Admission Policies and Procedures

Fairfield University admits without discrimination students of any sex, race, color, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, national or ethnic origin, or handicap to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students of the University.

First Year Admission

Successful candidates for admission should have received a high school diploma from a recognized high school or preparatory school and should have acquired no less than 15 units in college-preparatory studies. The unit is commonly understood as a measure of credit assigned for the successful completion of a high school course that meets four or five times each week throughout the year; college-preparatory units are those usually found in the high school curriculum that explicitly prepare students for college. No vocational, commercial, or industrial units are considered to be preparatory to the work of the liberal arts university. Candidates for admission must take units chosen from the areas listed below.

Basic Requirements

English 4
Mathematics 3 to 4
may include:
Algebra 1
Algebra 2
Foreign Language 2 to 4
Laboratory Science 3 to 4
may include:
Earth Science
History/Social Science 3 to 4

Candidates interested in mathematics, engineering, business, and the sciences are urged to pursue a fourth unit of lab science and mathematics, preferably pre-calculus or calculus. Candidates for nursing must have one laboratory course in chemistry.

In addition to the basic requirements, applicants must present evidence to indicate interest in and competence for college studies. To that end they must submit a complete record of high school studies, together with other supporting materials as described in the admission application form.

The admission process at Fairfield University is test optional. Students may choose whether or not to submit the results of the SAT or ACT. Students should indicate on the Common Application whether or not it is their intention to have their scores considered in the admission process.

The deadline for Regular Decision applicants to have all application materials (application, high school transcript, and guidance counselor recommendation) postmarked is January 15. The University also strongly recommends a campus visit and/or an (optional) personal interview.

Students who speak English as a second language should take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), International English Language Testing System (IELTS) or Duolingo English Test if they have resided in the United States for fewer than five years. The University may, at its discretion, admit students who do not meet the regular published entrance requirements.

Early Action and Early Decision Admission

Students who consider Fairfield University to be among their top choices for their undergraduate education and who would like to have their application reviewed early may apply under our Early Action program. Applicants for Early Action must submit all application materials, including the Common Application, high school transcript, and guidance counselor recommendation by November 1. Students may choose whether to submit the results of their ACT or SAT exams. Early Action candidates who are interested in arranging a campus interview should make that request by November 15. Early Action candidates will be notified of their admission decision before January 1. Early Action admission is non-binding, and students have until May 1 to make their college selection. Fairfield University also offers two Early Decision admission programs. Early Decision I and II are binding agreements. If a student is admitted under the Early Decision guidelines, he/she must agree to withdraw any pending college applications and confirm enrollment at Fairfield. The deadline for Early Decision I admission is November 15, and students will receive notification of the decision by December 15. The deadline for Early Decision II admission is January 15, and students will receive notification of the decision by February 15. Superior students who have completed a four-year high school program at the end of three years may apply for admission to the University.

Academic Scholarships

A number of merit scholarships, ranging from $14,000 to $26,000 are available to outstanding students. All students who apply for admission are automatically considered for a merit scholarship. Successful candidates will be students with outstanding academic records, as well as strong records of achievement and engagement outside of the classroom.

Wait List

First year applicants to Fairfield will receive one of three decisions: admit, deny, or a waitlist offer. Waitlist students who are serious in their intent to remain on the waitlist are asked to confirm their place on the waitlist via the waitlist confirmation option on their online portal.

Alumni Relatives

One of the strongest endorsements an educational institution can receive is to have alumni send their children to their alma mater. At Fairfield we believe that such candidates can contribute significantly to enhancing the tradition and the spirit that are an important part of a Fairfield education. In light of this, it is our practice to consider a student's legacy connections to Fairfield when reviewing a candidate's application for admission.

Deferred Admission

Occasionally, a student who has been admitted to the University will seek permission to defer their admission for a variety of reasons. Students may defer for one semester, or up to one year. In order to defer, students must submit their request in writing to the Office of Undergraduate Admission, receive permission to defer, and then pay the confirmation deposit to hold their place in the class. In order to defer admission, a student must agree to not take more than 11 college credits during the deferral period. Any merit scholarship that a student was awarded will be honored when the student enrolls. However, a student who defers will be required to re-apply for need-based financial assistance.

Transfer Admission

The University welcomes qualified students who wish to transfer to Fairfield from other accredited colleges. Students interested in transferring normally have accumulated at least 15 credits and have maintained a minimum of a 2.50 grade point average (the Charles F. Dolan School of Business requires a minimum of a 2.80 GPA). Transfers are not accepted into the full-time program for a Bachelor of Science in nursing.  Please note that the GPA is simply a guideline, and not a guarantee of admission. To apply, students must submit, in addition to the required application forms, an official high school transcript, official college transcript(s), and course catalog descriptions for each class they have taken in college or are currently taking. Students must also submit a form from the dean of students office from all colleges attended indicating their academic and disciplinary standing. Students may choose whether or not to send the results of their ACT or SAT exams. Every transfer student is required to complete a minimum of 60 credits at Fairfield University in order to receive a bachelor's degree from Fairfield University. Applications should be directed to the Office of Undergraduate Admission. The priority application deadline for September admission is April 1; the priority deadline for January admission is November 15.

