At the end of the American Civil War, John Simmons was the owner and operator of one of the largest clothing manufacturing companies in the Northeast. After his death, Simmons bequeathed his entire estate to the founding of a Bostonian college that would be designed specifically for women. John Simmons was determined to leave behind a legacy of education women extensively in the arts and sciences so that they could develop and independent life for themselves.
At the turn of the twentieth century, Simmons College was finally built and established and Simmons’ dream was made a reality. Today, Simmons College still operates an undergraduate program that is exclusively available for female students. However, the college does have a graduate program that is available for both men and women. Simmons College is a member and affiliate of a conglomeration of colleges in the Boston area known as the Colleges of the Fenway. Through this affiliation, students can enroll in classes at colleges throughout the Boston area to further tailor their educational experience to meet their specific needs.
Today, Simmons College is actually located on two separate campuses that are within a mile of each other. One of these campuses is strictly residential with over thirteen buildings including a dining facility and a fitness center. The other campus is devoted entirely to academics and the business aspect of the college.
The undergraduate program of study at Simmons College is by far its most extensive. However, the school does operate several other schools of graduate-level study. Included in these graduate programs is the Graduate School of Library and Information Science. With access to some of the best libraries in the country, students who enroll in this program will learn the art of maintaining, establishing and running a public or private library. Students who participate in this graduate-level program will learn about cataloging books using computer software, interlibrary connections, and graduate-level research techniques.
Female students who enroll in the undergraduate program at Simmons College can expect to receive a bachelor’s degree in as little as four years of full-time study. The college is primarily a liberal arts college, so programs like education, English, foreign language, psychology and sociology are its most popular academic programs. The school also offers courses in graphic design, photography, film studies, and health and nutrition.
Most Popular Fields of Study
Simmons College offers a very unique opportunity for proactive students who wish to graduate with more than just a single bachelor’s degree. With its dual degree program, female students can graduate with two distinct bachelor’s degrees and can often accomplish this in the same amount of time as a single bachelor’s degree in a traditional educational program.
The degrees in the dual degree program are usually two separate degrees that are paired because of their overlapping subject matter. Students who achieve dual degrees are uniquely positioned to compete for jobs in the competitive workplace. For example, the children’s literature dual degree provides students with a Master of Arts and a Master of Fine Arts in children’s literature and writing for children, respectively.
The gender and cultural studies dual degree program is another unique educational opportunity offered by Simmons College. With this degree program, students will study the history of gender and cultural issues and learn unique ways that these historical patterns translate and shape the modern way of life.
Only female students are accepted into the undergraduate program at Simmons College. For female students interested in applying to Simmons, the process is very simple. The easiest way to apply to the school is by using the online application form provided on the school’s official webpage. This form will walk a prospective student through all of the unique elements of an application to Simmons College. Additionally, there is no processing fee for students who apply online at Simmons College.
Simmons College’s website states that it is not only interested in the academic accomplishments of a prospective student. Instead the admissions board carefully considers all aspects of a prospective student’s personality, accomplishments, and purpose. The board does this through the use of a personal essay, letters of recommendation, and an on-campus interview. The essay and letters of recommendation are required from all applicants. The on-campus interview is not a necessity; however, the school does recommend this interview process because it greatly improves a student’s chances of being accepted to Simmons College.
Other considerations taken in the admission process are a student’s extracurricular activities, leadership skills, leadership potential, community involvement, volunteer history, personal attitude, motivation for considering Simmons College, and personal goals.
The female students at Simmons College are actively involved in both on-campus and off-campus activities. Because Simmons College is such a dramatic part of its community, students are encouraged to give back by volunteering and participating in community activities and community outreach programs. The school also sponsors several blood drives throughout the semesters.
Students are also involved in on-campus activities. Social activist groups such as the Feminist Union and the Multifaith Coalition are large organizations on campus that promote awareness of issues such as sexism and religious discrimination. Students can also become involved in cultural, academic, and recreational clubs and groups.
The campus at Simmons College also has a fitness center where female students can enroll in student and faculty led classes such as yoga sessions, spinning courses, aerobic classes, dance classes, and self defense courses. The empowering attitude of the aerobic clubs on campus encourages women to take their health and safety into their own hands.
Student Enrollment Demographics
Student Graduation Demographics
- 300 Most Selective Colleges. New York: Arco, 1989. Print.
- Green Simmons : About Simmons : Simmons College – Boston, Massachusetts. 2011. Web. 21 May 2011. <http://green.simmons.edu/commitments>.
- Simmons College – Boston, Massachusetts. 2011. Web. 20 May 2011. <http://www.simmons.edu>.