Established in 1942 with roots in one of the modern world’s oldest intellectual and spiritual traditions, Fairfield University is a leading Catholic, Jesuit University.
Fairfield’s campus on the Connecticut shoreline is home away from home to over 3,500 undergraduates who hail from 35 states, 45 foreign countries, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.
The University offers a comprehensive core curriculum, more than 40 undergraduate majors,16 interdisciplinary minors, 41 graduate programs, 20 NCAA Division I athletic teams, and a wide range of opportunities for service and civic engagement. Committed to the Jesuit ideals of broad intellectual inquiry, Fairfield University fosters a strong sense of community among its students and offers an educational experience that encourages the pursuit of social justice and the cultivation of the whole person: body, mind, and spirit.
Get to know Fairfield University
Living-Learning Communities (LLCs) are available for undergraduates to further immerse themselves in a transformative Fairfield University culture. These residence communities create a multicultural atmosphere that builds on the University’s strategic vision of integrated learning through a variety of community housing programs. While each residential college has a particular focus, involved students are diverse in life experiences, hopes, desires, and interests. All residential colleges consider the question of vocation, engaging students to create meaningful experiences.
Fairfield University is serious about providing every student with the opportunity to gain practical experience in their field of study. In fact, the university guarantees that every junior or senior in good academic standing will have the opportunity for an internship or research experience. Every summer, students collaborate with members of the faculty on research projects in a wide variety of academic disciplines. Students also get to coauthor research with their professors.
Fairfield students gain valuable research, scholarship, publication, and presentation experiences through a wide array of student-faculty, group, and independent opportunities. Through such resources as the Office of Prestigious Scholarships and Fellowships and the Office of Service-Learning, the university provides challenging opportunities for students to participate in research and scholarly endeavors.
Fairfield students travel to all corners of the world through university-sponsored programs in Italy, Ireland, Australia, Nicaragua, and Tanzania. Almost 40% of Fairfield students take advantage of the opportunity to study abroad.
ENROLLMENT BY ETHNICITY
Nonresident aliens: 3%
Black or African American, non-Hispanic: 2%
White, non-Hispanic: 76%
American Indian or Alaska Native, non-Hispanic: 0%
Asian, non-Hispanic: 2%
Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander, non-Hispanic: 0%
Two or more races, non-Hispanic: 1%
Race and/or ethnicity unknown: 7%
Fairfield embraces the Jesuit ideal of cura personalis, which means caring for the whole person—body, mind, and spirit.
The core curriculum requires students to take 60 credits in five areas including mathematics and natural sciences; history and social/behavioral sciences; philosophy, religious studies, and ethics; English and the arts; and modern or classical languages and literature. Fairfield doesn’t view the core as a checklist to get through, but rather as an important, integrated, and interdisciplinary component of well-rounded education.
Fairfield has developed a program that allows students to take interdisciplinary clusters of two or three thematically related courses. Clusters allow students to explore particular topics from a variety of different perspectives.
The University has five schools: the College of Arts and Sciences, the Charles F. Dolan School of Business, School of Engineering, School of Nursing, and the Graduate School of Education and Allied Professions.
THE FIRST-YEAR EXPERIENCE
The First-Year Experience (FYE) program, a requirement for all incoming freshmen, is focused on teaching Fairfield’s core Jesuit values, cultivating student self-discovery, and exploring the importance of community. FYE includes a course in the fall semester, designated campus events for students to attend throughout the fall, a mentoring program, and a community service component.
With Division I athletics, a strong and active student government, about 80 student organizations, and a state-of-the-art performing arts center, Fairfield may make students believe that there simply aren’t enough hours in the day to enjoy their college experience. But if a free afternoon should present itself, New York City is only an hour away by train.
Fairfield students are very committed to community service. Nearly one-third of all students engage in volunteer programs within nearby cities. Fairfield’s community service programs are cutting edge and award winning; the Corporation for National Service has praised Fairfield’s Literary Volunteer Program, and The National Student Campaign Against Hunger and Homelessness has granted Fairfield three consecutive awards. Fairfield students were singled out from among 600 colleges and universities nationwide for their outstanding efforts.
Fairfield is a great place for athletes and sports fans. The Stags compete in 20 varsity sports against some of the best collegiate athletic programs in the nation. The men’s and women’s basketball and soccer teams, as well as the women’s volleyball team, have made recent trips to their respective conferences and NCAA tournaments. Fairfield has also won the Commissioner’s Cup as the overall best athletic program in the Metro Athletic Conference multiple times. Non-varsity athletes can partake in a variety of club sports or intramural programs.
Fairfield has about 80 student organizations and clubs on campus as well as a strong student government that manages and sponsors numerous student and community service activities.
Fairfield’s Arts & Minds Program serves as an important hub for students and visitors seeking entertaining and inspiring cultural events and activities. Through the Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts’ art gallery and two theaters, the University regularly hosts performances that include musical concerts, ballet and jazz dancers, comedy, opera, plays, and other events.
The new Bellarmine Art Museum serves as a learning laboratory for students and members of the regional community with a rich and varied collection of paintings, sculptures, and decorative arts objects. Through an ongoing series of lively and informative lectures, these ‘public conversations’ present eminent opinion-makers, artists, authors, and contributors to the humanities and sciences. The Open VISIONS Forum, for example, is a popular lecture series that engages the ‘life of the mind’ with students and the Connecticut community. Its mission is to integrate the academic perspective of the university’s students and faculty with topics of wide general interest.
When it comes time for Fairfield students to look for a job, they can call upon a 40,000-strong, active alumni network. The following individuals serve as an example of the great things Fairfield graduates are doing:
- Dr. Peter Pronovost ’87, a Johns Hopkins University professor and critical care specialist, won the prestigious 2009 MacArthur Foundation Fellowship (a $500,000 grant known as the ‘genius grant’) for his revolutionary work in developing a medical checklist in emergency care resulting in monumental reductions of infection. Time Magazine named him one of the most influential people of 2008.
- Dr. Katherine Lapp ’78 serves as executive vice president of Harvard University, where she oversees all financial, administrative, HR, capital planning functions, all administrative aspects of information technology for the University.
- Jeanne Begley ’84 won an Emmy as the producer/director of Biography, a popular nonfiction series on A&E.
- Christopher J. McCormick ’78 is president and CEO of L.L. Bean.
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