International Students

Matriculating international students must attend Fairfield University on a full-time basis (minimum of 12 credits per semester). Degree-seeking (freshman or transfer) students should contact the Office of Undergraduate Admission for further information. To be eligible to attend Fairfield the student must:

  1. Provide a complete and certified listing of all academic institutions attended, including dates of entry, grades, termination, and title of the certificate or diploma received. Include rank in class if available. These documents should be prepared in English or with an official English translation.
  2. Demonstrate proficiency in the English language. A minimum score of 550 (paper-based), 213 (computer-based), or 80 (Internet-based) on the Test of English as a Foreign Language.
  3. Prove sufficient financial support for the period of the student's stay at Fairfield, including tuition, room and board, and transportation.
  4. Obtain an F-1 student visa (required for entry into the United States for the purpose of studying full-time at Fairfield) after receiving an I-20/DS-2019 from the University. The visa is issued by the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in one's own country.

Non-matriculated international students may attend Fairfield University for a semester or academic year. All students must be enrolled on a full-time basis (minimum of 12 credits per semester). Such students are accepted into the academic programs at Fairfield and are treated as regular members of the student body. They are usually full-fee-paying students. Visiting international students should contact the Office of International Student Life, 203-254-4000, ext. 2902.

Part-Time and Continuing Studies Admission

Fairfield offers a wide variety of opportunities for learners seeking to pursue their educational goals on a part-time basis. For these students, the University offers opportunities for bachelor degree completion, traditional bachelor’s degrees, certificate programs, as well as credit and non-credit courses that can be taken on a part-time basis for professional and personal enrichment. Students may apply and enroll as a part-time matriculated student (seeking a bachelor’s degree) or register for courses as a non-matriculated student (not seeking a degree from Fairfield).

Part-Time Students Seeking a Bachelor's Degree

The University welcomes students to apply for admission and enroll as a matriculated student on a part-time basis to earn a bachelor's degree offered through the College of Arts and Sciences, the Dolan School of Business, and the School of Engineering. Classes are offered in a variety of day, evening, online, and accelerated online formats throughout the year which provide the flexibility and convenience that many busy part-time students are seeking. Tuition is offered on a per-credit basis at a part-time rate. Matriculated part-time students may enroll in up to three courses per semester.

The Bachelor's Degree in Liberal and Professional Studies, offered through the College of Arts and Sciences, provides part-time students a flexible, individualized and multidisciplinary bachelor’s degree completion program that can accept, upon review, up to 75 transfer credits. It also offers opportunities to turn life experience and specific knowledge into credit through portfolio assessment and CLEP tests, respectively. A minimum of 18 college level credits is required to be accepted into the Liberal and Professional Studies program.

Part-Time Admission

Students seeking to start or complete a bachelor’s degree as a part-time student must first apply for admission through Fairfield University’s part-time online application and be formally admitted into a bachelor’s degree program. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis with no deadlines. Matriculated part-time students have the option to enroll in up to three 3-credit courses, for a maximum total of 11 credits per semester (fall, spring, and summer). Two courses with a lab (4 credits each) may be taken in any one semester, with the addition of one 3-credit course if needed. Part-time students may enroll in one 3-credit course during the winter intersession.

Enrollment counselors in the Part-Time and Continuing Studies Admission Office can assist prospective students with their online application. They can also provide enrollment advice prior to application regarding major and degree options that will help students achieve their academic, personal, and professional goals. As needed, faculty are available for questions regarding specific details of a major or academic program.

After being admitted and confirmed, part-time students who want to transfer credits to Fairfield University will have their official transcripts reviewed and approved for transfer credits by their school’s Dean's Office. For the official transcript review for credit transfer, admitted students must submit to Part-Time and Continuing Studies Admission a comprehensive list of courses and course descriptions with a grade of C or better. A course syllabi may be requested to complete the transcript review. Like all other students at Fairfield, part-time matriculated students are assigned to a faculty advisor who will provide ongoing assistance in their course selection to fulfill major and core requirements toward completion of their bachelor’s degree.

Financial Aid

Financial aid is available to part-time students who are enrolled in a degree program and taking a minimum of two courses (6-credits) per semester. All part-time matriculated students are welcome to utilize the services and expertise on financing their education offered by the Office of Financial Aid.

