Suffolk University - Colleges of Distinction - Colleges of Distinction
Suffolk University
Suffolk University’s robust academic offerings and strong ties with Boston’s top employers provide students...

Suffolk University

Boston, Massachusetts

Founded in 1906, Suffolk University is a four-year, private university in the heart of Boston. Suffolk offers more than 60 undergraduate programs through the College of Arts & Sciences and Sawyer Business School. Suffolk’s location in downtown Boston gives students unparalleled access to many opportunities in the Boston metro area, including prestigious internships and job placements. Upon earning their undergraduate degrees, students may pursue advanced studies at the College, the Business School, or Suffolk University Law School.

Student Profile

Fall 2016 Enrollment
5,185 undergraduate students
96% of undergrad students are full-time
45% male — 55% female
36% of students are from out of state

Faculty Profile

2016-2017 Academic Year
339 full-time faculty
345 part-time faculty
13 to 1 student-to-faculty ratio

Residence Life

Fall 2016
70% of first-year students live on campus
25% of all students live on campus

School Location

Suffolk University is located in the heart of downtown Boston, steps away from such iconic sites as the Massachusetts State House, Faneuil Hall, and Quincy Market. Suffolk also operates an international campus in Madrid, Spain, and a satellite location in Lawrence, Massachusetts.

High-Impact Practices

Read more about the importance of High-Impact Practices

First-Year Seminars and Experiences X
Common Intellectual Experiences  
Learning Communities X
Writing-Intensive Courses X
Collaborative Assignments and Projects X
Undergraduate Research  
Diversity/Global Learning X
Service-Learning, Community-Based Learning X
Internships/Coops/Practicums X
Capstone Courses and Projects/Senior Experience X

Retention Fall 2016

76% of students began in Fall 2015 and returned in Fall 2016 (full-time, first-time freshmen)

6-Year Graduation Rate 2016

59% of students graduated in 6 years


Nonresident aliens 22%
Hispanic/Latino 11%
Black or African American 6%
White 44%
American Indian or Alaska Native 0%
Asian 8%
Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander 0%
Two or more races 2%
Race and/or ethnicity unknown 6%


Student-athletes at Suffolk compete in the NCAA’s Division III and the Great Northeast Athletic Conference. The Rams play on 13 varsity sports teams—seven men’s (baseball, basketball, cross country, golf, ice hockey, soccer, tennis) and six women’s (basketball, cross country, soccer, softball, tennis, volleyball). Rammy—Suffolk’s mascot—leads fans in cheering for their favorite players in blue and gold.

Other Information

Suffolk University is a private, coeducational, nonsectarian, urban university.

Academic Programs

41 majors in: Accounting; Applied Legal Studies; Art & Design; Art History; Asian Studies; Biology; Chemistry & Biochemistry; Communication & Journalism; Computer Science; Economics; Electrical Engineering; English; Entrepreneurship; Environmental Science; Environmental Studies; Finance; Fine Arts; French; Government; Global Business; History; Humanities; Information Systems; Interior Design; Latin American & Caribbean Studies; Management; Marketing; Mathematics; Performing & Visual Arts; Philosophy; Physics; Psychology; Public Administration; Radiation Science; Sociology; Spanish; and Theatre

More Distinctions

  • The Princeton Review 2016 edition of The Best 380 Colleges

  • The Princeton Review 2016 edition of The Best 295 Business Schools

  • The Carnegie Foundation Community Engagement Classification

  • U.S. News & World Report’s 2016 Best Law School rankings rate Suffolk Law’s programs among the nation’s best, with Legal Writing at No. 9, Dispute Resolution at No. 17, Clinical Programs at No. 27, and Intellectual Property at No. 32.

Common Intellectual Experiences

While Suffolk students represent diverse backgrounds and interests, they must fulfill common core requirements.

In the Sawyer Business School, undergraduates follow a curriculum that emphasizes these four themes: innovative thinking, problem-solving, professionalism, and the development of culturally, socially, and globally diverse perspectives.

Collaborative Learning

Suffolk’s academic offerings reflect today’s employers’ demand for collaborative learning. Many of the largest classrooms in the University’s newest academic building were built to promote team-based learning: students sit at communal tables instead of individual desks, enjoying the technological means to present each of their group’s findings to the class. This approach applies equally to science students in the lab, marketing students working on case studies, and everyone else. Study groups for individual courses are also available through the Center for Learning & Academic Success.

Engaging Research

The University Honors Program features outstanding academic opportunities, mentoring, and special events from orientation through graduation. Honors students in the College of Arts & Sciences must complete an honors project in their senior year, which may take the form of an original work, fieldwork, or research with a faculty member. In the Sawyer Business School, honors students can focus on research in special Challenge Courses.

