5.00 (7 reviews)
Tel: (716) 885-6780
Buffalo Seminary Photo #2 - Our 5- and 7-day boarding programs offer the opportunity to live in historic homes led by faculty members in family-style living.
Buffalo Seminary Photo #3 - Soccer, Lacrosse and Field Hockey play on our Larkin Field. In all, SEM has 13 senior varsity sports teams and 2 junior varsity teams (bowling and field hockey).
Buffalo Seminary Photo #4 - Test our warmth! Students can roast marshmallows in the admission office fireplace! The school building and our residences boast 11 fireplaces including a gorgeous working fireplace in the library.
Buffalo Seminary Photo #5 - Our humanities classrooms feature Harkness tables where no student goes unnoticed and seminar style learning fosters critical thought and discussion.
Buffalo Seminary Photo #6 - SEM sails on Lake Erie in the Mid-Atlantic District of the Inter-Scholastic Sailing Association (ISSA) both spring and fall.
Buffalo Seminary Photo #7 - Since 1915, every student and faculty member at SEM has been either a Hornet or a Jacket. Each fall new students and teachers are inducted to a team.
Buffalo Seminary Photo #8 - Every student at the school particpates in graduation; the close by Westminster Presbyterian Church has been a generous and spacious host for our ceremony for a century.
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 .
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 wide range of athletics and clubs make going to school a joy.
Our historic neighborhood in the city offers access to arts, culture, entertainment, shopping and dining. Take a virtual tour!
- National Merit Scholarship Commended Scholars - 01/14/2021 - Class of 2021 students Penny Joseph and Tia Browder were named Commended Scholars in the National Merit Scholarship program.
- Class of '21 National Honor Society Induction - 01/14/2021 - 23 members of the Class of 2021 were formally inducted into the Buffalo Seminary Chapter of the National Honor Society (NHS). Traditionally, NHS members are inducted as juniors but last ...moreyear the pandemic forced a postponement. hide
- SEM Alumna, Stanford Coach Tara VanDerveer Breaks Women's College Basketball Record - 12/16/2020 - December 16, 2020. Last night, Tara VanDerveer, coach of the Stanford women`s basketball team broke legendary women`s basketball coach Pat Summitt`s record of 1098 career wins.
- DEI Expert Nicole Lee '94 to Advise SEM - 07/31/2020 - SEM has engaged Nicole Lee '94, an alumna, former SEM trustee, and a nationally recognized expert in diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) to work with our new Anti-Racist Task Force ...more(ART) and our students, faculty, and families. hide
|School Membership(s)School Assoc.||National Coalition of Girls|
Other special emphasis association(s)
National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS)
The Association of Boarding Schools (TABS)
New York State Association of Independent Schools (NYSAIS)
|Grades Offered||Grades 9-12|
|Summer School Offered||Yes|
|Summer Program Cost||$400|
|Summer Program Cost Notes||day camp|
|Summer Program Details||Link to Summer Program Details|
|Total Students||172 students|
|Student Body Type||All-girls|
|% Students of Color|
State avg.: 29%
|Students by Grade|
Academics and Faculty
|Total Classroom Teachers||25 teachers|
|Student : Teacher Ratio||7:1|
National avg.: 13:1
|% Faculty w/Advanced Degree|
|Average Class Size||12 students|
|Number of AP Courses||17 courses|
|List of Courses Offered||Link to List of Courses|
|Advanced Courses||Art History, Biology, Calculus, Computer Science A, Computer Science Principles, English Language, English Literature, French Language, Macroeconomics, Microeconomics, Physics, Psychology, Spanish Language, Statistics, US Government, US History, World History|
|Average SAT score||1237|
|Average ACT score||25|
|Classroom Dress Code||Casual|
(No jeans, no sweats)
Finances and Admission
|Admission Deadline||None / Rolling|
|Yearly Tuition Cost||$18,510|
|Tuition Notes||5- and 7-day boarding is also available with additional costs.|
|% on Financial Aid|
National avg.: 85%
|Admissions Director||Alexandra Tramposch|
|Admissions Associate||Lindsay Mathias|
|Endowment Size||$9 million|
|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.||34 extracurriculars|
|ExtracurricularsExtra-curric.||Club or Organization:|
Black Student Union, Book Club, Chinese Club, Community Service Board, Cum Laude Society, Donate Life Team, Food Club, French Club, GSA Spectrum, Hornet/Jacket Board, Jewish Cultural Club, Knitting and Sewing, Math Club, Mock Trial, Model United Nations, National Honor Society, Outdoors Club, Red Key Society, School Government Association, Science Olympiad, Self Defense, SEMinaria - Yearbook, Spanish Club, Teen Relationship Violence Club, Young Politicians
Arts and Music Programs:
Dance Club, Drama Club, Ensemble, Glee Club, Music Collective, SEMachords, SEMera Photography Club
Recreational Athletic Programs:
Ski Club, Volleyball Club
- 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.
