Fairfield University has partnered with the city of Bridgeport to form an internship program that will allow more than a dozen university students to work in the city's municipal departments this spring semester.

The initiative is the result of months of talks in which school and city officials worked together to build on the city's economic development priorities and enhance student educational opportunities, according to a release.

"This is a wonderful opportunity for our students to receive hands-on experience with the workings of a major city across a spectrum of departments and areas of focus," the Rev. Jeffrey P. von Arx, the university's president, said in a statement. "We emphasize at Fairfield just how important it is for real-world experience to be integrated with the classroom, so this partnership is ideal in that respect."

The program was announced recently during a celebratory event in the Bridgeport Mayor's Office.

Arx also said the program will provide a chance for the university to contribute to the city and put its students to work in the service of the city's growth and development.

The students, in their senior year, will work in a variety of city departments and offices, including the office of the mayor, animal shelter, city attorney, human resources and sustainability.

Arx said the university this fall will launch a master's in public administration program that will offer further opportunities for students to become involved with the city's municipal services.