Liberal & Professional Studies

On This Page

Program Overview

Open the door to a whole new world of professional and advancement opportunities, or simply tie up the loose ends of your academic aspirations. Fairfield University is the place to begin or complete your bachelor's degree. When it comes to your future, this could be the start of something big!

Our Bachelor in Liberal and Professional Studies (BLPS)* program is flexible and interdisciplinary - you work with your advisor to design a program that centers on your interests.

  • Apply to the program having previously earned a minimum of 18 college credits
  • Transfer up to 75 credits - including credit for qualified life/work experience - from up to the past 10 years
  • Study full- or part-time during the day, evenings, or weekends (or even online)
  • Apply any time of the year - admission is open

Check out the courses for concentrations in the Humanities, Social and Behavioral Sciences, Mathematics and Science or Professional Studies.

Admission is on a rolling basis and does not require test scores. However, many courses have prerequisites that must be satisfied prior to enrollment. Courses are taught by Fairfield University faculty; most hold the highest degree possible in their field.

Fairfield University | Bachelor of Liberal Studies

Advising

Advising

We encourage you to meet with an advisor before registering for your first course. After completing 12 credits you'll meet with your advisor again to talk about your academic goals and to map a course of study through to degree completion.

Contact ptadmiss@fairfield.edu for more information about the BLPS program.

Credit for Work and Life Experience

The knowledge you gain through work experience, training, reading, and community involvement may be equivalent to college-level learning. The Director of the BLPS Program, Dr. Maggie Wills, will guide you in CLEP exam credits (see also CLEP and Portfolio Credit Request PDF). Your advisor will also guide you in preparing a portfolio‌ for evaluation by Fairfield University faculty. Components of a portfolio include:

  • A description of the course for which you'd like to receive credit
  • A personal narrative that describes your activities or projects, what you learned, and how you applied the knowledge
  • Evidence that documents the accumulation of knowledge (a resume, job description, achievement awards, and/or letters of recommendation).

Look under the Part-time Undergraduate heading if you plan to pursue your degree as a part-time student.

Requirements & Curriculum

Learn more about the Liberal and Professional Studies major requirements.

Meet the requirements of the BLPS Program Core Curriculum or the Magis Core Curriculum
Complete nine (9) upper-level courses
Senior Project (LBPS 4999)

A detailed list of course requirements, offerings, and more can be viewed in the University’s course catalog.

Stag Spotlight

Coreen Martin headshot

Coreen Martin

Class of 2021

Get to Know Coreen

Coreen Martin ’21
Major:
Liberal Studies
Minor: Black Studies

What were your reasons for choosing Fairfield University?
I work for an institution that paid my tuition directly to Fairfield University. When I started attending Fairfield University, I was amazed at how invested the professors were in their students’ success. If you as a student had challenges, the professors would go above and beyond to help you.

What would you tell a student considering coming to Fairfield as an undergraduate?
Fairfield University has the most dedicated and hardworking professors. They are invested in you as a person and in your success.

What went into your thinking as you selected your major?
My advisor actually helped me with that decision.

What were the best aspects of your experience at Fairfield?
My advisor and the professors that taught me.

Please describe any interesting project, research opportunity, internship, leadership opportunity, or anything else you were a part of while at Fairfield.
I didn't spend much free time on campus because I had a fulltime job and also a family. However, we had an Advisory Council (CSSA) and I would try to attend as often as I could. This was where we as group of students would meet with our advisor and sometimes some of our professors and do "fun things" like pizza party, walk when the weather was warm, etc. Just a way of getting to know each other in a social setting. My capstone project was also a defining moment for me. My professor was amazing. The research was challenging, but with the help of the librarians and my assigned professor, it was rewarding.

What are you currently working on, or studying, and what about it inspires you?
I am a mental health technician at one of the local hospitals and I'm pursuing a graduate certificate in healthcare communication at Fairfield University. Being in healthcare for over 25 years and all the changes that have taken place over the years, it’s important to learn new communication skills, especially in my field.

How have the opportunities offered to you through Fairfield such as research, internships, alumni network, faculty relationships) helped you move closer to achieving your career goals?
My capstone and Black studies minor have given me a very rich history of America's past and, to an extent, its present.

Which school were you enrolled in?
College of Arts and Sciences

Please add anything else you wish us to know.
The professors and advisors are the best. Their investment in their students is priceless.

Brian Cosgrove headshot

Brian Cosgrove

Class of 2020

Get to Know Brian

Brian Cosgrove ’20
Major:
Liberal Studies

What were your reasons for choosing Fairfield University?
I had the honor of playing lacrosse for Fairfield University. I chose to play at Fairfield because of their outstanding lacrosse program and the ability to continue to grow in my faith.

What would you tell a student considering coming to Fairfield as an undergraduate?
I would simply tell them about the incredible experience I had. Attending a Jesuit university guarantees that you will be taught how to succeed in today’s world while still holding true to Jesuit values. I would also explain how classes are small which gives you the chance to have a close and personal relationship with your professors. Fairfield's staff is more than welcoming and loves to help any student in need of assistance. That is something you will not find at a larger university. And, how can I not mention the amazing town/beach of Fairfield. The town of Fairfield will always hold a special place in my heart.

