Suffolk University

Suffolk University is a private research university in Boston, Massachusetts. With 7,560 students (includes all campuses, 7,379 at the Boston location alone), it is the eighth largest university in metropolitan Boston. It is categorized as a Doctoral Research University by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education.[8] It was founded as a law school in 1906 and named after its location in Suffolk County, Massachusetts.[8][5] The university's notable alumni include mayors, dozens of U.S. federal and state judges and United States members of Congress.[9]

Suffolk University
Honestas et Diligentia
Motto in English
Honesty and Diligence
TypePrivate research university
Established1906 (1906)
FounderGleason L. Archer [1]
Academic affiliation
New England Association of Schools and Colleges
Association of Independent Colleges and Universities in Massachusetts
Endowment$232 million (FY 2017) [2]
Budget$300 million (FY 2017) [3]
PresidentDr. Marisa Kelly[4]
Postgraduates1,165 [5]
Location, ,
United States

42°21′28″N 71°03′40″W
ColorsBlue and Gold [6]
Sporting affiliations
NCAA Division III
Great Northeast Athletic Conference
Eastern College Athletic Conference
MascotRammy the Ram [7]
WebsiteOfficial Website

The university, located at the downtown edge of the historic Beacon Hill neighborhood, is coeducational and comprises the Suffolk University Law School, the College of Arts & Sciences, and the Sawyer Business School.

The Princeton Review recently ranked the Sawyer Business School as "One of Top 15 in Global Management" and its entrepreneurship program is ranked among the top 25 in the U.S.[10] The Princeton Review, also currently ranks some of its MBA programs among the top 50 business programs in the nation.[11] The 2015 edition of U.S. News publication ranked Suffolk Law School 6th in the United States for its Legal Writing, 13th for its Alternative Dispute Resolution program, and 20th for legal clinics.[12] It has an international campus in Madrid in addition to the main campus in downtown Boston. Due to its strategic location and well-known law school, many notable scholars, prominent speakers and politicians have visited and given speeches at the university such as John F. Kennedy,[13] Supreme Court Justice William Rehnquist,[14] and former U.S. President George H.W. Bush.[15]

The university's sports teams, the Suffolk Rams, compete in NCAA Division III as members of the GNAC and the ECAC in 19 varsity sports.[16][17]


Suffolk University was initially founded as a law school in 1906 by Boston lawyer Gleason Archer Sr., who named it "Archer's Evening Law School," intending it for law students who worked during the day. The school was renamed Suffolk School of Law in 1907, after Archer moved it from his Roxbury, Massachusetts home into his law offices in downtown Boston.

A year later the first of Archer's students had passed the bar, leading to a boost in registration.[18] The school's original goal was to "serve ambitious young men who are obliged to work for a living while studying law."[18]

By 1930, Archer developed Suffolk into one of the largest law schools in the country, and decided to create "a great evening university" that working people could afford.[18]

The school became a university in the 1930s when the Suffolk College of Arts and Sciences was founded in 1934 and the Sawyer Business School—then known as the College of Business Administration—in 1937. That same year, the three academic units were incorporated as Suffolk University.[18]

During the 1990s Suffolk constructed its first residence halls, began satellite programs with other colleges in Massachusetts, and opened its international campuses.[18] From 1990 to 2005, its endowment increased over 400%, to approximately $72 million, and enrollment climbed.[19]

Presidents (1906–present)


The main campus in downtown Boston is situated on well-known Beacon Hill, adjacent to the Massachusetts State House and the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court. Up until 1995, Suffolk was a commuter-only school. Today, there are four coed residence halls, housing over 65% of freshman, and a total of 24% of the entire undergraduate population:

The residence hall at 150 Tremont Street, renamed Smith Hall in 2018, was the first built by the university and currently houses students in singles, doubles, quads, and suites, with communal bathrooms.

Nathan R. Miller Residence Hall (located at 10 Somerset St.) was opened in 2005 and houses 15 floors of freshman, and 2 floors of sophomores in singles, doubles and quads, with bathrooms shared between every two rooms or one bathroom per quad.

