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Fairfield University
"At Fairfield University, living and learning aren’t two separate activities. They’re parts of a...

Fairfield University

Fairfield, Connecticut

Fairfield University is a Catholic, Jesuit University established in 1942, and rooted in one of the world’s oldest intellectual and spiritual traditions. Located near the Connecticut shoreline just 60 miles northeast of New York City, Fairfield has over 3,500 undergraduate and 1,100 graduate and 400 part-time students from 35 states, 45 foreign countries, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico who are enrolled in the University’s five schools. Fairfield has a faculty student ratio of 11:1 and 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 cultivation of the whole person: body, mind, and spirit. Fairfield’s graduates from the Class of 2012 reported that 96% had secured full-time employment, were admitted to graduate school or chose to participate in volunteer service within six months of graduation. 

Student Profile

Fall 2015 Enrollment
3,970 undergraduate students
93% of undergrad students are full time
40% male — 60% female
76% of students are from out of state

Faculty Profile

2015-2016 Academic Year
288 full-time faculty
1 part-time faculty
12 to 1 student/faculty ratio

Residence Life

About 80% of students live on campus. Options include 6 traditional residence halls, 3suite style residence halls, over 100 apartments and more than 100 townhouses.

School Location

Fairfield, Connecticut, a suburban, coastal New England community of 59,625 located on Long Island Sound and just a one hour train ride to New York City.

Retention Fall 2015

89% of students began in Fall 2014 and returned in Fall 2015 (full-time, first-time freshmen)

6-Year Graduation Rate 2015

82% of students graduated in 6 years


Nonresident aliens 3%
Hispanic/Latino 7%
Black or African American 2%
White 75%
American Indian or Alaska Native 0%
Asian 2%
Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander 0%
Two or more races 1%
Race and/or ethnicity unknown 9%


Division I MAAC athletics: 20 varsity sports (nine men’s: baseball, basketball, cross-country, golf, lacrosse, soccer, swimming/diving, and tennis; 11 women’s: basketball, crew, cross-country, field hockey, golf, lacrosse, soccer, softball, swimming/diving, tennis, and volleyball).  Nearly 500 undergraduates participate in Fairfield’s 17 club sports and up to 1,500 students take advantage of intramural sports.  Over 60 % of the student body participates in some club, intramurals or recreation and fitness programs.

Other Information

Fairfield University, founded in 1942, is a comprehensive Jesuit university that prepares students for leadership and service in a constantly changing world.

Academic Programs

Accounting. American Studies, Biochemistry, Biology, Chemistry, Communication, Computer Science Economics (B.A. and B.S. track), Engineering (Automated, Computer, Electrical, Mechanical, Software, Engineering 3/2), English (Creative Writing, Journalism, Literature, Professional Writing), Finance, History, Information Systems, International Business, International Studies, Management, Marketing, Mathematics, Modern Languages and Literatures (French, German, Italian, Spanish), New Media (Film, Television and Radio), Nursing, Philosophy, Physics, Politics, Psychology (B.A. and B.S. track), Religious Studies, Sociology and Anthropology, Visual and Performing Arts (Art History, Music, Studio Art, Theatre)
Five Year MA/MS Programs:
Accounting, Industrial/Organizational Psychology, Teacher Education
Graduate Programs:
41 master’s programs in the areas of American Studies, Business (MBA, Accounting, Finance), Communication, Creative Writing (MFA), Education and Allied Professions, Liberal Studies, Mathematics, Nursing and Public Administration.

More Distinctions

  • Since 1993, 63 Fulbright Scholarships have been awarded to Fairfield University graduates 

  • 96% of Fairfield graduates find employment, enter graduate school or participate in volunteer service programs within six months of graduation.

  • U.S. News & World Report ranks Fairfield #3 best regional universities in the  North in their Best Colleges 2014.

  • Kiplinger’s Person Finance ranks Fairfield as one of the 100 best values in private colleges in the nation and one of only two universities listed in Connecticut, along with Yale University.

  • Forbes Magazine lists Fairfield as one of the top 100 Colleges in the Northeastand their rankings of the best schools are said to be "from the students' point of view."

