Buffalo Seminary

205 Bidwell Parkway
Buffalo, NY 14222
Tel: 716-885-6780
SEM students are able to study quietly in a beautiful library with working fireplace, under the supervisory gaze of our legendary Miss L. Gertrude Angell, SEM headmistress for 49 years. (Through both World Wars!)
SEM students are able to study quietly in a beautiful library with working fireplace, under the supervisory gaze of our legendary Miss L. Gertrude Angell, SEM headmistress for 49 years. (Through both World Wars!)
SEM graduation day has been celebrated this way for generations.
Hornet/Jacket Day is celebrated every fall with field games, dances, and parade. It is also the day that new students and faculty find out which they will be, for life. The intramural competition created by Headmistress Miss Angell celebrated its 100th anniversary this year - 2015-16.
SEM students think globally - in this opportunity, through Model UN competitions.
SEM is located in the heart of the historic Elmwood Village neighborhood of Buffalo, NY, just steps from cafes, shops and art galleries. As an urban boarding school, SEM students enjoy the culture, entertainment and shopping that only a city can offer.
Individualized college counseling helps each student explore options that are right for her.
Our one-to-one tablet computer program gives each girl instant access to a wealth of information.
Our 5- and 7-day boarding students offer each other new perspectives. The SEM campus comprises our 100 year-old school building, 5 recently renovated historic homes where residents live family-style with faculty member house directors, and our playing field.
SEM students can express their creative side in the skylit art room, or the digital art and photography classroom. Musical expression finds space in either ensemble, glee club or SEMACHORDS, our acapella group. We also have a fall and spring play in our black box theater and host the ESU Shakespeare competition.
SEM student-athletes have opportunities in winter to join teams in fencing, bowling and basketball. In spring we have tennis, lacrosse, sailing and crew. In the fall we offer crew, field hockey, soccer, sailing, swimming, cross country, and golf.
  • Buffalo Seminary is a nondenominational, independent, day and boarding school for college-bound girls.
  • Since 1851, we've created a culture of achievement, scholarship, service, and leadership for girls.
  • We offer humanities and STEAM curricula enhanced with technology and athletics, arts, and clubs.
  • Bound by its honor code, SEM's environment encourages girls to challenge themselves, express themselves, and to succeed.
  • Nestled in the historic Buffalo neighborhood of Elmwood Village, our urban campus is on the National Register of Historic Places and only steps away from cafes, galleries, and shops.
Definition of Terms 
2017 School Data
Buffalo SeminaryBoarding School Avg.
School FocusCollege PrepCollege Preparatory
Grades Offered9-12, PG6-12
School TypeAll-girlsCo-ed
Religious AffiliationNon-denominationalNon-denominational
Year Founded18511910
Campus Size3 acres110 acres

Student Body

Enrollment214 students300 students
% Students of Color
% International Students
% Students Boarding
Average SAT Score1740* National Avg. »View
Average ACT score27*National Avg. » View
Offers Post-Grad YearYesNo

Academics and Faculty

Saturday ClassesNoNo
Classroom Dress CodeCasual
(No jeans. No sweats.)
Average Class Size11 students12
*National School Avg. » 20
Teacher : Student Ratio1:81:7
# of AP / Advanced Courses Offered1417
ESL Courses OfferedNoYes
% Faculty with Advanced Degree
Summer Program OfferedNoYes


Endowment Size$7 million
(Remarkable Opportunities - Campaign begun 2014 )
$17 million
Yearly Tuition
(Boarding Students)
(International students please call for tuition.)
Yearly Tuition
(Day Students)
($525 technology fee)
Yearly Tuition
(5 Day Boarding)
% Students on Financial Aid
Avg. Financial Aid Grant$10,000$22,730
Merit Scholarships OfferedYesNo


Application DeadlineNone / RollingJan. 15
Accepts Standardized ApplicationYesNo
SSAT RequiredNoYes
Director of AdmissionsLaura Munson