Students throughout the University pursue meaningful research projects. They can partner with professors to conduct polling for the nationally lauded Political Research Center, heal communities through the Center for Restorative Justice, and much more.

Furthermore, the University’s McNair Scholars Program inspires first-generation or income-eligible students to pursue research at the doctoral level.   

Reflecting Our Diverse World

Suffolk has a longstanding tradition of welcoming students from diverse backgrounds to campus. Students of color composed 30 percent of the student body in 2015. Suffolk has convened a task force on diversity to further bolster the University’s commitment both to fostering an inclusive, welcoming community and to serving as an example for other institutions in Greater Boston. The Office of Diversity Services is a dedicated resource for Suffolk’s AHANA and LGBTQ communities. Cultural associations and their programming throughout the year reflect the rich diversity found here.

At Home in the World

Select freshmen have the chance to complete up to their first two years of undergraduate studies abroad at Suffolk University’s Madrid Campus, one of the only such opportunities in the United States. Students may also spend a semester, academic year, or summer at either Suffolk Madrid or one of the University’s other study abroad offerings on six continents. Students in the Sawyer Business School may choose to investigate the business culture of another country on a Global Travel Seminar, while art and design students can explore masterpieces abroad on special study-tours.  

activities offered

Campus Ministries X
Choral groups X
Concert band  
Dance X
Drama/theatre X
International Student Organization X
Jazz band  
Literary magazine X
Marching band  
Model UN X
Music ensembles X
Musical theatre X
Pep band  
Radio station X
Student government X
Student newspaper X
Student-run film society  
Symphony orchestra  
Television station X
Yearbook X

A Place to Learn

Suffolk students don’t just pursue academic majors; they live them. Entrepreneur students develop original ideas and make them a reality. Government majors gain real-world experience in politics at the State House and in Suffolk’s Campaign Lab Summer Institute. History students visit the sites that helped inspire the American Revolution. Environmental studies and science majors conduct fieldwork at the R.S. Friedman Field Station, a living laboratory for observing and studying marine life on the coast of Maine. Business students apply their knowledge at firms in the Financial District and beyond. Learning never stops here.

Suffolk’s most popular programs include communication & journalism, entrepreneurship, psychology, marketing, accounting, finance, and international business.

The First-Year Experience

All undergraduates at Suffolk take a First-Year Experience course that’s designed to make their transition to college life easier. SBS 100 and CAS 101 focus on academic skills and resources, personal development, career and professional preparation, and campus resources and involvement.

Additionally, College of Arts & Sciences students take a Seminar for Freshmen in their first semester. Kept to a maximum of 19 students, each seminar offers an in-depth look at topics ranging from the Beatles’ role as cultural avatars of the 1960s to global climate change, contemporary urban challenges, the meaning of life, and more.  

The Written Word

Two required writing courses introduce all students to the process of crafting college-level expository and persuasive writing. Together, they ensure that Suffolk students across all majors are prepared to produce logical, well-written essays and assignments throughout their four years on campus.

Common Core

Arts/fine arts  
Computer literacy X
English (including composition) X
Foreign languages X
History X
Humanities X
Mathematics X
Philosophy X
Sciences (biological or physical) X
Social science X

Class Size Breakdown

Size 2-9 10-19 20-29 30-39 40-49 50-99 100+ Total
Number of Classes 89 419 327 205 18 2 0 1060

An Exciting, Urban University

Boston is the quintessential college town, home to about 300,000 students from all over the globe. Its dynamic intellectual energy is unmatched by any other city. There are no real borders to the University’s campus—Boston and Suffolk simply blend together to create a vibrant urban dynamic that students enjoy every day.   

More than 80 student organizations—including performance groups, two student newspapers, and Suffolk’s Center for Community Engagement—demonstrate the University’s commitment to student involvement. Whether it’s through internships, community service, or working at local businesses, students are empowered and encouraged to interact with the city around them.

Opened in 2015, Suffolk’s athletics fields and complex give the Rams a new home base. The facility boasts upgraded amenities for the baseball and softball teams as well as more seating for their fans.

Location. Location. Transformation.

At Suffolk, students study just steps away from City Hall and the Massachusetts State House, a few blocks from Boston Common and Faneuil Hall, and a short T ride from pretty much everything else Boston has to offer.

Suffolk’s prime location affords easy access to internships with such notable organizations as Arnold Worldwide, Boston Police Crime Lab, Ernst & Young, Massachusetts State House, Massachusetts General Hospital, and many, many more.

