Suffolk's Commitment to Diversity Creates Opportunity for Students

12/9/2009, 9:34 a.m.
(Article provided by advertiser for a special...

(Article provided by advertiser for a special Career Advertorial Section in the Banner this week)

Suffolk University’s location in the heart of downtown Boston says a lot about the school. A few steps from the golden-domed Massachusetts State house and a short walk to one of the world’s leading financial districts, Suffolk sits at the intersection of government, business, education and technology. Students are literally surrounded by opportunity.

Just as important, Suffolk is one short block from the MBTA’s Park Street station, the symbolic hub of the city’s transportation system. Almost 9,600 undergraduate and graduate students converge on the Suffolk campus from every neighborhood in the metropolitan area, from across the country and from more than 95 nations around the world. The faces of Suffolk reflect true diversity — in race, ethnicity and religion, as well as economic, educational and career backgrounds.  “Suffolk is a university of opportunity for all,” says Judy Reynolds, Suffolk’s director of graduate admission. “Every application we receive is absolutely unique. Every student has his or her own strengths, interests and goals. It is a privilege for us to help them move to the next level, whatever that may be.”

Flexible choices

Recognizing the diversity of the student population, flexibility is a core value in Suffolk’s graduate degree programs. Curricula and degree options are designed to accommodate students at different points in their careers — recent college graduates, mid-career professionals who seek additional academic credentials to advance in their field and working adults excited to explore completely new career directions.

Students can pursue degrees at their own pace through Suffolk’s full- and part-time schedules. And with most courses offered in the evening, working students can balance the demands of career and education.

More than 70 graduate degrees are offered through Suffolk’s College of Arts and Sciences and Sawyer Business School. Degree opportunities range from education and computer science to economics and political science; from ethics to crime and justice studies. The business school offers several MBA options, plus more focused degrees in finance, public administration, healthcare administration, taxation and accounting.

With the exception of the Ph.D. programs, applicants for graduate degrees need not have undergraduate degrees in the same discipline. For instance, an applicant with a degree in business or sociology can pursue an education degree and a new career as a teacher. Students who do hold undergraduate degrees in the same field are often able to reduce the number of courses and length of time required to complete their studies. Many applicants are surprised to find that standardized test scores are not required for application to some of Suffolk’s graduate degree programs.

Extensive financial assistance

Attracting talented students to Suffolk is a priority for the school. This goal is expressed in many ways, including scholarships and financial assistance programs. Both merit and need-based funds are available. Loans are available for all degree programs. Suffolk is a direct lender and participates in all forms of federal financial aid.

“We understand financial aid is a major concern for all students,” Reynolds says, “so we do everything we can to provide assistance. And our location and flexible scheduling make it easier for students to take classes while working full- or part-time.”