If you’re settled on going to college in this state, good choice! But now you want to know: where are the best colleges in Massachusetts?
There are many criteria for deciding which colleges are the best for you. In this article, we’re focusing on location … and introducing you to a place called Quincy, MA.
A lot of reasons!
If you expect the best colleges in Massachusetts to be located in culturally vibrant places where there’s plenty of natural beauty and intellectual stimulation to enjoy, say “hello, Quincy!”
Quincy, MA is Culturally Engaging
Just “Urban” Enough
Sometimes students and their parents disagree about what’s most important in a college campus.
Adventurous students might be drawn to a big, vibrant city where there’s plenty of excitement. Their parents might nudge them toward a quiet, rural campus – safe (and dull) as possible, even if it means a longer drive to engage in cultural experiences.
College students and their parents love Quincy because it offers the best of both worlds. As a part of metropolitan Boston, it offers proximity to everything the big city offers. But as a midsize city with a population of about 94,000, it’s also a cohesive, suburban, safe community.
Urban enough for the adventurous, suburban enough to feel like a safe place to spend a college career: this is key to the appeal of college campuses in and around Quincy.
Sure, you could say that about any midsize suburb to any major city.
But this isn’t just any major city. This is Boston, one of the best student cities in the world, known for its wealth of art and culture, it is a hub for influential minds from around the globe. (More on that subject below.)
Rich in History
Are you a history nut? Quincy is steeped in American history. It’s even called the “Birthplace of the American Dream” because two U.S. presidents were born here: John Adams and his son, John Quincy Adams.
You can visit the farmhouse where both were born on the 13 acres of Adams National Historical Park. It’s the oldest presidential birthplace in the country.
Are you into early American architecture? Check out the Thomas Crane Public Library, a national landmark, the Josiah Quincy House where Sons of Liberty meetings were held, or the United First Parish Church.
Historic sites are everywhere in Quincy. But if that’s not enough, there’s much more to see outside city limits, throughout Norfolk County – the birthplaces of two more presidents, for one thing. John F. Kennedy and George H.W. Bush.
Of course, history is far from the only draw for Quincy and Norfolk County.
Quincy, MA is Naturally Beautiful
27 Miles of Coastline
Quincy’s Marina Bay is the largest marina in the Northeast. Indoor and outdoor waterfront dining, shopping or just strolling the boardwalk along the water – especially if you get there early enough to watch the sunrise over the Squantum Channel – are year-round attractions.
Every spring, usually sometime in May, thousands of New England college students hit Quincy’s beaches. The largest is Wollaston Beach, 2.5 miles of clean sand and safe swimming, with plenty of restaurants around.
Boston Harbor Islands
Just off the shoreline is a patchwork of 34 islands and peninsulas to explore. With admission to the National and State Park, you can travel freely between them by ferry.
The islands are certainly an attraction for hikers and explorers, but they’re also a popular destination for college students studying environmental and life sciences.
One of the largest, Spectacle Island, is home to unique plants and wildlife. Many research studies have been conducted there over the years.
The Beauty of Norfolk County
There are plenty of hotspots for nature enthusiasts throughout the county, many not far from Quincy.
Mass Audubon Society’s Stony Brook Wildlife Sanctuary is just a short drive southwest by I-95. Its accessible trails take you along an extensive boardwalk system over the wetlands and through lush forests and fields.
For fans of more rigorous hiking, some of the most popular spots include the Blue Hills Reservation, just west of Quincy in Milton; the Noanet Woodlands a bit further west; and Borderland State Park to the south.
Of course, there’s plenty of natural beauty to be found right here in Quincy, including on our campus at Eastern Nazarene College. ENC’s Babcock Arboretum is a botanical garden intended both to beautify our campus and to be used for scientific study.
Speaking of science …
Quincy, MA is Scientifically Satisfying
Life Sciences Corridor
Quincy is part of a network of cities with a strong presence in life sciences, from industry to research and higher education.
The Life Sciences Corridor includes the cities of Somerville, Cambridge, Boston, Quincy and Braintree, which are connected by more than scientific interests. A Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority (MBTA) subway line carries Quincy students up and down the corridor daily.
This gives them access to all things science the greater Boston area has to offer.
Museum of Science
One of the best science museums in the U.S., according to National Geographic, is the Museum of Science in Boston. Whether or not you’re studying science, it’s still a very cool place to visit.
Whether you’re looking inside a transparent dummy to examine the intricacies of human anatomy in the Hall of Human Life, tracking cosmic light throughout the Milky Way Galaxy or getting lost in mind-bending optical illusions, MOS is just plain fun.
It’s also a great place for our primary education students to take elementary students on field trips.
“I chose to get my master’s at ENC because I knew how successful the education program was and I knew it would help me develop the skills I would need to become a good teacher.” – Shelby Homes, Master of Education, 2020
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Further up the corridor, in Cambridge, is one of the greatest gathering places for scientific thought in the world, MIT. Students from around the area, including Eastern Nazarene College students here in Quincy, benefit immeasurably by being just a short subway ride away.
There are many opportunities to supplement your academic studies at nearby liberal arts colleges, like ENC, by auditing classes and attending lecture series that feature world-renowned speakers.
The scientific community is at its best when knowledge is shared across the collegiate community, and there are few places that give you more access to leading scientific knowledge than in community with MIT.
Internship opportunities are plentiful in the greater Boston area, especially in scientific fields. Medical device manufacturer Boston Scientific is a strong employer offering summer internships and co-op experiences.
Other prominent companies in the area include cybersecurity company Vectra Ai, multinational consumer goods producer Procter & Gamble, and pharmaceutical leader Merck & Co. All routinely offer internships to local college students.
These aren’t just for students studying strictly biochemical, physical or information science, either. The strength of the scientific industry next door to Quincy creates opportunities for many of our students pursuing other majors like human resources, marketing, accounting, etc.
And we’ve only just scratched the surface!
Eastern Nazarene College: Proud to Be in Quincy, MA
The best colleges in Massachusetts are the ones located in the best places, and Quincy is hard to beat! There’s a reason we’ve called it home for 120 years.
Whether you’re interested in art and culture, architecture, history, natural beauty, science for fun or as a career – and if a campus that’s “just urban enough” sounds about right to you – you’ll want to put Eastern Nazarene College on your list.
Visit our website to learn more about our programs, or better yet, come to Quincy and check us out in person. We look forward to showing you even more about what makes this place special.