College review by Lisa Bleich
I didn’t know what to expect from Simmons based on my outdated impressions of the school from when I lived in Boston almost 20 years ago. However, the wide range of confident, put-together women that I met during my visit impressed me. Simmons is small (2,000), women’s college located in the Fenway section of Boston. Simmons prides itself on a practical liberal arts curriculum, however they also offer several pre-professional programs such as nursing, physical therapy, and graphic design.
I was most impressed with the ability for students to start undergraduate scientific research as a freshman. One of the seniors presented her research that she started as a freshman and carried through her four years looking at the ability to convert plastic polymer material into reusable material and back again. She wrote a 150-page thesis and was accepted to 15 very competitive PhD programs. You could see the passion coming from both her and her professor.
The communications students presented us with the project that they worked on for KaBloom florists including a radio, Internet and iPhone campaign. The students competed against each other in groups and would present their campaigns to the executives in the company next week. Unfortunately only one out of the five seniors had a job lined up for graduation.
Simmons participates in the Fenway college consortium including Wheelock, Emmanual, Wentworth Institute of Technology, Mass College of Pharmacy, and Mass College of Art where students can take one class per semester. The campus is relatively small and the residential area is located a few blocks away from the academic buildings. (Emmanuel College sits in the middle.) There is a small green area in each of the quads. The dorms are standard and the facilities are somewhat limited given the small size. There were very old Mac computers peppered throughout the common areas to check e-mail. It is located down the street from Harvard Medical School.
The average student has a 3.24/4.0 GPA and an SAT/ACT score of 1672/24. However, the nursing and physical therapy programs are more competitive. Nursing students must have a 3.0 GPA in Math and a 3.33 in science and a minimum of a 500 math SAT. 50% of the students who attended chose Simmons in spite of it being a women’s college, so it’s worth looking at even if you don’t think that you would like a women’s college.