The 10 West Residence Hall, opened in 2008, has housing for freshman and sophomores in singles and doubles. Suites accommodate 3-5 students and a variety of apartment-style suites (that include full kitchens) house 2 to 8 students.

Both Miller Hall and 150 Tremont have cafeterias. Students living at 10 West/Modern Theater can eat at 150 Tremont. Suffolk University occasionally leases additional properties (such as the Hyatt & Holiday Inn Beacon Hill). If leased, those locations house freshman students.

The Modern Theatre Residence Hall opened in the fall of 2010 and is considered an extension to the 10 West Resident Hall. The two residence halls share one entrance at 10 West Street. The Modern Theater Residence Hall is built over the restored Modern Theatre (Boston).

The University also leases residential space for students at 1047 Commonwealth Avenue, which features micro-apartments for 2-3 students. Housing students from Suffolk as well as other colleges and universities nearby, the residence hall is a 25-minute ride from Suffolk's campus on public transit on the T's Green Line. In the fall of 2020, the University plans to stop using 1047 and begin housing those students closer to campus in the Ames Building at One Court Street, which it purchased in the fall of 2019[21].

In addition to its main campus in Boston, there is a satellite campus in Madrid, Spain.


Suffolk University has many different buildings that are spread through downtown Boston and Beacon Hill.

  • Nathan R. Miller Hall: Residence Building (10 Somerset Street)
  • One Beacon Street: Few floors for academics (1 Beacon Street)
  • Samia Academic Center (The SAC): Academic Building (20 Somerset Street)
  • Frank Sawyer Building: Academic Building (8 Ashburton Place)
  • Rosalie K. Stahl Center: Academic, Administration, Library Building (73 Tremont Street)
  • David J. Sargent Hall: Law, Graduate Building (120 Tremont Street)
  • Modern Theatre: Theatre, Residence Hall (523-525 Washington Street)
  • 10 West Residence Hall: (10 West Street)
  • Ridgeway Building: Athletics/Gym, Suffolk University Police Headquarters, Michael & Larry Smith Fitness Center (148 Cambridge Street)
  • Ames Building: future Resident Hall (1 Court Street)
  • Athletic Fields & Complex: (150 Porter Street)

Former buildings

  • C. Walsh Theatre (55 Temple Street) - sold
  • Frank J. Donahue Building (41 Temple Street) - sold
  • Gleason L. & Hiram J. Archer Building (20 Derne Street) - sold
  • Fenton Building (32 Derne Street) - sold[22]
  • The New England School of Art & Design (75 Arlington Street)


Suffolk employs over 900 full-time and adjunct faculty members, who instruct approximately 10,000 undergraduate and graduate students on its Boston Campus.[23]

The Sawyer Business School (previously the Sawyer School of Management) focuses on global business education.[24] It offers undergraduate and graduate degrees. Joint degrees are also offered. About 3,000 students are currently enrolled in all programs. The Saturday-only Executive MBA Program incorporates four off-site one-week seminars and week-long global trips to London and China. The Global MBA is a specialized MBA in international business with an intensive concentration in either finance or marketing. The full-time program includes a 3-month internship outside the student's home country. Summer 2010 Global MBA internships are in 10 countries. Part-time Global MBAs complete either a global experiential research project at their place of business or a 3-month consulting project that includes an intensive 2 week residency outside the US.[25]

The Suffolk College of Arts and Sciences has seventeen academic departments which offer more than seventy undergraduate and graduate programs. Among the departments is the New England School of Art and Design (NESAD)[26][27]

Suffolk University Law School, founded in 1906, offers a standard Juris Doctor program and advanced L.L.M. program. 43% of applicants were admitted to the J.D. program in 2005.[28]

The university is also home to various research centers and institutes, including the Centers for Crime & Justice Policy Research, Restorative Justice, and Women's Health and Human Right, the Moakley Archives, the Poetry Center, Political Research Centers, and the Sagan Energy Research Laboratory.[29] The Suffolk University Political Research Center (SUPRC) conducts various scientific polls of national and regional political issues.[30]


