Santa Catalina School

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, 16 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.

Quick Stats (2023-24)

  • Top Ranked CA School
  • Grades: Prekindergarten-12
  • Enrollment: 391 students
  • Average class size: 11 students
  • Application Deadline: Feb. 1
  • Source: Verified school update

Top Rankings

Santa Catalina School ranks among the top 20% of private schools in California for:

Sports offered
School History
School Resources

School Overview

Student Body

Total Students
391 students
Student Body Type
% Students of Color
State avg.: 51%
Students by Grade
Santa Catalina School Student By Grade

Academics and Faculty

Total Classroom Teachers
51 teachers
Student : Teacher Ratio
National avg.: 13:1
% Faculty w/Advanced Degree
Average Class Size
11 students
Number of AP Courses
11 courses
List of Courses Offered
Advanced Courses
Art History, Biology, Calculus AB, Calculus BC, Chemistry, English Language, English Literature, Environmental Science, French Language, Human Geography, Latin, Mandarin Chinese, Music Theory, Physics C, Physics I, Spanish Language, Spanish Literature, Statistics, Studio Art, U.S. History, World History
Matriculation DataMatric. Data
Classroom Dress Code

Tuition and Acceptance Rate

Admission Deadline
Feb. 1
Tuition Notes
Day - $38,250; Resident - $59,000
% on Financial Aid
Admissions Director
Jamie Buffington Browne '85
Admissions Associate
Ala Milani '87
Endowment Size
$44.2 million



Total ExtracurricularsTotal Extra-curric.
40 extracurriculars
Club or Organization:
Accents (Dance Group), Admission Tour Guides, BURRITO (Improv Group), Chemistry Club, Chinese Culture Club, ecco! (A Cappella Singing Group), French Culture Club, Health and Wellness Committee, Jewish Culture Club, Korean Culture Club, Lady Rhythmics (Body Percussion Group), Math Tutoring Center, Mock Trial, Model UN Club, National Honor Society, Peace & Justice Club, Prefects, R4 (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Renew), Reverb (Music Group), Robtics, Safe Space, Spanish Culture Club, STAR - Student Alumnae Organization, Student Literary Magazine, Student Newspaper, Student Senate, Students of Color Affinity Group, TEDxSantaCatalinaSchool, Yearbook

Arts and Music Programs:
Ballet (Pointe), Chamber Choir, Chamber Ensemble, Contemporary Dance, Digital Media, Jazz Dance, Musical Theatre Dance, Photography (Darkroom), Private Music Lessons, Tap Dance

Recreational Athletic Programs:
Rugby Club

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 3-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 the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), The Association of Boarding Schools (TABS), and the National Coalition of Girls Schools (NCGS).
Source: Verified school update

Frequently Asked Questions

What schools are Santa Catalina School often compared to?
Santa Catalina Schoolis often viewed alongside schools like San Carlos School by visitors of our site.
What sports does Santa Catalina School offer?
Santa Catalina School offers 16 interscholastic sports: Ballet, Basketball, Cross Country, Dance, Diving, Equestrian, Field Hockey, Golf, Lacrosse, Soccer, Softball, Swimming, Tennis, Track and Field, Volleyball and Water Polo. Santa Catalina School is ranked as one of the top 20% of private schools in California for most sports offered.
What is Santa Catalina School's ranking?
Santa Catalina School ranks among the top 20% of private schools in California for: Largest student body, Most sports offered, Most extracurriculars offered, Oldest founding date and Largest endowments.
When is the application deadline for Santa Catalina School?
The application deadline for Santa Catalina School is Feb. 1.

School Reviews

  5.00 out of 5  (3 reviews)
Santa Catalina is a wonderfully nurturing academic, social, cultural, and spiritual experience for boarders and day students alike. Although I graduated many years ago, the Santa Catalina community has long played a major role in my life. My classmates remain my closest friends and my ongoing volunteer work on behalf of the Catalina community has been incredibly rewarding. I consider my years at Santa Catalina to be an irreplaceable experience and the best gift my parents ever gave me.
- Posted by
Exceptional educational experience and the most supportive and nurturing environment I have ever witnessed. We have three very different girls who have all flourished with an incredible array of learning opportunities in the arts, STEM, music, theater, sports, etc. We have been at Santa Catalina for 6 years with two still in the lower school and one now in the high school. We feel truly blessed to be a part of this inclusive, nurturing, and enriching community. One of our daughters is dyslexic and the learning specialists and teachers have been fantastic catalysts to support her strengths and style of learning. The opportunities in the high school for the development of empowered young women are exceptional and inspiring to witness. Our sophomore has blossomed into an intelligent, resourceful, confident, and caring young woman who is able to pursue her passions for the theater, honors-level learning, and the unique and extraordinary marine biology program. The leadership team is also exceptional and very approachable and accessible. It truly is a fabulous and unique school for the learning and growth of the entire child.
- Posted by
I graduated from Santa Catalina decades ago, but the life lessons and friendships that i made there resonate in my daily personal, spiritual and professional life. Quite simply, Catalina changed my life. Academic excellence, introduction to the arts in all its forms, respect for people from different backgrounds, introduction to great athletic opportunities, and fun campus life made my Catalina years best in class. The location on the Monterey Peninsula and the beautiful campus only enhanced the overall experience.
- Posted by

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Quick Stats (2023-24)

  • Top Ranked CA School
  • Grades: Prekindergarten-12
  • Enrollment: 391 students
  • Average class size: 11 students
  • Application Deadline: Feb. 1
  • Source: Verified school update

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Did You Know?

The average private school tuition in Monterey County, CA is $15,716 for elementary schools and $21,540 for high schools (read more about average private school tuition across the country).
The average acceptance rate in Monterey County, CA is 89% (read more about average acceptance rates across the country).

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