Sunday, 30 October 2005

The Sullivan Education System

The way I run the education system in Sullivan has got complicated enough to warrant more than a short mention in the Rules & Regulations page, so I'm finally sitting down to write it all out here. None of this will be news to regular readers but some of this stuff was buried in individual updates, so it'll be easier to have it all in one place, for me and for anyone who wants to refer to it for their own games.

In Sullivan, careers are much more tied to education than they are in an unmodded game so this post deals with the workforce quite a bit too.

Primary School and High School
To start with, all children (ages 5-11) in Sullivan attend Sullivan Primary School, while the teens (ages 12-17) attend Sullivan District High School, which is actually located in Exeter, Sullivan's downtown area. Both of these schools are community lot schools and you can read a little bit how I run them here.

I used to charge fees for private school but since starting my community lot schools, I no longer use them so those fees are now obsolete. Education at SPS and SDHS is completely free currently, though I'm considering charging a small fee. The fee would go to the principal and would be used to enrich the school.


My new uni admissions system would take up too much space to explain here, so I've made a whole separate post about it, which you can read about here. I also explain my old system very briefly in the same post, if you're curious.

Careers, majors and post-graduate education

I have never liked Maxis's idea of what careers require a university degree and which don't (thanks but I'd really like my doctor to have some formal education!), so I take care of this myself manually. Some careers don't require a degree at all, some require a regular four year degree and some require post-graduate Master's or Doctorate degrees after graduation from EA University. ;) Much of the credit for my post-graduate system should go to Laura at Lakeside Heights.

Sims who do not attend college at all are free to enter the following careers and progress all the way to the top (custom careers are marked with an asterisk*): Adventurer, Artist, Athletic, Auto Mechanics*, Bartending*, Catering*,Cleaning*, Construction*, Convenience Store*, Criminal, Culinary, Dance, Entertainment, Events Planner*, Factory*, Fashion Design*, Figure Skater*, Fire Service*, Gamer, Gardening*, Hairdresser*, Law Enforcement, Modeling*, Military, Music, Paranormal, Pest Control*, Photography*, Pizza Delivery*, Post Office*, Repair*, Show Business, Slacker, Taxi Driving*, Writing*.

If a Sim wants to enter any other career, they'll first need a four year degree at the very least. Details on what each career requires are as follows:

Degree required: Art, History, Mathematics or Physics. To progress to Draftsman (Level 6), the Sim must enrol in a 2 year Master's degree in architecture. To complete the course, the Sim needs to write two novels, create four sketches on the drafting table and work alongside a practising architect. Total tuition is $8000.

Degree required: Any.

Counseling Psychology*
Degree required: Psychology. To progress to School Counselor (Level 4), the Sim must enrol in a 2 year Master's degree in psychology. To complete the course, the Sim needs to write two novels, learn Couples Counseling and Anger Management and work alongside a registered psychologist. Total tuition is $16,000.

Degree required: Any. During the Sim's final year of university, they will work at either Sullivan Primary or Sullivan High as a student teacher. To progress to University Lecturer (Level 7), the Sim must enrol in a 2 year Master's degree in education. To complete the course, the Sim needs to write two novels. Total tuition is $8000.

Game Development*
Degree required: Any.

Graphic Design*
Degree required: Art.

Degree required: Any.

Interior Design*
Degree required: Art

Degree required: Art, Drama, Economics, History, Literature, Philosophy, Political Science or Psychology.

Degree required: Drama, Economics, History, Literature, Philosophy, Political Science or Psychology. To progress to Personal Injury Attorney (Level 6), the Sim must enrol in law school. Over the four years, the Sim will write four novels and work alongside a practising lawyer. Total tuition is $16,000.

Degree required: Art, Drama, History, Literature, Philosophy, Political Science or Psychology.

Degree required: Biology, Mathematics, Physics or Psychology. To progress to Resident, the Sim must enrol in medical school. During the first three years of med school, the Sim will write three novels and observe practising doctors at the hospital. The final year of medical school will be spent as an Intern. Interns can practise medicine, but only while supervised by a qualified doctor. Total tuition is $32,000.

Natural Science
Degree required: Biology, Mathematics, Physics.

Degree required: Biology, Mathematics, Physics.

Degree required: Drama, Economics, History, Literature, Philosophy, Political Science or Psychology.

