College of Arts and Sciences

A Message from the Dean

Welcome to the College of Arts and Sciences at Fairfield University. The College is a community of caring, engaged, and student-focused faculty and staff dedicated to invention, discovery, and the prospect of producing knowledge in the service of others. In addition to being the oldest of the University’s five schools, we are also the home to Fairfield's Core Curriculum, the intellectual foundation of a Fairfield education, anchored in the liberal arts and deeply informed by the Jesuit values of academic excellence and service. We create authentic learning opportunities for students that allow for “exploring the complexities of the human condition, experiencing the wonders of artistic creation, investigating the intricacies of the universe, and reflecting on the mysteries of the sacred – so that we may all do our part to promote a just and peaceful world.”

With 14 departments and 20 interdisciplinary programs, the College values inspired teaching and innovative faculty research that makes Fairfield unique. With majors, minors, and interdisciplinary programs spanning a wide variety of subjects and areas of academic inquiry, the opportunities to explore are limitless and uniquely position our students for success in an increasingly competitive job market where key skills such as critical thinking and clear communication are highly valued. From taking the stage in a theatre production to studying the impact of pollution on marine life, the College of Arts and Sciences provides our students the space to explore their passions. Within easy reach of major metropolitan centers and countless companies and service organizations, our internship program further allows our students to put theory into practice in the real world as part of their studies in the College.

We are confident that your time with us will not only prepare you for a rewarding career but an inspired life of service. As the philosopher John Dewey observed, “education is not preparation for life; education is life itself.” It is our desire that you live and learn fully during your time at the College, that you are fully engaged. But always remember your responsibility to lead by sharing what you have learned with others. In the immortal words of Ignatius of Loyola, “Go forth and set the world on fire.”

Richard Greenwald, PhD
Dean, College of Arts and Sciences

College Overview

The oldest and largest of Fairfield's five schools, the College of Arts and Sciences offers the bachelor of arts and the bachelor of science degree, as well as master's degrees in American studies, communication, creative writing, mathematics and public administration. In recent years, the College has won numerous grants to support new and continuing programs. Examples include funding to enhance the core science curriculum, to broaden access to science education, to add courses in critical languages, to enhance diversity at the University, to bring geographic information systems technology to area high school classrooms, and to promote family literacy. Through various scholarships, grants, and internship programs, students in the College have had the opportunity to study and conduct research in Brazil, China, Nicaragua, Russia, and Tanzania, among other locations.

Students are encouraged to select a major by the end of their freshman year (essential in sciences) but no later than the end of the sophomore year. Pre-major students who are still exploring should consult with their faculty advisor, any of their professors, or the Academic and Career Development Center to help them choose a program of study. Selecting a major is not an irrevocable decision; the academic program at Fairfield is flexible enough to allow students to discover new interests or identify new goals. Any of the academic programs in arts and sciences will provide the broad foundations for success and flexibility in any career path.

Within each major field of study, courses range from introductory to highly specialized, with multiple opportunities for independent study and research. Students may also opt, with faculty advice and agreement, to design their own major. Double-majors and minors can also be arranged for students who want to combine the skills and perspectives of two or more disciplines. The core curriculum provides many opportunities to explore the vast territory of the liberal arts and to discover individual intellectual passions.