Buffalo Seminary

205 Bidwell Parkway
Buffalo, NY 14222
Buffalo Seminary Photo #1 - Our oldest tradition may be forward thinking but we are anchored in many other traditions too. Roses and white dresses for commencement. Our Social & Academic Honor Code. Morning Meeting to start the day. ..
Buffalo Seminary Photo #1 - Our oldest tradition may be forward thinking but we are anchored in many other traditions too. Roses and white dresses for commencement. Our Social & Academic Honor Code. Morning Meeting to start the day. ..
Buffalo Seminary Photo #2 - Studying in the library, under the gaze of legendary Miss L. Gertrude Angell, SEM headmistress through both World Wars. Every student is issued a laptop as technology is integrated into our teaching and learning.
Buffalo Seminary Photo #3 - SEM students can express their creative side in the sky-lit art room, or the digital art and photography classroom. Musical expression finds space in either ensemble, glee club or SEMACHORDS, our acappella group. We also have a fall and spring play in our black box theater and participate in the August Wilson Monologue National Competition.
Buffalo Seminary Photo #4 - 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 in 2016.
Buffalo Seminary Photo #5 - SEM students think globally - in this opportunity, through Model UN competitions.
Buffalo Seminary Photo #6 - 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.
Buffalo Seminary Photo #7 - Individualized college counseling helps each student explore options that are right for her.
Buffalo Seminary Photo #8 - SEM student-athletes have opportunities in winter to join teams in fencing, squash, bowling, indoor track, 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 Photo #9 - Buffalo Seminary is on the National Register of Historic Places. Our campus with its historic home student residences is in a lively neighborhood with coffee shops (Starbucks among them), restaurants, renowned art galleries, and stores.
Buffalo Seminary Photo #10 - Buffalo Seminary is a Committed Steinway School. Once fully accredited, SEM will be one of a handful (currently 16) of high schools in the in the world to be a Steinway Select School. SEM currently has 10 pianos including a new Boston model Steinway acquired in the summer of 2019.
Buffalo Seminary is a nondenominational, independent, day and boarding school for college-bound girls.
One of the oldest girls' schools in the US, we've designed a culture of achievement, scholarship, creativity, service, and leadership for girls since 1851.
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.

Top Rankings

Similar Size Schools All-Girls Schools

Buffalo Seminary ranks among the top 10 schools with < 200 students (out of 97 schools) for:

Definition of Terms
 | 2021 School Data
Buffalo SeminaryBoarding School Avg.
School FocusCollege PrepCollege Preparatory
Grades Offered9-12, PG9-12
School TypeAll-girlsCo-ed
Religious AffiliationNon-denominationalNon-denominational
Year Founded18511907
Campus Size3 acres125 acres

Student Body

Enrollment173 students300 students
% Students of Color
% International Students
% Students Boarding
Average SAT Score1237* National Avg. »View
SAT range (25th-75th percentile)1000 - 1570-
Average ACT score25*National Avg. » View
Offers Post-Grad YearYesNo

Academics and Faculty

Saturday ClassesNoNo
Classroom Dress CodeCasual
(No jeans. No sweats.)
Average Class Size12 students12
*National School Avg. » 20
Student : Teacher Ratio8:17:1
# of AP / Advanced Courses Offered1718
ESL Courses OfferedNoYes
% Faculty with Advanced Degree
Summer Program OfferedNoYes

Tuition Cost

Endowment Size$9 million
(Remarkable Opportunities - Campaign begun 2014 )
$25 million
Yearly Tuition
(Boarding Students)
(Includes meals and most athletic fees. Additional $525 technology fee. )
Yearly Tuition
(Day Students)
(Includes lunch and most athletic fees. Additional $525 technology fee)
Yearly Tuition
(5 Day Boarding)
% Students on Financial Aid
Avg. Financial Aid Grant$10,000
(Also offer merit scholarships: avg. grant $2000)
Merit Scholarships OfferedYesNo

Acceptance Rate

Application DeadlineNone / RollingJan. 15
Accepts Standardized ApplicationYesNo
SSAT RequiredNoYes
Acceptance Rate
Director of AdmissionsLaura Munson
Alexandra Tramposch
Associate Director of AdmissionsKacie Mills

Course Listings

List of Courses OfferedLink to List of Courses

AP / Advanced Courses

# of AP / Advanced Courses Offered1718
Courses Biology, Calculus AB, Calculus BC, Chemistry, English Language, French Language, Physics Mechanics C, Spanish Language, Statistics, US Government & Politics, World History, Art History, Computer Science A, Macroeconomics, Microeconomics, Psychology, US History


# Interscholastic Sports Offered1316
SportsBasketball, Bowling, Crew, Cross Country Running, Fencing, Field Hockey, Golf, Lacrosse, Sailing, Soccer, Squash, Swimming, Tennis


Total Extracurricular Organizations3323
ExtracurricularsClub or Organization:
Black Student Union, Chinese Language & Culture Club, Community Service Club, Computer Science Club, Cum Laude, DonateLife, Dorm Prefects, Environmental, Food Club, French Club, Gay Straight Alliance (GSA), Jewish Culture Club, Knitting and Sewing Club, Mock Trial Club, Model United Nations, National Honor Society, One Love, Photography Club, Red Key Student Ambassadors, SchoolGovernment, Science, Seminaria, Spanish Club, Young Politicians

Arts and Music Programs:
A Capella, Book Club, Dance Club, Drama Club, Ensemble, Glee Club, Music Collective

Recreational Athletic Programs:
Ski, Volleyball Club

College Matriculation

Year: 2015 - 201710 Most Popular College Choices  (# Enrolled)
State University of New York at Buffalo18
Canisius College10
Boston University7
Hobart WIlliam Smith6
University of Toronto6
University of Pittsburgh4
Ohio State University3
Link to Matriculation Data

School Notes

  • Our all-girl environment and small size foster self-confidence and unselfconscious inquiry in our students. 
  • The student residences are historic homes joined by a beautiful courtyard to the school building where students live family-style with faculty house directors.
  • 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 11 students: Our small classes and Harkness table learning guarantees individual attention; no student can go 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 many of whom have PhDs. 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 the 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 in a historic leafy neighborhood with access to all the upsides of city living. Galleries, cafes, shops, parks, and universities are footsteps away.
  • Buffalo Seminary 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 - NYT bestselling author of City of Light, A Fierce Radiance, And After the Fire
    • Mara Hoffman - Fashion designer
    • Amy Holden Jones - Screenwriter, film producer and director
    • Tara Vanderveer - Record-breaking Stanford Women's & US Olympic Women's Basketball Coach
    • 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

Profile last updated: 01/14/2021

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