Degree required: Biology, Physics or Psychology. To progress to Project Leader (Level 5), the Sim must enrol in a four year doctorate degree in science. To complete the course, the Sim must write four novels. Total tuition is $16,000.

Social Worker*
Degree required: Political Science, Psychology.

Degree required: Biology, Mathematics, Physics.

Adult education

Sometimes, university just doesn't happen for a Sim. Maybe they didn't earn enough scholarships at high school, maybe their parents couldn't afford it or perhaps they just didn't have an interest. Or maybe they were unfortunate enough to be created as an adult townie! The way Maxis has it, it's "too bad, so sad" for those Sims. This is not so in Sullivan.

Any resident of Sullivan without a degree may undertake a correspondence course with Suffolk University at any time, for a tuition fee of $10,000. I currently have two residents (Kendal and Cara) guinea pigging this for me and it's working out pretty well. I doubt I will make any changes to it at this point, so here is how it works.

To complete their degree, the Sim will use Monique's computer to write 14 term papers on 7 different subjects - in other words, 14 different articles on the 7 different skills. They earn some money from these articles, which I consider the equivalent of the grant money YA students get for their grades at uni.

Once they've handed in all 14 term papers, I'll use the Lot Debugger to decide on a major for them and grant them a degree. Now, for all intents and purposes, they are a graduate and entitled to all of the benefits a four year degree grants you in Sullivan. If the Sim wants to get to the top of the career in Architecture, Education, Science, Medicine or Law, they'll need to complete the post-graduate degree, just like any Sim who attended university right out of high school.


  1. Sounds pretty much like I do it! But I think u knew that, lol. I might use your correspondence idea though. I like that idea.

    Oh, if you want to look over my eudcation stuff you have to go to the main site:

  2. Well, we all end up stealing ideas from each other, don't we? I'm pretty sure the career limits came from you!

    I'm going to check out your education page now!

  3. Wow. That's really really really cool. ( I just read all of your rules too). You people are incredibally creative. Would you mind if I used some of your ideas? They're amazing!

  4. Tessa, go for it! I wouldn't put the rules up if I had a problem with people using some of the ideas. Like I said to Riverdale about, we all tend to "borrow" ideas from each other anyway.

  5. I'm thinking about starting my own sims 2 neighborhood and would like to borrow some of your ideas and definitely give you credit. I hope that's ok.

  6. Monique, that's absolutely fine! Please let me know the link to your blog when you're ready to share - I'd love to see it!

  7. Do you mind if I use (most of) your ideas for post-graduate degrees. I'm so unimaginative these days that I can't come up with anything good myself.

  8. Sari, not at all, go right ahead!

  9. Hi, I know it's an old post, but I have some questions regarding your system.
    Are the careers you have "blocked" in some way, that Sims without a degree can't get higher than say level 5 (or 7 or ...) ?
    And how do they get a post-graduate ? Is that leveled to ? And included to Uni or ... ? I have the uni expension pack, but sims get four years, and that's it. I would like to make a difference in 4 years and 6 years studies, if possible. And I want my careers to have levels that are / are not accessible without the correct degree.
    Or do you just do everything manually ? And what if a sims "accidentaly" has a promotion ?

    Sorry for all my questions, I'm trying to figure everything out.

  10. Simphaesis, I don't mind getting comments on old posts. :)

    When I wrote this post, I wasn't blocking the careers at all. If I didn't want a Sim to progress past a certain level, I would remove skill points. I just added this hack to my game though, which is going to be much, much more convenient! No accidental promotions and no need to remove skill points.

    Post-graduate courses are separate from my uni, though I will sometimes stage scenes at the uni for my post-grad students. In game, my post-grad Sims are just adults. They do need to fulfill all the criteria I've listed for their degree but the game itself doesn't consider them students.

    Hope that helps. Thanks for reading!

  11. I hope this isn't a dumb question but I've been trying to figure out exactly who does the university students pay the tuition to?

    I would see a lot of blogs like this and would say they would pay this fee and that fee but I couldn't figure out to who these fees were being paid to.


  12. Nicky, it's usually my students' parents who pay the fees but the money goes to the governor. Before I had a governor, I just used to use the Donate option on Monique's computer. That takes the money away from the Sim without me having to send it anywhere in particular.

    Hope that helps! Thanks for reading!