Santa Catalina School

5.00 (1 review)
1500 Mark Thomas Drive
Monterey, CA 93940
Founded in 1950, Santa Catalina School is an independent, Catholic, day and boarding school for girls in California.
We are located on 36 acres in beautiful Monterey, a two-hour drive south of San Francisco.
Our students choose from a variety of academic offerings, including 11 Advanced Placement (AP) classes, 17 Advanced Topics (AT) classes, and our signature marine ecology research program.
We also offer a wide range of visual and performing arts electives, including theatre, digital media, photography, and dance.
Our students discover skills, talents, and interests they never knew existed within themselves-whether it's playing one of 12 interscholastic sports, or leading a club, or serving the greater community.
Class sizes are small and are taught the way girls learn most effectively, often with open discussion and group projects.
The Catalina experience is about asking deeper questions, taking braver chances, and making bolder mistakes-to become leaders that impact their communities and the world around them.

Alumni Reviews
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  • Review Description
  • University of Colorado at Boulder
    All girls, religious, mandatory church/ religious studies, volunteer, arts, athletics.. . .

Top Rankings

Santa Catalina School ranks among the top 20 boarding schools (out of 303 schools) for:

Definition of Terms
 | 2021 School Data
Santa CatalinaBoarding School Avg.
School FocusCollege PrepCollege Preparatory
Grades Offered9-125-12
School TypeAll-girlsCo-ed
Religious AffiliationCatholicNon-denominational
Year Founded19501907
Campus Size36 acres125 acres

Student Body

Enrollment230 students300 students
% Students of Color
% International Students
% Students Boarding
Average SAT Scoren/a* National Avg. »View
Average ACT score28*National Avg. » View
Offers Post-Grad YearNoNo

Academics and Faculty

Saturday ClassesNoNo
Classroom Dress CodeFormal
Average Class Size13 students12
*National School Avg. » 18
Student : Teacher Ratio7:17:1
# of AP / Advanced Courses Offered2718
ESL Courses OfferedNoYes
% Faculty with Advanced Degree
Summer Program OfferedYesYes
Summer Program DetailsLink to Summer Program Details

Tuition Cost

Endowment Size$56.9 million$25 million
Yearly Tuition
(Boarding Students)
Yearly Tuition
(Day Students)
% Students on Financial Aid
Avg. Financial Aid Grant$33,425
(Boarding average is $33,425/Day average is $21,060)
Merit Scholarships OfferedNoNo

Acceptance Rate

Application DeadlineFeb. 1 / rollingJan. 15
Accepts Standardized ApplicationYesNo
SSAT RequiredYesYes
Director of AdmissionsJamie Buffington Browne '85
Associate Director of AdmissionsAla Milani ’87

Course Listings

List of Courses OfferedLink to List of Courses

AP / Advanced Courses

# of AP / Advanced Courses Offered2718
CoursesAT: Dramatic Literature, AT: History Research Seminars (6), AT: Mandarin Chinese, AT: Marine Ecology Research 3, AT: Multivariable Calculus, AT: Physics w/ Tigonometry, AT: Physics w/Calculus, AT: Shakespeare, AT: Spanish Literature, AT: Statistics, AT: The Art of Memoir, AT: The Art of Rhetoric, Biology AP, Calculus AB, Calculus BC, Chemistry AP, English Literature AP, French Language AP, Mandarin Chinese AP, Music Theory AP, Spanish Language AP, US History AP


# Interscholastic Sports Offered1216
SportsBasketball, Cross Country, Field Hockey, Golf, Lacrosse, Soccer, Softball, Swimming and Diving, Tennis, Track and Field, Volleyball, Water Polo


Total Extracurricular Organizations4423
ExtracurricularsClub or Organization:
Accents (Dance), Alegria, BURRITO (improv group), Catalina Children's Fund, Catalinan (Yearbook), Chemistry Club, Chinese Culture Club, ECCO (a capella), French Culture Club, Health and Wellness Committee, Jewish Cultural Club, Korean Culture Club, Lady Rhythmics (body percussion), Lamplighter (Student Newspaper), Math Tutoring Center, Mock Trial, Model United Nations, Mosaic (Literary Magazine), Movie Club, National Honor Society, Peace and Justice, R4 (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Renew), Reverb (Music Group), Robotics Team, Safe Space, Spanish Language and Culture Club, Student Senate, Students of Color Affinity Group, TEDxSantaCatalinaSchool, Thespian Society, Wildlife Club

Arts and Music Programs:
Ballet (Pointe), Choir, Contemporary Dance, Digital Media, Hip-Hop Dance, Instrumental Ensemble, Jazz Dance, Musical Theatre Dance, Photography (Darkroom), Private music lessons, Tap Dance

Recreational Athletic Programs:
Rugby Club, Strength and Conditioning

College Matriculation

Year: 2016 - 202010 Most Popular College Choices  (# Enrolled)
University of Southern California11
Chapman University10
California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo8
University of Oregon7
Saint Mary's College of California6
Boston University5
Texas Christian University5
University of California, Berkeley5
Carnegie Mellon University4
Southern Methodist University4
Link to Matriculation Data

School Notes

  • The co-curricular advisory program, Journey, assists students in developing their highest personal, academic, and spiritual potential.
  • Introductory through advanced level courses are offered in art, photography, music, dance, and theatre.
  • Performance facilities include a professional-level 500-seat performing arts center, a 150-seat recital hall, and a dance studio.
  • Our signature marine ecology program is a three-year intensive focus on marine science for a select group of students beginning in their sophomore year. Students study in and around the ocean, doing research, learning by observation, testing hypotheses, and experimenting in the bay itself.
  • Our college counseling goal is to help each young woman find the right program that is the best academic, extracurricular, and personal fit for her.
  • Our strong alumnae base is comprised of more than 5,000 women with 15 domestic and 3 international alumnae association chapters.
  • Accreditations and memberships include Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), The Association of Boarding Schools (TABS), and the National Coalition of Girls Schools (NCGS).
  • Santa Catalina School accreditations: Western Association of Schools and Colleges; NAIS, CAIS, NCGS, TABS, CASE, CEEB, NACAC, WBSA, SSAT
  • Sample of notable school alumni/alumnae:
    • Cynara Coomer, M.D. ’87 - General surgeon at Staten Island University Hospital and a a medical contributor at Fox News
    • Monica C. Lozano ’74 - Publisher and CEO of the Spanish language newspaper, La Opinión, in Los Angeles
    • Kate Dentoni Mitchell ’76 - CEO and co-founder of Scale Venture Partners and chairman of the National Venture Capital Association
    • Leslie Redlich Cockburn ’70 - Award-winning investigative journalist and filmmaker
    • Jessica Koehne ’96 - Physical scientist, NASA Ames Center for Nanotechnology
    • Angelique Cabral ’97 - Actress, best known for her role on "Life in Pieces"
    • Brita Sigourney ’08 - Olympic bronze medalist, freestyle skiing
    • Teresa Barger ’73 - CEO, Cartica Capital
    • Priscilla McCarthy Barolo ’03 - Head of Communications, Zoom
    • Meghan Looram ’92 - Director of Photography, New York Times

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