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!

Quick Stats (2022)

  • Top Ranked NY School
  • Grades: 9-12
  • Students: 172 students
  • Yearly Tuition: $18,510
  • Acceptance rate: 80%
  • Average class size: 12 students
  • Application Deadline: None / Rolling

Top Rankings

Buffalo Seminary ranks among the top 20% of private schools in New York for:

Category
Attribute
Sports offered
School History

School Overview

Student Body

Total Students
172 students
Student Body Type
% Students of Color
43%
State avg.: 41%
Students by Grade
Buffalo Seminary Student By Grade

Academics and Faculty

Total Classroom Teachers
25 teachers
Student : Teacher Ratio
7:1
National avg.: 13:1
% Faculty w/Advanced Degree
71%
Average Class Size
12 students
Number of AP Courses
17 courses
List of Courses Offered
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
Matriculation DataMatric. Data
Classroom Dress Code
Casual
(No jeans, no sweats)

Tuition and Acceptance Rate

Admission Deadline
None / Rolling
Yearly Tuition Cost
Tuition Notes
5- and 7-day boarding is also available with additional costs.
Summer Program Cost
$400
Summer Program Cost Notes
day camp
% on Financial Aid
56%
Acceptance Rate
80%
National avg.: 85%
Admissions Director
Alexandra Tramposch
Admissions Associate
Lindsay Mathias
Endowment Size
$9 million

Sports

Extracurriculars

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

School Notes

  • 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!

School Reviews

  5.00 out of 5  (7 reviews)
5  
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
5  
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
5  
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
5  
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
5  
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
5  
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
5  
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

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Quick Stats (2022)

  • Top Ranked NY School
  • Grades: 9-12
  • Students: 172 students
  • Yearly Tuition: $18,510
  • Acceptance rate: 80%
  • Average class size: 12 students
  • Application Deadline: None / Rolling

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Did You Know?

The average private school tuition in Buffalo, NY is $7,581 for elementary schools and $9,946 for high schools (read more about average private school tuition across the country).
The average acceptance rate in Buffalo, NY is 90% (read more about average acceptance rates across the country).

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