- 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 encourage 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 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 Olmsted.
- 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.
- Take a virtual tour of our school and student residences!
Profile last updated:
- School Location Miles Grades Students
- Buffalo Grades: 9-12 | 332 students
3756 Delaware Avenue
Buffalo, NY 14217
(716) 877-1358 4.3 9-12
- Buffalo Grades: 9-12 | 400 students
3860 Main Street
Buffalo, NY 14226
(716) 834-2101 4.4 9-12
- Tonawanda Grades: 9-12 | 259 students
39 Ohara Rd
Tonawanda, NY 14150
(716) 695-2600 5.2 9-12
- Troy Grades: 9-12 | 357 students
285 Pawling Avenue
Troy, NY 12180
(518) 833-1302 264.3 9-12
My daughter has attended SEM for the past two years. In her first year, COVID redirected everyone's lives. SEM seamless pivoted to online learning, actively engaging students to keep up their studies & morale. This year, the school offered both in-school & online instruction. It has gone above and beyond to keep students & staff safe, energetic, and on-target to keep learning. In addition, the classes at SEM are unlike anything compared to a public school, and well beyond most private schools. I know indefinitely that my daughter is learning immeasurable skills that she will use for a lifetime - time management, writing, conflict resolution, positive body imagery, foreign language, and technology to name a few. I highly recommend SEM to parents!
- Posted by Parent - Laurie Oltramari
I have attended Buffalo Seminary for a year now. Sem is the best school community that I have ever been in, throughout all my years of school. All students and staff treat eachother with respect and a welcoming feeling. The class size is smaller which means you get more personal time with each teacher, which helped me out a ton personally. The sport teams at Sem are also great, everyone supports everyone and encourages people to try new sports!
- Posted by Student/Alumni - Natalie Fritsch
I've only been at SEM for a year, but I really love it here! The SEM community doesn't judge anyone and makes sure everyone feels welcome. On top of a great community, SEM has helpful students, teachers, and faculty. Classes at SEM are super fun and engaging! Clubs and sports are also fun! I have made lots of great friends from sports and clubs. Overall, I love SEM and I can't see myself anywhere else!
- Posted by Student/Alumni - Jocelyn Rath
Coming into high school, the process was scary, but I realized that I was very lucky to have found such an extraordinary school as SEM. Students, teachers, and faculty immediately welcomed me. The classes were somewhat challenging, but there was help available wherever and whenever I needed it, from meeting with teachers to the NHS student tutor program. I soon joined sports, which were a way to positively connect with peers and find a way to support the school we loved. There is a fierce competitive nature here that I feel is necessary to learn and grow, and the school has the nurturing abilities to do just that.
- Posted by Student/Alumni - Clara Murphy
I have been attending Buffalo Seminary for two years, and my decision to come here has given me more opportunities than I could have imagined. From day one, SEM welcomed me with open arms and since then, the teachers and staff have supported me whole heartily and are devoted to making me the best I can be. I have grown friendships and have learned dedication as well as teamwork through being a member of the rowing team. The SEM community encourages its students to prosper in whatever they choose to do, and this dedication is what makes Buffalo Seminary great.
- Posted by Student/Alumni - Sophie Bates
I've been attending Buffalo Seminary for 2 years now and taught me so many things. Our close-knit classes, thoughtful teachers, and excellent college prep have shaped me to be a more respectful and caring person. Our teachers have helped me with everything I have been confused about and made me a more understanding and independent person- while still always agreeing to help me. Doing sports have taught me more discipline and fun than I could ever imagine. Though our teams do not win every trophy, we put hard work and dedication into everything. Our courses bring so much information and intelligence into our lives, we can all see our own improvement by the end of the class.
- Posted by Student/Alumni - Eva Maines
As a junior at Buffalo Seminary, I can honestly say this school is a truly unique experience that you couldn't find anywhere else. Its supportive atmosphere, fantastic teachers, and encouraging coaches contribute to an environment that fosters and encourages learning and growth. The memories and friends I have made over these past few years are ones that I will cherish for years to come.
- Posted by Student/Alumni - Sara
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