most of Unity’s large, varied campus and the rugged Maine terrain for hiking, kayaking, rock climbing, and other outdoor recreational activities; events include fly fishing, overnight wilderness meditation, and hiking under the full moon. Unity has a small selection of varsity sports, competing in the US Collegiate Athletic Association as the Rams, but club and intramural sports are especially popular. From hockey to yoga, martial arts to woodman arts, Unity has all students need to keep busy, keep fit, and keep healthy.