Maintaining Status

To be considered an active part-time matriculated student, a student must have been enrolled in at least one course within eight consecutive semesters (approximately two years). Those semesters include summer, fall, winter intersession, and spring. After that time, if there has been no course registration or enrollment, the part-time student is considered “inactive,” will be unable to register for classes, and will have to seek readmission by contacting the Office of Part-Time and Continuing Studies Admission to request the steps for the reactivation of their student record.


After enrolling as a part-time student, one can request from the Dean's Office to have their status changed from part-time to full-time, enabling the student to take four to five courses per semester. The student's academic record will be evaluated and a decision made on the status change. When the status change is approved, the student's tuition will be changed from a course per credit charge to a full-time semester tuition and the student can register for up to five courses. Once full-time status is granted, if a future change back to part-time is requested and granted, tuition will be calculated on the full-time to part-time credit hour rate.

University Policies for Part-Time Students

Many of the University's academic and curricular policies that are listed in the Undergraduate Catalog are applicable to all part-time students as appropriate. This includes course withdrawal and refund policies, medical withdrawal and readmission after a medical withdrawal, and many other policies. Part-time students should review the Academic policies and procedures found in the Undergraduate Academic Catalog and important academic year dates found in the Academic Calendar. The Student Handbook also provides information on the University’s student code of conduct, resources and services for all students, including part-time students.

Non-Matriculated Visiting Part-Time Students

Fairfield University offers opportunities for students to register and enroll in undergraduate credit and non-credit courses as a visiting non-matriculated student (those not seeking a bachelor’s degree from Fairfield University).

There are several types of non-matriculated visiting students:

  • College students from other institutions who take credit courses at Fairfield University during any semester with a goal to transfer those credits to another academic institution.
  • Students seeking to start or complete their bachelor’s degree by taking credit courses in any semester as a part-time, non-matriculated, visiting student.
  • Individuals taking a credit course (or a non-credit course) in subject area of interest for personal or professional enrichment.
  • High school students seeking college credit courses for either future college or high school credit.

Part-time non-matriculated students may enroll in up to two courses (a maximum of 8 credits if courses with labs are involved) per semester (fall, spring, and summer) or one course during the winter intersession, with a maximum limit of six courses or 18 credits over multiple semesters. A wide variety of three-credit courses are offered during the summer, fall, winter, and spring terms in classroom, hybrid, and online formats. Course delivery is varied, with traditional 15-week courses and accelerated one-, four-, five-, or seven-week course offerings.

Course descriptions and course schedules are found online through the Browse Classes web portal. A complete schedule of courses that are offered each semester is updated regularly on the university website as well as information about how to register online as a visiting non-matriculated student


Fairfield University offers part-time students a number educational opportunities beyond degrees through certificate programs and access to academic courses for those seeking personal or professional enrichment. Descriptions of a wide variety of part-time studies offerings can be found on the University’s website.

Visiting High School Students

Eligible high school juniors and seniors are encouraged to explore taking credit courses at Fairfield University. Some courses may require proof of prerequisite high school coursework and faculty approval in advance of registration and enrollment. High school students may take one 3 or 4 credit course per semester with an overall maximum of 4 courses in subsequent semesters.

There is a full range of online and classroom courses available in the summer, fall, and spring semesters to give the visiting high school student a real college academic experience, while earning credits which may be applied towards high school completion or future college credit (as determined and approved by individual high schools and future colleges and universities).  

The summer semester offers the greatest variety of accelerated classes (i.e. one-, two-, five-, and six-week formats). Course descriptions can be found in this online undergraduate course catalog and course schedules by semester can be found updated on the University’s website.  

High school students should provide to the Office of Part-Time and Continuing Studies Admission:

  • An official or unofficial High School Transcript. This requirement is to ensure that high school students have the necessary relevant classroom experience to enroll and be successful in a rigorous college course. If a course requires prerequisites, the transcript will also verify that the student’s academic background is suitable. Students should have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.20.
  • Once the student’s transcript has been reviewed and criteria to take a college-level course have been met, a member of the Part-Time and Continuing Studies Admissions Office will contact the student about the next steps to enroll.

All inquiries and high school transcripts in advance of taking courses Fairfield by high school students should be directed to the Office of Part-Time and Continuing Studies Admission at 203-254-5532 or by email.


There are two situations in which a hold will be placed the record of a non-matriculated student, preventing them from further course registration.

Completion of 18 Credits

When a non-matriculated student has accumulated 18 credits on their student record, a registration hold will be placed on that record and future course registration is restricted. The student will be required to discuss their future academic plans at Fairfield with an enrollment advisor in the Office of Part-Time and Continuing Studies Admission.

Failing Grades

If a non-matriculated visiting student accumulates three failing grades on their Fairfield University transcript, a hold will be placed on their student record preventing further course registration until there is discussion with an enrollment advisor in the Office of Part Time and Continuing Studies Admission.