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.
|Definition of Terms|
| 2020 School Data
|Buffalo Seminary||Boarding School Avg.|
|School Focus||College Prep||College Preparatory|
|Grades Offered||9-12, PG||9-12|
|Campus Size||3 acres||120 acres|
|Enrollment||195 students||310 students|
|% Students of Color|
|% International Students|
|% Students Boarding|
|Average SAT Score||1250||* National Avg. »View|
|SAT range (25th-75th percentile)||1090 - 1280||-|
|Average ACT score||27||*National Avg. » View|
|Offers Post-Grad Year||Yes||No|
Academics and Faculty
|Classroom Dress Code||Casual|
(No jeans. No sweats.)
|Average Class Size||11 students||12|
*National School Avg. » 20
|Teacher : Student Ratio||1:7||1:7|
|# of AP / Advanced Courses Offered||17||18|
|ESL Courses Offered||No||Yes|
|% Faculty with Advanced Degree|
|Summer Program Offered||Yes||Yes|
|Summer Program Details||Link to Summer Program Details|
|Endowment Size||$9 million|
(Remarkable Opportunities - Campaign begun 2014 )
($525 technology fee)
(5 Day Boarding)
|% Students on Financial Aid|
|Avg. Financial Aid Grant||$10,000|
(Also offer merit scholarships: avg. grant $2000)
|Merit Scholarships Offered||Yes||No|
|Application Deadline||None / Rolling||Jan. 15|
|Accepts Standardized Application||Yes||No|
|Director of Admissions||Laura Munson|
|Associate Director of Admissions||Kacie Mills|
|List of Courses Offered||Link to List of Courses|
AP / Advanced Courses
|# of AP / Advanced Courses Offered||17||18|
|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 Offered||14||16|
|Sports||Basketball, Bowling, Crew, Cross Country Running, Fencing, Field Hockey, Golf, Lacrosse, Sailing, Soccer, Squash, Swimming, Tennis, Winter Track|
|Total Extracurricular Organizations||30||24|
|Extracurriculars||Club or Organization:|
Chess Club, Chinese Language & Culture Club, Community Service Club, Computer Science Club, Cum Laude, Diversity Club, DonateLife, Dorm Prefects, Environmental, French Club, Gay Straight Alliance (GSA), International Club, Mock Trial Club, Model United Nations, R.I.S.E. (Reach out In Support of Ethnicity), SchoolGovernment, Science, Seminaria, Sewing, Writers', Young Politicians
Arts and Music Programs:
Book Club, Dance Club, Drama Club, Ensemble, Glee Club, Music Collective, Semachords
Recreational Athletic Programs:
Ski, Volleyball Club
|Year: 2015 - 2017||10 Most Popular College Choices (# Enrolled)|
|State University of New York at Buffalo||18|
|Hobart WIlliam Smith||6|
|University of Toronto||6|
|University of Pittsburgh||4|
|Ohio State University||3|
|Link to Matriculation Data|
- 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 - Recordbreaking 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
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Several things make boarding school special. The learning, the community, the sports. All these and more.
A private school in its infancy is quite different from the mature community it becomes over time. I wonder what the founders of these five schools would think about them today. I bet they would be very proud of their creations.
Sending our children off to boarding school in the fall of 2020 raises questions about their safety and other corona virus issues. We address some of your concerns here.