What went into your thinking as you selected your major?
My selection of my major was actually a funny story. I was a freshman and wanted to follow in the steps of my older brother who was an accountant. I soon realized I was not built for the accounting world. I had a few meetings with the heads of some departments to see what would be the best fit for me. The professor for my last meeting in the communication department was running late, which left me waiting outside her office. Dr. Wills then saw a drained and confused freshman who clearly needed guidance. She brought me into her office and we started to talk about things I was interested in, and what I was looking to do after college. My whole high school career I focused so heavily on what college I wanted to go to for lacrosse that I never thought about what I actually wanted to study in college. Dr. Wills explained the BLS program and the flexibility that came with the program. The BLS program gave me the ability to truly design a course load of classes I was interested in, and that would set me up to succeed in the business world after school. I always laugh and say how it was a blessing in disguise that the professor was late to our meeting, which led me into Dr. Wills’ office.

What were the best aspects of your experience at Fairfield?
The best aspects of my Fairfield experience were the people I had the honor of meeting and the ability to be able to continue my faith at a higher level. I will forever be grateful of the incredible and lifelong friends I made during my time at Fairfield. Everyone is so nice and welcoming which creates a great community and camaraderie between students. Also, I have been lucky to go to Catholic school my whole life. Fairfield and my previous Catholic educational institutions have built me into the man I am today.

Please describe any interesting project, research opportunity, internship, leadership opportunity, or anything else you were a part of while at Fairfield.
For my capstone in the BLS program I wrote about my summer internship at Quicken Loans in Detroit, MI. I explained the amazing culture they instilled that reminded me a lot of Fairfield University. That culture was built on respecting others and encouraging one another to succeed and thrive. In addition, due to the flexibility I was given with the BLS program I was able to take the correct courses that helped me to succeed at my internship.

What are you currently working on, or studying, and what about it inspires you?
Due to the BLS program, lacrosse team, and previous jobs I was able to land a job in IT sales right after college in the heart of a pandemic. I currently am a solutions consultant for a risk management company, Steele Compliance. I help companies gain access to the correct solutions that will help them eliminate risks within their compliance departments.

How have the opportunities offered to you through Fairfield such as research, internships, alumni network, faculty relationships) helped you move closer to achieving your career goals?
The BLS program gave me the flexibility to take classes that have helped me succeed in my job/industry.

What student activities (clubs, athletics, honor societies) were you involved in on campus?
Please include any honors you may have received. Captain of Lacrosse Team, Outstanding Service award for Liberal Studies, Teachers Assistant for Comm. 242

Which school were you enrolled in?
College of Arts and Sciences

Katie Shields Thomson

Class of 2018

Get to Know Katie

Katie Shields Thomson ’18
Major:
Liberal Studies
Minor: Education, Communication

What were your reasons for choosing Fairfield University?
I graduated from a Jesuit preparatory school in 1999 and attended another Jesuit university for 2+ years before coming to Fairfield in 2015. In those years between, I grew an appreciation for having been taught to read, to write, and to speak well.

What went into your thinking as you selected your major?
At the time, the BLS program was the only one that would accept credits from classes that were more than ten years old and in some cases also accepted "life experience" credits — I am not sure this is still the case.

What were the best aspects of your experience at Fairfield?
Receiving recognition for the quality of my work. I was the recipient of two awards - one for my writing and one for academic achievement in the major. I met other women through the BLS program who had similar experiences.

Please describe any interesting project, research opportunity, internship, leadership opportunity, or anything else you were a part of while at Fairfield.
A requirement of the program was a capstone project. I worked with Dr. Rodrigues and researched non-traditional students. In particular, I focused on the strengths and weaknesses of institutions in regards to their treatment of/ accommodations made with non-traditional students in mind.

What are you currently working on, or studying, and what about it inspires you?
I recently applied to Fairfield's School of Education and Human Development. I am planning to pursue a Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling starting in Spring 2022.

How have the opportunities offered to you through Fairfield such as research, internships, alumni network, faculty relationships) helped you move closer to achieving your career goals?
Dr. Wills was the first person I reached out to when I (finally/recently) decided to apply to graduate school. I admire her and the work she does. Dr. Wills uses a strengths-based approach to counseling her BLPS students as she realizes that these students are degree-seeking and goal-oriented "tenacious persisters".

What student activities (clubs, athletics, honor societies) were you involved in on campus?
BLS Club, Award for Outstanding Academic Achievement in Liberal Studies, Eloquentia Perfecta Award HM

Which school were you enrolled in?
College of Arts and Sciences

More About Liberal & Professional Studies

Financial Aid

Learn More

Financial Aid

When it comes to financing your degree, remember that part-time studies students can opt to use a payment plan as long as they register at least ten days before the start of the semester.  BLPS students seeking Financial Aid are required to have demonstrated financial need and meet other aid requirements in addition to taking at least 9 credits a semester to be eligible for the part-time, need-based University aid. The typical award has been $750 a year or $375 a semester, summer excluded.