  • Bloomberg Businessweekranks Fairfield #2 behind Yale University as the best undergraduate ROI in Connecticut

  • AC Online ranks Fairfield as the highest return on investment for colleges in Connecticut

  • Bloomberg Businessweek ranks Fairfield as one of the top undergraduate business schools in the nation and Fairfield’s part-time MBA program ranks #37 out of 100 business graduate programs.

  • The Princeton Review's "The Best 373 Colleges," includes Fairfield in its list which consists of only about 15% of America's 2,500 four-year colleges

  • The Sierra Club has the oldest, largest, and most influential grassroots environmental organization in the nation named Fairfield to its list of “Cool Schools” for its many eco-friendly campus initiatives

  • The Fiske Guide to Colleges, called "the best college guide you can buy" by USA Today, said Fairfield "provides a dynamic living and learning environment, combining solid academics, real-world opportunities in and outside the classroom, and an abundance of community service projects."

  • Fairfield University's Charles F. Dolan School of Business is one of the most outstanding business schools in the country according to the 2014 Princeton Review Best 295 schools.

The First Year Experience

The First Year Experience (FYE) program, a requirement for all incoming undergraduate first year students, 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.

Living and Learning Communities

Living and Learning Communities (LLCs) are available each year for Fairfield’s undergraduate students. In addition to traditional residence hall options, the LLCs aim to transform the entire Fairfield University culture. The LLCs create a multicultural community across campus, building on Fairfield 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.

Undergraduate Research

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 resources such 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.

Study Abroad

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.

Achieved Scholars

Since 1993, over 60 Fairfield graduates have been awarded prestigious Fulbright scholarships.

Fairfield embraces the Jesuit ideal of curapersonalis, which means caring for the whole person—body, mind, and spirit.

Well-Rounded Curriculum

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.

Notable Professors

Members of the Fairfield faculty are leading scholars and great teachers. Dr. Betsy Bowen, professor of English, and Dr. Laura Nash, professor and director of music,  were named The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching Connecticut Professor of the Year in 2010 and 2009, respectively. Additionally, professor Meredith Wallace co-edited a book on prostate cancer that won a prestigious award from the American Journal of Nursing.

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 the university. But if a free afternoon should present itself, New York City is only an hour away by train.

Community Service

Fairfield students are very committed to community service. Nearly one-third of all students engage in volunteer programs in 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 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.

Student Activities

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.

Art Facilities

Fairfield’s Arts & Minds Program serves as an important hub for students and visitors seeking entertaining and inspiring cultural events and activities. The Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts includes two theatres and an art gallery. The center regularly hosts performances that include musical concerts, ballet and jazz dancers, comedy, opera, plays, and other events. The Open VISIONS Forum 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.

The new Bellarmine Art Museum displays a rich and varied collection of paintings, sculpture, and decorative arts objects, and it serves as a learning laboratory for students and members of the regional community. 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.

An Experience That Leads to Results

Fairfield graduates from the Class of 2012 reported that 96% had secured full-time employment, were admitted to graduate school, or chose to participate in volunteer service within six months of graduation.

The average starting salary for the Class of 2012 (excluding bonuses) was $49,241, and Fairfield University is rated in the top 8% on Payscale’s College Salary Report.

Alumni Network

When it comes time for Fairfield students to look for a job, they can call upon a 40,000 strong and 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, executive vice president of Harvard University, where she oversees all financial, administrative, human resources and capital planning functions as well as the 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.


Admissions Fall 2015

10,767 Total Applicants 
6,995 Total Admissions 
966 Total Freshman Enrollment

64.97% of applicants admitted


Net Price Calculator



Tuition $44,250
Fees $625
Total $44,875
Room and Board (on campus) $13,520
Room Only $8,280
Board Only $5,240
Estimated Total On Campus $58,395


Financial Aid Breakdown 2014-2015

92% of full-time, first-time undergraduates awarded any financial aid
58% of full-time, first-time undergraduates awarded student loan aid

$22,483 Average amount of federal, state, local, or institutional grant aid awarded
$9,118 Average amount of student loan aid awarded to full-time, first-time undergraduates