Ursuline Academy (pk-12)
Founded in 1893 by the Ursuline Sisters, Ursuline Academy of Wilmington, Delaware, is an independent, Catholic, college-preparatory school comprised of four academic branches: Early Childhood, Lower School, Middle School, and Upper School. Educating boys age 3 through grade 5 and girls age 3 through grade 12.
Ursuline Academy empowers students for leadership and service in our global society.
- Top Ranked DE School
- Grades: Prekindergarten-12
- Students: 413 students
- Average class size: 14 students
- Application Deadline: None / Rolling
School Membership(s)School Assoc.
Student Body Type
% Students of Color
State avg.: 26%
Students by Grade
Academics and Faculty
Total Classroom Teachers
Student : Teacher Ratio
National avg.: 13:1
% Faculty w/Advanced Degree
Average Class Size
Number of AP Courses
List of Courses Offered
Matriculation DataMatric. Data
Classroom Dress Code
Tuition and Acceptance Rate
None / Rolling
Ranges $7,450 - $24,300
% on Financial Aid
Total Sports Offered
- The vibrant history of Ursuline Academy of Wilmington began in 1893 with the relocation of the Ursuline Sisters from Bedford Park in New York City, at the request of the bishop, to occupy a convent and boarding school on the corner of Delaware Avenue and Harrison Street. This courageous and daunting move by the sisters showed not only their faith in God`s plan but their dedication to living in the footsteps of their founder and trailblazer, St. Angela Merici. With the steadfast commitment to and fearless passion for their mission from the bishop, the sisters successfully opened a Kindergarten in 1895 and added a boys department the following year.
- Under the leadership of Mother Olympias Gleeson, the school flourished. Recognizing the school`s need for additional space, John J. Raskob purchased the Grant Estate, facing Delaware Avenue, and gifted it to the Ursuline Sisters. With the addition of Kennett Lodge, renovations began, and the sisters and their students moved into their new convent and school in 1924. After the purchase of the Downward Estate, an adjacent property bordering on Franklin Street, further renovations were completed in 1927, ushering in a new year for Ursuline`s 300 students. In 1955, under the leadership of Mother Maguire, the junior school was constructed in response to the demands of a student body that numbered more than 500. The Montessori program was added in 1964, and the Laffey-McHugh Gymnasium was added in 1980. In 1986, the property now known as the Gerardine House, named in honor of Gerardine Laffey Connolly `28, was purchased to house the administrative offices.
- In 1975, Ursuline Academy`s Board of Trustees was formed to assume responsibility for the daily operations of the school. At that time, the Convent and Academy became separate corporations, and for the first time in its history, lay principals were appointed to head the schools. A further reorganization of the school took place in 1988 when the Board of Trustees created the position of President of the Academy; Angela M. Boyle `53 was the first to hold this position.
- The Alumnae Association of Ursuline Academy was formed in 1911, and Mary Russell, class of 1895, was its first president. Ursuline Academy`s distinguished alumnae now number more than 3,800 women.
- For over 125 years, Ursuline Academy has served as an academic cornerstone in Wilmington, teaching, inspiring, and developing our students to become leaders both in and out of the classroom. The strength of the Ursuline community, both past and present, and the influence of our academic excellence not only ensure the growth of our legacy for decades to come but also create a comprehensive and collaborative learning environment for our students to thrive in today.
Ursuline Academy has transformed the educational experience of my high school daughter. She has been exposed to rich and rigorous academic programs, and an abundance of extra-curricular opportunities in athletics and the arts. Ursuline's mission of "serviam" permeates all aspects of school life and imbues in students a strong sense of community and concern for others. I have been amazed by the global awareness by daughter has accrued while at Ursuline, not to mention the confidence with which she carries herself as both a scholar and young woman. I am grateful to the dedicated faculty and staff that make Ursuline Academy such an exceptional school.
Ursuline Academy is a place where students are empowered to succeed, serve, and lead. It is an environment where sisterhood, service and spiritual awareness are cherished and valued amongst administrators, faculty and students. There are so many opportunities to get involved in service projects, athletics, the arts, a wide variety of clubs and activities and the global program. Class sizes are small, so students have a voice as they learn in an academically rigorous environment. The college admissions process is top-notch, as evidenced in college acceptance among the graduates. Ursulines graduates are strong, confident, and ready to lead and serve in a global world.
