Grades: 9-12 | 218 students
Graduation. Since our founding, SEM girls have worn white - both the underclassmen and the graduates. Here the underclassmen are serenading the graduates, parents and board of trustees.
Twice a year the drama club stages a play in our black box theater. Fall of 2014 it was D. W. Gregory's 'Radium Girls.' The girls were stunningly convincing as women dying of radiation poisoning, male and female family, activists, reporters and scientists.
SEM sails on Lake Erie in the Mid-Atlantic District of the Inter-Scholastic Sailing Association (ISSA). (We wear SEM red.)
Imagine a school where you're free to explore a building on the National Register of Historic Places that evokes the charm of a Hogwarts Castle or Downton Abbey.
A school where the library space is warmed by the glow from the magnificent fireplace, and the teachers love the school as much as you do.
Student residences that are historic homes, next door, with faculty house directors.
A place where learning is is done seated at Harkness tables, so that every student is seen, and listened to.
Founded in 1851, SEM offers an independent, college-preparatory education for young women who are willing to be challenged and engaged.
Whether she's an aspiring scientist, poet, athlete, or community activist, SEM helps each girl find her place – both inside and outside the classroom. Our curriculum offers Advanced Placement courses in English, history, math, science, foreign language, art, music, and drama. Our STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art & design, math) curriculum readies girls to pursue science and technology degrees and the rigor of higher level research at college.
Our varied athletics and clubs make going to school a joy.
Our historic neighborhood in the city offers access to arts, culture, entertainment, shopping and dining.
|School Membership(s)School Assoc.||National Coalition of Girls
National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS)
The Association of Boarding Schools (TABS)
Other school association(s)
New York State Association of Independent Schools (NYSAIS)
|Grades Offered||Grades 9-12|
|Offers Post-Graduate Year||Yes|
|Total Students||218 students|
|Student Body Type||All-girls|
|% Students of Color||
State avg.: 29%
|Students by Grade|
Academics and Faculty
|Total Classroom Teachers||33 teachers|
|Student : Teacher Ratio||7:1
National avg.: 13:1
|% Faculty w/Advanced Degree||
|Average Class Size||12 students|
|Number of AP Courses||15 courses|
|List of Courses Offered||Link to List of Courses|
|Average SAT score||1740|
|Classroom Dress Code||Casual
(No jeans, no sweats)
Finances and Admission
|Admission Deadline||None / Rolling|
|Yearly Tuition Cost||$19,840|
|Tuition Notes||5- and 7-day boarding is also available.|
|% on Financial Aid||
|Admissions Director||Laura Munson|
|Total Sports Offered||13 sports|
|Sports||Basketball, Bowling, Crew, Cross Country, Fencing, Field Hockey, Golf, Lacrosse, Sailing, Soccer, Squash, Swimming, TennisBasketball, Bowling,
Crew, Cross Country,
Fencing, Field Hockey,
|Total ExtracurricularsTotal Extra-curric.||30 extracurriculars|
|ExtracurricularsExtra-curric.||Amnesty International, Book Club, Chess Club, Chinese Club, Community Service Board, Cum Laude Society, Dance Club, Donate Life Team, Drama Club, Ensemble, French Club, GSA Spectrum, Glee Club, Hornet/Jacket Board, International Club, Justice League, Math Club, Mock Trial, Model United Nations, National Honor Society, Outdoors Club, Psychology Club, Red Key Society, SEMachords, SEMinaria - Yearbook, SEMinists, School Government Association, Ski Club, Students Against Destructive Decisions SADD, Writers' Club Book Club, Chess Club, Chinese Club, Dance Club, Drama Club, Ensemble, French Club, GSA Spectrum, Glee Club, Justice League, Math Club, Mock Trial, Outdoors Club, SEMachords, SEMinists, Ski Club, Writers' Club, Amnesty International,
Community Service Board,
Cum Laude Society,
Donate Life Team,
Model United Nations,
National Honor Society,
Red Key Society,
SEMinaria - Yearbook,
School Government Association,
Students Against Destructive Decisions SADD,
- The all-girl advantage: Our single-sex environment encourages girls to dream big and to follow through on their aspirations. Beyond teaching literature, science, math, history, foreign languages, and the arts – we teach confidence.
- 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! We lead by example: our administration and our board are led by women.
- College prep that goes beyond standardized testing: Our independent curriculum allows both students and teachers to be inspired, and to think for themselves.
- AP and honors classes, specialized classes offered through the Online School for Girls (SEM is a charter member).
- STEAM curriculum to ready girls to take their place in college science and technology classrooms and professions
- An average class size of 11 students: Our small classes guarantee individual attention, so no student goes unnoticed. Our advisory program empowers 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 committed to student-centered teaching. Experts in their field, they listen and encouage SEM girls to communicate original ideas and set them up to lead discussions.
- Beloved traditions combined with 21st century learning: Founded in 1851, SEM's traditions and encourage the respect for the past and a contract with the future.
- Technology that puts girls in control: Our one-to-one laptop program gives each student access to hands-on, project-based computer learning through our STEAM and digital research curriculum.
- Whether it's through music, art, drama, or sports, girls find an extracurricular outlet at SEM. Clubs and activities are determined by student interest, and community service opportunities are scheduled and are a yearly requirement.
- A culture of freedom, a code of honor: SEM students enjoy autonomy, 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 campus - our school building listed on the National Register of Historic Places, our school, field, and residences in a neighborhood and on parkways designed by Frederick Law Olmstead.
- School accreditations: National Association of Independent Schools, New York State Association of Independent Schools, TABS (The Association of Boarding Schools), Online School for Girls, National Coalition of Girls Schools, member of Our Kids private school association (Canada)
- Some notable alumnae: Isabella Bannerman - syndicated cartoonist, Lauren Belfer - best-selling author of City of Light, Anne Curtis, Ph.D. - physicist formerly with the National Institute of Standards and Technology, Amy Holden Jones - screenwriter, movie producer and director, Mara Hoffman, fashion designer, Hilairy Hartnett, Ph.D. - researcher and professor of biogeochemistry, 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 - Stanford women's basketball winning coach and 1996 U.S. Olympic women's basketball coach, and Nicole Lee, human rights lawyer and immediate past president of TransAfrica Forum.
Profile last updated: 05/15/2015
January 11, 2017
Letters of interest and cover letters are frequently used interchangeably even though they have different purposes.
January 03, 2017
When you visit schools, please don't make the following common mistakes. A little thought and preparation will help you make the best impression possible.
December 21, 2016
Bullying has gone electronic. It's called cyberbullying and it is rampant.