Buffalo Seminary

Buffalo Seminary Photo #1 - Founded in 1851, and in this building since 1909, Buffalo Seminary is on the National Register of Historic Places. Our campus includes 5 faculty and student residences in adjacent restored historic homes, and Larkin Field, a 5-minute walk away on a leafy parkway.
Buffalo Seminary Photo #2 - STEAM melds perfectly with our long tradition of forward thinking for girls.
Buffalo Seminary Photo #3 - 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 #4 - 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 #5 - 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 #6 - Our humanities classrooms feature Harkness tables where no student goes unnoticed and seminar style learning fosters critical thought and discussion.
Buffalo Seminary Photo #7 - SEM's curriculum has sophomores scheduled for biology class. Freshman year is physics and junior year is chemistry. Juniors and seniors are offered AP, honors, and electives in a variety of sciences.
Buffalo Seminary Photo #8 - SEM sails on Lake Erie in the Mid-Atlantic District of the Inter-Scholastic Sailing Association (ISSA) both spring and fall.
Buffalo Seminary Photo #9 - 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 #10 - 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!

Upcoming Events and News

  • SEM Leads in Distance Learning - 05/11/2020 - Buffalo Seminary's response to the pandemic and pivot to distance learning with a distinct emphasis on maintaining our defining sense of community and integration of technology in our teaching and ...morelearning has been featured in the Buffalo News twice - in March and in May of 2020.hide

Top Placements

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

School Overview

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)
Religious AffiliationNonsectarian
Grades OfferedGrades 9-12
Year Founded1851
Summer School OfferedYes
Summer Program Cost$850
Summer Program Cost NotesSleepaway Camp $1100 with ELL
Summer Program DetailsLink to Summer Program Details

Student Body

Total Students182 students
Student Body TypeAll-girls
Students by Grade Buffalo Seminary Student By Grade

Academics and Faculty

Total Classroom Teachers33 teachers
Student : Teacher Ratio6:1
National avg.: 13:1
% Faculty w/Advanced Degree
Average Class Size9 students
Number of AP Courses17 courses
List of Courses OfferedLink to List of Courses
Advanced CoursesArt 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 score1260
Average ACT score26
Matriculation DataMatric. DataLink to Matriculation Data
Classroom Dress CodeCasual
(No jeans, no sweats)

Finances and Admission

Admission DeadlineNone / Rolling
Yearly Tuition Cost$22,560
Tuition Notes5- and 7-day boarding is also available with additional costs.
% on Financial Aid
Acceptance Rate
National avg.: 85%
Admissions DirectorAlexandra Tramposch
Admissions AssociateLindsay Mathias
Endowment Size$9 million


Total Sports Offered14 sports
SportsBasketball, Bowling, Crew, Cross Country, Fencing, Field Hockey, Golf, Lacrosse, Sailing, Soccer, Squash, Swimming, Tennis, Winter TrackBasketballBowling,
CrewCross Country,
FencingField Hockey,
TennisWinter Track,


Total ExtracurricularsTotal Extra-curric.29 extracurriculars
ExtracurricularsExtra-curric.Club or Organization:
Book Club, Chinese Club, Community Service Board, Cum Laude Society, Donate Life Team, French Club, GSA Spectrum, Hornet/Jacket Board, Jewish Cultural Club, Math Club, Mock Trial, Model United Nations, National Honor Society, Outdoors Club, Red Key Society, School Government Association, Science Olympiad, SEMinaria - Yearbook, Teen Relationship Violence Club

Arts and Music Programs:
Dance Club, Drama Club, Ensemble, Glee Club, Music Collective, SEMachords, SEMera Photography Club

Recreational Athletic Programs:
Ping Pong, 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 (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.
  • Take a virtual tour of our school and student residences! 

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School Reviews

  5.00 out of 5  (4 reviews)
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
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
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
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.
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Did You Know?
The average private school tuition in Buffalo, NY is $6,040 for elementary schools and $9,290 for high schools (read more about average private school tuition across the country).
The average acceptance rate in Buffalo, NY is 89% (read more about average acceptance rates across the country).