In the last three years I have had two daughters graduate from Ursuline. The education, skills, confidence and positive outlook needed to successfully transition to college and beyond were supported and developed while in school. This is possible because of the individualized, caring approach that they experienced from the faculty and coaches at Ursuline. My daughters were always encouraged to try new sports, branch out, and keep an open mind.
As alumni of Ursuline, I can say that my experience at school was more than a few words could say. I made the best of friends there, and I could never forget how there was a constant sense of sisterhood among the student body. This "sisterhood" is spoken of at other schools, and it is not evident at all, but at Ursuline, it was always felt among the student body. The teachers were excellent as well. They were always ready to help outside of class, and in class. To be honest, some classes were more engaging than others. However, the teachers always made sure that students understood the material. The only fault of Ursuline is the curriculum. The greatest downfall of the basis of the curriculum is the workload. As a student of high education currently, I do not feel that Ursuline provided sufficient preparation for the workload I have now. Homework was very minimal, and grades were inflated. Therefore, it instilled bad habits in how smarter students deal with studying and functioning in a harder school. Not going to lie, Ursuline is a very, very good school that will boost your GPA. However, it will not prepare you for the workload that's coming your way. Overall, this school will get you to the best schools, but it won't prepare you to thrive in those schools. But the relationships and community at Ursuline is something that will not be found in other schools. Which is why I still love and appreciate this school.
I cannot say enough good things about this school. My daughter just graduated after attending UA for 15 years. Because of UA's excellent preparation of her in all aspects of her life, I am 100% confident that she will successfully handle absolutely anything that comes her way, no matter where she lands. They have transformed her into the wonderful woman that she is today, and I cannot advocate enough for having your daughter or son attend UA as early in their life as possible.
Our daughter just graduated from Ursuline, after spending 15 years there. We cannot say enough great things about UA and the experience that our daughter enjoyed there, as well as our sons, who each attended UA for several years. Above all, UA is excellent at teaching self-motivation and self-drive from a very early age. The teachers are fabulous, as are the administrators, counselors, coaches, etc. UA's increasing and continual emphasis on global education, and on individually shaping each student so that they can handle anything that comes their way, was extremely important to us.
Ursuline is by far the best school in Wilmington. It empowers young women to be confident leaders who are ready for the challenge of college and beyond. The small class sizes ensure that each student gets individualized attention and isn't "lost in the shuffle" like at other schools.
As a parent of a current student I have been impressed with the values of service, leadership, and individualized attention. My daughter is thriving in ways I never expected. The academics are rigorous and the access to different activities and sports are limitless. Ursuline is a special community that I am proud to be a part of. My daughter loves it here!!
As we began the search for a high school, my wife and daughter were dismissive of an all-girls, catholic education. My wife and I were each successful in public high school, we were not catholic and private school opportunities seemed out of reach financially and logistically. As a father of a gifted daughter, however, I wanted to be sure to explore all options. We have a friend and neighbor who sent three daughters through Ursuline, so, at my urging, we all attended the fall open house. (They readily admit that I dragged them there.) What impressed us the most at the open house was the fact that the girls lead the event themselves from the overview of the school to the panel discussions to the tours. Our daughter will likely mature to a science related career, and seeing the empowerment and leadership opportunities that an all-girls environment could develop made me believe that this was the best option for her. More importantly, my wife and daughter came away thinking `this is not so bad, we can do this.` The open house lead to a shadow day and personal tour. As my wife and I toured the school `in action`, all I could see were girls just like my daughter focused and eager to learn. We saw small class sizes, engaged, considerate students and committed faculty. As she begins her second year at Ursuline, there is no doubt that this was the best decision we could have made. She is finally in an environment that can challenge her academically, and she is amongst girls who are equally as eager to learn. We look at the financial and logistical aspects of attending Ursuline as a commitment and not a burden. And we look at an Ursuline education as fostering opportunities not possible through other schools.
My daughters have been students at Ursuline Academy since pre-kindergarten. Our experience has always been positive. They have both been challenged academically, in different ways as they are different students. Small class sizes and individualized curriculum has kept us at UA through high school for both girls. The community is very strong and active. The counseling department is excellent, we are just starting the college process with our oldest and always feel supported and informed. Athletics are accessible to every student, UA has a "no cut" policy, so any student can participate. The girls are encouraged to be leaders through every phase of school at Ursuline Academy. The motto of Serviam (service) is always carried through the years. We are proud to be a part of such a strong community!
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