Simmons College (www.simmons.edu) is a private university located in the heart of Boston. Simmons has top-rated faculty, prestigious alumnae/i, and an ideal Boston location. It has undergraduate programs for women and graduate programs for women and men. Founded more than a century ago, Simmons was the first woman’s college in the nation to offer women liberal arts training and career preparation. Simmons founded the first MBA program in the world designed to help women succeed as leaders and managers. There are roughly 2,000 undergraduate women students, including 21% self reported African American, Latina, Asian, Native American, and multi-racial students. There are 6% international students. Simmons is next-door to world-renowned museums, libraries, hospitals, and medical and research facilities. Simmons College has been repeatedly named a “Best College” in its category in the U.S.News & World Report rankings of “America’s Top Colleges.” Simmons is also named in the Princeton Review “Best 361 Colleges,” an honor held by only 15% of the four-year undergraduate colleges in America.
On Student Body
Simmons women see themselves as open-minded, overachieving feminists who are "just as engaging at a party as in the classroom." Students routinely take on crazy class hours, club leadership positions, and multiple majors. Recently, the vibe of the school has started to shift "from being all about grades to being more about community." The small, liberal student body accepts lesbianism readily—"you become very accustomed to same-sex relationships"—but "Republicans or Yankees fans might want to tread carefully." Many student activists organize around political issues of gender, race, and class. They note a divide between students "on a first-name basis with every financial aid officer and those whose parents can afford a small island in the Pacific." They are also sensitive to the fact that "there are more cleaning people than students of color." However, a junior points out, "With each incoming class, Simmons becomes more and more diverse." Ultimately, students cultivate "solidarity around being a woman," whether that woman is moneyed Cape Cod stock or a gender-bending punk.
At Simmons College, its all-female, grade-conscious setting demonstrates that "the girls are here to learn." A senior admits, "It might sound cheesy, but the school is really about helping students find their voice." Professors facilitate this process by "treating everyone with respect, dignity, and compassion." Students feel their teachers are "actually on our side, ready to help with almost anything." Extensive office hours and prompt e-mail responses indicate professors' high level of accessibility. "When you find an amazing professor, you can be sure that s/he is available to you in a big way," writes a senior. The political science, international relations, and communications departments rank high with students, while the nursing and physical therapy programs benefit from proximity to some of the nation's top hospitals. "When I look out my window, I see Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and one block down are the rest of the great hospitals in the Longwood Medical Area." This practical training bridges academic work and professional preparation. "All of my professors in the nursing program have wanted me to succeed and have advised me in my career choices." A few departments, such as music and psychology, could use a few more faculty members to cover class demand. Complaints surface regarding Culture Matters (officially the "Multidisciplinary Core Course"), a class required of all first-year students. But in most classes, students notice a payoff. "I've seen an amazing improvement in my writing, class participation, and overall attention to detail in my reading." The school places "a high premium on making sure everyone feels comfortable," so that education can be a personal experience. "By the time we graduate, we're far more self-confident."
Be warned: "This is a learning environment, not a place to party or make out with the newest meat from MIT." It is true that on-campus life can feel like "a bizarre combination of a nunnery and Sesame Street." Entertainment veers toward that sleepover-party image of single-sex institutions, complete with "pajamas, movies, and drinks." If Simmons were located in the boonies, the regimen of knitting, Ms. Pac-Man, political rallies, and field hockey could get old. But it's in the middle of Boston, a "huge college-oriented city" that beckons with Newbury Street shopping, hip coffee shops, Red Sox games, and the male-female ratio of the real world. "The school buys bulk discounted tickets to plays and musicals and even the ballet." Participation in the Colleges of Fenway Consortium links the school to its neighbors, though some students seem to have thought before they enrolled that Simmons would host more coed events. Students like coming home to Simmons as much as they like getting away. "It always feels like a safe and secure place to study after a long weekend out." A fair number of entering students seem to experience a rough adjustment period but grow to love the school after getting accustomed and involved.
Simmons College (www.simmons.edu) is a private university located in the heart of Boston. Simmons has top-rated faculty, prestigious alumnae/i, and an ideal Boston location.
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