Fairfield Institution, located in Fairfield, Connecticut, is a private, Catholic university managed by the Society of Jesus and affiliated with the Roman Catholic Church. As a result of its founding by the Jesuits in 1942, it is now a member institution of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities. In 2017, the university had approximately 4,100 full-time undergraduate students plus 1,100 graduate students, both full-time and part-time, according to the most recent data available.
Fairfield University of Arts and Sciences, the Charles F. Dolan School of Business, the School of Engineering, the Marion Peckham Egan School of Nursing and Health Studies, and the Graduate School of Education and Allied Professions are among the schools and colleges that offer bachelor's degrees, master's degrees, and doctoral degrees.
For statistical reasons, the university campus is defined as a census-designated place on the campus map.
When the Rev. James H. Dolan, S.J., Provincial of the Society of Jesus for the New England Province requested permission from Bishop Maurice F. McAuliffe of the Hartford Archdiocese to establish a Jesuit high school and college in the southwestern area of Connecticut in 1941, he received a written response from the bishop. Fairfield University was formally established in 1942 when the Jesuits purchased the two adjoining estates of the Brewster Jennings and Walter Lashar families from the Brewster Jennings family and the Walter Lashar family. At the time of its establishment, it was the 26th Jesuit college/university in the United States of America.