In 2018 U.S. News ranked Suffolk #177(tie) in National Universities.[31] In 2009 U.S. News ranked Suffolk in the "top tier of “Best Master’s Universities” in the North" and #7 in "Best College: Most International Students” attending master's programs."[32] The 2015 edition of U.S. News publication ranked Suffolk Law School 20th in the United States for its legal clinics, 13th for its Alternative Dispute Resolution program, and 6th for its Legal Writing. The ILRG also has numerous other categories and ranks Suffolk University Law School as the 68th most selective law school, 45th for job placement before graduation, 78th for job placement after 9 months, 23rd for best bar passer rates among first time takers, 14th when ranking the school versus the state average for bar passage rates, 92nd for student to faculty ratio and 87th overall for student median LSAT/GPAs.[33][34][35][36][37] Law & Politics' 2010 ranking of law schools ranked Suffolk University Law School 33rd overall.[38] In 2010, The Social Science Research Network ranked Suffolk 25th in the country.[39] Leiter's ranking of most desirable law schools lists Suffolk as the 35th most desirable law school in the country.[40][41] ranks Suffolk 54th overall for best job placement and employment trends into "BigLaw" with eleven percent of the class entering Big Law.[42][43] In 2010, The Hylton Rankings placed Suffolk University Law School 94th overall among all law schools.[44]


Suffolk University teams participate as a member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association's Division III. The Rams are a member of the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) and the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC). Men's sports include baseball, basketball, cross country, indoor and outdoor track and field, golf, ice hockey, soccer and tennis; while women's sports include basketball, cross country, indoor and outdoor track and field, ice hockey, soccer, softball, golf, tennis and volleyball. The Rams men's ice hockey team competes as an associate member of the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC).[45][16]

Notable persons

Notable alumni

Notable faculty and trustees


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  2. "Mass. colleges saw endowment gains in 2017 amid bull market". Boston Business Journal. Retrieved May 25, 2018.
  3. "Budget & Financial Planning". Suffolk University Boston. Retrieved May 25, 2018.
  4. "President". Suffolk University Boston. Archived from the original on May 25, 2018. Retrieved May 25, 2018.
  5. "Suffolk At a Glance". Suffolk University Boston. Retrieved May 25, 2017.
  6. "Section 1: Visual Identity Guidelines" (PDF). Suffolk University Boston. Retrieved May 25, 2018.
  7. "Lookin' Good, Rammy". Suffolk University Boston. Retrieved May 25, 2018.
  8. "The Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education™ - Suffolk University".
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  10. "Suffolk University`s Business School Cited by Students as One of Top 15 in Global Management". Reuters. Archived from the original on July 20, 2015.
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  13. Suffolk's Walsh Theatre Esteemed Guests (accessed March 5, 2009)
  14. Donahue Lecture Series Speakers (accessed March 5, 2009)
  15. "George H.W. Bush to speak at Suffolk's Centennial" Archived October 18, 2015, at the Wayback Machine by James Alexander, The Suffolk Voice 9/12/06
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  18. About Suffolk Law School March 3, 2009)
  19. Suffolk Endowment information (accessed March 5, 2009)
  20. Suffolk University. "President Margaret McKenna". Retrieved March 1, 2016.
  21. "Suffolk University aims to turn boutique downtown hotel into a dorm". Boston Globe. August 19, 2019.
  22. University, Suffolk. "University Sells Fenton in Preparation for Move to 20 Somerset Academic Building – Suffolk University". Retrieved April 23, 2017.
  23. The Best 357 Colleges: 2005 Edition, Robert Franek, Princeton Review Publishing Staff, Princeton Review (Firm), Princeton Review, Princeton Review Firm Edition: illustrated, Published by The Princeton Review, 2004 ISBN 978-0-375-76405-9
  24. MBA Programs 2004, Petersons, Peterson's, Edition: 9, Published by Peterson's, 2003, ISBN 0-7689-1160-5, ISBN 978-0-7689-1160-2
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