A Message from Dean Robbin Crabtree, Ph.D.

cas_rcrabtreeWelcome to the College of Arts and Sciences, the oldest and largest of Fairfield's six schools. The College is home to 15 academic departments and many academic programs, led by more than 150 full-time faculty members and many part-time faculty, all of whom bring their unique academic and professional expertise to the curriculum. Over half of all Fairfield University undergraduate students - around 2,000 in any given year - focus their studies in the College.

The College of Arts and Sciences is also the home of the undergraduate core curriculum, which unifies the education of all Fairfield undergraduates. Rising from our Jesuit mission and the liberal arts educational tradition, the core provides the foundations for broad professional success and satisfying personal relationships, community engagement and global citizenship, and lifelong learning based on rigorous inquiry and critical reflection.

The College of Arts and Sciences also offers six distinct graduate programs that lead to masters' degrees: American Studies (M.A.), Communication (M.A.), Creative Writing (M.F.A.), and Mathematics (M.S.), Public Administration (M.P.A.), and Liberal Studies (M.A.). Highly-qualified and caring faculty members share their commitment to teaching, passion for their subject matter, and diverse research interests with the students, many of whom are working professionals. The intimate academic environment encourages students within a given program, from diverse backgrounds and life experiences, to develop a sense of community with one another, to explore new ideas, to cultivate rigorous methods of inquiry, to solve problems, and to discover a new sense of purpose.

Let me offer the following advice and encouragement to all our students:

Discover and follow your passions. Fairfield's curriculum offers the opportunity to experiment and find out what excites you, what calls to you. Have confidence that if you follow your passions, you will be well prepared no matter how your professional journey unfolds and whatever life choices you make. Your future will require that you encounter, appreciate, and develop the ability to utilize diverse perspectives and modes of inquiry, and that you can "go global" with your interests, abilities, and aspirations. Our programs and our Jesuit educational tradition provide the foundations for these pathways of discovery.

Take responsibility for getting what you want from your academic experience. There can be no doubt that Fairfield University offers a top-quality education and many advantages derived from our beautiful campus, our ideal geographical location, and our impressive faculty, students, and alumni network. But none of these benefits will come knocking on your door - all require you to be curious and active. Get to know your professors. Take advantage of peer and faculty advising and mentoring. Share your ideas with your classmates and find out what they are studying, thinking about, and doing. Seek answers to your questions and support for your needs. Encouragement, assistance, and collaboration are just waiting for you.

Engage with opportunities outside of the classroom. Internships, collaborative research with faculty, community-based and service-learning classes, and international study and service opportunities are all occasions to cultivate awareness of the world beyond the classroom, to encounter diverse life experiences, to develop leadership skills, and to connect your formal academic study to other contexts. Your education is not bound by the walls and gates of the campus or constrained by the clock marking the beginning and end of class. As you explore the world beyond our campus, I hope you will learn to be guided as much by your compassion for and responsibility to others as you are by your own passions.

Finally, HAVE FUN! For our undergraduates, these are sure to be four of the best years of your life; for our graduate students, this is an opportunity to discover yourself anew. Either way, during your time at Fairfield University you will be inspired and challenged, you will develop lifelong friendships with other students and among the faculty, and you will experience immense personal and professional growth. This is a chance like no other.

I look forward to sharing your journey with you,

Robbin D. Crabtree, Ph.D.
Dean, College of Arts & Sciences