My Simmons


Check out the REEF Support Center’s Housing Access and Off-Campus Living page for more housing resources, information on how to meet possible roommates and discover apartment listings! If you are an incoming student, feel free to contact the Graduate Studies Admission team for suggestions on how to meet and network with other Simmons graduate student

Boston Neighborhoods and Surrounding Towns

The City of Boston — Neighborhoods

Boston is broken up into many neighborhoods, each of which has its own distinct personality. The City of Boston’s municipal website includes a page with links to information on all of the neighborhoods. Please note that not all of the neighborhoods listed below are a part of the City of Boston — some are nearby cities you can access via the T.


Looking for college students or low-priced living (for the most part)? These two neighborhoods have them both! Boston’s Allston and Brighton neighborhoods are known for the diversity of the families who live here and the liveliness of the bar scene, which is fueled by students at nearby Boston University, Boston College, and other schools. A Boston Globe article noted that Allston boasts 40 restaurants representing various ethnic cuisines. If you like to be in the heart of the action, this is the area for you.

Back Bay

The Back Bay is home to some of Boston’s most exclusive real estate; it includes Newbury Street and the area surrounding the Public Garden. You may not be able to afford to live there, but you can certainly find a bar, restaurant, some window-shopping, and other things to do and see.

Beacon Hill

Resting atop Beacon Hill is the beautiful golden-domed State House, home to Massachusetts’ state government. Stepping into the Beacon Hill neighborhood is like stepping back in time as you wander the narrow, gas-lit streets. Home to many of the state government’s movers and shakers as well as young professionals, this area of Boston can also be out of financial reach for students. However, it’s well worth a visit because it borders the Charles River, the Boston Common, Boston Public Gardens, and the great industry and shopping of Downtown Crossing and the Financial District. It is also home to renowned restaurants and boutiques.


Originally established as farmlands in the mid-1600’s, today Brookline is home to professionals and families. Residents enjoy both the easy access to Boston (via the T’s Green Line C and D trains) and the many vibrant areas within Brookline itself. Areas of particular note are Brookline Village and Coolidge Corner; home to the Coolidge Corner Theater and Brookline Booksmith, which you won’t want to miss.


Located across the Charles River and home to MIT and Harvard University, Cambridge is known for a lively, intellectual social scene and a variety of cultural experiences. The best places to wander in Cambridge are Central Square and Harvard Square, both of which have stops on the T’s Red Line that will deposit you in the thick of things.

Chinatown/Theater District

Chinatown is a mix of residences and businesses — all originally built on top of landfill, not that you’d know it today! It is, of course, home to a wealth of Asian food restaurants (dim sum, anyone?) and is easily accessible from the T.

The Theater District is an informal Boston neighborhood that is home to many of Boston’s major theaters, nightlife, and dining. Additional information can be found in section B.7.2. Theater & Live Shows.

Jamaica Plain

Jamaica Plain, or “JP,” is home to an eclectic variety of ethnic restaurants, businesses, and cultural events, as well as many Simmons students. JP is racially and economically diverse. Jump on the T’s Orange Line or the #39 bus and be sure to explore the Arnold Arboretum, Jamaica Pond, and Forest Hills Cemetery.

Mission Hill/The Fenway

The Mission Hill neighborhood was once home to farms and breweries. Now, residents include families, students from local colleges such as Northeastern and MassArt, and staff working in the Longwood Medical Area.

Look across the street from the main entrance to 300 The Fenway and you’re looking at The Fens, a park and neighborhood whose name was adopted by the Red Sox’s nearby ballpark. The Fenway extends past the ballpark and into Kenmore Square, encompassing Landsdowne Street and its nightclubs and clipping the edge of the Boston University Campus. It’s also a part of the 1,100-acre Emerald Necklace, a chain of parks designed by Frederick Law Olmstead in the late 19th century. The Emerald Necklace begins in the heart of Boston at the Common and ends at Franklin Park.

The North End

The North End is Boston’s Little Italy. If you’re craving authentic Italian cuisine, this is the place to go. The streets are filled with fantastic restaurants and landmark historical sites, such as Paul Revere’s house and the Old North Church. Be sure to check out the famous Hanover Street and the dueling bakeries, Mike’s Pastries and Modern Pastry. Keep an eye out for the numerous religious festivals and parades.


Somerville is a diverse city where immigrants, college students, young professionals, and locals manage to coexist peacefully in close proximity. With a population of more than 77,000 living on slightly more than four square miles of land, it’s the most densely populated city in the state. Davis and Union Squares are popular destinations — Davis is an easy ride on the Red Line, and you can reach Union Square on the bus.

South Boston

South Boston, also known as “Southie” and not to be confused with the South End, is Boston’s Boston. Southie residents are fiercely proud to live in this densely populated neighborhood, which hosts the annual St. Patrick’s Day parade (one of the largest in the world, behind New York City). Southie is also home to several beaches and waterfront parks, including Castle Island.

South End

The South End features blocks of Victorian brick row houses, upscale restaurants, art galleries, trendy shops, and spas. This neighborhood is undergoing an artistic revival. It is known for its large gay and lesbian community.

On Campus

There is no on-campus housing available for graduate students. If you would like to connect with others searching for a roommate or apartment, please feel free to contact the Graduate Studies Admission team if you are new to Simmons or the REEF Support Center. An additional resource is the Simmons off-campus housing website.

Residence Life offers Commuter Housing for students who need to stay overnight in the case of a blizzard or other emergency.

Should on-campus housing become available for graduate students in Boston, the current cost will be posted on the Student Financial Services Costs & Fees page. Housing includes a meal plan.

At this time, there is no on-campus housing offered at SLIS West.

In Boston

Apartment ListCraigslist: Boston and Boston Apartments will get you started if you need to find off-campus housing in the Boston area. Neighborhoods surrounding Simmons include Jamaica Plain, Symphony and the Fens; slightly farther away (but easily accessible by public transportation or on foot) are Allston, Brighton and Brookline. Cambridge, Somerville and Quincy are additional options that are farther from campus but still accessible by public transportation.

Visit the Off-Campus Housing page to learn more about renting in the area.

Near Mount Holyoke

Craigslist: Western Massachusetts lists apartments in the area around Mount Holyoke.

Boston’s MBTA

The MBTA – usually referred to as the T – is the city’s public transportation, which also serves many of the surrounding communities. Through Simmons, students can purchase a discounted T pass for Fall and Spring Semesters. For details, see the Commuter Services page, and Commuter Alternatives. Fall semester passes (September-December) must be ordered in August, and Spring semester passes (February-May) must be ordered in January. For schedules, routes, fare information and pass sales points, visit the MBTA website.