|Type||Private women's-centered undergraduate, co-educational graduate|
|Endowment||$190.4 million (2020)|
|251 full-time/327 part-time|
|Affiliations||Colleges of the Fenway|
Simmons was founded in 1899 with a bequest by John Simmons, a wealthy clothing manufacturer in Boston. Simmons founded the college based on the belief that women ought to live independently by offering a liberal arts education for undergraduate women to integrate into professional work experience. Simmons is a member of the Colleges of the Fenway consortium, which also includes Emmanuel College, Wentworth Institute of Technology, Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, and Massachusetts College of Art and Design. Simmons absorbed Garland Junior College in 1976. Wheelock College, a former member, merged with Boston University to become the Boston University Wheelock College of Education & Human Development.
Simmons graduated its first African American student in 1914. Furthermore, Simmons was one of the few private colleges not to impose admission quotas on Jewish students for the first half of the 1900s.
The undergraduate program is women-centered, with approximately 1800 students enrolled in the 2012–2013 academic year. The graduate schools (Library and Information Science, Social Work, Health Sciences, Business Management, and an Arts and Sciences program that provides degrees in Education, Communications Management, Gender and Cultural Studies, Public Policy and Liberal Arts) are coed, and have about 3,000 students. The school's MBA program is the first in the world designed specifically for women. The co-ed online MBA program, MBA@Simmons, was founded in 2016.
In November 2014, the institution released an explicit policy on the acceptance of transgender students, claiming a strong tradition of empowering women and challenging traditional gender roles and a "rich history of inclusion." Its undergraduate program accepts applicants who are assigned female at birth as well as those who self-identify as women, making Simmons the third women-centered college in the United States to accept transgender women. Government documentation of gender is not required. Graduate programs are co-educational, so gender identity is not of concern.
In 2018 Simmons College decided to change their name to Simmons University after reorganizing the structure of the school.
Simmons University currently consists of two separate campuses located near the Back Bay Fens in Boston:
The Academic Campus is located at 300 The Fenway in the Longwood Medical Area. It is immediately adjacent to the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and the Boston Latin School. This campus currently consists of five buildings:
- One Palace Road
- Main College Building
- Beatley Library/Lefavour Hall
- Park Science Center
- School of Management Building (a recent green construction)
The Residence Campus is located one block from the main campus. It is near the Landmark Center and the Fenway and Longwood MBTA stations. The residence campus consists of 13 buildings centered on a grassy quad:
- Simmons Hall (Freshman and Sophomore housing)
- Dix Hall (Sophomore housing)
- Smith Hall (Senior housing, also houses Quadside lounge and mail-room)
- Arnold Hall (Junior housing)
- North Hall (Upperclassman and Graduate housing)
- Health Center and Residence Life Offices
- Holmes Sports Center
- South Hall (Wellness housing)
- Alumnae Hall (Multipurpose room)
- Bartol Dining Hall (also houses late-night dining service Bartol Late Night)
- Evans Hall (Senior housing)
- Mesick Hall (Freshman and Sophomore housing, renovated in 2010)
- Morse Hall (Freshman and Sophomore housing)
Most of the buildings on the residence campus serve as dormitories, but the campus also includes a large dining hall, a health center, a large fitness center, a public safety office, an auditorium, and several other facilities.
Simmons University reorganized its academic structure in 2018 to foster interdisciplinary learning and cross-departmental collaboration. Students now explore new inter-professional opportunities and create their own pathways to meaningful work.
- College of Natural, Behavioral, and Health Sciences
- School of Nursing
- College of Organizational, Computational, and Information Sciences
- College of Social Sciences, Policy, and Practice
- School of Social Work
- The Gwen Ifill College of Media, Arts, and Humanities
Simmons extended its Spring 2020 break to March 23 and then resumed instruction on a remote online only basis. The campus and residence halls closed. Simmons cancelled all summer instructions and programs, and the Fall 2020 semester is online only.
Simmons University sponsors athletics teams in a variety of sports including crew, cross country, field hockey, lacrosse, soccer, softball, swimming & diving, tennis, and volleyball. The mascot is the Sharks and the colors are blue and yellow. They compete as members of the NCAA Division III in the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC), the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) and the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC).
Simmons has made several significant sustainability efforts. Former President Susan Scrimshaw signed the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) as a formal commitment to eliminate campus greenhouse gas emissions over time. Furthermore, the School of Management is addressing sustainability in its curriculum as well as in building and resource-management programs. 
Simmons' environmental efforts earned the school a "C" on the College Sustainability Report Card 2010, published in Fall 2009 by the Sustainable Endowments Institute.
