Building Our Future FAQs
Simmons has played a vital, distinct role in higher education and in women’s education for more than 125 years. Building Our Future is about ensuring that the mission and vision that has distinguished us as a women’s-centered college remains strong for the next 125 years.
Updated: September 29, 2023
Simmons has developed a proactive academic vision for the future that best meets the needs of today’s students. This structure focuses on accelerating pathways to meaningful careers and providing students with the leadership skills needed to create a more just world. This vision is supported by a focus on our areas of distinction, a reimagined vision for the Humanities, on identifying future areas of growth, and on advancing our deep commitment to inclusion, equity, and social justice.
This new academic vision includes:
- Development of a new undergraduate Humanities major, which will bring together content from modern languages, literature, the arts, philosophy, history, and other key disciplines to strengthen students' grounding and understanding of the world. Students who graduate with a Humanities major will engage in multiple perspectives, understand culture and communication, and be prepared for work across a variety of fields. We will be sunsetting the standalone majors in Art, Arts Administration, Asian Studies, French, Music, and Philosophy. Our Spanish major will be transitioned into a new Applied Spanish Language and Culture major to support language acquisition and professional practice in a multilingual world. We will continue to offer our minor in Studio Art as well as Arts Administration, and the Trustman Gallery will remain open. To support this integrated approach to the Humanities, we will close the Departments of Art & Music, Modern Language and Literatures, and Philosophy.
- Development of a new integrated major in Mathematical Sciences focused on applied, integrated learning. We will sunset majors in Biostatistics, Financial Math, Math, and Statistics as well as the combined Econ and Math major. We will continue to offer a standalone major in Economics. With a forward-looking approach to undergraduate education, our Mathematics faculty are developing this new, applied major with a focus on career readiness.
- Additionally focusing on the importance of integrated learning and offering students a broad experience in their field, we will integrate our Environmental Sciences content into Biology, creating a specialized track and giving students exposure to broader content. Our International Relations major will be redeveloped as a track within Political Science exposing students to a range of policy topics both locally and abroad. To support this approach, we are sunsetting the stand-alone Chemistry Management major, while maintaining independent majors in Chemistry and Business & Management.
- Development of three new graduate programs in Strategic Communications, Data Science, and Management that support professional development and career acceleration.
- Transition to a six schools structure highlighting our signature strengths and elevating our humanities, social sciences, and science disciplines: School of Nursing, School of Social Work, School of Library and Information Science, School of Management, Gwen Ifill School of Media, Humanities, and Social Sciences, and the School of Science and Health Professions.
View a complete listing of the approved recommendations for undergraduate programs.
These changes will be phased in through a multi-year approach. Current students will experience no interruption in their path to graduation and Simmons will continue to teach out the impacted majors.
We will continue to share updates on the Building Our Future page.
Simmons has played a vital, distinct role in higher education and in women’s education for more than 125 years. Whereas there were once 200 women’s colleges, today roughly 30 remain. Our focus is ensuring that the mission and vision that has distinguished us as a women’s college remains strong into the future.
Faculty and Staff FAQs
We are refocusing the academic portfolio to better align with student demands, to prioritize areas where we see future growth potential, and to invest in areas that support the goal of gender equity. This includes investing in our signature strengths in nursing, social work, library and information science, the health sciences, management and technology, and communications. We are also introducing the Simmons Edge, an accelerated degree program that allows every undergraduate to complete an accelerated graduate degree.
We have a vision of where we need to go, but the details of how we get there will require collaboration and co-creation with faculty and staff. We have invited all faculty and staff to be in dialogue with us this summer about changes to position Simmons for the future. Everyone has a voice in this change.
Yes. As part of the refocusing of our academic portfolio, we are reenvisioning the academic foundation to create educational opportunities in the liberal arts, humanities, and social sciences.
The Simmons you know today will continue to be the Simmons you encounter and engage with—from your chosen major to the transformational experience that has bonded Simmons students across generations.
We are excited about a number of changes that will take effect in Fall 2024. Some of those changes include:
- Students interested in majoring in subjects like mathematics, statistics, and biostatistics can pursue a new Mathematical Sciences major.
- International Relations will be a track in the Political Science major.
- There will be a new Interdisciplinary Humanities major that will include coursework from fields such as art, modern languages, philosophy, and other humanities disciplines.
- Environmental Science will become a track in the Biology Major.
- Africana Studies
- Applied Spanish
- Business & Management
- Computer Science
- Data Science and Analytics
- Engineering (3+2 undergrad)*
- Exercise Science
- Humanities (new for Fall 2024)
- Human Services
- Information Tech & Cybersecurity
- Mathematical Sciences (New for Fall 2024)
- OPEN Major
- Nutrition and Dietetics
- Nutrition and Wellness
- Public Relations/Marketing and Communications
- Political Science
- Public Health
- Retail Management
- Social Work
- Web Design and Development
- Women’s and Gender Studies
Current students will experience no interruption in their path to graduation and Simmons will continue to teach out the impacted majors. Robust academic advising will continue to be part of your Simmons experience. If necessary, individual plans will be developed during the Spring 2024 semester with support from the Director of Undergraduate Advising, Cindy Firestein, and your PLAN/major advisor.
After spring registration is completed, you will receive instructions for scheduling appointments with Advising to organize any academic plans that may be needed when we return to campus in January 2024.
For Spring 2024 courses: Students will register for spring classes using these current major advising sheets as usual. They have been developed by departments and contain the most accurate information on your major(s).
Yes. There will be no interruption on the path to graduation. Simmons will continue to teach-out all current majors, and all students will be able to pursue graduation with degrees in their current area of study.
While we will sunset one graduate program in Health Professions Education, no other graduate programs will be impacted. In addition, we are working to develop three new graduate programs in strategic communications, data science, and management.
For 125 years, Simmons has been guided by a distinct mission in higher education and that mission will endure. Prospective students can take comfort in the fact that Simmons is evolving the academic portfolio to better align with student demands, and with an eye toward ensuring that graduates are set up for career success and leadership opportunities.