Course Listings

List of Courses OfferedLink to List of Courses

AP / Advanced Courses

# of AP / Advanced Courses Offered1417
Courses Biology, Calculus AB, Calculus BC, Chemistry, English Language, French Language, Physics Mechanics C, Spanish Language, Statistics, US Government & Politics, World History, Macroeconomics, Psychology, US History


# Interscholastic Sports Offered1314
SportsBasketball, Bowling, Crew, Cross Country, Fencing, Field Hockey, Golf, Lacrosse, Sailing, Soccer, Squash, Swimming, Tennis


Total Extracurricular Organizations3623
ExtracurricularsClub or Organization:
AnimalAwareness, Chess Club, Chinese Language & Culture Club, Community Service Club, Cum Laude, Diversity Club, DonateLife, Dorm Prefects, Environmental, French Club, Gay Straight Alliance (GSA), International Club, JusticeLeague, Math, MockTrial, ModelUN, NationalHonorSociety, Outdoors, PeerTutoring, RedKey, Robotics, SADD, SchoolGovernment, Science, Seminaria, Writers'

Arts and Music Programs:
Book Club, Dance Club, Drama Club, Ensemble, Fashion Club, Glee Club, Play, Semachords

Recreational Athletic Programs:
BootCamp, Ski

College Matriculation

Year: 10 Most Popular College Choices  (# Enrolled)
Link to Matriculation Data

School Notes

  • More opportunities for girls: Our single-gender environment and small size afford girls more opportunities than they might have at a co-ed school. Each student has the chance to find her passion through a variety of academic and extracurricular opportunities.
  • Student residences are historic homes joined by a beautiful courtyard to the school.
  • Leaders for life: SEM students enjoy not just equal opportunity, but every opportunity. All our class officers, club presidents, team captains, and student mentors are girls.
  • College prep that goes beyond standardized testing: Our rigorous academic program, bolstered by an independent curriculum, prepares students to think for themselves, both in and out of the classroom.
  • An average class size of 12 students: Our small classes guarantee individual attention, so no student goes unnoticed. Our advisory program also empowers our girls by building positive student-teacher relationships while encouraging open communication with parents.
  • Teachers who are as passionate as they are experienced: Our faculty is made up of educators, six of whom hold PhD's, who are committed to student-centered teaching. Experts in their field, they use Harkness tables to foster engaged, student-centered learning.
  • Beloved traditions combined with 21st century learning: Founded in 1851, SEM has a rich history that still resonates today. We combine a respect for the past with a commitment to each girl`s future.
  • Technology that puts girls in control: Our one-to-one laptop program, STEAM curriculum, digital printing and NAO robots give each student hands-on, project-based learning.
  • Clubs and activities: Whether it`s through music, art, drama, sports, or social and intellectual pursuit girls find an extracurricular outlet at SEM. Clubs and activities are determined by student interest, and every girl participates in community service throughout her four years.
  • A culture of freedom, a code of honor: SEM students enjoy independence, while embracing a high level of responsibility. Our school honor code fosters trust and respect by preparing girls for the rewards and responsibilities of the 21st century.
  • A beautiful building on the National Register of Historic Places.
  • School accreditations: National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS), New York State Association of Independent Schools (NYSAIS), The Association of Boarding Schools (TABS), Small Boarding School Association (SBSA), The National Coalition of Girls' Schools (NCGS), Online School for Girls (OSG)
  • Sample of notable school alumni/alumnae:
    • Isabella Bannerman - Syndicated cartoonist
    • Lauren Belfer - Bestselling author of City of Light, A Fierce Radiance, And After the Fire
    • Mara Hoffman - Fashion designer
    • Amy Holden Jones - Screenwriter, movie producer and movie director
    • Susan Hunt - Host on HGTV and former ESPN correspondent
    • Mary Hochreiter Janney - Former mayor of Burlingame, California
    • Amy C. Williams, Ph.D. - Composer, pianist and music professor
    • Amy Beth Taublieb, Ph.D. - Clinical psychologist and author
    • Tara VanDerveer - 1996 U.S. Olympic Women's Basketball coach, Head Coach of Stanford Cardinal, 2011 Basketball Hall of Fame Inductee
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