Communities On Campus

Students with specialized academic interests can choose to live with their fellow majors in Living Learning Communities (LLCs), all of which are housed in a residence hall and feature a mandatory class that LLC participants take together. This is a great way for students to bond with their peers and discover all that they can do with their academic majors and interests. Currently, Suffolk has LLCs in these areas of focus:

  • Accounting & Finance
  • Explorations (for undeclared majors in both the College of Arts & Sciences and the Sawyer Business School)
  • Government, Applied Legal Studies, & Pre-Law
  •  Honors (for Honors Program participants in both the College of Arts & Sciences and the Sawyer Business School)
  • Leadership
  • Social Justice & Community Engagement
  • Sustainability, Science, & Health
  • Visual & Performing Arts and Design


Coed dorms X
Men’s dorms  
Women’s dorms  
Apartments for married students  
Apartments for single students X
Special housing for disabled students  
Special housing for international students  
Fraternity/sorority housing  
Cooperative housing  
Theme housing  
Wellness housing  
Other housing options  

The University currently welcomes students who represent 103 countries and 45 states. Suffolk gives them the tools they need to make the most of every opportunity that comes their way and to be successful after graduation.

The Center for Community Engagement

More than 1,500 students are involved in community work through Suffolk’s Center for Community Engagement. These volunteers work more than 29,000 hours on community service projects during a given year.

Students may pursue service learning in more than 60 classes in subjects ranging from government to sociology to world religions. Class participants link their knowledge to real-world settings throughout Greater Boston.

Those seeking community service opportunities can volunteer on Spring and Winter Alternative Break programs in the US and abroad. Closer to home, students can volunteer with supper clubs for the homeless, a program that provides books to prisoners, and local students who aspire to attend college or Boston exam schools.

The Career Development Center

The University’s career assistance programs begin practically on day one and help prepare students for life after graduation. From the moment they arrive on campus, students can take a career-assessment test, visit the career library, and meet with counselors at the Career Development Center. In their sophomore year, students are encouraged to select a major and shadow alumni who work in their chosen field. Juniors can visit the center to revise their resumes and interview with employers for internships. On-campus recruiting helps seniors find jobs with companies such as the Boston Celtics, Digitas, the US Department of Transportation, and many more. Specialized tools and programs such as Ram Recruiter and the newly launched Ram Alumni Mentoring Program help undergraduates identify job opportunities and valuable networking connections who can help them develop their careers.

As a result of these efforts, 93 percent of Suffolk’s Class of 2014 who responded to a Career Development Center survey reported that they are employed or in graduate school.

Senior Year Special Opportunities

Regardless of their majors, students are encouraged to enhance their undergraduate studies during their senior year. They may choose to take capstone courses that synthesize their knowledge of their chosen fields or undertake theses for departmental honors. Entrepreneurship majors can work closely with successful alumni as part of their capstone experiences, while psychology majors take one of two specially designated capstone courses. For more on senior-year opportunities, visit Advisors in the Undergraduate Academic Advising Center help students plan their courses of study through all four years.


Admissions Fall 2016

8,624 Total Applicants 
7,271 Total Admissions 
1,205 Total Freshman Enrollment

84.31% of applicants admitted

Admissions Deadlines for 2017-18 Admission

Rolling admission? No

Closing date: Feb 15

Admissions Factors

Very Important
Rigor of secondary school record
Academic GPA

Class rank

Standardized test scores
Application Essay
Extracurricular activities
Character/personal qualities
First generation

Freshman Profile Fall 2016

  25th Percentile 75th Percentile
SAT Critical Reading 450 560
SAT Math 460 560
SAT Writing    
SAT Essay    
ACT Composite 20 25
ACT Math    
ACT English    
ACT Writing    

University Honors Program Admission

Each year, a select group of incoming students is offered admission into the University Honors Program. These students typically present an academic profile that places them in the top ten percent of their senior class with an academic GPA of 3.7 and standardized test scores above either 1900 (SAT) or 31 (ACT). Additional information about the University Honors Program can be found at


Net Price Calculator


Tuition $37,128
Fees $142
Total $37,270
Room and Board (on campus) $16,576
Estimated Total On Campus $53,846


Average Financial Aid Packages Fall 2016-2017 Esitimated

$32,233 First-year students
$13,578 All undergrads

Financial Aid Breakdown 2016-2017 Esitimated

76% on average, the percentage of need that was met
24% of financial need students that had need fully met

$13,578 Average need-based scholarship or grant award
$5,266 Average need-based loan

Aid and Scholarships

Suffolk proudly offers one of the most affordable private university educations in the Boston area. The University is committed to helping students find the best way to finance their education.

Federal programs offer grants, low-interest loans, and employment programs.

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts awards loans and grants to state residents who demonstrate financial need.

The University, along with private agencies and organizations, awards scholarships, grants, and loans to students when their personal and family resources cannot meet the cost of higher education.

Merit Scholarships
Applicants are automatically considered for merit-based aid upon applying. Merit scholarships and achievement grants are competitive and limited, and are based on students’ academic credentials (GPA, test scores, etc.). Recipients typically have an academic GPA of 2.8 (4.0 scale) or higher. Award amounts vary.