At the Office of Financial Aid there is an outside scholarship notice board available that students can come to find local outside scholarship announcements.  The office of Financial Aid also posts new scholarship announcements on Student 411.

Financial Aid refers many people to outside scholarship searching through trustworthy sites such as Fastweb at www.fastweb.com and Sallie Mae.

You can contact the Office of Financial Aid at (203) 254-4125, or finaid@fairfield.edu

Learn More About Financial Aid

Faculty

Learn More

Faculty

The College of Arts and Sciences at Fairfield University is home to a vibrant community of engaged faculty, dedicated staff and budding scholars devoted to the process of invention and discovery and excited by the prospect of producing knowledge in the service of others. Meet the innovative members of our Liberal & Professional Studies department.

Meet the Faculty

Frequently Asked Questions

Flexibility in pursuing a program of study that includes a broad-based foundation in Fairfield’s core curriculum and the ability to design a major that aligns with your professional and personal interests. Different from the pre-determined course of study required for most majors, the BLPS degree lets you plan a major course of study that makes sense for you. Taking into account previously earned college credits at Fairfield University and/or other institutions, your program advisor can help you transfer up to 75 approved credits and, once you have matriculated into the program, you’ll be on your way to earning a degree from a university recognized as one of the finest liberal arts institutions in the country. You’re also able to complete the BLPS degree on a part-time or full-time basis, stepping in and out as needed with the overall goal of completing your degree within ten years from the date of admission.

All full-time undergraduates are eligible to apply for student housing. During the summer intercession, full and part-time students can seek available student housing. Contact residencelife@fairfield.edu.

Students requesting accommodations can contact the Office of Disability Support Services.

Your faculty advisor will contact you during the advising and registration period. All students at the University register during the same time period. You are encouraged to register along with the rest of the student body in order to ensure you can get into the classes you want to take as well as have the option of using a tuition payment plan.

Yes. The Alpha Sigma Lambda (ASL) Honor Society acknowledges those who, while handling life responsibilities, achieve and maintain high scholastic standards as they pursue their degree studies. The Fairfield University Chapter, Gamma Phi, has been in existence since 1982.

  • Must be a matriculated student in an undergraduate degree program;
  • Are actively enrolled in the semester;
  • GPA 3.2 or higher on a scale of 4.0;
  • Must complete a minimum of 24 credit hours;
  • All 24 credits must be taken through and graded at the matriculating institution and must be included in the student’s cumulative GPA;
  • Have at least 12 credits earned in courses in Liberal Arts/Sciences, not including applied Arts/Sciences courses (i.e., studio art and science lab courses cannot be included in the 12 credits earned outside of the student’s major).

As for all Fairfield students, your final 30 credits must be taken at Fairfield University. Before your final 30 credits, please contact the Associate Dean in the College of Arts and Sciences in Canisius 100 to seek approval for outside courses. Keep in mind that all MAJOR courses must be completed at Fairfield University.

When you are nearing degree completion, the College of Arts and Sciences Dean’s office will contact you for the final steps to graduation. You will be asked to complete a degree completion card.

Yes, these courses can fulfill your elective, core, and major requirements. In fact, you are encouraged to take courses that speak to your interests, career goals, and advanced degree pursuits. Among our recent graduates, one works in financial wealth management and another was accepted into Fairfield’s Dolan School of Business to pursue an MBA this coming fall.

Whether you came to the BLPS program by way of life circumstances that had you working full or part time and seeking flexibility in completing your degree, or you began pursuing your degree at Fairfield or another institution but realized your desire for a program of study better tailored to your particular interests, any employer will be impressed by your credentials as a graduate of Fairfield University. Your advisor will help you determine how to best articulate the choice for a BLPS degree given your specific career and life path.

Yes, so long as you meet the requirements for the BLPS degree and also meet the requirements for a minor in a particular program.

Yes. We recommend that you reflect on your interests and goals and then consider the primary area(s) of study in which your major coursework has been taken (i.e., Sociology; Communication, etc.). Your BLPS advisor will then work with you and the internship coordinator in the department/program where your interest lies to determine how you can qualify to earn college credit for an internship. The University allows students to earn a maximum of 6 internship credits. BLPS majors can apply a maximum of 3 internship credits in fulfillment of their major course requirements. Up to 3 additional internship credits can be used to fulfill elective course credits.

Visit the Career Center to see if the department has specific internship requirements.

If you wish to withdraw from a class after the initial add/drop period, you may do so by the mid-point of the class (e.g., through the end of the seventh week in a traditional semester) provided that the BLPS Program Chair (Dr. Maggie Wills, mwills@fairfield.edu), in consultation with the course instructor, finds withdrawal to be in the student’s best interest. If you’re falling behind in a course and unable to keep up with the assignments for whatever reason, please seek help first from the course professor and then, as needed, consult with your academic advisor as to the best course of action. We encourage you to seek assistance and take action in order to avoid a final grade of “F” for courses in which you failed to complete the work.

Search Results