Simmons alumni include
- Julie Berry (author), children's author
- Lenore Blum (born 1942), computer scientist and mathematician
- Kristin Cashore, author
- Denise Di Novi (born 1956), film producer
- Rehema Ellis, NBC News correspondent
- Dorothy Celeste Boulding Ferebee (1898–1980), class of 1920, African-American physician and activist
- David S. Ferriero (born 1949) Tenth Archivist of the United States
- Nnenna Freelon (born 1954), jazz singer
- Ann M. Fudge, businesswoman, former CEO of Young & Rubicam
- Eolyn Klugh Guy, social worker associated with YWCA
- Christine Heppermann, author and poet
- Theodora Kimball Hubbard, landscape architect, librarian
- Marjorie Hulsizer Copher, dietitian who served in World War I
- Gwen Ifill (1955–2016), class of 1977, journalist, television newscaster and author
- Louise Andrews Kent (1886–1969), author
- Mackenzi Lee, author
- Gail Levin, class of 1969, art historian
- Elinor Lipman (born 1950), novelist
- Bertha Mahony (1882–1969), founder of The Horn Book Magazine
- Barbara Margolis (1929–2009), prisoners' rights advocate who served as the official greeter of New York City.
- Hannah M. McCarthy, college administrator and businessperson
- Eleanor Milleville (1922–1991), American sculptor
- Catherine N. Norton (1941–2014), American librarian
- Roseanne Perkins, American librarian and instructional technology professor at Kutztown University.
- Sondra Perl, Professor Emerita of English at Lehman College and director of the Ph.D. in Composition and Rhetoric at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York.
- Bertha Reynolds, American social worker
- Srinagarindra (1900–1995), Princess Mother of Thailand
- Mabel Leilani Smyth, Director of the Public Nursing Service for the Territory of Hawaii
- Susan Traverso (1983), President of Thiel College, former Provost of Elizabethtown College
- Suzyn Waldman, color commentator for the New York Yankees
- Allyson Schwartz, class of 1970, U.S. Representative Pennsylvania's 13th congressional district 2004–
- Anne Williams Wheaton, class of 1912, publicist and first White House Associate Press Secretary
- Esther M. Wilkins (1916–2016), class of 1938, pioneer in the field of dental hygiene, teacher, and author of Clinical Practice of the Dental Hygienist
- Mary Elizabeth Wood, 1861–1931, librarian and lay missionary who actively promoted Chinese early education and librarianship
- Alex Wright, American writer and information architect
- Jill Zarin, Philanthropist and Business Women. Former Cast Member of the Bravo reality show The Real House Wives of New York City.
- William M. Bellamy, former U.S. ambassador to Kenya from 2003 to 2006
- Harry C. Bentley, founder and namesake of Bentley College served as professor of accounting.
- Nancy Bond, winner of a Newbery Honor, taught at the Simmons College Center for the Study of Children's Literature from 1979 to 2001.
- Dana Chandler, artist and activist.
- Alicia Craig Faxon, art historian.
- Emily Hale, speech and drama teacher, and muse of T.S. Eliot
- Gregory Maguire, author, professor and co-director at the Simmons College Center for the Study of Children's Literature from 1979–1985.
- Isadore Gilbert Mudge, librarian, part-time lecturer
- Mary Schenck Woolman, pioneer in vocational education
- As of June 30, 2020. U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year 2020 Endowment Market Value and Change in Endowment Market Value from FY19 to FY20 (Report). National Association of College and University Business Officers and TIAA. February 19, 2021. Retrieved February 20, 2021.
- "History: About Simmons College". Simmons College.
- Massachusetts Colleges that have Closed, Merged, or Changed Names, Brown, Ray C., retrieved January 8, 2015
- "Online Master of Business Administration | Simmons College". Retrieved June 20, 2018.
- "Simmons College Opens Its Doors to Trans Students". The Advocate.
- "Admission Policy for Transgender Students FAQ". Simmons.edu. Retrieved December 1, 2017.
- "Back Bay East". Boston Women's Heritage Trail.
- "Simmons Announces University Designation". www.simmons.edu. Retrieved October 5, 2018.
- "Simmons College School of Management - LEED Gold". Lee Kennedy Co Inc. Retrieved December 4, 2017.
- "Library Schools and Short Courses: Simmons College School of Library Science", American Library Annual 1917/1918, New York: R.R. Bowker, hdl:2027/nyp.33433069135071
- Donnelly, June Richardson (1918). "Views of Library School Directors: Simmons College". Public Libraries. Chicago: Library Bureau. 23 (1). hdl:2027/hvd.hxdkbs – via HathiTrust.
- "Novel Coronavirus Information". Retrieved July 29, 2020.
- "Environmental Commitments". Simmons College. Retrieved June 7, 2010.
- "Simmons College – Green Report Card 2010". Greenreportcard.org. June 30, 2008. Retrieved August 26, 2014.
- Fox, Margalit. "Barbara Margolis, Prisoners’ Advocate, Dies at 79", The New York Times, July 12, 2009. Accessed July 21, 2009.
- "In Memoriam: Catherine (Norris) Norton". Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. Retrieved September 7, 2015.
- "Roseanne Perkins". Kutztown University.
- "College Corner", The Item of Millburn and Short Hills, September 1, 1966. Accessed May 6, 2021, via Newspapers.com. "Three Millburn High School alumnae have been named to the dean's list of scholars at Simmons College in Boston for the year..... Sondra A. Perl, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Herman Perl of South Orange Avenue, will be a sophomore in the department of education."
- "William Mark Bellamy". Center for Strategic and International Studies. Retrieved July 13, 2020.