Founded in 1942, Fairleigh Dickinson University (FDU) is the largest private university in New Jersey and is dedicated to serving its community. Beginning as a two-year junior college, Fairleigh Dickinson expanded to a four-year curriculum in 1948 to fill the need for higher education in northern New Jersey and gained university status in 1956. Today, more than 11,000 students from 41 states and 74 countries are enrolled in over 100 degree programs at the associate, baccalaureate, master’s and doctoral levels across its four campuses.

Each of FDU’s four campuses — two in northern New Jersey and two international campuses in Wroxton, England and Vancouver, Canada — has a unique character and vitality. Students benefit from studying at a comprehensive university that offers a wide range of programs and courses, but they also enjoy an atmosphere of warmth and personal attention usually found at much smaller institutions.

FDU has maintained a commitment to broadening global horizons and fostering greater international understanding. In 2000, FDU adopted a focused mission: to prepare students for world citizenship through global education.

Fairleigh Dickinson University has a long history of being a university of and for its communities.

“We are very proud to be the first private university in New Jersey to join CUMU and look forward to a strong partnership and a productive collaboration that will support transformative efforts and enhance our impact in our local communities,” said University Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Benjamin Rifkin.

Community-engaged work unfolds in different ways at each campus and provides both enriched learning opportunities for FDU students and deep engagement to the benefit of the communities in which the students are working.

In the years immediately following its founding, many students were women who had little access to other opportunities for a bachelor’s degree. FDU has long focused on serving those who may not have wide access to such transformational opportunities, and the University continues to focus on access for life-changing opportunities to learn for individuals in and near the communities where its campuses are located.

Today, FDU is honored to be recognized as a Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI). Among key areas of focus, FDU is particularly proud of the Hispanic Center, which grew out of an initiative launched 20 years ago to enhance opportunities available to individuals who identify as Hispanic. The Hispanic Center provides our community members with multiple paths to higher education on a full- or part-time basis, with the Avanza program for high school students, the Latino Promise program for college students fluent in English, the HACER program for college students who are native Spanish speakers, and the Puerta al Futuro program for adult learners who are native Spanish speakers.

Fairleigh Dickinson University is well known for its numerous affiliations and partnerships with community colleges, the private and public sectors, and non-profit organizations, where students participate in internships and career shadowing opportunities, as well as in research projects anchored in community needs.

“As both an undergraduate and graduate student at FDU, I participated in community-engaged learning—tutoring center-city school children in writing skills as an undergraduate and visiting with inmates in a maximum-security prison for sabbath services as a graduate student—and I saw the impact both on my communities and on my own personal growth, so I am particularly dedicated to expanding opportunities for community-engaged learning at FDU to benefit both our communities and our students,” added Rifkin.

With its wide range of offerings, coupled with the depth and expertise of its leadership, Fairleigh Dickinson University is poised to continue its legacy of community outreach and impact in the communities of New Jersey and beyond for years to come.

Join us in welcoming Fairleigh Dickinson University to the CUMU membership.