Part Time FAQ

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Bachelor’s Degrees for Part-Time Students FAQ

I would like to complete a bachelor’s degree as a part-time student at Fairfield University.  What are my options?

Part-time students (defined as those students taking three courses or less a semester) may earn undergraduate degrees. The Bachelor in Liberal & Professional Studies as well as 43 traditional majors are available through the College of Arts & Sciences, the Charles F. Dolan School of Business and the School of Engineering.  The Marion Peckham Egan School of Nursing and Health Studies offers the accelerated 15-month Second Degree in Nursing.

I need a flexible program of study to accommodate my busy lifestyle.  What degree would work best for me?

The University offers the Bachelor in Liberal & Professional Studies (BLPS) that was specifically designed for busy adult learners seeking to complete their bachelor’s degree on a part-time basis.  The degree features four concentrations to choose from to earn either a B.A. or B.S. degree.  Classes are available in day, evening, online or hybrid formats through accelerated 5 and 8-week terms as well as traditional 15-week semesters. Up to 75 transfer credits can be accepted and opportunities to receive credit for prior learning/work experience.

How do I begin to explore degree options before applying?

The best way to begin is to meet with a Fairfield University advisor.  Our academic advisors are eager to learn about your future education and career aspirations, your current work and lifestyle schedule, and discuss your past academic history. With that and other information, together the advisor can help you map out a plan to get started moving forward toward your college degree beginning with the application process.

What are the deadlines and how do I apply as a part-time student seeking a bachelor’s degree?

There are no deadlines for PT Applicants since enrollment for PT students is open and rolling (except for the Second Degree BSN Program which has a November 1 deadline for the accelerated 15-month program that starts in June each year.) All students interested in earning a bachelor’s degree on a part-time basis must complete the Part-Time Student application through the Office of Part-Time and Continuing Studies Admission. Once the application is completed and all required materials are received, applicants are notified of admission decisions usually within two weeks.

How selective are your admissions for part-time students?

Fairfield University strives to be as inclusive as possible while upholding the university’s academic standards. In our admission application review process, we take a holistic approach and very much take into consideration each individual’s unique background and experiences.  If you would like to meet with a part-time enrollment counselor in advance of your application, please feel free to contact us for an appointment.

If I have some previous college credits will they transfer toward my degree at Fairfield?

With Fairfield's Bachelor in Liberal & Professional Studies degree students may be able to transfer up to 75 college credits, some of which may be over 10 years old. There are even opportunities to receive college credit for prior work/life experiences (CLEP exams and portfolio review.)  Your official college transcript will have to be reviewed by an academic advisor to determine the  number of allowable transfer credits.

Can I choose a traditional undergraduate major and attend Fairfield University as a part-time student?

Yes, you can select from 43 undergraduate majors from Fairfield’s four schools. An admission counselor can initially help you select and determine the best major based on your academic and career goals.  Once admitted to Fairfield, you will be assigned a faculty advisor from your school and they can help you determine the best curriculum path toward degree completion. While some majors can be completed in the evening, most traditional majors may require a combination of day and evening classes with many options for online and hybrid courses as well.  Prospective students should meet with an advisor in the Office of Part-Time and Continuing Studies Admission to review degree options on a part-time basis.

As a part-time degree seeking student, what services are available for me to utilize?

Fairfield University prides itself on offering all undergraduate and graduate students access to a wide assortment of first-class services.  State-of-the-art facilities and the latest technology will enhance and expand your educational experience while a student and even after graduation -- as a valued alumni!  From how to finance your college education (Financial Aid) or how to create an effective resume (Career Planning) to research assistance on a particular subject (Library) or attending a lecture at the Quick Center with a half-price student ticket, Fairfield has a lot to offer you as a student and encourages you to take advantage of all that is offered!  For $50 a year, part-time students can enjoy a yearly membership at the newly renovated recreational complex on campus!

How much do degree programs cost for part-time students and are scholarships available?

Fairfield’s part-time bachelor-degree seeking students (taking 3-courses or less per semester) are charged on a reduced per credit hour basis.  Tuition and fees are published on the University’s web site. There are very limited scholarships available for PT students and institutional aid is only available to full-time students.  However, our Financial Aid experts can work with you on how to finance your college degree through federal and other student loan programs.

What type of disability services does a part-time student have access to?

The Office of Disability Support Services works with students with disabilities to help determine and facilitate an individualized accessibility plan each semester, and serves as a liaison between students, faculty, and staff. 

What type of veteran benefits is available at Fairfield University?

Fairfield University welcomes all veterans and is dedicated to assisting those who have served our country to attain their educational goals through their veteran benefits. Individuals who qualify for 100% of the VA benefits under the new Post-9/11 GI Bill will also have the opportunity to receive additional funding for program costs through the Yellow Ribbon Program, which allows Fairfield to waive up to 50% of additional tuition costs with the remaining 50% to be matched by the VA. This means no tuition costs at Fairfield for the qualified veteran for an undergraduate degree.

Can I visit campus?

Yes, campus tours are offered throughout the year to part-time students as needed. If you would like to sit in on a class, please contact us.

Newly Enrolled Part-Time Students FAQ

When can I register for classes?

Review the University’s academic calendar for dates when course registration is open for summer, fall, winter intersession, and spring. All registration and course payment is done online through my.fairfield.

What if I want to change or withdraw from a course?

There is a specific add/drop period (approximately one week after classes begin) where students can change or drop a class. Check the academic course catalog for specific dates then check Browse Classes online to be sure there is space available in the new course you are seeking. The academic catalog also has information on the process for course withdrawal policy, including medical withdrawals, refunds, and readmission after a withdrawal.

Can I join the RecPlex and take fitness classes as a part-time student?

Yes, Fairfield University encourages all students to enjoy the RecPlex facilities and the wide variety of fitness classes offered there. For a discounted membership rate, new part-time students can join the Recplex once they are registered for and attending classes at Fairfield.

Can I miss a semester of enrollment at Fairfield University?

Yes. As a part-time matriculated student, you can remain an active student and miss up to eight consecutive semesters before your student record becomes inactive. At Fairfield, we understand that due to the busy lives and demands on many part-time students outside of school, it may be necessary to not enroll in a particular semester. If you are not re-enrolling, it is suggested to let your academic advisor know, and then reconnect with your advisor well in advance of your return to course enrollment.

Can I enroll in less than three courses per semester if needed?

Yes, as a part-time matriculated student you have the flexibility of enrolling in up to three courses per semesters, but are not required to. So, as your work or life schedule requires, you can enroll in one, two, or three classes in any semester, except winter intersession. We recommend enrollment in one course over winter intersession due to the accelerated nature of the instruction.

Can I request a “change of status” from a part-time matriculated student to a full-time student?

Yes, after successful enrollment in approximately 6 courses (18 credits) over two to three semesters, students in good standing can meet with their academic advisor to discuss interest in a change of status to full-time. The advisor will make a recommendation to your school’s deans office, and they will approve, complete, and forward a “change of status” form on your behalf to the Registrar’s Office. Your student record will be updated to reflect this change so that you can register for up to five classes in a semester. You will also be billed at the full-time tuition rate. However, if you decide at a future time to return to part-time status, you can do so but will be paying the “full-time to part-time” student tuition rate, which is higher than the initial part-time student rate.

Can I change my major once I have started coursework?

Yes, you can. It is important to meet with your academic advisor who can provide guidance and information on how to change your major within your school or switch to a major from another school (except for nursing.) Sometimes there is a GPA requirement to successfully switch schools. Your advisor can also provide information about being a double major or add a minor to your curriculum.

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