The Program

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 of Liberal Studies (BLS)* 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.

 

 

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 Cathy O'Donnell at ptadmiss@fairfield.edu for more information about the BLS 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 BLS 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 Studies heading if you plan to pursue your degree as a part-time student.

Online Catalog

For detailed course descriptions refer to our online catalog.

Requirements

Learn more about the Bachelor’s Degree in Liberal Studies requirements.

Course Offerings

  • Earn a B.A. by choosing courses from the humanities and social and behavioral sciences.
  • Earn a B.S. by choosing courses from mathematics and science and professional studies.
  • Complete 120 credits with a minimum of 45 credits at Fairfield University.
    • Meet the requirements of the BLS core curriculum.
    • For your BLS MAJOR, Complete GS 399 Independent Research Project
    • For your BLS MAJOR, Complete 9 upper-level courses from at least 2 of the areas below to concentrate your studies. No more than four courses can be taken in any one subject/discipline.

Areas of Concentration and Subjects/Disciplines

The Humanities

  • Applied Ethics
  • Classics
  • English
  • History
  • Modern Languages
  • Philosophy
  • Religious Studies
  • Visual and Performing Arts

Social and Behavioral Sciences

  • Anthropology
  • Communication
  • Economics
  • Politics
  • Psychology
  • Sociology

Mathematics and Science

  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Mathematics
  • Physics

Professional Studies

  • Accounting
  • Information Systems
  • Engineering
  • Finance
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • Nursing

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.  BLS 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 & finaid@fairfield.edu

Frequently Asked Questions

Why pursue your degree in Liberal Studies at Fairfield University? 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 BLS 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 BLS 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.  

I’d like to have my University e-mail forwarded to my preferred email account. How can I do that?

Use this Resource Guide (PDF)

Can I live on campus?

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

 

How can I request accommodations?

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

 

How and when do I register for courses?

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.

 

Is there an Honor Society for adult/part-time students?

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. 

  1. Must be a matriculated student in an undergraduate degree program;
  2. Are actively enrolled in the semester;
  3. GPA 3.2 or higher on a scale of 4.0;
  4. Must complete a minimum of 24 credit hours;
  5. All 24 credits must be taken through and graded at the matriculating institution and must be included in the student’s cumulative GPA;
  6. 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).

 

How can I get approval to take courses at other institutions?

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.

 

How do I apply for graduation?

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.

 

If I major in the BLS program, can I still take business, math, and science courses?

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.  

 

What will a current or future employer think about a BLS degree?

Whether you came to the BLS 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 BLS degree given your specific career and life path.

 

Is it possible to pursue a minor area of study in the BLS program?

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

Are internship opportunities available for BLS students?

 

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 BLS 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. BLS 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.   

 

I’d like to know the requirements for an internship in a particular department/program NOW. How do I find out what they are?

Visit the College of Arts and Sciences Internship page or the Career Planning Internship page to see if the department has specific internship requirements.

 

What if I need to withdraw from a class? How can I do that?

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 BLS 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.   

 

How can I look up my final grades in a class?

Step by step instructions are illustrated here.

How to Apply

We look forward to working with you as you take the final steps to complete your degree. 

Have questions? Contact:

Cathy O'Donnell
ptadmiss@fairfield.edu
203-254-5532

 

Important Forms (PDF & Word)

Advising Checklist Form
Alpha Sigma Lambda Scholarship application Form
Liberal Studies Audit Form
Liberal Studies Audit with Notes Form
CLEP and Portfolio Credit Request Form
CLEP Exam Credits Form
Porftoflio Assessment Form
Look up Grades Form
GS 399 Application Form
GS 399 Information Form
GS 399 Sample paper Form
GS 399 Sample project Form

Faculty

Contact Us

Bachelor’s Degree Programs for Part-Time and Continuing Studies Students

Fairfield University provides a variety of stepping stones on a path to starting or completing your undergraduate degree. With flexible part-time day, evening, weekend, intersession and online courses, you can successfully go back to school as busy adult learner.

To learn more about bachelor’s degree opportunities that are best suited to your educational and career goals, please contact one of the following representatives. We will be happy to answer your questions or to set up an advising session regarding a particular degree. 


School of Nursing

  • RN to BSN Degree
  • Second Degree Nursing Program

Carol Pomarico
capomarico@fairfield.edu
(203) 254-4150


College of Arts and Sciences

  • Traditional Arts & Science majors
  • Bachelor of Liberal Studies

Cathy O'Donnell
ptadmiss@fairfield.edu
(203) 254-5532


Charles F. Dolan School of Business

  • Traditional Business majors

Cathy O'Donnell
ptadmiss@fairfield.edu
(203) 254-5532


School of Engineering

  • Traditional Engineering majors

Cathy O'Donnell
ptadmiss@fairfield.edu
(203) 254-5532

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