Frequently Asked Questions

Orientation FAQs | Academic Planning FAQs

Orientation Logistics Questions

Q. When is New Student Orientation?

A. Session A - June 21-22 (Tuesday/Wednesday)
Session B - June 27-28 (Monday/Tuesday)

Q. Is Session A better than Session B?

A. No. Both sessions are identical. The same opportunities are available at each session so students will get equal opportunities to register for courses, meet their classmates, interact with faculty, etc.

Q. What if I cannot make it to Orientation due to other previous engagements?

A. It is expected that you attend. Don't pass up the opportunity to meet your classmates, faculty, and New Student Leaders! However, if you cannot make it to either session due to extenuating circumstances, please inform us on the Orientation registration form via the First Year Student Checklist (available 5/2016).

Q: What happens if I absolutely cannot attend June Orientation?

A: You will receive all of the necessary forms and information in the First Year Guide, which will be mailed to you. Please inform us on the Orientation registration form via the First Year Student Checklist. We will be in touch later in the summer to discuss your course registration. Additionally, you will participate in Orientation-related activities during Fall Welcome in September, which begins on first year move-in day. You will have a chance to meet your classmates and hear from faculty and student leaders during that time so you can feel more comfortable before classes begin.

Q. Can parents/guardians attend?

A. Absolutely! We have designed a separate Parent/Guardian Orientation program with family members in mind. The cost of this program is $100 per parent/guardian, which cover meals, administrative costs, and materials.

Q. Must parents/guardians attend?

A. It is optional. If they choose to attend, they will gather information about their student's first year by attending sessions featuring academic deans, faculty, student leaders, and administrators.

Q. What is the student Orientation fee?

A. The student Orientation fee is approximately $230, which covers meals, housing, administrative costs, and materials for both the June and August sessions. The fees are part of every student's tuition and fees that they pay to attend Fairfield.

Q. Do I stay on campus for Orientation?

A. If you are a student, you will stay overnight in one of our first year residence halls. If you are a parent/guardian, you can either commute from home or stay in a local hotel that has a special Orientation rate.

Q. When can I register for Orientation?

A. Registration  for Student Orientation and Parent/Guardian Orientationis is done by the student via the First Year Student Checklist. These are two separate registration forms.

Q. When should I arrive?

A. On the first day of Orientation, registration will be from 7:30-9:00 a.m. The program begins promptly at 9:30 a.m. Please check the schedule for your precise arrival time.

Q. When will the Orientation program finish?

A. The program is scheduled to conclude by 3 p.m. on the second day.

Q: As a parent/guardian, if I am not Catholic, do I have to go to Mass?

A: Not at all. Mass is for all faiths. During this time we also have a Reflection Walk experience so families are welcome to use this time to enjoy campus.

Q: Are there shuttles provided to Fairfield from hotels, the Bridgeport ferry, airports, etc.?

A: The University does not provide these services. However, if a student is coming from far away and they are alone, we can consider it on a case-by-case basis.

Q: What if I am arriving early?

A: Please notify us as soon as possible about your travel plans so that we may approve your request and notify Residence Life that you are moving into the halls.

Q: Must students bring bedding?

A: Yes. Students should bring a pillow, sheets/sleeping bag, blanket, a small fan, and First Year Guide.

Q: Will parents/guardians and students interact during the two days?

A: The parent/guardians and student programs run separately, but there are times that you will be able to meet prior to departure.

Q: Can siblings attend?

A: Unfortunately, there is no scheduled program for siblings; sessions are geared toward a parent/guardian audience and meals are calculated based on the number of parents/guardians attending. If siblings are attending, they are to stay overnight with their parents/guardians and must remain with their parents/guardians at all times. However if a sibling under 10 years of age attends, there is no cost. Otherwise, the sibling fee is $50. Please email, if you need to register a sibling that is over the age of 10.

Q: If parents/guardians can only attend one day of Orientation, must they pay the full $100?

A: If the parent/guardians can only come for one day, they should contact the Office of Student Engagement via email at ($50 will be charged to cover the meals and materials they will receive).


Academic Planning Questions

Q: How do I request a change of major or school prior to Orientation?

A: Students requesting to formally change their major and/or school prior to June Orientation should contact the Office of Undergraduate Admissions for additional information.   Students may indicate their academic interests without formally changing their program of study on the Academic Questionnaire.   

Q: Do I need to take the language placement exam if I plan to begin study in a new language?

A: Yes.  All students are required to complete the language placement exam in the language they studied in high school.  Students requesting to begin study in a new language should indicate their preference on the Academic Questionnaire.  Faculty advisors will be available to discuss language placement and answer questions at Orientation.

Q: How will my math placement be determined?

A: Students are placed in the appropriate level of mathematics based on courses taken and grades received during high school and according to the requirements of their declared program of study.  Faculty advisors will be available to discuss math placement and answer questions at Orientation.

Q: How will I be registered for my Cornerstone Course?

A: Students will be pre- registered for a Cornerstone course that satisfies a major or Core requirement.  Academic interests and related academic information entered on the Academic Questionnaire will be considered. 

Q: How will I register for Fall 2016 Courses?

A: Students will meet with an academic advisor on the first day of Orientation to review their plan of study, curricular requirements, and academic interests.  Students will register for their first semester of courses on the second day of Orientation.  Academic advisors will be available to assist students each step of the way.  Students should prepare by reviewing the Academic Planning section of the First-Year Guide and by completing the Academic Questionnaire in its entirety.  
Q: Does Fairfield University award credit for AP Courses, IB Courses, and College Courses completed while in high school?
Advanced Placement:
Fairfield University will award 3 or 4 credit hours for each AP course taken by a student, provided that the student has taken the Advanced Placement Test prepared by the CEEB program and obtained a test score of 4 or 5.   A maximum of 15 AP credits will be awarded.  Official score reports should be sent to the Office of Academic Support and Retention.
Higher Level International Baccalaureate Courses:
Fairfield University recognizes the advanced nature of Higher Level International Baccalaureate courses and will award 3 or 4 credit hours provided a grade of 6 or 7 is achieved.  A maximum of 15 IB credits will be awarded. Official score reports should be sent to the Office of Academic Support and Retention.
Courses Taken for College Credit while in High School
For students who pursue college courses while in high school, upon receipt of an official college transcript, the course work will be evaluated by the appropriate academic administrator in consultation with the respective curriculum area, provided the following criteria are met:

  • The course(s) must have been completed in a college environment and must have been taught by a college professor
  • The course(s)/credits were not used to satisfy high school graduation requirements
  • A final grade of “C” or better was earned.

College/school officials will determine the appropriateness of the transfer credit for the student’s program and decide whether it has met Fairfield’s curriculum standards.  A maximum of 15 credits of approved coursework will be awarded transfer credit. The grades will not be transferred.
College level courses will be evaluated upon receipt of the following documentation:

  • An official letter from the high school principal or school counselor stating that the course was taught on the college/university campus, by a member of the college/university faculty, and with regularly matriculated undergraduates at that college/university
  • An official transcript from the college/university
  • A course description and/or course syllabus
  • High school profile outlining all high school graduation requirements

It is the discretion of college/school officials to determine if AP, IB, or transfer credit may be used to exempt students from specific University courses or requirements.  Official score reports, transcripts, and related documentation should be sent to the Office of Academic Support and Retention.  Any necessary changes to the fall 2016 course schedule will be processed over the summer months and prior to the start of the semester.

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